As everyone knows, Obama administration dirty tricks operative Ben Gazzy was caught slipping Muslim DNA into the refreshing chilled Thorazine-based breakfast shakes enjoyed by stalwart Congressional Republicans. The administration immediately disavowed any knowledge and responsibility for the affair but the remaining alert Republicans are having none of that.
The administration’s stonewall was holding firm . . . → Read More: Famous political scandals of the past as they might have been reported by ABC’s Intrepid Jonathan Karl
Apparently, there is a lot of outrage right now over the trampling of press freedoms occasioned by the FBI’s secret perusal of AP’s phone records.
The president of the Associated Press called it a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into newsgathering activities, while Dana Milbank at the Washington Post reported today that the press . . . → Read More: The AP phone records scandal is seven years old
I’ve now read two opinion pieces, one by Charlie Pierce at Esquire last week and another by Jamelle Bouie at The American Prospect today, saying that the failure of various gun control measures proves that presidential leadership doesn’t work. They’re writing to defend President Obama from charges that he doesn’t use his position effectively to lobby . . . → Read More: This is why Democrats can’t have nice things
I was browsing through my news feed yesterday morning when I ran across a story about the US bombing a wedding in Afghanistan. I thought something like “Jeez, again?”* and didn’t click through for the full story because it was so familiar. Now I can’t find it, but I think it said 30 dead. . . . → Read More: Routine carnage in Boston
The number of actual Libertarians in Congress is the same as the number of actual Arcturans in Congress, as far as we know; if there are any of either, they’re not open about it. Most congressional Libertarians espouse a philosophy of government under which everyone — corporations, powerful reactionary white guys, women, liberals, people . . . → Read More: Rand Paul: Genius. Nitwit. Post-racial Statesman
Ralph Emerson said that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. He meant that it’s silly to stick to one’s guns in the face of overwhelming evidence that the guns are wrongly aimed. He said it over drinks in a tavern at a table full of the finest minds of his generation. . . . → Read More: Who’s afraid of Rand Paul?
For whatever reason, the occasion of tax and spending cut negotiations has inspired tough-minded liberal thinkers to suggest that there’s virtue to be found in beating up poor people and Medicare-bound older folk. Full disclosure: I benefit from Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the program Nick Kristof hopes will be cut during the negotiations, and . . . → Read More: Shared sacrifice: In which both sides agree to throw some old folks and some poor into the volcano
I didn’t watch the debate — allergies. I did read the transcript, God help me. This is how I know that former US Senator Alan Simpson was in the audience. Apparently he’s a member of the debate commission. That figures; he wants to do for the marketplace of political ideas what he wants to . . . → Read More: Bowles-Simpson or Simpson-Bowles? The choice is yours …
Not long after the big Republican win in the 2010 elections, the Obama administration’s best and brightest gave up on explaining that putting people to work is really good for both the economy and for people who need work. The concept was too complicated for voters, they thought, so instead the president went off to negotiate with a crew of irresolute drunks and psychotic killer termites over how best to tighten the belt of government around the necks of the poor, the sick, the old and the unemployed.
This is according to David Corn’s new book, Showdown, which is apparently meant as a generous portrait of the administration.
Continue reading An epitaph for Obama: “I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson.”
Charlie Pierce, whose writing I always admire and whose understandings of things I share more often than not, wrote a little bit yesterday about Marc Thiessen, one of the columnists who serve as bellwethers of the intellectual and literary rot inside the Washington Post’s editorial pages. The one-time speechwriter’s facility with the written word is a really good fit with the way his former boss, George W. Bush, handled the spoken one.
Thiessen wrote a column about the need to stay in Afghanistan. Pierce takes issue with it, highlighting a section where Thiessen says that we have to stay because if we don’t, what’s left of al Qaeda will 1) crow about it and 2) try to directly attack the US again. He’s almost certainly right on the first count, but it’s a piss-poor peg to hang a war on. He’s probably right on the second count too, although not, as he says, because our departure will have “emboldened” them, but because there’s no indication that they ever stopped wanting to attack us; it’s only that we messed them up thoroughly enough to make it really really difficult.
Continue reading Why is it bad for the right to say “Stay in Afghanistan,” but not for the president?