Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Iraq Speech in One Sentence

"My fellow American, because our brave soldiers shifted tactics to protect the Iraqi people, which had nothing to do with the 'surge' I will mention only in passing later in this speech, and because no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security, even though he had nothing to do with the previously mentioned shift in tactics and spent over a trillion dollars on wars, often financed by borrowing overseas, and because the great General David Petraeus, whose role in Iraq will pass by this evening with even less mention than the 'surge' that I will mention only in passing later in this speech, is now leading the fight to break the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan, which is not the same thing as victory, which we also do not have in Iraq, even though I am withdrawing troops just as I promised during the campaign, so this withdrawal has nothing to do with the Status of Forces Agreement negotiated between and agreed-upon by President Bush and the Iraqi government, because of all these things and more, I call upon you, my fellow Americans, to thank our men and women in uniform by rallying behind even more deficit spending, financed by borrowing overseas, in the following areas of my domestic agenda..."

Pop Quiz: Best Deal for the Dollar Edition

Consider the two purchases described below. Each transaction involved a single dollar being exchanged for ownership of something. Who do you think got the bigger bargain?

A) Sidney Harman, who for $1 received Newsweek magazine and its "considerable financial liabilities":

B) My wife and I, who for $1 received an aging, rattle-trap Mazda 323 that ran for seven more years before ending in a fiery blaze by the side of the 210 freeway:

(Hint: The fuel gauge of our Mazda had a serious problem with accurate and objective reporting, just like Newsweek!)

(Bonus Hint Update: Via Ed Driscoll, next week's cover (click to enlarge), as posted by Politico:

Like the footnote says, Obama is none of these things. Including President, apparently.

I'd say this puts Sidney Harman in the lead, because my wife and I didn't get a CNN editor for our dollar...)

(Bonus Full Disclosure: Anyone who has spent any length of time working as an editor has at least one enormous, embarrassing mistake in their past. I'm talking the kind of mistake that also somehow managed to slip past every other pair of eyes that looked at it before publication. I know I do. So part of me really does feel for the Newsweek people. At least this time.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Because Today Is My First...

...day off after 34 straight days of nonstop work!

Time to catch up on all that missed playtime with the dog...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Obama and the Grocery Man

That's right, Grocery Man. You just keep on walking. I already told you my grandchildren would pay for this later...

In "Honor" of My 34th...

...straight day of nonstop work. And of that drunk guy who had a thing for my wife at the karaoke party last night...

A Triple Play from the Most Trusted Name in News

1) Sarah Palin spells her name "Sarah."

2) Sarah Palin was a candidate for vice-president, not for president.

3) This is not Sarah Palin.

Now, if only somebody could tell me Rick Sanchez was involved...

(H/T: Inside Cable News via Memeorandum)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Rule 5 Misfire

Every blogger quickly learns that posts with images draw more traffic than posts with nothing but text. It doesn't matter how much time and thought and effort you put into crafting that finely honed political manifesto that will surely change the world. It's just the nature of the Internet beast that some post with a picture will still get far more attention. Especially if that picture happens to be of a rather attractive woman. Like this:

Or this:

Or especially this:

Pictures of good-looking women drawing traffic is such a consistent feature of life here on the Interwebs that it's actually been enshrined as "Rule 5" of blogging. Those three pictures reposted above have brought literally thousands of eyeballs to this site. (Who would have guessed so many people had the desire to see Jessica Simpson in uniform?)

With that in mind, you can imagine my surprise when I came back from Comic Con, checked in on my Sitemeter stats, and realized that even after a long period of extremely light blogging, my traffic was up. And I mean way up. Up higher than it had ever been before without an Instapundit link. And 95% of that additional traffic was coming from people using the same Google Image search phrase, making that particular image the most popular one ever to appear on this site. So who, exactly, was driving all this traffic my way?

This guy:

Yes, that's Pauly D, one of Rhode Island's favorite DJs and star of MTV's Jersey Shore. Not only is Pauly D "a ladies man to the fullest extreme" and "a true asset to any venue," what he can do with "his hands and 2 turntables is utterly incredible." In fact, "any spot he spins at will be packed with beautiful women, dying for a glimpse of him and what he does," just like any blog where even a single photo of him appears will experience a massive, unexpected spike in traffic, earning Pauly D his latest title of accomplishment: Hero of Rule 5 Gender Equity!

So thank you, Pauly D. You've brought untold numbers of new readers (well, viewers) to this blog over the last few weeks.

One can only imagine their reaction when they saw the actual post...

In "Honor" of My 33rd...

...straight day of nonstop work. Oh, Lord, how long can this go on?...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Automotive TLC

Spotted while walking the dog, like always...

Maybe my wife and I should have tried this, back when we had our $1 car.

In "Honor" of My 32nd...

...straight day of nonstop work...

Will This Man Please (Still) Run for President? (Updated)

Republican Governor Chris Christie, responding to a clerical error that cost the State of New Jersey $400 million in federal education aid:

The real threat to President Obama in 2012 (other than himself, of course) isn't Sarah Palin, or Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich. It's this guy, if he decides to run.

What Christie describes is similar to one of the many rounds my wife had with the immigration bureaucracy before we were married. Of the myriad and utterly confusing forms that would allow her to move from student status to working status, her extremely smart and well-informed potential employer made an honest mistake and missed one of them in the final application. But rather than getting a phone call or a letter requesting the missing form so the application could be processed, the entire thing was simply rejected nine months later, on the grounds that one of the required forms hadn't been submitted, forcing the entire process to begin again from scratch.

I remember the amount of paperwork and supporting documentation being somewhat similar to what Christie placed on that podium as well, and I'm only half-joking when I say that.

UPDATE: This certainly puts a new spin on things:
Gov. Chris Christie, reacting swiftly to a brewing crisis over a failed federal grant application, has fired Department of Education Commissioner Bret Schundler.

Schundler was let go by Christie this morning following the release of a video by the federal Department of Education that contradicted Schundler’s assertion that he provided federal Race to the Top grant application reviewers with correct state aid numbers after an error in the documents was revealed.

“I was extremely disappointed to learn that the videotape of the Race to the Top presentation was not consistent with the information provided to me by the New Jersey Department of Education and which I then conveyed to the people of New Jersey. As a result, I ordered an end to Bret Schundler’s service as New Jersey’s Education Commissioner and as a member of my administration,” Christie said in a statement issued at 12:30 p.m. today.
And this adds yet another spin:
Ousted New Jersey Education Commissioner Bret Schundler told the Newark Star Ledger he asked Gov. Chris Christie (R) to be fired rather than resign, so he could receive unemployment benefits.

Said Schundler: “I asked if they would mind writing a termination letter, instead of a resignation letter, because I do have a mortgage to pay, and I do have a daughter who’s just started college. And I, frankly, will need the unemployment insurance benefits until I find another job… And they said fine. They said sure.”
Not a situation where anyone comes out looking spotless. It would be nice to go a whole week these days without having one of those.

Then again, if trusting the integrity of one of his own people, and then getting rid of that person immediately when he turns out to be a liar, even if he does do it in a way that allows the man to collect unemployment, turns out to be the worst "gaffe" Christie makes, he would still be a great improvement over what we have in Washington today.

(H/T: Hot Air)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An Open Letter to the Media, Activists, Members of Congress, and Administration Officials Who Have Both Educated and Enlightened Me This Past Year

Dear Media, Activists, Members of Congress, and Administration Officials Who Have Both Educated and Enlightened Me This Past Year:

I gladly acknowledge the Park51 developers have every Constitutional right to build their community center/mosque wherever they please, but I feel it would be more sensitive and appropriate (not to mention better for their stated goals of creating cross-cultural tolerance and understanding) if they would build it somewhere farther away from Ground Zero.

And for that, you call me Islamophobe.

I felt incredible pride watching the first African-American president take the oath of office, but I believe his policies are creating deficits we can never pay back and burdening the economy with badly conceived regulations and so-called reforms that will do far more harm than good.

And for that, you call me Racist.

I support gay marriage, but I'm also convinced it would be much better in the long run, for everyone, if that comes about through consensus in legislatures and ballot referendums rather than being imposed by court decisions that will only energize an opposition that had been losing ground each day and further polarize a society that already feels those same courts are not only out of touch, but also out of control.

And for that, you call me Bigot.

I'm married to a Canadian and my favorite brother-in-law was an immigrant from Argentina, but I know that unless we first secure the borders, granting a path to citizenship for those here illegally will be a never-ending process rather than a comprehensive, one-time reform that truly reduces this problem to some manageable level.

And for that, you call me Xenophobe.

Not that any of this surprises me, of course. This has been going on for some time now. So call me what you like.

Call me what you like, and pretend that simply giving these names to those you disagree with will somehow make them so, and tell yourself that good people can't differ politically, that those with another opinion are somehow intellectually inferior, and that your position has the corner on morality. Do all those things, because it doesn't really matter.

It doesn't really matter, because there are other names for me, and for those like me, that you've forgotten.

Former reader.

Former viewer.

Former contributor.

Former Democrat.

But most important, Voter.

Or maybe you haven't forgotten those names, and that explains the others...

UPDATE: One of the unexpected joys (or agonies) of blogging is when you post something, then find out the next morning that a far better writer is also traveling on the same of train of thought with you, like Charles Krauthammer does in "The Last Refuge of a Liberal."

UPDATE II: More discussion at Memeorandum.

In "Honor" of My 31st...

...straight day of work without a single day off. Sometimes self-employment just ain't what it's cracked up to be...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


This video of Milton Friedman on Phil Donahue's show back in 1979 made the rounds of the blogosphere not so long ago, but with the midterm elections only 10 weeks away, I think it's well worth posting again:

I actually remember watching this when it first aired. I was 14 years old, and I was home sick from school. (Truthfully, I was faking being sick, because I wanted to stay home and read Foundation and Empire.) And like a lot of 14-year-old kids who had more advantages growing up than they ever realized at the time, I was only just discovering that the world was unfair, and that we had to change it. All of it. And do it all right this very minute.

I remember sitting there and being appalled by what Milton Friedman was saying. The man had no heart. The man had only cynicism and no ideals. Hell, the advantages of my (and Phil Donahue's) preferred "tyranny of the caring" (not that I ever thought of it in those words back then) were so bleedingly obviously that even Friedman had to acknowledge them, even if he would never admit it. So the only reason he could possible stand against us had to be that Milton Friedman was just plain old downright mean.

Today, at 45, I watch this and know that Milton Friedman was absolutely right.

It was never about who cared the most, or who was the more virtuous person. But it was about realizing that utopia will never exist, that human beings will always be flawed creatures, that power corrupts, and that sometimes, the best way to help the poor (and everyone else) is the very method that least allows us to feel like we deserve to pat ourselves on the back because we've just "done good."

The goals of both Friedman and Donahue were always the same here, I think, but the difference involved the best means to achieve those goals. Government has always had a role to play, obviously, and it always will. But the federal government has grown from checking the worst excesses of capitalism to believing that it not only can choose winners and losers but also save us from ourselves. It's grown from what the Founding Fathers intended to something much nearer that "tyranny of the caring" I so longed for on that morning in 1979.

Of course, at 45, I also know that the "tyranny of the caring" won't be very caring. Or virtuous.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

10 Mostly Silly Things CNN Thinks President Obama Needs to Do

Never let it be said that CNN doesn't have its pulse on the heartbeat of America. And if their ratings don't convince of you of that, CNN's Kristi Keck will with her common-sense, Heartland-friendly list of 10 things President Obama must do in 10 weeks to "restore the confidence of the American people and minimize expected losses for his part."

That's tall order, so what does Kristi Keck have in mind?

1. Simplify the message

Candidate Obama inspired voters in the 2008 election with a simple message of hope and change. Halfway through his term, the president now faces the complex reality of governing.
President Obama's problem isn't that the presentation of his message is too complex. It's the message itself. And it's simply too late to take a failed stimulus, financial reform that left out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, credit card reform that's already adding new fees and higher interest rates for those of us who paid our bills on time, a health reform bill that's already raising insurance premiums and will only further explode the deficit, the largest deficits in the history of mankind, and 18 months of failed outreach to Iran and dress them up in different packaging, or even in the old packaging of "hope and change." We've already seen what's inside the gift box, and we're looking for the receipt so we can return it.
2. Channel Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan, known as the "great communicator," put communications front-and-center, [David] Morey [a communications expert who advised Obama's 2008 campaign] said.

"He focused and simplified the message. He communicated it. He built a consensus. He defined America's role in the world, and that's the challenge here," he said.
Another piece of political advice I often hear. And usually from people who don't understand that all the wonderful delivery and fine oratory in the world mean nothing without the message itself. Reagan understod that. Those who voted for Reagan understand that. People like me who didn't much care for Reagan at the time but who later came to appreciate him understand that. You can't separate Reagan's skills as a communicator from Reagan's message itself, and Reagan's message was the polar opposite of President Obama's.
3. Propagandize the truth

"There is a great hunger for leaders who can rise above the political pettiness and tell the truth," Morey said, pointing to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as an example.
And I think every one of those leaders would know better than to view what they do as "propagandizing" the truth -- or would at least know better than to use that term out loud. But I'm all for repeating the truth far and wide. I think President Obama should talk about how his administration knew the drilling moratorium in the Gulf would cost 23,000 jobs when the unemployment rate is still hovering near 10%," how Democratic candidates are being advised no longer to claim the health reform bill will reduce costs or lower the deficit and to campaign on "improving it" rather than actually defending what they had a full year to get right, and, just for fun of it, how the Stimulus cost more than the entire Iraq War, which supposedly had convinced Democrats that deficit spending was bad.
4. Go on the offense

"With barely an exception, the administration should stop equivocating, parsing and reacting," Morey said.
Absolutely, President Obama should go on the offense like he did with those "folks wavin' tea bags around." Or like he did with those fishy agents of lies and disinformation who claimed the health reform bill wouldn't lower costs or reduce the deficit (back when Democrats could actually manage to say with a straight face that the health reform bill would lower costs and reduced the deficit). Or like he did when his party rammed that same reform through Congress against overwhelming public opposition. Because it's worked out so well for him this far.
5. Put up a fight
And where, exactly, has Kristi Keck been during the last 19 months?
6. Be positive

The American people want to hear what Obama is for instead of what he's against, said Ron Christie, a Republican strategist who worked in the Bush administration from 2001 to 2004.
It also helps if you can say what you're for, then not backtrack on it the very next day. And it really helps if you can be positive about something that the majority of the country hasn't already seen fail, like your economic policies. Or doesn't oppose, like your health reform bill.
7. Look to the future, not the past
This is always decent advice. Good on you, Kristi Keck!
8. Pay attention to independents
I'm sorry, but any President or presidential candidate who needs to be told -- or even reminded -- about this one... well...
9. Be prepared for Election Day...
Even with eight short paragraphs of explanation in the original article, I'm still not quite sure what this one means.
10. ... but don't stop at November
Actually, the message President Obama is going to get in November will be exactly that: "Stop."

And that's the real problem with this whole article. President Obama doesn't need to do 10 things to restore confidence and turn the rest of his presidency around. This whole article could have "simplified its message" into one -- and only one -- piece of advice:

Be the postpartisan, postracial, pragmatic, deficit-cutting uniter who "gets it" that you claimed to be during the campaign.

(H/T: Memeorandum)

"Where Is Your Congressman This Summer?"

(H/T: Gateway Pundit)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Robert Gibbs Receives a Troubling Phone Call

"Who is it this time, Robert? Another angry Los Angeles commuter who thinks I'm out of touch with the common man just because I brought the Westside to a standstill at rush hour so I could attend that very important Hollywood fundraiser? Let me talk to him."

"Mr. President --"

"Is it another penny-pinching Louisianan or Mississippian upset at Michelle's fabulous 'girls vacation' in Spain right before our wonderful family vacation in Martha's Vineyard, just because we told everyone else to take their tourist dollars to the Gulf Coast and help out their fellow Americans? Let me talk to him."

"Mr. President --"

"Is it the arugula haters? It's the arugula haters again, isn't it? I always knew the arugula haters would be back. Give me the phone, Robert."

"Mr. President, it's our pollster."

"Tell him I'm not here..."

Exclusive Video: President Obama Discusses the Economy with Katie Couric

(H/T: Patterico)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Shovel Ready

Remember when the Stimulus was being sold as funding for "shovel ready" projects that would provide an immediate shock of employment to a failing economy?

Eighteen months and several bonus percentage points of unemployment later, the Stimulus-funded project pictured above, to carry reclaimed water to lawns and greenways in my area, is now starting in my little town. Shovel ready, indeed.

You learn to live with the color brown rather than green when it comes to scenery here in Southern California. And I miss green, not being from here originally. But I much prefer the color brown to the color red, as in ink, and would gladly give up this local project so that money could be applied against the deficit instead.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Ultimate Tea Party Recruitment Video, Only By Bravo!

Truthfully, the Real Housewives franchise is a guilty pleasure in my home. My wife and I have a great time snarking on and about these women and their totally unscripted misadventures, whether it's the Orange Country or the New York City or the New Jersey version. It's often the perfect escapism you need after a long and brutal day here in reality. But this D.C. version of our champagne governing class and its postindustrial courtesan clingers is just one Real Housewives too far. Especially given not just the current economy, but the political wave that continues building against the political "establishment" and our other assorted betters.

I realize Bravo is a niche broadcaster. Kathy Griffin alone proves that, not to mention the new Top Chef: Garnish Masters, which I believe will premiere next spring. But I don't think Bravo realizes just how far the underlying sentiment of the Tea Party, about an aloof and disconnected political class, centered in Washington, extends beyond the "official" Tea Party. And that even liberals who support Obama and his party's agenda will probably feel more than a bit uncomfortable watching this modern version of Lifestyles of the Overconsuming Rich and Politically Connected, at least not without a handsome Kennedy in there somewhere. So if Real Housewives of Atlanta is the Star Trek: Voyager of the franchise, just kind of there in the background but still running for 7 years simply on momentum, I think Real Housewives of D.C. will turn out to be their Enterprise, the first incarnation not to run for as long as all the others.

And like Enterprise, it probably won't be missed as much as all the other incarnations, either.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Money Train Leaves the Station

"Gather round, children. It's time for still another gift from me, Grandma Pelosi, to each and every one of you, the children of America. Now then—"

"Grandma Pelosi?"

"Oh, no. Not you again, Alicia."

"Grandma Pelosi, my Daddy says now that the Chinese are cutting their long-term holdings of U.S. Treasury notes and bonds, the money train has left the station."

"Oh, really?"

"Yes. He says that with the Chinese cutting back, all these gifts of yours are actually going to—"

"Alicia? Do you know what you are?"


"No, Alicia. You, child, are what we call a shill."

"A shill?"

"That's right. An astroturfed, controversy-ginning shill who is part a concerted effort to make government spending and deficits into a political issue that distracts the American people from what really matters. I think Grandma Pelosi needs to investigate where you get your funding."

"My Daddy gives me an allowance."

"And where does your Daddy get his funding from?"

"From his unemployment check."

"*sigh* You'd really think Grandma Pelosi should have been able to see that one coming by now, wouldn't you?"

"Haha! You're funny!"

"Shut up, Alicia. Grandma Pelosi needs to have a moment of silence for her friend, the Narrative..."

An Editor's Lament

"This author just loves his passive voice, and his run-on sentences, and stringing together three or four or even five prepositional phrases. I swear, he just wraps them around the main idea of the sentence like a string of Christmas lights on a tree."

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Welcome (almost) home.

(For Lease) Sign of the Times

You know the "Summer of Recovery" is in full swing when you notice the local branch of Labor Ready temporary employment service has closed its doors:

Ironically, this building is on a street that was recently repaved using Stimulus money.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Exclusive Video: Furries Stand on Hind Limbs Against Sarah Palin

In less than a week, my proud former political party and former liberal compatriots have given us the "F*ck Tea" campaign; President Obama effectively shutting down the Westside of L.A. for hours, at rush hour, so he can "just hang out" for a "spectacular evening" with the Hollywood royalty and their checkbooks; Nancy Pelosi calling for an investigation into where the Ground Zero mosque opponents (but not the Ground Zero mosque builders) are getting their funding (you mean I was supposed to be getting paid for those last few posts?!); and now... now... I kid you not... ladies dressed like Ewoks, who expect me to believe that Sarah Palin wants to end health care for all the little cubs in America. Because who would ever feel the need to actually fact check a woman in a bear suit?

Honestly, if I were still a Democrat, I would leave the party out of sheer embarrassment at this point.

Peter Beinart Has Disgraced Himself

Jim Treacher says he's learned three things about the "Ground Zero 9/11 Debris Field Mosque" from his "moral, ethical, and intellectual betters on the left":

1. A mosque isn’t a mosque if it includes a pool and a basketball court.

2. Ground Zero does not extend one single inch past the lip of the crater.

3. Shut up.
I suspect Jim has been reading Peter Beinart's article "America Has Disgraced Itself":
The president is furiously backtracking; Republicans are clawing over each other to demonize Muslims; Democrats are dead silent. It’s time to face reality. Whether or not the “ground zero” mosque ever gets built, the political debate is over. Decency lost.
If decency has lost, it's because Beinart's column delivered the winning touchdown.

"Sad" doesn't even begin to describe Beinart's opening, and I could only shake my head as I read the entire piece. You see, I've always liked Peter Beinart. Agree or disagree with him, Beinart generally could be counted on to be one of the adults in the room. He always had generally valid points that needed to be considered, even if I didn't like how he made them, or agree with them after considering. Only now he's headed off down the same path that's taken Joe Klein from the heights of Primary Colors and The Natural to, appropriately enough, Swampland over at Time. You know, the road that turned Andrew Sullivan from a razor-sharp writer to a man who now fancies himself Fox Mulder to Sarah Palin's assorted obstetrical conspiracies.

Beinart does say one thing in this column that makes sense:
So almost nine years after September 11, we need to confront a few painful truths.
Chalk the high-water mark on the wall, people, because after this, it's sink-into-the-depths time all the way.
First, while the military and counterintelligence aspects of the struggle against al Qaeda will likely last long into the future, the “war of ideas” is over. America has thrown in the towel.
Game over, man! No longer will a woman in Saudi Arabia hope to someday drive a car, let alone hope to vote. Or a little girl in Afghanistan dream of going to school. Or her mother pray that religious fundamentalists won't beat her if she leaves the house to take that daughter to, I don't know, a hospital but doesn't have her husband or a male relative with her. The war of ideas -- hell, the very clash of civilizations -- is over, because too many of us, while consistently acknowledging the Constitutional right to build a mosque on this site, didn't think it was a particularly good idea in terms of building bridges and promoting understanding. And now that we've crossed that ethical rubicon, America can never hope to compete against even the most hellish of sharia-ruled hell holes. Let the Great Migration to northern Nigeria begin!

That's some seriously hyperbolic towel we're throwing in there, Peter.

I don't blame Beinart for being frustrated right now. For one, he's on the wrong side of supermajority on this issue, which is never a fun place to be. And for another, his team's star player, President Obama, fumbled the ball the very moment he finally got into the game. So the temptation to throw a hissy fit instead of writing an actual column must be pretty great. I just never thought it would be Peter Beinart who gave in to that temptation, because that's what this column is. A literary hissy fit that's only missing the slammed door after he insults everyone at the table and then leaves without being excused, because the 'rents just don't get it.
Remember when George W. Bush and his neoconservative allies used to say that the “war on terror” was a struggle on behalf of Muslims, decent folks who wanted nothing more than to live free like you and me? Remember when Karen Hughes paid millions to produce glitzy videos of Muslim Americans testifying about how free they were to practice their religion in the USA? Remember Bush’s second inaugural, when he said “America's ideal of freedom” is “sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran?”
Remember when Antonio Banderas played a kick-ass Muslim in The 13th Warrior? Well, that has about as much to do with the real issue here as everything that Beinart just mentioned.
Once upon a time, Republicans were so confident that the vast majority of Muslims preferred freedom to jihad that they believed the U.S. could install democracy in Iraq within months. Now, confronted with a group of Muslim Americans who want to build a cultural center that includes Jews and Christians on the board (how many churches and synagogues do that?), GOP leaders call them terrorists because they don’t share Benjamin Netanyahu’s view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
So is it a mosque, Peter, or is it a cultural center? Because if it's a mosque, then why would anyone expect Jews and Christians to be on its board, or are they on the board of the cultural center and will have nothing to do with the mosque itself inside that cultural center? And if it's only a cultural center and not a mosque, then why are you comparing it to a church or a synagogue to make your point? Please make up your about what it is you're talking about here.

Beinart is right, however, that acknowledging Hamas is a terrorist group means that you then share Benjamin Netanyahu's view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That's why Egypt and the Palestanian Authority -- or what's left of the Palestinian Authority since Hamas took over Gaza in that armed coup -- get along so well with the Israeli Prime Minister and always do what Netanyahu wants.
Once upon a time, the “war on terror” was supposed to bring American values to Saudi Arabia.
The way I remember it, the goals for Saudi Arabia were a little more, ah, realistic. Like getting all those wealthy royals to stop playing both sides. And maybe stop spending billions to build fundamentalist Wahhabi mosques and madrassas around the world that promote jihad and hatred of non-Muslims. But turn Riyadh into San Francisco? I clearly missed that one.
Now Newt Gingrich says we shouldn’t build a mosque in Lower Manhattan until the Saudis build churches and synagogues in Mecca—which is to say, we’re bringing Saudi values to the United States.
Because if this were happening in Saudi Arabia, the House of Saud would use the fine art of gentle persuasion to achieve their goal. Seriously, Peter, just make the obligatory mention of Newt Gingrich to color everyone who disagrees with you as rabid Islamophobic Newt-heads and move on. Please.
I wonder how David Petraeus feels about all this. There he is, slogging away in the Hindu Kush, desperately trying to be culturally sensitive, watching GIs get killed because Afghans believe the U.S. is waging a war on Islam, and back home, the super-patriots on Fox News have… declared war on Islam.
Silly me, I thought American GIs were getting killed because the Taliban and Al-Qaeda are waging a war against the infidel unbelievers, not to mention against Muslims who just aren't Muslim enough, or the right kind of Muslim. I did not realize that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda now represent the thinking of all Afghans. Because the last thing Peter Beinart would ever stand for is someone demonizing peaceful Muslims as terrorists, like those nasty Republicans are literally clawing over each other to do. Oh, no, not Peter.

And if the Afghans are starting to hedge their bets and throw in their lot with the Taliban? I'd say that has more to do with the fear America will start pulling out for good next summer and leave them to the gentle persuasion of the Taliban than it does with what some cable pundit says on Fox. Because if it's one thing a peasant in Afghanistan spends his time doing, it's catch Bill O'Reilly on the village satellite feed.
So please, no more talk about those idealistic neoconservatives who are willing to expend blood and treasure so Afghans and Iraqis can live free. People in Basra and Kandahar had better hope that America’s counterinsurgency warriors create a society in which they can practice their religion free of intimidation and insult. Because it’s now clear they can’t do so on the lower tip of the island of Manhattan.
Yes, Peter, by continually acknowledging their right to build the Park51 community center/mosque but hoping to convince them that the location is inappropriate, we're just like the Taliban who intimidated those 1700-year-old Buddha statues into relocating somewhere else. If ever I needed a good reason to support bringing America's counterinsurgency warriors home from Basra and Kandahar, Beinart has just given me one. Those soldiers clearly have far more work to do against religious intimidation and insults in Lower Manhattan than they do over there in the Kush.

I honestly don't know who should be more insulted by what Beinart wrote here: America's counterinsurgency warriors, the Muslims of Basra and Kandahar, the Americans against the Park51 project, the Taliban (because Beinart apparently thinks they're just a bunch of blowhard talkers who pale before the talkers on Fox), or really just any thinking person who even attempts to comprehend that passage.
And from now on, let’s stop condescending to the French about their anti-headscarf laws.
No, Peter! Stop! You've already take away my bona fides as a freedom-loving, true American who believes in religious liberty! Please don't take away my right to condescend to the French, too!
Until a month ago or so, I genuinely believed that no such law could ever pass in the U.S. How na├»ve. After the right’s despicable performance over the last month, can anyone seriously doubt that if the U.S. had as large, and religiously traditional, a Muslim population as France, that Republicans would be clamoring for Congress to regulate their “Islamofascist” garb? Perhaps they’d merely propose that Muslim women be prohibited from wearing the headscarf within a mile of military bases that house families that have lost loved ones in the “war on terror.” We have to be sensitive, after all.
How can you tell that Peter Beinart is one of the legendary "cultural elite"? Because he can equate having qualms about a $100-million mosque built using foreign money two blocks from where radical jihadists killed 3,000 people in the name of Islam, while still acknowledging their Constitutional right to do so, with Congress instituting a national religious fashion police and think he's actually making a serious point.
Words I never thought I’d write: I pine for George W. Bush.
Words I never thought I would believe, and don't.
Whatever his flaws, the man respected religion, all religion. Maybe it was because he had been an addict himself, and knew from hanging around prisons that Allah had saved as many broken souls as Jesus Christ.
Seriously, Peter. Just make your obligatory mention of George Bush's 1976 DUI arrest and alcoholism and move on. Because otherwise, someone might mention that at least in 2004, Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam was reported to account "for some 70% of Muslims in [U.S.] prisons." And if there's one religious group that promotes tolerance and diversity and all those values you say we've thrown in the towel over, it's certainly Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam.
Until a month or so ago, I genuinely believed that the American right had become a religiously ecumenical place.
Until a day ago, I genuinely believed that Peter Beinart would have never written a column like this.
Right-wing Baptists loved right-wing Catholics and they both loved right-wing Orthodox Jews. All you had to do to join the big tent was denounce feminists, Hollywood, and gays. But when push came to shove, Sarah Palin didn’t care about Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s position on gay marriage.
Maybe, Peter, because this issue has nothing to do with gay marriage!
In today’s GOP, even bigotry doesn’t spare you from bigotry.
Please, Peter, save it for someone who wasn't living in California during the Prop 8 backlash. Because from what I saw, even voting for Obama or paying to fly a grieving mother out to California to attend the funeral of her gay son doesn't spare you from the bigotry of the self-proclaimed anti-bigots of today's progressive Democrats.
I wonder what Mitt Romney was thinking, as he added his voice to the anti-Muslim chorus. He surely knows that absent the religious right’s hostility to Mormons, he’d likely have been the GOP’s 2008 presidential nominee.
And then have faced even greater hostility to Mormons from good Democrats like Lawrence O'Donnell and all those progressive anti-bigots the Prop 8 campaign had fired up.
I look forward to his paeans to religious freedom when anti-Mormonism rears its head again in 2012.
Which I guess will be when Mitt Romney tries to build a Mormon Temple overlooking the site of the Mountain Meadows massacre, which is what it will take for this whole "stream of Romney-ness" to make some kind of sense.
And oh yes, my fellow Jews, who are so thrilled to be locked arm in arm with the heirs of Pat Robertson and Father Coughlin against the Islamic threat. Evidently, it’s never crossed your mind that the religious hatred you have helped unleash could turn once again against us. Of course not, we’re insiders in this society now: Our synagogues grace the toniest of suburbs; our rabbis speak flawless English; we Jews are now effortlessly white. Barely anyone even remembers that folks in Lower Manhattan once considered us alien and dangerous, too.
Because in Peter Beinart's New York, no Jew in living memory has ever had to worry about antisemitism, assassination, riots, or arson after days of protest led by the Rev. Al Sharpton. It's a wonderful place, Beinart's New York. Unfortunately, the parallel universe where it resides can only be reached through a malfunctioning Stargate.

Oh, wait a minute! I see what he did! Beinart limited this example to Lower Manhattan only! How smart of him! Please ignore any recent history that might have occurred in Harlem or Crown Heights.
Congratulations, Republicans, you’ve safeguarded ground zero against the insidious threat of religious liberty. I’ve always found going there a deeply moving experience, but for the time being, at least, I’ve lost my desire to go. Hallowed ground? After the unforgivable events of the last month, it’s become a little less hallowed for me.
Poor Peter. Decency has lost, America has disgraced itself, and he won't be the towelboy for our religious liberty any longer.

(H/T: Memeorandum)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Excruciatingly Boring Housekeeping Matters

Because some things just need to be said:

1) Comments are no longer being moderated. Please don't make me regret this. (I'm talking to you.)

2) The video posted under "Exclusive Video: California Proposition 19 Campaign To Legalize Marijuana Releases Wicked Awesome New Ad" is not an actual political advertisement from any group supporting California Proposition 19. (Thanks to The Informant at KALW News for the link -- and for getting the joke!)

3) At $41,000, the Chevy Volt had better have come a long way from this:

White House Phone Logs: President Obama Again Calls Michael Bloomberg

"Hello? Is this New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg?... Oh, I'm sorry... Yes, I can hold... Hello, Michael? This is President Barack Obama... No, I still haven't made any decision about moving the civilian trial of the 9/11 masterminds out of Manhattan... I'm well aware of how much you don't want that trial in your city, Michael, but that's not why I'm calling... Michael?... Michael!... Listen to me, Michael. I'm calling about the Park51 interfaith spiritual community and tolerance outreach center... I said the Park51 interfaith spiritual... Yes, the Ground Zero mosque everyone is so worked up about. You saw my remarks during the White House Ramadan iftar dinner?... Thank you, Michael. That means a lot to me... Yes, I thought it was good stuff, too, but it's always nice to get positive feedback from an average American like yourself... Well, to be honest, Michael, I have caught some flack over this, especially with all those clarifications... I know! It's like they didn't understand what I meant just because I didn't actually say then what I later told everyone that I meant!... See, I knew you would understand, Michael... Bold and visionary leadership is its own reward, yes... So, Michael, I was thinking, now that everyone is angry with me on this instead of with you, we're square for when you had my back on that whole 'Times Square Bomber is an angry right-winger upset about health care reform' thing, right?... No, I already told you, I still haven't made any decision about moving the civilian trial of -- Hello?... Mayor Bloomberg?... Hello?..."

A Married Conversation About Our Shared Annoying Habits

"We are both so anal about this stuff, we're actually colonic."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Don't Criticize the Chevy Volt, You Un-American Americans!

Remember when elected Democratic officials used to get the vapors about someone even hinting that someone else was being "un-American"?

Like Governor Jennifer Granholm says, how can any true American take issue with General Motors using taxpayer money to pay back taxpayer money? Or criticize a $15,000 car that will retail for $41,000, come with a deficit-plumping $7,500 tax credit, and go a whole 40 miles on its battery before a nasty internal combustion engine that requires premium gasoline starts spewing hydrocarbons back into the atmosphere in order to recharge that green battery?

These people must be silenced, and silenced now. Otherwise, their next target will be that wonderful interpretive-dancey, granola-folky, nonthreateningly "b boy"-inclusive Chevy Volt Dance, which is sure to drive eager masses of Volt-hungry consumers into automotive showrooms across this great land:

Like Jennifer says, this is America! So don't say anything bad about the Chevy Volt, you Ford-driving ninnies...

(H/T: Chevy Volt Dance video via Iowahawk: "Dance, hipster marionettes! Dance to the jaunty, infantile Sesame Street folk guitar beat, thinly warbling the Gaia-saving virtues of your eco-appliance, designed by law school engineering experts in Washington DC. Maintain your vacant smile and perhaps you will be issued extra rations of driving privileges.")

UPDATE: From the Department of Bad Timing: "GM Recalls 250K Vehicles; Seat Belts May Not Latch."

UPDATE II: A truly American defense of the Chevy Volt's 40-mile battery range, from Missourah:

Another "Gift" from Nancy Pelosi

"Gather round, children. It's time for yet another gift from me, Grandma Pelosi, to you, the children of America."

"Yea for Grandma Pelosi!"

"Tell me, children. Would you like another $8 billion for child nutrition?"


"Yea, indeed! Now—"

"Grandma Pelosi? My daddy says—"

"Yes, Lizzie, I know. Your silly daddy wants to know how we're ever going to pay for all this. Well, you just tell him there's still plenty of food stamp money that we can cut again and use for this wonderful gift instead."

"Grandma Pelosi? My daddy says this $8 billion in food stamps wasn't even going to be spent until 2014, but you're counting that against spending now. He says that's like saying I'll quit drinking next year."

"My goodness!"

"He says this is smoke-and-mirrors accounting, and the American people are too smart to fall for this crap any longer."

"Oh, Lizzie, poor Lizzie, your daddy is what we call a teabagger."

"My other daddy says that's a consciously ignorant and adolescent misuse of the term and should be beneath a party that prides itself on standing up for inclusiveness regardless of a person's sexual proclivities."

"You have two daddies? They don't live in my district, do they?"

"No. We live in—"

"Oh, thank goodness! Lizzie actually had Grandma Pelosi scared there for a minute, children!"

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Sunday Break From All the Controversies

Epic TP Fail!

Those kids just didn't have their hearts in it from the start...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another Presidential Iftar Dinner Clarification

"Thank you for coming, ladies and gentlemen, and for giving me this opportunity to clarify another of my remarks from the White House iftar dinner last night. Specifically, I said that we should always remember 'who we are fighting against' and then named Al-Qaeda, saying that 'Al-Qaeda’s cause is not Islam—it is a gross distortion of Islam.' Now, when it comes to gross distorters of Islam who we are fighting against, I clearly forgot to include the Taliban. Not only do they, like Al-Qaeda, hijack and warp the great religion of Islam for their own twisted and sadistic ends, I just surged tens of thousands of additional U.S. soldiers to continue a protracted and bloody shooting war against them. Seriously, I don't know what I was thinking leaving those guys out. Especially with the Ambassador from Pakistan and the wife of the Ambassador from Afghanistan sitting right there..."

"Mr. President! Mr. President!"

"Please, please, let me finish! Please! Now, just as clearly, I should have also included Jeemah Islamiya...Al-Shabab...Hamas...Hezbollah...Abu Sayyaf...Islamic Jihad...Lashkar-e-Taiba...Jaish-e-Mohammed...Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade...Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami...Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh...Caucasus Caliphate Jihad...Jamaat Ansar al-Sunna...Ansar al-Islam...Fatah al-Islam...Wow, this a lot of gross distorters, and we haven't even gotten to Major Hasan yet..."

Red State Update: "Is the Tea Party Racist?"

(OBLIGATORY WARNING: Strong language ahead.)

Let the Presidential Walkback on the Ground Zero Mosque Begin!

President Obama on the Ground Zero mosque last night:

[L]et me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.
President Obama on the Ground Zero mosque today:
I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding.
Because making that point during a headline-grabbing clarion call to religious freedom while taking on an extremely controversial and emotional issue during a White House Ramadan dinner would have been, you know, rude.

Sorry, Mr. President, but what you don't say in a speech is just as important as what you do. Every public speaker on your level (not to mention several levels beneath your level) is well aware of that fact. Your comments last night were carefully crafted over multiple drafts to make a clear statement while still leaving the speaker with an escape hatch if that statement went over badly. That may be politics as usual on the campaign trail, but it's especially shameless when it's the President of the United States addressing this particular issue. You knew exactly what you were doing last night, Mr. President, and few people won't be able to see exactly what you are trying to do today.

It's too late now to change your vote back to Present.

RELATED: "Mosque Controversy Swirls Around Obama."

UPDATE: Similar thoughts from Neo-Neocon:
[B]y talking about their right to do so without talking about the wisdom of their actually building a mosque at the 9/11 site, Obama was committing a (purposeful) sin of omission. And if he somehow thinks he shouldn’t comment because the whole thing is a local New York issue (which it is not), then he should have shut his mouth on the whole topic and explained why.

Sometimes I think Obama is like Arafat, in that he—more than most politicians and more than most presidents—tailors his remarks to the occasion and changes them in very basic ways depending on his audience. He also seems to expect not to be caught in the act. At least Arafat did this long before the internet was born, and he did it in two different languages. Obama has no such excuses.
And from Ron Radosh:
In seeking his outreach to the Muslim world, the President now seems to be emulating the Arab leaders whose respect he courts—these same leaders who regularly say one thing to their own constituency and something else when talking to the West. But in this case, the President was addressing Americans on both nights-and hence made obviously contradictory statements, only one of which can be true.
Then again, at least this time President Obama wasn't making obviously contradictory statements in the same speech.

UDPATE II: Unintended humor from Greg Sargent:
Ultimately, though, Obama's speech transcends the politics of the moment, and will go down as a defining and perhaps even a breakthrough performance. Obama recognized that this dispute is a seminal one that goes to the core of our running argument about pluralism and minority rights and to the core of who we are. He understood that the gravity of the moment required an equally large and momentous response. And he delivered.

UPDATE, 8:21 p.m.: Did Obama really walk back his support for the project?
UPDATE III: A "paradoxical conclusion" from Sam Harris:
American Muslims should be absolutely free to build a mosque two blocks from ground zero; but the ones who should do it probably wouldn’t want to.
And a walkback on the walkback from White House spokesman Bill Burton:
Just to be clear, the president is not backing off in any way from the comments he made last night.
So why did President Obama even make those comments in the first place?
Well, my intention was simply to let people know what I thought.
Which clears everything up, as LeftCoastRebel notes:
Hence, "I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there."
Maybe President Obama thinks that particular part of this issue is above his pay grade. You know, like the wisdom of the Israelis building more apartments in Jerusalem.

Exclusive Video: California Proposition 19 Campaign To Legalize Marijuana Releases Wicked Awesome New Ad

Never Let An Iftar Go To Waste

The proposed mosque/community center two blocks from Ground Zero was a local matter for President Obama until the Ramadan dinner at the White House last night, where he endorsed its construction. The motto of this administration is now, apparently, "Never let an iftar go to waste."

President Obama's decision hasn't surprised many people, least of all me. Neither has President Obama apparently confusing whether Muslims have the right to build the "Park51" project on that spot with whether it's appropriate to build it there. What did surprise me was the stunningly bad sense of history President Obama once again put on display:

Is President Obama really unaware that Islam was "a part of America" during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson because, at the time, we were already essentially at war with the Barbary Pirates?
The backdrop to this state visit was the ongoing conflict between the United States and the Barbary states, autonomous provinces of the Ottoman Empire that rimmed the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. Soon after the Revolutionary War and the consequent loss of the British navy’s protection, American merchant vessels had become prey for Barbary corsairs. Jefferson was outraged by the demands of ransom for civilians captured from American vessels and the Barbary states’ expectation of annual tribute to be paid as insurance against future seizures. He took an uncharacteristically hawkish position against the prevailing thought that it was cheaper to pay tribute than maintain a navy to protect shipping from piracy.
Not that Islam had anything to do with this, of course:
[O]ne cannot get around what Jefferson heard when he went with John Adams to wait upon Tripoli’s ambassador to London in March 1785. When they inquired by what right the Barbary states preyed upon American shipping, enslaving both crews and passengers, America’s two foremost envoys were informed that “it was written in the Koran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make Slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
The Tunisian ambassador mention in the video above also provides an amusing illustration of the "great diversity" that President Obama cites:
[T]he Tunisian [ambassador] was surprised at the social freedom women enjoyed in America and was especially intrigued by several delegations of Native Americans from the western territories then visiting Washington. [Ambassador] Mellimelli inquired which prophet the Indians followed: Moses, Jesus Christ or Mohammed. When he was told none of them, that they worshiped “the Great Spirit” alone, he was reported to have pronounced them “vile hereticks.”
I'm not trying to paint all Muslims with the brush of their religion's bloody history. My own religion, Christianity, has a fairly bloody history as well. And I gladly acknowledge that the vast majority of Muslims just want to spend their lives in peace. But rewriting history only confuses our understanding of the present. And President Obama either doesn't know his history (again), or he's conveniently ignoring it to avoid offending the sensitivities of his Muslims guests at the White House Ramadan dinner.

I only wish he had shown the same courtesy to the majority of citizens in his own country and their sensitives on this issue, and asked the Park51 developers last night to "build it anywhere but there."

(H/T: Freedom's Lighthouse)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Because "Progress" Is The Real American Party

The Interwebs have been buzzing lately about the new "F*ck Tea" campaign from the Agenda Project. The goal, of course, is "to dismiss the tea party and promote the progressive cause." That's according to the group's founder, Erica Payne, "a veteran consultant to progressive groups [and] a co-founder of the Democracy Alliance, the low-profile group of liberal mega-donors who helped build the Center for American Progress and other new organizations that grew in the Bush years."

Well, as the last few years have shown, nothing promotes the progressive cause among voting Americans concerned about trillion-dollar deficits, a failed Stimulus, ObamaCare, and higher taxes more than responding to those concerns with a hearty, dismissive "F*ck you!" Or a video (not safe for work) featuring attractive twenty-somethings in "f*ck tea" shirts, scary protest signs that seem almost quaint after seven civility-lowering years of "Chimpy McHitler," and a picture of George W. Bush himself apparently eating a live kitten. (See the also not-safe-for-work video response here.)

Honestly, I wish I could share the high dudgeon and righteous indignation that so many of my conservative friends feel over this. Sure, it's offensive, but the Agenda Project is selling mugs and t-shirts, after all. And they did have enough sense to at least use an asterisk in their profanity, unlike this guy. And sure, it's lousy politics, intended to make your own side feel better about itself rather than persuade those who don't already agree with you, but considering the electoral blow-out their side is facing come November, I won't begrudge them what small and snarky comforts they can find.

What really catches my attention is the list of "TEA PARTY FACTS" on their website. Like this one:

64% of Tea Party activists think that America's best years are behind us.
Reading that, I immediately thought, "Well, I see why they don't given any link or source for these 'facts' of theirs."* Obviously, this is worded to protray the Tea Party as full of reactionary, backward-looking curmudgeons, but if it's one thing that characterizes the Tea Partiers I know, whether activists or just supporters, it's an unflinching and unapologetic optimism. Do we think America is on the wrong path and heading for decline if the current policies don't change? Absolutely. Do we think American has seen better years than the last two? Guilty as charged. And do we have our occasional moment of despair? Of course. But we don't think that the future is already written or inevitable. We think our best days can still be ahead of us, not behind, which is why we're speaking out and, apparently, annoying the "f*ck tea" people so greatly.
66% think global warming does not exist or will not have a serious impact.
And how many of that 66% actually think global warming does not exist? Who cares?! Because if we lump them in with however many think that global warming does exist but won't lead to a catastrophe of Al Gorean proportions, we can get a really scary number.

And just what does "serious impact" mean anyway? Are we talking my air-conditioning bill going up, or do this mean redrawing all the maps because Colorado is now underwater? Clearly, these 66% of Tea Partiers need to watch The Day After Tomorrow again, because nobody peer reviews science like Hollywood. They even gave Al Gore an Oscar!
57% think George W. Bush was a good President.
Did I mention their video shows a picture of George Bush eating a kitten?
40% think Sarah Palin would also be a good President.
Wait! That means that 60%—a landslide in any election don't think that Sarah Palin would be a good President! Scary!
32% think that violent action against the government could be justified.
This has to be the most incompetent push-poll ever. They actually gave people steeped in American Revolutionary history (and, yes, sometimes myth) a hypothetical "could" question, and 68% still said that violent action against the government could not be justified?
42% want to decrease legal immigration.
So 58%—another landslide in any election—don't want to decrease legal immigration? Oh, scary Tea Partiers, of whom a minority hold a minority view!
41% believe that gay couples should have no form of legal recognition.
So 59% do believe... oh, you get the idea...
45% believe that abortion laws should be stricter than they already are.
And when "stricter" means changing the law so that if a 14-year-old girl has an abortion, one of her parents would be notified after the fact, this is the scariest percentage they could come up with?
59% like Glenn Beck.
Not "agree" with Glenn Beck, mind you. We're talking "like" Glenn Beck.

And you know what? I like Glenn Beck. I disagree with him probably 85% of the time, and I've taken my own shot or two at him here on this blog, but I have no doubt an afternoon BBQ with him would be a lot of fun. Because unlike the "f*ck tea" people, I don't have to agree with someone's politics to like him.

*I actually e-mailed them last night and asked for the source of these facts. No response as of yet.

UPDATE: Three days and change later, still no response about the source of those "TEA PARTY FACTS."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another Stimulating Truth, With Nancy Pelosi

"Gather round, children! Now that we've given the states our $26.1 billion gift, let's decide who will get our next gift! Should we forgive student loans after 20 or even 10 years, no matter how much that person borrowed or still owes? Or maybe—"

"Grandma Pelosi? My mommy says that people should pay back what they borrow, and that other people shouldn't be on the hook when somebody else borrows more than they could afford."

"Oh, really? What else does this mommy of yours say, Bobby?"

"She says these gifts of yours are really just political payoffs to favored voting constituencies, and that you rushed this last one through so fast you didn't even give it a name."

"Goodness gracious, Bobby!"

"She says that to get the money from this last gift, the states have to use the higher total funding amount as their own baseline spending for the next year, and if they can't afford that now, how can they ever afford the higher budget you're making them have next year?"

"Children, we've found our next gift! Three cheers for Bobby!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bring In 'Da Funk, North Korean Style

Finally, an apocalypse that we can dance to...