January 23, 2009

Labor pains

I'm very confused about how for what seems like two or three years now there's been whining from the moderate left on card check for unions about how "there's no succinct counter to the easy GOP talking point that card check 'will eliminate the secret ballot.'"

When, exactly, did "they're full of shit" stop being succinct? I guess I missed where this was a hard conversation. If someone says card check eliminates the secret ballot, they're wrong. If an anti-union organization or anti-union politician, having read the language of the bill, says card check eliminates the secret ballot, they're lying.

This is one of those stupid arguments where one side simply lets the other side lie because they think because "you're lying" is only two words long it doesn't sound like a legitimate counter argument. Why can't one of the EFCA proponents for once just slap the text of the bill on their opponent's desk, hand them a highlighter and ten thousand dollars cash and tell them it's theirs if they can highlight the part where it says what they claim it does? Frankly that'd make smashing good television.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:49 PM

January 21, 2009

The heat makes you crazy

My first reaction was that it was kind of sad how the parallel world right-wing bloggers are creating for themselves now requires Michelle Obama to somehow not be attractive. And I know this is a superficial thing on its face, but honestly, the derangement is getting hilarious at this point. I don't think Michelle Obama's looks have any merit on her ability to do whatever it is First Ladies do, and to be blunt I don't really think that's a lot to begin with. But the simple truth is, on a comparative level, yeah, she's a pretty attractive woman. And that's yet another little thing about the Obamas that drive the right-wingers insane.

Chris Rock's comments about Obama have passed through the blogs already, but they're worth repeating:

CNN: I watched the special last night, and I noticed that you did a lot of jokes about John McCain -- his age, his war hero story -- but not so many about Barack Obama. Is it harder to make fun of Obama?

Chris Rock: He's just one of those guys, you know, like Will Smith. There's no Will Smith jokes. There's no Brad Pitt jokes. You know, what are you going to say? 'Ooh, you used to have sex with Jennifer Anniston. Now you have sex with Angelina Jolie. You're such a loser.' What do you say? 'Ooh, your movies are big. You make $20 million.' There's nothing to say about Brad Pitt.

CNN: Why is Obama like that?

Rock: It's like 'Ooh, you're young and virile and you've got a beautiful wife and kids. You're the first African-American president.' You know, what do you say?

CNN: As time goes on do you think it will get easier?

Rock: Of course, as time goes on. At some point he's going to -- there's always slip-ups. No one can survive that level of scrutiny without occasionally making it easy for a comedian.

Obama's not perfect. He's going to screw up. He's going to cave on stuff that's going to piss off liberals. But right now he's incredibly popular, he's in control of one of the most powerful Democratic Party-led governments since the Civil Rights era, and he's putting forth plans that no amount of right-wing whining is going to stop.

So they're reduced to calling Michelle Obama ugly. That's literally all they have. And that's actually kind of awesome.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:12 PM

January 19, 2009


Latest comic - click here!

As sort of a sequel to "Hope," I guess I'll continue my slight streak of cynicism amidst this momentous... umm... moment.

I can't imagine there's anything left to be said of the tired satisfaction with Bush's finally leaving or the optimism of Obama's incoming presidency. In fact, Ezra's provided the best writing I've seen this week on both the former and the latter, so just go read him if you're not doing that already.

But that all said, I would have traded all this for the last eight years to be different. It's amazing looking back at how we scoffed at Al Gore and thought he was insufficient to take control of the country. I voted for Bill Bradley in the 2000 primary. Me. I voted for Bill Bradley. But yeah, looking back, none of us really knew any better, did we?

Well, we should have. That's our job as citizens just as it's the president's job as president- to realize when we're doing the wrong thing. There's going to be a lot of talk over the next few years, both from Bush's apologists and Bush himself- about whether or not he at least "thought he was doing the right thing." It's nonsense. Bush's problem was that he didn't care if he was doing the right thing or not. He cared about legacy and being the tough guy and if he thought it made him look good, that made it "the right thing."

In homage to Bush, let us acknowledge that we've made a lot of fantastically stupid decisions in the course of this nation's history. Let's pray we haven't made another one.

Buy some crap and join the list.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:32 PM

Just in case you didn't cry yet today

So, yeah, in case you missed it, here's Bruce Springsteen, a choir, a half-million or so people, and Pete goddamn Seeger signing "This Land" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Because, you know, the original idea of having everyone in America simultaneously hug each other wasn't logistically feasable or whatever.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 5:46 PM

White man's burden

Really, the next four years are going to be the halcyon days for Chris Muir. As discussed before, the standout character of Muir's incalculably shitty webcomic Day By Day is the black character he created to, for all intents and purposes, reflect Muir and the conservative right's hatred of black people without somehow feeling that what they're saying is racist.

You can imagine, therefore, the glee that must spill from every stroke of Muir's pen with the approach of a black president. We should pretty much just establish for the record here and now that Muir's imaginary black friend is going to be even more prominent as Muir makes sure any and all strips critical of Obama will begin with Muir- I'm sorry- the totally realistic black conservative- explaining how Obama is a terrible black person.

Day by Day: it's not racist when you have a middle-aged white guy pretending a black guy said it.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 2:04 PM

January 18, 2009

A humble request for you to steal government property

I want this sign. I want this sign so bad it hurts.

If you are attending the inauguration or just live in DC in general, and can actually grab an intact copy of one of these, I will happily send you a thank-you sketch and a check to cover the shipping costs. My only, admittedly-insane request is that it's as intact as possible- or at the very least in decent enough condition to frame and keep on my wall.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:17 AM