Strong winds and flooding came, not from the storm, but the media
August 27th 2011
Hurricanes can be a real problem. Insular Americans will immediately think of Katrina, and some will even believe that was the worst storm damage in recent memory. Folks in Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba will all beg to differ, having recently taken damage from storms that dwarfed Katrina. And then there is China and Japan, who have their share of war stories.
It’s only a matter of time before a major hurricane hits a major American city squarely, as Katrina did New Orleans, and does at least as much, if not more damage. Not only is this statistically inevitable, but the odds of it happening in any given year increase as global warming makes the likelihood of really big storms greater.
Did an Obama polical hack just give the left an identity?
August 19th 2011
Some guy named Ray Sandoval managed to do Obama more damage the other day then the efforts of the entire GOP over the previous three weeks.
An Obama campaign outrigger posted to New Mexico, Sandoval decided that now was a good time to attack the left for not supporting Obama in the manner to which Sandoval felt Obama was entitled.
He sent an email out defending Obama’s surrender on the debt deal, and condemning what he called the “Firebagger Lefty blogosphere.”
I’m pretty sure ‘firebagger’ isn’t a urban dictionary entry for any pornography terms (although the Internet being what it is, I’m sure we’ll have one in a week). Where the teabaggers screwed up was that none of the people at Faux News who were creating the astroturf movement knew that the term already existed, and had a rather unsavory connotation. It’s on Urban Dictionary if you don’t already know it.
Posted in American Psyche, Politics
Tagged alienate, base, Fire Party, firebagger, left-wingers, liberals, Obama, Tea Party, teabagger, the left
A Stephen King nasty stalks the land
August 16th 2011
Stephen King (the writer, and neither of the two demented right wing politicians of the same name) invented a character in the late 70s called Greg Stillson, in “The Dead Zone”. King already excelled at creating pleasant monsters, and Stillson was one of the most memorable. A fast-rising politician, our introduction to Stillson occurs when he deliberately and coldly kicks a dog to death. The dog, defeated and broken, lifts his head up to lick Stillson’s hand, a gesture of submission. Stillson laughs and resumes kicking. He then drives away, feeling mild guilt and sexual arousal.
The central character/narrator, and by extension the reader, immediately pick up on a sense of wrongness about Stillson, a sense that behind the blow-dried hair and the charming grin lives something truly vile.
He was played, somewhat ironically, by Martin Sheen, who went on to become America’s most beneficent and most-loved pseudo-politician, President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet. In the David Cronenberg movie of the same name Sheen played the personable creep, and was pretty damned scary.
Heigh ho, into the darkness we go!
August 2nd 2011
Right up until the end, I thought Obama was gaming the Republicans. I figured that he was just letting them climb further and further out on a limb with their unreasonable and extortionate demands, and then would suddenly shake their branch, announcing that negotiations were canceled, and to either extend the limit or wreck the economy, and they could put the rest of their demands up to a separate vote.
It turns out that, at best, he was being gamed, and at worst, he was gaming us. He’s either weak, or a liar, or perhaps both. With his capitulation on the debt-limit increase agreement, he has assured himself of being a failed one-term President.
I’ve been comparing him to Neville Chamberlain. That’s a little unfair to Chamberlain, who faced a more horrific and vicious foe, stood to lose more if the negotiations didn’t work out, and didn’t have to sacrifice his own political base in order to do so. Indeed, he returned from the Munich Conference with his bumbershoot, grandly announcing there would be peace in our time, to wildly cheering crowds. He had much more reason to capitulate, but is seen as an class example of weakness and lack of resolve 70 years later.