As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Rest Of The Week In Review

Having gotten Netroots Nation (mostly) out of the way - I'll probably have 3 or 4 more posts on it - I want to get last week's neglected stories off the table, too.

• Two very good post-mortems on the FISA fight: one by Selise and one by emptywheel. Hang on to these and remember them. It's good for our side to take lessons from these fights instead of throwing up our hands and blaming "the system." As important as it is to find more and better Democrats, there are tactical positions that we can take to improve our positions.

• You knew that the right's collective heads were going to explode over the sending of an envoy to participate in talks with the Iranians. And while some progressives considered it a big deal, in the end the negotiations came to nothing, not for the CW Time spews but because the envoy was not powered to do anything but parrot the same line of asking for unilateral disarmament as a CONDITION for talks, not as part of the talks themselves.

• Mitt Romney is pandering so hard to get on the McCain ticket as VP, he'll be offering the Mormon Tabernacle to Cindy's company as a satellite brewery next. Jed sez it's going to work, and we could have an answer by this week, rumor has it.

• There is no way that China should have gotten this Olympics. They're now forcing athletes to sign non-protest waivers, and they're running interference for the Sudanese President Bashir. This is going to be two week's worth of glorification for Beijing while the human rights and free speech record is not addressed.

• Some Democratic candidates you should know - Kevin Powell, known to me as "Kevin from the Real World," running as an insurgent to Ed Towns for the US Congress in Brooklyn; and Sean Tevis, running for state representative in Kansas and using XKCD-style cartoons to raise money online. Two interesting candidates. Conservatives, meanwhile, hate their nominees.

• Looks like the government will triple funding to fight AIDS in Africa, which is laudable. The Senate roll call reveals a pretty heartless gang of 16, including three up for re-election (Cornyn, Graham, and Inhofe) and both Larry Craig and David Vitter, who know a thing or two about the dangers of promiscuity, so I don't get it.

• It's really, really nice to see American attitudes change so dramatically on gays in the military.

• John McCain collects Social Security and yet wants to dismantle it. He considers himself a fiscal steward and financial mismanagement is rampant. He calls himself the "Straight Talk Express" and people get banned from his events for wearing pro-choice T-shirts. The guy is a walking contradiction.

• Some of our Democrats are trying to get to the bottom of the waste, fraud and abuse issues in Iraq. Byron Dorgan has been waging a one-man crusade on the issue of contracting, and Carl Levin is trying to get to the bottom of the Hunt Oil/Kurdistan contract.

• Let's get up to date on John McCain's associates, both new and former. Phil Gramm is out (except he may still be in), and James Dobson is in. You KNEW he'd come around. Conservatives talk about rock-solid beliefs and then compromise on them constantly.

This was a little-seen story about how the Pentagon is restricting Arny help to those films that hew to their messages. It's an effort to choke off antiwar movies by denying them authenticity. There's something very wrong about this, and it's worth reading.

• Gary Farber is very good here on learned helplessness.

• How about a dose of the wingnut crazy. Rep. Michelle Bachmann thinks that oil drilling in ANWR will cause a reduction in prices 2000% more than anyone else. Chuck Norris is pissed off that California gets more representatives than Wyoming, apparently unclear on the whole "state population" concept. There's the guy who put up the billboard of 9-11 in Florida which pleaded "please don't vote for a Democrat". And I fear poor Pam Atlas is fixing to lose her mind over a scandal of her own making about Obama's birth certificate (that last link is quite amusing).

• And finally, let this be the last word on that New Yorker cover - what Tom Tomorrow said.