Monday, September 14, 2009

Sentential Links #184

Linkage. Politics first:

:: But as someone who happened to be in New York City eight years ago today, the implicit premise of the 9-12 Project—that those who aren't on Beck's side must have somehow "forgotten" 9/11 and its aftermath—ticks me off royally and personally.

I was at home in Brooklyn, holding my six-week-old baby on the couch, when I saw the second plane crash into the World Trade Center on TV. I watched the smoking pit of the ruins from the roof of my apartment building as bits of memo paper and ash drifted on the winds to my neighborhood. I was there on 9/11, and 9/12, and 9/13. You'll excuse me if I don't feel warm nostalgia for the lingering smell of burnt airplane fuel, and metal, and bodies.

:: But are “frivolous lawsuits” the real cause of high health care costs? The short answer is no. (Well, color me shocked.)

:: We learned today that right-wing activists don't like government spending (except when Bush and Republican lawmakers spent freely), don't like the size of government (except when Bush and Republican lawmakers increased the size of government), don't like deficits and debt (except when Bush and Republican lawmakers added trillions to the nation's tab), and don't like czars (except when Bush used dozens of them to implement his agenda).

(And another by Mr. Benen:)

:: Second, the Republican Party still believes Bush's policies -- the ones that failed on a historic level and created messes we're still struggling to clean up -- were right. If given the opportunity, they'd like to implement them again. GOP lawmakers endorsed these failures as they occurred, and don't regret their positions in the slightest. They're proud to have supported misguided policies that didn't work, and insist that voters should reward them for failing -- and help them bring back the very policies that produced disastrous results.

Three from Matthew Yglesias:

:: Still it did strike me as noteworthy that your basic tea party crowd isn’t the sort of crowd in which a Confederate flag is unwelcome. I feel like if you’d tried to bring this to a health care rally, folks would have gotten upset. But the tea parties, like a lot of big time conservative events, are a very racism friendly environment.

:: Probably the weirdest thing about the Glenn Beck / Tea Party nexus to me is that it tends to rely so heavily on libertarian rhetoric and fear of incipient authoritarianism. These kind of sentiments would be a lot easier to take seriously if not for the fact that we didn’t see these people marching out in the streets when George W. Bush used the threat of terrorism to justify secret, illegal warrantless surveillance, detention without trial, torture, etc. Indeed, the very same people who spend Monday, Wednesday, and Friday complaining that Barack Obama’s “czars” are a threat to liberty not only weren’t worried about czars in the Bush years, they spend Tuesday and Thursday worrying that Obama’s not doing enough to ensure that intelligence operatives can break the law with impunity.

:: It still rankles—a lot—that Osama bin Laden is still out there. When the attacks happened, and in the days and weeks that followed, lots of notions flew through my mind, most of them wild and fanciful or flat-out insane. But it genuinely never occurred to me to that the main architect of the attacks would still be at large eight years later.

:: I think that seven years ago we all collectively went, to borrow one of my mother's more colorful expressions, out of our rabbit-assed minds.


:: Being a Beatles fan is a curse as much as a blessing.

:: Daniel Snyder Is a Dwarf Dung-beetle. (That's the post title, but it's pretty indicative. The way NFL teams extort their fans is nauseating.)

:: For several days after I walked with a swagger. Yes, I was still a virgin and no, that wasn’t about to change anytime soon – but I was different, changed. I had become a man. I had seen a French movie.

:: I’ll be honest: I don’t know what the future of NASA is right now. Worse? NASA doesn’t know either.

All for this week.

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