August 2009


This is a thing of awe-inspiring beauty in the same way that one can marvel at the skill displayed as an NTSB investigator carefully catalogues each gruesome aspect, each gory detail, involved in the play-by-play recounting of a massive, fiery plane wreck.

Like that.

It’s really a shame that Nusrat died before he and Eddie Vedder could collaborate on a full record.  Can’t find an actual video, so no moving pictures, but this song is good:

The prescience of Thom Yorke?

Engineers say a forest of 100,000 “artificial trees” could be deployed within 10 to 20 years to help soak up the world’s carbon emissions.

The trees are among three geo-engineering ideas highlighted as practical in a new report.

The authors from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers say that without geo-engineering it will be impossible to avoid dangerous climate change.

The report includes a 100-year roadmap to “decarbonise” the global economy.

Which is all well and good if one is merely concerned with the rather pedestrian, if highly probable and disastrous effects of global warming.  But what about the almost certain although impossibly remote and highly unlikely likelihood of a cataclysmic asteroid strike?  Huh?  And what do these carbon eaters do to repel alien gamma ray attacks?  Well?  Tough guy?*

(*who wants to bet Goldberg makes that exact argument)

There is a pattern emerging in right wing discourse, but you can only follow along with about a dozen tabs, an eight ball and some of uncle Rush’s oxycontin and pot brownies to soften the rough edges.  First, the Wowie Lowry:

Pity Leon Panetta. The CIA director counseled the Obama administration against releasing classified interrogation memos from the Bush years. And got ignored.

Then, Nancy Pelosi said his agency lied to her about post-9/11 interrogations, and Democrats rushed to try to back her up.

Now, Attorney General Eric Holder has tasked a prosecutor with looking into reopening criminal cases against CIA employees and contractors.

Such is life at Langley under an administration betraying liberalism’s typical contempt for covert action and its inevitable moral complications.

This would be the same liberalism that is exactly like fascism, but also all about the protection of civil liberties from government encroachment.  A conundrum only an intellect of Jonah Goldberg’s heft could reconcile. 

This would be the same squishy liberalism that, as practiced by the Obama administration, entails secretly collecting email addresses of health care reform dissidents in order to complete the list of future re-education camp attendees, as part of the march to a full blown Maoist dictatorship. 

That would be a creeping dictatorship that is too squeamish to use the secret police to do any of the dirty work.  He’s like Hitler and Chamberlain all in one.  I believe the kids call it a snowcap. 

Perhaps some Angel Duss would clarify things – I mean, it couldn’t hurt at this point:

Back June, Robert Kagan criticized President Obama for being inappropriately unconcerned with the moral dimension of his foreign policy [because Obama didn't fully commit to impotent fist shaking bluster at the Iranian regime]. Now he criticizes the president for being inappropriately obsessed with it. [...]

So which is it? Is Obama a cold, calculating realist with no regard for morality in foreign policy, or is he inappropriately concerned with maintaining the moral high ground? Or is Kagan just throwing arguments up against the wall to see what [thai] sticks?

A Kissingerian realpoliticker who is hopelessly idealistic and naive in his do-gooder purity.  That’s fucking transcendental, man.  Also, save your penis.

Robert Novak seemed like an extremely happy person, with love and compassion exuding from his person.

Aside from the sorry state of the voting public -comprised of a shocking number of insane and/or astoundingly ignorant and angry pitchfork self-impalers – Rick Perlstein offers one of the reasons why this country is unable to catch up to the rest of the world in terms of public health insurance:

It used to be different. You never heard the late Walter Cronkite taking time on the evening news to “debunk” claims that a proposed mental health clinic in Alaska is actually a dumping ground for right-wing critics of the president’s program, or giving the people who made those claims time to explain themselves on the air. The media didn’t adjudicate the ever-present underbrush of American paranoia as a set of “conservative claims” to weigh, horse-race-style, against liberal claims. Back then, a more confident media unequivocally labeled the civic outrage represented by such discourse as “extremist” — out of bounds.

The tree of crazy is an ever-present aspect of America’s flora. Only now, it’s being watered by misguided he-said-she-said reporting and taking over the forest. Latest word is that the enlightened and mild provision in the draft legislation to help elderly people who want living wills — the one hysterics turned into the “death panel” canard — is losing favor, according to the Wall Street Journal, because of “complaints over the provision.”

Good thing our leaders weren’t so cowardly in 1964, or we would never have passed a civil rights bill — because of complaints over the provisions in it that would enslave whites.

Steve Benen has more on media dysfunctionality, and how it serves to screw over the American people repeatedly and without lubrication. 

I did my best to tune in to the Sunday newsies yesterday, but was made physically ill by the discussion of death panels as if there actually was, you know, a provision remotely resembling “death panels” in any of the bills under consideration.  Anywhere.

And as if the actual end of life provisions aren’t entirely innocuous, and previously championed by such death panel demagogues as Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin.  The whole point of these provisions (that Palin supported wholeheartedly) is to allow the individual the FREEDOM to decide how to deal with their final days in order to make sure that the GUMINT can’t make decisions for them. 

While these facts went unmentioned, there was plenty of discussion of how this whole saga is indicative of Sarah Palin’s political power and, I shit you not, “political savvy.” 

What the fucking fuckity fuck in the world does that mean?????

The stupid has reached supernova and all the media can do is applaud the ability of those firing up the stupid to capture the media’s attention with a particularly shiny stupid.  Rather than, you know, point out that stupid mendacity is actually stupid and mendacious, and its purveyors likewise (or, in the alternative, cynical and mendacious).

Next up, a spirited debate on the likelihood that ObamaCare will end up looking like this: 

 

Paul Krugman is making sense:

President Obama is now facing the same kind of opposition that President Bill Clinton had to deal with: an enraged right that denies the legitimacy of his presidency, that eagerly seizes on every wild rumor manufactured by the right-wing media complex.

This opposition cannot be appeased. Some pundits claim that Mr. Obama has polarized the country by following too liberal an agenda. But the truth is that the attacks on the president have no relationship to anything he is actually doing or proposing. [...]

Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, is one of these supposed moderates. I’m not sure where his centrist reputation comes from — he did, after all, compare critics of the Bush tax cuts to Hitler. But in any case, his role in the health care debate has been flat-out despicable.

Last week, Mr. Grassley claimed that his colleague Ted Kennedy’s brain tumor wouldn’t have been treated properly in other countries because they prefer to “spend money on people who can contribute more to the economy.” This week, he told an audience that “you have every right to fear,” that we “should not have a government-run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.”

Again, that’s what a supposedly centrist Republican, a member of the Gang of Six trying to devise a bipartisan health plan, sounds like.

And this is who they are speaking for. The sad fact of American politics is that at least 35-40% of the electorate belongs in a mental institution, and there’s probably another 10-20% who are high-functioning retards. The Congressional numbers are no better. There’s no point in trying to make a deal with these people.

Also, I think the Obama death panels should be run like “American Idol”. Three sassy latte-sipping America-haters give their opinions on which grannies and babies die this week, and then the audience can place their votes by calling in to ACORN. The losers are allowed to survive for another week if they agree to have a Christian doctor forced at gunpoint to give them a sex change operation.

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