prog: (Default)
My pal Robert points out to me (by way of Andrew Sullivan) that over at Little Green Footballs, Charles Johnson has - as I write this - literally filled the blog's front page almost entirely with story after story of himself being utterly dumbfounded at the skyrocketing levels of batshittery coming from the part of the American Right that's managed to get control of the mic, and is calling them out on their various bald-faced lies and deceptions.

If I were visiting the site for the first time right now, i'd have no reason to guess that this was anything other than a centrist-to-leftish blog of the stripe I normally haunt. I certainly would not suspect that it was one of the preëminent online wingnut bastions through the breadth of the Bush administration.

The blogs I do normally read have been saying "OMG the right is off its nut" for a while now, and my first instinct is to roll my eyes at this, because even smart people have short memories. But this... is something else.
prog: (Default)
Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon hits the panic over the Obama-corrupting-the-youth thing square on the head:
We laugh at the wingnuts pulling their kids out of school, and we point out that Obama’s speech is perhaps the most bland, inoffensive, apolitical thing he’s ever written. But that’s exactly what the wingnuts are afraid of. They can just imagine their kids sitting in a classroom, watching this man speak---a Democrat, a liberal, a “socialist” (so they’ve been taught), a black “racist” (so they’ve been taught)---and two things might occur to them. 1) Their classmates do not share their fear and hatred and 2) Obama is saying the same sort of things that anyone would say. In fact, the sheer normalcy of the situation is hard to deny, and kids who are eager to fit in with their peers are extremely unlikely to start insisting that up is down and this normal situation is scary and fucked up. And that might be the first step towards becoming a more open-minded, decent human being. No wonder their parents are scared.

As one who doesn't consider his life as an independently conscious entity to have begun until the day he left home for college, this resonated deeply with me.
prog: (Default)

Boy do I have a bad feeling about this.

This is probably the first time I really have to ask what usually strikes me as a lame question: can you imagine what would have happened if anyone pulled this shit around our previous president?

prog: (Default)
When I get a call from my parents' house at an unusual hour, I worry that this will finally be the call when I learn that one of them has died.

After I hear the voicemail, which is invariably just a request to call back about one minor family matter or another, I worry about having to talk about the Obama administration with them.


Jun. 15th, 2009 05:10 pm
prog: (Default)
My selfish hope is that the events in Iran bring out positive - if not painless - changes in both that country and this one. In the Iranians, we Americans of all political colors see a sympathetic entity who has not just been wronged but outraged, by any objective standard.

It feels like 9/11 turned inside out. Rather than being challenged to come together to face a common threat, we're being challenged to come together to respond to a sudden and enormous wrongdoing in a place across the globe that, the day before, you and I might have had completely different opinions about.

I really hope we as a nation and a people can do a better job at meeting the challenge this time.
prog: (galaxians)
Add Carney Vale to the list of "totally worth five bucks" Xbox 360 games. This is a Community Games title developed by the Gambit game lab, whose Kendall Square offices I've had the pleasure to visit by way of the various local events they host. It's a fine morsel, gleamingly polished, where you use minimal controls and simple 2D physics to fling an acrobat around a circus, collecting goodies and avoiding baddies. Try the demo and see if it hooks you.

It was interesting to see Obama inauguration-themed coverage, decor, and vaguely related downloadable-content ads (including one for the film "All the President's Men") all over the 360's desktop yesterday. Three years ago this concept wouldn't have made sense to me for multiple reasons.
prog: (norton)
"Good job everybody."


• Is this the first time a sitting U.S. president gave a shout-out to nonreligious Americans in a major speech? (He used the word 'non-believers', which I also approve of.)

• I was glad that there didn't seem to be much chanting after his speech. The time for that stuff is done; now is the time to get to work.
prog: (Default)
• I am really excited about Obama's staff picks, because demonstrating astute and practical team-building skills helps validate his ability to lead.

• I am really excited about the pushback against the Rick Warren choice, largely (I think I'm safe to assume) from Obama supporters, because it proves that my fellow citizens won't let up the pressure just because their guy got in - even when the one to put pressure on is their guy.

This news made me wince when I first heard it. I'm willing to give Team O the benefit of the doubt, and expect our man to give one hell of an inaugural address using this book as a springboard. But at this point, gee whiz does it smell a tad hubristic; I can't help but think what my reaction would be if, like, Bush had made the same announcement in December 2004.
prog: (Default)
I just realized that I didn't check in on any righty-blogs since before the election. Inspiration struck to not visit the obvious (and stoopider) sites, but instead to drop in on my favorite Internet Lost Soul, James Lileks. And he had this to say (emphasis mine):
I’m approaching the new administration with a blank slate. I have no desire to walk around frowning in perpetual grumptitude, and it would be intellectually dishonest to prejudge everything that happens before it happens, or see the smallest act in terms of some broad preconceived idea. I thought that was an impressive victory speech, and if someone offers to earn your support, well, take him up on it.
This. I do hope there's a lot of this going around.

(That post also has some fine screenshots and funny commentary about an ancient low-budget Dick Tracy flick. Worth looking at if you're a movie dork like me.)


Nov. 5th, 2008 03:00 pm
prog: (Default)
So, the country is set to walk a sane path again - can you believe it? - and I had my last PT session today, as well as a flu shot. My hip isn't popping (nearly as much) any more and I'm told the relevant muscles are much stronger than they were a month ago. Yay.

As for the other stuff: I'm no fanboy, and I'm already working on a healthy dose of skepticism about all of this. But. What I saw last night is that it is possible to sell a national population on Hope, even when Fear is so cheap and abundant. I suppose I'm saying that it's the voting public I'm really impressed and hopeful about, moreso than the president-elect - though all props to him and his for making it happen.

As far as I can tell, Obama's true campaign platform was less "My policies are the best" and more "This is who we can be". And a majority of Americans said: OK, I'm game. Let's try this. I'm feeling quite optimistic that a stronger, saner national self-image will, eventually, result in good policies. We all have a lot of work to do, but it really feels now like - begging your pardon - yes, we can do it now.

...and I would like to see one of his first actions in office be to start rewinding those terrible double-secret executive powers that Cheney and pals set up. And I am not sure how to best communicate this to his office. More writing congressfolk, I guess.
prog: (moonbat)
People like me who enjoy the thrill of being horrified and disgusted at Sarah Palin, and have a nasty and selfish part of their id that wants her ticket to win so that she'll continue filling us with delicious and highest-quality outrage for years to come, can rest easy. I figure that her 2008 RNC speech will do for her what Obama's 2004 DNC speech did for him.

I'm not saying that it will propel her into the white house in 2012; more that it gave her a tremendous memetic fuel supply, enough to keep her on-stage as long as she wishes. This is a woman who is not going to pack up and go back to Alaska after the election. She's here to stay, for at least one or two more cycles. She's gonna have a tough row to hoe given the fact that the GOP is redefining itself even as I type this and it's hard to say what her base will look like in four years, but there absolutely will be a base waiting for her if she wants it.

I dunno her personally; maybe she'll get discouraged, or have an honest change of heart, and voluntarily withdraw from national politics. But I bet that she won't. Win-win!
prog: (Default)
Sen. Kerry's is the first (and so far only) lawmaker's office to send me a response to my grumbling letters about the bank bailout. It came via email, so here is a copy of the text. The narrow formatting is [sic].

print $response_to{bailout}{disapproval}; )
prog: (Default)
So, this, yesterday, from Palin:
Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.
Yes, as McCain has been mockingly referring to planetaria as "overhead projectors" and a waste of money in national debates, Palin in speeches sneers at fundamental biological research techniques because they involve running experiments on icky bugs. And anyway, if those eggheads in Paris's Institut de Fru-Fru Sodomé are into it, then it's nothing that Americans would want anything to do with, right?

My friends. Are you scared of the light? Aching for an embrace of the comforting darkness, a state where one just didn't need to know about the world beyond arm's length? Weeping for the chance to keep your children's brains smooth and unfurrowed by a world that seems to become more complex every day?

Then McCain-Palin is the ticket for you. And may your God love you and hold you in his bosom, pressing your eyes closed against his warm flesh, for all eternity.
prog: (moonbat)
A person visits their doctor:

Help, doctor! Angry green spots have appeared all over my skin! What does this mean!

Meh. Your skin is, what, five percent of your total body mass? One percent? It can't be that much. And the green spots cover up, what, maybe ten percent of that?

Pff, whatever. Nothing to worry about. Go home.

It's hard to imagine that I was thinking out loud about enrolling as a Republican, not long ago. This coincided with the time when I last admired McCain. I had some thoughts about working to better the party from within, but declaring allegiance to it now would basically be signing a document that says "I love only myself. The world can burn. Fuck you."
prog: (moonbat)
Rachel Maddow presents a good summary of the ACORN foo-rah and why it's a total crock:

I hadn't heard of Ms. Maddow before [ profile] toddalcott started linking to her recently. I really like her stuff now.
prog: (moonbat)
Hee hee hee. (Teh funny is fuller if you grew up in the U.S. while watchin TV over the last few decades.)

I like the practical message, too. As a commenter on another LJ said, this rather justifies's existence.

(I've written off my own parents as being completely irrational due to deep-seated swarthiphobia (literally - they are so, so scared), but I know at least one person close to me whose parents live in a swing state and are still undecided, and their education is an ongoing project...)

(My mom was telling me how she and dad went to a Todd Palin rally in Newport last weekend. He's a rather soft-spoken man, apparently, and they had to strain to hear him.)
prog: (Default)
McCain has lost control of his monster. This was evident a few days ago as he found himself having to correct snopesworthy concerns of audience members at a rally, but stumblingly - at one point uttering a soundbite that seemed to backhandedly endorse an Obama presidency. Yikes.

Here is my biggest fear: If the last five years of US foreign relations have planted the seeds for a new generation of bin Ladens to sprout out yonder, then the last five months of let the hate flow through you rhetoric from the desperate Right are gonna stir up a new batch of homegrown McVeighs. Yum yum.

Is there anything that the rest of us can do about this latter business, other than hoping that the DHS and the Secret Service know what they're doing?
prog: (jenna)
The McCain campaign decided to let Palin do as she please, and she's responded by encouraging entire crowds to hurl obscenities at their own media coverage, shout racial epithets, and call for murder.

Some pale that it sounds like the start of a lynch mob, but I disagree; they have no teeth left for that, and anyway that works best only when nobody's watching, which is hardly the case. No, the other side, smelling defeat, has nothing left to do but spend the campaign's waning weeks lolling about in their own filth, being stroked by their gibbering base. May they enjoy their one last decadent month before they sink into the bog forever.

Tonight's debate is going to suck to watch, though. Expect McCain to all but insinuate that Obama is suppressing photographs of himself, Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright and Matt Damon cackling together over a bomb-making bench.

I'll be here liveblarghing it again, regardless.
prog: (moonbat)
When your political opponent openly gives up talking about the current financial crisis to instead launch into 100 percent wingnut-email-chainletter mode, talking about how your candidate may have been in the same room once with a former Weather Underground agent (who was last active in that role when your guy wasn't even ten years old), how should you strike back?

Maybe produce a really slick video forging some rather more solid connections between the other guy and the last recession-triggering financial blowout the country had to trudge through, and then wrap a website around it?

Yes, that's a good start.

In related news, I'm feeling pretty goshdarn confident about next month. This isn't like it was last time. Remember when we were all rallying around "Need some wood?" Christ.


Oct. 3rd, 2008 04:58 pm
prog: (Cheney sneer)
We have now codified a national policy of private reward for socialized risk. Good job. Congress, I fart on you.

That said, this cartoon struck a nerve with me. I still stand by my actions, such as they are.

June 2014

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