Archive: January, 2010
Sometimes people really do get what they deserve in this world, and make no mistake about it, the Democrats deserved to lose the special election for that U.S. Senate seat -- and yes, the stupidity of calling it "Ted Kennedy's seat" was one of the many reasons they deserved to lose -- in Massachusetts. They deserved to lose because Martha Coakley was the latest in a series of lackluster political hacks or, in her case, zombies that the Democrats have tried to foist on the public lately, mistakenly assuming after their victories in 2006 and 2008 that the letter "D" was worth its weight in gold.
But they also served to lose because of some pretty rank incompetence at the top, from President Obama and the people who've been poorly advising him. For starters, as badly as America needs substantial health care reform, it was just as daring a gamble for Obama to decide to push health care reform in 2009 as it was for George W. Bush to invade Iraq in 2003. There are huge differences, of course -- one was immoral, while the other is not -- but politically both gambled their entire presidency on risky moves that other presidents would not have done; Bush failed, and Obama certainly appears to have failed as well.
"I think it's terrific what The New York Times is doing. I'm really looking forward to following it. ... It has to be done, newspapers need to get more money out of print circulation and online revenue. The advertising model alone is not going to make it. I happen to know you are going to see other big papers do something similar over the next few weeks."
-- Brian Tierney, Philadelphia Newspapers CEO, quoted today on the Times plan to charge online readers in 2011 (from a blog at the "new" and disgraced Editor & Publisher, so no link).
I know all of you have been waiting to hear from me on this major development, which will have a big impact on American sociery going forward...Bill Gates is now on Twitter! Actually, what's fascinating are that his first two exchanges have been (and I'm not making this up) with Ryan Seacrest and Ashton Kutcher -- more proof that the world's occasionally richest man is just as lame and celebrity-addled as the rest of us. No wonder President Obama is praying.
Doesn't seem like anything else happened.
This is a repost from January 2009, but it's probably even truer now than it was then:
After Dr. Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize and saw the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it would have been easy for him to hang the big "Mission Accomplished" banner and rest on his laurels, maybe even cash in with some big-bucks speeches or writing his memoirs.
The real value of a book like this lies in the opportunity it presents for Washington's elite class to distract themselves and everyone else from the oozing corruption, destruction, decaying and pillaging going on -- that these same Washington denizens have long enabled. With some important exceptions, that is the primary purpose of establishment journalism generally. Even better, the book lets our media and political elite -- and then the public generally -- feel good about themselves by morally condemning the trashy exploits of Rielle Hunter and the egoistic hypocrisies of the irrelevant John and Elizabeth Edwards. As The Nation's Chris Hayes so perfectly put it: "Just when you think the news cycle can't get any stupider, Mark Halperin publishes a book." All imperial courts -- especially collapsing ones -- love to occupy themselves with insular, snotty trivialities. As this book and the excitement it has produced demonstrates, providing that distraction is exactly what our press corps most loves to do and what it does best. The media sleazebags who turned Bill Clinton's penile spots, cigars and semen stains into headline news for two straight years haven't gone anywhere; they're actually stronger and more dominant than ever.
-- Glenn Greenwald.
Eagles fans get their annual consolation prize. Hey, it's something.
Three days ago, these people were just folks getting ready for dinner or coming home from work and looking forward to spending time with their families -- now their bodies have been dumped outside the morgue because no one even knows where to put them. I can't ever remember seeing a tragedy like this, not in this hemisphere anyway. Here's some information on how we can help the people in Haiti:
InterAction, a coalition of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations, has a list of agencies responding and how to donate to them. For the list, go to http://www.interaction.org/crisis-list/earthquake-haiti
Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown is now a proven liar, which means he's probably ready for his elevation to the United States Senate. Seriously, should the GOP run with the Tea Party, or run away from it? It's today's open thread -- discuss things!
UPDATE: I don't know how to do that strikethrough thing, but the above sentence should now be amended to say that the Boston Globe is a proven liar -- haven't I been warning you people about the media! :-) Apologies to Mr. Brown, who isn't a liar but just another politician with bad hearing. The question is still the same: Is it a plus or minus for a candidate to be associated with the Tea Party? It probably depends on the state -- Florida, yes; Massachusetts, I don't know.