29 January 2010

We get mail (SOTU Edition)

From the inbox:

S --

I couldn't watch (I would have had to take a day off to find John Boehner and Eric Cantor and beat them to a pulp, which most likely would have cost me my job). Have to say it was somewhat better than I expected. And it certainly got him the NYT headlines that he was hoping for after a week of "Democrats in Disarray" "Obama in Trouble" and the rest. The press is so maddeningly predictable.

More public flogging of Congress, the press and the high court, please. Sad little Sammy Alito whining silently that he's not responsible for killing democracy. What a worm.


At home with a miserable cold that started last night. SOTU was infuriating to me -- we watched five minutes, and I went to bed. G2 correctly noted that the SOTU has become a Catholic Mass or an opera, with the Congress and invited guests jumping up and down like a well trained parishioners or claque. The only saving grace is Obama can deliver a speech better than any President in recent memory, including, in my opinion, St. Ronnie. Take that, la Noonan!

As for the color commentary, it's more appalling than the speech itself. Nothing good can come of having Skeletor (James Carville) and Mrs. Skeletor (Mary Matalin) provide commentary and berate each other. The myth of Tracy and Hepburn is just that -- a myth. It was scripted, people. And just having to look at the Skeletors is appalling, let alone having to hear their flatulent bleating.

As for the Supremes, the military in their full gear, and the other assorted guests, all I can say is: kabuki theatre.

On the other hand, G2 is mightily amused at the level of dudgeon I can summon when provoked on 1. lowering rates of marginal taxation and 2. the "success" of the conservative movement and the "free market". I verbally disemboweled our cab driver when he started in on how California should just lower taxes more and they'd be successful. As I said, "You didn't emigrate from Ethiopia so you could watch your adopted country become a third world country, did you?"

23 January 2010


As in high dudgeon.

For a number of years -- ten in fact, starting in 2000 -- I've regularly expounded on the coming death of the Republic, how this and that has finally lead to some interpretation of the Constitution so loathsome and repugnant that the Founding Fathers would, if they could, climb out of their graves and rebuke us all.

The combined events of this week -- the failure of the House and Senate to create a package of health care reform that doesn't have odious benefits for corporate interests, the election of Scott Brown to the Senate in the seat formerly held by Teddy Kennedy, and the Supreme Court's decision on campaign finance freeing corporations and unions from any restriction greater than than on individuals -- have put me in a foul mood. It doesn't help that my mother is in failing health and that I can't effectively assist her. And our cat is in failing health, and we can't help him. Oh, and that G2 has twice too much work to do -- and no relief in sight.

How, exactly, is all this better than what we had in 1979?

04 January 2010

The Octopus

The latest example of Murdoch meddling. If you don't believe that Murdoch, his family, and his associates are hell bent on destroying independence in media in the English-speaking world (for their own exclusive benefit), go buy stock in Sky TV.

In any case, the article alludes to the value that public broadcasting brings to the U.K. Government spending does create positive, tangible benefits that then create additional benefits, sometimes multiplicative, to local, regional, and national economies. Ronnie and Maggie, and their tame economists were wrong. Can we finally acknowledge that and move on, please?