Jennifer Palmieri Is Not Aware of All Internet Traditions

Namely, she doesn’t understand the independence and libertarian nature of blogging.

This is just a weird and odd response to a rather trivial post, and I think we are all obligated to spend our time filling the comments here trashing the Third Way.

Why? Because we can, and no suit will tell us otherwise.

*** Update ***

Also at OTB, this post by Dave Schuler, in which he comes to the following conclusion:

And that’s when it struck me: the blogosphere is full of jerks.

And, without further comment, I present the greatest Penny Arcade ever. What else needs to be said?

*** Update #2 ***

Drexel Dems are aware of all internet traditions. Do we define this as a LOLCAP?

*** Update #3 ***

Damage Control for the Damage Control.

Just so we are clear, every thought here posted under my name is mine and mine alone. Unless you think it is really stupid, in which case, blame Tim.








The Warren Invocation

Obama is going to have Rick Warren give the invocation at his inauguration, and this has a lot of people upset. A sample:

This selection is clearly not about “change”—it’s about making a high profile decision to give the stage over to a known homophobe; choosing Rick Warren is tantamount to asking any of the professional anti-gay “Christian” set to stand up there. There is no excuse for this; given there are so many leaders of the faith community that are in alignment with equality for all.

I understand this sentiment completely. I really do. In fact, in large part, I agree. I would prefer someone else.

But I also understand that I would much rather have Warren given a few minutes to speak about religion at a time and manner appropriate for religious discussion than I would having Obama give a nod to the religious right by appointing the God squad to Justice, to the FDA, to NASA, and so on. When Rick Warren and folks like him are driving policy in an Obama administration, I will then muster the necessary outrage.

So while not my first choice, not a big deal. Let him speak for a few minutes and be done with them. I will spend the time pouring a drink or going to the bathroom.

*** Update ***

This makes sense:

If you followed the internal politics of evangelical and fundamentalist leaders, you’d see this for what it is—not an elevation of Warren, but a slap in the face of the old guard leaders like Dobson and LaHaye. They’ve been fighting to see who gets to be the spokesman for the movement, and lately it’s been a tie. Obama just broke it.

And let’s be clear, there is a difference between those groups. Warren may not be progressive on gay rights, but he’s been out front on a number of issues of global justice—traveling from Davos to Damascus, and working hard to get rank-and-file evangelicals invested in “creation care” environmentalism and the fight against global HIV/AIDS.

If he were put in charge of HHS or listened to on gay policies, I’d be pissed. But what Obama is doing here isn’t that. It’s a move that marginalizes the worst on the religious right, elevates a guy who’s more progressive than most religious leaders on a number of issues, and earns him some moderate cred at the outset.

If Obama sells out on the progressive promise in actual policy, I’ll be in the streets protesting with everyone else. But if his “selling out” is having a fairly moderate, popular evangelical give the invocation at the inaugural—when large sections of this country still worry Obama’s a scary evil Mooooslim—then who gives a flying fuck?



Fill Me In

In a rant on the new Che movie, something I have less than zero desire to watch, Nick Gillespie states the following:

And you’ve got to ask: Who precisely is still debating Che’s methodology, other than, I don’t know, Lynndie England and various al Qaeda cells?

Can someone explain the Lynndie England reference? Not to downplay the Lynndie England monstrous behavior at Abu Ghraib, but I thought even Nick himself recognized that the failures there were due to leadership:

Hmm, how else to explain the abuse? Take a cue from U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who investigated it for the Pentagon. He told the Senate the abuse was due to “failure in leadership–lack of discipline, no training whatsoever and no supervision.”

What am I missing?



As An American, I Demand A Second Season Of Firefly

Sullivan dismisses public healthcare.

One reason I’m a conservative is the British National Health Service. Until you have lived under socialism, it sounds like a great idea. It isn’t misery – although watching my parents go through the system lately has been nerve-wracking – but there is a basic assumption. The government collective decides everything. You, the individual patient, and you, the individual doctor, are the least of their concerns. I prefer freedom and the market to rationalism and the collective. That’s why I live here.

When Ezra points out that the British love their system, Sullivan creates an elaborate mental construct to avoid the obvious.

Satisfaction is a subjective function of subjective expectations. If you have the kind of expectations that many Brits have for their healthcare system, it is not hard to feel satisfied. The Brits are very happy with their dentists as well. And there is a cultural aspect here – Brits simply believe suffering is an important part of life, especially through ill health. Going to the doctor is often viewed as a moral failure, a sign of weakness. This is a cultural function of decades of conditioning that success is morally problematic and that translating that success into better health is morally inexcusable.

Yes, clearly the masochistic British spirit explains why they prefer a system that costs less, covers every citizen and outperforms America in important metrics such as infant mortality.

Now for some aimless noodling.

But if most Americans with insurance had to live under the NHS for a day, there would be a revolution. It was one of my first epiphanies about most Americans: they believe in demanding and expecting the best from healthcare, not enduring and surviving the worst, because it is their collective obligation. Ah, I thought. This is how free people think and act. Which, for much of the left, is, of course, the problem.

Accuse me of shooting barrel fish all you want, this argument deserves to be deconstructed. Sullivan, for example, does not demand the best from his healthcare. The Atlantic Monthly does that. It is not unfair to point out that Sullivan would not be nearly so sanguine about American healthcare if he had to compete on the individual market like the other half of America does. It is also not unfair to point out that with a pre-existing condition, Sullivan would not get individual insurance at any price if he did not live in a liberal nanny state like Massachussetts. There is no particular stigma in that; I have a preexisting condition. Given the term’s ever-expanding definition (and the ulcer-causing specter of medical bankruptcy) half of America has one by now.

That is not to say that Sullivan does not have a point. Palin-like, we could define America as people who live in Massachussetts and/or pay into generous employer-provided group plans. In that case American healthcare is indeed stellar. True ‘muricans demand the best and Adam Smith’s benevolent hand graciously delivers it to them. Awesome! Naturally non-American Americans can also ‘demand’ great healthcare if that makes them happy. Those kind of people also enjoy ‘demanding’ a tasty zero-calorie beer and intelligent programing on FOX News. Whatever noise comes out of the wind hole, Adam Smith will bitch-slap not-quite-as-real Americans with denials, spiteful rationing and murder by spreadsheet.

On the other hand, if you consider all legal US residents equally American then Sullivan’s argument is just fucking stupid.



A Quick Observation

I notice that the Editors have been very quiet since the Steelers put the epic smackdown on the Patriots. Pity, because I would like to taunt them, and I think I will, with this:

First time I have really enjoyed that clip. That is all.