The wit and wisdom of Chad Castagana

One Chad Castagana has been arrested for sending fake anthrax letters to Keith Olberman and several other liberals. According to the news story, “in some cases, the threatening letters included expressions such as “Death to Demagogues’ and references to Alan Berg, a Jewish talk radio host murdered by white supremacists in Denver in 1984, the document said.”
A Chad Castagana Google tells us that Chad is a slasher-movie, science-fiction-movie and electronics buff with an interest in Katherine Harris and Chandra Levy.
On Harris:

Congresswoman Katherine Harris is a remarkable lady !
She has perservered a lot to advance the Conservative Cause .
We Red-Bloooded Americans are obligated to support her, siritualy, not just politically !

On bacteriological disaster movies:

Yes , you nailed the point there – the failure of
logic you see in these ‘Outbreak’ and ‘The Stand’
movies ,,
If a desease is so deadly and fast , then the
carrier is dead before he can travel around and
transmit the germ to others . .

His lengthiest work is on the plague of PC in science fiction movies:

With the passing away of Lexx ends an intriguing albeit smarmy experiment in sci-fantasy. One that breaks with conventions, or should I say, cliches of TV sci-fi of the ’90s. The politically correct pabulum, the multicultural indoctrination, the Bladerunner motifs, and not the least—the steroid mutated superbabes that can punch the lights out of men, but never get punched back in return!?
How about creating a new sci-fi anthology with none of the puerile baggage of Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry, Rockne O’ Bannon, etc., etc. It is time to end their reign of Left-wing innuendo, their anti-American, anti-mankind cynicism and fatalism.
Let us create a future of infinite possibilities devoid of the agenda of the social engineers who work their corruption on us through the one-way world of television (kind of how the liberal-left have always worked). A world where anything is possible but not everything is possible. Anything can happen, but not all things can happen at once. That is what time is for, to keep all things from happening at the same moment. That shall be the only rule of our new fantasy world. That an event happens only once. What has been done, cannot be undone. There is no turning back the sands of time. You can review the past but you cannot change the past. That a vision of a possible future, to the present, must be taken in the context of the present. A cosmos not governed by compassion or tolerance or equality, but common sense and merit. A universe of strange and totally new lifeforms and not distorted reflections of human characters in our present world, just to make some social allegory—that is the insipid barren road of Political Correctness that sci-fi entertainment has been a slave to for so many years.
The future is not the current events of our world thrown into outer space. The future is not with the Liberals, not with the Multiculturalists (both hate America), and it is certainly not to be found in Canada! The future is not written, the future is unformed.

Castagana is innocent until proven guilty, of course, and it also remains possible that there are two Chad Castagana loons out there, only one of whom is a terrorist. And of course, it’s hurtful and wrong to ridicule our mentally-defective Republican brothers and sisters. Mea maxima culpa.
More here

The DC Democrats

I’ve felt for a long time that the DLC party pros absolutely believe in their policy proposals — hawkishness, anti-populism, free trade, corporate-friendliness — and just use the argument that “The voters won’t accept anything too liberal” as a way to bully the majority of the Democratic Party into fake political realism.
What’s toxic about this is that the worse Democrats do in elections, the more effective this argument is in intra-party debates, and the more secure the DLC control of the party is. I don’t think that it’s an accident that Democratic campaigns have been weak for at least the last 6 years.
A second problem with this approach is that when Democratic intra-party debates end up being framed this way, Democrats end up looking opportunistic. The DLC leaders themselves are as enthusiastic about dropping bombs on foreigners as any neocon, but most Democrats aren’t, and candidates who’ve obviously been bullied into pretending to be tough for opportunistic reasons don’t sound tough at all. This is about as counter-productive as you can get.
All this sounds paranoid, and I’m sure that very few of the party pros clearly conceptualize things exactly that way, but you will often hear people at The New Republic — people not running for office, and not working for the Democratic Party — let the cat out of the bag. “It’s better to lose than do the wrong thing”.
To them it’s win-win: they keep their cushy jobs, and they get their Republican-lite policy proposals enacted. The only cost to them is that they often enough see high-octane Republican policy rammed through too, but to them that’s not as bad as seeing liberals have any success.
Yes, I sometimes use hyperbole, but I really do believe exactly this. I hope that Dean and Kos are able to terminate about half of the Dem pros and consultants, the ones who have weakened the party, and I’m just sorry there’s no way to prosecute them or to ruin their lives some other way.
(Note: this is me talking. My more moderate statements just now were for public consumption, but not this one. Let’s keep this all a secret, OK?)

Let’s sort it out

The Emmanuel vs. Dean fight for control of the Democratic party is in full swing. The DC establishment has awarded victory to Emmanuel (and Schumer), but they’re usually wrong.
This is a can of worms, and I suggest that someone sit down and sort things out. They should just look over the last six months or so and see what actually happened. What did Dean propose, and what did Emmanuel and Schumer propose? What was actually done? What worked, and what didn’t?
This is all being spun (presumably by the DC faction) as a sandbox spat over who should get credit. That’s not what it is. It’s about control of the party, and it’s about future strategy. And this fight was started by such Emmanuel supporters as James Matalin-Cheney (née Carville). The Washington Establishment is doing what it can to freeze out Dean and the grassroots. They like their cushy jobs.
One thing I’d especially like to see is a comparison of the candidates advised by Emmanuel and the candidates not advised by Emmanuel. My hunch is that Emmanuel’s advice was not very good. Duckworth did poorly, Wetterling did poorly, and I think that there were others. But Walz (also in Minnesota, like Wetterling) won without Emmanuel’s help — except for his invaluable ATM service.
Another would be a comparison of candidates supported by Emmanuel from the beginning, and those whom he supported late (who had the advantage a cash without much advice). And there should be a comparison of the strategy originally proposed by Emmanuel (supporting many fewer candidates) and the strategy actually followed.
Nobody is criticizing Emmanuel’s fund-raising. The guy’s an excellent ATM machine and perhaps that’s what he should specialize in. My guess is that if the events are carefully studied, Emmanuel isn’t going to look too good. But I really don’t know.
For comic relief, here’s Kos singing Kumbayah solo — no one’s heard from Emmanuel yet, unless he was speaking through Mr. Matalin. I think that most Democrats want to split the difference on this, but all the evidence is that that just isn’t the way that Rahm works.

Mr. Matalin wants to fire Howard Dean

I’m working on a piece on the Democratic establishment’s attempts to hang on to their cushy positions, but let me just say right now that this is insane.
I liked Carville when he was Clinton’s hatchet man, but that was more than ten years ago. The guy’s been worthless for God knows how long.
I cannot understand why anyone in the Democratic Party should ever take Mr. Matalin seriously. He’s probably the best way we have to send a private message to Dick Cheney, but I can’t think of any other possible use for him.

No October Surprise!

Color me surprised. Maybe the military staged a sit-down strike and refused to bomb Iran. Whatever the reason, I’m delighted to be wrong. My prediction now is that the Democrats will take the House but not the Senate — that’s not really a prediction, it’s just the minimum I could stand to live with.
If the Republicans keep both Houses, Bush will run wild and it will be the end of America as we know it. But if the Democrats take the House, they should be able to stall (and effectively put an end to) Bush-Rove confrontational extremism. Bush and Rove have been tremendously successful, and if Democrats end up winning it all in 2008, they will inherit a transformed and wrecked nation.
The Democrats have to hit the ground running, use their subpoena power aggressively (it’s all they’ll really gain this year), and start systematically degrading the Republican graft machine. They should also give a few hundred DLC loser consultants an hour each to clean out their desks while security looks on, but prosecuting the DLC people would be an extreme step and I absolutely oppose that idea.
Congress should also pass a lot of popular bills, forcing Republicans to vote against them and forcing Bush to veto them. I only say this because many timid, reasonable Democrats are sure to ask “What’s the point of passing bills that you know will be vetoed?” (Study Gingrich, one of the great transformational wreckers of our time. He staged a series of losing votes and ended up controlling the national political agenda, and Congress too.)
Hopefully the game can be played so that it’s the vulnerable Republicans in Congress who feel the pressure and cave in. If the ones crossing party lines are the Democrats, winning this election will have been meaningless.

Christians will be judged too

The big reason for the anti-gay fervor within the hard right is that it puts down a moral floor. Normal sleazy backsliding Christians can always say “I’m a sinner, I’ve succumbed to temptation many times and I probably will do so again — but I’ve never done anything as disgusting as that. And I never will.”
Sleazy Christians think of Jesus the way they think of their connection at the county courthouse — a get-out-of-hell-free card. “I may not seem like a believer, but Jesus is there when I need him”, one scuzzbag told me.
One day the real Christians (wrong-headed as they are in some respects) are going to understand how badly they’ve been used, and how their combination of self-righteousness, ignorance, and political cynicism (politics is the fallen world, so anything goes there) has caused them to become evil.
Christians will be judged too.
Bonus: Republican Sex Criminals

October surprise

Billmon says that the naval task force will reach the Persian Gulf about Oct. 21, less than three weeks before the election.
The Democrats should have been warning against an October surprise ever since about March, but it’s one of the things they forgot to do. They should start now — it still might not be too late. The voters need to be told that pre-election military action against Iran will be nothing but electioneering.
The wheels are falling off Bush’s cart, and war is the only card he has left.

Congressman Foley Resigns For Some Reason

Say what you will about Foley, he was the Congressman most dedicated to protecting children. I’m concerned about the possibility that during the period while his replacement is being selected and trained, children will not be adequately protected. Someone ought to bring this problem up with Speaker Hastert, to make sure that he replaces Foley with someone equally dedicated to child-protection.
And keep asking him, and asking him, until we get a straight answer. We need to be sure that the children are being protected.
Update:I have posted this comment on several comment threads, and a lot of people take it seriously and get mad. I don’t blame them; Republican trolls are impossible to parody, because it’s impossible to write something stupider than what they really think.

Nyhan II

More and more I think that Nyhan set up TAP in order to get visibility. With Wonkette’s help, he hopped right to Time magazine with his whine.
To the traditional “big-media liberal” category (Alan Colmes, Richard Cohen) we now have to add the “big-media blogger”. When Time decided they needed a representative of the blog demographic, they unerringly chose Cox. Why? Because I think that could tell that she would be willing to play ball. Nyhan is superficially very different than Cox, but I think that he’s been working that same angle: he’ll play ball with Time, but not with TAP. (I could see that coming with him a year or two ago, just as I could with Cox).
By now, in any group of ambitious young liberals or young Democrats with journalistic aspirations, there will be a few who figure out that 1.) being too liberal or too Democratic can be a serious career disability and 2.) there’s a niche for someone who’s willing to play ball with the media while purporting to represent liberals and Democrats.
“Being willing to play ball” = “being a team player” = “getting real” = “getting with the program” = “knowing what you can say” = “knowing who to blow” = “omerta”.
I’ve watched two whole generations play this game by now.

Brendan Nyhan sucks his way to the top

The high-minded and nonpartisan Brendan Nyhan has blown the American Prospect popsicle stand after two posts. He parleyed his firing into an invitation to the Wonkette assfucking paradise at Time Magazine.
No more cheesy ideology for this hott, freshfaced young fella! He’s sucked his way up to where the serious players are. Bye-bye, losers!
TAP was probably set up. Nyhan was quite capable of giving TAP what they wanted, but why should he have? That rag doesn’t pay.

Update:
I keep expecting David Broder to disintegrate in the middle of a sentence, like the Wicked Witch of the West, with his body parts shelving off one by one and falling to the floor until nothing is left but a fragrant mass of gelatinous putrefaction.
That would certainly be a fantastic opportunity for young Nyhan! He’s been gunning for exactly that niche.

Remember RAWA?

The dominance of TV means that the US is increasingly ruled by an oral tradition. In an oral tradition inconvenient facts can be disappeared, and the past can be bent to present needs. A true oral tradition is uncheckable; you just have different memorized versions of the “text”. (The book 1984 described a deliberate attempt to return a literate tradition, with checkable records, to orality.)
Archiving TV helps some, the way Media Matters does it, but people who are primarily TV creatures, like Bush or his spokespeople, are completely brazen about forgetting what they said last week. In the TV oral tradition, if it sounds good it’s true.
I think that this is as big a factor as “relativism” in the decline of critical thinking.
Already, by now, things said in 2003 are in the distant past. For one example — remember RAWA? The women who bore witness against the Taliban? They still exist, and they’re unhappy with the US and with their new Afghan overlords, but they’re no longer on TV because they aren’t needed any more.
(From my comments here and here).

Why did ABC run the money-losing 9/11 series?

(Posted as a comment here).
People have been have been wondering why ABC ran their money-losing, credibility-destroying 9/11 series. I don’t think that there’s any mystery.
I’ve said this many time in many places, but I think that in most of the media, the financial management makes the political-coverage decisions for operations management. Tax breaks and deregulation moves can make an enormous difference on a big company’s bottom line, and the Republicans deliver.
We know that the Scaife, Moon, and Murdoch operations are ideologically right-wing, but the non-ideological media operations all have Republican financial interests.
It’s a mistake zeroing in on individual writers and editors. The problem is at the highest management level. The flunkies whose names you know are just doing what’s expected of them.
Graham at the Post and Sulzberger at the Times both chair both boards — the financial board and the operations board. The financial board rules.
I’ve been saying this for a year and a half, and no one’s picked up on it — not even as a discussion topic. People are afraid of Graham and Sulzberger, I think.