I ♥ the 90s

Until three weeks ago my biggest regret was an epic failure to hop aboard that Barack Obama bandwagon back in February 2007 or even January ’08. Whether you supported him, or whether you’re creepily infatuated with him, is irrelevant. Undeniably there’s a lot to like about our 44th president—namely his charmed past smokin’ ganja in the island paradise of Hawaii and his awesome off-the-rack Burberry suits. In the interest of fairness, however, he’s also a egomaniacal naïf with a long and unfortunate history imbibing the insane doctrine of black liberation theology. Not that I care about any of that. While I have learned to shroud my contempt for the president in serious policy talk, the cynical truth is that I was simply convinced the man couldn’t win.

But that’s all been eclipsed by my inexcusable failure to purchase Newsweek for all of $1 (and the assumption of some small liabilities) this past Aug. 2. Fuck! My first order of business would have been to saunter into my newly-acquired Manhattan headquarters of our Washington bureau—like my idol Charlie Kane—and immediately cashier Howard Fineman. My goodness, imagine the shivers down the spines of that entire clique of lazy, capricious but very serious establishment reporters it would have triggered.

Alas, I struck out. Consequently, Howard Fineman is still safely ensconced in his Newsweek sinecure and free to trot out sycophantic nonsense like his most recent piece: “The Resurgence of Bill Clinton.”

Le sigh:

If you’re President Obama, here is a galling fact: most Democrats would rather have Bill Clinton campaign for them this fall than, um, you.

“Part of it is that Bill Clinton is, at this point, a sympathetic story and has always been a likeable guy,” says Eric Schultz of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. “But his appeal right now has to do with the fact that voters associate him with a time of prosperity. You can’t say that about either George W. Bush or, unfortunately, Barack Obama.”

… As a Democratic campaign operative who spoke on background says, “Somebody’s got to get out and make the case nationally for a Democratic Congress. And who is that going to be? Not Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. If you’ve got Clinton, you’ve got to use him.”

Grassroots folk need to very clear about what’s happening here. Recently, we spoke repeatedly about the budding rehabilitation of Mr. Clinton’s successor, George W. Bush, and that’s basically the story here. In the lame, cyclical brains of reporters like Howard Fineman, Obama’s breathtaking failure necessarily vindicates his two immediate predecessors.

As Obama’s fate (one-term miserable failure) becomes unavoidably clear, we can surely anticipate the begrudging talk of how Shrub possessed a certain certitude and ruthlessness tragically absent in Mr. Obama. Likewise, Bill Clinton will be canonized as the last great Democratic president. Black people—the president’s biggest boosters—are pretty fickle, too. Once he reaches those Nixonian levels of unpopularity, we might even see the first black president and Carrier of the Dream morph back into that awkward, blackish fellow that once got his ass and his pride handed to him by Bobby Rush on the South Side.

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Weekend Open Thread

So it occurred to me yesterday that Glenn Beck has a radio show, writes books, and gives frequent public speeches. Do you know who else used the radio, wrote a book, and gave frequent public speeches?


I’m not saying Glenn Beck is Hitler; they’re clearly different men. I’m just saying that both use radio and books to get their message out, and that any patriotic, thinking person should be alarmed by the parallels.

Weekend open thread. Saturday afternoon and the Nebraska snow is finally melting. I guess global warming is real after all. What about you, what's on your mind?

Update by Nathan Empsall, 03-09-10: Between comments, other blog reactions, and e-mails - it's amazing how many people don't recognize snark or style parody when they see it. Geez.

UPDATE by desmoinesdem: Here's a window onto the worst of the worst House Republicans. The Down With Tyranny blog reported that a House resolution on the National School Lunch Program passed on Thursday:

H.Res.362 [...] expresses the House's support for the goals and ideals of the National School Lunch Program and "recognizes that our pupils deserve access to high-quality, safe, and nutritious meals in school." It passed 403-13, every Democrat and 155 Republicans, including the entire GOP congressional leadership voting in favor.

The roll call reveals the shameful list of 13 Republicans who voted against this resolution: Todd Akin (MO-02), Paul Broun (GA-10), Jason Chaffetz (UT-03), Jeff Flake (AZ-06), Virginia Foxx (NC-05), Scott Garrett (NJ-05), Lamborn (CO-05), Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Ron Paul (TX-14), Ted Poe (TX-02), James Sensenbrenner (WI-05), and John Shadegg (AZ-03).

Usually when a House vote is that lopsided, I can count on Representative Steve King (R, IA-05) to be on the embarrassing end of the roll call. However, I'm happy to report that even the occasionally mean-spirited, uncompassionate, clueless, dare I say cartoon-villain-like King recognizes that "our pupils deserve access to high-quality, safe, and nutritious meals in school."

Why Am I Not Surprised?

Remember during the primaries when the Clinton campaign tried to make then-Senator Obama look bad for having written a paper explaining why he wanted to be President when he was five?

Well if you thought that was bad, Glenn "Slaves were just immigrants" Beck says the President's Kenyan first name is "proof" that he is un-American. Because apparently our identity is rooted in our diapers. A little too Freudian for me, but hey, you can't argue with a guy who gets good ratings, right?

"He chose to use his name for a reason, to identify, not with America - you don't take the name Barack to identify with America." Why did Obama choose to use his name? Rachel Maddow takes a wild guess on Facebook: "Uh, because his parents gave it to him?"

To be fair, Beck may be referring to the fact that the President used to go by the name "Barry" and stopped because... why, well else would he stop? Because he hates America. You know, I used to go by the shortened version of my first name too, "Nate," but then I stopped. Why? Because I hate America. No, not really. Because I hated that name with a burning passion, but then my grandfather who loved it died and my friends grew too old for the "Nate the Great" kids' books. I was finally free to go long-form. Does that make me un-American, too?

Our Constitutional and racial obligations to use only nicknames aside, though, I'm actually inclined to agree with Beck. While I casually chuck aside "Nate," there is a reason I took the name Nathan... yes, I remember the conversation my parents and I had about why I wanted that name very well... you know, the one we had when I was THREE DAYS OLD.

According to Glenn Beck, people whose parents gave them white European names can use them, but people whose parents gave them black African names must be held to a different standard lest they hate America like the "radicals" they are. Why am I not surprised?


White House Releases Text of Obama's School Speech

I just read the pre-released text of the speech President Obama plans to deliver to our nation's schoolchildren tomorrow, and I am APALLED. Wait until you get a load of this socialist claptrap. That commie plans to tell our nation's children, of all things, that they should actually take individual responsibility for their own education and pay attention in class! The nerve!

At the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world - and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

And that's what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That's the opportunity an education can provide.

Maybe you could be a good writer - maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper - but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor - maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine - but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

And no matter what you want to do with your life - I guarantee that you'll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You're going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can't drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You've got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

As with Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush before him, this remains the tone of Obama's entire speech. The mind-numbing ego of such a move! But wait, there's more - committed socialists Joe Scarborough and Newt Gingrich love the speech! What more proof do you need???

Adapted from Blue Moose Democrat with help from Twitter. Also, Nebraska has more trees than I was expecting, so that's nice.

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Breaking: Disney To Provide National Health Care

BURBANK: Information is beginning to emerge from the inside the The Walt Disney Company, that the entertainment and media giant is preparing to announce a national health plan for everyone in the U.S.

CEO Robert "Bob" Iger has scheduled a press conference for this Thursday,two hours before President Barack Obama's address to the joint chambers of Congress.  With rumors swirling of The White House taking up a draft of its own health care plan, this move is clearly designed to beat the President to the punch and gain the initiative.

(Cross-posted at The National Gadfly).

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