Friday, January 20, 2006

1600 Pennslyannia Madison Avenue

Every time the Bush Administration wants to engage in a major policy change, the sound like an ad agency. Remember that they saber rattling they did in August 2003, chief of staff Andy Card said you don't roll out a new product in August? So they launched It after Labor Day, a little thing called the Iraq war. When things don't go well, this president that doesn't care about polls goes to local media outlets on the theory that they won't ask as tough as questions as the national media.

Just ask Utah's Chris Vanocur and his Peabody about that one.

Most of their communications staff seem to come from the corporate and ad world. and instead of solving problems, it seems the communications staff go to work and making people think there is no problem or that there is another more pressing problem (see Saddam, Social Security, etc). it is really amazing to see their utter unwillingless to address any problems other than with a speech.

I guess you could also call the Bush White House post-modernist too. There is no reality for them, there is only everyone's own perception of what reality is. and so if they can change enough people's perceptions boom, there reality is changed. Too bad that bombs keep blowing up and terrorist recruitment and activity seem to increase rather than decrease while "the insurgency is in its last throes."

Another distraction technique they use is to equate known bad things with other things they don't like. Like Osama and Saddam...they would purposely confuse the two and intermingle the two topics. Or now, Osama and liberals. By saying that Osama's tape "sounds just like Michael Moore" it distracts people from the fact that its been like 5 years since we were attacked by bin Laden and he is obviously not dead or captured.

I didn't like Fehrenheit 9/11 that much, I thought that bowling for collumbine was a much better film, and I think Moore says stupid stuff all the time, but he doesn't sound anyhing anything like Osama. Even Moore or Sean Penn isn't dumb enough to call for a truce. I would say that bin Laden sounds like Star Jones! Man, I can't think of a worse insult to bin Laden, or anyone for that manner to be compared to than Star Jones.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Burns doesn't learn

For the junior Senator from Montana's 71st birthday, he is spending it with the only people he really loves--Abramoff tied lobbyists.

Instead of going back home to the Big Sky state, or hanging out with family or staff, Burns is going to make his birthday party into a at a fundraiser sponsored by Cassidy & Associates--the same folks that used to be Alexander Associates--until so many of their staffers were pleading guilty that they had to close shop briefly and rename themselves. Either Burns needs cash so badly that he has to go through the most tainted of sources, or he is just clueless, or politically suicidal. Or all of the above.

Hat Tip The Fix and Political Wire.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

me MIA

two nights ago, I woke up very hot so I took off my shirt and went back to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, I was feeling achey, weak, and sweaty. The day turned out terrible as I was shivering indoors with my coat and gloves on. Boring classes were even worse. And because my wife had choir practice last night, I had to ride my bike to and from school because otherwise I wouldn't get home until 9:30 or 9.

I staggered into my house, make myself instant stuff and climbed into bed. About 30-45 minutes later, I took a shower and felt better. My wife babied me when she got home, and then I got so hot that I broke out in a sweat. My temp at that point was a little over 100 degrees. With the help of theraflu and gatorade, I feel better today, but not 100%.

Interestingly, my butt and lower back hurt. I wonder if it is from bicycling or how I sat up to eat or what.

Soon, I will be teaching a high school class 2 to 3 times a week with my friend whom I know from my days interning for Rep. Matheson. The girl I was originally scheduled to work with (whom I knew from High School and the year I lived in DC) dropped out last minute because of the conflict with her clinic. In some ways, I think this will be a better pairing for me. Expect postings on my experience with high schoolers in the next couple weeks.

Monday, January 16, 2006

King and Alito

So today is the day we celebrate the life work of Martin Luther King Jr. this is the day that folks spend 5 minutes to say racism still exists and we still have progress to make. And people will wonder what is life was like, and these days people remind the audience that Dr. King was vehemently against the Vietnam war and probably would have been against this war too had he lived.

But my post today is to remind people that was only 42 years ago. That none of the progress that was made was inevitable. Heck, King's birthday didn't become a holiday until the 1980s, and even then Republicans and Southern Senators had be dragged kicking and screaming. My parents were alive and aware when the civil rights movement broke out and I am sure many of my readers lived through it as well. It can all go back, history is not a 1-way street.

And with the selection of folks like Alito, the doors of discrimination will be able to open up more and more. Alito to me looks like a modern-day Roger B Taney, a justice has no respect for the law other than his ability to twist it into any shape he finds satisfying. Precedent say abortion is legal? No problem, just let Sam's "open mind" get cracking. The commerce clause gives congress the right to prohibit discrimination by private persons? Alito's got a few ideas (see his US v. Rybar opinion for creative use of commerce clause powers).

Alito isn't just conservative, he is reactionary. He is finally getting to let out all his frustration with being a nerd and unliked in college or law school by most people. His anger at how the world was changing while he was in school, and his efforts to strike back in the Reagan administration. Bush had this view too, when those damn women and minorities had to ruin his old Yale.

So again, my message is vigilance. We have to protect the progress that has been made in the last 40-50 years and strive for more progress. For universal access to health care, a national education system that puts other nations to shame, to good jobs and retirement security. We are a society that values its children, its old, its poor, its discriminated, its sick, its infirm, we don't throw them at the mercy of the winds anymore. And so we can't let others chisel away protection that we have worked so hard to build up over the years with circular logic and terrible reasoning filling the United States Reporters.