Friday, February 26, 2010

 

End of The Renaissance

Tough two months for the once-vaunted Harlem political machine:  Founding member Percy Sutton dies; Ways & Means Chairman Charlie Rangel cited for House ethics violations; accidental Governor David Paterson chooses not to run for election in wake of scandal.

Two extra notes: 1) Class guy that he is, Rangel helped make the trashing of congressional staff a bipartisan affair. After Newt complained about "nice young staffers who have never had a real job" getting to write difficult legislation, Rangel blamed his ethics problems on, well, his staff.

2) Well, it looks like everything that was said about The New York Times'  Paterson story was true. It's just that, instead of one haymaker that blew Paterson away, the Times essentially did a three-part takeout. The basics of all those rumors have turned out to be accurate: The NYT was working on a story, the publication of which would eventually lead to David Paterson's resignation. That part hasn't happened just yet; but the writing is most definitely on the wall.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

 

Gee, Thanks, Boss

My erstwhile employer, Newt Gingrich, vents on the legislative process (i.e., why the process leading to the current health care bills shouldn't be trusted): 
"It's not possible to write a comprehensive bill that that makes sense, because nobody understands the system," he said. Gingrich claimed that the White House and congressional Democrats are writing their health care bills in secret, something he called "suicidal hubris."
He went on to ridicule the men and women who work in the halls of Congress, where he served as a congressman from Georgia for two decades.
"Of course it's the nature of the modern Congress, which hires lots of nice young staffers who have never had a real job, who spent their entire life being arrogant to visitors from back home, who end up thinking they know a lot because they stay up until 3 o'clock working on a word processor, and who write legislation as though they have some contact with reality," he said, eliciting laughter.
Yeah, sure there's been arrogance from the Democrats putting together health care. But, you know, Newt? There were damn sure quite a few "nice young staffers who have never had a real job" who helped draft -- and then write -- the Contract With America that helped "make" you the CPAC rock-star you are today. Are all the "nice young staffers" appreciably stupider today than 15 years ago (the congressional leadership is another question)?


I don't think so. 

Frankly, my experience has been that those "nice young staffers" often end up working longer hours than their counterparts who may or may not have "real jobs" -- and for a lot less pay.  Republican or Democrat, they work darn hard. 


You'd think a guy who became Speaker of the House and relied on those nice young staffers might show a little perspective -- and gratitude.    

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Monday, February 22, 2010

 

"A Passion You Can't Fake In Politics"

National Review's Robert Costa and Lew Rockwell's David Franke explain the Ron Paul movement's hijacking of CPAC.  


The rise of the Paulists also explains this fun occurrence on Friday. As the Franke piece points out, the big issue is deficits and the economy. Paulists care little for who is doing what to whom in the privacy of their homes.     

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

 

Miracle on Ice II

Well, not exactly, but Team America (F*** yeah!!) beating the big bad Canadians Sunday on their home ice -- even if it wasn't in the medal round -- was pretty amazing nonetheless!!  Wide open play was twice as exciting as usual NHL fare. Of course, NBC chose to kick one of their most exciting live Olympics events over to MSNBC, so the mother network could show coverage of Bode Miller's winning gold -- FROM FIVE HOURS EARLIER!! Oh, yeah, and ice dancing!




Anyway, catch the great final 20 seconds here on Mediaite (Quick!! Before NBC gets it yanked down):





Now, I'm wondering, what would be the best match for the gold: US vs. Canada again -- or US vs. Russia and NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin? Hmmm....even NBC might think of that as a ratings "Miracle on Ice"!!


Meanwhile, my personal "miracle on ice" moment came Saturday when I found myself in a bar actually captivated by the curling, um, "match" (is that the right word?) between Great Britain and Canada. It helped that there were a couple of ladies (one from Canada; the other from Colorado) who sort of knew the rules and helped explain them (the use of the brush vs. squeegee). Considering that last week's "Simpsons" episode was devoted to the sport, I guess it's cultural moment has arrived.


Anyway, I'm now trying to learn a bit bit more about curling. Here's a clip for your own edification:


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