Sunday, January 31, 2010

Maharat Becomes Rabbah

So the intertubes are aflame with the shocking, shocking, news that Avi Weiss's female ordinee, Maharat Sara Hurwitz, will now be called "Rabbah" (the female of Rabbi, and not "Fat Person"). See this JTA Story and the official pronouncement from their blog.

My reaction? In brief:

NB: The sound/film clip of Iago from Aladdin was made by me - but feel free to spread the code around the tubes...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Plasma! Dog Plasma!

Tex Avery Rules! Crazy Mixed Up Pup (1954):

Update: This was nominated for an Oscar in 1955, but lost to a Mr. Magoo! Note, even though some crank throws some hate on the Magoo on the IMDB page, it actually wasn't that bad. True, it's crazy that the best cartoon-maker of all time, Tex Avery, would lose any head-to-head contest, but we all know the Oscars are foolish. Anyway, determine it for yourself.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Robo-Land, Massachusetts Senate 2010

So Massachusetts is now in one of those teabagger fueled election death-struggles. Which means that for the past week or so we've been getting robocalls every few minutes or so. Robocalls, like mudslinging, turns voters off, not on and the candidates should know that. Karl Rove did - that's why he'd only pay for robocalls for his opponents (I think).

Anyway, the election tomorrow (Tuesday) is between a lackluster Democrat and a pretty-boy GOP walking-teabag cypher. The fact that we're in this place is scary to me, as a Democrat and a supporter of the president, but it's also a testimony to machine politics. We shouldn't be here, but here's why I think we are:

1. Martha Coakley is a poor candidate. Sadly, she's a combination of Hillary Clinton & John Kerry - an unimaginative, and mean, woman whose ambition overshadows her talent. I voted against her in the primary for this reason and were she in any fashion decent, this election wouldn't be so close. A sign of her paucity as a candidate is her desire to go negative early and often. Even when she was leading by double-digits in the primary, she attacked her opponents - one reason why I voted against her. And that undeserved hauteur - a hallmark of Kerry - is undoing her now.

2. Massachusetts screwed up the voting schedule - I said this before - there's a reason to have elections all at the same time. We should have had the primary on the November day and the special election soon after. Rather MA is forcing people to go to vote 3 times in close succession. It's expensive and time consuming. And unlike my fellow pundit-curmudgeons, I sympathize with good faith reasons for being unable to vote (with our 3 kids we're forced to find a babysitter or work out a way to switch places and go to the polls - not easy, and we both have time flexible jobs!) And voting in January in Massachusetts?! In-freakin-sane! The inevitable low-voter-turnout of the bad scheduling favors the crazy, under-employed, and committed - and in an off-year that means that opposition party.

3. Obstructionism Works - The GOP are better obstructionsists that Democats for a number of reasons: (a) conservatives, almost by definition, are against change which means they WANT to stop things, (b) the GOP is against government (pretty much) and so stopping legislative movement is part of their ideology, (c) the party, since Newt's time, has had remarkable voting unity - which helps obstructions.

In any case, the GOP obstructionism has given the view to the electorate that Congress isn't capable of doing anything and that helps the GOP depict themselves as the loyal opposition. Of course the truth is that they are continuing the despicable practices of their 2000-2008 reign... but most voters seem unable to capture that right now - aided by Coakley's hacky negativity.

Tomorrow may determine the end of the Obama era - just like Clinton's Democrats let him down from 1993-1994, so the stupid Democrats of 2009-2010 may end Obama before he can really begin.

Briefly stated, we need to get rid of the filibuster - it's become unconstitutional. Beforehand, the Senators, knowing they had a terrible weapon, only used it for the most severe cases. But the current GOP, like the gun-toting hillbillies who make up their core electorate, are using their weapons for everything. Sadly, it's time to take the gun away. I'll say more anon about that, though.