Somehow I don’t think my toast will make the Dish, but I think it’s worth putting out there.

I came to Andrew’s blog later in its life after seeing him many times on Real Time. I think my feelings on Andrew were similar to many my age who read him: Who is this person who actually makes sense calling himself conservative? I believe I read him on and off in 2007, and then of course during the 2008 primaries, Andrew was one of the few who actually kept up with my appetite for election news and commentary.

Let’s not spend too much time address the “well sometimes I don’t agree…” part. I think that goes without saying, especially for a man of so many opinions and who has been in the game for so long. I would say however, that I would cringe reading what I thought in 2004. First of all, the actual quality of writing would not be that good in a strictly literary sense. I think it also would include a heavy dose of Kosian liberal naiveté (if for any reason, someone reading this is from high school, you’ll remember my support for Kucinich,  and even in early 2007, Edwards.)

Sometimes, I forget to read Slate or I realize I haven’t checked Drudge in a couple of days. After 2008, this has never happened with Andrew. The Dish kept me sane for a long time at work. I miss him whenever he’s away in Provincetown, and everyday he is, I never fail to forget that he’s gone, followed by a familiar sense of disappointment. To me, this says a lot. He often has many talented people filling in for him, but simply put, no one is on his level.

It’s going to be a sad day when his blog ends, and nothing can replace it. I have a feeling that day is coming sooner rather than later. However, I have no doubt that Andrew his written himself a place in history doing something far more important than editing the New Republic.


I’m watching Lawrence O’Donnell’s show now because I just love being a typical liberal. Anyway, David Axelrod is on and he’s talking about the Democratic Party’s decision to hold off the vote on ending the Bush tax cuts/starting the Obama ones. The Bush tax cuts, of course, expire this year this will result in a rise in taxes for the highest tax bracket, those making 250,000 a year plus. First, while I doubt I’ll get any pushback, the myth that this would affect a significant amount of small businesses needs to go away. Further does the myth that you can make 250k a year and somehow be middle class. It’s something the modest among us might like to think is true but simply isn’t.

Anyway, back to David Axelrod. He’s explaining that the Democrats pushed off voting on letting the Bush tax cuts expire because there was significant fear that the GOP would hit Democrats in political ads and debates for raising taxes. I’d like to know exactly why this would be news.

The GOP and their rebranded right wing, the Tea Party party, has said that Obama and congress has raised taxes since they were elected in 2008. I guess he sorta has, but he’s cut income tax. Not that that matters. Because they are going to say it no matter what he or any other Democrat does. Because that’s what Democrats do, according to almost every one.

In my first grade class, my teacher explained what the two parties did as calmly and as simply as possible. To paraphrase, she said that the Republicans want you to pay less taxes, but get fewer services, and Democrats want you to pay a little more taxes, but get more services. I actually identified with Democrats at the time, for the record, but I think this explanation speaks volumes. If you, quite literally, were going to offer the most simple explanation of the two major parties, it would include Democrats raising taxes. It’s unavoidable.

So, Democrats have to start making the case. There was this great point in Weeds where Nancy realizes she’s always reacting. The Democrats just need to stop reacting and hope it works out. Because it’s not going to work out if this keeps up.


Upheaval

24Sep10

Hey all,

I suspect most readers know by now that I’ve moved back in with the family in Bmore. This was all quite unexpected, and I quite nearly forgot about this blog! That said, it’s going to have to be neglected for sometime as a applying for a job these days is certainly full time work. Yes, it is ironic that I updated this a lot when I was working full-time.

Not sure where I’ll end up next, but I figured I’d let people know as TNC has linked to Emily Hauser’s fantastic middle east blog, and she brought a lot of traffic my way. If something strikes me, I’ll still put it up. Believe it or not though (I actually don’t even really believe it) I’m working on a little fiction in the wee hours of the morning.

thanks for reading, and I hope things get back up and running soon.

 

-Dan


and I’d like to thank him for commenting on my reaction to his brilliant piece found here. I hope to have another reaction up soon.

It’s really getting close to election season, hopefully we’ll see some fun ads and gaffes and all that fun PoliComm stuff.


What I Read

27Aug10

The Atlantic Wire has done a cool feature where they get pundits and bloggers to talk about what they read on a daily basis, so I figured I’d talk a little about why I read.

Normally I don’t have much time in the morning (nor do many who start their job at 8 and like to sleep) so I don’t really get anything done before work. If I do have a few minutes, I check HuffPo and Facebook to make sure the world isn’t ending or my world isn’t ending. I wish I were kidding, but in a post 9/11 world (I hate saying that) I always sort of suspect some disaster.

If the world is as ok as it can be, I make my way to the bus with a book in hand. It’s been a lot of Murakami recently, which kicked off with the superb Kafka on the Shore. After that it was Underground, a collection of interviews with victims of the 1995 sarin gassing of the Tokyo subway committed by the cult Aum. I was impressed with how the book was edited; Murakami mostly lets the victims speak for themselves, but guides them in a way in which they seem to borrow his voice. Towards the end of the book, he interviews some wayward members of Aum and engages them a bit more harshly. Well worth reading to see how other countries react to terrorism, but also to just hear some remarkable displays of humanity. Following that, I breezed through After Dark and now I’m on to his memoir What I Talk about When I Talk about Running.

When I settle in, I don’t really have a set routine. I continually check HuffPo and Drudge. Drudge and the Corner are normally my go to right-wing sites. Chances are, if your reading this, you know how much time I spend at the Atlantic. I’ve been enjoying McArdle a lot more recently, as even though I disagree with her a lot, she’s determined not to use talking points which is a major plus. Also, I can say this here I guess, but how boring are Josh Green and Clive Crook, right? At least Jim Fallows is still holding it down for the straight white guys, heh.

Foreign Policy is where I go, for uh, foreign policy.

I’ll read Slate still, but reluctantly. The only people worth reading there are Weigel and Scocca, and Weigel has his poor moments too. Occasionally they’ll have a cultural piece worth reading.

Speaking of that—I’ll stop by the AV club every once in a while, but mostly for news. I find their episode recaps nearly unbearable, never really adding much in terms of insight into whatever show/movie. I find Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes much more useful; professionals are there for a reason, and it’s nice to know what a reviewers tendencies and tastes are.

The AV Club interviews are ok, but sometimes they are a little too aware they are a hip internet site.  The IMDB wire also helps in terms of entertainment news.

Sports–gotta hit ESPN daily for Soccernet–those guys are the best sports writers in the business right now not named Martin Samuel. James Walker does a great service to AFC North fans. I’ll hit Sky as well, and a number of Chelsea sites.

Random other sites–Cracked’s lists are great and I’ve been known to spend an hour clicking through them. Buzzfeed is my shit when it comes to internet aggregation. I still don’t do Twitter because, really, I don’t need it. I’ve tried using it for news in the past and it just doesn’t feel right…like a CNN.com you can’t control. Plus I don’t need any more childhood heroes ruined by it, right Mr. Corgan?

Oh yeah. I try to click through my blogroll as often as I can. Emily Hauser’s my most frequent stop as she updates the most, but also love when Kyl0Pod puts something down. He’s a really inventive thinker and he’d make a great next generation journalist.

Anyway, that’s more or less me. I have no routine as I hate them and believe it’s against the spirit of the internet to have one.


Effete, aloof liberals, palling around with terrorists. Someone stop this, it’s too insensitive!

Two hundred Muslims and Jews gathered in Cambridge Monday evening to share an iftar: the evening meal that breaks the fast during Ramadan.

The dinner was organized jointly by the American Jewish Committee Boston chapter (AJC) and the American Islamic Congress (AIC) in order to raise funds for victims of the flood in Pakistan.

Although the AJC and AIC have had a long-standing relationship, the event lwas the second in a series specifically geared to bringing young Jewish and Muslim professionals together. “One of the building blocks in our relationship has been a joint commitment to human rights” said Nasser Weddady, the Civil Rights Outreach Director for AIC, “We feel that human rights in general is something that has deep resonance with both communities and we see major potential for developing and exploring that angle of the relationship, which, for all intents and purposes has not been effectively leveraged in the past.”


but that was before the year that’s been. Boston.com:

“Well, you know, take the consideration, though, that that’s Massachusetts,” Palin said. “Perhaps they’re not going to look for such a hard-core constitutional conservative there, and they’re going to put up with Scott Brown and some of the antics there.”

“But up here in Alaska, and so many places in the US where we have a pioneering, independent spirit, and we have an expectation that our representatives in D.C. will respect the will of the people and the intelligence of the people,” she added. “Well, up here, we wouldn’t stand for that.”

Stand for what, motherfucker? Brown has voted in favor of everything the people here have been in favor of, at times to my dismay. What has he done that’s unconstitutional? Did he silence Palin’s first amendment right (by disagreeing with her) or something?

It’s been a tough day. Drudge linked to a story of a 14-year-old girl murdering a guy during a gang initiation. Obviously, a terrible thing, and she should do her time. But people were calling for the death penalty and, of course, blaming “liberal cities” like Baltimore “who’ve never done anything good for the country.” I guess these cats don’t know about Fort McHenry.

How Palin and others can insult blue states and then try to represent them somehow (the other issue of the week) is beyond me. These are people who complain that politicians are invading their states and forcing our values down their throats; when, shit, Palin tried to claim credit for Brown’s election. It’s an eerily Confederate mentality.

And that’s what worries me. How long can the culture war go on before this gets more violent? Isn’t a continually lagging economy only going to stir tensions?

I hope Brown says something about this. Even strategically, this is the perfect chance to cast off the tea party and sure up the independent vote before 2012, when his seat is up. Obviously I hope he manages to screw it up.




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