Saturday, February 6, 2010

Marcy Wheeler Channels her inner wingnut

I Really Wish Emptywheel Hadn't Written This Post...:

And so here are my key problems:
  1. Marcy is demagoguing the Shelby question, when she really doesn't need to. Shelby's behavior is despicable enough without making insinuations about the dread domination of foreign corporations.
  2. By highlighting the 'foreign' aspect, Marcy is playing with the worst kind of xenophobic prejudice. Progressives really, really shouldn't truck in the kind of anti-foreign stereotyping that conservatives love to employ. It's also incidental to the argument; would Marcy have been cool with Shelby's hold if it had been in defense of a Lockheed Martin or Boeing contract?
  3. Marcy appears to be suggesting that foreign companies ought not be allowed to bid for major US military contracts. That's all fine and well, but it rather substitutes the domination of US defense corporations for foreign defense corporations. For my part, I'm pretty happy about the idea of letting Airbus into the competition, and of giving them a fighting chance to win.

I am normally a big fan of Marcy Wheeler but I have to agree that she just completely missed the point this time

Because I can't just steal this post

Q: Why are liberals so condescending?

A: Go read for yourself

Friday, February 5, 2010

One of My Senators at work

Thanks, Chris:

Not only will watering down the bill in the name of bipartisanship not give us the needed regulatory restructuring that we need, but it is also politically stupid in another way. Let the Republicans come out opposed to regulating the market and the bankers and then beat them to death with it in the fall. Passing a shitty bill with their support blurs the distinctions between the parties.

But then again, given that some of the Democrats are almost as beholden to corporate interests as the Republicans, there really isn’t much to blur, is there? There really isn’t anything quite as worthless as the US Senate, is there?

I think that it is hard to overstate how annoying it is to have Chris Dodd as one Senator from my state and Joe Lieberman as the other.

Pucker Up Sarah, Limbaugh's Butt Needs Kissing

Palin Camp Kowtows To Limbaugh:

But Stapleton told POLITICO that the comment given to The Plum Line was not specifically aimed at Limbaugh.

Au contraire, says Mr. Sargent, who produced the email he sent, specifically asking about Limbaugh. Says Sargent:

I subsequently emailed her to be absolutely certain that it applied to Rush. She didn’t dispute this, answering that it applies to “anyone” who uses the term.

That’s how it happened.

Bottom line? Apparently perceived 'mindless prejudice and discrimination' and 'gratuitous insults' against her son only matter if Palin can make political hay out of them.

I'm not sure if all this is more of a testament to the hypocrisy of Sarah Palin or the power Rush Limbaugh holds over the Republican Party.

On Lying and Condescension


It’s a strange political world we live in, where pointing out, however politely, that someone is lying makes you uppity and condescending. And where people write entire pieces complaining about how “their side” is called liars without in any way defending themselves from the charge. And where a once serious newspaper publishes all of this.

When someone is feeding you bullshit and telling you it is chocolate cake, why the fuck can't you say "Hey, that isn't cake, that is bullshit". Oh, right. I forgot. That wouldn't be civil. Fuck 'em.

Insurance Companies Are Your Friends

Anthem jacks up rates on California individual policies:

Anthem Blue Cross is telling many of its approximately 800,000 customers who buy individual coverage -- people not covered by group rates -- that its prices will go up March 1 and may be adjusted 'more frequently' than its typical yearly increases.

The insurer declined to say how high it is increasing rates. But brokers who sell these policies say they are fielding numerous calls from customers incensed over premium increases of 30% to 39%, saying they come on the heels of similar jumps last year.


Fuckwittery, thy name is Tancredo

Tom Tancredo to the Tea Partiers: Lack of 'civics literacy test' meant illiterates put 'a committed socialist' in White House:

Well, we knew the National Tea Party Convention this week was going to be a real festival of outrageous wingnuttery, but Tom Tancredo's speech to kick things off will already be hard to top:

Tancredo: Every year, the liberal Dems and the RINO Republicans turned up the temperature ever so slightly. It seemed after awhile that we'd all be boiled to death in a cauldron of the nanny state.

And then something really odd happened -- mostly because we do not have a civics literacy test before people can vote in this country.


People who cannot even spell the word 'vote,' or say it in English -- [applause] -- put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House. Name is Barack Hussein Obama.

It's hard to say which was more disturbing: Tancredo's apparent call for reinstituting laws that, as John Byrne at Raw Story points out, were a fundamental component of Jim Crow in the post-Reconstruction South, or the massive round of applause he received for saying it. (The New York Daily News has more on the literacy tests.)

Another Edition of "What Digby Said"

Panic Artists

Americans apparently don't mind being perceived as pants-wetting panic artists rushing around hysterically from one phony crisis to another. I suspect they accept this because it displaces their real fears about social and economic change, but it should be embarrassing nonetheless. The owners all benefit, of course, but that doesn't really help the ball team.

Thus Spake Digby - Again

Wrongful Shaming

Sarah has not learned a fundamental rule of wingnut sanctimony: you use military and religious correctness to shame liberals, not political correctness. Otherwise, you get tripped up by all the instances of conservative bigotry and rudeness toward the less fortunate. It's not that hypocrisy is a problem necessarily, but it muddies the waters. Calling them traitors or godless heathens is much cleaner.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nuclear Winter on the Amazon

From SteamThing via TheValve comes:
Sometime on Friday night, the New York Times reports, Amazon deactivated the Buy Now buttons on its website for all books published by the Macmillan group, including such imprints as Farrar Straus & Giroux, Henry Holt, and St. Martin's Press. As of this writing, you cannot buy a new copy of the correspondence of Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell from Amazon, though it's still available from Barnes & Noble, Powells, and other indie booksellers. The same is true of thousands of other titles.

This is a bit of a stunner. Macmillan and Amazon have been arguing, it transpires, over the pricing of e-books, but Amazon yanked Macmillan's ink-and-paper as well as its electronic books—bypassing conventional weapons in favor of first-use nuclear.
This could get very messy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rep. Paul Ryan's daring budget proposal

Rep. Paul Ryan's daring budget proposal: "

The White House's 2011 budget is only the second-most interesting budget proposal released recently. First prize goes to Congressman Paul Ryan, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, who's released a budget proposal that actually erases the massive long-term deficit.

That's not mere press release braggadocio. CBO agrees (pdf). Under the CBO's likeliest long-term scenario, deficits are at 42 percent of GDP in 2080. Under Ryan's proposal, we're seeing surpluses of 5 percent of GDP by that time.

But Ryan's budget -- and the details of its CBO score -- is also an object lesson in why so few politicians are willing to answer the question 'but how will you save all that money?'

Yes, you can balance the budget. This ain't the way to do it, but it can be done, eventually.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Future?

Built By Google: "

Pete logs onto his desktop computer. It’s a “dumb” netbook built by Google and called Google Chrome Superbook 5, with a fast startup time of 0.3 seconds, the point at which the Google engineers figured further optimizations were not useful, in terms of limitations of human perception. The mouse next to the computer is also made by Google. It includes some technical wizardry that Pete was happy to wait for when he ordered it online in the Google web store: the mouse automatically logs him into his Google account based on his fingerprint, skin color and more, falling back to a password prompt if anything’s off.

... snippage ...

One hour of work and seven hours of play, and Pete calls it a night. Pete logs off his desktop computer. It’s a dumb netbook built by Google and called Google Chrome Superbook 5, with a fast shutdown time of 0.3 seconds, below the point at which Google engineers figured further optimizations were not useful, in terms of limitations of human perception. The mouse next to the computer is also made by Google. It emits a soft humming sound as Pete moves his hand away from it. Time to sleep... tomorrow’s a new day with Google.

"Atlas Shrugged" sold more than 500,000 copies in 2009

"Atlas Shrugged" sold more than 500,000 copies in 2009: "

Just in case there was more evidence needed that there is a sucker born every minute.