Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hell freezes over: Bush nominee believes in global warming

Good God - the nominee for Treasury Secretary (replacing John "Whatever You Say Sir" Snow) is chairman of The Nature Conservancy and supports the Kyoto Protocol. I understand they've been desperate to fill this post for some time, it being difficult to find a candidate who is conversant with economics and willing to spout Bushenomics at the same time. But this Paulson nomination suggests Rove is really off his game.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Tit for tattler

Hardly a day goes by that I don't wake up and think, "thank God for Media Matters." Today was no exception.

UPDATE: Don't miss Jamison Foser's column on the most pressing issue of our time.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Worried about big box developers? Call the Governor ASAP.

Memo from a friend:
LD 1481 passed on Monday night in both the House and Senate. The amendment passed by the House a couple of weeks ago had already been stripped, and the Bill passed in a very restrictive form. With this Bill as law citizens would have only 75 days to challenge a development proposal through citizen referendum.

LD 1481 now goes to the Governor. He needs calls from citizens. 287-3531

The Attorney General recently indicated in a memo that the Bill likely constitutes an unfunded mandate because it could require towns to spend money to speed up their referendum process to meet the restrictive time frame imposed by 1481. However the mandate was not attached to the Bill.

The Governor has grounds to veto it, but he needs to hear from you.
Even if you have already called the governor, please call again TODAY. 287-3531. Mention:
  1. The burden on towns when the State tells towns how to manage their referendum process, traditionally decided through LOCAL CONTROL.
  2. Citizens will be stripped of their rights to determine the future of their own towns, while Big Box developers will be given a green light to make secret development deals that cannot be stopped by citizen petition after an unrealistic 75 days. And a public hearing is not even required by the bill!
This issue is critical to the future of Maine. Please call TODAY!!

287-3531 !!!
My friend likes exclamation points. But I agree . We need to call on this one.

He is the very model of a bible-bound creationist!

To the tune of "The Major-General's Song" in Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance:

I am the very model of a bible-bound creationist
A blinkered, blind, and narrow-minded dumb-ass revelationist
I find it hard distinguishing religious from political
And so I make decisions that are highly hypocritical
I try and change the law to save the life of someone comatose
While ordering a war and killing anyone who comes too close
The latest body count was twenty-thousand-plus civili-ans
But I've got policies that could cause carnage by the milli-ons!

But he's got policies that could cause carnage by the milli-ons
But he's got policies that could cause carnage by the mili-ons
But he's got policies that could cause carnage by the milli-ons!

I know the world was made for us, and has been since it first begun
It says so there in Genesis, and God knows I'm a Christ-ee-yun
In short, in matters biblical, a congre-gaggin-nationist
I am the very model of a bible-bound creationist

In short, in matters biblical, a congre-gaggin-nationist
He is the very model of a bible-bound creationist

My country's use of gasoline is profligate and decadent
It's harming our economy and the whole world's environment
Global warming morons warn of crises so hysteric and
It makes me thank the Lord that I was born to be American
Like anyone in power who wants to show their adherence
I pick and choose the bits I use from both Old and New Testaments
The Satanic secular types show how much they fear me
When I announce that evolution's no more than a theory!

When he announces evolution's no more than a theory
When he announces evolution's no more than a theory
When he announces evolution's no more than a theory

Then I can draft a scary bill that's more than taking liberties
But arguing impugns your patriotic sensitivities
In short, in matters patriotic, criminal or terrorist
I am the very model of a bible-bound creationist

In short, in matters patriotic, criminal or terrorist
I am the very model of a bible-bound creationist

In fact, when I know what is meant by true religious parity
When I don't think the West is under threat from secularity
When my lack of brain-power's not undermined by literacy
And when my foreign policy's less gunboat, more diplomacy
When I have learnt the difference 'tween sandwiches and sand wedges
When I can use with confidence the whole damn English lang-u-wedge
In short, when I can state a statement oh, so very statedly
You'll say no president's ever misunderestimatedly

You'll say no president's ever misunderestimatedly
You'll say no president's ever misunderestimatedly
You'll say no president's ever misunderestimatedly

I know there ain't much knowledge that's contained within my cranium
I went to see the Wizard, but he can't give me a brainium
But still, in things political or educa-ca-cationist
I am the very model of a Bible-bound creationist!

But still, in things political or educa-ca-cationist
He is the very model of a Bible-bound creationist!

Author unknown, but I would like to shake his hand.

Take heart, progressives!

Matt Stoller has words of comfort for us:

Political progress is slow, until it's not. The organizing work of the 1930s-1950s led to the Civil Rights movement of the next decade; the same can be said about the New Deal, which was based on 40 years of populist and progressive organizing. Political change looks rapid, because opportunities open up quickly, but the actual work to make that rapid change happen is slow and filled with losses, self-doubt, and heartache. Every successful movement has been tagged as a group of losers who are childish and angry. Every successful movement has lost political battles; a lot of them in fact. And every successful movement has persevered through those times, learned from them, and ultimately validated itself.

9/11 and the few years after that was a dark time. Fake heroes like Giuliani and his minions, Bush and his minions, and Fox News and its stable of entertainers ruled discourse. Clinton's impeachment had laid the Democrats low. Iraq happened with no public debate, right-wing extremists took Congress in 2002 and strengthened their grip in 2004, and progressive politics were bereft of leadership, resources, and ideas. Or so it seemed.

Below the surface, progressive energy was simmering, and we're only starting to see a boil-over. At the same time, the right-wing movement, which looks so healthy as it governs the country and controls the levers of power in corporate board rooms, is dying. These two trend lines are crossing with increasing frequency; the people are on our side and not theirs anymore....

I confess to creeping optimism myself of late.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Q: What is George W. Bush (illustrated edition)

A. An asshole, of course.

Bonus behind-the-scene memo: "It'll be more guys with guns and badges," said a proponent of the plan. "Think of the visuals. The President can go down and meet with the new recruits. He can go down to the border and meet with a bunch of guys and go ride around on an ATV."

Bonus on-the scene dialog: "Were you able to see me riding in the dune buggy?" Bush asked an official, who told the president, "It looked like you were having a good time down there."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

This is not your father's angry left

Glenn Greenwald points out that it's not 1972 anymore and Democrats can quit worrying about being perceived as deranged freaks. "Civility 'n Restraint Forever" is the wrong lesson to take from McGovern's defeat. Constructive anger can be a great motivator in politics. At times it is essential. Sometimes it can even be noble.

Oh, and the corollary?

[T]hose who are entirely devoid of anger are often lifeless, limp, uninspiring figures who seem to be drained of soul and purpose. An anger-less political movement is embodied by a plodding, bespecled, muttering Jay Rockefeller. Or John Kerry's non-response to the Swift Boat attacks. Or the Democrats' often ponderous, half-hearted, overly-rational mutterings on all too many issues or in response to all too many corruption and lawbreaking scandals. Or craven, eager-to-please "liberals" who are more interested in convincing Fox News and other Bush followers how balanced and reasonable they are than they are than in fighting for any actual political ideals -- like Joe Klein, or Richard Cohen, for example.

Democrats need to get away -- as far away and as quickly as possible -- from that bland, mushy, sonorous, overly calculating and painfully restrained, passion-free dead zone. And in that regard, a much bigger problem for Democrats has been a lack of anger -- and most other human passions -- not an excess of it.

Amen! Amen! Amen! (What's that you say? Hillary Clinton is clearing her throat for a cautious rejoinder?)

P.S. William Rivers Pitt nails Cohen on the same topic.

Strange bedfellows in Boston

Holy smokes - a John Birch rightwing radio host says Air America and MoveOn are doing righteous work, calls for a rebel left-right alliance to isolate the DC powerbrokers and save the Constitution.

I say you bet (and what took you so long?).

Monday, May 08, 2006

Wherein we feel the Republicans' pain and help out a little

The Republicans are facing a tough battle in the midterms, what with Mr. 31% and all. So Kos invited compassionate progressives to help them out by thinking up campaign slogans. It's a creative bunch and there's a large amount of leeway given that we're talking SUV- and Hummer-sized bumper stickers, so we got some interesting results. Like this one:

Gay illegal aliens are coming here to burn the American Flag and wave the Mexican flag while they sing the National Anthem in Spanish and try to get married to one another--while never paying taxes!

There were also some pithy short ones:
If you don't vote for us, lesbians will take your guns.
If you don't feel like wading through 500+ comments, here's my selection of favorites.

GOP 2006: Blowjobs are out, snowjobs are in.

GOP 2006: No sin we can’t spin.

Wrong, corrupt, inept – what’s not to like?

Because we haven’t stolen all your money yet.

Vote for us, or Diebold will do it for you.

Vote for us because if you don't, Hollywood liberals will force your children to marry other children of the same sex, and then will brand the numbers 666 on their heads.

It’s still Bill Clinton’s fault.

9/11! Iran! 9/11! Iran! 9/11! Iran! 9/11! Iran!

Vote for [Candidate X] – He’s still not indicted!

Destroying America before the terrorists can.

You say fascism like it’s a bad thing.

Return us to power; resistance is futile.

No-bid contracts are yummy like butter!

Why change now, when things are going so well?

Because the Constitution really is just a piece of paper.

Killing brown people on five continents.

Stamping out poverty one poor person at a time.

The new GOP: now with SEX!

We had to destroy the Bill of Rights in order to save it.

Batshit crazy since 2000!

Vote for us or God will kill you.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Mr. Popularity

Okay, this is pretty interesting, courtesy of Andrew Sullivan. What to make of these data?

Second terms are supposed to be tough - but George H.W. Bush, Reagan, and Clinton all rose in popularity over time. And Clinton did it in the midst of scandal and impeachment.

Carter gets a bad rap but he still hovered near 50%. The despised Johnson was around 44% in 1966. And I didn't realize how much people hated Truman.

But Chimpy McFlightsuit stands in a class by himself.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Media blackout on Colbert

Elisabeth "I want to bear George W. Bush's love-child" Bumiller pens a NYT story on the correspondents' dinner without mentioning Stephen Colbert, the featured performer whose astounding takedown of Bush is winging around the internets as we speak.

I write a letter.

Dear Ms. Bumiller:

Stephen Colbert explains how the White House press corps functions:

Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home.

Elisabeth Bumiller reports on the White House Correspondents Dinner:

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tappity. Tap.

Nice typing, Ms. Bumiller. By the way, you could save your employer some bucks next year and just skip the dinner. File that White House press release right from your office.

Alna Dem

P.S. You can thank Mr. Colbert personally here. The press certainly isn't going to do it.

UPDATE: Thank you #10,134 is a good one:

Far too many people are easily impressed by power and forget the fact that since we are the very ones who give it, we must also question it.

Thank you for being a shining example of that fact, and for using your sharp mind and wit for the greater good of all. The fact that Bush and most of the audience was quiet at your during your audacious presentation shows how accurate and effective your message was. Thank you for saying what all of us would like to say.

Why is today different from all other days?

It's Happy Codpiece Day, also known as "Mission Accomplished" Day.

UPDATE: Think Progress has the numbers.