Feb 072007

Anybody considering voting for Rudy Giuliani in 2008 needs to read these two posts from Mahablog first.

I moved to NYC about a month before David Dinkins was defeated by Giuliani in the city mayoral elections in 1993. Giuliani defeated Dinkins that year, partly because Dinkins was seen as ineffective on crime and was criticized for his handling of the Crown Heights riots in 1991. Whether Giuliani deserves credit or not, there was a noticeable improvement in the safety of the city during his term and I think I benefited from that. I rode subways late into the night between Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan and never had any problems. In fact, I’d see cops a lot of the time. He pushed “zero tolerance” and “quality of life” aka “broken window theory”, cracking down on the aggressive squeegee guys and enforcing laws for smaller crimes on the theory that it’ll cut down on the bigger ones. This is all well and good, but it can be taken too far and it appears that’s what happened in the later 90’s (see the Mahablog articles). Giuliani has been accused of creating what amounted to a police state and was not known for his tolerance. Not the sort of attitude I think most of us want after 8 years of the Bush administration.

Update (2007.02.08): I totally forgot the number one reason not to vote for Giuliani. He completely ruined Times Square, turning it from a seedy, nasty underbelly of NYC full of porn shops, drugs, crime and hookers to Disneyland North.
[tags]rudygiuliani, nyc, candidate, campaign, elections, 2008[/tags]

 Posted by on February 7, 2007 at 1:59 pm
Nov 212006
  1. A WSJ editorial from Virginia senator-elect Jim Webb who defeated racist incumbent George “Macaca” Allen. I have no illusions that any of the democrats are going to make it better for the vast majority of the working and middle class, but it can’t be any worse. The fact that this senate race was as close as it was is a sad commentary on the state of things.
  2. Keith Olbermann with a commentary on Bush in Vietnam and his answer to the question of whether or not lessons from Vietnam could be applied to the current situation in Iraq. He’s a bit overly dramatic, but he makes some really good points. I’m glad someone’s doing it.
  3. An excerpt from reporter Patrick Cockburn’s book, The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq (Verso, 2006) on Nevada Thunder, an excellent repository for articles pointing out the myriad of problems with the current administration’s policies.
  4. And Texas proposes a clue but continues to show incredible stupidity thanks to Governor Goodhair and The Hammer.
 Posted by on November 21, 2006 at 3:19 pm
Nov 022006

Only 5 days until Election Day. If you’re not already registered to vote, then you’re hosed, at least here in Austin. You have to be registered 30 days prior to the election in which you’d like to vote. If you are registered, get your ass out there and do it.

Here’s a few things to read an think about over the weekend as you prepare to make your decision:

  • Hearts and BrainsScott sent this New Yorker commentary by Hendrik Hertzberg. It pretty well sums things up.
  • Election, economy and the price of gas – I’m not generally one for conspiracy theories and it seems like this is too complicated to be easily manipulated, but I’m taking note of the current gas price. Let’s see where it is in December or January.
  • The Great Divider – I agree with this 100%. So much for the “compassionate conservative”.
  • Fuck Them – The Rude Pundit on why you should vote against the Republicans this time around. As usual, he doesn’t beat around the Bush (sorry).

It’s impossible not to bring up the recent flap over Kerry’s “joke” in the context of all of this. There’re tons of people across the blogosphere who’ve made valid points about this. It’s a perfect illustration of how screwed up things are right now. I never liked Kerry. I’m still wondering how he got the nomination. At the same time, it’s obvious what he intended when he botched the lame-ass joke, as obvious as what Dick Cheney meant when he referred to waterboarding as a “no-brainer”. Creating a flap over this is just distracting from more important things and the media is a more than willing participant.

 Posted by on November 2, 2006 at 2:29 pm
Oct 232006

It’s a good thing Crooks and Liars posts segments from Bill Maher’s show so I can enjoy them without forking over the dough to HBO since I probably wouldn’t watch much else. I opted to wait for the last season of The Sopranos to come out on DVD instead of paying the extra monthly fee.

Check out the last two clips:

Maher on Neocons.

Maher on Bush, Bolton, Foley, Hastert, Republicans, Democrats, and… maybe, you.

[tags]crooksandliars, realtimewithbillmaher, billmaher, newrule, hbo, commentary[/tags]

 Posted by on October 23, 2006 at 11:05 am
Oct 172006

My parents and my father’s two brothers were in town for a visit this past weekend. I was putting the kids to bed last night and came back downstairs to find my sister and father watching the last 10 minutes of the No Reservations episode with Tony Bourdain in Beirut during the Israeli bombardment this past summer. We’d watched a saved episode of No Reservations earlier in the day and it seemed that dad liked that particular episode and took a liking to Bourdain. Dad’s become more and more conservative in the last 10 years and commented at the end of the Beirut episode, “a liberal saved by the marines” or something to that effect.

My immediate thought was something along the lines of being able to disagree with the policies that put him in that situation, but being supportive and appreciative of the marines themselves. Instead, I said nothing. Since he doesn’t do “the Internets”, I intend to bring this back up over the phone the next time I talk to him.

Along similar lines, The Rude One graces us with his take on the situation in Iraq and the Lancet study released last week (something I’d love to get Andy read in depth and provide his take on the methodology even though he’s not particularly versed in mortality projections).

[tags]anthonybourdain, noreservations, beirut, foreignpolicy, iraq, rudepundit, lancet[/tags]

 Posted by on October 17, 2006 at 2:49 pm
Oct 032006

Glenn Greenwald on the still unfolding Mark Foley scandal:

The Big Revelation has not yet occurred. That is going to be the first confirmed report of Foley’s having actual, in-person sex with one of the pages. At this point, there is no doubt that he did so. He wasn’t inviting them over to his apartment to drink alcohol in order to watch television with them. Still, that hasn’t been reported yet. We’ve been building up to it incrementally and Brian Ross is, I have no doubt, scouring his inbox at this moment for the lead that will take him there.

These endless, incremental disclosures are much more painful for the Republicans — not unlike Chinese Water Torture (which, coincidentally enough, is a technique that the President now has the power to use, thanks in part to legislation approved last week by Denny Hastert, John Boehner, Tom Reynolds and Mark Foley).

[tags]markfoley, glenngreenwald, scandal, torture[/tags]

 Posted by on October 3, 2006 at 1:22 pm
Oct 022006

It’s vile. It’s more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction.

Rep. Mark Foley, R-West Palm Beach in September 1998, soon after the release of the Starr report on the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal (St. Petersburg Times).

Yes, that Mark Foley.

[tags]markfoley, hypocrite, scandal, clinton, pot, kettle[/tags]

 Posted by on October 2, 2006 at 11:30 am
Sep 282006

I read a great post today on a post over on DailyKos. I get the feeling that Markos is of the opinion that third party candidates are a waste of time because they can’t get the support and don’t have the infrastructure that the Democrats already have. This is a practical point of view, but the post over on This Modern World points out why this is a problem. You end up supporting a bunch of people who aren’t willing to take a stand regardless of the consequences. It’s an old song and dance. The framers of the constitution never intended there to be “career politicans”. Who the hell would want to be one? It’s supposed to be a service to your fellow citizens and your country, not a career in and of itself. I feel an extended rant coming on, but it’s just so frustrating.

I’m also annoyed on a state level. We’ve got a four-way race for governor this year. I can’t stand Rick Perry. He’s a known prick and hasn’t done a damn thing as far as I’m concerned. As I’ve mentioned, I can’t vote for Strayhorn for several reasons, chief among them, the fact that she spawned Scott McClelland. I had a passing interest in Kinky. I agree with him on certain issues, but not on others. The recent trashing from Burnt Orange Report has really put me off though. I totally agree with those who’ve pointed out that the guy’s a satirist and a cowboy satirist at that. Of course he’s going to have said things that, taken out of context, will seem overtly racist. Look at any comedian or satirist who focuses on race or plays a character. I can’t really defend the crackheads comment, but going after old routines seems over the top and shrill on the part of BOR and turns me off of them, and by association the Democrats, as well. At the same time, Kinky can’t be surprised that this stuff is coming back to haunt him. He can’t play the character when he’s trying to run for governor. You can read all of the BOR articles on Kinky for yourself and Kelso’s commentary on the issue.

[tags]thismodernworld, dailykos, kinkyfriedman, burntorangereport, democrat, independent, texas, governor[/tags]

 Posted by on September 28, 2006 at 9:14 am
Sep 132006

There were tons of opinions and articles written over the last week to coincide with the 5 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I posted something of my own on the Austin Metblog. My del.icio.us posting setup does a decent job of echoing links now, so I’d like to try and avoid that, but here’s the best of what I saw this past week.

 Posted by on September 13, 2006 at 10:26 am
Jun 152006

I watched the Tonight Show last night. The sparks I anticipated didn’t appear. Carlin did a long riff when he came out. It was impressive, but ultimately unsatisfying. He made a few references to religion, bombs and a slightly incorrect version of the old european heaven and hell joke. Coulter followed him and, other than a lame joke about the first time he’d moved to the right, he and Jay both let her spout her usual crap. She made a comment about how no one who had edited or proofread the book had any problem with the 9/11 widows section or any other part for that matter.

Crooks and Liars has some post-appearance commentary and Rude Pundit is claiming that Coulters book is full of unattributed borrowing. Pharyngula has a flurry of posts on Coulter, echoing some of the bits in Crooks and Liars, mentioning the plagiarism and countering her views on evolution.

[tags]anncoulter, pharyngula, plagiarism, evolution, georgecarlin, tonightshow, jayleno[/tags]

 Posted by on June 15, 2006 at 1:07 pm