Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Is This Thing Working?

We interrupt This Week's Discussion Question to note that after reading this fine piece of "journalism", we breathlessly await Politico's upcoming pieces in the series, "Does human trafficking work?" and "Does genocide work?"

We now return you to This Week's Discussion Question, already in progress.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Drift Away

We interrupt This Week's Discussion Question to reassure Minnesotans that Senator-in-waiting Al Franken doesn't stand a snowball's chance of snaring the title of "America's Most Embarrassing Congressperson" when there's competition like this, kids. (And it's not Crazy Michele this time!)

We now return you to This Week's Discussion Question, already in progress.

Update: Giant Blooming Pansies!* This dim bulb thinks he outwitted the Nobel Prize-winning Secretary of Energy.

*We saw that on a florist's sign this weekend and are trying it out as a catchphrase.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Morning Comin' Down

One of the great things about participating in a community of faith that worships at 5 p.m. Sundays is that you can sleep in a bit, then lounge around in your bathrobe on Sunday mornings. The downside is that if you have the teevee on, you can frequently catch something that'll make you spit your Cheerios across the room.

Like when Serious Person Peggy Noonan said this to George, George, Cokie, and Sam about the decision to release the OLC torture memos:
"It's hard for me to look at a great nation issuing these documents and sending them out to the world and thinking, oh, much good will come of that."
Now here's Charles Pierce checking in last Friday, chez Alterman:

I have now lived through three major episodes in my life where the political elite have told me quite plainly that neither I nor my fellow citizens are sufficiently mature to suffer the public prosecution of major crimes committed within my government. The first was when Gerry Ford told me I wasn't strong enough to handle the sight of Richard Nixon in the dock. (Ed. note--I would have thrown a parade.) Dick Cheney looked at this episode and determined that the only thing Nixon did wrong was get caught. The second time was when the entire government went into spasm over the crimes of the Iran-Contra gang and I was told that I wasn't strong enough to see Ronald Reagan impeached or his men packed off to Danbury. Dick Cheney looked at this and determined that the only thing Reagan and his men did wrong was get caught and, by then, Cheney had decided that even that wasn't really so very wrong and everybody should shut up. Now, Barack Obama, who won election by telling the country and its people that they were great because of all they'd done for him, has told me that I am not strong enough to handle the prosecution of pale and vicious bureaucrats, many of them acting at the behest of Dick Cheney, who decided that the only thing he was doing wrong was nothing at all, who have broken the law, disgraced their oaths, and manifestly belong in a one-room suite at the Hague. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I'm sick and goddamn tired of being told that, as a citizen, I am too fragile to bear the horrible burden of watching public criminals pay for their crimes and that, as a political entity, my fellow citizens and I are delicate flowers encased in candy-glass who must be kept away from the sight of men in fine suits weeping as they are ripped from the arms of their families and sent off to penal institutions manifestly more kind than those in which they arranged to get their rocks off vicariously while driving other men mad.

Hey, Mr. President. Put these barbarians on trial and watch me. I'll be the guy out in front of the courtroom with a lawn chair, some sandwiches, and a cooler of fine beer. I'll be the guy who hires the brass band to serenade these criminal bastards on their way off to the big house. I'll be the one who shows up at every one of their probation hearings with a copy of the Constitution, the way crime victims show up at the parole board when their attacker comes up for release. I'll declare a national holiday -- Victory Over Torture Day -- and lead the parade right up whatever gated street it is that Cheney lives on these days. Trust me, Mr. President. I can take it.

So here's This Week's Discussion Question:
What would you give to see Pierce at that table with Noonan, Roberts, and Will?
Please keep the discussion civil and do not wander off into "Man, it'd make yesterday's 14-run top of the second at Yankee Stadium look like a 1-0 pitchers' duel" or "Yeah! And wearin' Levi's!"


Update: Jon Stewart takes Ms. Noonan downtown in the last bit of this segment and Stephen Colbert just put Mr. Will's anti-denim nonsense through the wringer a few moments ago. Link coming...

Update: As promised, here's the Colbert link.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I'm Gonna D.J.

We're only five games into the new baseball season and we're pleased to present another Greatest. Sport. Ever. edition of This Week's Discussion Question:
We've heard of bench jockeying, but how cool is a sport where players are disk jockeying?
Please keep the discussion civil and do not wander off into "The Cell? They call it the Cell?"