Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Senator Useless Strikes Again

When I read in the newspaper over the weekend that Senator Feinstein had grilled General Hayden in hearings before the Senate Intelligence Committee and expressed displeasure over his proud acknowledgement of having overseen a program that illegally spied on millions of Americans, I just knew in the pit of my stomach that the other shoe was soon to drop.

Yesterday it did. Feinstein not only voted with three other Democrats and all Republicans on the committee to move Hayden's nomination to the Senate floor, she praised him while doing it,
“I voted today in the Senate Intelligence Committee to confirm General Michael Hayden as Director of the CIA. I cast this vote first and foremost because General Hayden is a skilled, experienced intelligence professional whom I respect and trust...I believe General Hayden is the leader and honest broker the CIA needs to regain its footing as the world’s premier spy service and the hub of our nation’s intelligence analysis and research and development capabilities. His commitment to place intelligence professionals in the major executive positions, unlike his predecessor, is important to me, and will be welcomed by the CIA workforce."
"Honest broker," shey says. Yes, I suppose if you disregard that whole disregard for the law thing, he might sorta kinda be seen as an honest broker.

Why the hell does anybody ever vote for this woman?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Downing a Cold One for the Cause

For those of you who don't get around to reading the 15th comment on posts at the Barbarian Blog, it seems that there will be another Barbarian Booze Bash on June 1, this time at Glen Park Station, 2816 Diamond Street in San Francisco. Mags, Generik, Scaramouche, and yours truly, the graying pliable one, will likely be there. You ought to be, too.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The End of the Beginning? No, I think it's the beginning of the end

I caught most of the President's speech tonight on the radio as I was driving home. For once I was able to listen to his drawl without wanting to break a window. I felt this strange calm come over me as it sank in that it didn't matter what he said, what plan he came up with, didn't matter what it was that he wanted the two parties to work together on for the sake of the nation. I almost pitied him as the number 29 kept popping into my head and I pictured a waterfowl limping off into the distant sunset.

And that was before the wingnut blogs formed a circular firing squad.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My Semi-annual Link to the Bucket

It's paragraphs like this that keep me going back to Pops' Bucket everyday...
I spend all day with my kids, who do actually qualify as people, but the things we do together... they just aren't the same as adult interaction. We'll play basketball sometimes, but seeing as how the two at home are an average height of 3'6", it's barely even worth it. I always fucking destroy them, even if it's 2-on-1. They can't get a shot off. And in the end, for one reason or another, they cry like the pussies I've always been afraid they would turn out to be. But look, if you don't get your feet set, it's a blocking foul, not a charge. And if we're going to play contact, we're going to play contact. If you're going to defend in the lane, you have to be ready for that. Otherwise, get the fuck off my court
...and also makes me grateful that I didn't have a blog during my child's formative years.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Star Spanglish Banner

Hmmm, who knew that George Bush is a political whore, willing to change his tune according to which way the political winds are blowing (you know, I probably could have mixed that metaphor even more, but time and space are limited)?

Although George Bush said last week that the Star Spangled Banner ought to only be sung in English, it was performed in Spanish at his first Inaugural and Mr. Bush himself sang the national anthem in Spanish.

Apparently he was for the anthem in Spanish before he was against it.

The Colbert Contretemps

The brouhaha over Stephen Colbert's routine at the White House Correspondents' dinner the other night, specifically the reactions from the press, you know, the people other than the President who Colbert was skewering, go a long way toward re-inforcing Colbert's observations about these people.

To briefly back up, Stephen Colbert mocks people in power and those in the press who misserve us by not doing their job and holding the feet of the people in power to the fire. He did that on the Daily Show and he does it on the Colbert Report. It is what made him prominent. To expect him to do something else in his routine Saturday night would be, well, insane. Anyway, that's what he did Saturday night. And the press has been responding since then with two attacks; his routine wasn't funny and it was disrespectful of the President. As for the first, well, that's in the ear of the beholder. If you think Colbert is funny, the routine was funny. If people don't find Colbert funny, he shouldn't have been invited. It was also cutting. Again, that's what he does. Was it disrespectful of the President? I suppose it was if you believe that the President of the United States should get to speak to only hand picked audiences of supporters and live in an environment where bad news is filtered or completely disallowed. It's interesting that Colbert's routine has been compared to the funeral of Coretta Scott King, another instance where Bush found himself sitting stonefaced while people who aren't his usual stable of fluffers told him what they really think of him. The outcry then was similar. How dare people stand up at the funeral of a noted liberal and civil rights activist and say things that, no matter how indirectly, conflicted with the world view of a president who has done all he could over the last five+ years to undo the legacy of Ms. King. It reminded me of the first Kerry-Bush debate; the look on Bush's face as Kerry, right there in front of him, criticized how he'd run the country for four years. It was outrage and shock that anybody would dare talk to or about him in that way.

That's what the press's reaction to Saturday night is all about. The President is outraged and shocked when people talk about him like that in his presence because the press never does. The President is infamous for his temper and churlishness and he had cowed these people. Their professional lives depend on access to the President and his lieutenants and they'll do nothing to jeopardize that access. Usually that means that they'll do nothing meaningful with that access. Colbert is not of their society. It's his job to make fun of the President and his fluffers in the press. He doesn't need these people to continue to do his job.* His willingness to stand in front of the President and hold up a mirror highlights the Washington press's inadequacy. They know it, and that's why they're after Colbert now. It's not that he showed disrespect to the President and it's not his to-the-bone cuts at the press itself that's got them in a tither. It's that he, as Jon Stewart does, does their job better than they do and they are understandably sensitive about this.

Ironically, he probably won't suffer for it. These people, in the government and the press, are such whores for face time that they'll continue to jump at the chance to be on his show.

*It's interesting that a lot of the wingnut bloggers feel compelled to mention that they've either never heard of or they've heard of but never seen Colbert, then they go on to predict the dire consequences his performance will have on his career. How are they qualified to speculate on the career of someone when they've just pronounced their ignorance of that career? Does it really not occur to them, are they that isolated in their parents' basements that they don't realize that there are millions of people who disagree with them, who know of and laugh at Colbert, who found the routine funny and can and will continue to support Colbert's career?
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