Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Meet the fan

Since Day One of the discussion about invading Iraq, I said the two biggest issues were going to eventually be 1) the distraction from what needed to be done to stabilize Afghanistan, and 2) the very real and dangerous possibility of bringing the conflict between the Kurds and the surrounding nations who are extremely invested in keeping Kurdish nationalism in check (read: crushed; this includes but is not limited to Turkey, Syria, and Iran).

So the last couple of months have made me very nervous, with the Turkish threats and now execution of incursions into Kurdish territory in Iraq. Now it looks like the shit is about THIS -><- far from the whirling fan blades.

For all the talk about a possible conflagration if the U.S. withdraws, if this continues, there will be a conflagration regardless of whether we withdraw or not.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Irony, Thy Name Is Dan Burton

Listening to the Congressional steroids hearing this morning, I heard one of the best comic bits I've heard in quite some time. Dan Burton is a Republican Congressman from Indiana. If his name sounds familiar, well, Google Dan Burton Vince Foster melon and see what you come up with. Yeah, that guy.

So anyways, he gets his time to question Clemens and Mcnamee and, unlike in baseball, Clemens did not have to face any hardballs. Burton is—to put it mildly—pro-Clemens and decidedly anti-Mcnamee. So most of Burton's time is spent in this rather pointless harangue of Mcnamee that I suppose was meant to be a devastating shredding of Mcnamee's reputation, but really just made Burton look like a fanboy and not really an inquisitor with the slightest interest in a truthful outcome.

But the statement that really made me guffaw went something like this (and when I can get a transcript, I'll update the quote):

I don't believe it's the right thing to have these kinds of hearings, they're just a circus.

This from the man dubbed The Fool on the Hill for his over-the-top theatrics in Congressional hearing rooms, who issued over 1,000 subpoenas in an investigation that spanned years and cost millions of dollars. That guy, he doesn't like the circus.

Barring some dramatic change, I think the Burton investigation is going to be remembered as a case study in how not to do a congressional investigation and as a prime example of investigation as farce.

Probably a Clinton staffer, right? No, that's "Norman Ornstein, a congressional expert for the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank."

Yeah, homie's such a spaz that the conservatives think he's a wing-nut.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I'm curious as to people's take on Hillary's grievance du jour regarding the "pimped out" comment by MSNBC's David Shuster. I think this take is pretty right on: I think there's a legit grounds for a bitch from Hillary's side, in that using the word "pimp" in any sense other than a pejorative one is not particularly common for the 60-and-over set. I also think that many people under 40 and definitely most under 30 are going to think that it illustrates the fact that Hillary's a member of the 60-and-over set. I certainly find it less offensive than many of the racially charged innuendos that came out of the Clinton camp in the wake of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Now, this matter of exactly what offense was given and what punishment is deserved in response is besides the point that Clinton has grabbed ahold of this relatively minor infraction by a relatively minor media personage like a shipwreck victim for a life preserver. They're not making a big deal out of it because of (or at least solely because of) their outrage at the offense, but because they're fucking fired up to have something to be outraged at.

But let's ignore that matter right now. What exactly is the level of offense in this comment, if any? I'm also curious as to what the generational and cultural differences would be in this perception.