A number of prominent web sites including wikipedia are down today or otherwise limited to focus awareness on a couple of bills in Congress that threaten to turn over significant control of the Internet to corporate interests.
While I fully support these sites, I do worry about you twitchy readers out there with less to read. So as a public service for desperate net dependent addicts who stumbled onto this site, I will provide content. Contented?
That's not as good a pun as Lawrence had Tues. evening, concerning Romney's revelations about the minuscule tax rate he pays: he was talking about taxes, "which Republicans are wont to do, but not in the way Republicans want to do it."
Andrew Sullivan was making waves on Tues. with his Newsweek cover piece making the case for President Obama's "long game" and the delusions of those who don't see his actual successes. His basic premise about the Obama record of solid accomplishment (not unfamiliar to readers of this site) is "So many people have been taken in by fantasies - on both sides - that are demonstrably untrue."
He was defending the piece against rightward and some High Left critics all day on his blog, and had this to say about Obama leading from behind, specifically on gay rights (gay marriage specifically) and medical marijuana/decriminalization:
"Oh please. If you accept my premise - that he "leads from behind" for a "long game" - you can begin to see my case. Obama is not going to crusade for either cause. But he is not going to oppose them either and has quietly encouraged them. Hence instructing the DEA not to interfere with state laws on medical marijuana and withdrawing a legal defense of DOMA. Yes, there's been some regional slippage in California on allowing states to determine their medical marijuana laws, but that hasn't apparently come from Obama's office. Combined with the breakthrough on gays in the military, this has been the most productive period for gay equality in a long time. And it's more durable because Obama didn't do it. We did. Which was the fucking premise of his entire campaign."
Something along these lines occurred to me earlier in the day before I read this concerning one of the more hopeful signs of the year: the democratic rebellion in various states against GOPer oligarchical power grabs and antidemocratic laws, restricting the right to vote and to organize in unions. Specifically the news in Wisconsin, where over 1 million signatures were gathered to recall its governor--which is nearly equal to the number of votes that he got in his election. When all of this controversy started, there were calls for Obama to get directly involved, and cries of anguish when he didn't. He didn't make big speeches, though he did mention his support for these efforts, and the White House issued statements. And yet, the people through their unions and local organizing have successfully recalled several bad laws in several states, and are ready to recall awful officeholders. This is community organizing--something that Barack Obama understands pretty well. And it's just as Sullivan says: it's more durable because Obama didn't do it. We did. Which was the fucking premise of his entire campaign."
After this choice reading experience, if you're still hungry for Internet pleasure, you might check out the new kid on the block, Bill Moyers, with video from his new web and TV projects, including a lot about income inequality. Seriously, it's great to have him back (even if he never really went away.)
Beginner's Mind - Finding a very nice hardback copy of Bruce Chatwin's last book in a bargain bin, a kind of miscellany of previously uncollected pieces called What Am I Doi...
1 day ago