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November 5, 2005

ass-covering after the fact

Nothing like a tacit admission of guilt to brighten a weekend.  With gorgeous weather, I might add.

President Bush decides that the best way to deflect attention from a White House national security scandal is to close the barn doors once the horses have already eaten our children.

Though the real fun will be the administration apologists citing the ethics refreshers as evidence of innocence of all charges.  Because if you believe something enough, it is then true.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:43 PM

November 4, 2005

those aren't parties, no

In case you're lodged too firmly in Fortress America, keep this in mind this weekend.  A bunch of people are rioting, as I type this.

Only one instance of rioting is directly caused by our president, which is a shock, though I think it's fair to characterize both instances as class warfare.

That's a caveat emptor right up your face, dudes.

[UPDATE, DAYS LATER, PLUS ALSO MOVED:]  So my talents as a "journalist", even in the blog-oisie sense of these days, are not actually talents at all, but rather whatever is the opposite of talent.  The riots in South America are definitely a rupidiation of our president, and, perhaps our freaking running dog capitalist way of life.  But the riots in Paris are only nominally class warfare.  They pretty much look to be your classic race riots -- close, but not identical, to the ones we experienced in the late 60s, and to a lesser extent during the Rodney King verdict in the early 90s.

Of course, we did not have the luxury of tagging the reprobates beating innocents on Florence and Normandie as terrorists.  Nor should we now, vis a vis France circa now, but that won't stop some people.

Posted by mrbrent at 7:06 PM

don't fire marc maron

Let me add my modest voice, with its incomprehensible accent and poor diction, to the voice of James Wolcott.  I had been hearing/reading rumors that Marc Maron was being squeezed off the air as the co-host of Air America's Morning Sedition, a little show that broadcasts, here on the East Coast, from well before I get up to 9 am.  James thinks this is a bad idea.  As do I.  Marc is a classy addition to the pantheon of "morning zoos", and his initial discomfort with the gig quickly transformed into a disarming humility.  Not to mention that Maron and his co-host, Mark Riley, gel perfectly, with Riley's liberal-radio street-cred and skills meshing perfectly with Maron's inspired rants and comedy.

Air America can do what they want, of course.  I'm just here to say, "Wait.  Stop.  Don't."

Posted by mrbrent at 6:57 PM

science, et al v. knuckleheads

These days I get this stunned, slack look.  On my brain.  There are now enough threads of current events that I would like to keep close track of that I cannot always remember them all.  And this week has been kind of a busy week inasmuch as each of these threads has had a Stunning Revelation at least once daily.

So now the moments where my little cartoon hat zips up in the air and my righteousness gets all indignated happen way too close on the heels of each other to be of any kind of use to me, other than to tie my tongue and seek refuge in the protective, hairy arms of the fantasy football league I play in.

Here's one thing I did notice in this morning's NYTimes -- let's see if I can spit it out before someone else gets indicted.  They ran a little story about the Intelligent Design controversy with the hed "In Intelligent Design Case, A Cause In Search Of A Lawsuit".  It's a short piece summing up the case Kitzmiller, et al vs. Dover Area School District currently being heard in Federal District Court.  The suit was brought by a few parents of this Harrisburg, PA area school district after the school board voted to require disclaimers be read directly before ninth-graders' heads are filled with visions of Darwin.  The school district also purchased a quantity of ID textbooks to be kept in the school library, which books are referenced in the disclaimer as being available "if you're interested".

The Times does a good job of explaining how ID proponents were kind of soliciting school districts to pursue these kind of actions as a way of creating precedent, socially and, if a case goes to trial and is won, legally.

What the Times omits can be found in this DailyKos diary -- recently, the presiding judge pinned down the President of the school district in open court over the issue that not only were the creationist textbooks financed by laundered church donations, but this laundering scheme had been as yet unacknowledged in the depositions of those involved.

Yes, a small omission, but an important one, as it paints the defendants in the case as not only committed religious ideologues but also as coldly efficient as a barrel of Keystone Kops on magic mushrooms.

Which is of course good for all of us, here in Godland.  I mean, America.

Now, more news in my newshole, please.

[FYI, the name of the ID/Creationist textbook is "Of Pandas and People", which is really a much better name than any named I've named anything.  Pandas equal cute, and people, with their opposable thumbs, well, we all know where they are on the ladder.]

Posted by mrbrent at 10:34 AM

November 2, 2005

again alicublog

This is the best sentence I've read all day:
This is like trying to develop an argument against people who think peppermints are made out of peppers and mints.

You can read it here, at Roy Edreso's alicublog.

And let me add that a whole lot of thinking/writing about these issues of political import feels like what he says, with the peppers, and the mints and the monkeys on trapezes.

PS:  There are no monkeys on trapezes.

Posted by mrbrent at 4:19 PM

frist got bugs-bunnied

I'd like to send a little love out to Senator Bill Frist.  And I'd like to congratulate him for an outburst that surely must go down in history as a negatively-reflected Howard Beale moment.

The Senator got his panties in a bunch as Senate Dems used a little known procedure (I like to think of it as the "swift kick" of the Senate, but then again, I didn't know what a 'swift kick" was until Monday night) to accuse the majority party of dragging their feet on a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation of pre-war intelligence and also to generally steal a little limelight from the dual nominations of Judge Alita and the Avian Flu.

Of course, Sen. Frist, the Majority Leader, decided that the best way to counter the Democrats' attempt to change the subject was to go Zell-Miller batshit-crazy on national teevee.

"Never have I been slapped in the face with such an affront to the leadership of this grand institution," he sputtered.  No, really.  Sputtered. Between you and me, I've never been slapped in the face with an affront either, but maybe the whole sentence is metaphorically over my head.  Though I am a huge fan of the raging torrent of prepositional phrases Frist strings together in the reclining half of his moment of indignation.  "In!"  "With!"  "To!"  "Of!"  "Don't!"  "Stop!"  It's like utter nonsense just had its way with you, and... you kind of liked it.

Sen. Frist was very upset by the fact that the Senate Minority Leader pulled this little trick without notice, and got a little ranty about how he'll never trust the Democrats again.

Of course, let's all think back to a time when the comity of the Senate that Sen. Byrd dreams about restlessly was pretty much torpedoed.  Let's think back to this time, when Sen. Frist campaigned against his then-counterpart, Tom Daschle, in Daschle's home state.

So, Sen. Frist, here is some love for you.  Please take this love and diagnosis it from a videotape, or put it in a blind trust, or whatever people like you, who tend toward the hypocritical and the corrupt, do with things like "love", when you get them.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:28 AM

IYI 11.2.05

Yesterday was a workday without posting, as I spent the day consuming content instead of trying to create it.  Which left me with a feeling not unlike the feeling of having drunk waaaay too much Kool-Aid.

The first part of the day was bleak, with scary death's-head Republicans basting in each other's praise and the intransigence of the Libby indictment.  That wasn't making me happy at all, no sir.

The second half of the newsday was a bit more personally uplifting.

Plus also, I used "guaran-God-damn-tee" in a sentence for the first time, so the day wasn't a total wash.

(BTW, the feeling after having drunk waaaay too much Kool-Aid is "sugar vertigo nausea".)

Posted by mrbrent at 10:00 AM

October 31, 2005

a little alito

Did you hear the President this morning when he was introducing his new SCOTUS pick?  This was the second sentence out of his mouth:
Judge Alito is one of the most accomplished and respected judges in America, and his long career in public service has given him an extraordinary breadth of experience.

It doesn't read in text, but Bush's voice was dripping with petulance and bitterness he read that sentence -- it was amazing.  He has the temperament of a thirteen year old girl.  It's like he expects us to choke on Alito's breadth and experience after the hard time we gave his good friend Harriet Miers.

Remind me not to ever play Monopoly with the President -- he poor losah!

[UPDATE: L'ESPRIT D'ESCALIER]  Also remind me the next time I have a job interview to suggest that it be conducted while standing over the body of Rosa Parks.

Posted by mrbrent at 2:35 PM