Saturday, November 21, 2009

Last Call

Somebody up there loves me, cause it's lookin' like Joe The Plumber is giving Sarah advice...NOT to run in 2012.
In a wide-ranging interview with E&P, Wurzelbacher also shared his thoughts on Sarah Palin (he hopes she doesn't run for president in 2012), Palin's references to him in her new book, and the charge that he has capitalized off the publicity that has come with being Joe the Plumber. He also called President Obama's ideology "unAmerican."

Regarding Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate now making her rounds across the country on a book tour, Wurzelbacher told E&P he hopes she is not a candidate for president in 2012.

"I hope she doesn't (run) because I think she could do a lot for America outside of office," Wurzelbacher said. "And I think she could rally Americans to get together and make some changes from the grassroots level. I think she could be an incredible rallying point, and I think that's where she could serve America best."

Wurzelbacher said he's been disappointed with the press coverage overall. "Mainstream media really painted me as a fool," he said. "They did their best to discredit me as a tax cheat, a wife beater, a racist. You know, they said a lot of nasty things about me, and all of them untrue."
Joe knows he must either feed the Teabagger beast or be fed to it.

Debate Clubbed

60-39, straight party line vote.  Another week, another hurdle.
Sweeping health care legislation has cleared its first hurdle in the Senate on a party-line vote.
The 60-39 vote clears the way for a historic debate after Thanksgiving on the legislation. The measure is designed to extend coverage to an estimated 31 million Americans who lack it and crack down on insurance industry practices that deny benefits.

The vote came in a rare Saturday session in the Senate.

Democrats posted 60 votes in a Senate showdown, precisely the number needed to overcome Republican delaying tactics.

The vote was a major victory for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and the White House in a year-end drive to enact the most sweeping changes to the nation's health care system in a half-century or more.
Just another bit closer.  But what will be in the final bill?

Taibbi Versus Sister Sarah

From the comments section comes this brilliant Matt Taibbi piece on the zeitgeist of Sarah Palin (Moosegeist?).  Taibbi completely nails her book and the entire experience (emphasis mine):
Palin’s extraordinary ability to inspire major national controversies around these injustices done to her immediate person is going to guarantee her some kind of major role in American politics for the next dozen years. In this regard she is going to have a willing ally in her supposed keen enemy, the mainstream media, which likewise loves nothing more than a political narrative that has nothing to do with politics. It’ll be a virtually endless war over nonsense like this latest Newsweek cover, which hilariously is being seen as one or the other of a) a liberal media plot or b) a sexist assault on a prominent female politician by the male-dominated media world when in fact, as all of us in this dying print media business know, the magazine’s motive was grounded entirely in the nihilistic desperation to sell newsstand copies.
And Sarah Palin sells copies. She is the country’s first WWE politician — a cartoon combatant who inspires stadiums full of frustrated middle American followers who will cheer for her against whichever villain they trot out, be it Newsweek, Barack Obama, Katie Couric, Steve Schmidt, the Mad Russian, Randy Orton or whoever. Her followers will not know that she is the perfect patsy for our system, designed as it is to channel popular anger in any direction but a useful one, and to keep the public tied up endlessly in pointless media melees over meaningless nonsense (melees of the sort that develop organically around Palin everywhere she goes). Like George W. Bush, even Palin herself doesn’t know this, another reason she’s such a perfect political tool.

With Going Rogue, the 2012 reality show has already begun. As brainless political theater, she can’t be topped. It’s just too bad for conservatives that she happens to be unsustainably divisive and, as Newsweek points out, a really good bet to permanently marginalize the Republican party by reducing it to a pissed-off, semi-coherent mob that repulses independent voters on a visceral level. To paraphrase John Doman’s Deputy Ops Rawls character from The Wire, she’s “brilliant — fuckin’ shame it’s gonna end our careers, but still.”
And he's right.  She's the perfect politician for 2010, quite literally a mindless Rorschach who picks meaningless fights as entertainment.
The policial process we have built since 1980 created her.  It was inevitable.  She is glorious chaos, she is the result of politics divided by zero, an unknown and destructive mess as the end.  For better or for worse she will destroy it all, she will reduce it to ashes.  It will be a clean slate.

What will come after?

Land Of Lincoln

Back home for the holidays...and apparently also returning home after her "Come to Jeebus" meeting with Sen. Harry Reid is Sen. Blanche Lincoln, the last holdout for tonight's Senate vote on health care.
U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln said Saturday that she supports bringing the health care bill to the floor for debate, giving Democrats the 60 votes needed to prevent a GOP filibuster.

Speaking on the Senate floor hours before the 8 p.m. procedural vote, the Arkansas Democrat said she would give Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama the crucial vote required to move the Democrats' contentious health care measure forward for debate.

"Although I don't agree with everything in this bill, I believe it is important to begin this debate," Lincoln said. She added that she still opposes the public option.

"This issue is very complex. There is no easy fix," she added.

Earlier Saturday, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, became the 59th lawmaker to side with Reid, who needed the support of all 58 Senate Democrats and independent Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut to avoid a GOP filibuster.

All 40 Republicans are expected to oppose having a debate.
And of course it only gets tougher from here on out.  Much tougher.  The Republicans will do everything they can to delay this bill into 2010 to try to scare the Dems and America.  Three things are working against them:  Americans are too tired of the GOP to listen to their fearmongering anymore, the GOP still doesn't have any sort of actual alternative to fix the problem, and history is on the side of the Dems.  Not a single Republican wants anything to do with fixing health care, with the lone exception of Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana.

We'll see how it works out.

On The Road

As a personal note, I'll be on the road today, so light posting today.  Consider this an open thread, if you've got a lnk to share, let's see what you've got.

Trying To Kindle The Market

So people ask me, "What's the deal with your Kindle?"  And I like reading books, as many as I have, it's nice to have a few on the Kindle too to save the mass of lugging the books around.  But the real market for Kindles and other e-book readers isn't guys like me, but students with dozens of textbooks.
As Sony Corp.’s e-book devices vie with the Kindle to win over readers, the real showdown may come later: when a shift to electronic textbooks at schools threatens to eclipse the current market for the products.

Sony and Inc.’s Kindle are both expanding into the academic world. Students at Blyth Academy in Toronto do all their reading on Sony devices, and five U.S. universities are testing the Kindle. The days of students lugging around heavy textbooks may be numbered, said Sony executive Steve Haber.

“The only ones upset about this are going to be chiropractors,” Haber, who oversees the digital reading unit, said this week in an interview. “It makes perfect sense to move to education.”

Within five years, textbooks will be the biggest market for e-book devices, dwarfing sales to casual readers, predicts Sarah Epps, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Corning Inc., which is developing glass screens for e-readers, expects textbooks to fuel about 80 percent of demand for those components by 2019.

“Print will expire faster in the textbook world than in the trade book world,” Epps said. “The technical barriers will disappear and five years is enough for the content to catch up with demand. The potential is there.”
In other words, 80% of e-book sales will be for textbooks by the end of the decade, and technology will have made these readers cheaper and more powerful.  Imagine a backpack full of textbooks replaced by a Kindle or a netbook PC...or a netbook that was an e-book reader.  Woulda made my life a lot easier back in the early 90's.  Who knows how far these things could go.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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