Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 5:32 am

Quality government ain’t cheap

It looks like the cost to taxpayers of getting Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., on board with the Democrats’ finance-reform bill — that is, getting him to vote for a cloture motion and break a GOP filibuster — may be an $8 billion gift to Nebraska’s richest man, Warren Buffett. Warren, pal, you’ve been on the side of the angels before, but on this one, you’re just one more bankster.

(If this bill were actually going to prevent another big economic failure, I’d say it was worth it. But it doesn’t go nearly far enough to do that.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009 11:28 pm

Odds and ends for 12/20

How do you surge?: McClatchy’s Nancy Youssef talks about some of the logistics issues, primarily the strain being put on facilities at Bagram and Kandahar that were never meant to handle as much as they’re handling now, let alone what they’ll be asked to handle as the surge begins. One issue among many: sewage. Ew.

Poetry corner: “Joezymandias”

Worst ideas of the decade, per the WaPo. Ed adds Invading Iraq without a Plan, Market Worship, and Vampire Saturation. I think Vampire Saturation wasn’t an idea so much as something that just sort of happened. However, I think a Zombie Apocalypse is a fabulous idea, and I’ll keep you posted as to my progress in that regard.

Best U.S. political analysis by someone too young to remember Nixon and too drunk to make sense, from commenter R-Jud at Balloon Juice: “To answer the question, ‘Were people this stupid before Nixon?’: of course. They just didn’t have a huge, completely subservient, instantaneous multimedia complex capable of giving them airspace or feeding them the latest catchphrases. Another thought: you could say that the people cynically manipulating the crazies, as Nixon did, have died off or faded away over the last 40 years, and in their place we’ve been electing a bunch of the true-believing crazies, who’ve grown up on the Republican groupthink their entire lives. The crazy just keeps boiling down and down to its pure essence.”

Oh, is THAT all?: I blogged on the day it happened that the Supremes had refused to grant cert in Rasul et al. v. Myers et al., in which some Guantanamo detainees had sued Donald Rumsfeld and 10 military officials for having been tortured. At the time, I was hoping that SCOTUSblog, usually the go-to source for interpretation and analysis of high-court decisions, would fill in the contextual gap. As of this writing, that hasn’t happened. But the detainees’ attorneys — who, to state the obvious, have an interest — and Empire Burlesque say the Supremes, agreeing with the Obama Justice Department, which, unconscionably, agreed with the Bush Justice Department before it, have effectively decided that military detainees abroad “are not persons” and therefore “have no right not to be tortured.” Now, aren’t you glad you voted for change?

Before you praise Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., as a “fiscal conservative,” note this.

“I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier”: Way-cool video from Airventure 2009, to the tune of The Killers’ “All These Things I’ve Done” (h/t: Fred):

Sunday, December 13, 2009 8:48 pm

Odds and ends for 12/13

Same as it ever was: The Obama Administration is held in contempt for obstructing justice in the same way the Bushbots used to do. The courts, once again, slap a wrist but take no real action to make it stop. Maybe I’m just grumpy, but if a government prosecutor had disobeyed so clear and direct an order in MY court, his butt would’ve been in jail before lunch.

These are not grown-ups: Ben Nelson is now trashing the same Medicare-expansion proposal he, as part of the 10-senator negotiating group, helped create. He does not belong within a mile of any public office, ever.

Quote of the day, from House Appropriations Chairman David Obey: “I am damn tired of a situation in which only military families are asked to pay any price whatsoever for this war.” Yeah, I grasp the potential ramifications of that statement. Let’s HAVE that discussion.

Co-quote of the day, from Jason Linkins, on this week’s killing of al-Qaeda’s No. 3 guy, which is about the fourth time since 2001 we’ve killed al-Qaeda’s No. 3 guy: “It’s like we’ve gotten very good at killing Spinal Tap’s drummer.”

Thursday, December 10, 2009 9:16 pm

Odds and ends for 12/10

Unintentional political zinger of the year: Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., asked whether he would filibuster the health-care bill because of the failure of his anti-abortion amendment, answered, “I have no Plan B.”

Do scientists get tattoos? Why, yes. Yes, they do.

Obama goes all in on torture: He’s asking that a lawsuit against Bush lawyer John Yoo be dismissed. Whom Would Obama Waterboard? Guess we’ll see soon enough.

He wins the Internet: A friend’s Facebook status today: “was just accosted by an angry elf. So I cut the brake line on his sleigh.”

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