Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This and That

* George W. Bush wanted Bernie Kerik to be the Secretary of Homeland Security. Now Kerik is off to jail.
* Rush Limbaugh today told New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin over the air, "Mr. Revkin, why don't you just go kill yourself and help the planet by dying?" Paul Krugman added, "[R]emember, Rush is a mainstream conservative who focuses mainly on policy. Always good to remember what we're dealing with."
  • commenter at Krugman's blog:
    “You know, I’ve spent my entire lifetime separating the Right from the kooks.”
    –William F. Buckley, Jr.
    Sadly, he failed.
    — Gordon Sillars
Jay Ackroyd says: Please don't do this!

Bag Check

Bag Check

This is simply fascinating.  A Republican/TeaBagger cage match.
Ruckus on the right    Oct. 20: The race is heating up between New York's 23rd district with the conservative candidate gaining ground on the Republican candidate, allowing for the Democratic candidate to lead the race. Why are the Republican's splitting the vote in a traditionally Republican area? Rachel Maddow is joined by Washington Independent reporter David Weigel.

Derrick (FDL): Late Night: Family Planning Could Save Planet
There are just too many people on earth, and sadly contraception is out of reach of the millions of women who want it. Our food and water supplies are dwindling, and carbon emissions increasing. Regarding the latter, Andrew Revkin in the New York Times writes:
one of the cheapest ways to curb emissions in coming decades would be to provide access to birth control for tens of millions of women around the world who say they desire it.
Revkin cites UN data suggesting
that meeting unmet need for family planning would reduce unintended births by 72 per cent, reducing projected world population in 2050 by half a billion to 8.64 billion. Between 2010 and 2050 12 billion fewer “people-years” would be lived – 326 billion against 338 billion under current projections. The 34 gigatons of CO2 saved in this way would cost $220 billion – roughly $7 a ton [metric tons]. However, the same CO2 saving would cost over $1trillion if low-carbon technologies were used.
Rush Limbaugh’s response:
Mr. Revkin, why don’t you just go kill yourself and help the planet by dying?
Yglesias: Race in America and Europe
Pat Buchanan says, of white people, “America was once their country. They sense they are losing it. And they are right.” I affiliate myself with what Adam Serwer has to say about this, but it also seems like a good jumping-off point for something I’ve been meaning to write about since I came home from Europe.
There’s often a kind of conventional idea on the left that the United States is an unusually racist society. And I think there’s also often a kind of image of Europe as a place where more of the progressive agenda has been achieved than in the USA. But I think that you’ll find if you look at Europe through the eyes of the liberal agenda that while the German left has certainly been more successful than the American left at securing universal health care, it’s been much less successful at promoting a tolerant, integrated, multicultural society. And allowing for the errors implicit in making any kind of sweeping generalization, I’d say that’s pretty generally the case across Europe. This Swiss People’s Party campaign poster would, I think, make Jesse Helms blush. And I’m not even sure which of the Northern League posters from Italy is the most egregious.
In the US, in other words, racial problems have been more salient for a long time since we’ve been a racially diverse society for a long time. But by the same token, for all the problems we have with us today, we’ve made enormous progress over the years. Racial and ethnic tensions are a common problem in the world, and the United States manages diversity pretty well in comparison with other places (not just in Europe) even if we fall short in some absolute terms. Just look at Barack Obama. I think we’ll be waiting a while yet before someone of non-European ancestry is elected head of government in a European country. Denmark has some great public policy ideas, but it’s also kind of made itself into the gated community of nations in a way I don’t find particularly appealing.
At any rate, in some sense it’s probably true that white America has “lost” “its” country, but that’s a good thing. It’s everyone’s country!

When SurvivaBalls attack . . .
Sorensen (HP): Arlen Specter Chased By The Yes Men In "SurvivaBalls"
The streets surrounding Capitol Hill were home to a strange sight Tuesday morning as a group of people, costumed in round canvas outfits, waddled after Democratic Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, demanding that he support the climate bill or provide the ridiculous outfits to his constituents. Clad in "SurvivaBalls," the chase group was actually part of the culture jamming activist troupe known as The Yes Men.
When asked about the spectacle, Senator Specter said, "I think it's fun...interesting."
This newest stunt comes on the heels of a prank yesterday at the Chamber of Commerce, and is part of a larger media campaign involving the (fake) SurvivaBall product, which bills itself as "a self-contained living system--truly, a gated community for one." Click here for a hilarious infomercial parody for the product.
The Yes Men previously touted the Survivaball in Pittsburgh last month during the G-20 Summit.
Below is the video of Senator Specter fleeing the Survivaballs, shot by Geoff Holtzman of Talk Radio News Service.

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