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Sunday, March 8, 2009

a few things...

check out


(every time you refresh you get a new one!)

this would have fit in nicely with my graphs and charts post yesterday:
So much for the war on the rich.

Some articles of note:

Elizabeth Drew has a fascinating inside look
at the first thirty days of Obama's Presidency. (Great stuff.)

Michael Lewis has another article out about the economy. This one's about what's going on in Iceland now that the entire country's bankrupt. (Lewis has a knack for making this stuff interesting and fun.)

The New Yorker considers David Foster Wallace's unfinished follow-up to the Infinite Jest.

Sean Quinn at has an interesting post
considering why some Republicans refer to their opposition as the "Democrat Party."

Oh, and can I also just note that last week I linked to a post that jokingly suggested Obama must have Jedi mind powers given his apparent success at making Republicans implode re: Rush Limbaugh... well that idea apparently, and insanely, gained some real traction last week. The Quinn post above begins in response to a Republican who accuses Democrats childishly making Republicans do nothing but talk about Limbaugh. The same guy childishly refers to the Democratic Party as the Democratic Party, hence Quinn's post, but the idea that Obama is responsible for the Republicans' intra-party squabbling/apologizing is itself really an amazing proposition.

Josh Marshall:

It seems the Obama White House is mobilizing the vast power of the federal government to make Rush really popular among GOP nutball dead-enders, then coax various Republican officials to criticize Rush and then compel these same officials to issue craven and humiliating recantations of those criticisms.

The right's capacity for gonzo victimhood really knows no end. Let's focus on the realities here. Most people don't like Rush Limbaugh. But for whatever reason he remains a redeemer-like figure for the rump of the Republican party. Politically that's a very bad place for the GOP to be. They're unable to criticize him. And their need to kowtow to him marginalizes them. But enough of the structural ins and outs of it. Fundamentally, it's bad for Republicans because Rush is really where the GOP is right now. That's all that's left. And most Americans really don't like that.

Speaking of insanity, did you hear how the Republicans want to enact a "spending freeze?" David Brooks:

Josh Marshall puts it more bluntly:

Let's just stipulate DC Republicans are simply not part of the discussion when it comes to repairing the US economy or arresting our slide into deep economic misery. And any reporters who aren't clear about this are just lying to their readers or viewers. The latest Republican plan, in the face of today's new spike in unemployment, is a freeze on federal spending. I'm not even sure it's fair to say that this is a replay of the disastrous decisions the magnified the Great Depression between 1929 and 1933. It's more a parody of it. When the crisis is a rapid and catastrophic drop off in demand, you handcuff the one force that can create demand (i.e., the federal government) in the throes of the contraction. That's insane. Levels of stimulus are a decent question. Intensifying the contraction is just insane and frankly a joke. It's time to recognize that the only debate here is happening among Democrats and sundry non-affiliated sane people. The leaders of the GOP are simply not part of the conversation.

Barry Blitt, NYT


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