Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Where everybody majors in being offended

April 19, 2009

We now live in a nation where everybody majors in being offended. Me too, some days. It’s our national character; the Great American Petulant Pout. And it comes because we take our cues from the media of our choice, which focuses on demonizing the other side. I think I’m going to quit paying attention, and I think this may be the most godly stance I can take. Turn if off. Start thinking for yourself.

Andy Whitman


Online overkill – week of April 12

April 18, 2009

Good, bad and inspiring, these are some of the items that filled my RSS feed this week. 

Susan Boyle. Wait. You mean unattractive people can sing too? I’m with Jordan Green. The reasons the video is so inspiring and capturing millions of hits on YouTube are kind of sad. 

Ashton Kutcher. Now, if Dude Where’s My Car got all million of his Twitter followers to give money to the poor that would be a good story. 

Tea partying. If you’re disgusted with the sexual innuendo used in the coverage of the tax protests this week raise your hand. 

New Yankee Stadium. Plenty of people weighed in with opinions about the grossly expensive new home for the recession-what-recession Yankees, but Jeff Passan did a bang-up job making me feel sick to my stomach

Torture memos released. The details of the abusive interrogation techniques included in the memos and the right-wing talking point defense of the human rights violations made me sick to my stomach for another reason entirely. 

Like the anti-war folks

April 15, 2009

My friend Tim Lee pithily observed on Twitter that the tea partiers are in a lot of ways similar to the anti-war protesters from several years ago. I tend to agree with them, but they make it very difficult to take them seriously. And like the anti-war folks, they’re letting their cause get hijacked by a variety of other causes, too, including anti-immigration and anti-gay protesters, and, now, many of the mainstream GOP hacks that had no problem growing the federal government back when they were in power.

Radley Balko

We would not fail?

April 13, 2009

Yes, if we were down there, if we were the damned of the American cities, we would not fail. We would rise above the corner. And when we tell ourselves such things, we unthinkly assume that we would be consigned to places like Fayette Street fully equipped, with all the graces and disciplines, talents and training that we now possess. Our parents would still be our parents, our teachers still our teachers, our broker still broker. Amid the stench of so much defeat and despair, we would kick fate in the teeth and claim our deserved victory. We would escape to live the life we were supposed to live, the life we are living now. We would be saved, and as it always is in matters of salvation, we know this as a matter of perfect, pristine faith.

-From the book “The Corner” by David Simon and Edward Burns

Online overkill – week of April 6

April 11, 2009

Good, bad, unnerving and tragic, these are some of the topics that made frequent appearances in my RSS feed this week.

The Palin family circus. File under: stories that should be left to the tabloids and Jerry Springer.

Nick Adenhart. The Angels pitcher and three others were killed by a drunk driver in an accident shortly after the rookie pitched six shutout innings. Utterly senseless and sympathetically commented on in just about every corner of the Web I frequent this week.

Everybody poops trailer. A clever take on the massively popular trailer for a real film adaptation of a popular children’s book. I don’t know about you, but it hasn’t gotten old for me yet.

Billy Bob’s Interview. There’s really only one word to describe this: asshole.

Arrgh. Like I’ve said before: non-Disney pirates really aren’t very cool.

Online overkill – week of March 30

April 4, 2009

Good, bad, annoying or overhyped, these are the items that set my RSS reader on fire this week.

John Calipari. Living in Kentucky, you’d think a different JC had shown up this week to replace the Messiah from two years ago who was tarred, feathered and run out of town by the most obnoxious college basketball fans in America.

Lance Stephenson. Haven’t you heard? He’s born ready. For way too much media hype. This New Republic article cuts through a lot of the crap.

Glenn Beck admits he’s wrong. Whatever. What are Rush and Sean up to these days?

C Me Dance trailer. Boy, does this movie look awesome or what? I stayed away the first five times it popped up in my RSS feed, but I sure am glad I finally took the time to watch it.

Sarah Palin calling for a Senate re-election. As annoying as the liberal hatred of her can be, she deserves it for advocating that a guy she previously said should drop out of the race get a do-over in a race he lost fair and square.  An blog appropriately called the move a “new frontier in sore loserdom.”

The hug heard round the world. The first-lady hugged the Queen of England.  Awesome. I hug my wife every day when I get home from work.

Calipari’s millions

April 3, 2009

Surely, Kentuckians have noticed that the nation is teetering on the brink of economic calamity, and that one out of every 10 people in their state is unemployed. They have to know that companies are closing, people are losing their houses, and that even the president says things are likely to get worse before they get better.

Yet they stand and cheer when a taxpayer-supported university spends $35 million for a coach while at the same time the budget for professors and everyone else at the state’s universities is being cut 2 percent and the state is digging into its “rainy day” money to stop further bleeding?

Someday, historians are going to look back at this period and try to figure it out. They won’t be able to, because there’s no rational reason for the irrational exuberance of fans who simply don’t know any better.

Lawrence Journal-World op-ed

Ann Coulter fail

April 2, 2009

The always careful and honest Ann Coulter apparently fell hard for an April Fool’s story published yesterday by Car and Driver claiming President Obama had ordered GM and Chrysler to cease sponsorship of NASCAR.

Like Jeffrey Overstreet, this is probably the first and last time I will post anything about Ann Coulter on this site. I promise.

Online overkill – week of March 23

March 28, 2009

Good, bad, annoying or shady, these were the items that made frequent appearances in my RSS reader this week.

Obama’s Teleprompter. The right-wing teleprompter meme has been played up so much lately, the electronic note card machine has its own blog. The blog is kind of funny, even if making fun of a president for having prepared remarks seems a bit strange.  If the great communicator Ronald Reagan used a teleprompter, why can’t Obama?

Where The Wild Things Are trailer. Part movie tease. Part Arcade Fire music video. Spike Jonze’s worlds colliding, the video was everywhere this week for good reason.

UConn in hot water. A Yahoo! Sports story Jim Calhoun flippantly dismissed as a blog entry couldn’t have hit at a better time – for maximum exposure’s sake. It’s not something you wouldn’t actually want to read in a RSS feed though – way too long for that.

John 3:16 sign snagged.  The original Bannerman, Rollen Stewart is in jail for doing for holding a maid hostage in a hotel room, but his famed John 3:16 sign antics live on. Not if this security guard has anything to say about it though.

The death of Culture11. Culture11 was a short-lived conservative Web site modeled off of Slate Magazine. It received a thoughtful eulogy in the Washington Monthly recently and sparked some interesting conversation about conservative media in places like Patrol Magazine.

Online overkill – Week of March 16

March 21, 2009

Good, bad, annoying and indifferent, these were the topics that burned a hole in my RSS feed this week.

AIG. The best thing about this outrageous story being EVERYWHERE this week were the photos like this one of Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo accompanying blog posts about the insanity of taxpayer-funded bonuses for poorly performing executives. 

Barack Obama’s NCAA picks. First came the news of Obama’s final four picks. Then came his so-called flip-flopping of who he wanted to win. Then came the reaction from my local congressman of Obama’s pick and Coach K’s backlash of the whole president filling out a bracket ordeal. Then came the FM radio station waking me up with news about how Obama did on his picks from day one. Enough already.  

Jay Cutler. The guy has a 17-20 career record as a starting QB. Why is everyone talking about him?

JournoList. Supposedly, the existence of a left-leaning journalist/policy analyst/advocate list-serv is proof that there is a vast liberal media conspiracy. Journalists and policy wonks talking to each other off-the-record? Like conservative Peter Suderman, I’m wondering why such a big deal is being made of this.

SXSW. I’m not cool enough to attend much less make “south by” name-drop references of different bands and films that are part of the huge festival in Austin. But I have read plenty about it this past week, mostly on the New York Times ArtsBeat Blog.