Get psyched for banned books week.
Everyone knows I don't use names on the site. But sometimes, especially in the case of Laila Mohib, you have to. Why? Because that's simply how things are done here, hacking the semantic web.
I hope everyone notices the new comment feature below and to the left. Fincher requested it. I'm happy to tweak it one way or the other, depending upon what people want. Thoughts?
We interrupt my sloth-imposed silence to bring you the following stunning piece by conservative satirist Christpher Buckley.
If these sentiments become widespread, we could have a sea change underway.
This ad just came out and is airing in Virginia:
Democrats need more blunt ads like this. Best of all, it's not sponsored by Webb, so it doesn't cost him anything. It merely reinforces that not only is George Allen a racist, but he's also not concerned about our troops. Now that's how to return fire!
So our new mayor is Adrian Fenty. Hooray!
For the record, Fenty's dominating 26 percentage point win is what is correctly called "a mandate". Having the GOP constantly affirm that winning by 1-5% is a mandate has left a bitter taste in my mouth, much like the idiotic poll question that asks people if Bush is a uniter or a divider, only to see them split 50/50.
In Fenty's case, having the whole city behind him should provide enough impetus to have the City Council grant him some leeway once he takes office. I can't wait to see what he does first.
If you live in DC, go vote today!
I had decided almost everything down the line except for who should be the next council chair. As I'm not a fan of Cropp, I think either Patterson or Gray would be an improvement.
Regardless, if you haven't voted yet, go do so! Now!
Dems need to go on the offense. That's why I was heartened to read this comment over on TPM:
Rather than trying to work the refs, Democrats need to remind the American people over and over that this President has failed at everything he has done: he has failed to capture bin Laden, his policy in Iraq is a monumental failure, and he has failed to make the American people safer. Every level of government has broken down because of Bush's mistakes. These guys can't even get the little things right let alone the big stuff. And voting Republican only means more of the same.
Working the refs doesn't work with the American Public. Why? Because Americans don't care if someone fights dirty. We just care who wins. Dems need to start hitting back harder.
If you watch or listen to one thing today, or tomorrow, or this entire week, make it Keith Olbermann's thoughts on the World Trade Center memorial.
It is, quite possibly, the most searing indictment of the Bush administration I have ever heard broadcast.
Olbermann is the Murrow of our times. A pity he's buried on MSNBC. Can you imagine a major news anchor on one of the big three networks making a speech like this? It'd be guaranteed to be the most watched news program, hands down.
I suppose today will be filled with memorial ceremonies and the like. Repeated by many will be the odd phrase "9/11 changed everything." Nonsense.
The tragic events of September 11th, 2001 should have led America down two paths, simultaneously. The first would've been to beef up security, by inspecting cargo containers, ensuring better border protection, and helping agencies share information more easily. The second would've been to emphasize the strengths of our democracy, by ensuring civil liberties were protected, that we continued to honor the Constitution, and to offer diplomatic aid and assistance to countries considering abandoning more conservative forms of government.
The first solution would've kept us safe by patching the holes in the existing system. The second solution would achieve the same goal, but pre-emptively, by reducing the root causes of terrorism and encouraging more countries to become democracies. The first also tracks well with a mindset of "never again", while the second neatly parallels the idea that while our open society leaves us vulnerable to certain attacks, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
In the past five years, we've done very little on either front. Instead of holding true to our principles, we've emphasized a lockdown mentality. Instead of focusing on security here in America, we've become distracted by nail cutters and shampoo. Instead of protecting our borders (assisted by sensible immigration reform (and yes, I'd use this to argue for more immigration, not less)) we've gone to war in two different countries, breeding even more terrorists in the process.
In short, the mantra that 9/11 changed everything merely justifies the continued policies which have taken us backward since that date. Instead of a surplus, we have a debt, both financially and morally. We now openly admit to torturing foreigners in foreign countries.
The people who lost their lives five years ago wouldn't want to see the America of today, despite our attempts to dedicate the past years to their memory. We have squandered our goodwill. Let us hope that, in the next five years, we can undo the damage caused in the past five.
It is our obligation to bring America's morals back into line. Anything less will be a disservice to those brave souls who lost everything on September 11th.