Random Things I Read Recently!

I’ve been posting lite lately, in case you haven’t noticed. Lots going on in life and not too much that has inspired me. This post is a grab-bag of things I’ve read and watched, kind of a highlights reel of sorts.

Check out this clip from Fox News, hat tip to Bob Cesca….The Awesome One…..

I thought two wrongs did make a right?

The incredible Booman has this take on a long, long, long Eric Alterman piece that has its moments of clarity but reads like a history lesson, a good, thorough history lesson, but a history lesson none-the-less.

I am not disappointed for all the reasons that Alterman goes on to spell out in painful detail. I am disappointed that Obama has not been able to deliver on all campaign promises but since Alterman provides me with more than a dozen systemic villains to choose from to blame for this disappointment, I don’t need to point my disappointment at the man who proffered that agenda in the first place. Moreover, my recollection from the campaign was that all the major candidates (Clinton, Edwards, and Obama) were criticized from the left for not offering a progressive agenda. Yet, Alterman characterizes Obama’s platform as if it were the second-coming of the New Deal. He never promised that. What happened is that economic conditions changed and required Obama to respond much as FDR had to respond, with bold rescues and sweeping reforms. He didn’t have a mandate for that because the economic collapse came less than two months before the election.

I think it’s myopic to act as though the people elected Obama because of his promises on how to rescue the economy, but it’s equally short-sighted to behave as though an historic economic collapse shouldn’t have re-shuffled his campaign promises and priorities. That’s exactly what key advisers like Joe Biden and Rahm Emanuel argued when they said Obama should drop health care to focus on jobs. Obama stuck to his guns on health care, but it was inevitable that other promises would slip. And understanding that is just as important as understanding all the other obstacles in Obama’s path.

If you thought electing Obama would guarantee that all of his promises would become law inside of two years, you are going to be disappointed. I’m not. I’m extremely happy with the president and nearly at my wit’s end with pretty much everyone else in this country. No faction frustrates me more than my own, and I’m grateful for Alterman for starting this conversation. I just wish he’d shine a mirror on himself and our movement. We need to hear about our shortcomings, too. Our biggest shortcoming is not understanding what Alterman has written and what it means for how we should feel about this administration. As I’ve said, this present Congress is the most productive and progressive Congress since 1965-66 and this president is the most successful and progressive since LBJ, and too many of us are focused on our disappointments and not focused on the right-wing threat that lurks out there with all its institutional advantages, just waiting to destroy this country, for good.

The most excellent KayinMaine over at White Noise Insanity has a great Rachel Maddow clip up that is a most see, a little FOX News take down.

The one and only Digby at Hullabaloo takes the words right out of my mouth – so I took them right off her page.

Over the week-end, gasbags were all atwitter about whether Sarah Palin’s SarahPAC fundraising means she is running for president. And gosh, what on earth was that Mama Grizzly ad all about? Why it didn’t talk about any issues at all and just featured Palin and her fans! (Marc Ambinder presents the whole array of possibilities here.)

I find it very telling that the Villagers don’t get what’s going on here. She is not a serious politician. She is a political celebrity/entrepreneur, collecting money from her fans to fund herself and sell her brand. To the extent that she is working for anyone but herself, she’s working for The Republican Party, bringing together some of the disparate strands of the conservative movement, striking the pose of the “outsider.” But that is the extent of her serious commitment to politics.

Palin is a “reality” entertainer. Look on the covers of the celebrity magazines and you’ll see lots of them. There’s a lot of money to be made by someone like her in merchandising alone, much less personal appearances, books etc. I’m guessing she’ll find herself on the personal growth/religious circuit too, along with her reality show on TV.

She is a creature of the new political media, maybe the first pure version of her kind. As soon as people grok that, her fund raising and touring will begin to make more sense. But I would be shocked if she would ever feel the need to subject herself to parochial elective politics again. It’s not where her talents and ambitions lie.

I also read Paul Krugman from time to time, just to keep up my economic chops (a musician term) and here Paul reminds us that the stimulus worked….what little stimulus passed after the idiots in the congress watered it all down.

Let’s call it an open thread….”you’re an open thread”!


3 thoughts on “Random Things I Read Recently!

  1. I’ve been watching the media less and less lately, more of it seems simply inaccurate and just annoying. It’s very difficult to find anything warm towards Obama. Even political comedians such as Jon Stewart, Bill Maher that I usually enjoyed have become a major drag emotionally to the point I don’t even watch them. Cenk is now on MSNBC and is out right lying and distorting Obama’s positions to the point that caused my blood to boil.

    I know I’ve said this before but it’s simply heart wrenching that I’ve been trying to stay away from pundits and try to just see whats going on outside of politics. It’s hard because I still find some of it interesting but also depressing and negative all the time.

  2. I can relate to how you feel. There is a lot of lying going on on the TV these days, not just spinning but outright lying. I wonder sometimes if the new execs have come to the conclusion that Fox News lies, has big ratings, so we should lie too. There used to be this thing called journalistic integrity…..cough, spit, cough….Rachel Maddow might still have some and possibly Keith Olbermann, but even Keith is prone to go off on tangents without thinking things through. I wonder if they know they are driving thinking people from even watching. I occasionally write letters and it seems like sometimes it actually works. Keep coming back here, Jeff, we can sort out the bullshit here.

  3. well Keith does ummm bend the truth more than a little as I’ve gone on politifact.com they found that Keith was being dishonest as you will see here:


    Having said that I feel like Keith like Mathews and other pundits like to take shots at Obama but they don’t usually go to levels like Ratigan did because they don’t want to completely lose their viewers that like Obama. They want to keep them coming pretend to care what the president says and does when in reality they go and try to find a way to spin or flat out lie about to give them good ratings.

    Will be coming back as long as you keep posting blogs. :)

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