Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Doctor, There's a Rash on My Nation

Have you ever thought of Bush as a horrible, pustular facial rash? Well, Mark Morford has, and it is, as usual, inimitable reading.

I wrote the following at my Daily Kos diary tonight, and I meant it. This is in response to the charges of "death threats" coming out of that community against a journalist in Boston (the story is discussed in detail at Eric Alterman's blog).

I post regularly at D-Kos, and have found (via comments to my diary there) that the discussions are always animated, but rarely malevolent. In fact, my overall impression is that DK is overwhelmed with caring, thoughtful, and, well...liberal people. I also, by the way, still feel that the American military contains a preponderance of caring professionals who always try to recall their place amid humanity while doing a sometimes impossibly difficult job.

But the problem with violence is that it's like a red dye: only a few drops can taint a large body of clear water. Or truth.

Dog Bites Man Story of the Day: The rich are getting richer, and the poor... Well, check out some of the stats that Mother Jones (one of the best written and researched mags out there) aggregated on this issue:

Bush’s tax cuts (extended until 2010) save those earning between $20,000 and $30,000 an average of $10 a year, while those earning $1 million are saved $42,700.

In 2002, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) compared those who point out statistics such as the one above to Adolf Hitler.

Bush has dedicated $750 million to “healthy marriages” by diverting funds from social services, mostly child care.

Bush has proposed cutting housing programs for low-income people with disabilities by 50%.

Among the working poor, 13% of income is spent on commuting if public transportation is used, 21% if a private vehicle is used.

Workers who earn $45,000 or more spend 2% of their income on commuting.

For more proof of the quality of the journalism at MoJo, click the graphic above, and then read this. Then do what I did: buy a subscription. For ten bucks a year, it's one of the best bargains you'll ever find.

Assault By Any Other Name...: Of course, people are making excuses for the oaf that committed a felony against another fellow during a soccer game. They say the victim of the attack had called the perp a "dirty terrorist." Now they're asking FIFA, the governing body of this bizarre cult, to—I am NOT making this up—punish the victim. Meanwhile, of course, the psycho that committed this heinous act gets to keep his golden ball trophy, and no one has even mentioned sanctioning him.

Remember how Tenet got the Medal of Freedom for screwing up the CIA? If these soccer folks are looking for work, I think they'd be welcomed in the Bush administration...or Congress, for that matter.

Errol Flynn Meets Groucho: Finally, a brief note of celebration for a very odd character who has broken attendance records that many had thought impregnable. For those of us with daughters, however (mine is 12), it came as no surprise: Pirates of the Caribbean has created a kind of mass movement. If you're familiar with Johnny Depp's character, perhaps it seems strange that a goofy, stumbling, Falstaff-like hedonist with a marked feminine streak in his nature should be a swashbuckling male cinema hero. He wouldn't be my top choice either. But rarely have I ever seen a film character so widely and deeply loved. Whenever I ask my kid why, she shrugs, laughs, and says, "Poppy, everything about him is SO funny...just watching him walk makes me laugh!"

Well, that's how I always felt about Groucho. And in a time of self-important, anal-retentive, bloviating fools who compete for airtime and big money, maybe a slightly effeminate, anti-heroic goofball doing Keith Richards impressions is just the entertainment we need—nor a bad male role model, in fact. My daughter thinks so.

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