I almost never agree with anything I read on Stephen Bainbridge’s blog, but I feel his pain:

Let’s tick off ten things that make this conservative embarrassed by the modern conservative movement:

1. A poorly educated ex-sportwriter who served half of one term of an minor state governorship is prominently featured as a — if not the — leading prospect for the GOP’s 2012 Presidential nomination.

2. Tom Tancredo calling President Obama “the greatest threat to the United States today” and arguing that he be impeached. Bad public policy is not a high crime nor a misdemeanor, and the casual assertion that pursuing liberal policies–however misguided–is an impeachable offense is just nuts.


6. The anti-science and anti-intellectualism that pervade the movement.

7. Trying to pretend Afghanistan is Obama’s war.

8. Birthers.

9. Nativists.

I like this too:

Patterico says the foregoing are “reasons that conservatives should not support the Republican party,” not reasons for being embarrassed about being a conservative. Fair enough. I’d accept that as a friendly amendment, but we’re not friends.

Heh indeed.

(updated to h/t burnspbesq)

Just Blow It Up

George Packer in the New Yorker is the latest to chronicle (and it really is an excellent piece) the hive of obstruction and special interest money that is the Senate.

The world is a vampire

We are ruled by sociopathic ‘tweens (via):

A few days earlier I had been forwarded a memo written by the hedge fund chief Tom Barrack to his underlings at Colony Capital. In it, he described a “personal breakthrough” he had made as a result of reading the Twilight books. “I feel renewed and refreshed, having gotten out of my comfort zone and experiencing something so totally out of my normal realm,” he wrote.


“Gang,” Mr Barrack starts.

It goes on to describe how after “an agonisingly tough couple of weeks” he took some “yacht time” and chanced upon his daughter’s copy of Twilight. “I don’t get it … but I feel it. Taking the agenda-less time to absorb a point of view that I had ignored while loved ones around me relished it was an oasis for my soul.”

There are long musings on love, on anticipation and vampires, allowing him to draw the following conclusion for his team: “It is hard for us to dream … it is time for all of us … to spend more time outside the strict arithmetic cadence of our business … we must really find the ‘moment’ …”

The part of corporate culture I understand the least is love of soul-searching mass emails, motivational talks from Tony Robbins Tom Friedman, and the like. What’s up with it? Could one of you explain it?

By the time they get to Phoenix

Mexican kidnappers are now bringing their hostages to Phoenix. So says John Kyl:

KYL: Phoenix is the — it is a very large source of kidnapping. It’s called the kidnapping capital of the United States because the illegal immigrants who are brought to Phoenix for distribution throughout the country are held in drop houses, and they are mistreated, horribly treated. They are held for ransom for their families back in Mexico or in El Salvador, or wherever to send more money or they won’t be released and so on. So there’s a great deal of violence and crime associated with the presence of illegal immigrants.

So let’s get this straight: drug cartels, which have immense power within Mexico and El Salvador and relatively little in the United States, are now moving their hostages to Phoenix to hold them because…why, the cheap rental market?

Maybe he’s thinking of elderly people being held against their will in nursing homes.

I don’t want to go to Chelsea’s

I believe that Bill Clinton was an excellent president, that we were lucky to have him, and that there are thousands of gazillionaires who are less deserving of their wealth than he is. Furthermore, I don’t want to hear another of Cokie’s stories about how Tip O’Neill got married in a hand-me-down tux and had the reception in the parish rec room.

All of that said, I too find it disturbing how quickly former political leaders become fabulously wealthy (Counterpunch via James Wolcott):

Before we attend to the poor political judgment of such an extravagant affair during times of economic distress, let us wonder aloud where a poor boy who became governor of Arkansas and president of the United States got such a fortune that he can blow $3,000,000 on a wedding.

The American people did not take up a collection to reward him for his service to them. Where did the money come from? Who was he really serving during his eight years in office?

How did Tony Blair and his wife, Cherrie, end up with an annual income of ten million pounds (approximately $15 million dollars) as soon as he left office? Who was Blair really serving?

These are not polite questions, and they are infrequently asked.

In the article on the death of the American middle-class John cited, Ed Luce writes:

Then there are those, such as Paul Krugman, The New York Times columnist and Nobel prize winner, who blame it on politics….

The incomes of the super-wealthy have skyrocketed while those of the middle-class have stagnated. Meanwhile, many political (and media) elites have joined the ranks of the super-wealthy. Coincidence?

Update. The $3 million figure may be garbage. I still agree with the main point of the Counterpunch piece, though.