Friday Mashup (10/8/10)

  • 1) Fix Noise brought us the following assault on common sense here…

    Living in NYC has truly awakened me to the New York elite and their penchant for the city’s self-described brilliant public transit system. I think it sucks… just like public transit always does.

    “Oh I just don’t think I could live without the subway system, it’s so convenient. I can get anywhere I need to go in the city in a flash.” Right. Or –and follow me on this here– I could live anywhere else in the country, take 3 steps out my front door, get into my car, and drive anywhere on the continent. How’s that for convenience? Not only is it faster, but my car generally doesn’t smell like mothballs and urine (last Tuesday notwithstanding). It would almost seem that –dare I say this– private transportation is more efficient than mass public-transit! That won’t change today’s leftists from disparaging the former and praising the latter.

    Why?

    It’s simple. Control. It’s no secret that the environmental movement is ultimately designed to create new inroads into increased government control. All of the shots taken at emissions, the dependence on fossil fuels and noise pollution are designed to paint those things as symptoms of a problem, with the government able to step in as the solution. The root of their problem is ultimately your independence.

    As frequent visitors to The Big Apple, I must say that I don’t share that opinion (and I won’t comment on the nonsense about “increased government control”). We have no issue with the city’s bus service (which we used to ride from Park Avenue across town to pick up the Circle Line and tour the Intrepid last spring, activities that we highly recommend, by the way). We also have no issue with the subway system (we frequently find ourselves taking the Lexington Avenue Express to get to the MOMA or Central Park). Basically (aside from the DC Metro, which I’ll admit I haven’t taken in years), I don’t believe that New York City transit “sucks” in any way whatsoever.

    All of this would be merely childish right-wing propaganda that I might otherwise leave alone if it weren’t for the fact that publishing something like this shows extraordinarily bad timing, even for the wingnuts. And that is because this column comes on the heels of a truly epochal blunder by “Governor Bully” in New Jersey, and I’m referring to his decision to kill the $9 billion project to add another very-much-needed commuter tunnel from The Garden State under the Hudson River (Professor Krugman thoroughly dissected it today here).

    Christie’s decision is stoo-pid on so many levels that it just about takes your breath away. And I have three words for all of those Democrats who sat on their hands last year and let him get elected instead of Jon Corzine – elections have consequences.

  • 2) Next, I found this item from The Daily Tucker (here)…

    The latest offering from conservative humorist P.J. O’Rourke, Don’t Vote — It Just Encourages the Bastards, is a real page turner. You may find yourself staying up way past your bedtime because you just can’t put it down.

    Like so many books on American political thought, O’Rourke begins Don’t Vote with a discussion of freedom, liberty, positive versus negative rights, the nature of man and how all of that relates to the Founders.

    You may be surprised to learn that, according to the Gospel of P.J., the Founders chose to follow John Locke over Jean-Jaques Burlamaqui and Samuel von Pufendorf because “Locke” was easier to spell.

    Then, O’Rourke goes on to tackle the issues of the day.

    Climate change: “There’s not a goddamn thing you can do about it.”

    Bailouts: “The advantage of a tax abatement over a stimulus plan is that, instead of idiots in Washington spending your and my money, us idiots get to spend our own.”

    Health care: “My suggestion for health care reform is that we skip lunch and quit picking on sick people.”

    Gun control: “With the economy being like it is, I call my .38 Special ‘the MasterCard of the future.’”

    I’m sure that at this moment (maybe they’re done now), Bill Maher is taking pity on his old pal and allowing O’Rourke to spout his blather (and of course, to promote the aforementioned book) on “Real Time,” despite the fact that, as far as I’m concerned, O’Rourke has had nothing whatsoever to say that could possibly be amusing ever since he started drinking the “glibertarian” Kool Aid (zip since “The Bachelor Home Companion”).

    Oh, and Media Matters tells us here of another pitiable attempt at humor on the part of O’Rourke in the name of making fun of liberals (think Ted Kennedy of course, noted in a particularly astute comment – Joe Strupp was uncharacteristically kind to this cretin, O’ Rourke I mean).

    So, for the purpose of trying to sell books, O’Rourke will pretend to be witty and thus earn plaudits from The National Review for encouraging yet another generation of readers to forego any notion of civic due diligence for the purpose of remaining sullen and utterly ignorant of this country’s proud history of political activism.

    Ha, ha, ha.

  • 3) Finally, I came across this rather interesting attack on the supposed liberalism of President Obama, and that is to have people like Orrin Hatch, Trent Lott and Sean Inanity say that, gee whiz and whaddaya know, maybe that William Jefferson Clinton fellow wasn’t such a bad president after all, and wow, doesn’t Obama look like some closet Kenyan Marxist and wealth redistributor who won’t show us his birth certificate by comparison (or something – having a hard time trying to get my mind around this new corporate media narrative)…

    Senator Orrin G. Hatch recently said that former President Bill Clinton “will go down in history as a better president” than the sitting one. Sean Hannity of Fox News, who has verbally abused Mr. Clinton for years, recently referred to him as “good old Bill.” Republicans in Congress have begun speaking of him with respect, even pining.

    “You know with Clinton the chemistry was right,” said Trent Lott, the former Senate majority leader. “He was a good old boy from Arkansas, I was a good old boy from Mississippi, and Newt, he was from Georgia. So he knew what I was about, and I knew where he was coming from.”

    Aw, heck, shoot and darn, you guys – why don’t y’all just mosey on down to the Piggly Wiggly to fetch a piece of gingham for Emmy Lou before those dern revenuers show up agin’ t’try and bust your still? Shoot ‘em full o’buckshot, I say!

    You know, I wish Lott and Hatch had shown a fraction of this camaraderie towards our 42nd president when it mattered. No such luck, though.

    As noted here (in an article telling us the reaction when Clinton went to the Repug-run Senate to ask for more terrorist surveillance authority in July 1996)…

    Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, emerged from the meeting and said, “These are very controversial provisions that the [Clinton] White House wants. Some they’re not going to get.” ….[Hatch] also said he had some problems with the president’s proposals to expand wiretapping.

    Of course, as we now know, Dubya and his pals would seek the same thing, but they just went ahead and got it without bothering to ask for congressional approval (getting it after the fact, which was bad enough, but eventually getting it legalized with Democrats in charge, which is beyond belief).

    And as for Lott, he and the Senate dragged their feet when Clinton proposed a variety of antiterrorism measures in 1995-1996, though that didn’t stop nematodes like Dana Rohrabacher from blaming Clinton for the 9/11 attacks, which is funny actually when you consider how tight Rohrabacher was with the mujahadeen and a certain member of the bin Laden family (here).

    Also (from here)…

    The House of Representatives had been scheduled to convene on Thursday, December 17 (1998), to begin considering the four articles of impeachment. However, on Wednesday, President Clinton ordered a series of military air strikes against Iraq, following the failure of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to comply with U.N. weapons inspectors. Clinton’s timing drew an immediate chorus of criticism from Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott who stated: “I cannot support this military action in the Persian Gulf at this time. Both the timing and the policy are subject to question.”

    Again, Clinton’s Republican successor in the White House would not face such hesitation from Lott or much of anyone else in his party with the possible exception of Ron Paul when the decision was made to carry out military action against Iraq.

    It galls me to no end that our corporate media continues to treat members of the current minority party as “wise heads” on matters both foreign and domestic, when in fact they remain the primary authors of our current misery. And trying to create some corporate media mythology along the lines of “sure the Repugs hated Clinton like no other, but they really were buddies the whole time” is particularly insulting (to say nothing of being utterly untrue).

    Yes, there were missteps when Clinton occupied the White House to be sure, but comparatively few of our military were killed during his presidency. And we enjoyed prosperity the likes of which I personally had never seen and probably will never see again. Also, when we executed military actions, they were against countries and entities that posed a legitimate threat to our national security and had, in fact, attacked us.

    And trying to cozy up to Clinton after all this time doesn’t make the Repugs any less guilty for their own appalling mistakes.

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