Top 10 of 2009

So, fin d'annee - time for lists.

Lists are a great way to crank out content.  You can just throw unrelated shit together, stick numbers at the head of them and voila - content.  And really, end of year is the best time to do this, it's a total excuse to be  do a post while putting as small an amount of effort in as possible - and that sounds to me like a winnah!  But in an effort to expand the scope of the carp don't-give-a-shit-ness of the List post, I'm going one step further.  You see, usually no unifying theme is really needed, BUT you do need to pretend because the list has to be the top 10 somethings.  Well fuck that noise.  D-KW on the cutting edge of lazy-ass bloggerating presents the following:

The Top 10 of 2009

10.  Something or other.
9.  Yeah, well Fuck You!
8.  PENIS.
7.  Hey remember that time back in early spring when that guy did that thing and everyone was like "Whoah."  Good Times.
6.  Hey remember that time back in early summer when that guy did that thing and everyone was like "Whoah." Good Times.

5.  Hey remember that time back in early fall when that guy did that thing and everyone was like "Whoah." Good Times.

4.  Doing your mom.
3.  PENIS.
2.  Good Times.
1.  PENIS.


Senate Bill Passes - What Now?

Conventional wisdom states that the House has to roll over during reconcilliation.  Because, hey look - the Senate only just barely managed their supermajority cloture vote at 60-39 - and even the slightest little thing can cause Lieberman or Nelson to shut it all down.

Just a reminder, the House bill passed 220-215 with two D's voting Nay because the bill wasn't progressive enough.  Maybe the Senate bill will find some support amongst the Blue Dogs, but a united Progressive caucus ought to be able to bring some pressure to the table.  A progressive stand from the Administration could make the difference.  Then again, a corporatist stand from the Administration - which is all we've seen so far - tips the scales the other way.

So then, what now?  The "we got your back" approach to strengthen the resolve of progressives ain't gonna help - Kucinich doesn't need that kind of reassurance.  Okay maybe if you're in NY-29 you can let Eric Massa know that you support him saying F.U. to the Senate.  Polling shows that the public agrees that the Senate bill is garbage.

No, what's needed isn't a good defense, but a strong offense.  That's why I still like what Jane Hamsher is doing, despite how distastefully foul it seems.

In the weeks ahead, there'll be all sorts of players pushing the bill back and forth and while the good side may seem like the underdogs, the final bill isn't written yet and every little bit to sap at the folks pushing for the insurance industry will help.

P.S.  Here's my dream scenario - progressives manage to get the House Public Option into the Conference Report, a handful of senators proclaim that they are now supporting the filibuster because of it, and Harry Reid finally grows a pair and tells them that procedural filibuster is off the table, and they're going to have to actually fucking read phone books or whatever until they give up.  Yeah, I know - not going to happen, but that there is my Christmas wish.


But that's okay because I'm only interested in motivating partisans and winning debate points.

UPDATE:  Nate Silver says that I'm wrong because The stock market's reaction to the declining prospects for the public option, however, should not be conflated with its reaction to the anticipated passage of the the public option-less reform proposal currently before the Senate. shut up that's why.

via D.A.

It really is fortunate that he's always on the side of angels because even Nate Silver can be a stupid fucking moron

For example Mr. 538 - remember Question 3 of 20?

3. Where is the evidence that the plan, as constructed, would substantially increase insurance industry profit margins, particularly when it is funded in part via a tax on insurers?

I checked in with a source that is really very good at reading the tea leaves.

As of 11 AM Eastern time, stocks for the six largest publicly-traded health insurance companies have risen by an average 4.49 percent, as weighted by their market capitalization.

Stock prices? What's that got to do with a Senate bill designed to optimized Health Insurance gouging?

Favorable developments for health care reform have been met with decreases in the prices of these stocks, and unfavorable developments with improved valuations.

Normally at this point I'd go into your rationalizations as to why this doesn't mean the Senate bill shouldn't have two or three shit sandwiches added to its score but I wouldn't want to accuse you of picking and choosing evidence and spinning it to support your arguments. After all when you make mistakes, "they're honest ones" and it's just anybody who disagrees with you that's being a dishonest hack.



It's phrased to imply...

Although others may be falling over themselves to apologize to you (okay, me too) - let me take this opportunity to thank you for another beautiful turn of phrase.

ADDED: Now, I see that the problem was that I had a tag for his name and I misspelled it. That brought an obscenity... and a connection to a commenter who took a racial point of view. What a jerk.

Wow Ann, that's phrased to imply that it's rude to pick on your horribly bad reednigs komprayhenshuns.  It's phrased to imply that Ta-Nahoweveryouuspellit is a big meanie for pickin' on teh illiterate.  Okay, you got a point.  Coates should be ashamed for kicking at someone as mentally handicapped as you.

Ann Apology

Ann Althouse,

This is just to say,
I have done your mother
On the icebox
Just before having

Forgive me,
I know you keep food under where we coupled
Frozen dinners
So cold.


Wangchuck 3:16

For Pere Ubu

Jesus: For God so loved the world -

Nicodemus: Hey Big J, know who else God loved? Yo momma!



Happy Friday the Thirteenth.

That is all.


Waiting for the third shoe to drop

Lou Dobbs, out at CNN.
John Solomon, out at Moonie Times - which itself is in chaos.

Here's hoping that these things come in threes.


Sunday Audition: Obama Fails Again

A comprehensive health care reform bill that creates a national health exchange, complete with an option to enroll in a government-run program, has just passed the US House of Representatives.  While the development may seem to be good news for President Barack Obama, being the realization of health care reforms he had been pressing throughout the 2008 Presidential campaign, it is in fact just another in the long line of stinging rebukes of his failing presidency.

The House bill is such an indictment of Obama's ideals that his response to it happening was a clear declaration of his intent to veto the bill, should it cross his desk.

How did this happen?  Liberals like to joke about things that "no one could have predicted", usually about some sort of situation that is truly unpredictable.  But the fact that Barack Obama has failed yet again, was easily predicted well over a year ago, when conservatives were warning the country.

Obama's audacious plan to provide near-universal health care to the public was so extreme, a pipe-dream that liberals have been pursuing for a century, that conservatives laughed at it.  Taken in context with the fact that the untried and untested freshman senator from Illinois had no experience and was unlikely to get anything accomplished had many a conservative guffawing and rolling in the aisles.

So it was very easy to predict that Obama's health care reform program would fail, and with the passing of HR 3962, it has.


Win Some, Lose Some

Worst possible outcome for me.  I was somewhere around D +5, which I guess shows my optimism.  Then again, the key factor in my previous predictions was incumbency - and if being incumbent means less at election time, that's not a bad thing.  Anyways, having called half the winners correctly, I neither look presciently clever nor moronic stupid enough for a Wash Post column.  Also Maine Prop 1 sucks like hell.

Okay, time to assess - McDonnell was a gimme, and polls were strongly in Christie's favour for the entire campaign season only tightening near the end.  NY-23 is the big story of the night having gone D for the first time in, like, a bajillion gillion years.  Actually, the real story is about outside interests with deep pockets being told off by a united electorate.  That's a big win.

No, my real disappointment from last night is Prop 1.  I can't believe that 52.7% of Mainers (Maine-ians?  Maine-ites?  Maine-ese?) voted for that sucker.  WTF went wrong there?  Anyways, I no longer feel bad about claiming that Moxie tastes like ass.



I figure if I'm right, then I look clever which is YAYYS!
If I'm wrong, I'll be that much closer to a job writing for Fred Hiatt.
If, much more likely, I get a little bit right, and a little bit wrong - I can always delete the post.

NJ Gov - Corzine in a squeaker.  48-45-7
VA Gov - McDonnell blow-out.  55-45 or greater.
NY 23 - Owens blow-out.  55-45 or more.
MA Prop 1 - Yes 48, No 52


Sunday Audition: Kiss My Rump

With the withdrawl of Dede Scozzafava from the race for New York's 23 congressional district, the claims of the Republican party shifting towards the extreme right have become in vogue again. Indeed, the suspension of Scozzafava's campaign is being used as an excuse to trot out the accusations of the GOP being a rump anew.

It was one year ago yesterday that Paul Krugman called the GOP a rump party, based on predictions that the 2008 elections would see 15 Republican representatives lose their seats, with the majority being more moderate than the bulk of the party. Once again, reality shows that Krugman was completely off the mark, as 26 Republican congressmen lost their seats, nearly double what Krugman was basing his analysis on.

Extremist liberal Markos Moulitsas, founder of the fringe left website DailyKos.com has been beating the drum of rump status for the GOP for months. His only evidence is that approval of the GOP is highest in the level-headed working class South, the region the lions share of Republican senators hail from.

And now with moderate Dede Scozzafava leaving the race, claims that the GOP has abandoned the mainstream to pander to the base have reached new highs.

Well, firstly as a complete rebuttal to Moulitsas' ridiculous claims, note that the race here is for a congressional seat in New York. Last time I checked, New York wasn't part of the South.

But more importantly, note that the official voice of the GOP in this circumstance, the NRCC, has now endorsed Doug Hoffman. Polling indicated Hoffman had three times as much support as Scozzafava, if not more. Thus the NRCC switched to a candidate favoured by more New Yorkers, a move that only partisan hacks could claim was anything but appealing to moderates.

Indeed, if either of the two major political parties is pandering to their base and conducting purges of those who don't toe the party line, it's the Democrats. For simply engaging in some attempts at bipartisanship, Joe Lieberman is being threatened with having his committee assignments revoked.

All of this is even more astounding since the topic driving all of this political posturing is socialized medicine. Can there be a greater example of how far the Democratic leadership is pandering to the extreme left base?

The fundamentalist progressives that have taken over the Democrat party were initially pushing for a universal single-payer system like "Medicare For All", but in the race to pander the most to these hardcore left-wing extremists, that has morphed into the public option that is in the proposed bills from both House and Senate. Not content with the complete government take-over of health insurance, these liberal activists pushed for a public option where a small fraction of the US population would get to choose to enroll in a government insurance program. And the Democratic leadership was all to happy to add this decidedly pro-choice persepctive.

Indeed, the Senate version even allows entire states to choose to not offer the program at all.

Considering all of that, it's clear which party is being run by fanatical ideologues.


Speaking of Fail

Four days ago, Irky Irksome closed out a post with this:
Besides, in the face of a crushing defeat to Scozzafava, we can be a bit magnanimous
Crushing defeat.  Crushing.  Defeat.
Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava has announced that she is suspending her campaign, citing an inability to win in light of recent polls and a lack of money


Posted Without Comment



Pajamöller’s Tale

First they came for communists, and we cheered!

Then they came for the socialists, and we cheered!
Then they came for the trade unionists, and we cheered!
Then they came for the Islamofascist hordes, and we cheered!
Then they came for any brown folks that had slightly Islamic sounding names, and we cheered!
Then they came for the remaining brown folks, especially the dirty messican illegals, and we cheered!
Then they came for Teh Ghey, and we cheered!
Then they came for single mothers, and we cheered!
Then they came for women with jobs, and we cheered!
Then they came for everyone who ever voted Democratic, and we cheered!
Then they came for anybody Roger Simon didn’t recognize on sight as a good conservative, and we cheered!

h/t Ted the Slacker


Not the one with Chris Rock

Substance McGravitas informs me that my namesake, Dragon King Wangchuck has been named the third hottest head of state by some goofball named J.D. Dobson.

Really J.D.?  Really?
Let me ask you this, what does it take to be number one?
Two is not a winner and three nobody remembers.
I. Am. Number. One.
Don't matter if you like
Here, sit down and write it.

Hell, number two ain't even a head of state - Jens Stoltenberg is a Prime Minister, Harald V is the King.  Oh wait, you guys have got something to say about that.
One of the worst things about the internet is the anonymity it provides a certain class of individuals to spew their hateful, offensive speech. Specifically: nerds.
Umm, hate to break this to you guys but you're blogging about the relative hot-ness of heads of state.  On the internet.  Nerds = you.  And before you put on your "I WIN" shirt, yes - I'm blogging about you blogging about Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck so I'm a nerd too.  But the difference is I'm not the one castigating nerds as "a certain class of people".  PROTIP, all your readers?  Reading about heads of state on the internerd?  Nerds.
Maybe you missed our FAQs where we sarcastically professed ignorance about this.
I appreciate that you're supposed to be some sort of humour site.  PROTIP #2, if you have to tell people you're being sarcastic - U R DOIN IT RONG.

Here's the thing, yeah I laughed a couple times reading your site - but it struck me as such a wasted opportunity.  Because your list is obviously glaringly factually wrong.  It's not funny in the "well there's a deep and penetrating insight phrased in a remarkably humourous fashion" but more along the lines of yelling "PENIS" for no obvious reason.

I mean, you obviously put some time and effort into this thing - you've got 192 172 (UPDATE: you'd think it would be easy to count them since they're numbered...) countries on your list, finding pictures for all of them probably took more effort than you're willing to admit.  You've already put in the "lot of work", and you decide to throw it all away with blatantly incorrect garbage.  You could spike your blog with comedic gems that sparkle with the mirth of drunken angels, but if those jokes are on a page claiming that Gordon Brown is the head of state for the UK, it's not gonna get the laughs.  PROTIP #3, no one is going to think you're particularly witty if it seems like you are unaware of the existence of THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND.

And anyways, Dragon King Wangchuck is fucking HAWT.  Dragon.  King.  Wangchuck. 
There ain't no topping that
'cept with a Dragon Crown Hat.
So lurn 2 play J.D. Dobbie
Put some thought into your hobby
And shut down that Tymoshenko lobby.
He is a Dragon, He is a Man, He's a Dragon-Man
Dragon.  King.  Wangchuck.  Accept no substitutions (except me of course)


In Praise of Fox News

Well, well - another stretch of no posts.  Interspersed with my whining about not getting any comments.  FFS, if I'm not going to bother writing here, why the hell should anyone else?

Anyways, I'm just going on record here to proclaim my undying adoration of Sith Lord Dark Hottiest.  Also, since it's been a while since I posted, I can use this opportunity to crib a bit wholesale.

Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years,
Rocking my peers and puttin' suckas in pH33r.
Dontcha nevah evah pull my lever, 'cause I exploooode
And my nine is easy to load.


Manic Post Partisan Depression

Harold Myerson gets it right.  Eugene Robinson gets it exactly right.  Ruth Marcus gets it so very wrong.

Fundamentally, it's a statement of gratitude for America opting to end the Bush years, spare the world a continuation of Republican belligerent provincialism, and rejoin the reality-based community of nations.
Yes Harold, the award should go to the American electorate for turning their backs so very emphatically on the dark and harrowing years of conservative grhhhargleblargle9-11!RAWWWRRR-a-blart.  Except that you morans were the ones that caused this mess in the first place.  And don't give me no guff about how Chimpy never actually won any elections, 49% of you voted for him in 2000, and then even more of you did the same thing in 2004 after you got a taste of his incompetent and damaging "strong leadership".

But that's okay.  You managed to figure it out - taking neo-cons out of the policy-making levels of the world's remaining superpower is a huge step forward for peace.

Others say the award is “premature.” Okay, I can see that argument, but the Nobel committee apparently considered Obama’s redirection of American foreign policy toward multilateralism a groundbreaking accomplishment. The committee, it seems, thought that for the most powerful national leader in the world to embrace international cooperation and envision a world no longer menaced by nuclear weapons was a giant step forward. I can see that argument, too. In fact, I think I agree with it.
This.  If only he added that the "redirection" isn't an easy thing, then it would have been perfect.  Because, make no mistake, simple and plainly obvious things like actually attempting diplomacy instead of labelling random countries "evil" and building up military presence at their borders - that is frowned upon in the USA.  I mean, in the name of the Invisible Pink Unicorn (blessed be her unsee-able obviousness) - the US is still a country where "anti-war" is used as an insult.  Truth of the matter is that America has an intensely  bloodthirsty militaristic culture.  War, and all that goes with it is glorified and held in high esteem.  Negotiating, talking and not immediately reaching for your biggest gun is seen as "ghey" or naive or traitorous or, more likely, all of the above.

Please. This turns the award into something like pee-wee soccer: everybody wins for trying.
Yes Ruth.  Because pursuing peaceful resolutions is so very easy in the US.  Because America is so very supportive of not bombing people.
Obama gets the award for, what, a good nine months? Or maybe a good two weeks -- the nominations were due Feb. 1.
 Well, nominations and final decisions don't happen at the same time, that "two weeks" talking point is a clear attempt to misdirect people.  But I'm feeling generous and I'll let that slide.  Let's take your obviously false premise as true and run with it.  What the hell did Obama do in two weeks that earned him a Nobel Peace Prize?


Pull your head out of your ass long enough to recognize this: George W. Bush and his administration was the single-most destabilizing force in the world.  His idea of international co-operation was recess appointing John Bolton as your Ambassador to the UN.  Saber-rattling wasn't the default position of that Administration, it was their concession position after realizing that they probably couldn't get away with yet another regime changing invasion.  Nevermind the attitude taken towards international agreements, refusals to ratify measures the rest of the world thought beneficial for global peace and prosperity - those things pale before the fact that for years, the US military had more kills than the rest of the armed forces in the world combined.  And that a lot of people in the US are proud of that, some of them writing in the very same space as you *cough*Bill Kristol*cough*.

Well anyways - let's "look forwards not back" and see what else you have to offer:
If the Nobel Committee ran out of worthy candidates, it might have engaged in a bit of recycling. Nothing wrong with a second prize to Aung San Suu Kyi (1991).
WTF?!?!  You spent the entire column complaining about how Obama hasn't achieved anything yet, about how pre-mature it is to give him any awards, about how his winning the Nobel Peace Prize is "ridiculous" - and your suggestion is to go with a second Nobel to Aung San Suu Kyi?

I don't mean to say anything negative about the dear aunt, but do you even recognize how incredibly stupid what you're saying is?  It's your position that the prize should go to someone for their achievements - not for "just trying".  And while bringing democracy to Myanamar is a noble and worthy goal - Aung San hasn't quite achieved that, now has she?  Seriously, I respect her for her principled stand and her perserverence to her convictions, but I can't even begin to see how you could argue that a second Peace Prize for her would be about "doing, not being".


Open Letter to Stephen Stromberg

Stephen Stromberg:

Your post was a nice attempt at snarky satire, but d00d, you share space with Krauthammer. The angry comments left on your post? From folks who didn't realize you were joking - because your fucking column is in Fred Hiatt's Op-Ed nightmare-scape, right next to Bill "Always Wrong, All The Time" Kristol.

Yours Sincerely,
Dragon-King Wangchuck

Actual Thoughts About Obama's Peace Prize.

I'm not going to linger too long on the conservative reaction.  That's being handled quite nicely all around the blogosphere.  Heck even the DNC is calling it out.

So, instead of taking this opportunity to point and laugh at rightboogers and wingnutso whackaloons, I'm going to look at the Prize itself.  The Nobel Institute weblinks are gummed up like trying to shove race-horses down a series of tubes right now, so here's a TPM link with text from Oslo.

The citation mentions "a new climate in international politics".  There's some other stuff about nuclear disarmament, climate change and human rights - but that's just window dressing.  Those are things that the Nobel Institute has been flogging for quite some time.  If they could have squeezed in something about refugees they would have.

No, the real reason Obama is getting this thing is for turning the BushCo ship around.  John Miller's Op-Ed I cited in the last Sunday Audition notwithstanding, Bush's America was seen by the world as a rogue nation.  One that invaded other countries seemingly at random, kidnapped people from all around the world and disappeared them into torture camps, and accused anyone upset with that sort of behaviour as being terrorist sympathizers.

Ha-ha jokes the Twitterer formerly known as Wonkette, Obama's getting the award for not being George W. Bush.  Yup, that's right.  He's getting the award for deposing the regime of a power-mad authoritarian cult leader.  For replacing a psychopathically deluded egomaniacal idiot at the seat with the BIG RED BUTTON.

So laugh all you want about how "pre-mature" it is to award the prize to him, about how he "hasn't achieved anything yet".  But those of us living in places "not-yet-bombed-to-the-stone-age-for-Democracy" know that Obama's biggest and most important achievement is in keeping the office of the Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military in the world as far as possible away from Bill Kristol et al.

The Nobel Prize for Blogwhoring

I figured I ought to write something new, for folks clicking through from Sadly, No!



Open Letter to Ann Leary

Dear Anne Leary,

I humbly crave your indulgence in sending you this mail, if the contents does not meet with your personal and business ethics, I appologise in advance.

I am Dragon-King Wangchuck, the TRUEauthor of Dreams From My Father. When I originally wrote the biography for Barauch Hussein Stalin Obama Soetero X, he was merely a law student who happened to have a good connection for primo weed. With the advent of the new totalitarian autocratic state of the Obamanation in the country under the leadership of the Kenyan USURPER, I have come under severe threat of eradication (see OBAMA DEATH LIST, &c.) due to the sensitive position I had in authoring his seminal biography.

The main purpose of this letter is to intimate you of a business proposal that might be of interest to you. Royalties from Dreams From My Father are in excess of several millions of your US dollars, every year. Additionally with the Obama PROPAGANDA SQUADS spreading brainwashing throughout the country, sales can only increase, indicating towards future royalties of even greater riches. Unfortunately, just as Baraque Hussein Osama Lenin Soetero X usurped the Oval Office, he has also stolen my due rewards.

Here is the proposal, I do have in my possession certain audio-tapes that I used in my interviews with the future usurping president that incontrovertibly prove my authorship of Dreams From My Father, as well as statements he made whilst in the grip of the DEMON WEED that indicate his true nature (hint: rhymes with Will Khitey!).

Unfortunately I now longer have the audio-tapes at hand, as they were absconded with by a former intimate acquaintance after an acrimonious domestic dispute. I have been informed that all of the possessions I had that were taken from me during the split will be returned once I make up my share of the back rent owing. Sadly, this amount of money is beyond my current ability. What is needed for the execution of this endeavour is immediate amounts of liquidity, preferably in small unmarked bills. The current amount is ten thousand dollars, but is increasing as time goes on.

I have attempted to contact you since you are a famously well-known and highly regarded conservative blogger and have both great interest in revealing the fraudulent nature of the current occupant of the highest ofice in the land. Additionally, it is clear that your obvious levels of success indicate great business acumen. I propose that upon recipt of the outstanding back-rent and recovery of the audio-tapes, I shall immediately file suit to recover my stolen royalties which I will share with you 50-50. Additionally, I will mae available to you any copies of the audio-tapes that you desire, for the purpose of spreading the truth about Barkadia Hussein Jong Il Soetero X. Should this proposition be of interest to you, you can reach me through my e-mail address thus; dkwangchuck@gmail.com so that we can go through the rudiments of this enterprise.
I remain most obliged.

Dragon-King Wangchuck


My Olympic Failure

New Sunday Audition up, back to the original style of writing for Fred Hiatt.  My biggest regret about it is I didn't manage to get Kenneth Gladney into the piece.

Sunday Audition: Obama's Olympic Failure

One of the things that I think is most valuable about sports is that you can play a great game and still not win. - President Barack Obama, on finding that his home town of Chicago was dropped from contention for the 2016 Olympic Games.

With the sting of yet another bitter defeat scarring his presidency, Barack Obama issued those words of consolation to millions of disappointed followers.

Despite the wide-spread notion that the Obama presidency would usher in a new era of international good will and improved views of the United States in the rest of the world, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected Chicago and America in the strongest possible way.  On Friday, the IOC eliminated Chicago - despite last minute pleading from Obama himself, in the first round of voting.

Indeed, opinions of the United States around the world are mediocre at best.  A New York Times Op-Ed points out that George W. Bush, who is often portrayed as a man who damaged America's reputation abroad, had similar levels of international approval for America during the second year of his presidency.  In fact, at this point in time in Bush's presidency, America was experiencing a global outpouring of sympathy and support.  Obama has clearly squandered all that good will in such a very short time in office.

It is Obama's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the gross violations of human rights that Obama has implemented against detainees that is marring public opinion of the US.  Additionally, Obama's incredibly inept handling of the US economy has pushed the world into a global recession - economic doldrums that are clearly the fault of the man in the Oval Office.

It is with that backdrop where Obama uttered his statement, echoing the Olympic creed "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."  But looking at the facts, it is clear that Obama did not fight well, that he did not play a great game - and that is why he lost.

It come as no surprise that the world has rejected Obama.  Everyone loves a winner, and in the selection of the host for the 2016 Games, the winner had to be a city that everyone loves.  But no one loves Obama's America - his heavy-handed mis-step laden teleprompter presidency has seen to that.

No, the real consolation in this affair is that even though the world has rejected Obama and Chicago, at least it didn't reject the Real America of the Heartland.  This international rebuke wasn't targeted at the regular everyday Americans that have to deal with Obama's grossly inept Administration, but just the coastal elites in their ivory towers of xenophobia.  And the comfort we can draw knowing that hordes of foreigners won't be flooding into America to claim refugee status or disappear into the shadowy crime-filled world of illegal immigration.


The Peter Principle



Teabagger Retrospective

It's not very often that I get to pat myself on the back for an accurate prediction, but here goes.

Almost two months ago, I left this comment at Sadly, No! predicting that the Teabag Town Hall-apalooza would  turn people away from the conservative movement.  That rather than showing America what strong principled convictions the health care reform opponents had, it would instead showcase them as mouth-breathing k00ks.  It would reveal them to be <shudder> uncivil and thuggish.  I even followed that up with this obtusely ridiculous prediction:
Here’s an interesting note about polling – both daily approval trackers (Gallup and Rasmussen) show an uptick corresponding to the start of Operation Stand and Shout for HMOs. I’m leaning towards “there ain’t enough data points yet to formulate any conclusions” but there will be soon.
That was August 4th.  Now a lot of the liberal media did in fact play the astroturfed FreedomWorks Dick Armey BS as grassroots and these nutjobs got a lotta teevees time - and my prediction was based on the assumption that the American public isn't made up completely of tools - a shaky assumption at best.

BUT, I win a gold star.  It's cookie-time for Dragon-King:
A slew of recent polling data points to a conclusion that might have seemed hard to believe amidst the town hall craziness in the dog days of August and early September: President Obama's numbers have not only stabilized but actually seem to be showing a modest uptick. And by several other measures the political landscape for Democrats isn't nearly as bleak as it was being portrayed just a few weeks ago.
 It's more modest gains than I had hoped for and it took about twice as long as I expected to become evident, but I am an optimist at heart.  An optimist eating a cookie.


WTF: Bill Sparkman - updated

Some thing make you scratch your head.  This is one.  Well, actually it's the bit that comes next.

Bill Sparkman, census worker - found dead with a rope around his neck hanging from a tree with the word "fed" scrawled on his chest.  Could be the workings of some deranged right-wing nutjob that the right blogosphere is insistent that law enforcement not be warned about.  But maybe not - apparently the area is rife with illegal pot farms and other lovely aspects of rural Kentucky.  God Bless The South.

Here is where the confusion sets in.
...saying that investigators had not yet determined even whether the death was a homicide.
Previous reporting "left the impression that [Sparkman] was found strung up in a tree because he was a federal employee," Beyer said. "At this juncture that's not accurate." Beyer added that Sparkman died of asphyxiation.
Seriously investigator d00ds, this is fucking bullshit.  Are you trying to tell us that you are seriously considering the possibility that Mr. Sparkman died of natural asphyxiative causes, or commited suicide by hanging himself in such a way that he was still touching the ground?  I appreciate that you don't want to release any information that might jeopordize your investigation - but right now you are looking like fucking idiots.

UPDATE:  h/t owlbear1 in this Sadly, No! comment thread

"The only thing he had on was a pair of socks," Weaver said. "And they had duct-taped his hands, his wrists. He had duct tape over his eyes, and they gagged him with a red rag or something.

"And they even had duct tape around his neck. And they had like his identification tag on his neck. They had it duct-taped to the side of his neck, on the right side, almost on his right shoulder."
Seriously investigator d00ds, WTF are you thinking?  Let's get the official word:
Trooper Trosper said it was clear this wasn't a natural death but said all other possibilities were being considered.

"This case has many facets," he said. "To investigate cases, you have to rule out different scenarios. We are not able to rule out many scenarios at this time, and that's what makes this a difficult case."
Really?  What other possible scenarios are there?


The Week Without Posts: Lessons Learned

Being a loud-mouthed bloviating jerkwad is a lot harder than it actually is.  Dunno why I can spout off at the drop of a hat about any such this or that, but the minute week I start a blog the well dries up.

Okay, the well didn't dry up - I'm just lazy.  I believe I might have mentioned that before.

Sunday Audition: We in the Media Are Not Weasel-like Cowards - You Are

Accountability.  What a strange and powerful word.

In the run-up to the War in Iraq, the media failed, and failed spectacularly.  Even those within the halls of the news business pronounced that they were too credulous of the things they were told by Administration officials.  And yet the profile of those who supported the war has never slipped.  Apparently being wrong on the biggest question of the millenium is a badge of honour and the mark of a trustworthy voice.

This all occured despite widespread opposition.  Those against the war were not just peace and love hippies, but included people as far from the left-wing liberal activist circles as Brent Snowcroft.  And yet every media outlet in the land continued to bang the drum for war with front page above the fold stories that were little more than White House press releases.

But that was all in the past, and now is the time to look to the future.  Has the media learned from its mistakes?  Yes - it has learned that when called on errors, it should strike back as hard as possible.  It has learned that the old ways of "he said - she said" journalism are going to be criticized - and it has learned a new response to that criticsm:  "Our readers are sophisticated enough to know better".

The same readers who believe Obama is the Anti-ChristThese readers.

"Both sides do it".  The call of the false-equivalence throated media apologist.  Their song is about how as objective journalists, they can't be seen as taking sides.  Even if one of the sides is blatantly lying.

Richard Stengel, Managing Editor for TIME states the ridiculousness of the notion:
"One of our jobs as journalists is to be the referee, the honest broker who sorts through the accusations and says, This is fact, and this is fantasy."
Ironically, he does this to introduce the most blatantly ridiculous piece of false-equivalence "journalism" printed since Deborah Howell was Ombudsman of the Washington Post.

Indeed, the media has decided that best defense is a good offense - so they are attempting to be as offensive as possible.  The strategy is never admitting errors and accusing your opponents of any slur and slander you can find until one sticks, a lesson that they learned in eight years of covering the Bush Administration.

Accountability. What a strange and powerful word.  I wonder what it means.


9-11, the day that I honour the First Responders.

Good evening. I just listened to Dr. Charles Boustany, and I'm going to need a BRANES surgeon with more than 20 years of experience, to reassemble the bits.

Republicans are pleased that President Obama came to the Capitol tonight, because this means he’s not fucking their daughters. Did you know that he’s black? Anyways. Republicans are ready – and have always been ready – to work with the President so long as he’s not a socialist commie as indicated by the little (D) after his name.

Afford is an important word. It means Fuck You, I’ve Got Mine. Can’t afford Health Care? Neither can the government, so just die already. That’s called Personal Responsibility, i.e. if you’re poor then Fuck You. Obviously with a negro in the Oval Office, you leachers have got time enough to vote – if you instead spent that time selling your blood or scavenging returnable bottles for their deposits, you’d be able to afford health care too. Plus the recession would be over. Fucking poor folks. Get a job already.

It's clear the American people want health care reform, but the GOP doesn’t. Really, they DO NOT WANT.

Replacing your family's current health care with government-run health care is not the answer – and that’s why in the text of Obama’s speech – available well before Boustany had to churn out this POS – clearly states that he’s looking for reforms that will not replace people’s existing coverage. In fact, he's against it even though it’ll make health care much more expensive. That's the conclusion of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office – the neutral scorekeeper that determines the cost of major bills.

The President had a chance tonight to take government-run health care off the table. Republicans can do better, with a targeted approach the GOP can kill Medicare like they’ve been trying to do since it was first proposed.

This Congress can pass meaningful reform soon to reduce some of the fear and anxiety families are feeling in these very difficult times, but why bother? It sure as hell ain’t gonna get the Republicans any more campaign monies – so the only available option for the Repubs is to kill this thing with lies, scare mongering and obstructionist procedural bullshit.

I'm Dragon-King Wangchuck. Thanks for listening.


Sunday Audition: Media by Us.

In recent days, the axiom of liberal bias in the media has been tested.  The seminal work exposing the complete domnance of left-wing liberal views in the media, The Media Elite by Robert Lichter, Stanley Rothman, and Linda Lichter was published in 1986 but a lot can change in twenty three years.

At the center of this firestorm is the complete lack of coverage given to 9-11 Truther Van Jones.  Jones was President Barack Hussein Obama's choice to head up the White House Green Jobs program, but he has since resigned his position when evidence connecting him to the 9-11 Truther movement was exposed.

The 9-11 Truther movement is a group of conspiracy theorists who believe that the US Government planned the terrorist attacks of 9-11 to provide a cassus belli to initiate a war with Iraq.  That a senior White House advisor could be part of this movement is so beyond the pale, it easily qualifies as the single-most important story of the decade.  And yet the sum total of coverage of this scandal in the pages of the nation's media is nearly zero.  Indeed, if it weren't for the diligent work of objective conservative bloggers and the fair and balanced coverage from Fox News, this story would have disappeared completely.

Countering this argument is a "good offense is the best defense" strategy from MSNBC's own Chuck Todd, who uses The Van Jones Affair as an example of how conservatives can get the media to address their posted issues, despite the media being liberals.  In fact, Todd claims that the bias in the media is actually conservative-biased based on this argument.

Clearly Todd has lost the narrative.  In regards to how outside the mainstream the Truther movement is, the media often compares this group to the Birther movement, a group of people who believe that Obama was born in Kenya.  This is clearly an example of liberal bias in the media as the Truther movement is far more radical.  A simple demonstration of this basic fact is that the Truther movement is so toxic that Jones had no choice but to resign when connected to it.  In contrast, the Birther Movement enjoys widespread support from many Members of Congress.  Indeed, the Truther movement is so bad that Jones spent much time trying to distance himself from the group, claiming that he never held any such views.

Then again, Todd's argument is to be expected.  Todd is himself, part of the media, so it is not unexpected to see such a liberal and left-wing view as his to be expressed so openly.  Compare this to Pat Buchanan's recent opinion piece where he provided a fresh and unconventional perspective on the causes of World War Two.  At first MSNBC was promoting the interesting piece on their own site, but they have since removed it, likely as a response to death threats from the far Left.

Twenty three years have indeed passed since The Media Elite was published and times have changed quite a bit since then.  But it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Sunday Auditions

I'm hoping to make this a regular thing, but I kinda thought that I'd have more to say in the first twenty-four hours of this blog too.

The Sunday Audition is going to be a place to pitch my enormous talents at disseminating conventional wisdom.  These will be in the form of the classic major media outlet op-eds.  Maybe one day, I'll write one pithy and disingenious enough to get a call from Fred Hiatt.


Whatcha knowing? I've come to watch your flowers growing.

One of the things about blogs that I find interesting is the conversational feel they all have - despite responses being spaced by hours or more.  Thus if you do think of the absolute killer rejoinder to end all snappy comebacks, you can Publish Post at that time and look really clever - instead of feeling like a twit on the staircase.

IOW, think of this as yet another source for almost timely responses to the day's outrages.  Or possibly yesterday's.  Or maybe even longer back than that - I'm kinda lazy.