Friday, November 26, 2010

Headlines - Friday November 25

Interview on the Daily Beast with Taibbi;
Our American conservative idiots have to weigh in on the tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Of course, their answer to everything is to start another war. I guess they didn't learn from the Chinese response to MacArthur crossing the Yalu (that's right, history isn't one of their strong suits).


Instapundit: "If they start anything, I say nuke 'em. And not with just a few bombs." In a November 23 post on Instapundit, blogger Glenn Reynolds wrote that if the North Korean military were to "start anything," the US should "nuke 'em." Reynolds went on to say that a nuclear attack on North Korea "would be a useful lesson for Iran, too." From the post: [em in orig]

If they think the Chinese won't come to North Korea's aid should American troops (or aircraft, or ships) cross the 38th Parallel, they're just as misguided as MacArthur was. North Korea is China's buffer with the West, much as the Eastern Bloc was for the Soviets. They won't let us, or the South Koreans, approach their border. If they think the Chinese wouldn't respond to a nuclear detonation spitting distance from their border, they're smoking something really good.

Like their adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, should the conservatives dictate Korea policy, the best case would be a protracted, drawn out war like the other two. North Korea might have a half-fed, mostly broken down army, but backed up by a million Chinese it's a whole different story (and just for perspective, you can see the lights of Seoul from the DMZ at night; think about the casualties). Like I've said since the latest hostilities began, this could get real ugly, real quick, especially if the conservatives have anything to say about it.

Sam Stein reports on Sarah Palin's latest dig against Michelle Obama, and has this bit of analysis:

That the former Alaska Governor thinks the president's family members are fair game is now obvious. But the apparent glee she takes in attacking the first lady remains surprising, at least politically. Among the deficits in public opinion that Palin suffers are pretty harsh favorability ratings among female voters. Going after the first lady (who remains relatively beloved by voters) doesn't help that matter. Doing it over something as benign as trying to help children fight obesity seems confused.

This is a standard beltway political analysis, and it reflects a basic misunderstanding of Palin's strategy in general, and specifically why Palin doesn't give a shit about Michelle Obama's gender or popularity.

Palin's goal is to mobilize a base of Fox-watching, resentment-driven primary voters. These people are mainly white and male, and they do not like Michelle Obama. Palin's characterization of Michelle Obama as an elite black woman who thinks she knows better just stirs the pot of resentment that Palin thinks will drive her primary victories. In the eyes of the typical Palin primary voter, Mrs. Obama's anti-obesity program is in no way "benign"—it's another example of that uppity Princeton-educated black ballbuster thinking she knows better than real Americans.

Second, if Palin does get the nomination, she'll be a weak candidate with little or no positive agenda. So, she'll have to attack Michelle and Barack Obama, Sasha, Malia and Bo, repeatedly and without regard to their poll numbers. She will run a constant Twitter and Facebook attack machine with the goal of making Obama look weak if he doesn't respond, but also making him look like he's picking on her and her family if he does. Her strategy for attracting women voters will be to make Obama look like he isn't tough enough to defend his wife and family, and then to make him look like a jerk for attacking poor defenseless Sarah.

Palin will be able to pursue this strategy in large part because she won't be subject to the same media rules as her primary or general opponents. The mainstream media dutifully reports her every tweet but is unable to question her directly on the horseshit that she spews. My guess is that she won't travel with any press but Fox and associated friendly outlets. She's shown a basic capability of participating in a debate and not making a complete ass of herself, if she's prepped correctly, so she'll probably outperform the low expectations that will accompany that little ritual.

My point isn't that she's unstoppable, just that the campaign analysis in the mold of Teddy White and Jack Germond isn't the way to understand the Palin project. She isn't part of that system, and she doesn't play by its rules.


United States Concerned Over WikiLeaks Plan to Release More Truth

BooMan has some advice for President Obama in dealing with the Republicans.

Money quote: a certain point you have to knock off the happy talk about how we can solve our problems if we just talk to each other. These idiots think you're a Muslim who isn't even an American citizen. They think you're pushing some Leninist agenda. They're cuckoo for cocoa puffs. And those who aren't are perfectly content to pretend that they are. I am not saying you should accuse them all of doing six months in Chino for exposing themselves to eight year-olds, but it might not be the worst idea. The truth doesn't matter anymore, and you'd probably be half-right with a bunch of these kooks.

Adolescents are tough. "Three teenage boys have been found alive after being lost in their boat in the Pacific Ocean for 50 days. The boys, from the Tokelau Islands, a New Zealand-administered territory in the South Pacific, had been given up for dead after an unsuccessful search. A tuna fishing boat picked them up near Fiji and is taking them to hospital for treatment for severe sunburn. The boys survived on coconuts, water they trapped on a tarpaulin and a seabird they managed to catch."


It's been obvious for decades, but a new study confirms the flip side of coal's economic destructiveness: Turning away from coal will grow a strong, sustainable economy.

From the Herald:

Weaning Kentucky from its overwhelming dependence on coal-generated electricity offers economic opportunities and job growth, according to a new report from the Berea-based Mountain Association for Community Economic Development.

The 21-page report, Building Clean Energy Careers in Kentucky, says the state can create middle-skill jobs - those that require more than a high school degree but less than a college diploma - in fields such as making homes and factories more energy-efficient, manufacturing components for energy-efficiency systems and creating renewable energy.

Diversifying the state's energy sources also would help offset what is expected to be increased costs associated with mining and burning coal, according to the report, which was written by Kristin Tracz and Jason Bailey.

Read the whole thing.

No more excuses, Kentucky. Coal kills everything: miners, families, communities, jobs, mountains, forests, clear skies and clean drinking water.

Turn away now, before we lose our last chance for sustainable energy in a strong economy.


Worst Persons in the World

Rush Limbaugh owns this category of blog posts. Today, it's for this.

In his Thanksgiving address, President Obama said:

"This Thanksgiving Day, we reflect on the compassion and contributions of Native Americans, whose skill in agriculture helped the early colonists survive, and whose rich culture continues to add to our Nation's heritage."

And Limbaugh responded:

" their casinos and on their reservations,"

As if this wasn't insulting enough, Limbaugh continued:

"So, we were the invaders," complained Limbaugh. "We were incompetent idiots. We didn't know how to feed ourselves so they came along and showed us how and that's what Thanksgiving is all about." [...]

"Every cliche that is wrong about Thanksgiving shows up in his proclamation: The Pilgrims showed up at Plymouth. The Indians have been their for thousands of years. We get off the boats. We don't know how to feed ourselves. The Indians show us how," he explained.

Yeah. And...?


Let's give thanks that GOP tribe was not at first Thanksgiving

"Forget sitting down together, Mr. Bradford. Our top priority is that you become a one-term governor of Plymouth colony. But in the meantime, we want no infrastructure spending on path clearing, permanent tax credits for our chiefs with the most animal skins, and no regulation of corn derivatives."


Actor Mark Ruffalo put on terror watch list for anti-drilling activism.


Tom Delay's next stop: 'Laundering' laundry


Nothing better describes this arrogant, little dick than the time back in 2003 when a D.C. waitress asked him to put out his cigar in a restaurant because it was against federal law. DeLay told her, "I am the Federal Government."

The question now is how soon the right-wing finds a way to link the court verdict back to Obama and his evil librul cohorts.


You may disagree w/the order, and that some have been left off, but you'll love salon's top 30 political hacks.


Non-Decision Points

The essence of George Packer's elegant review of George W. Bush's memoir:

The structure of "Decision Points" ... reveals the essential qualities of the Decider. There are hardly any decision points at all. The path to each decision is so short and irresistible, more like an electric pulse than like a weighing of options, that the reader is hard-pressed to explain what happened. Suddenly, it's over, and there's no looking back. ...

In Bush's telling, the non-decision decision is a constant feature of his Presidential policymaking. ...

Here is another feature of the non-decision: once his own belief became known to him, Bush immediately caricatured opposing views and impugned the motives of those who held them. If there was an honest and legitimate argument on the other side, then the President would have to defend his non-decision, taking it out of the redoubt of personal belief and into the messy empirical realm of contingency and uncertainty.

Brilliant stuff.


No comments: