I really find the, "I trust our president to use these outrageous powers wisely" meme frightening. It was bad enough when it was crazy Republicans talking that way about Bush, but it's even worse, having been through that, to see people saying it as if we will never have a president they don't trust. (Not that I don't think it's insane to trust a president who wants such powers in the first place, let alone Barack "I Break All My Promises" Obama.)
Another thing I don't trust Obama on is his economic prescriptions, since he is apparently really proud of doing the opposite of what's needed, as Dean Baker can tell you.
And, of course, as Digby notes, "Who keeps bringing up 'entitlements'? One of the more interesting aspects of the coming sequestration talks is the absence of the Peterson contingent pushing to get "entitlement" cuts in the mix. I would have thought they'd be trying to replace the defense cuts with the Chained-CPI and a hike in the Medicare age. That's usually the formula. But it's largely absent from the conversation so far. Well, not entirely absent. There is one person who keeps bringing it up over and over again:" Barack Obama. That'd be the same Barack Obama who is in such a jocular mood at the very thought. Not that he doesn't have some help.
I don't trust Pelosi, either, but at least she told Fox viewers that raising the Medicare eligibility age doesn't save money.
The UK Comedy Central site won't let me see the extended interview with Michelle Rhee, but it's been a hot topic on some of the blogs, and I gather that her wonderful plan for "putting students first" involves making education less efficient in every conceivable way. She wants to change the revenue stream (to a more expensive one) and use a teacher-evaluation system that has been shown to be pointless, cut teachers out of the equation as much as possible, make teachers more insecure, and make the system even more vulnerable to political manipulation than it already is. In fact, there is absolutely nothing in her plan about optimizing outcomes for students - but, hey, why should that stop our glorious leaders from imposing this crap on kids?
I am resisting the urge to go into a long rant on the evils of monopolies, but I think it's a bad sign that people were so unaware of what it's all about that they thought it made sense to replace the Iron playing piece in the Monopoly game with a cat. Not that it's the first time it's happened, but it's the first time I've noticed it at the time it happened, and anyway, I already thought it was silly to worry about changing the place names for different localities when, you know, most American kids don't have a clue about street names in Atlantic City anyway, and most kids barely know the names of the streets in their own neighborhoods, and anyway, the names in the original game aren't even entirely accurate for Atlantic City. (I mean, seriously, what has the B&O got to do with Atlantic City?) None of which I should care that much about since I always preferred Parcheesi. What I do care about, of course, are the effects of monopolies and how they destroy not just true free markets (which is different from the libertoonian kind), but individual freedom.
"Listen to the Father of Fracking [...] Last summer Forbes magazine interviewed George Phydias Mitchell, who pioneered the fracking process in the 1990s. Mitchell said the government should tighten its regulation of fracking, not loosen it. He said, 'There's no excuse not to get it right,' and that if drillers 'do something wrong and dangerous ... (the government) should punish them.' The Father of Fracking, laying down the law. Perhaps if the government did the same a bit more often, ideas such as using [Mine Influenced Water] for frackwater wouldn't be so frightening."
Just a reminder of how well Democrats have protected your right to choose. Sorry, you can rant and rave all you want about the Republicans, but this doesn't happen without plenty of help from the "liberal" party.
Dept. of The Cops Are The Most Dangerous People on the Streets:
"Denver police officers won't be charged in the 2009 Landau beating case [...] 'I feel like this is unjust. They beat me half to death and then just joked about it," he said. "I don't know if there is anything else I can do from here.'" If you can stomach it, the photos. (Via @RadleyBalko.)
This story managed to put me into jaw-hanging-open stasis for a full minute. And then there's this update where it turns out that they did it twice in the same pursuit. Lawlessness and buffoonery. Tea leaves say they won't even get a traffic ticket. Meanwhile, if you're in LA, don't be in a pick-up truck. (Although there's a rumor he switched vehicles somewhere....) Meanwhile, you might need one of these.
You know that famous Bill Cosby email blaming the world's problems on lazy poor people? Bill Cosby didn't write it.
From Nashville Public Radio, with Janis Ian on growing up to write "At Seventeen" (audio and transcript).
And...can it really have been that long ago?