(Sadly) hilarious new widget from the Sunlight Foundation.Read More
Spectacular blog. Reminds us what a farce all of this security theater is. Comes to a great defense of WikiLeaks.
My favourite leak is that US and UK diplomats are shitting bricks about the current state of Pakistan and the fate of its ever growing nuclear arsenal. Oh really? I’ve been shitting about that since 2003. It’s only a shocking revelation because the media never reports it.
A US city getting glassed by a nuke in an uninspected ship container freely rolled into a US harbor while the TSA searches your granny’s tits for a silicon implant bomb. Talk about security theater… It’s a story that should be on the front page of every US newspaper everyday. But it isn’t. It took a document dump to the world’s media to even be elevated to the point of a news story. If that isn’t a total failure of popular journalism then I don’t know what is.
Read the whole thing here.Read More
I think Jonathon Chait makes a really good point here:
Now, most elite Republicans understand that the red meat fed to the base isn’t exactly right. It’s useful to scare the daylights out of the activists, but writers for the Standard and the Journal editorial page understand that “freedom,” as most people understand the term, is not really at risk. They understand as well that politics is a little more complicated than “if Republicans stay true to conservatism, they cannot lose.”
But the conservative base is not in on the joke. And so Republican elites found themselves with just a few frantic days to undo the toxic and intoxicating effects of 20 months of relentless propaganda. Vote for the man who compromised with evil! The true conservative can’t always win! They couldn’t do it.
I won’t say that the Republican base strategy has been a total failure. But it is nice to see it blow up in the face of the establishment from time to time.
He’s a little more happy about this whole Christine O’Donnell scenario than I am, but I think this is important, and it reminds me of something President Obama said a while back when he visited the House Republicans at their retreat.
So all I’m saying is, we’ve got to close the gap a little bit between the rhetoric and the reality. I’m not suggesting that we’re going to agree on everything, whether it’s on health care or energy or what have you, but if the way these issues are being presented by the Republicans is that this is some wild-eyed plot to impose huge government in every aspect of our lives, what happens is you guys then don’t have a lot of room to negotiate with me.
I mean, the fact of the matter is, is that many of you, if you voted with the administration on something, are politically vulnerable in your own base, in your own party. You’ve given yourselves very little room to work in a bipartisan fashion because what you’ve been telling your constituents is, this guy is doing all kinds of crazy stuff that’s going to destroy America.
And I would just say that we have to think about tone. It’s not just on your side, by the way — it’s on our side, as well. This is part of what’s happened in our politics, where we demonize the other side so much that when it comes to actually getting things done, it becomes tough to do.
I think people generally underestimate the effect of conservative hyperbolic rhetoric. It’s nice to sit over here on the left and think that every Republican in the Senate genuinely believes the crap coming out of Fox News, but the fact is that not all of them do. I’m sure there are several Republicans who would love to compromise on legislation but are boxed in by this rhetoric. And it’s not just Republicans either. I’m sure that this also effects conservative Democrats like Ben Nelson too.
People have to realize that the vast majority of people don’t pay attention. For those that do, a majority of them are watching Fox News, and are exposed to this hyperbole all day long, and it’s poisonous. It stifles rational debate and fosters gridlock.
There’s a part of me that wants the Republicans to win the House so that they have to lay in the bed they made. How can you pass a bill without compromising with the enemy? But the other part of me knows how irresponsible the GOP can be and I can’t eliminate the possibility of utter gridlock on Capitol Hill.
One thing is for certain. If the GOP wants to create any public policy in the near future, it will either have to tone down the rhetoric, or control the entire government.
For America’s sake, I hope it’s the former.Read More
I know that many of you have been expecting me to post on this subject for a while now. This may be surprising, but I never really got that hot and bothered about.
Not that I agree in any way with the law (it’s ridiculous), and I am also not underestimating the impact of the law (heavy), but you have to understand things in an Arizona context. In some regards, I found it somewhat ironic that nation wide opinion seems to be much more virulent than the local feeling. Granted, the national media I follow has a liberal bend, and the local sources are admittedly more conservative, but I think that doesn’t quite explain the disparity. There’s a certain amount of defeatism; something I’ll steal and call TIA (This Is Arizona).Read More
In a previous rant after the Massachusetts special election, I ranted about Scott Brown and how any vote for a Republican at this point is a vote for partisanship and evil etc. etc. To be vein and quote myself:
He is a senator, and is going to disappear to Washington and represent his constituents by voting with his party on every issue.
I have been anxiously awaiting his term so that I could flaunt how right I was. Well, I am here to say that, at least so far in this one instance, Scott Brown has acted in a respectable way by voting with what he feels is right and not just with his party. Nate Silver covers this well in his post, where he defends Brown as an “authentically moderate Republican.”
I still will likely not support Brown on several issues of policy. I am very happy, however, to see someone vote not with their party but with what they feel is right for their state and, hopefully, the country. With the majority of Republicans clearly “Not Embarrassed”, as the Rachel Maddow title says, it is refreshing to see a senator do their job, even if they are not in my party.Read More
My Dad forwarded me two articles from Boston.com which I disagreed with. I wanted to share the email I wrote back to him and maybe clean it up a little bit for Juice, and really only reflect on one of those articles. Here are those thoughts edited for JTB. They are probably the uninformed rants of a foolish, young online-leftist, but since everyone is shouting I may as well take part.
The article, Coakley Downs In Safe Harbor, reflects the talking point surrounding this whole election, which I think is really insulting and embarrassing. The talking point is that Coakley did not do enough campaigning to win the election and that the people were taken for granted.
At a neighborhood New Year’s Eve party, everyone was talking about Republican Scott Brown’s new television ad … The neighborhood consensus: clever and attention-grabbing. Martha Coakley laughed it off. It was a serious mistake; many others followed. They included a barrage of terrible ads and Coakley’s incredible question about what people expected her to do: stand outside in the cold, shake hands and ask for their vote?
Now Democrats have learned their lesson and will not “take anything for granted.” This is not only acknowledging but embracing stupidity. As the article and the polls clearly point out, Brown started airing commercials on New Years Eve and the polls turned around. Brown was outside of Fenway shaking hands in the cold, and Coakley was not. I guess someone forgot to inform me that the job of a senator was to be a master hand shaker. He is a senator, and is going to disappear to Washington and represent his constituents by voting with his party on every issue.Read More
I got to do my first bit of puppeteering recently in this spot for MoveOn.org. It was a ton of fun for my brain, but a lot less fun for my shoulder and arm, which was stuck up in the air for extended periods into the wee hours that night. This spot was put together in 24 hours, from fabricating the puppets to creating a finished edit and graphics, which is a testament to the enormous talent of the fine artists at Charged. I did the P-Span graphics intro as well; not my worst for some 6:30 AM work!
My arm is inside the gray haired balding guy on the right:Read More
A few months ago I was back in Boston chatting with some old republican friends. We talked business and politics. Where the two topics met, they mentioned “You may be a blue liberal now, but when your business takes off you will be on our side.”
If you are a democrat when you are poor and a republican when you are rich, you don’t actually stand for anything but yourself.Read More
A buddy of mine’s project is getting some attention:
A small town state legislative race? What better fodder for a television show. We give you “The Campaign” by Daniel Poliner, who among other things to his credit is a) a big fan of the Fix and b) from Connecticut. The trailer for the show, which stars Debra Jo Rupp — Kitty from “That 70s Show” — is here. Check it out. Spread the word.
[via Washington Post]
Send it around!Read More
I was thinking Obama’s presidency was going so well. There were the occasional broken promises and slip-ups. The standard things. I’m realistic, I know not everything he promised he could, should, or would do. I just wanted him to stay true to his principles, get some of the most important tasks done, and not be evil. I never would have thought that last one would be a stumbling block for him.
The fact that he could straight-faced talk about “preventative detention” is appalling. There’s no excuse. It’s actually to the point where I don’t even feel like I should even muster an argument against it, because it is so clearly and obviously wrong. This seriously is a deal-breaker for me. I cannot bring myself to vote for a man who would push for the idea that we can take away someone’s freedom because we think they might do something bad in the future. I mean that if he pushes for this power then I seriously can no longer support him as President. Top duty: defend the Constitution. He would have failed at that.
I’m confused here. I feel like popular culture has enough warnings about these kinds of powers. Under Bush I got the painful impression we were starting to be 1984ed, and now Obama wants to Minority Report us. Instead the references seem to laughed off. It’s just too easy I suppose since our lives don’t change with these policies. We get to keep living on as normal. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t evil.
I really hope Obama wakes up and realizes the road we’re going down is not where we’re supposed to be going.Read More
Of course, they’re actually talking about real economic theory, but how can it compete with this brilliant piece of CW from some dude in governor of South Carolina:
Gov. Sanford, unlike most of his colleagues, speaks out against any federal bailouts, including a fiscal stimulus bill that is likely to include state aid. “When times go south you cut spending,” Gov. Sanford said. “That’s what families do, that’s what businesses do, and I don’t think the government should be exempt from that process.”
Because, you know, if everyone cuts back on spending, that will help the economy. Hey, it makes sense when you equate the giant federal government with virtually unlimited borrowing power to a family of four. Who needs economic theory, right?
Oh, and btw, Matthews barely lets Krugman talk here…it almost like he’s auditioning for something…Read More
This is a tough one for me. Anyone who’s been around me in the past year knows my seething contempt for the Big 3. The fact that they could be so willfully ignorant to state of affairs in the auto industry is completely unfathomable to me. So in this vein, I would like nothing better than to see GM topple to ground for their gross mismanagement. The Big 3 truly could have been leaders in the new auto industry if they had taken steps to improve their fuel-efficiency standards 10 years ago and gone out on a limb to develop alternative energy vehicles. Instead, they went kicking and screaming to Congress over CAFE standards, and continued to pump out SUV after SUV in a blind must-maintain-the-status-quo mindset. So, basically, f you guys for being such idiots and making me buy a Japanese car.
On the other hand, there are literally millions of people that would be affected by a Detroit collapse. Now, the laissez-faire wing will be coming out of the woodwork explaining this away as an “adjustment” and some “rebalancing” will be needed. Their are two problems with this line of thinking: a) the sheer size of this collapse would be devastating, b) these same preachers of free market doctrine won’t provide the relief to these working families to “adjust.” So, in my view, there’s two ways you can go about doing things here. You can either prop up the auto companies, hope that they return to solvency in the future, and save the millions of people from being heavily affected, or you can let Detroit fall, and provide extensive social services to the millions affected in order to assist them in their transition to another segment of the economy. Both ways cost money.
So the big question then becomes, which way is cheaper and more effective? I’d say the former, assuming you believe that these same executives that have run these companies into the ground based on a hear-no-evil brand of ineptitude can actually return them to dominance. These prime loans to the Big 3 will eventually be payed back, with interest, and will have the least amount of impact to the millions entangled in Detroit. But the assumption here is a big one. Can these companies return to solvency?
Here’s where Congress may be able to provide a nudge. By stipulating in the terms of the loan that the Big 3 must begin development of alternative energy vehicles, specifically plug-in hybrids, these comapnies may be pushed on to the right track. Now this kind of steps in to some dangerous territory that borderlines on government planning of an entire segment of the economy, but if you structure it in a way that provides incentive, rather than command-and-control, it may just work.
I don’t like this bailout. At all. But the more I think about it, and the more I learn about the sheer size of the number of people involved, the more inclined I am to accept it. Although, the devil is always in the details…
Turns out CAPAF agrees:
To ensure that the managers who helped create this mess are not unduly rewarded, the loans must disallow excessive executive compensation. In addition, the auto companies must fulfill their commitments to provide both health care and retirement security for their employees and retirees. The companies must commit to continue their research and development of advanced, clean-vehicle technology and energy efficient manufacturing. A loan oversight board should ensure the companies develop a long-term business plan based on the production and sale of fuel-efficient vehicles.
The auto companies should embrace—not resist—the transition to less polluting vehicles. They should assure Congress that they will cease their legal and lobbying opposition to the imminent new fuel economy standards, and the California motor vehicle greenhouse gas standards that President-elect Obama said he would allow. These measures will reduce oil dependence, increase national security, save families money, and reduce pollution. In addition to harming the nation, continued opposition to these standards would keep the companies on the path that got them in this mess in the first place.
Please support the $25 billion loan for U.S. auto companies and include the aforementioned safeguards. This will help protect American jobs and ensure progress toward significantly more efficient vehicles.