Whiskey Fire

Tax Cuts Killed California

Once upon a time, there was a Golden State which had the arguably the best public schools and the best public higher education system of state colleges and universities. People longed to move there for its natural beauty, its climate, its good schools, its many jobs in the entertainment, defense and high tech industries, etc. Was it a perfect state? Far from it, but it did seem to be the place everyone wanted to be -- once upon a time.

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A Very Wingnutty Christmas from Chuck Norris

Here comes Chucky Norris, here comes Chucky Norris, right down Chucky Norris Lane.

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Conservative Blogger Really Wishes He Were More Important

Remember the other day when you were mumbling/texting/Twitterfying to yourself, "Hey, it's today!  What stupid thing could Erick Erickson possibly have to say to us?" and you sat there and waited and nobody raised their hand so you thought, "Hmmm, maybe he didn't say anything stupid today."?  Not so fast, Brain-o!

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Jonah Goldberg Blames Liberals for Birther Conspiracy

So now we know who's behind the Obama birther conspiracy: Barack Hussein Obama, of course. Or at least so Jonah Goldberg informs us. It is all a sinister plot, you see, to "tar Republicans as extremists."  Because only a sinister plot could ever possibly make Republicans look like extremists.

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More Muddled Right-Wing Thinking About Race

I suspect the difficulty the GOP is having with race is twofold. First, they are committed to loudly asserting that nobody should ever "see" race, except for when this is to the advantage of white people. Second, they're idiots.

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Racism on November 4th?

Molly was kind enough recently to share a heartwarming story with me relayed to her by two dedicated volunteers going door to door to get out the vote. The lady of the house answered the door and was cordial to the campaign workers. When they asked her who she thought she would vote for in the upcoming presidential elections she yelled back in to her husband to inquire who they were voting for. This piece alone intrigues me as I cannot imagine my spouse ever deferring to me in this manner, nor do I think she should just for the record. At any rate, the reply came immediately from within, "We're voting for the n-----". The woman unfazed by this answer repeated it to the campaign workers "We're voting for the n-----".  (I pause here for dramatic effect...where to begin parsing this oddity.)

To begin with, I am shocked that the woman used the same language as her husband, apparently without any sort of embarrassment. My spouse, a much more cultivated person than myself, spends a large portion of her life covering my lack of social graces and attempting to refine the few I have. It also strikes one as odd that folks who would choose this particular descriptor of our fellow African-American citizens would also think it prudent to vote for Obama for president. The two behaviors seem at odds and represent to me the reason I find joy in going to work every day with people. They can always suprise you. The possibilities are never less than infinite. I am heartened by the prospect of individuals with enough insight to recognize that despite their own feelings about race, Obama could serve their interests. This is progress in some fashion. As opposed to the working/middle class folks voting republican, because of issues such as abortion, while many republican policies are decimating them economically.

Maureen Dowd Embarrasses Herself with Clinton/Palin Piece

Well, after the tongue-bath Joe Biden gave McCain's wrinkled ass the other day, I have no qualms about saying what I think has been obvious to a lot of people: I believe it really would have been better for the party and the country if Obama had chosen Hillary Clinton for VP. Aside from thumbing your nose at 18 million voters—the vast majority of whom will vote for you anyway, but less enthusiastically—I was assured that the Biden pick was great because he had foreign policy experience and was a pit bull who would face down any and all negative campaigning. But he took the first week of Palin-mania to cuddle up to McCain. As I understand it, that's what pit bulls do to their owners, not those who pose threats to their owners. Whatever. How are all those bankruptcies going?

More dismayingly, it has freed Maureen Dowd to invent another in her line of patented Bullshit Scenariosâ„¢ between Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, in an imaginary 2012 where these voracious women have dispatched the men who helped them get into office and are now head-to-head. She dubs them "the gun-toting hockey mom and the shot-swilling Warrior Queen of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits" (the comparative number of adjectives tells you where her oatmeal-sharp wit really wants to sink its blade, of course). Dowd can't give up the idea that she and she alone recognizes the dark underside of the junior Senator from New York, and she tries hard not to reveal that, despite the fact that Palin is certifiably insane about science, a retrograde cultural throwback, proudly ignorant red meat for the christianist base, and violent and heavily armed in the bargain, she "gets" it. And for that, MoDo reluctantly admires her:

Is There a Case for Vice President Clinton?

I can think of lots of reasons why Obama should or should not pick Hillary for VP. Lots of reasons based on politics, policy, temperament, history -- serious stuff, I mean.

And all that is valid. And actually I think medium or even long term, it's probably a terrible idea.

However, if Obama did pick Hillary, there would be such a "story" there that it would drown out everything else through its sheer awesome drama, and would thus seal a Dem victory. Oy, what a story! The pitches just write themselves.

You know, a short term victory that gets you the Presidency of the US, and the first woman Vice President ever... not so bad, as far as incentives go. Oscar Wilde's observations about temptation are worth reference in this regard.

Just saying.

Chuck Norris Goes on the War Path for Red States

Chuck Norris is mad, hoppingly so, and is not afraid to use extra punctuation marks to express his rage.

If members of Congress are not relevant or improving Americans' lives, why do we elect and re-elect them into office?!

His answer to this interrogative exclamation is Grandpa Simpsonesque in its elegance: There are too many members of the House of Representatives. Please eliminate 385.

You see, the problem is, the current arrangement is bigoted against states where there aren't a lot of people, but what people that live there happen to be conservatives. Let us examine this thesis closely, as it is, in its own way, astonishing.

If you ever have heard the saying "too many cooks in the kitchen," then you know how I feel about Congress.

What about the saying "too many cooks spoil the broth"? You know, the actual one?

We have more representatives than we need and even many more than the Constitution requires. What many might not realize is that there is nothing ultimately sacred about the present number of people we have in the House of Representatives. Actually, the proper number of representatives from each state has been debated since our Founders' time. The Constitution endeavors to assure fairness and equity by requiring each state to have at least one representative, two senators and representation in the Electoral College. (At the other extreme, it states, "The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand.") So why not go with the fewest number allowed? It seems to me that in our day, in both House and Senate, fewer representatives by area would be more reasonable and effective than more representatives by population.

It is perhaps true that Chuck Norris knows how to kick people in an expert fashion, but that notwithstanding, he seems to be somewhat confused as to the actual purpose of The People's House, which some scholars hold is to, uh, represent the people by population. In this sense it is distinct from the Senate. However, in regards to the final sentence of the foregoing, I agree that we really ought to send fewer Representatives to the Senate, as that particular practice is confusing for everyone involved.

The current numbers in the House are stacked in discriminatory ways. For example, California has a large liberal voice with its 53 representatives. How fair is that for smaller, more conservative states that have between one and five representatives in the House?

Maureen Dowd Drags Down the Discourse

You know that moment, at the end of A Streetcar Named Desire, when Blanche goes completely off the rails and has to be dragged of to the loony bin? I have a feeling Maureen Dowd is about to learn how to depend on the kindness of strangers.

It's been a little disturbing, watching her bounce around these last few months, but today, she loses it completely, framing an imaginary debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in which each of them, well, talks to the other like they're MoDo.

It's disturbing and a little concerning to see Maureen's rich fantasy life so fully on display, with Hillary calling Obama "Twiggy," "rookie," "Skeletor," and "Bones," accusing him of fake eating, and promising to lock Bill in Dick Cheney's bunker if she's made VP.

Obama, for his part, calls her "Sweetie" and a stalker, accuses her of floating "White Fright," says the Clintons are "too much drama" and Bill is "off-the-charts crazy," and, most predictably of all, asks her, "Can you stop talking, Hillary? Is that even possible?" Wow, talk about pulling out your old chestnuts: HRC is now the Wife of Bath.

And it's not Maureen saying it: it's the candidates themselves! So you know this what they're really thinking!

My main beef with MoDo is and has always been a sort of terminal shallowness which unfortunately fails to find bottom. Just when you think she can't possibly sink lower, she finds some scrap of text scribbled on a piece of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of her Ferragamos and finds a way to work it in.

As the front page of Maureen's own paper shows, Obama's got it more or less locked at this point, but Clinton's strong showing cannot and should not be discounted. Dems have a couple weeks worth of work to do healing divisions, but in the end, it will be fine. I have never believed, and still don't, that Obama voters would refuse to vote for HRC or vice versa: people are not that stupid. We know what this is about, and here's a few hints for you, Maureen:

How Can Government Mind Manipulation Be Bad?

Over at Winds of Change, noted Internets savant Armed Liberal explains that people who dislike propaganda are great big sillyheads:

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The Established Pundit Class Is Worthless

Juan Williams is an asshole. You knew that already, but listen to this shit, where he explains that Obama is wrong to complain about the absurd and disgusting trashing of the national discourse into "gotcha" garbage.

What kills me about this line of defense, the one we get from Williams, and then from George, is how quick these media geniuses are to absolve themselves of any responsibility whatsoever for how the nation perceives politics. George:

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Maureen Dowd Begins An Offensive On Obama

Maureen Dowd starts today's outing with the least convincing line ever: "I'm not bitter."

Wow. Is she kidding? Dowd is so bitter she uses alum in place of talcum powder. She's so bitter you could put her into a champagne cocktail. (Which she would probably like just fine, come to think of it.) She's put more bunnies into more pots of boiling water than Jacques Pepin on a hasenpfeffer bender. She's so bitter...

Okay, I could go on like that for days, but you get the point. At least she finally admits what we have known for years: despite her almost accidental distaste for the president, she's a Republican at heart.

Shorter Dowd: "I became a Republican because those mean Democrats made me feel bad for being a rich racist."

But of course, she doesn't say that. Instead, it's "My family morphed from Kennedy Democrats into Reagan Republicans not because they were angry, but because they felt more comfortable with conservative values." And she makes sure to squeeze church, bowling, and immigration in there, just to be sure. (Not quite sure how the fuck-me pumps, married men, and feng shui fit into this universe, however.)