Saturday, May 22, 2010

This makes me happy

I should do this every morning:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rand Paul is against racism everywhere except in Capitalism

Below is a really long interview by Rachel Maddow of Rand Paul. He's the new Kentucky Republican senate candidate and Tea Party adherent.

He doesn't directly answer her one essential question, which is: Do you think businesses should be allowed to not serve black people? Instead, he uses lots and lots of words, says he thinks racism is abhorent, that he would never support anything or anyone who is, but that, in the end, yes, the part of the civil rights law that allows black people to eat at countertops with white people is government intrusion into business.

This is like saying that you are a big environmentalist, that you totally support people who take care of the earth, and would not support any business or organization that pollutes. But also, it is government intrusion to have laws that make it illegal for businesses to intentionally dump poison into rivers.

He quickly retracted what he said today, but I actually find it refreshing that he would say what he actually believes for a news cycle. I wish more Tea Partiers would do that. I still wonder why they don't angrily denounce Social Security and Medicare as the biggest examples of the socialism they hate so much.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Nazi Tourette's

Lewis Black on Glenn Beck's NTS (Nazi Tourette's Syndrome):

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - Glenn Beck's Nazi Tourette's
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

For those keeping track at home, here are the times it is appropriate to make comparisions to Nazis and the times it is just crazy talk:

  • Including empathy as a desirable characteristic in a judge
  • Providing health care to the poorest among us
  • References to the term “social justice”
  • Attempts to address climate change
  • Teaching kids about climate change
  • Government support of the arts
  • TARP funding
  • The Peace Corp
Crazy Talk:
  • Invading another country to gain access to their natural resources
  • Requiring police officers to demand identification papers from people
  • Wiretapping citizens

Monday, May 03, 2010

It’s Obama’s Karma, not his Katrina

It looks like a narrative is emerging that the massive oil spill in the gulf is now Obama’s Katrina. This makes sense, if you don’t remember much about Katrina, or know much about this oil spill.

It is true that this oil spill is likely to exceed the environmental damage and human cost that even Katrina dished out.

But the problem with Katrina was that we knew it was coming. Then we knew it came. Then we knew the levees broke. Then we knew that people were stranded and starving and desperate. Only after a day or so of chaos did the Bush government swing into action to help actual people in immediate crisis.

The problems this time around are:

  • The oil platform explosion was unexpected
  • Bad weather hampered initial efforts to figure out what was happening
  • British Petroleum totally underestimated the extent of the problem it reported to the government.
  • There might not even be a fix to this for 3 months, until they can drill another pipe into the oil field to drain off the leak. That's not a government response problem, it is a science problem. Perhaps it is a government policy problem not to have stricter guidelines when doing off-shore drilling.
  • People have been working around the clock on the problem, but since it’s in the middle of the gulf and underground, no one is seeing it, so it gives the impression nothing is being done.

Even if you rewound time, it isn’t clear what the government should have done differently. Throwing a bunch of helicopters and food at it is not going to fix it. See Media Matters for a complete timeline. And compare it to the Katrina timeline if you think they are comparable.

The most ironic thing about this is that the people complaining about the government’s response are the same people that don’t want any government involvement in their lives. Make up your mind, folks. About the only mistake you can say the government made is in believing its profit-oriented industry partner about the extent of the spill. Sounds like a case for more government regulation, oversight and involvement to me. Katrina, indeed.

I say if you want to blame something, blame Karma. Obama reversed himself a month ago to suddenly support more off-shore drilling, which conservatives had been demanding since Sarah Palin started the chanted "Drill Baby Drill" at the Republican National Convention. Now we get to learn why potential environmental disasters should factor into our resource-use policies, just like all the tree-huggers say they should. Like Earl, Obama should not have messed with Karma.