Saturday, August 6, 2011

Whatever Became of Kit Seelye?

Who, you might ask? (Or is it whom?)
I thought the byline sounded familiar at the top of a mostly ho-hum little featurette last week in the NYT about the multi-tribe annual canoe trip that Pacific Northwest tribes were in the middle of paddling. But I quickly forgot about it.
Then today, an only slightly more informative feature on Japanese internment (does it mention the action was likely unconstitutional? I don't think so) marking the official opening of a memorial on Bainbridge Island, across from Seattle.
Is that the same Seelye, I wondered again, and this time decided to check out at an old reliable source.
I hardly ever read Bob Somersby anymore, although his sharp, exhaustive diatribes against the long trail of blatant offenses to factual reporting by mainstream journalists was part of my daily diet during the hyper period of the run-up to the 2008 election.
Somersby's ongoing chronicle of shame for lazy, corrupt and incompetent practices of some of the top players in my former profession features an impressive memory that he can seemingly link up at will so that people like Seelye stand naked and eviscerated.
But he's an acquired taste. I lost the stomach for living in a constant state of irate and abandoned him along with Glenn Greewald and a few others when my system began rejecting bile as a steady diet.
(I went cold turkey. I often wonder if many on the far right have ever tried that with Limbaugh and the rest and how it's working out for them. Me, I haven't been this serene since the night lo these many years ago I inhaled my last portion of the magical burning resin. But I digress.)
I looked up The Daily Howler, but Somersby's still not searchable, his site still looks like something out of the Clinton era, which it is. Forced to Teh Google, I found Somersby's extensive Seelye chronicles paraded down the pages, one after another.
I chose at random the Media Matters announcement that she had been promoted only four years ago to NYT web political reporter, probably part of a since-abandoned new business model. Who keeps track anymore?
I quit Romenesko's media insider blog along the way, too. My internet tastes are more quirky and eclectic these days. And more meaningful than the sketchy fortunes of the buggy whip makers newspapers have become.
(I sort of regret that, now, after finding the Romenesko link for you, which leads today with a take-down of NPR's handling of gay cure therapy. NPR is such a sad, disgusting story. I love my jazz station, but quit their news altogether. Many of my friends still think they're trustworthy. Mark the term "false balance," and a new quote from Robert Reich the other day during a fruitless debt ceiling debate. Oh, God, why did I watch that? Oh, right, I was waiting for The Daily Show. "Halfway between right and wrong is not truth," he said, which the PBS interviewer happily seconded while letting the right-wing mouthpiece, disgraceful economist John Taylor, continue to prattle...what? nonsense? no, silliness? no, lies)
The point of all this. The NYT has apparently encased Kit Seelye in bubble wrap and dumped her here on our beaches, hoping we would think it was a new Twin Peaks filming. Is it a demotion or is it a part-time gig during her semi-retirement by which she gets to keep her health coverage in a region more amenable to human habitation than the increasingly unbearable weather back East?
Or is there something more sinister afoot? Only time will tell. (Okay, huge Craig Ferguson overdose this week. I highly recommend every show he's done from Paris.)

(I love the term, back East. Many times a day, I find myself calculating the time in New York, wondering if TPM will update a favorite before they close for the day.)

Hi Kit, I'm lookin' at you. Consider yourself warned.

I'm Switching Majors

From Brain Stuff to Gut Stuff, because it suddenly seems our second brain research is yielding a helluva lot of new, confusing, disturbing results.
Enough to qualify for the first-ever Contrarienne Two Quotes O' Teh Day.

Next, we'll find that we're nothing more than giant virtual bodies for a strain of bacteria that wanted to rule the world.
posted by mantecol at 4:02 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]

(I originally meant it as a joke, but I think that was the most profound thought I've ever had.)
posted by mantecol at 4:16 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Time For Bacon

Fucking bleak is what it is.
So in practice, we can pivot to talking about jobs, hoping for the best and perhaps using it as a political cudgel (though that seems quite dubious under the current conditions). But in practice, in reality, we appear to have no plan to do anything on the jobs front that has any prospect of passage in the Congress until 2013 at the earliest. 
I just bought a bunch of cheap bacon and I'm going to have a sandwich now because what else can you do?
Oh, laugh. Yeah, there's that. Bacon seems easier.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Deal

TPM's got a good summary and the comments are useful as well.
What the country really needs is a large stimulus -- aid to states, big infrastructure programs and so on -- with an eye toward fiscal consolidation later in the decade. The White House argues that budgetary concerns so dominate the political landscape that new deficit spending right now is out of the question, and only possible in the future if preceded with consolidation measures like this one. But part of the reason Washington is so primed for austerity now is that the White House let that faction of the establishment seize the initiative. It didn't necessarily have to be so.
Mistakes were made. Will we live to fight another day? I guess, she said, limping away, sucking her bloody knuckles, eyes downcast, in need of water and rest.