Monday, February 23, 2009

Fringe Beliefs

Via Matt Yglesias I find this.

Legalizing Marijuana is a ridiculous notion. The "love that dare not speak it's name" could speak it's name in rural Montana sooner than major political figures suggest ending our wonderful Weed Dealer Subsidy (aka, the Great Big War On Drugs).

There's a few things more fringe than legal weed though. Check out the approval rating graph:


Friday, February 13, 2009

Picture Of The Week

For the Lovely And Talented Mrs. Pedant:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Best Line Ever

From John Cole at Balloon Juice (aka the blog that shows you what happens to conservative views when the guy can actually think...) a comment about dealing with "bipartisanship" when one of the partisans is clearly crazy.

Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax. If you can figure out a way to split the difference there and find a meal you will both enjoy, you can probably figure out how bipartisanship is going to work the next few years.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Picture Of The Week

Because it's, a) funny, b) highly appropriate and c) I need practice embedding pictures in this thing...the last couple got chopped in weird ways...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Stimulus Package Shenanigans (Adult Supervision Required)

This should be interesting. On the one hand you have a group of people, the House Republicans, who after 8 years of Bush think "bipartisan" means you do what they want and they smile instead of mooning you. On the other hand you have a group of people, liberals, mainly blogger type, but let's just admit, liberals; justifiably annoyed at our treatment by Republicans over the last eight years.

Now that the former have shown that in many ways they are deeply unserious, the latter have made calls for Obama to put everything and the kitchen sink back in the stimulus package now that the Repubs did what Repubs do. The Repubs haven't met us half way? Fuck 'em and the horse they rode in on for the next eight years. Let's see how the fat white fucks like bending over and taking it rather than dishing it out. And there's a HUGE part of me that wants to join in.

I even know EXACTLY what I'd put into the stimulus package. Worried about how we're going to pay for the spending? OK. Bend over cause I'm about to lay some pipe, you noobs. Let's take the top marginal tax rate back up to 39% right NOW rather than waiting until after next year when it happens automatically. Hell, bump it to 45%.

"Wrong time to raise taxes"? Well I'm not talking about everyone, just the 500K and up crowd. And they, my friends, aren't hurting. A few who did something monumentally stupid, like let one guy run all their investments, are but not most of 'em.

"You'll disincentivize them, they won't be as inventive as they would be otherwise"? Given what this crew invented over the last few years in the financial sector, I find that I can face the thought of a buncha Wall Street types getting in touch with their inner Goth, all emo and depressed, better than thinking about what else they'd do if they were all perky. That's not a bug, that's a feature.

But we shouldn't do it. Why? Well one, Obama really DOES want to govern pragmatically and get past the partisan tit for tat, which means someone, somewhere, has to be the adult here. Lord knows it won't be the Repubs. And like not torturing people, what's right should also turn out to be more effective. I harbor a sneaking suspicion that if the stimulus as currently packaged is as attractive to America as it seems to be, and the Repubs find themselves unable to do anything other than claim that their ideas (you know, the ones that got us INTO the mess...a neverending cycle of deregulation and tax cuts) are the only ones they can support, eventually it'll get noticed.

Then there will increasingly be three types of Repubs; dead enders, ones about to be voted out, and pragmatic moderates.

There's always going to be an Orange County, CA, so there will always be dead enders. Like herpes, they just never go away completely and the question is always, "Can you control it most of the time?" Increasingly though, either the Repubs will get it, or they'll go completely Palin and they'll be replaced with something that kind of looks like the kind of Republicans MomPedant remembers, whether they call themselves Tories or Whigs or Bull Moose.

People who are pissed about Obama being willing to genuinely compromise need to realize that there are two idiotic beliefs that people engage in every four years. Every four years we're told by Repubs that the Democratic candidate is the most liberal politician short of exhuming Che Guevara. The two idiot beliefs? One, Repubs believe it. Two, Democrats believe it too.

Barack Hussein Obama is not now, nor has he ever been, a doctrinaire liberal. He has shown every sign of preferring to go with what works. I find that comforting. I may (or may not) be more liberal than Obama, but I have a high degree of confidence that if my belief in one of my deeply held theories is right then he'd do what I want, and if I'm wrong, he won't. And where I'm wrong, he shouldn't, whether the idea is liberal or not.