Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I read the news today, oh boy

You really can't make this shit up.  Via TPM

Father of Newtown victim heckled at hearing

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Blue Monday, Peter Green edition

Stanley Karnow

There were a few ways to understand Vietnam for someone of my age -- Stanley Karnow was a major one.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Return of the 3/5ths clause

The thirteenth amendment eliminated the "3/5ths compromise" in the U.S. Constitution.  A group of Republican state legislators in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Virginia appear to want to bring it back.

Republican lawmakers in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin are considering whether to abandon the winner-take-all approach to awarding Electoral College votes and replace it with a proportional allocation.
That change would heavily favor Republican presidential candidates — tilting the voting power away from cities and toward rural areas — and make it more likely that the candidate with the fewest votes over all would win a larger share of electoral votes.
One day I will have to visit the evil lair where they come up with these schemes. They pump them out like a factory. Voter suppression didn’t work in November, and it may even have backfired in some states, so they just devised another devilish plan.
Pete Lund, a Republican state representative in Michigan, “plans to reintroduce legislation that would award all but two of Michigan’s 16 Electoral College votes according to congressional district results,” said an article Friday in The Detroit News.
The paper continued, “The remaining two would go to the candidate winning the statewide majority.”
Lund, who proposed a similar bill in 2012, made Republicans’ intentions completely clear, saying, according to the article: “It got no traction last year. There were people convinced Romney was going to win and this might take (electoral) votes from him.” 
Paul Bibeau, who writes “a blog of dark humor” from Virginia, points out a numerical oddity about the effects of the Virginia law that turns out, upon reflection, to be more stinging than funny: “This bill counts an Obama voter as 3/5 of a person.”
That is because, as Talking Points Memo says, “Obama voters would have received almost exactly 3/5 of the electoral vote compared to their actual population — 30.7 percent of the electoral vote over 51 percent of the popular vote.” 
 The Republican brand, Millions Disenfranchised™.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

It's just a shot away

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mary Jo White

If I were a bankster, I'd be feeling a bit nervous this morning.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The inauguration speech

Monday, January 21, 2013

Down the 2000 election memory hole

CNN has been repeating that the 2001 inauguration of George W. Bush was the first president not to walk down Pennsylvania Ave. since Carter started the tradition because it was too cold.

Funny, I remember that day and as I recall the decision not to walk had nothing to do with the weather.


Blue Monday, Mississippi Fred McDowell edition

A big #$%ing deal

Krugman is making sense.

On the day President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, an exuberant Vice President Biden famously pronounced the reform a “big something deal” — except that he didn’t use the word “something.” And he was right.
In fact, I’d suggest using this phrase to describe the Obama administration as a whole. F.D.R. had his New Deal; well, Mr. Obama has his Big Deal. He hasn’t delivered everything his supporters wanted, and at times the survival of his achievements seemed very much in doubt. But if progressives look at where we are as the second term begins, they’ll find grounds for a lot of (qualified) satisfaction.
Consider, in particular, three areas: health care, inequality and financial reform. 

Read the whole thing, as they say on the internets.

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The Texas state attorney general invokes the spirit of Charles Whitman.

The ads are a rare burst of political theater from Mr. Abbott, a former State Supreme Court justice who has built a reputation as a gentlemanly yet fiercely conservative litigator eager to challenge the Obama administration, and who, in a speech last year, described his job this way: “I go to the office. I sue the federal government. And then I go home.”

Mr. Abbott has been laying the groundwork and raising millions of dollars for a possible run for governor in 2014, regardless of whether Gov. Rick Perry, his ally and fellow Republican, decides to seek re-election.

Mr. Abbott’s ads were paid for not by the attorney general’s office but by his political campaign, Texans for Greg Abbott. A campaign spokesman, Eric Bearse, said the ads began running on Wednesday and were “interest targeted” to those in Manhattan and Albany who visited several news sites, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Mr. Bearse said the ads were created in response to New York’s new gun-control laws as well as the executive actions that President Obama announced the same day to curb gun violence. He declined to say how much they had cost Mr. Abbott, whose campaign account has grown to $18 million.

“It’s a somewhat unconventional method to weigh in on a very serious issue,” Mr. Bearse said. “It makes the point that Texans value freedom, and specifically their freedom to protect themselves. Our state has experienced the largest population growth in the country from places like California and New York because our culture does value freedom.”

The ads illustrate the extent to which the debate over guns and gun violence since the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., has played out differently in Texas than it has in other parts of the country.

In Texas, guns and the right to carry them continue to be closely linked to the state’s self-image. Those licensed to carry a concealed weapon can do so in restaurants, shopping malls and even the Capitol building here in Austin.

Responding to Mr. Obama’s gun proposals, Mr. Perry said in a statement that he was disgusted to see the political left and the news media use the school shooting to advance a pre-existing agenda, and he suggested that prayers rather than laws were in order. 

A day after the president unveiled his proposals, a different sort of gun debate unfolded here, after a Republican state senator from Granbury, Brian Birdwell, filed a bill to allow those with a concealed handgun license to carry their firearms on college campuses. 


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stan Musial

Sadly, more RIP.

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Earl Weaver

Friday, January 18, 2013


Baby, it's cold outside.



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Elitist hypocrisy

Bejeebus, you can smell the NRA's desperation.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Blue Monday, Willie Dixon edition

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hall of blame

Ah, Dear Reader, I know expectations are high that I should write about this foolishness, but it's hard to get worked up about a voting bloc comprised of some of the hackiest of hacks to memorialize a bunch of guys in a museum set in a location that is all about a baseball myth to begin with.

If only Bud Selig were alive.  Oh...wait.


Monday, January 07, 2013

Blue Monday, Arbee Stidham edition

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty

Madame Cura and I saw it last week.  It is riveting.  It is, in the first -- and last -- 30 minutes, deeply uncomfortable.  But, as Mark Bowden writes in The Atlantic, it was not "pro-torture."

In this broader sense, Zero Dark Thirty is remarkably true. The hunt for bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders began with efforts that were clumsy, costly, and cruel. We wrongly invaded Iraq, for instance. We stupidly embraced a regime of torture in our military prisons. Some of the steps we took were tragic and are likely to endure as national embarrassments. But tactics, priorities, personnel, and even administrations changed over those years. The nation learned how to fight this new enemy intelligently. Through it all, the search for bin Laden proceeded with bureaucracy's unique talent for obduracy. This isn't as sexy or dramatic as watching Jessica Chastain paling before the stink and blood of rough interrogation, a red-tressed Ahab pursuing her white whale through bullets, bombs, and boneheaded bosses ... but it stays within the lines. 

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Friday, January 04, 2013

Trouble every day

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