Fed up with politics? Me too.
From a TED lecture, John Hodgman rambles hilariously through a nonsensical tale about aliens, physics, lost time, space, sex pyramids, sandworms and how all of these disparate things “somehow contribute to a sweet, perfect memory of falling in love.”
An advocate for Proposition 8 on the California ballot — an initiative that would outlaw SSM — here draws a convoluted parallel between Hitler and gays. It’s an argument that’s entirely beyond stupid (not to mention highly inappropriate when considering historical realities), but nevertheless it gets rousing support of the crowd in attendance.
I tuned out most of last night’s Obama “infomercial” but did watch Clinton’s passionate endorsement. Whether you agree or disagree with him for whatever reason (and there are plenty), it can’t be denied that he’s a superlative speaker and gifted politician.
Olbermann on the fraudulence of “Joe the Plumber” and his extended 15 minutes of fame.
What? Doesn’t every “middle-class” Joe six-pack (or for that matter Phil the Bricklayer, Rose the Teacher, Tom the Carpenter, Tito the Builder, et. al.) have a publicist?
Update: How Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth is an Ungrateful Rogue. (Videos work for Americans only — stupid CRTC. Everyone else has to go here.)
Sad to say, but it’s come down to this…
I have to confess that I share Christopher Hitchens’ sentiment to an extent regarding the “Brights movement” as being a rather silly, risible concept, but when something as utterly loathsome as this advertisement surfaces… then it make me reconsider and think that it might not be such an altogether bad idea after all.
This is really the most shameless and despicable kind of bigotry and a sign of complete desperation on the part of down-ticket Republicans like embattled North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole, who’s frantically trying to retain her seat, but apparently, is so totally bereft of anything remotely positive to offer voters that she’s dredging the gutter in an attempt to mobilize the religious right by appealing to their presumed fear and hatred of atheists.
Oh, and by the way… almost everything in this ad is false and misleading, even to the extent that the statement “voiced” by Democratic candidate Kay Hagan is actually a track laid on by an actor — she never said what’s being attributed to her. In fact, she’s a Presbyterian elder.
Is it any wonder than people like this support McCain-Palin?
Clearly, there’s some kind of atavistic appeal at work here that scrapes directly from the very bottom of the barrel.
“You need gloves to touch him.” — Child of Palin supporter
Now cast your mind waaaay back to two weeks ago and look at this:
And the answer to Lawrence O’Donnell’s quandary? “Joe the Plumber”
Another of the sad, semi-hilarious TPM “Day in 100 Seconds” montage videos:
Meanwhile, The Times carries on its curious feature whereby “a panel of experts” has ranked all of the past Commanders-in-Chief. Yesterday, it started with the “10 worst presidents to have held office” and has now moved on to the “men in the mediocre middle.” I wonder where they could possibly be leading…
The introspection continues…
In related news… Frank McKenna has begged off running in any forthcoming leadership race, citing a “longer time commitment” than he’s prepared to make at age 60 to what he feels would be needed in order to “repristinate” the LPC.
Update: But here’s something that looks rather promising.
Update2: “There’s no air of excitement.” — Ipsos pollster. Duh.
While I happened to be stopping by the Hoover Institution site the other night, I ran across this video concerning a new book by Amity Shlaes (syndicated columnist for Bloomberg and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations) that challenges what many people assuredly think they know about the Great Depression from received wisdom — i.e., that it occurred because of a systemic breakdown in capitalism and that it ended because FDR, and government in general, came to the rescue.
I love alternative interpretations like this that just completely upend the “official” version of history as it’s retailed to us through the media, generally taught in schools and otherwise widely disseminated.
Given the present economic crisis, maybe it would be a good thing to study up on this subject in more depth (that is, beyond John Hodgman’s entirely counterfactual account and the hundreds of wonderfully evocative fantasy hobo names he generated as one of his supposed “areas of expertise”…). Ironically perhaps, the new Fed chairman Ben Bernanke has focused much of his scholarly work in the past on the economic and political causes of the Great Depression.
According to Shlaes, it was “the government” that exacerbated problems associated with the Great Depression and made them even worse. Moreover, she contends that this opened the door to FDR’s “progressivism” that… according to her intractably convoluted logic has led us right back to square one.