Saturday, June 12, 2004

Hopsingalong Cassidy : Taoist Texan

Hopsingalong Cassidy : Asian Cowboy

Not that many Asian cowboys anymore. But not to fear! Hopsingalong is here! And he will provide occasional commentary on the current American political shenanigans...for the viewpoint of a Taoist Texan -- of which he is only two.

So I ask him...

ANONYMOSES:
So Hopsingalong. Who do you like in November?
HOPSINGALONG CASSIDY:
I like many people, during many months.
ANONYMOSES:
Well isn't that special...
HOPSINGALONG CASSIDY:
Yes. It is.
ANONYMOSES:
Anything else?
HOPSINGALONG CASSIDY:
Nope. Not today.
ANONYMOSES:
Good. I'm glad.
HOPSINGALONG CASSIDY:
Go.
ANONYMOSES:
Back to you, Dan.
DAN:
Thanks, Anon. Now back to Rupert.
RUPERT:
Thanks Anon. Now back to God.
GOD:
Thanks Rupert. Now back to...
...:
... .... ... ..... .....

Matthew Yglesias: On Social Conservatism



Matthew Yglesias: On Social Conservatism

EXCERPT:
Bush's problem, in other words, isn't that he moved to the right of where Reagan was and thereby lost California (and New Jersey and Connecticut, etc., etc., etc.). Bush's problem is that the bulk of the country is drifting further and further away from the demands of conservative evangelicals. Nowadays, a position that's substantively more moderate comes across as more conservative. The gap between bourgeois (or, perhaps, bobo) morality and evangelical morality is simply growing too large to bridge.

Fafblog: A tribute to the tributes

Fafblog
O Reagan My Reagan: A Tribute to the Tributes
EXCERPT:
This week has been hard on Giblets, with Reagan being dead. I wasn't actually in America per se while he was president, or even while he was cogent. But watching him on television I feel as if I know him as well as any random stranger watching endless tributes and funerary coverage for days on end. That was the magic connectivity of Reagan, you see.

And what more fitting send-off to the president we sometimes knew and all loved than with a week-long mediafest? I am currently fliping between "Reagan: The Legacy," "The Reagan Legacy," "Reagan: The Man, The Legend" and the funeral with the delicious-yet-tasteful pun, "Mourning in America." If I flip superfast I can see caskets on five networks at once!



Republican Election Tendencies: Intimidation, Fraud, and Bribery

Republican Election Tendencies: Intimidation, Fraud, and Bribery

EXCERPT:


At the same time, the Republican returning boards in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina left themselves open to reasonable charges of conflict of interest and even corruption. The members of the boards were appointed state government officials whose self-interests were vested in Republicans retaining control of their states and the White House. Before the enactment of a merit bureaucracy, patronage was the lifeblood of the party system, and this was especially true in the South where Republicans were fighting for their political lives. The returning board in Louisiana rejected over 13,000 Democratic ballots and nearly 2,500 Republican ones, thereby delivering the election to Hayes and the state governorship to the Republican, Stephen Packard.

Outright corruption was even more of a concern than conflict of interest and, in fact, it undermined the notion that the boards were resolutely loyal to their party. The head of Louisiana’s returning board, James Madison Wells, tried to sell the state’s electoral votes locally at a price of $200,000 for each Republican board member, but both parties rejected the corrupt deal. He then sent his associate, Colonel John T. Pickett, to Congressman Abram Hewitt, chairman of the Democratic party, with an offer to sell the votes for $1,000,000. Hewitt and Tilden refused the offer. However, Tilden’s nephew, Colonel William Pelton, did negotiate with Wells and with Republicans in Florida in an attempt to buy an Electoral College victory for his uncle, allegedly without the nominee’s knowledge, even though he lived in his bachelor-uncle’s house. The negotiations lasted too long to produce results, except for a series of incriminating coded telegrams, which were later used as evidence in a Congressional investigation in 1878.


See also Gore Vidal's book, "1876" for fuller development of this recurring anti-democratic practice.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Condensed Reagan Funeral

Condensed Reagan Funeral

Cars, umbrellas, big church, greeter.
Music by Emerson, Lake & Palmer sung by kids and folks in robes.
Talking in microphones. Marge, Mulrooney, George Herbert, Dub, Danforth. Trumpets. World leaders in audience. Lots of canned footage. God-talk. Trumpets. Various other forms of garrish overstatement.

Seriously, the last part, where they marched to coffin out, was among the most beautiful things I have seen and heard. And the speeches were all quite fine.


Virtually every significant problem facing the American people today can be traced back to policies and people from the Reagan administration

Virtually every significant problem facing the American people today can be traced back to policies and people from the Reagan administration

Some lines from the article:

He sold the American people a lemon, and they drive it to this day as if it was a Cadillac.
Mainstream media journalism today is a shameful joke because of Reagan's deregulation policies.
Today, Reagan's old bosses at General Electric own three of the most-watched news channels. This company profits from every war we fight, but somehow is trusted to tell the truths of war.


Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Greg Palast & Bob Weir on O'Franken Factor

Greg Palast & Bob Weir on O'Franken Factor



Greg Palast



Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead

"The Cute One"

During the Floridageddon phase of Amerigeddon, Greg Palast was doing his job. While many other reporters and journalists were licking their wounds on the way to the bank.

Greg joins Al, Katherine and Bob Weir on today's O'Franken Factor.


Monday, June 07, 2004

"If you seek Liberalization, open up this gate" -Ronald Reagan

"If you seek Liberalization, open up this gate" -Ronald Reagan

Transit of Venus - June 8th



Transit of Venus - June 8th

*Thanks to Wilson's Blogmanac for the link/art

Fair and Balanced: The Stupidity of Ronald Reagan - by Christopher Hitchens



Not Even a Hedgehog - The stupidity of Ronald Reagan. By Christopher Hitchens
: "Not Even a Hedgehog
The stupidity of Ronald Reagan.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, June 7, 2004, at 10:03 AM PT "

excerpt:


One could go on. I only saw him once up close, which happened to be when he got a question he didn't like. Was it true that his staff in the 1980 debates had stolen President Carter's briefing book? (They had.) The famously genial grin turned into a rictus of senile fury: I was looking at a cruel and stupid lizard. His reply was that maybe his staff had, and maybe they hadn't, but what about the leak of the Pentagon Papers? Thus, a secret theft of presidential documents was equated with the public disclosure of needful information. This was a man never short of a cheap jibe or the sort of falsehood that would, however laughable, buy him some time.

The fox, as has been pointed out by more than one philosopher, knows many small things, whereas the hedgehog knows one big thing. Ronald Reagan was neither a fox nor a hedgehog. He was as dumb as a stump. He could have had anyone in the world to dinner, any night of the week, but took most of his meals on a White House TV tray. He had no friends, only cronies. His children didn't like him all that much. He met his second wife—the one that you remember—because she needed to get off a Hollywood blacklist and he was the man to see. Year in and year out in Washington, I could not believe that such a man had even been a poor governor of California in a bad year, let alone that such a smart country would put up with such an obvious phony and loon.

Sunday, June 06, 2004