Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Have a Cool Yule

Light blogging this next day or two, but I just wanted to take the opportunity to wish those who stop by a very Happy Holiday and a happy and healthy New Year.

Must Reads

Sarah Jones: Sarah Palin Exposed as a Teleprompter Using Fraud

Larry David: Thanks for the Tax Cut!

Melissa Harris-Perry: Obama in the Age of Accommodation

Joe Gandelman: Yes Virginia, There was a Time When John McCain Was Admirable

JHW22 recommends...
Carol E. Lee & Glenn Thrush: Obama Plans 2011 Staff Makeover

Angry Black Lady: FireDogSycophants: A Smorgasbord of Sheer Idiocy With a Soupçon of Racism

Sarah Posner: A Tea Party Leader Hates Christians

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Specter's Parting Shots

Just watch.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Today's Drudge Headlines...

... include no mention of the DADT repeal, START Treaty ratification or the 9/11 responders bill approval. But as Will Bunch notes, Matt Drudge rules our world, yet none of these items are newsworthy enough to warrant a link on the Drudge Report?

(Click photo for full size.)

Not So Lame Duck

That's President Barack Obama signing the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" into law. And with that signing, another major legislative accomplishment has been achieved at a time when no one thought anything would get done.

This lame duck session of Congress hasn't been so lame. And some would say that this is not an appropriate time to pass such sweeping legislation, when clearly after such an overwhelmingly Democratic defeat in the last election showed that the American people were not happy with the Democratic agenda. Those "some" would be 100% wrong. America didn't reject the Democratic agenda. America was reacting to the growing frustration of an economy that is recovering much too slowly for their taste because we are an impatient people. Voters are responding to a stagnant unemployment rate that isn't coming down fast enough as they can't pay their bills, are losing their homes and are struggling to make ends meet. Anyone in office, whether Democrat or Republican, would have felt the blowback. That has absolutely nothing to do with the repeal of DADT, or the yet to be passed 9/11 responders bill, or the soon to be passed START Treaty with Russia.

What should enrage voters, but you'll never see a poll verifying it, is the obstructionist Republican party doing anything they can to delay, stall and prevent any significant legislation from passing for fear that it amounts to another feather in President Obama's cap. They claim they're ready to "do the people's work," and do anything but, including moaning about working during the holidays, as 99% of the rest of the country does.

If Republicans are representing the American people, why on earth would they be delaying ratification of a treaty that every past and present national security advisor and military leader says is important for our security? Why, after wrapping themselves in a patriotic blanket of 9/11 for these last nine years, did Republicans block legislation to help 9/11 first responders who are literally dying of the aftereffects of breathing in the toxicity they slogged through to help their fellow Americans? Why did Republicans fight tooth and nail against the repeal of DADT, even though the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff thought it was time to end this flawed policy; why, despite nearly a year of study to review the affects of military morale and readiness after a possible DADT repeal, was that study no longer good enough? Why did they want a study of the study?

The truth of the matter is that this has nothing to do with ideology or morals or ethics. The stonewalling of the Republican party of almost every piece of legislation (over 400 filibusters in the last two years) and the blockage of scores of executive appointments to vacancies in government positions that desperately need to be filled for the proper running of the country is all about preventing anything that could affect President Obama in a positive way.

They've said it themselves. Senator Jim DeMint wanted healthcare reform to be the President's "Waterloo." Senator Mitch McConnell categorized preventing a 2nd presidential term for Obama as their No. 1 priority. How can these politicians think they can be taken seriously when they complain about the President's "lack of bipartisanship" when these are the typical statements made? Bipartisanship and compromise work both ways, something the GOP continually fails to understand, or at least their actions and rhetoric makes it seem so.

But ultimately, for a Congress that pushed back at the White House continually, this President's accomplishments if his first two years rivals that of any other president.  Rachel Maddow's piece last night puts it all in perspective.

Imagine how much more could have been accomplished with an opposition party focused on governing rather than obstructing.

UPDATE (3:28pm): START Treaty was just ratified in the Senate 71-26. Also, the Senate approved a workable 9/11 Health Care bill for first responders.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dumbass Quote of the Day

"I stand here very disappointed in the fact that our lead negotiator on the Republican side ... basically is going to have his work product ignored and the treaty jammed through in the lame duck. How as Republicans we justify that I do not know. To Senator Kyl, I want to apologize to you for the way you've been treated by your colleagues."

~Senator Lindsey Graham on the hubris of the Democratic leaders in the Senate for... doing their job and legislating.

Steve Landesberg Dies at 74

NY Times: Steve Landesberg, an actor and comedian with a friendly and often deadpan manner who was best known for his role on the long-running sitcom “Barney Miller,” died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 74.

Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 Jib-Jab Style

I caught this when it premiered on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday. It's pretty funny, even if you're an Obama fan. Enjoy.

Hey, Broadway Carl


Jinx, you owe me a Coke.

S#*! Sarah Palin Says (S'mores Edition)

Apparently, Sarah Palin's take on the Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign to fight childhood obesity means she can't have dessert.
" the latest episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska, [P]alin rooted around for s’mores ingredients and then said that it was “in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert.”
What makes this woman so full of hatred? Is it her bitter campaign loss? It is a realization that she's not as smart as she thinks she is and needs to lash out? Is it a petty need for attention and confrontation where none exists? How sad this woman is; everything she says and does is a direct response to perceived slights, including her agitation during her dwindling book signings.

Let them eat cake -- or whatever


Michelle Obama is NOT telling parents what to feed their kids. There isn't some food Gestapo in America. A parent can send their kid to school with a paper sack full of lard if they want. All she is saying is that if schools are going to use tax dollars to feed kids, those tax dollars should provide healthy meals. So if you want to spite Michelle Obama, go ahead and pack some slabs of bacon and blocks of caramel for your kid's lunch. That'll show her.

Oh, and by the way, what does Sarah Palin have against farmers? Doesn't she know that Michelle Obama's initiative is good for farmers?

Hey, if Sarah Palin can send her kid around the country telling teenage girls not to get pregnant, I think the First Lady should be able to tell families they should try to eat healthy and get some exercise. But apparently food is a taboo subject for some.

Edit: Or as my husband put it, "We can talk about nookie but not about cookie."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Irony of Ironies

Ironic headline of the year:

Lawyers cry foul over leak of Julian Assange sex-case papers

Incriminating police files were published in the British newspaper that has used him as its source for hundreds of leaked US embassy cables.
In a move that surprised many of Mr Assange's closest supporters on Saturday, The Guardian newspaper published previously unseen police documents that accused Mr Assange in graphic detail of sexually assaulting two Swedish women.

...In an editorial, The Guardian defended its decision to report on the incriminating police files. It said having been given access to the official papers, it had a duty to present a "brief summary" of the sex allegations against Mr Assange, together with his response.