More of the same

Ann Coulter is welcomed at CPAC with Presidential contenders and cheered by conservatives after essentially describing Edwards as a "faggot" (video here).

Gee, that's new and different.

Maybe when modern conservative electoral politics revolves around demonizing gays it shouldn't come as a surprise that conservative commentators attempt to insult prominent liberals in such fashion. I'm a reasonable liberal. I like to think that I can understand the strengths and weaknesses in my position. I appreciate many conservative ideas, I've voted for (moderate) Republicans, and I enjoy bipartisan debate. I don't have a problem with playing to the base, with trash-talking the other side, with spinning to make your guy look good and their guy look bad. But I've frankly had it with the tolerance and even encouragement of anti-gay bigotry that I see coming from the conservative base -- even more so than from Republican politicians. It needs to stop. It won't be liberals like me who stop it, although I'll do what I can with my voice and my ballot. It will be Republicans reclaiming their party from the intolerant social conservatives who are currently running it into the ground. Good luck with that.

Hillbillies and Arabs

One of the few ethnic groups people still feel free to make fun of without being instantly banished to outer un-p.c. darkness is hillbillies - i.e., the descendants of Scotch-Irish immigrants who still hang their (worn out, floppy) hats in rural Appalachia. Wikipedia's "Hillbilly" article even includes an amusing (and rather affectionate) section on "the hillbilly stereotype."

Consider, if you will, a couple of the entries under that heading:

(1) Inbred and incestuous.

(2) Often fight each other along family lines. This is known as a "feud." [thanks for explaining that, Wikipedia!]

Weekly Open Thread (March 2 2007)

HankP's picture

I finally post an open thread before Bill beats me to it!

There's a Total Lunar Eclipse on Saturday, but it looks like I'll miss it.

Fears of a Greater Switzerland - it's the 1930s all over again.

There are 193 countries in the world.

Our long national nightmare is over.

Sinking Like A Stone

And why not? At this point, it becomes difficult to understand why anyone not heavily medicated or blood-related would still support the Commander in Chief.

- The new numbers? So much for the Broder comeback nonsense. Shrub is back down to a hefty 29.

- How could this possibly be? Why doesn't anyone see the Truman-like brilliance and fortitude of the man? I dunno. Maybe it's becuz the Iraq war has helped, rather than hindered, terror. That might do it.

- Or maybe it's the little things. Like firing prosecutors for political reasons -- well within his rights -- but pretending it's all do to "performance issues." One prosecutor isn't taking the insult lying down. He may take some New Mexico pols with him. (This is, of course, when Dem subpeona power gets hella fun.)

- Or maybe it's that he's managed to lose wars on two fronts at the same time. That's a pretty neat trick.

It's rare that we get to watch a Presidency evaporate right before our eyes (for those willing to look, of course). Shrub, like Nixon before him, seems primed to go out a figure of ridicule and contempt. Which is, of course, exactly what he deserves. The only question now is, does he take the GOP with him?

Let's Start Project 2012

The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

An office colleague and I have engaged in an ongoing debate about the merits of political bosses from the pre-Watergate era over the current system. We'll call him Buck. Buck's a generation older than me, fought in Vietnam and describes himself as a "political agnostic."

We're back up (I Think)

HankP's picture

As some of you may have noticed, the site was down last night and most of today. Thanks to an unexpected snowfall, I was able to spend some time working on it and with WetherMan's help I think we have it back up and operational. The webhost, Site5, detected an abnormal amount of resource use by our site. I've tried to strip down as much as possible to reduce the resource requirements of the site, but I can't guarantee that we won't have this issue in the future. It appears that this is not an uncommon problem with Drupal running on a shared host.

Time To Fix This

M Scott Eiland's picture

Once again, the Veterans Committee for the Baseball Hall of Fame has concluded its bi-annual vote and elected no one. While I found Keith Olbermann's suggestion on today that all of the committee members should be stripped of their votes for incompetence to be a tad excessive, it is clear that changes need to be made to the process, and soon.

Weekly Open Thread (24 February 2007)

Happy February! -- Discuss amongst yourselves.

The Paradoxes of Capitalism

HankP's picture

In memory of Jackson Mead, who undoubtedly would have explained that I just don't understand business, economics, or much of anything else for that matter :)

In my entirely informal studies of economics and markets*, there are a number of questions that have come to me about modern corporate capitalism and some of the seeming paradoxes that it involves.

- We are told that capitalism is the most efficient way to allocate resources, yet when our country last faced a serious military threat in WWII we changed in large part to a command economy (actually closer to a fascist economy, with government command and nominal private ownership). Does this mean that capitalism isn't really the best way to allocate resources, or just that in truly dangerous times we don't trust it to do so? If the government had not commandeered the economy, would it have helped or hurt the war effort?

Tony Blair and the Mirror of Erised

HankP's picture

(For those of you fortunate enough to not have a child who watched and read everything Harry Potter for several years, the Mirror of Erised was a mirror that Harry Potter discovered in a back room at his school. It was explained to him that the mirror reflected an image of the watcher's deepest desires.)

Tony Blair announced today that Britain will withdraw 1600 troops from Iraq in the coming months and may reduce it's forces in country by over 40% by the end of the year if conditions on the ground allow it. There have also been announcements by Denmark and Lithuania that they are reducing their troops in Iraq, even as the US is in the process of increasing troop levels to carry out the "surge" that is the strategy of the month. The report referenced above implies that Basra will in effect be turned over to the Shiite militias that have increasingly controlled the area over the past year or two.

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