Déjà vu All Over Again

It seems to be fashionable to fret about the coursing of political discourse and the ever-increasing polarization of American politics. I get wobbly on whether it actually is worse than in the past, or that we just have an idealized view of the past. In some ways I think the decline is exaggerated by changes in media and the increasing prominence of them thar intertubes, but I don't see that as explaining it exclusively. However, I do imagine that I may have put my finger on why things have gotten worse during the years that I've personally observed politics.

Maybe, I flatter myself thinking I've hit upon such an answer, nevertheless I'll attempt to explain 'it', but first I will relate a story:

Busting Libby Myth #1

It would have been sensible for Mr. Fitzgerald to end his investigation after learning about Mr. Armitage. Instead, like many Washington special prosecutors before him, he pressed on, pursuing every tangent in the case. - Washington Post Editorial, 3/7/07

Here the Washington Post practically transcribes the conservative talking point. Let's put this myth to rest. Fitzgerald did not come on board, discover that no prosecutable crime had occurred, and continued on -- Ahab-like -- until he finally landed an administration scalp.

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K


If this guy did defect to either the CIA or the Mossad, then Iran had better have a functioning nuke in 6 months. Becuase that's all the more time they have.

The only thing that really concerns us about Iran right now is their nuclear ambitions. Yes, it would be super fantastic to cut their funding of Hezbollah and stop their interference in Iraq but those are minor annoyances compared to the threat they become if they acquire nuclear weapons. If the General was defecting, I would hope he was tasked with getting his hands on as much information on the nuke program as possible.


The jury has completed their deliberations. Verdict to be read in the next half hour, sometime 'around' 12 noon EST. Let us all hold hands and wait for justice to be done. (Given that our individual definitions of justice in this case may vary, I will hold Steven Malynn's hand anyway.)

Is Peak Oil here?

HankP's picture

Official announcements that the giant Cantarell oil field in Mexico is in decline and that the giant Burgan oil field in Kuwait is in decline, along with analysis that indicates that the supergiant Ghawar oil field in Saudi Arabia is in decline (note the second chart that lists production and number of wells) indicates that the fears of peak oil advocates appear to be coming true.

Fumento, Mao and the Six Specific Problems

Mao and the Six Specific Problems

A Reply to Michael Fumento’s
The Democrats’ Special Forces Fetish

[b]Summary: Michael Fumento, self-described Dispeller of Modern Myths, tilts at the windmills of Democratic Party, scoffing at the goal of doubling the size of the Special Forces. Fumento cavils at the Democrats for failing to describe how such a doubling could be accomplished, though Donald Rumsfeld argued for the same. Fumento’s solution is a mere enlargement of the current Order of Battle: perpetuating the existing Pentagon bureaucratic bungling and inertia.

Does Anyone Care About America's Prison Industrial Complex

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

Citizens across the political spectrum are preoccupied by numerous high stakes issues such as Iraq, Afghanistan, corruption, corporatist greed, genocide, global warming and healthcare to name a few. There is also the ongoing rule of an administration subverting the Constitution and undermining our democracy. As a result, some topics of importance have dropped off our radar screens. One subject meriting renewed scrutiny is the prison industrial complex.

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.

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