Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Return of the Political

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I think that this title might be the name of a Frederic Jameson book, but I'm not sure. (For those who know that reference, get a life.) Anyway, I just wanted to get back to looking at politics, a subject which has conspicuouly been absent from this blog recently. I could say that I have been focused on the mixtapes and trying to have related links, but that would only be half the truth. No, I have just been sick to death of politics, current events and the people who write about them and participate in them. It's felt a lot like the lead-up to the last election, when I just couldn't take it anymore- the lies, the smears, the shoddy journalism that was practiced on the 24-hour cable shows and big newspapers alike.

I want to be one of those warriors who canvasses and writes a daily blog filled with the day's atrocities, the idealist who believes. I just don't have the stomach for it, the ability to withstand the disappointment and anger on a day-to-day basis. I wouldn't be able to wake up in the morning if I didn't take a break from it all occasionally. It's that bad out there.

How bad? Samuel Alito is going to be confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States. This man is a far-right judge, a man out of step with the mainstream of America. He has worked his whole life to undermine Roe v. Wade, labor rights, environmental rights, defendants' rights. He has spent his whole life pursuing the same agenda that the Bush administration has adopted and crammed down our throats. He will become the deciding vote on so many issues and will influence the direction of this country for years to come. TPMCafe has been a great source during the hearings. Go here and here for the case against Alito. SCOTUSblog has also been a great source. Dahlia Lithwick cuts through the crap and addresses the issue of presidential authority in the war on terror, where the law will be set by this man. Feministing has been looking at this from the beginning. Daily Kos was a good outlet for those of us upset at this nomination and looking for fellow miserablists.

Want more? Take a look at the story surrounding the Washington Post ombudsman, Deborah Howell. For those that don't know what the hell an ombudsman is, let me tell you that it's not a member of the crew on a porno shoot. It is a person hired by a newspaper to serve as a check on their reporters, to catch their mistakes and report on them. Anyway, Howell jumped into the Abramoff scandal and made some factually inaccurate statements tying the Democrats to Abramoff's campaign contributions. Instead of admitting her mistake, she continued to make the inaccurate claims and began to parrot GOP talking points on the issue. It blew up into a real shitstorm, with readers leaving critical comments on her blog, some of which were deleted for supposed offensive comments. Her boss did an interview with right-wing blogger Hugh Hewitt to defend the paper. To top it off, Howell is the same person who called out Post writer Daniel Froomkin's blog for being too liberal! Notice a pattern here.

Jane at firedoglake
has lead the charge thankfully, so go here, here and here to follow the developments. Josh Marshall gets to the heart of the matter. Brad Delong destroys Howell and the Post, for really real. Mark Schmitt gets in on it as well.

And for a depressing finale? A group of alumni at UCLA, led by 24-year old Andrew Jones, are offering cash rewards for anyone willing to out "radical" professors by providing tapes and notes of their lectures. Intimidating professors falls right in the line with the mood of the days, when bullying and insults pass for discourse. Joseph McCarthy would be proud of his offspring.

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