Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On The Internets 09.14.2010

  • You know when the "architects" of the Iraq War sold their scheme to the American people, they couched it behind all sorts of freedom-y rhetoric and shamelessly tried to tie Iraq to 9/11. Another selling point used was to say that the war would "pay for itself" as Iraqi oil money would cover the bills. Turns out, that money just covers their bills. A new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows that Iraq is set to post a massive budget surplus this year. The report suggests that "'Congress may wish to consider Iraq's available financial resources' when reviewing future funding requests to support the Iraqi security forces". Yeah, you think? This three trillion (with a T) dollar boondoggle needs to end financially as well. It's time for the US to invest in the US. No more schools and training for Iraq on our dime while we are firing teachers and our infrastructure is crumbling.
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has a long history of inflammatory remarks and offensive statements about political opponents. But his new tactic against President Obama has crossed into racism and tribalism, and is among the most offensive concepts in US political history. While speaking to National Review, Gingrich extensively referenced an article (published in Forbes, written by Dinesh D'Souza and arguing that Obama's politics are steeped in anti-colonial Kenyan thinking and more akin to an African tribesman than an American) that is so racist and filled with pseudo-intellectual gobble-di-gook that most people with an IQ above 70 would dismiss it out of hand. Not Newt, though. He has to out-crazy Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, after all, so he took it a step further. "'What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together' his actions?" Yes, he seriously said that (notice how he got the Kenyan thing in there). Barack Obama is the epitome of the American dream. He rose from humble beginnings, got a first-rate education, worked hard, and rose all the way to become President of the United States. Nice story, right? Yes, but the right has always assumed it has ownership of the "American dream" and whenever someone not of their political persuasion perfectly exemplifies it, the only option is to tear him down. This is exactly what D'Souza and Gingrich are doing with this racist smear masquerading as an article. Why can't Obama's opponents just criticize his polices rather than trying to uncover some secret, dangerous, foreign, anti-American element that has infected his psyche. It is beyond stupid, and shows a very weak intellect among the critics. He thinks differently than a far-right conservative. How is that news? How is that un-American or anti-American? This kind of pseudo-intellectual exploration into secret, subversive behavior or motivations is pretty much unique to this president. I don't remember any wignut critics wondering if Jimmy Carter's time spent working on the farm made him a secret proxy for Cesar Chavez, and wondering if he really wanted to bring down the country? It is maddening. Mary Curtis at Politics Daily has a nice summation, "If President Obama's opponents would stick to opposing his policies -- from health care to tax cuts -- it wouldn't be problematic, just politics. But since he took office, loud voices have attacked Obama the human being, the sincerity of his motives and his very character. Critics have purported to bore into the brain of this husband and father of two -- who even has a great relationship with his mother-in-law, for goodness' sake -- to discover something sinister. D'Souza's latest book title, 'The Roots of Obama's Rage,' says it all. Calm down and consider the sometimes criticized, even-keeled demeanor of the commander-in-chief; Al Roker is better suited to the role of 'angry black man.'" So true.
  • There is no love lost between myself and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In my opinion, he has been a poor leader who is too quick to compromise with the Republicans. He also gives away his entire strategy before any negotiations have begun, and allows the "promise" of a filibuster to substitute for an actual filibuster (he should have called the GOP's bluff a number of times). If it weren't for the fact that his opponent in Nevada is a certifiable lunatic, I really wouldn't care if he lost his seat. Here's another example of why. Today, he spent time communicating (via Twitter) with Lady Gaga, and he promised her a vote on Don't Ask Don't Tell next week. WTF?! I support an end to DADT, but I don't support the US Senate being led around by some here today/gone later today pop star who wears bikinis made of raw meat! Really, Harry? Is this what you think gets young people to vote for you? Puh-lease.
  • Without even playing a single US tour date, Faith No More has stated that its brief reunion will end for good after a show this December in Chile. Keyboardist Roddy Bottum wanted to do another album, but knew it was not meant to be, "When we decided to get together, it was to reconnect and relive something we had in common. It was very important to us – but doing these shows was the only thing we were going to do."
  • Count this concert among the many reasons why I would love to live in San Francisco. Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe will be performing each other's songs for two sets in one night. Calling the show, Costello Sings Lowe / Nick Sings Elvis, the pair will play at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall on Friday, October 1.
  • I think it is more than plausible to assume that the reason Bill Maher has never won an Emmy (despite being nominated 22 times for two different shows and two stand-up specials) is because of his outspoken views on religion and his personal atheism. Maher definitely feels this way, "A panel of like 10 people watches one tape. If half of those people are religious, that probably eliminates me right there. A lot of people wouldn't vote for such an outspoken atheist, someone who made 'Religulous.'" Maher was on Jay Leno last night along with Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars!), the video is below. He was his usual, outspoken self. It was also just announced that he is performing for the first time in Omaha, October 24, at Orpheum Theater.

  • Indie power-pop band The New Pornographers (whose music has nothing to do with pornography) are having the plug pulled on its planned Oct 15 show at a Christian college in Michigan. Calvin College canceled the show and issued a press release that reads in part, "After weeks of discussion and consideration, the irony of the band's name was impossible to explain to many. The band's name, to some, is mistakenly associated with pornography. Consequently, Calvin, to some, was mistakenly associated with pornography. Neither the college nor the band endorses pornography." I guess my question is why a Christian college would have booked the band in the first place.


T. Paine said...

If Maher was simply an atheist, I wouldn't care. He is rather an anti-theist who wishes to try and tear down everyone elses sacred beliefs.

Years ago I found him to be amusing. Now he has devolved to a foul and pompous self-important windbag. He ought to run for some political office on the Democratic ticket accordingly. ;)

Dave Splash said...

Well, I love the guy. I think he has a razor sharp intellect and wit, and he is an equal opportunity critic. He has been very critical of Pres. Obama, and has been very good at calling out all of the hypocrisy on the right. I can't wait until the new season of the show starts this Friday.