seeking knowledge and laughter, putting a bullseye on inaccuracy

Politics & Religion

Thoughts on the two - frequently both.

wASSSSSup?

You remember the awesome Waasssssssssup??? commercials? That was possibly my favorite advertising campaign.

Well - how about an update of where those guys are now? Thanks daddYman for sending me the HuffPo post showing it.

New Yorker

After both SwinRo and daddYman recommended articles from the Oct 13, 2008 issue of The New Yorker, I relented and read most of it. Some good stories - although I remain largely unimpressed with the magazine on the whole. Not sure why.

George Packer - someone I have almost always enjoyed reading - starts off with "The Hardest Vote: Ohio's worried working class".

She remained uninspired by Barack Obama. His Convention speech had gone into detail about his policy proposals on matters like the economy and health care, which seemed tailored to attract a voter like Snodgrass, but they filled her with suspicion. His promise to rescind the Bush tax cuts for wealthier Americans struck her as incredible: “How many people do you know who make two hundred and fifty thousand dollars? What is that, five per cent of the United States? That’s a joke! If he starts at a hundred thousand, I might listen. Two hundred fifty—that’s to me like people who hit the lottery.” In fact, only two per cent of Americans make more than a quarter of a million dollars a year, but that group earns twelve per cent of the national income. Nonetheless, the circumstances of Snodgrass’s life made it impossible for her to imagine that there could possibly be enough taxable money in Obama’s upper-income category—which meant that he was being dishonest, and that she would eventually be the one to pay.

It makes me think about an interesting problem - how the hell can we educate American voters who have no time to get educated? On so many important issues, tens of millions of people are woefully ignorant. This is not just about "Obama is a Muslim" but also those who think more nuclear power is the answer to high gas prices.

There is probably not an answer. But maybe we can chip away at it if we developed a new model for news. Letting for-profit corporations dominate it is clearly damaging our civic fabric. Probably not irreversibly.

Switching gears - ever wonder what the folks in Crawford think about the President? Pamela Colloff answers it with "Exile on Main Street." Again, I'm infuriated that people accepted Bush as a common person - as if he were truly some sort of rancher.

And it reminds me that the Democrats, even if they win this election, have once again missed an historic opportunity (as is their wont). This was the absolute best time to forever put that bullshit "tax and spend liberal" mantra to death. A few national advertisements with this graph would have done it. Image from zfacts.com.

National-Debt-GDP.gif

Let's be clear. Republicans have killed our economy. They are responsible for huge deficits and the debt. The little bit of spending that Democrats push for the least among us (which apparently is not Christian when Dems do it) cannot compare to the money that Reagan, Bush, and Bush threw away on stupid military projects.

Switching gears again - There was a fascinating piece on the history of voting that is not online. "Rock, Paper, Scissors" by Jill Lepore is well worth tracking down.

Finally - "Worlds Apart" by Nicholas Lemann takes a deep look at the foreign policy approaches of Obama and McCain. Or rather by Obama and his legion of impressive advisors. Long, but mostly worth it if you care about foreign stuff.

Jason Jones in Wasilla

Woe for the Southern Suburbs

If you missed it - a woman at McCain's Lakeville rally is insanely stupid.

Fortunately, SNL didn't pick on MN when featuring this crazy lady (who apparently lives in Shakopee?). Stick with the SNL skit - it gets lame toward the middle but really finishes funny.

Buckley Booted from NR

I have greatly enjoyed the Christopher Buckley books I've read and I wish his father was still around so he could make fun of Palin. Buckley is the son of William F. Buckley - one of the most influential founders of the conservative movement of the 80's that recently went totally nuts after capturing all three branches in 2000.

William F. Buckley founded National Review - perhaps the conservative magazine. Christopher wrote for it ... until he endorsed Obama. He found a similar fate as Kathleen Parker who came out against Palin.

Since my Obama endorsement, Kathleen and I have become BFFs and now trade incoming hate-mails. No one has yet suggested my dear old Mum should have aborted me, but it’s pretty darned angry out there in Right Wing Land. One editor at National Review—a friend of 30 years—emailed me that he thought my opinions “cretinous.” One thoughtful correspondent, who feels that I have “betrayed”—the b-word has been much used in all this—my father and the conservative movement generally, said he plans to devote the rest of his life to getting people to cancel their subscriptions to National Review. But there was one bright spot: To those who wrote me to demand, “Cancel my subscription,” I was able to quote the title of my father’s last book, a delicious compendium of his NR “Notes and Asides”: Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription.

Read the rest of his column here. Say what you will about his politics, he sure can write.

Biker Bailout

Looks like the bailout had something for bikers - a new, small, incentive to bike to work. If you bike to work, you may be eligible for a small reimbursement against your costs of biking. This seems like a drop in the bucket, and you have to get your employer to get involved for it, but it's something ... I guess.

First RNC Lawsuit

St. Paul is now being sued over its behavior during the Republican National Convention. This lawsuit covers an utterly ridiculous police raid on a house in St. Paul which had guests who are part of a group that does video work - their work in NY during the last Republican Convention resulted in the judge throwing out charges against hundreds of demonstrators because the video proved police were lying.

So they were targeted in St. Paul before any demonstrations even occurred. There is no way to tie any of these people with those who planned violence or disruptions. These were media workers, who were subjects of harassment. Local media has done a dismal job of covering this raid - preferring instead to cover the punk houses that got raided and supposedly had urine and bomb-making equipment (though I remain deeply skeptical of police press releases during the RNC).

Much as I deeply wish the City would not have to deal with lawsuits, it certainly looks like the the City violated the rights of many people during that week. That was the Mayor's choice and we'll see what comes of it. I never had a problem with this mayor until the RNC, when I think he took too much of an alarmist position following the actions of perhaps 15-20 people who broke windows and did property damage in downtown.

McCain - How is Gook different than N****R?

Funniest SNL Ever?

I totally lost it when "Biden" started talking about Scranton.

Biden Debate Prep

Wow. This is great. An annotated slideshow of Biden prepping for the debate.

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