Sunday, November 05, 2006

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish

Andrew Sullivan on the sad truth of the Haggard revelations, including the former pastor's admission of a "lifelong" struggle with his own "repulsive" sexuality. This, in November 2006.

Andrew Sullivan The Daily Dish: "'There is part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I've been warring against it all of my adult life,' - pastor Ted Haggard, referring, I suppose, to his homosexual orientation.

For those who still - amazingly - believe that being gay is somehow a 'choice,' consider Haggard. If he could have chosen not to be gay, don't you think he would have? Even though he apparently believes being gay is 'repulsive and dark' (while it is, in fact, just another wonderful way to be human), he still cannot prevail against it. It is integral to him. It has been 'all of [his] adult life'."

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Video Dog - Salon.com

Video Dog - Salon.com: " That was Colbert's real feat: Showing us the real Washington media world, where everyone worries so much about offending someone, anyone, that the least bit of frank talk turns them into obedient little church mice. "

Saturday, April 22, 2006

DCCC Chair Presents A Clear Way Forward

Democratic Congressional Committee Chair Rahm Emanuel may be short on personality, but he's strong on common sense and legislative vision. Last night he articulated a five-point platform on Real Time with Bill Maher that was both practical and principled:
1) Balance the budget*
2) More affordable, accessible college education
3) Universal healthcare
4) Hybrid economy not completely based on fossil fuels
5) Investment in an institute of science and technology so we can create high tech jobs

*Unlike the no longer fiscally conservative, no tax and overspend Republican party.

Friday, March 31, 2006

It's a Wild, Wild World on the WWW

Salon catches mean world syndrome? Today's War Room column on Salon.com casts a disapproving eye on the blogosphere.
"The Internet can be a vicious place. Shortly after leaving the paper-print world for Salon, I wrote a story that said something nice about Sen. John McCain's lobbying reform proposal. One reader quickly wrote a letter calling me a 'shill' who peddles 'loathsome,' 'contemptable tripe.' 'This poor excuse for a reporter is Salon's Washington Correspondent?' the reader asked, before telling me to quit.
I didn't quit my job, but the reader made a good point. Rhetorical, over-the-top character assassination and verbal warmongering are lots of fun online. With this in mind, I now present my favorite fights from the past week in the political
blogosphere. "

My response is a qualified yes, but... I think it's also important to note that while the anonymous nature of the blogsphere does seem to encourage bad behavior like no other medium (save perhaps Sunday Morning Gladiator talk shows), its inclusive nature sometimes does quite the opposite, allowing for fuller, more meaningful dialogue. Sometimes good does come from bad. In one of the examples discussed, the exchange on whether blogging constitutes advocacy and should be regulated as such that takes place between Franke-Ruta of TAP and Stoller of MyDD, many of the reader comments that follow are both civil and substantive. One reader, Eligere, strengthens Stoller's arguments significantly by clarifying the distinctions between political speech and PAC-style advocacy. Most important, the comments contains real information that's both factually correct and essential to any real discussion of the issue.
My question is, without 24/7 moderating (policing), how does anyone ensure that a blog stays provocative and inclusive but civil?

Hotline On Call: Luntz Focus Groups The Dems....

Just released focus group findings provide important insights re the 2008 Dem Presidential hopefuls. According to well-respected but admittedly Republican pollster Frank Luntz, American Dems want an anti-bush who's not a "Bush-Basher". Hmm. The overview is available on Hotline, a National Journal blog:
Hotline On Call: Luntz Focus Groups The Dems....: "Luntz Maslansky Strategic Research presented its findings on the '08 Dem field this a.m. to reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.
Their focus groups tested Dem primary voters in NH and IA. We don't know the size/demographic balance, etc., so don't read too much into the conclusions. (And don't ever confuse focus groups with polls -- we'll let Mark Blumenthal elaborate, if he wants to.)

What do Dems want? Per The Luntz interpretation of said focus groups: 'When all is said and done, the Democratic nominee will be the person they believe has the best handle on the future and who can best bring about the change and reform they are desperately seeking.' And 'perhaps most importantly, they want the anti-Bush' who is not a 'Bush basher.' The Dems 'don't want a grouchy, accusatory, finger-pointing yeller. They want someone smart but with good common sense, a leader with new ideas who believes and practices accountability.' "

Saturday, March 11, 2006

William F. Buckley Jr. on Iraq on National Review Online

For the second time in a year or so I find myself quoting and praising William F Buckley for his clarity and candor (scary but true!). This time, he's addressing the war in Iraq:
"One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed."... and "Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human reserves that call for civil life haven't proved strong enough. No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols."

Monday, March 06, 2006

Blogging the Oscars

It was a weird, sometimes wacky, personal and political year in the movies and yet somehow the Oscar telecast still managed to be pretty snooze inducing. Jon Stewart's restrained and only intermittently amusing performance seems to definitively prove that there's more that needs to be fixed about this show than the host. Like the endless montage madness for starters.

For blow-by-blow commentary courtesy of Entertainment Weekly PopWatcher Josh Wolk and miscellaneous other bloggers (including yours truly) see: Popwatch

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Just How Solid Is That Center? (washingtonpost.com)

Ever wonder just where you fit in the political spectrum? For a quick but insightful analysis, take this online poltical quiz at www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html.
For more info, here's the writeup from the Washington Post:
Just How Solid Is That Center? (washingtonpost.com):

"Forget poring over tedious policy papers: Someone has already come up with a quick way for you to find your place in the political spectrum.
In 1969, David Nolan -- a political scientist who had been frustrated by simplistic 'left-right' labels -- devised a chart to help delineate the shades of difference in between;categories also include authoritarian, libertarian and centrist (see below). Nolan believedhis chartwas a more accurate way tomeasure a person's political philosophy becauseit was based on how much, or how little, governmental control a person favored in matters of economics and personal freedom. "

Take the quiz:
http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html