Monday, December 15, 2008

The Sun Is Hot Too

From today's Obama presser announcing Energy Secretary pick Dr. Steven Chu:
"My administration will value science," Obama said, in what sounded like a pointed reference to his predecessor. "We will make decisions based on facts."
Holy hell, Presidents can DO that kind of radical, facty thing with actual science and logic and crap?

Do the Republicans know this? Somebody ought to tell them.

Dear America:

"If the Right shows the same superhuman ability to ignore reality that they employed during the last eight years, we should have no problem impeaching Obama over this Blagojevich thing."

--Dick Polman, Philadelphia Inquirer

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

Why do I make fun of the wingnuts on the right who write things like this?
We all understand now the significance of this particular insult in the Arab world -- right? But do we really? Somehow I tend to doubt it. The true significance of this attack on President Bush and symbolically on the United States, and its enthusiastic reception in both the Arab world and in our own liberal media has not really been addressed. One part of this story is of course the breathless eagerness with which our own biased leftist MSM quickly grasps onto any story that will support their long-held conviction that the Iraq war was a foolish criminal endeavor, perpetrated on the American people by a clueless ignorant cowboy -- "the unpopular U.S. president".

But I contend that this incident provides us with an even more important lesson. One which we should have learned by now but have not. It is simply this: Why should this act of hatred and resentment come as a surprise to us? Haven't we accepted the fact yet that 'blood is thicker than water'; or in this case, that the Arab world's adherence to Islam and to Sharia law supersedes any temporary arrangements of convenience made with infidel governments. Treaties made with Arab (or any Muslim) states are in reality no more than cynical measures of expediency. Realpolitik.

Here is the cold hard truth: Islam is, was, and always will be the sworn enemy of Western civilization in general, and of the United States of America in particular. Any thoughts that we can peacefully coexist without risking subsequent betrayal are foolhardy and delusional. Every time we think we have made inroads into the Muslim world we should be automatically circumspect and on guard. For when push comes to shove, all of those minor political or regional differences between Arab/Muslim states will be quickly set aside when confronted with the common enemy of the infidel West. Until the very roots of Islam are torn out of this culture we will never succeed in establishing any meaningful and lasting peace in this region.
Because they pen breathless screeds declaring a entire religion to be the enemy of the United States of America and therefore demand the cultural annihilation of a billion Muslims or so over a pair of fucking shoes lobbed at a world leader with a 27% approval rating in his own country.

It is only through the thick clear plastic walls of sarcasm, parody and satire that these fools should be both viewed and contained in before being disposed of.


A Simple Test

Which one of the three following financial news stories is the most outrageous?
  1. The US auto industry is pleading for Bush to release $15 million from the TARP bailout, but odds are looking more and more like they will get nothing.
  2. Investment guru Bernie Madoff may have defrauded investors out of as much as $50 billion.
  3. Bloomberg News's lawsuit over which bank put up what as collateral for the over $2 trillion in loans and guarantees is denied on the basis of being "highly sensitive".
If you answered anything other than "three", you're frankly part of the problem.

Yes, they're all bad. But that last one should have Americans across the country out in the streets. We're not. And that's why number three there will almost certainly continue to happen even under Obama.

Not So Black And White

Here's an interesting article about how some Americans, particularly white Americans and mixed-race Americans (like myself) view Barack Obama: he's not black.

A perplexing new chapter is unfolding in Barack Obama's racial saga: Many people insist that "the first black president" is actually not black.

Debate over whether to call this son of a white Kansan and a black Kenyan biracial, African-American, mixed-race, half-and-half, multiracial — or, in Obama's own words, a "mutt" — has reached a crescendo since Obama's election shattered assumptions about race.

Obama has said, "I identify as African-American — that's how I'm treated and that's how I'm viewed. I'm proud of it." In other words, the world gave Obama no choice but to be black, and he was happy to oblige.

But the world has changed since the young Obama found his place in it.

Intermarriage and the decline of racism are dissolving ancient definitions. The candidate Obama, in achieving what many thought impossible, was treated differently from previous black generations. And many white and mixed-race people now view President-elect Obama as something other than black.

Me, I've had people assume I've everything from Samoan to Indian (Native American and from India itself), Dominican, Puerto Rican, Mexican, North African, Arab, and just about everything else. One one hand, Obama identifies himself as African-American like I do, and the world respects him for it: enough so that he's President-Elect. On the other hand, the insistence of having to classify people as a particular ethnic or racial group has always bugged me to an extent.

It's very interesting to note that a whole lot of people have different opinions about Obama and his racial identity. There's no denying having him in the White House is massive progress for race relations in general. But yeah, people see in him what they want to see in him.

Barack Rorshach Obama.

Red Light, Red State

The GOP attack on Detroit is being led by southern Senators from non-union, non-American automaker states: Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, etc. These states are deep red and the people there have been told time and time again that unions are destroying America.

On the other side of the line are blue states with UAW workers: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and states with tons of auto dealerships like California and New York. Make no mistake that for the GOP, this is all about red vs. blue politics. They have an opportunity to punish blue states and the people who live and work there, the gain a measure of revenge against those crazy Yankees for rejecting the party of God and America.

If GM goes under and people buy more Toyotas made in Kentucky or Hondas made in Tennessee, that's good for the southern states. People will leave cities like Detroit, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh and move to Atlanta, Nashville and Birmingham, giving southern states more people and more power.

This isn't just about wrecking the UAW, although that's a big part of it. This is about wrecking the economies of blue states. Even though Asian automakers have said on a number of occasions that their sales are down sharply too and that a Big Three bankruptcy will hurt them as well, that doesn't matter to the GOP. They have a chance to hurt blue states. Period.

Because that's how the GOP operates. Democrats are the enemy, plain and simple. And the enemy must be crushed.

[UPDATE] Glad I'm not the only one who sees this (h/t LGM)
As today's news again reminds us, the GOP doesn't seem terribly concerned about much more problematic things like the disgusting, virtually no-strings-attached re-re bailouts of Citigroup and AIG. Rather, Republican senators want to drive down wages for American autoworkers and create competitive advantages for their right-to-work states so much that they're willing to inflict massive blows to the American economy to do so. (As Molly Ivors cracks, if there was some way of putting together a bailout that would pay executives and not workers, the bailout might have had a chance.)
And that's the bottom line. Screw the blue states, victory for red ones.

The lesson the GOP learned from the 2008 election is that they weren't assholes enough.


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