From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...
Kossacks: Stop Being Good Democrats!
I've liked Jonathan Alter ever since I first heard him as a guest on Air America's The Al Franken Show (way back when), but sometimes he whiffs big-time. In a recent issue of Newsweek he discusses the ongoing Republican campaign to wage the politics of gridlock in the U.S. Senate, and how Democratic losses this November (or, if Scott Brown wins in Massachusetts today, this month) will make it even harder to achieve anything that might benefit the country. All true, except he fails to mention how a bunch of corporate-owned "conservadems" have acted as the GOP's trusty enablers. That might be important to point out.
But it's Alter's conclusion that makes me wonder what he was smokin' when he wrote it, as he trains his guns on you and me, essentially telling us to shut up, sit down, and clap louder:
[I]nstead of getting all morose, why don't Democrats use 2010 to build on their 2009 accomplishments? You didn't hear much about them because the Democratic base has turned into a bunch of pouty purists who can't take yes for an answer. Instead of being thrilled about the most important piece of social legislation in a generation, Democrats are, once again, perusing their selection of fine whines.
It's time for them to lift their chins and face the world as it is, not as Daily Kos told them it was supposed to be. Then sour can turn sweet this year on jobs, financial regulation, immigration reform, climate change---and the rest of the Democratic agenda.
Ah, those dirty fucking hippies at Daily Kos. Where do we get our crazy idealism from? Oh yeah...
Affordable, Quality Health Care Coverage for All Americans
If one thing came through in the platform hearings, it was that Democrats are united around a commitment that every American man, woman, and child be guaranteed affordable, comprehensive healthcare. In meeting after meeting, people expressed moral outrage with a health care crisis that leaves millions of Americans---including nine million children---without health insurance and millions more struggling to pay rising costs for poor quality care. ... While there are different approaches within the Democratic Party about how best to achieve the commitment of covering every American, with everyone in and no one left out, we stand united to achieve this fundamental objective through the legislative process.
Covering All Americans and Providing Real Choices of Affordable Health Insurance Options.
Families and individuals should have the option of keeping the coverage they have or choosing from a wide array of health insurance plans, including many private health insurance options and a public plan. Coverage should be made affordable for all Americans with subsidies provided through tax credits and other means.
Reproductive Health Care.
We will never put ideology above women’s health
---From the Official Platform of the National Democratic Party
Yes, fellow Kossacks, we should lift our chins and face the world as it is, not as the Democratic Party itself (and Old Whatsizface, the President) tells us it's supposed to be. Bad Kossacks! Wash them stars out 'o yer eyes forthwith!
As for you, Jonathan. Next time you find yourself bumped up against a deadline and you don’t know how to end a column, try this: Instead of taking a cheap shot at a blog whose readers are trying to help make the Democratic platform a reality while defeating the Republican obstructionists you decry (and the conservadems you don't but should), just use the old standby, "Thank you for reading." Then maybe sign up here and come engage us in some good old-fashioned debate. You may just learn that we're pretty good at balancing our idealism with our realism.
As for being "thrilled" about the healthcare bill: once we have one I'll be happy to describe the tingle running up my leg in great detail. Until then, pardon me for not swooning.
Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Note: The Lord replied, "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I was using the jet pack my dad got me for Christmas. Wheee!!!"
By the Numbers:
Days 'til President's Day: 27
Days `til the 3rd annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival: 10
Number of comedy writers on the staffs of Letterman, The Jay Leno Show and Conan O'Brien who are women: 0 (Kimmel and Ferguson employ 1 each)
Percent by which Americans' inflation-adjusted weekly wages fell in 2009: 1.6%
The last year during which the drop was as steep: 1990
(Source: Labor Department's Little Miss Sunshine Office)
Percent of Americans who say, "Oh shit...!" as they're heading into a ditch on a slippery road: 98%
Percent of Mainers who instead say, "Hold my beer and watch this...": 98%
Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:
It's hard to watch a vampire film without looking for metaphors — about STDs, AIDS, or whatever.
---John Miller at NRO's "The Corner" via Instaputz
All together now: One...two...three... Really???
Puppy Pic of the Day (via Kossack Bill Evans at Mariposa): "Apparently, the 5-inch-tall mutt had gotten wet in a nearby ditch. When he tried to jump the 7-inch-tall rail, he got stuck and his icy fur froze to the [train] track." If the suspense is killing you...click here.
CHEERS to election day in Massachusetts (because it sure beats the hell out of a bloody coup). If the so-called "Massachusetts Democratic Machine" really exists, today would be a good day for it to stretch its legs a bit and deliver a win for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy. Regardless of the outcome, I'll always look back fondly on this election as the one in which Republicans opted to take the high road...by making "Stick a curling iron up her butt" a campaign slogan. The best prediction C&J can make is: Broakley. Oh, and we opened the bar early today. Save me a stool and pour me a Sam Adams. And a Valium chaser. (Tick tock Tick tock...)
CHEERS to home sweet home in a box. Have you been following TexMex & Co.'s ShelterBox diaries? Very cool concept, and a perfect idea for Kossacks to rally around as we focus on ways to help homeless folks in Haiti. The organizers have noticed our efforts...and are pleased:
Dear Daily Kos Bloggers,
We at ShelterBox USA are amazed at the outpouring of support we've seen from your community. Your efforts are translating into ShelterBoxes as we speak--boxes that we're now able to deploy to Haitian families displaced by last Tuesday's horrendous earthquake. We've committed over 3,000 boxes to the deployment so far--enough to shelter 30,000 people. Daily Kos's collective contribution to this is enormous. We've never seen a response like this from a single virtual community... we're amazed! Thank you for your compassion and generosity. Your bloggers are saving lives!
Your Friends at ShelterBox USA
The donation page linky is here if you can spare a few bucks. Oh, and to answer their most frequently-asked question: No, they don’t make a version for husbands who have been kicked out of the house. Yet.
JEERS to proving your IQ matches your shoe size. Shame on Mohawk High School in upstate New York, which looked the other way while a student there got harassed for being gay:
According to court papers, kids threw food at him and told him to get a sex change. One student pulled out a knife and threatened to string Jacob up the flagpole. A teacher allegedly told Jacob to "hate himself every day until he changed."
One day, Jacob came home from school limping. That evening, he called his father from a party and said he had sprained his ankle at the party. Sullivan described taking his son to the hospital: "It was a really bad sprain. They put a cast on it, gave him crutches. And shortly after that, I found out that it didn’t happen at the party. It happened at the school, because somebody had pushed him down the stairs."
Over two years, Sullivan went to his son’s school three or four times a week to talk with the principal. According to court papers, officials did nothing.
What makes this case particularly newsworthy is the fact that the Justice Department is getting involved, filing a motion to intervene, citing Article IX of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. If they're successful, the principal could be in for one helluva swirlie. (I hope they sell tickets...)
JEERS to singing Auld Lang Corzine. New Jersey's progressive governor went out with a bong yesterday as he completed his term by signing into a law "a measure making New Jersey the 14th state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes." Today Republican Chris Christie will be sworn in as the state's 55th governor. He vows to bring traditional conservative ideas to Trenton. May God have mercy on your souls.
CHEERS to thinking yourself thin. A government task force says that intensive behavior treatment twice a week for six months can help kids lose weight. And if it doesn't work, my task force's recommendation is sure-fire or your money back: eat less.
CHEERS to good spelling. On this date in1955, Scrabble made its debut. Our highest scoring word: ZZXXQQ (pronounced "Zzuhzzhkuh"). Our highest-scoring word while sober: "Cow."
CHEERS to mysteries solved. Oh, I get it now: the "Bell" in Taco Bell isn’t a real bell, it's the founder, Glen Bell, Jr.'s, last name. Too bad I learned that by reading his obituary. He was 86. Like most fast food titans, his roots were humble:
At 16, with the family facing hard times, according to his biography, Glen Jr. "goes on the bum" and "rides the rails in search of work." He joined the Marines in 1943 and served in the Pacific.
Back in San Bernardino after the war, Mr. Bell bought a surplus Army truck and began hauling adobe bricks at 5 cents each. A miniature golf course that he leased failed to make a profit. Then, he opened a hamburger stand in a Hispanic neighborhood. [I]n 1962, with a $4,000 investment, he opened the first Taco Bell, in Downey, Calif.
He'll be gently rolled into a soft tortilla shell and buried with cheese and picante sauce. (And, if it pees on the carpet one more time, a chalupa-dropping chihuahua.)
Five years ago in C&J: January 19, 2005
JEERS to Rahm Emanuel. The Democratic Illinois representative and DCCC chairman got eviscerated on Meet the Press Sunday---partly because of Tim Russert's unnecessary traps, but mostly because of his own ineptitude on Iraq and Social Security. Back to 9th-grade debate class for you, mister. [1/19/10 Update: Or the White House. Whatever.]
JEERS to getting it backwards. This week's `U.S. News & World' report devotes 1,457 words to the U.N. oil-for-food scandal. But the number of words devoted to weapons inspectors calling off their search for WMDs in Iraq because they didn't find any, meaning the war was 100% unjustified and over 1,300 soldiers died for nothing except Bush administration lies? 91 words. Have fun at the inauguration, editors.
And just one more...
CHEERS to going SUPER Green! What is one to do with an old federal building in, say, Portland Oregon whose façade isn't structurally sound but butt-ugly? Easy: take some stimulus funds and turn it into a giant planter for natural "insulation, cleansing [of] urban air, deadening sound, [and] sequestering carbon":
The architects' plans call for seven vertical "vegetated fins" to jut at acute angles. The fins would be the metal framework for planters and the greenery sprouting from them. The west wall is 150 feet long, making the expanse to be shaded about three-quarters the size of an NFL playing field, minus the end zones. ...
[Architect Don] Eggleston's firm, SERA Architects, is working on some questions that weekend gardeners never have to figure out: what plants will grow readily at more than 200 feet in the air and how to water, fertilize, weed and prune at that height.
Suddenly a voice, seemingly carried on the wind, whispered into the chief architects's ear: "Howzabout airplants?" And, just like that, the Portland, Maine blogger's one and only foray into hortitecture ended...and passed into legend.
Have a nice Tuesday. Let's hope fate smiles on Martha Coakley kinda like this. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:
"I’d rather be at home in Cheers and Jeers eating chocolates and getting drunk."