Hal Ginsberg's picture

    HilarEmail

    That the cover-up is worse than the crime is a Washington truism I've never fully believed. In 2013, Republicans chastised former IRS director Lois Lerner for subjecting groups with the words "tea party" in their name to additional scrutiny when they sought tax-exempt status. Subsequently, conservatives alleged Lerner was covering up her "crime" because emails that could have shed light on the IRS practice had been deleted.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    MW on the TV

    Just in case anyone wants to see how I look like on the small screen...

    Obama & Teddy Roosevelt: Similar Legislative Strategies?

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    Ramona's picture

    Yes, Virginia, There Is A Unicorn Hunters Society

    There is a real Unicorn Hunters Society in the United States, in case you hadn't heard.  It was formed in 1971, even though, as you know, unicorns have been around forever.  The society is based at Lake Superior State University (hereafter known as LSSU) in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (pronounced "soo saint Marie, hereafter known as The Soo).

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    Supreme Court Elephants and bitches.

    The elephants in the room were quite visible in this week's Supreme Court hearings on the latest Republican attempt to destroy the signature legislation of America's first black President.

    Justice Thomas---often incorrectly called a "sphinx" due to the absence of any oral questions from him since 2006---is, not by any stretch of the imagination, not an elephant. But for Thomas, apparently, asking questions is a bitch.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    American Democracy - Not Dead Yet

    Thanks to Michael M. for highlighting Matthew Yglesias's Cassandra prophesy at Vox: "American Democracy is Doomed." In the piece, Yglesias warns that political polarization will sooner or later trigger "a collapse of the legal and political order" in the United States. "If we're lucky," he adds gloomily, "it won't be violent."

    You don't have to be a seer to see that the federal government is in crisis. We have been reading about congressional paralysis for five years straight. The immediate cause is no mystery--the American checks-and-balances system does not handle polarization well. The founding fathers, in their zeal to prevent totalitarianism, designed a system that empowers its various branches to sabotage one another for political gain.

    If Yglesias had limited his conclusions to these observations, the result would have been an interesting if prosaic political commentary. But where's the fun in that? Headline-grabbing doom prophesies trend much better than humdrum political commentary. Fortunately for the health of American democracy, they are invariably specious, and this one is no exception.

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    Being Bibi's Bitch

    Wow, simply wow. I was going to title this "The Founding Fathers on Israel" (and briefly "Bibi's Poodle"), since obviously those great men had to foresee the unbreakable bonds we would have with Israel, and recognize the already evident shared values and common ideals.

    And even though Herzl & Co. had courted the Ottomans, Brits and Russia/Soviet Union for this Big Brother role,  it's important that she finally settled on us, the U-S of effin' A. Let's not bicker over who she slept with on the way to the altar - the important thing is she settled on us - and for that reason, she's always been true.

    Wattree's picture

    A Brush With Immortality: Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, and Jackie Mclean

    Monk saw me as a young wide-eyed joke, and I was. I was 16 and on a roll (I had just seen John Coltrane a couple of weeks earlier). Monk asked me, "What you know about jazz, boy?" And I started telling him about all the urban legends that I'd heard about him. As he was listening intently to one of my stories he asked me, "Damn! What did I do then!!!?"  You have to know how Monk was to know why I look back on that as being so funny, because he was dead serious. He got into the story like I was telling him a story about someone else. I never did find out whether the story was true or not.  But When I was done, he told his wife, Nelly, "Shit, he knows more about me than I do," and they started laughin' their asses off.

    SleepinJeezus's picture

    Noonan Gravely Accuses Tea Partiers of "Thinking."

    Ah, Peggy Noonan. She is like the bench partner in middle school science class who tears the wings from a living butterfly and then weeps mournfully over its demise. Her latest effort at scientific analysis finds her not only accusing Tea Partiers of "thinking," but also offers her scientific impression that their thoughts are ascendant within the population at large.
    Michael Maiello's picture

    Democracy's Tricky Ending

    Over at Vox, Matthew Yglesias argues that American Democracy is Doomed.  The flaws that have taken down every other constitutional republic in the world will one day come for America, irrevocably altering the system and ending the experiment of 1776.  It's a neat essay.  He's also set up his argument so that you'd have to be an extremist American exceptionalist to say he's wrong.

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    Richard Day's picture

    ETHICS

    I AM VOLUNTARILY PREPARING TO DIE ON MARS.

    WHY NOT?  MY KIDS COULD SAY:

    Hell, my dad died on Mars. Hahahah

    I was a conciliation court judge in my mid twenties.

    A mentor of mine sent me down to sign up.

    The gig was once a month and I received 70 bucks for my time.

    Now you have to remember that in those days an 800 square foot home cost $250/month and being an incompetent that was a lot of money.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    We Might Need (smart) Black Conservatives

    I firmly believe the two party system, as it currently exists, lacks the ability and will to structurally better the lives of everyday people. Much of my critique revolves around the grotesque amount of money in politics and the corporate media's failure to accurately report on economic, political, and social events. The democratic component of our republic has been circumvented, and we (as a nation) need an intellectual awakening (or reawakening) to recover it. Since it would be virtually impossible to remove money from politics or make the corporate media do it's job, I'm led to believe a few moderate changes could lead us down the road to a higher political discourse. One of these ideas is to embrace "authentic" black conservatives. The "authentic" is an appropriation of a thesis offered by Chidike Okeem (a writer and conservative commentator). Chidike calls for authentic black conservatives to push back against the "artificial" black conservatives who parrot talking points given to them by the conservative media noise machine.

    Regime Change and Precedent

    After all the screaming about Bush's botched trumped-up war in Iraq, looks like the left is getting its own takedown in Libya - with the rise of ISIS, inability to form a stable government, oil wealth not covering all the expenses - our over-optimistic fantasies of the future by overthrowing Qaddafi seem horridly misguided 3 years later. Somalia on the Mediterranean is our new dystopian future. After pride comes the fall.

    A Message to You, Rudy

    Rudy Giuliano is the son of an organized crime enforcer for loan sharks and gamblers who spent time in Sing Sing for felony assault and gambling - as the great Casey Stengel said, "you can look it up".

    How Giuliano then gets to lecture Obama on his Hawaiian upbringing is anyone's guess, but yes, Rudy - Obama wasn't raised like you - his idea of "Family" doesn't equal "Mafia".

    Pass it on.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Leonard Nimoy Open Thread

    I admit, it hits me whenever somebody from the original cast dies and I'll probably feel the same way about Star Trek: The Next Generation and Voyager.

    The whole Star Trek vision and, believe me, some of it has its problems, has always struck me as a bit of necessary hope in a society that can very easily turn cranky.  The whole show, and Nimoy embodied this, has always been about humanity overcoming its want for resources and its inane and unproductive tribalisms.

    Ramona's picture

    CPAC! A Fond Look Back on the Circuses That Were

    It's CPAC time!  I almost missed it!  (My invitation no doubt was lost in the mail.)  Since 2009, shortly after I first started writing this blog, I've been fascinated by the dizzy doings over at CPAC (Conservative Po
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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Dagblog Hack Alert

    Hi everyone, I recently discovered that dagblog has been hacked. The North Korean government denies responsibility, but supreme leader Kim Jong Un has been known to harbor animosity against dagblog after we suspended his account for ad hominem attacks, hijacking comment threads, crimes against humanity, and other ToS violations. Homeland Security has been notified and promises to take unspecified reprisals against unspecified nations as soon as they figure out their funding situation.

    In all seriousness, the site was hacked. I don't believe that the hackers did anything other than use our server as a spam-generator, but as a precaution, I suggest that you make sure that you're not using your dagblog email and password on other sites that have more sensitive information. If you are, I recommend that you change your passwords on those other sites. There is no need to change your dagblog password. I don't think the hackers are interested is blogging here. But if it makes you feel more comfortable, you can change it here or go to My Account in the top bar.

    I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. I will add additional security precautions to prevent this from happening in the future.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    National Adjunct Walkout Day (and Why It Matters to You)

    Today, February 25, is National Adjunct Walkout Day. The majority of college teachers in America today are not full-time instructors with salaries, benefits, or job security, but allegedly "part time" adjunct faculty members paid a few thousand dollars per course. Today, across our country, those adjunct faculty members will be walking out of their classes and holding events to raise awareness.

    Can America reach a new equilibrium?

    If our current political deadlock, amplified by the market forces of technology and capitalism are projected without modification into the future, a world of extreme inequality, overwhelming local taxes and religiously contrived restrictions on personal behavior awaits us. The invention of cheap and home made weapons including drones, 3-D printed guns, and cyber blackouts will make an ever angry electorate turn more violent.

    3-D Printer walks into a bar

     

    "Are you the plumber printer?", Maggie, the bar tender, asked.

    "Yeah, where are the restrooms?"

    "Down the hall, on the left side", Maggie said, "We need four new plungers."

    "They told me two plungers. I've gotta go back to the shop and get more resin."

    As the printer plumber waddled back to his truck Maggie and I looked at each other and laughed at the vestigial human ethos in a manufactured worker.

    "I have to remember that these machines are not real", she said, and touched my arm with the intent of reassurance. Reduced to a life of basic existence in this dystopian society on the banks of the Mississippi we humans latched onto any morsel of feeling or behavior that might remind us of the distant society we had enjoyed prior to the Missouri Printed Gun and Sex Bot Compromise.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    How WalMart Fooled The World

    Yesterday, The Daily Beast asked me for my take on WalMart's big "wage hike." WalMart raised its starting wage to $9 an hour across all locations, with the goal of getting all of its 1.4 million employees to $10 an hour next year.  The company handled the PR very well.  From the press I saw, you'd think WalMart had grown a heart, that economic conditions had improved for our lowest wage workers and that the system basically works.

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