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The Devil makes 'em do it

By Michael J. Smith on Saturday May 3, 2008 12:39 PM

From the SF Chronicle:
House Democrats work on huge Iraq money bill

House Democratic leaders are putting together the largest Iraq war spending bill yet, a measure that is expected to fund the war through the end of the Bush presidency and for nearly six months into the next president's term....

Bay Area lawmakers, who represent perhaps the most anti-war part of the country, acknowledge the bill will anger many voters back home.

"It's going to be a tough sell to convince people in my district that funding the war for six months into the new president's term is the way to end the war," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, a leader of the Out of Iraq Caucus who plans to oppose the funding. "It sounds like we are paying for something we don't want."

Wrong, Lynn. It sounds like you're paying for something you do want.

A poll accompanies the Chronicle story: Poll results

Gotta love the Bay Area. But I feel sadly sure that nearly all that 88% who gave the right answer will dutifully trudge to the polls in November and vote for these inexcusable-breachers-of-promise.

Q: How many psychoanalysts does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Does the lightbulb want to change?

Comments (19)

Nicholas Hart:

You never know. A few years back they nearly elected a Green (Matt Gonzales) for Mayor. With this level of dissatisfaction and Pelosi's insistence that impeachment is "off the table," a large number of people might be willing to support Cindy Sheehan. Pelosi might find herself in the private sector next January.

Heh. I'll believe when I see it that these folks have finally had enough of that smug, pearl-totin' wretch.

Why do they bother with words like "inexcusable" when at the end of the day they literally excuse everything ?

And why have all my recent posts been eaten by squirrels ? Huh ? Huh ?

Tough sell.

That's got to be one of my all-time fave politicians' and technocrats' euphemisms: It's going to be a tough sell...

Basically, "We know damn' well we've totally ignored the Peoples' concerns after the People have screamed at us about it until they're blue in the goddamn' mouth, and you wouldn't believe what a pain in the ass it's going to be to come up with a suitably torturously triangluated excuse for what we did that we can deliver on Meet The Press with a straight face."

Q: How many Democrats does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Change you can believe in!

Q: How many Democrats does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Don't change it ! Just stand around and wait, because Hope Is On The Way [tm] !

(Sorry. Was having a flashback there for a minute. Who's for Freedom Toast ?! Don't run away !! I even have real maple syrup !)


Anyone else see this?


I couldn't make this up if i tried

In case you missed it the Kentucky Derby was held today. And Just like with every other important sporting event the Presidential candidates used the opportunity to prove that they are down to earth, this time by picking a pony. Sen. Clinton Picked Eight Bells, the only girl in the race. Eight Belles finished second to favorite, Big Brown. After crossing the finish line a hard fought second Eight Bells broke her legs and was euthanized. Anyone see any parallels?

if hillary was euthanized (er politically) that would be great, but seems unlikely.


From the Chronicle article:

"Pelosi was pressed on the issue last week during a sit-down with CNN's Larry King. 'Your party became the majority in the House primarily pledging to end the war,' King said. 'That didn't happen.'

'No,' Pelosi acknowledged. 'It didn't happen because we had hoped that the president would listen to the will of the people and at least be willing to compromise on ... how the war is conducted and some timetable for redeployment of our troops.'"

Isn't this just a way to say, "We didn't stop the war because we are dumber then a sack of George Bushes"?

There's no fucking way anybody in 2006 with even a quarter of a brain thought that Bush would compromise or listen to "the people" on the issue of Iraq.

Pelosi is either lying or a crappy politician. I suppose she was trying to say, "The war hasn't stopped because Bush and the Republicans are blocking us at every turn" but instead she managed to make her own party out to be a bunch of dimwitted patsies.

Two sentences that don't fit together:

"'Last year they tried a lot of confrontation and they went nowhere,' said Louis Fisher, a constitutional scholar at the Library of Congress and an expert on congressional war powers. He said Democrats still fear being portrayed as putting U.S. troops at risk if they try to shut off war funds."

First sentence: The Democrats tried "a lot of confrontation" but it didn't work.

Second sentence: The Democrats didn't try "a lot of confrontation" because they were scared to.

I wonder if this is because Fisher himself makes no sense or if it was because the reporter just didn't understand whatever it is he was trying to say.

Chris, you're on the horns of the Galbraith Problem, the question of which of the two parties is more narrow-functional, despite the obvious macro-dysfunctions that dwarf that trivial question.

JKG praised the R team for super-duping the Bubbas, but then also delivering the corporate goods as always.

At this point, you wonder if JKG was actually as right as he sounded in 1992. There are obviously a very large number of very slow-learning libbubbas...


People of the world, I thought that the whole damn point of this little haven is that we are are swearing to vote for Daffy Duck for Presidentum of this here Unifeed Steaks. Why are we, the posting nonentities, crapping on and on about such feckless nondescript corrupt swine as whoever the supersystem is disgorging at the present moment?
If there is such a being as "Lynn Woolsey," and she has the nerve to say she is a "dermokrat" from Petaluma, why isn't she wrist-wrestling Lynne Cheney?


Thus mjosef:

Why are we, the posting nonentities, crapping on and on about such feckless nondescript corrupt swine as whoever the supersystem is disgorging at the present moment?

Good question. I guess one answer is that we're trying to shine a feeble ray of darkness into the depressing artificial fluorescent light of the good-hearted lesser-evillist mind.

Better to extinguish one candle, as the man says, than to curse the flashbulb.


MJS - "Better to extinguish one candle, as the man says, than to curse the flashbulb" - brilliant! And so not in valedictory flapdoodlism, I do want to register some mild, anaphylactic shock at you Jesusing up Rev Wright - his European right brain/African left brain speech shown on the fast-forwardable "Daily Show" was the kind of doofus balderdash that exemplifies religion, stupidity, men, education, science, and America.


Y'know, mjosef, Wright is not all that unlike Jesus -- the historical Jesus, I mean, not the refined stained-glass figure created by subsequent rumination.

The historical J. is a guy from the backwoods, with a scandalous, shocking, embarrassing insistence on the awkward implications of old texts.

Of course Wright is not divine -- he's quite fallible -- but us Proddies have no problem with that, in a pastor.

Fallible and human as he is: if I still lived in Chicago, I'd be strongly tempted to join his church.

You tell me -- where else are you going to hear so much of the scandalous, embarrassing truth, laid out so plainly?


Uh -oh - sure, you can be free to join whatever church, listen as a supplicant to whichever voice of divine authority you wish as a mute lamb, like your "get some church in my kids so they don't have the fun experiences I had" countrymen like John Edwards and Barack and Michelle and Mitt And Stepford Wife and Joe Lieberman (no, he never had a fun experience in his life), but willingly? Just to sit there like an idiot? I don't get this - Rev Wirght is not "divine," to you, but "quite fallible" - okay, then how does he communicate with this alleged divine figure, who much more interested people in the Jesus Seminar are saying is about as real in historical detail as James Frey? Rev Wright may say the truth quite well at times, but the threshold of white "progressive" approval of black "leaders" again swings way low, sweet chariot, if the other nonsense doesn't get the what-for.

mjosef, approving of Wright's comments doesn't mean we're all going to write him in for Senator, or what-have-you.

I would have been just as thrilled, personally, if it was Chomsky or McKinney or whomever somehow getting an hour on national TV to give the defective minds in the national media a long-overdue drubbing. I'd still be thrilled if this sort of magic could happen again, somehow. It's all very well for critics of many colors and persuasions to call Wright's comments "looney," but if enough different types of people are saying the sort of things he does, they will have to be acknowledged; They will have to be responded to in the public sphere no matter how fucking "looney" the supposed tastemakers of public opinion (or what passes for public opinion in the watery deposits of blogland) think of the specifics.

At this point, I'm happy to see any pushback against all the post-Reagan bullshit spewed by both teams of party hacks. Any pushback at all out there where people can actually hear it is better than what we had before. But, no, I'm not going to start paying for prayer breakfasts or hanging around outside Wright's gate hoping for an autograph.

Perfection, as one of those adorable Gen X ditties beloved by my husband once said, is not required.


"what passes for public opinion in the watery deposits of blogland"

lovely line

the prog blog bog


Thanks, Ms. Xeno, but I know Gen X music, and I can't recall an insipid cliche like that rockin' the planet. Was it Sigue Sigue Sputnik? I'm on the losing side on this one, but bullshit is bullshit, and if you can't call it out, like "European left brain African right brain" (am I missing something? Was this racist drivel quoted "out of context"?), then what is the sense of having thoughts? We should have learned from the last time any even vaguely leftish notion had even a modicum of social power in this country, when the autistic self-aggrandizers of the microphone trivialized and decimated real notions of "resistance." Remember, Nader loves his corporate stocks, and Chomsky has a million-dollar spread that was developed in Wellfleet - we are all enmeshed in the forces we deplore. It's just that some of us realize that better than others - damn, I'm getting mighty close to the cliche world myself. The last thing we need to counter bullshit is more bullshit.

The Clarks, mjosef. From I'll Tell You What, Man, 1988.

Look, I'm an atheist myself, but historically speaking you ignore the role of religion in the communities you want to reach at your peril. There is such an animal as liberation theology, even if it's never been holding the reins.

I don't recall saying that I signed on for everything Wright says but saying that I agreed with SOME of what he said;Some of what he said happens to overlap with my own thinking. Don't like it ? Fine. March in your own way and I'll march in mine;There's plenty of room.

Does anyone have it all together ? Is anyone completely capable of not holding some jackass ideas alongside the good ones they've got ? Skeleton Key alleged in their page about Ralph Nader that he despises pets because he feels that they act as disease vectors. So, should I have EITHER dumped my pets or not voted for Nader ?

And while we're on the subject, I had an exchange at my own site with a buddy who's Black, and she doesn't like it when folks use jokes like "Oreo-bama." She thinks it's lousy for Whites to use terms that make veiled references to whether or not we've decreed that a particular Black person is "Black enough." So does that well-founded point invalidate every criticism made on this page of Obama and his policies ?



Ms. Xeno - of course you win, but then I'm not trying to reach anyone, anywhere. Of course the lunacy of religion has produced some good effects, and yes, there is liberation theology. Fine and dandy. Schizophrenics have made some pretty impressive art through the ages - does that mean schizophrenia is to be "respected" and wished for?
I think its better to deal with ideas and action rather than "follow" people. Down with putative alphas of all stripes, especially the ascetic pet-hater Ralph, the gesticulating right-brain Rev. , and those idiotic whites who seem comfortable throwing around assignations of whiteness and blackness like the egregious Hillary Archie Bunker. Finally, yes, points made about even whichever hero you choose to venerate do matter, especially the latest pretender to the progressive throne. I like disdaining "leaders" - it's fun, it's in my blood, and it so accurate, so much of the time.

That's adorable the way you can read all that and still dismiss me as a "follower," mjosef. Did you feel like a "follower" when you were trying to put the best face on Edwards while he was still in the race ? Or is it only "following" when somebody else does it ?

"Do as you say, not as you do," I guess.

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