Saturday, August 15, 2009

Smorgasbord Saturday

Hopefully this weekend will bring a succession of posts I have been working on for some time. If this does in fact happen and I have a rapid-fire posting schedule, I will create a head post with links to everything that follows (for reading convenience). Should I not accomplish this feat, this warning was simply a figment of your imagination...

I find the Cash for Clunkers program absolutely fascinating. It is a much needed program on various levels including economic growth, support for the car manufacturing industry, a win for the environment, and a bonus for consumers who truly need assistance if they're going to go out and spend. The reason I find it fascinating isn't for any of these reasons, though. I find the cars that are actually being traded in the really fascinating part of the story. For some reason, I expected that the cars being traded would be beat up junk heaps. Something more like the 1967 Mercury Comet I drove the first few months of college, not some dude's Ford 450 that he couldn't afford to fill up. Idablue has the numbers on mpg, which is interesting and worth checking out, but if you're like me and want to know what people are trading in MSNBC has an interactive tool that tells the story of average Americans who are trading in and more often than not trading up.

You remember that sign, carried by the armed guy outside Obama's New Hampshire town hall on health care, that referenced the Thomas Jefferson quote about the tree of liberty? I have heard a lot of right-wing pundits commenting on the guy's freedom of speech, "god given rights" and his right to bear arms, which I suppose are all arguments you could make (I tend to subscribe to the opinion Hardball's Chris Matthews posed regarding the history of this country and how absolutely inappropriate it is to bring a gun to a visit from the President of the United States), but what I haven't heard anyone mention in the discussion is Hal Turner. While everyone is raving about rights, nobody seems to be mentioning Hal Turner. Remember Hal Turner? He's the radio/webcast personality who was arrested for threatening public officials and federal judges. After Hal's case became national news, slowly a case was built that painted Turner as the white supremacist that he is. I believe, as do many who have subscribed to ideas presented by Dave Neiwert, that those who present extreme partisanship like the teabaggers can become a real danger to society just as Hal Turner has. Peter Slevin of the Washington Post notes today that Turner's case may test the limits and push the boundaries of political speech protections. It will be really interesting to see how this case is decided and how the decision is received in a country that is engulfed in an immense amount of vitriolic speech.

In the event I don't post a wingnut roundup anytime soon--I'm toying with the idea of making this a weekly feature--Tom Young, the far right wingnut brought to you by the Times-News, has a new one at Conservative Corner about the lack of progress happening in Congress. The reasoning? He says it is the Democratic Party's fault because with their filibuster-proof majority they should be able to pass anything and everything they want right now while the Republicans have little power and are doing virtually nothing. Virtually nothing apparently doesn't include the health care reform mobs that are stifling productive discussions with all constituents about health care. He also says, as part of them doing nothing, they have been "as quiet as a mouse." Really? So, Sarah Palin and Chuck Grassley fueling the ludicrous death panel fire is nothing? That I can sort of laugh at. His assertion that during the Republicans' silence, the Democrats "have beer fests, and staged Town Hall events...and label the opposition as Nazi’s (sic) and Terrorists." Yes, read that again and let it sink it. The Democrats are calling those who don't think like them and hold their misguided beliefs Nazis. The Democrats are the ones disrupting town halls across this country. I was going to say I don't know where Mr. Young is getting his news, but I know exactly where he's getting his news. However, I don't know what planet he's living on.

Media Channel is back up and running after being crashed by what I'm assuming was a mob of the mentality of the health care protesters. And Rory O'Connor, author of Shock Jocks, is back with an article that succinctly wraps up the political and not so political news of this summer. Check it out.

That's it for now. Happy Saturday!

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