How to Squander the Presidency in One Year:
There's only one political
party in the entire world that is so inept, cowardly and bungling that
it could manage to simultaneously lick the boots of Wall Street bankers
and then get blamed by the voters for being flaming revolutionary socialists.
It's the same party that has allowed the opposition to go on a thirty year scorched earth campaign, stealing everything in sight from middle and working class voters, and yet successfully claim to be protecting ‘real Americans' from out-of-touch elites.
What, exactly, was Obama's political plan?The Obama legislative agenda was built around an "advancing tide" theory.
Democrats would start with bills that targeted relatively narrow problems, such as expanding health care for low-income children, reforming Pentagon contracting practices and curbing abuses by credit-card companies. Republicans would see the victories stack up and would want to take credit alongside a popular president. As momentum built, larger bipartisan coalitions would form to tackle more ambitious initiatives.
Again, apologies for repeating myself, but Obama could order Arab-American's down to the cutest toddler burnt in a bonfire at half-time of the Super Bowl while Lee Fucking Greenwood sang God Bless the USA, and Republicans would scream Obama was soft on terrorism, and fucking Democrats wouldn't race to defend Obama much less counterattack the accusation.
If all American politics consists only of bitter fights over who controls the spigots, and who controls the spigots is loosely determined by pigs and roobs and the ability of the rival triscallions to ratchet pigs over roobs or roobs over pigs into temporary electoral victory, consider I am furiously screaming at Obama for truly believing in the power of reconciliation and cooperation in American civic life, the dumb motherfucker, rather than ordering all Republicans down to the cutest toddler burnt in a bonfire at half-time of the Super Bowl while the ghosts of Airplane play:
- The Shield of Achilles and the Guantanamo Suicides.
- It's too fucking late, for all Frank Rich calls Obama a pussy. The time to show populist courage was before populist rhetoric looks like the bullshit it is.
- Obamapostasy: remember this when he starts with the populist bullshit.
- UPDATE! To put it another way, Obama always looks like he's trying to have it both ways; he looks too clever by half.
- Pigshit in Your Fucking Washington Post.
- UPDATE! Obama's populism is to turn more conservative?
- Oligarchical Public Option.
- Law: What is it good for?
- Read this.
- On self-serving pathologies.
- Rhetorical question of the day: Where is the elected progressive leaping to savage Andre Bauer for saying: “My grandmother was not a highly educated woman but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better." It's not on Your Fucking Washington Post or New York Times as I type this either.
- Your Fucking Washington Post.
- Get this: E.J. Dionne calls for a revolution.
- Hamster Fascism?
- Hamster as Lab Rat of Liberal Fascism?
- We are the enemy.
- Београд, Србија. Elric, staying on Milentije Popovica street, isn't sentimental at being in his father's father's homeland: A word of warning: If you are looking forward to me waxing poetic about finally visiting the land where my father’s father came from, I am afraid you will go away disappointed. It won’t happen. The bottom line is that I just don’t care. Seriously. I am - by far - the least sentimental person any of you will ever have the opportunity of meeting. The only thing that might tie into that whole “Motherland” thing is my personal curiosity as to why old Rade would choose a life of miserable, dangerous, low-paying labor (and black lung to boot) in a country where he was considered a filthy expendable alien, rather than stay here. This place must really be the pits, I guess. I just haven’t seen it yet.
- UPDATE! None for me, thanks.
- Online Beaver issues?
- The State of Georgetown (the neighborhood, not the school).
- Commander Salamander closing, which is notable here because at least twenty-five years have passed since I was last inside buying nitrous oxide and papers.
- Maryland cracker wants to change my license plate.
Foul odor prompts evacuation in area of Wheaton
- Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage
- Marlon James, The Book of Night Women
- Michelle Huneven, Blame
- Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
- Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark and Termite
- Rae Armantrout, Versed
- Louise Glück, A Village Life
- D.A. Powell, Chronic
Eleanor Ross Taylor, Captive Voices: New and Selected Poems, 1960–2008
- Rachel Zucker, Museum of Accidents
Also notable - Vollmann's Imperial nominated in non-fiction, another book I'm too impatient to wait for paperback and then get crushed when the 20-ton hardback sucks to read in bed.
You've heard me yodel for Mantel enough - just read the mofo, OK? As for poetry, Armantrout's and Glück's books are good but snore, but Powell's Chronic is astonishing (and won't win). I've never heard of the other two. Good thing I have access to a major university's stacks.
- New Goldbarth poem.
- New Heather McHugh reviewed.
- Confessions of a Book Pirate.
- The new Spoon I've heard kinda sucks unto suck, yo.
- Magnetic Fields cover "If I Were a Rich Man." Really.
- What's on Bowie's iPod?
- Proof I'm the sentimental one:
- Still holds up.
- New Yeasayer.
- Nick Drake.
- Darkblack's Sunday Overnight.
- Moka's Top 200, Number Nine.
were lifted over the valley, its steepling dustdevils
the redwinged blackbirds convened
vibrant arc their swift, their dive against the filmy, the finite air
the profession of absence, of being absented, a lifting skyward
the moment of flight: another resignation from the sweep of earth
jackrabbit, swallowtail, harlequin duck: believe in this refuge
vivid tips of oleander
white and red perimeters where no perimeter should be
here is another in my long list of asides:
why have I never had a clock that actually gained time?
that apparatus, which measures out the minutes, is our own image
losing, forever losing
and so the delicate, unfixed condition of love, the treacherous body
the unsettling state of creation and how we have damaged—
isn't one a suitable lens through which to see another:
filter the body, filter the mind, filter the resilient land
and by resilient I mean which holds
which tolerates the inconstant lover, the pitiful treatment
the experiment, the untried & untrue, the last stab at wellness
choose your own adventure: drug failure or organ failure
cataclysmic climate change
or something akin to what's killing the bees—colony collapse
more like us than we'd allow, this wondrous swatch of rough
why do I need to say the toads and moor and clouds—
in a spring of misunderstanding, I took the cricket's sound
and delight I took in the sex of every season, the tumble on moss
the loud company of musicians, the shy young bookseller
anonymous voices that beckoned to ramble
to be picked from the crepuscule at the forest's edge
until the nocturnal animals crept forth
their eyes like the lamps in store windows
forgotten, vaguely firing a desire for home
hence, the body's burden, its resolute campaign: trudge on
and if the war does not shake us from our quietude, nothing will
I carry the same baffled heart I have always carried
a bit more battered than before, a bit less joy
for I see the difficult charge of living in this declining sphere
by the open air, I swore out my list of pleasures:
sprig of lilac, scent of pine
the sparrows bathing in the drainage ditch, their song
the lusty thoughts in spring as the yellow violets bloom
and the cherry forms its first full buds
the tonic cords along the legs and arms of youth
and youth passing into maturity, ripening its flesh
growing softer, less unattainable, ruddy and spotted plum
daily, I mistake—there was a medication I forgot to take
there was a man who gave himself, decently, to me & I refused him
in a protracted stillness, I saw that heron I didn't wish to disturb
was clearly a white sack caught in the redbud's limbs
I did not comprehend desire as a deadly force until—
daylight, don't leave me now, I haven't done with you—
nor that, in this late hour, we still cannot make peace
if I, inconsequential being that I am, forsake all others
how many others correspondingly forsake this world
light, light: do not go
I sing you this song and I will sing another as well