Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Point of Clarification

A note to conservatives: when states legalize gay marriage or civil unions, it does not mean that you (or any of your loved ones) have to personally engage in gay sex or marriage, witness gay marriages or sex, subsidize gay sex or marriages, have your church or other religious institution support gay sex or marriage, contemplate gay sex or gay marriage, or otherwise involve yourself in any way with anything related in any way to gay sex or gay marriage. I point this out because the only explanation I can come up with for the conservative histrionics I’ve heard on this subject is that conservative are suffering from one of these misconceptions.

AB

UPDATE: This, at least, is a positive step.

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Surely the Next Tom DeLay

Who? Why Paul Kelly Tripplehorn, Jr., of course, for he is apparently much better than you. Assuming this story is true (which it likely is since it comes from Roll Call, a reliable source for Capitol Hill goings on–subscription required, but see the teaser here), it provides a deeply disturbing, yet highly amusing, peek into the soul of a Republican intern (Link via Ted Barlow).

It seems that Mr. Tripplehorn the II (I suppose that’s six horns?), until recently an intern to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), sent an email–in what I sincerely hope was an exceptionally drunken state–to another intern with whom he had some sort of relationship. Horn3II’s email closes with this:

Once again from your intellectual, moral, social, and emotional superior,
Paul Kelly Tripplehorn, Jr.

But there’s much more, including his ruminations on the social merits of owning a house in Aspen, “hipocrits”, the presumably meritocratic value of ones parents having influential friends, and how those at the top of the ladder view those on the lower rungs (hint: “I [Horn3II] am at the top and people like me hate people like you”).

AB

UPDATE: More Young Republicans Gone Wild here.

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Tom Tomorrow Today

His latest book of hilarious yet scary comics is out now (conveniently available via the link to the right). Note that it’s a greatest hits collection, so if you own every other Tom Tomorrow book, it might be redundant.

AB

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Rick Santorum Must be Outraged

They say that Dog Bites Man is not newsworthy; Man Bites Dog, on the other hand, is news because it’s unlikely and unexpected. Well this essay (titled “‘Conservative’ Bush Spends More than ‘Liberal’ Presidents Clinton, Carter”) from the libertarian Cato Institute falls into the category of man and dog doing something that keeps Ricky S. awake at night. (Link via Atrios).

AB

UPDATE: It’s nice to have Atrios back and in full effect. He also bring us this great quote from Nobel Prize Winner (and all-around genious) George Akerloff:

“I think this is the worst government the US has ever had in its more than 200 years of history. It has engaged in extradordinarily irresponsible policies not only in foreign policy and economics but also in social and environmental policy…This is not normal government policy. Now is the time for (American) people to engage in civil disobedience. I think it’s time to protest – as much as possible.”

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Rice Watch Day 11

Or should it be Cheney-watch? Via Matt Yglesias, I find this story in Slate’s Chatterbox. The title of Noah’s piece is somewhat misleading: Did Condi Give the Game Away? Her Yellowcakegate alibi doesn’t add up, because Noah’s real target is not Rice, but Dick Cheney. Why Cheney?

Tenet knew that his complaint [about the unreliability of the African Uranium story] was not a command and that somebody at the White House still needed convincing. But who would have the standing to tell the CIA director to go jump in the lake? Surely not Fall Guy No. 2, the National Security Council’s nonproliferation expert, Robert Joseph. Surely not Fall Guy No. 3, the NSC’s deputy, Steve Hadley. And surely not even Fall Person No. 4, Condi Rice.

By application of the Wobble Method, Noah concludes that Cheney is responsible. But the Rice Watch will continue. Bush can’t fire Cheney, and Cheney resigning to pursue other interests is simply not even a remote possibility. So let’s suppose thet Noah is right and that Cheney insisted on knowingly citing questionable intelligence in the SOTU for the sole purpose of bolstering the case for war. If the pressure on Cheney turns up, Rice will be the perfect scapegoat, regardless of whether she, or Cheney, is truly to blame.

AB

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Good News, Right?

On the wire: “The Labor Department reported the nation’s unemployment rate declined to 6.2 percent in July from 6.4 percent in the previous month.” But before you get excited, read the next sentence:

The figure was slightly better than analysts’ estimates, but much of the drop came from 470,000 disenchanted people who abandoned job searches.

Remember that the unemployment rate is computed as

(# people actively seeking work)/(#people in the labor force),

so when would-be workers get discouraged and stop looking for a job, they are not counted as part of the labor force and the measured unemployment rate falls.

AB

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Rice Watch Day 10

It looks like the heat on Rice is easing up a bit, but the watch endures. In large part, this is because reporters aren’t asking the Administration questions like the one Bob Somerby suggests:

Mr. President, we have been told that Dr. Condoleezza Rice did not read last October’s National Intelligence Estimate and therefore did not know that the State Department doubted the claim that Iraq sought uranium in Africa. We’re also told that she didn’t read CIA memos on this subject. Are you concerned when your National Security Adviser is so poorly informed on such a subject? And do you now believe what you said in your State of the Union—that Saddam Hussein “recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa?”

AB

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Wish I’d Said That

Digby on the DLC trashing Dean:

“The Internet may be giving angry, protest-oriented activists the rope they need to hang the party,” wrote Randolph Court in the DLC’s bimonthly newsletter, The New Democrat Blueprint.

Digby: I sure wish that the Republicans had believed that about talk radio because then we’d hold both houses of congress, the presidency and the courts today.

There’s a lot more on the DLC, and it’s well worth taking the time to read. And while you’re there, be sure to read the four posts after/above the one I linked.

AB

Here’s another paragraph (same post) that I wish I’d written:

It seems that by the DLC’s calculation, the “far left” doesn’t consist of Green party members or anti-globalization protestors or radical groups like Earth First and Peta. According to them, middle aged, middle class Democrats like me who enthusiastically backed charter DLC favorite sons Clinton and Gore in 3 successive presidential elections, supported the wars in Kosovo and in Afghanistan, aren’t fond of bureaucrats whether they work for government or the corporations, respect the need to curb long term deficit spending and come down on the side of the CATO institute as much as the ACLU when it comes to civil liberties…are now “far left.”

(Uh…Viva Che!)

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