The Why and Wherefore

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

What, you don’t think the New Yorker is performing responsible journalism by portraying the Obamas as terrorist-fist-jabbing, Osama-loving Muslims?

On one hand, studies show that even mentioning rumors long enough to debunk them only feeds the flames; readers may or may not remember the refutation, but every mention of the rumor, even to refute it, will keep it in their heads. So there’s a legit argument to be made that JimBob in Mississippi is going to show this cover to his buddies and go, “See? Even a liberal publication like the New Yorker thinks Obama is a terrorist.” As Slate puts it,

The source of all of this injury is not daring exposé or cutting criticism by a New Yorker writer but one of “them damned pictures”—to quote Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall, who bled pints every time he was poked by Thomas Nast‘s pen. “I don’t care so much what the papers say about me,” Tweed said of Nast’s work. “My constituents can’t read. But, damn it, they can see pictures!”

On the other hand, since when does JimBob even see the New Yorker, much less read it? Or even know what it is, except as a member of Bill O’Reilly’s Enemies List? Read the rest of this entry »

My mom got another one of those fact-free email forwards about ANWR drilling and why the Evil Socialist Liberals are conspiring to keep gas prices high because, you know, they hate freedom. She asked me to put something together to send back.

So naturally, as the champion of truth, justice and long-windedness, I was compelled to respond.

First off: drilling in ANWR isn’t going to help a damn thing. Any new drilling project, whether in ANWR or offshore, will take at least a decade to start actually producing oil. So anyone looking for short-term gas price relief: ANWR isn’t going to help you. According to a May 2008 report from the Energy Information Administration (emphases mine): Read the rest of this entry »

Once again, from the San Francisco Chronicle:

In an election year when Republicans are bracing to lose seats in Congress and major issues from Iraq to the economy appear to favor the Democrats, the GOP is betting that an aggressive push to drill for new domestic energy will be their ticket to success in November.

“Energy is actually a huge opportunity for Republicans,” said Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., who chairs the Senate Republicans’ re-election campaign. “Energy has the opportunity to change the climate if it’s done right.”

Oh, it’ll change the climate all right. I’m about ready to pull a Lex Luthor and buy waterfront property. In Nevada.

What an incredible speech.

I am all asniffle.

Good and bad day, today.

I suppose “bad” may be too strong a word; I do admire Obama and I think he’ll make an excellent candidate, as he has so far, in the general election. I continue to believe that Clinton would have made a better president; I have an ingrained fondness for policy wonks. It frustrates me to see that ‘change’ trumped ‘experience’ in this election, just exactly as it did in 2000. I was sort of hoping that we’d want a change from an administration with zero experience to one with some pretty damn good experience (rather than to one with just some experience).

I am also, of course, sad to see the presidency remain a boys’ club, although happy to see the prospect of it no longer being an old white man’s club. I also think Michelle Obama will be the best thing to happen to the First Lady position since… well, Hillary Clinton. Read the rest of this entry »

So I’ve had too much going on lately to post at length about the best thing that happened to California this year. But it’s still topical! As expected, the anti-gay marriage initiative sponsored by the California Bigots Association Capitol Resource Institute has qualified for the November ballot. Naturally, this sparks dark Democratic mutterings about a return to the 2004 fiasco, in which Rovian minions put anti-gay marriage legislation on the ballot in dozens of states in order to drive the base to the polls. Conservative voters who might not have bothered to stand up for Bushie were more than happy to pull the lever against civil rights, and punch the card for their ol’ boy while they were at it.

This time, though, I’m not so worried. Here’s why. Read the rest of this entry »

Every now and again, a friend of my mom’s, beset by blind conservatism on all sides, calls me in for backup. Last year some of her neighbors emailed around this piece of garbage, and she wanted something to send back around.

Forthwith, my Bush administration civil liberties cheat sheet. It’s a bit outdated, but sadly the administration remains with us. Read the rest of this entry »