Saturday, May 12, 2012

Music Break: Perfume Genius, "Dark Parts"

Quotable: Mitt Romney At Liberty University

"Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman." ~ Mitt Romney,  in commencement speech at Liberty University, founded by Reverend Jerry Falwell, who blamed gays for 9/11.
"Mitt Romney's great-grandfather fled with his three wives to Mexico so they could continue their polygamist lifestyle with a multitude of other Mormon polygamists and settled there, cutting land deals with Mexican president, Porfirio Diaz using funds that came from The Mormon Church.

Tim Carney's Disrespect of Tamron Hall: What They Say About Lying With Dogs ...

MSNBC'S TAMRON HALL, one of the recognized sweethearts in the business, was rudely and inaccurately challenged by wingnut libertarian Tim Carney, resulting in his mic being shut off, with Tamron saying, "done." This caused a furor in right wing media. Carney was identified as a Washington Examiner commentator by, among others, our favorite right wing rag, The Daily Caller, which is bankrolled by Foster Friess. You know, the right wing billionaire who said in his day women placed an aspirin between their knees for birth control and advised President Obama to wear a helmet while campaigning in the South. According to the DC, "The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney probably won’t be getting a call from any of MSNBC’s “NewsNation” bookers about an appearance any time soon."

That may be. But here's the thing: They failed to mention Carney is a fixture on MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Show as a member of its so-called "power panel" along with Tamron's next guest, Jimmy Williams, another Ratigan pal, who is a lobbyist and self-described "Democrat" — although his function on Dylan's circus of libertarian disinformation is to spend lots of time bashing the Democratic Party, with no "balanced" quid pro quo from Carney toward Republicans.

Which begs the question: Isn't there a qualitative difference between an "in-house" guest and someone from outside MSNBC? The answer is YES. Carney's disrespect of Tamron was compounded by the fact he is a daily regular on another MSNBC show and, therefore, cannot be considered a hostile, or adversarial, guest. It's his "house" too, as a regular, and as such there are rules of personal decorum to be observed when you're on the same "team" regardless of ideology. Carney's rudeness, disrespecting the host Tamron, accusing her of using "a typical media trick" that supposedly "hypes" a story was completely out of bounds. He was there as an "in-house" guest to comment on a story in the news. Not to criticize the host for bringing it up, which is her job.

Furthermore, Carney's whiny outburst is factually baseless. Mitt Romney's behavior as a gay-bashing bully in his teens raises legitimate character questions, especially considering his evasive response to it, first claiming he didn't remember, then laughing off the cruel incident which traumatized other witnesses and participants and could easily rise to the level of assault today. It's not a trivial thing, and at the very least Romney missed an opportunity to use this experience to condemn bullying in all its forms and to empathize with gay teens, who are among its main victims. He didn't do it. It should also be noted that when Romney cried foul against a reporter in Colorado who asked about his position on legalization of marijuana, Romney was disingenuously protesting too much. It was a perfectly legitimate question for Colorado, which is one of the few states that has legalized medical use of marijuana, and might see a reversal of its policy under a Romney administration.

Memo To Tamron And MSNBC: The more you bring wingnuts into the MSNBC fold the more problems like these you'll encounter. The fact is, Tamron, there are limits to how much we can all "get along" and as you've discovered with that other small-time radio wingnut you MADE, who returned the favor by subsequently dissing you, this "friend" thing with wingnuts is a one-way street. Or as the saying goes: When you lie with dogs you wake up with fleas. (Try telling that to Sweet Melissa.)

P.S. Agreed, Melissa. Leaning "Forward" is not necessarily leaning "left." But what's your problem with "leaning left," and what does it mean Melissa? Please to explain, madam academic. At some point too much accommodation becomes collaboration. As in Vichy France.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Quotable: Moron Joe Unmasked By Chris

"It's not a three-year cycle ... When you're part of a 30-YEAR CYCLE ..." ~ BINGO! You got it Moron Joe; it's a 30-year cycle NAMED RONALD REAGAN!

(A punch-drunk Moron Joe, on the business cycle, after his libertarian "philosophy" was savaged by Chris Matthews in the previous segment when Chris asked the rhetorical question: "why is your solution to the economy giving the rich more money and screwing poor people?") Ewoops ...

These libertarian types are really stupid people; not unintelligent, not even clueless; just stupid. They don't know much about history unless it's to make some narrow point about the Constitution or to try fitting their square peg ideology into a selected round history opening; it won't fit. They'll sit around their echo chamber studio, bringing liberals along, who could have them for breakfast and lunch — Gene Robinson, Chris Matthews, Tim Noah, author of The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis — if only they were allowed to stay long enough. But in Moron Joe's dodge-and-go segments, the liberals stay long enough to score body blows before a dodgy Moron Joe — "Rahmey must few-cuss on jahbs and the ee-ca-na-me" — sends them packing.

Unfortunately for Moron, senior statesman Chris Matthews stayed long enough to pummel the joe-kester without even uncrossing his arms before they cut to commercial, whereupon apparently more punching went on behind the camera's eye, for Michael The Steelenator was shadow boxing Chris when they returned and Moron, looking like a reasonable facsimile of W.C. Fields, blurted the Ronnie gaffe, defined as when a politico inadvertently speaks the truth.

The regulars — they're really morons, no shit! — stay ... Moron, the Steelenator, Willie the Wingnut, and fellow-ilk-Moron Joe travelers like Mark Yellow-Stripe McKinnon and Jon Meacham, who impressed Willie with statements like "we're a center-right country." That's the basic format, allowing Moron Joe to pontificate from his libertarian perch with idiotic gems like this one, paraphrasing: "last night I went to bed a bigot (to progressives), and today awoke a progressive (to them) for favoring gay marriage." No ... Moron Joe. You went to bed an idiot, and awoke AN EVEN BIGGER IDIOT — to progressives.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Quotable: Andrew Sullivan On President Obama And Marriage Equality

"The interview changes no laws; it has no tangible effect. But it reaffirms for me the integrity of this man we are immensely lucky to have in the White House. Obama's journey on this has been like that of many other Americans, when faced with the actual reality of gay lives and gay relationships. Yes, there was politics in a lot of it. But not all of it. I was in the room long before the 2008 primaries when Obama spoke to the mother of a gay son about marriage equality. He said he was for equality, but not marriage. Five years later, he sees — as we all see — that you cannot have one without the other. But even then, you knew he saw that woman's son as his equal as a citizen. It was a moment — way off the record at the time — that clinched my support for him.

Today Obama did more than make a logical step. He let go of fear. He is clearly prepared to let the political chips fall as they may. That's why we elected him. That's the change we believed in. The contrast with a candidate who wants to abolish all rights for gay couples by amending the federal constitution, and who has donated to organizations that seek to "cure" gays, who bowed to pressure from bigots who demanded the head of a spokesman on foreign policy solely because he was gay: how much starker can it get?

My view politically is that this will help Obama. He will be looking to the future generations as his opponent panders to the past. The clearer the choice this year the likelier his victory. And after the darkness of last night, this feels like a widening dawn."

P.S. The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage

CAN WE STIPULATE PRESIDENT OBAMA did the right thing in his historic declaration of support for marriage equality, even if it wasn't the most inspiring display of presidential leadership?

Now comes the question: Who benefits electorally? Anyone who claims to have the answer is either a fool or a liar. Personally, I dislike single-issue social and gender rights politics in the context of a presidential election. In my experience, they have skewed the outcomes of presidential elections in ways that hurt the Democrats.

In 2004, an anti-gay marriage ballot initiative in Ohio helped George W. Bush win that crucial swing state and the election, by a razor-thin margin, driving up turnout of single issue social conservatives rabidly opposed to gay marriage. In 1972, single issue militancy on a range of issues provoked a Democratic Party platform fight, clouding George McGovern's strongest selling point, as the peace in Vietnam candidate. Those "centrist" and "independent" voters returned to a vulnerable Nixon and the Democratic Party suffered a historic defeat.

One can assume that most Americans haven't given marriage equality much thought. Even if they did, it probably wouldn't change their minds. But regardless of the national polls and trends, a majority of those polled in critical swing states, so-called "purple" states, still cling to "traditional values" of marriage being between a man and a woman. And, as we know, American presidential elections aren't decided by a national majority vote.

Setting aside the merits of the issue — I'm for marriage equality, as are a majority of Americans by solid majorities in blue states, apparently, depending on which poll one reads, and how — the President's support for marriage equality could be the mother of all Pyrrhic victories; if the Republicans take back the White House.

Barney Frank said that opponents of marriage equality won't vote for the President anyway, regardless of what position he takes. And proponents are more likely to vote for the President, including gay Republicans. I find such claims dubious at best. As we have seen with the very public humiliation and resignation under fire of Mitt Romney's foreign policy spokesman, Richard Grenell, for the sin of being openly gay, gay Republicans are more than willing to turn the other cheek. Mitt Romney essentially threw Grenell under the bus. The Republican Party left him twisting in the wind.

But like a good soldier, Grenell has refused to condemn his boss or his party. I doubt he has changed his mind following President Obama's support for marriage equality. When it comes to party and ideological loyalty trumping gender and gay rights issues, gay conservatives like Grenell are just as good at rationalizing their political contradictions as every other person on the right who votes against their enlightened self-interest. If anything, Grenell's attitude, as well as that of other gay Republicans, signals to the GOP braintrust that the party's opposition to marriage equality is a net plus in November.

They may be right. I'm just saying.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Re: President Affirms Support For Gay Marriage

MSNBC'S BLAND "CENTRIST" CHRIS MATTHEWS INSULTED OUR INTELLIGENCE by injecting into the analysis of President Obama's historic support of gay marriage the odious pseudo-journalist and so-called "MSNBC senior political analyst" (aptly named for the fake "progressive" channel) Mark Halperin, the fraud who penned (along with Hunter Thompson wannabe John Heilleman) that piece of derivative, gossipy, fictionalized and plagiarized political garbage about the 2008 campaign, Game Change.

Understand this: Mark Halperin is a DISHONEST PRICK. His function is to inject Romney Republican propaganda into the counter-Beltway-narrative (such as it is, because his definition of "media" here is deliberately distorted), coming from the Republican mole making his base on Moron Joe, from which he slings his GOP talking points poison masked as "senior" (trans: serious) "honest" and therefore trustworthy analysis. Dug into his foxhole in that friendly outpost behind enemy lines, Halperin fires pro-Romney, pro-Republican missives into the conversation, seeking to drive his narrative which, in simple terms is, advantage: Republicans.

This was the context for the attempted "outing" of Education Sec. Arne Duncan on gay marriage. Halperin was unsuccessful, as it turns out, for Arne said he favored gay marriage and reasonably noted he was never asked his views on the matter, since he usually comes on to talk education. If "news was made" it was of the mild, noncontroversial variety. From his Moron Joe base of operations behind enemy lines, Halperin ventured forth to mostly friendly ground, Hardball, which is contested territory. He was in deep cover for the Republicans, at best a double agent.

It sounds inconsequential, right? Halperin says, "let's be frank," [an introductory phrase loaded with fake objectivity from the recognized "expert," the "senior political analyst" on the topic, followed by the operative clause] "the media overwhelmingly supports gay marriage." (Which is, of course, false and a deliberate distortion by Halperin.) He goes on, "and that means, it's not a fair fight" because, he worries Romney will not be nimble answering questions about rights and benefits. Oh really?

First, Halperin deliberately excludes Fox and all of right wing media, including hate radio and the blogosphere, which actually overwhelms the "other" MSM media. Second, to infer, with Halperin's deliberate broad brush, that the MSM, which includes not only MSNBC but CNN, not only WaPo and the Times but POLITICO and the Chicago Trib, NY Post, and the Wall Street Journal, "overwhelmingly supports gay marriage" is a deliberate, and outrageous Halperin distortion. Third, by whining this won't be "a fair fight" (pure fiction, sheer nonsense) Halperin attempts to influence the "media's" inclination for pulling its punches by suggesting, falsely, that Romney is in a weak position versus President Obama on gay marriage and their respective bases.

The Republican Party has already made its bed with the right, so any position the President takes which may dissuade the fringes of persuadable social conservatives and independents to vote Obama rather than, on a single issue like gay marriage fall back into the Republican fold, obviously favors the GOP. Finally, Halperin is advancing the Republican braintrust realpolitik calculation that this election may well turn, and be won on so-called "wedge issues," like gay marriage in southern "swing" states. If gay marriage moves southern states won by the President in 2008 from the tossup column to the Romney column, it could mean the election for Romney.

Mark Halperin is the Republican operative who opportunistically propelled this Beltway narrative on the President following the Biden "gaffe." It was no accident that he jumped on Arne Duncan right out of the box with the gay marriage question. On Hardball, addressing two honest journalists in Matthews and Gene Robinson, who support gay marriage, the devious Halperin was secure in his expectation they would not contest or challenge his false assertion. It's a cynical calculation based on human nature and the practice of deceit, of which Halperin is indeed an expert. In similar circumstances, in most but not all cases, the falsehood won't register among colleagues who are of "the same mind."

But Halperin scored a tactical win for his side by driving the Beltway "narrative" of the week, which was to box President Obama into his untenable "evolving" position on gay marriage following Vice President Joe Biden's presumed "gaffe" coming out in support of gay marriage in very personal and emotional terms.

Chris Matthews had a point. Whether supporting gay marriage redounds to the President's advantage is an open question. The President's "evolution" on the issue reflected this political reality. Everyone who plays hardball politics, including Halperin, understood this. Gene Robinson said it's "unclear" who benefits politically. Chris Matthews was skeptical. So forcing, as it were, the President's hand on the issue, by Halperin's calculations, was advantage: Republicans. A small victory at least. Or perhaps not?

Who gets the last laugh remains an open question. Mark Halperin is a smug, calculating weasel who believes in the infallibility of his fallible, biased and hyperbolic predictions. To be sure, he is skilled at what he does: promoting the Republican electoral cause. It's certainly not journalism. The sooner Chris Matthews, one of Halperin's biggest boosters, recognizes this the better for the body politic. That remains very much an open question, too.

Hogan Gidley: He's Baaaack! Could Hogan Be Come A-Courtin'?!

WELL, ALEX IS TIGHTENING THE LEASH as the tension mounts. Wait till tomorrow ... In the meantime, don't feel bad for Hogan as Alex gets the best of him once again. He's lovin' every minute of it!

ALEX: "Hogan Gidley ... The man with the best southern accent in the business."

HOGAN: "Great to see you, too, Alex. And I always love the sarcasm to start off the show."

ALEX: "We wouldn't have it any other way, SIR."

OUCH. And Hogan, a word of advice. You gotta DO SOMETHING about that hair, man! I mean, if you think hair salons are for liberal Yankee sissies or worse, there's always the local barbershop. On the other hand, there's something to be said for the "AU NATURALE" genuine YOU ... Alex might like it. Carpe diem, Hogan!

P.S. — A STAR in the ascendancy: Maggie Haberman. She's been making the rounds, and broke out of the pack with this NOW retort, "I'm trying to elevate the I.Q. level here." See, there's no telling what smarts and a smile can do. And Kudos to Katrina Vanden Heuvel for her principled scolding of the media.


"LOOK," SAYS THE ROMINEE, "WHY SHOULD WE LISTEN TO LIBERAL scientists trying to take away our SUVS, raising stupid fears about the 'Global Warming' hoax?! EVEN IF it exists they can't FIX IT, and they won't ... I WILL!"

There's nothing the MAN WITH THE MAGIC DIAPERS cannot do! Have you heard he just foiled a terrorist plot? Jon Stewart connects the dots:

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

GOP 2012: Lords, Media Disgrace, And Romney Snark

THIS THINK PROGRESS TRUTH graphic is perfectly emblematic of today's Republican Party: Overwhelmingly white, male, entitled, and obstructionist. Amazingly, because of its reckless disregard for the will of the people, the Republican Senate minority is more powerful than the Democratic majority.

It is unseemly and not as the Founding Fathers envisioned in its similarity to the British House of Lords, whose parliamentary role is, essentially, to obstruct the will of the people:
The House of Lords ... regularly reviews and amends bills from the Commons. While the House of Lords is unable unilaterally to prevent bills passing into law (except in certain limited circumstances), its members can severely delay bills that they believe to be misguided and thereby force the government, the Commons, and the general public to reconsider their decisions. In this capacity, the Lords acts as constitutional safeguard that is independent from the electoral process and that can challenge the will of the people when the majority’s desires threaten key constitutional principles, human rights or rules of law.
Political Breakdown. — That's fine, in the parliamentary system. But in ours, "this role would often be performed by a Constitutional Court or a Supreme Court." The breakdown in our political system, is due entirely (not largely) — as political scholar Norm Ornstein finally blurted after decades of studying these issues — to the most extremist right wing Republican Congress in 100 years, extremist Republicans in control of statehouses, and a Senate minority holding majority status over the people's heads with the 60-vote unconstitutional filibuster requirement to pass laws.

SCOTUS Imbalance of Power. — The insurance for the ruling oligarchy of 400 or so, which includes much of the media, is the super-majority ironclad backstop in a 5-4 right right wing Supreme Court, notable for a palace coup d'etat which decided the 2000 election in favor of George W. Bush, and for consolidating the sweeping monetary gains of the oligarchy with Citizens United. The Republican abuse of power, a longstanding Republican tradition dating to Nixon (Watergate) and Reagan (Iran-Contra) renders a balance of power between the parties, and most importantly, the separation of powers envisioned by the Founding Fathers, a myth, a cynical fantasy.

Historical References. — There are historical reference points for this unprecedented Republican "overreach" (an odious media-created term when it is too scared to call fascism out) and abuse of our Constitution and democratic processes.  Military fascist dictatorships typically legitimized authoritarianism by passing anti-democratic laws. As Republicans pass laws to restrict union rights, attack women's access to health care, restore Jim Crow to disenfranchise millions of poor, minority, and elderly populations, they do so under a carefully coordinated veneer of legal legitimacy, although courts have already begun ruling these measures to be unconstitutional. But as long as the supreme courts in authoritarian states are in the pockets of the fascists, they will easily fashion any legal rationale to uphold an unconstitutional, undemocratic law.

Overreach. — Interestingly, Republican "overreach" in a state like Michigan already gives the governor extraordinary powers to "intervene in states and municipalities, suspending the local authorities and appointing [federal] state interventors to run the states and the municipalities." Save for the word "federal" this provision perfectly describes Michigan's "emergency manager law" passed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

Guess what. That strikingly similar language used here to describe Michigan's emergency manager law is actually from the notorious A.I. 5, an institutional decree by Brazil's military dictatorship in 1968 which effectively dissolved democracy in that country. Yet few have drawn attention to the Republican assault on democracy, much less called attention to historical parallels. There are also a plethora of examples in laws passed by the Nazi regime, but we don't wish to go there, do we?

By Any Other Name. — In this stranglehold on American democracy, each component of this incipient American fascism has a specific role to play. (Or call it crony capitalism, if your sensibilities to familiar historic "optics" are simply too severe.) The Republican Congress, both houses, is the ideological vanguard of their anti-democracy blitz. The so-called Ryan "budget" is their platform, a political document which systematically decimates the New Deal, from the big three —  Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — to cutting poverty programs and food stamps, in order to rescind cuts in national security, putting the lie to claims of fiscal discipline, with its "anti-tax absolutism."

Filibuster Abuse. — The Senate Republicans are subsidiary obstructionists. Their role is simply to obstruct every law Democrats may pass, unless enough endangered "moderate" Republicans can be convinced to buck their disciplinarian leadership as to make the 60-vote threshold. Most Americans are totally unaware that it was the blatant misuse of the filibuster by Republicans in the Senate which prevented passage of desperately-needed jobs bills, financial reforms bills, housing bills, funding for states to restore education, police, firefighters, health cuts — in short, good government legislation that, if passed, would have placed our economy on much firmer ground and our unemployment below 8% and heading south.

State Laboratories. — In the Republican-dominated statehouses, Republicans are coordinating with the national party to uproot the unions — the Democratic Party's principal source of funding. Ironically, the good economies in outlier Republican states like Ohio and Michigan are due in large part to President Obama's refusal to "let Detroit go bankrupt" as Mitt Romney had prescribed.

Also, as mentioned above, Republican statehouses are passing laws to severely limit voting rights for the poor, the elderly, and urban minorities, restrict women's access to health care, cut pensions and lay off public employees in order to give tax cut to the rich and corporations. What is spooky about this Republican driven assault on democracy is the seeming high level of coordination between the states and the national party.

So now the Republican propaganda machine, the billionaire PACs, Karl Rove, and Fox et al, are driving full bore to spin their message, with the media's cooperation. Chris Hayes was the high point of Sunday's political programming. It was all downhill after that. MTP was back to its MSM garbage with not only the usual suspects but also the main culprits.

They Keep Trotting Him Out. — Marbles Mouth, who has become an embarrassment, bitched about the fruits of his labor, i.e., the Hollywoodization of the Beltway Media. He's OK with the corporate media disinformation fraudmeisters as long as they remain unexposed. Says he's traveled the country but seems to have missed the GOP assault on democracy. Reported vague malaise among the people about how things aren't working in DC. Some idiot financial technocrat said she was "equally offended by both parties." Chuckles Toddy gave a Republican senator helpful talking points. Gimme a fucking break.

Sweet-And-Sour Melissa. — And what's up with Melissa Harris-Perry? I searched her site but a segment I was offended by is mysteriously unavailable. That's the one in which she sits across from professional LIAR Alice Stewart, spokesperson for the Santorum campaign, and bemoans the absence of TRUTH in political campaigns. Sweet Melissa seemed puzzled by it all and pondered the difference between "truth" and "truthiness" bringing up examples from both sides, naturally, to perpetuate the false equivalence BIG LIE. Apparently she's on leave from the Ministry of Truth to school us on how we should all get along with a coven of lying Republican ratbastards.

Here's the lowdown, Melissa. Pay attention:
A number of studies show that conservatives tend to have a greater need for closure than do liberals, which is precisely what you would expect in light of the strong relationship between liberalism and openness. “The finding is very robust,” explained Arie Kruglanski, a University of Maryland psychologist who has pioneered research in this area and worked to develop a scale for measuring the need for closure.

The trait is assessed based on responses to survey statements such as “I dislike questions which could be answered in many different ways” and “In most social conflicts, I can easily see which side is right and which is wrong.”

Anti-evolutionists have been found to score higher on the need for closure. And in the global-warming debate, tea party followers not only strongly deny the science but also tend to say that they “do not need any more information” about the issue.
What does this mean, in practice, vis-a-vis the LIE that was Melissa's idiotic segment? It means Rick Santorum repeatedly LIED when he declared self-righteously that no universities in California taught classes in American History. The point being that in Santorumworld universities are supposed to be wicked and unholy institutions of liberal indoctrination. Total bullshit and a complete LIE. Rachel Maddow thoroughly debunked Santorum's LIE, but he has yet to own up to it:

And yet Alice Stewart, whom I've seen lie repeatedly, essentially every time she's on for Santorum, was sitting across from Melissa, and the question was never put to her?! On universities, of all places, which are Melissa's domain? That's just unpardonable. The segment itself, given its topic, was an insult to the viewers.

Mitt Romney's Snark. — Mitt Romney is an odious individual. After telling so many lies, a politician literally crosses a threshold into visible snark. Visible in their facial features. For Nixon it was the shifty eyes and upper lip sweat. For George W. Bush it was the Beavis 'n Butthead smirk. Mitt Romney's snark is that upper lip curl, denoting the arrogant and cruel entitlement of someone accustomed to using, and abusing, people below his station in life. He really doesn't care about the 99% of us, as we are merely an encumbrance to his personal ambition. The despicable Romney snark is clearly visible here:

Monday, May 07, 2012


I THINK IT'S A SIGN FROM YOUR SPIRITUAL LEADER, Deepak Chopra. And Touré, WTF is wrong with you, man? In other venues you're smart, interesting, engaging. But when you're opposite your Svengali spellmeister Dylan Ratigan, he'll weave some ridiculous "ALPHA POWER" theory as you look on, mesmerized?! (I know, I know ... Dylan means well, believe it or not.) Here is his ...
History, According to Deepak Chopra:

UN, DEUX, TROIS — VIVE The NEW French Revolution!

HERE'S TO A SOCIALIST-led France, back in power after the glory days of another François, the great President Mitterand, at long last!  
The immortal Diva Céline Dion starts it off:

And Jean-Jacques Goldman brings it home: UN, DEUX TROIS!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

David Frum Is My Favorite Conservative, And Chris Hayes My Second Favorite Liberal

HERE'S WHY: On the BRILLIANT Chris Hayes show, "UP" (trans: Alas, too early for me), one segment featured a very articulate Occupy Wall Street member, Alexis Goldstein, seated next to New York Attorney General Eri Schneidermann discussing banking regulation. Chris closed with the effervescent remark, "that was the awesomest regulatory conversation I've had in at least a week!"

In the following segment, the mild-mannered conservative intellectual David Frum made one of the most heretical statements in the annals of conservative political history: "French Socialist François Hollande looks like he's going to win. He looks like he's going to be a voice against austerity in the Euro Zone. I THINK AMERICANS SHOULD WELCOME THAT. It means that the hope of averting a European depression is improved. However, he is also opposed to all the labor market reforms that France needs to do to be successful in the long term. It's a terrible dilemma; the man is right for the long term, is wrong for the short term, and vice-versa.

HUH?! I call that hedging my bets, or boxing every horse in a manageable race, say 12 entries, and hope you get enough back for your $1,320 $1 trifecta investment to buy a café au lait. David is my very favorite conservative because he has in one fell swoop rejected one of the cornerstones of current conservative ideology, that austerity for the 99% and tax cuts for the 1% is the road to prosperity and deficit reduction. David is smart enough to recognize it's the road to ruin. Hence the the pretzel-like hedge, or elegant dodge, if you prefer.

The answer, David, is Hollande is right on all counts. No need to listen to me; listen to history. Compare and contrast conservative versus socialist government, both in Europe and the United States. By every measuring stick of growth and prosperity, standards of living, health care, education, it's not even close. As for labor reforms, Hollande isn't the ideological zealot as are your colleagues on the right. He will be the leader of a parliamentary democracy with the power and constitutional authority to make what reforms may be required to strengthen France's welfare state rather than gut and destroy it.

Allons enfants de la patrie
Le jour de gloire et arrivée
David Frum chant "Sarkozy
A la Bastille!" ...

QUOTABLE: Wittgenstein And Horseracing

Bob Costas asked J. Paul Reddam, owner of longshot Kentucky Derby winner, I'll Have Another: "As a former professor of philosophy at USC, which of the great philosophers summed up a day like this?" Mr. Reddam said:
"Ludwig Wittgenstein said that after all philosophical problems have been solved, nothing useful has been accomplished" ... So we went into horse racing!"