Thursday, November 26, 2009

Size Matters

Perspective is sometimes a drizzle, sometimes a steady pour. Today's rainmakers: Danny Shaw and Andrew Rabinowitz at OpenCongress, via Glenn Thrush of Politico:

The Top Ten Lengthiest Bills Written by Congress in the Past Ten Years

1. 314,900 words, "Affordable Health Care for America Act," 2009, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.)

2. 314,832 words, "Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users," 2005, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)

3. 314,573 words, "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," 2009, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

4. 296,111 words, "Consolidated Appropriations Act," 2005, Rep. James Kolbe (R-Ariz.)

5. 276,849 words, "Consolidated Appropriations Act," 2008 Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)

6. 274,559 words, "No Child Left Behind Act," 2001, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio)

7. 258,205 words, "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008," Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.)

8. 250,286 words, "Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008," Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)

9. 246,984 words, "Consolidated Appropriations Resolution," 2003, Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.)

10. 226,492 words, "Energy Policy Act," 2005, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas)

As you can see (and as bolded), five of the longest congressional bills written within the past decade were penned by Republicans (who says they aren't artsy and poetic), with GOP Rep. Don Young's (R-Ah Lass Kaa) epic novel on transportation (and vampires!) a mere 68 words less than that big bureaucratic Democrat freedom-killer, or health care thing.  John Boehner (R-Loompaland) cashes in at number six with the No Child Left Behind (or Advanced Much Further From Their Current Position) short memorandum that encouraged, appropriately, reading.

We are constantly reminded by our friends in the Republican Party that health care reform will effectively overhaul 16% of our entire national economy. Is it that unreasonable to believe it could take just shy of 2,000 pages to do it right, like it apparently did with energy policy, education reform, and transportation investment?

On second thought, what do they possibly say in 2,000 pages that they can't scribble on a couple of napkins and get pretty much the same effect?  Hell, @SenJohnMcCain could probably say what needs saying in like, 13 tweets, tops.  After all, does anyone remember when Republicans wrote a bill that was 3 pages long and effectively overhauled 100% of our economy?  Now that's efficiency.

Step into the rain:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


He doesn't support the troops. Or so the former half-governor of Alaska and victorious general in the great Russo-Alaskan War Sarah "Kommander Karibou" Palin has insinuated about President Obama.

“There’s been a lack of acknowledgement by our president in understanding what it is that the American military provides in terms of, obviously, the safety, the security of our country,” Palin said during an interview with Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren. “I want him to acknowledge the sacrifices that these individual men and women — our sons, our daughters, our moms, our dads, our brothers and sisters — are providing this country to keep us safe...I want to see more acknowledgment and more respect given to them.”

“I want our president and this administration to listen to the advisers who they hired,” she said. “McChrystal, for one, back in March, telling the president, 'Here's what we're going to need there' and then ramping up that advice lately, saying, 'Mr. President, here's what we need in Afghanistan to win, to make sure that those terror cells don't grow, so that those terrorists don't come back over to the homeland in America, on our soil, and kill innocent Americans.'”

“I want him to listen to his advisers,” Palin added. “That's what he asked for.” (Andy Barr, Politico)

And there it is in a nutshell. When people accuse me of despising Sarah Palin for all sorts of reasons (the media tells me to, she speaks truth to power and that scares me, she represents the greatness of America and I refuse to see it, she is a strong independent woman and that rattles me, to name just a few accusations), all I'll point to is this. I'm going to try to frame this thoughtfully but the anger I feel will impair my eloquence.

Let me reiterate this: Sarah Palin, the quitter, the whiner, the everyone-before-me blamer, the former Vice Presidential candidate who claimed her two years spent as the governor of a state next to another country qualified her without a shred of doubt to practically lead troops into battle herself, is accusing this president of under-appreciating our armed forces.

Instead of constructing an argument based on facts and inferences made through in-depth research and rumination over a subject matter such as strategy formulation in the Afghan war, Ms. Shoot From the Hip, now all but guaranteed a national media platform, speaks before thought. She flips through her deck of cards prepared by every culture-warring heartland conservative Republican operative and finds a hot-button issue (COUNTRY FIRST!), frames them without nuance or context (LOWER TAXES NOW!) and glosses it over with a hue of gung-ho patriotism and an (ironic) air of superiority over those who disagree (REAL AMERICA!). And now, as she enjoys the fawning of media attention which she inevitably (and also ironically) decries as either biased, elitist, sexist, vindictive, or all of the above, she claims without reservation or pause while wearing an Army shirt that the commander-in-chief does not adequately "acknowledge" the sacrifices made by those whom he commands.

Here is some more rub of irony Raindancers. This woman, for all of her can-do America-first support the troops Don't Tread On Me uphold the Constitution grandstanding, who was to be a heartbeat away from taking the oath of the Office of the President, fails to understand the nature of that office's role as prescribed in the sacred founding document of our government she loves to wax on.

The President of the United States, a civilian, is, as per Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of this nation. His command is therefore supreme (chief) above all in the military hierarchy, including his senior-most generals. It is his duty and his alone to deploy and direct our troops, and in so doing it is his dictation of what the mission should be that is the prerogative his commanders follow. Not the other way around. A President should never hide behind his generals, as another recent president ("The Decider") had a tendency to do. The President does not accept the mission suggested by his advisors; the President dictates the mission to his advisors. And he subsequently ensures that those implementing his decisions, from the highest-ranked general to the private on the ground, have every resource necessary to finish the job.

So while Mrs. Palin clamors that the President is "dithering" by prolonging his decision regarding Afghanistan and that he should just blindly follow the advice "he asked for," she demonstrates on full display her intellectual and administrative weakness, her lack of understanding of the Constitution (again) and the role of the President, and her inability to lead. While she accuses the President of not appreciating the sacrifice our troops are asked to make every day, she fails to understand that precisely by being deliberative in his decision-making, while garnering and absorbing every piece of information he can, examining every angle he sees, challenging every assumption he makes, and contemplating every competing argument he can hear, the President is, through this responsible, reasoned process, not only faithfully executing his duties as commander-in-chief, but is as a result of his deliberativeness ensuring that he makes the best decision he knows how to make.

This, Madam half-Governor, is how a true patriot honors his troops, including your son. Don't you DARE question the devotion and gratefulness of a man who, unlike you, must wake up every morning knowing that his decisions in war will lead to the death of young American volunteers. Never will I allow you to question the genuineness of a leader who knows that with every order he issues, he will create fatherless sons, daughter-less mothers, widows, orphans, and more folded American flags. I never want to hear you or anyone in your tiny camp of Freedumb-loving teabagging super-patriots who have never nor ever will stand in the Oval Office or step foot inside the Situation Room, who will never once "acknowledge" (to use your bullshit condescending word) or respect this man as the sole "Decider" in all matters of American warfare, even so much as imply that this President or any president past or future does not live with the full weight of the grief of every American who has ever lost a loved one to war under his command. Watch the look on this man's face when he salutes a flag-draped coffin. Watch the sadness in his eyes when he lays a wreath on a grave.  Witness him honor the fallen with a heavy heart and the feel the helpless frustration left by his own fruitless words and THEN tell me he doesn't "acknowledge" every American hero who served, has served, or ever will serve this country you bimbo moronic insufferable fuck.

Step into the rain:

AA-CC II: Jungle Cat

As was reported earlier here at SR, a featured segment that we fully intended to be recurring entitled Attractive Anchors & Cutie Correspondents was cancelled by head SR muckity-mucks in its nascent period. But with new revenue and material that couldn't be passed on, SR has decided to revive this wonderful educational series (albeit not on a regular basis). In the following installment of AA-CC, the work is all done for us. Behold Attractive Anchor Katie Couric get DIRTY:

Jungle staredown of seduction

"You want this HOTNESS? CHECK that bling motherfucka."

Back that shit up

"See Jenny, this is how mommy and daddy made you."

"Step aside child, watch Mama run this shit MMPH."

Apparently these pictures are from a one-too-many-cocktails party celebrating Katie Kitten's promotion to CBS (Carnal Booty Shaking) anchor.  I am so fucking turned on right now.  GET IT.

Step into the rain:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Caption Contest!

The author of the best caption (as determined by the Second Rain executive staff at large) for this precious moment between Senators McCain, Lieberman, and Graham will win a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream in a flavor of your choice (prize must be claimed in person; mailing ice cream is hard).  Lemme hear that rain fall!

Step into the rain:

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I think what Fox News is trying to say by supplanting a McCain-Palin campaign video from a rally last year for a Palin book tour appearance this month (while very appropriately preluding to Sean Hannity's comedy hour) is that all those campaign supporters they're showing would be at the former half-governor's book tour appearance if they could. That seems a reasonable enough deduction, no?

"This was a production error in which the copy editor changed a script and didn't alert the control room to update the video," said Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news at Fox.

MSNBC on the other hand is just trying to have a little "fun," that's all. Of course, fun at the expense of journalistic integrity may not seem acceptable to most, but then again, who's a journalist anymore after all hahahaha? Why report on actual news when we can show pictures of (guess who) Sarah Palin in a bikini!

"In a very misguided attempt to have some fun in advance of Sarah Palin's upcoming book Going Rogue, our staff mistakenly used some clearly photoshopped images of Ms. Palin without any acknowledgment...I apologize," said host Dylan Ratigan.

It's funny because it's FAKE! And we're the NEWS! aha hahahahaha!

Oh dancers. Allow me to blow this out of proportion for the purpose of expressing a greater point.

For journalists--the soldiers entrenched in the field fighting the righteous fight against the forces of untruth--it matters not the size or scope of a "mistake" "production error" lie, but its very existence. The intent of that lie, while irrelevant to formulating the basis of opposition to it, is significant to understanding the motive of its perpetrators. It may seem as if these innocuous, even "inadvertent" mistakes as the one depicted above matter not all that much in the grand war between Truth and False. But you have to ask yourself not how big the lie is; you may not even care why the lie is. Rather you must ask yourself whether or not you are content with being lied to. If the White House used the wrong video for the purpose of proving an unreal level of support for its occupant, we would speak truth to power. But when those who should be facilitating this speech, who should be standing steadfastly on the frontlines, instead flee from combat, or worse, speak lies of power, perverting their original intention as defenders of Truth to become defenders of their own truth and willfully engaging in the tactics of the enemy by lying to defend their truth, what then becomes of this war? Does this infiltration from the inside not severely undermine our efforts? What of our duty as truth vigilantes?

If I lie in what I write to you, you must call me a liar.
If I lie in what I say to you, you must call me a liar.
If I lie in what I show to you, you must call me a liar.

Let's expel these traitors from our ranks and call them liars.

UPDATE: I have finally beaten Jon Stewart to a point.  Okay well I didn't exactly "beat" him there but I swear I didn't see this clip before I wrote the above, this makes this a WIN.  The whole clip is of course terrific, but I'm talking about roughly two minutes in.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show: The Rogue Warrior
Daily Show
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Inbox (1): Subject: ECON

J----- A----- to me

Did anything significant happen in Weiner's class today?

<--Reply   -->Forward

Me to J----- A-----

She re-did the comparison of fictional company workers Peter and John (Bjorn is apparently unemployed) and their health benefits that she did on the first or second day of class (she did not realize this redundancy). Next she discussed the tax-exempt nature of health benefits and the pros and cons associated put mostly how it's dumb.  Then she asked us pointed questions about ideal tax rates as if we'd been listening to her the whole time instead of daydreaming about ping pong and goldfish crackers. After the longest awkward silence of the semester thus far, somebody mumbled a number, she concurred, and her existential crisis concerning the wisdom of her chosen profession was duly avoided.  For the remaining time in class, she discussed the nature of the uninsured in America and why being uninsured sucks majorly h-core.  There was no mention of Politics Daily.  I was told to remind you (as you were a non-attendee in today's lecture) that on Friday she will be hosting a guest lecturer, a Republican by the name of Ike (who I presume to be the ghost of Gen. Eisenhower), to discuss the state of play on health care. Be there so as to project interest in the unique perspective this (inevitable) douchenozzle will offer on Hill politics.  That pretty much covers it.  I'll be glad to share whatever scribbles and non-sequiturs I managed to record.

<--Reply   -->Forward

J----- A----- to me

Thank you.

<--Reply   -->Forward

Step into the rain:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jihad Picnic

Yesterday, members of the Illinois delegation of the House GOP shared with the President via letter a terrifying glimpse into a dark, post-apocalyptic existence that will logically and inevitably follow the transfer of Death Eaters er, alleged terrorists from AzkabanGuantanamo to various secure locations in the United States.

“The Obama administration’s utter inability to create jobs here does not somehow make sending some of the world’s worst terrorists to our backyard a good idea,” said representative Peter Roskam (R-IL), joined by fellow headless chickens Don Mazullo, Judy Biggert, and Mark Kirk, who is running for Barack Obama's former Senate seat soon-to-be vacated by Roland Burris.

Continued Team NIMBY, Illinois will become "ground zero for Jihadist terrorist plots, recruitment and radicalization," after the transfer of detainees to the hardly-used (much like another taxpayer wasteland previously reported on) Thomson Correctional Center in the northwest corner of Illinois, where only sheep and grandparents live.

So according to these good patriots, if Obama gets his damned way, the Taliban will descend upon the cornfields of the Illinois prairie land like a cloud of locusts, destroying crops and Freedom that lay in its path.  This is a disturbing, deeply troubling, and very distinct possibility.  What logically follows is the perverted bloom of Islamofascism in the heartland of America; students in Joliet will be recruited into Al-Qaeda after-school training camps, the state capitol in Springfield will be converted into a mosque, terrorist masterminds will be picnicking in Peoria, and the Chicago White Sox will be renamed the Chicago Black Death to America. And that's not even considering what could happen to Iowa!

Lest you think these moronic alarmists, who would paint the word INFIDEL on the head of every Chicagoan and sign it "B.H.O.," are speaking on behalf of all conservatives (not all, just most), read the following statement in support of detainee transfers to federal prison to be tried in federal court issued by stalwart conservatives and borderline libertarians Bill Burr, former Georgia congressman, presidential candidate, and GW alumnus, David Keene, founder of the American Conservative Union, and perennial liberal foe Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. Strange bedfellows indeed:

As it moves to close Guantanamo and develop policies for handling terrorism suspects going forward, the government should rely upon our established, traditional system of justice. This includes our system of federal prisons, which have repeatedly proven they can safely hold persons convicted of terrorism offenses.

We are confident that the government can preserve national security without resorting to sweeping and radical departures from an American constitutional tradition that has served us effectively for over two centuries.

Civilian federal courts are the proper forum for terrorism cases. Civilian prisons are the safe, cost effective and appropriate venue to hold persons convicted in federal courts. Over the last two decades, federal courts constituted under Article III of the U.S. Constitution have proven capable of trying a wide array of terrorism cases, without sacrificing either national security or fair trial standards.

Likewise the federal prison system has proven itself fully capable of safely holding literally hundreds of convicted terrorists with no threat or danger to the surrounding community.

The scaremongering about these issues should stop.

Using a state of the art but little used prison facility like the one at Thomson, Illinois - with any appropriate security upgrades our law enforcement professionals deem necessary - makes good sense for the tax payers who invested $145 million in the facility and who are seeing millions wasted every month at the costly, inefficient Guantanamo facility. It makes sense for the community which will benefit from the related employment and has absolutely no reason to fear that prisoners will escape or be released into their communities.

But most of all it makes sense for America because it is a critical link in the process of closing Guantanamo and getting this country back to using its tried and true, constitutionally sound institutions.

You see, it's all about creating jobs! At the expense of our children's innocence. Oh and about the whole Constitution thing we have.

Step into the rain:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dancing With The Seniors

Last night I celebrated my fourth ISA Diwali Show (my last as a GW student and the first I had no hand in orchestrating, which was a strange feeling) meaning I finally had the chance to participate in what most brown GW students look forward to: the senior dance. I was privileged to document the 1960s with flair and my superior dancing acumen.  Major props to the 80s rendition of "Thriller"; the gloves were so clutch.  Without further ado, I am humbled to present: Decades in Review: An Interactive Exhibit Through Dance By GW Seniors.

I'm going to miss this.

Step into the rain:

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Best Thing You'll See All Week

Feeling blue? Well chin up, bub. Here's another SR service to paper-laden, exam-loathing fellow students, this one also featuring dogs, plus returning soldiers (a sure-fire recipe for smiles and choke ups!):


Still need an extra shot of endorphins? HuffPost has a whole bunch of these videos ready to put a big smile on your face. Watch a few, hug the world, and get back to work. You're welcome.

Step into the rain:

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Last night on his comedy show, Sean Hannity admitted to and apologized for using the "wrong" video footage of a large conservative rally from September during a segment about Republican opposition to the House health care reform bill. This disingenuous "mistake" was of course caught by White House Speech Monitors Jon Stewart.  Here's what Mr. Hannity had to say about the very minor insignificantly small error:

"Goodness me! How could I have been so irresponsible, so, so, what's the word, 'inadvertent' in my unabashed support for a political movement!"

Silly Sean! You really ought to do a better job of labeling all those newsreel videos with the same care you take with categorizing your S&M porn. But it's alright, I completely understand how you and your production crew didn't catch the difference between the health care rally this week (held on a sunny, blue-sky day before a backdrop of brilliant autumn foliage of the National Mall) and the 9/12 march (held on an overcast, grey-sky day before a backdrop of lush green foliage of the National Mall) footage you and your network promoted reported ad nauseum.  I mean, personally, all those images of misdirected anger displayed through confusing (albeit certainly thought-provoking), simplistic, intellectually lazy, and often racist homemade signs wielded by equally confused and misdirected fat people kind of all just run together into one giant cesspool of Freedumb.  Why should we suspect that your show, a beacon of truth and objectivity in an era of deceit and misdirection, would intentionally, purposefully, deceitfully supplant actual images of the Bachmann "Super Bowl of Freedom" rally with the more widely attended mass uprising that was the Washington Teabagging Party in order to convey an aura of strength in numbers around the steadfast conservative opposition to PelosiCare? After all, as you've demonstrated with the above mea culpa, it is clear that you readily admit to blatant propagandizing "inadvertent mistakes"on your show, thereby elevating you to the status of humble newsman, calling things as he sees them and conceding his errors in a fashion innate to a man of true virtue equal to your own. Thus you are granted undue due credibility that allows for more lying, spinning, omitting, and context-less opinionating honest, upfront, and unclouded reporting. Yes Sean, there simply is nothing in your past that would lead us to believe that you are a dishonest, agenda-driven, ideological schmuck.

Thanks for watching. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

Step into the rain:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Subtle Misdirection

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck's Protest Footage

Daily Show
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Political Humor
Health Care Crisis

Let us imagine a propagandist MSM elite, wholly indoctrinated by Obama and complicit in his quest to end America, nefariously replaced, during the sacred American hour of the evening news, a photograph taken at the annual Karl Marx-Benedict Arnold dinner at the Columbus Plumbers & Pipefitters Union Hall, attended by one computer programmer, four unshowered hipsters, and Dennis Kucinich, with this.

Oh! The righteousness of purpose that would compel our hero citizen-journalists at Fox News to ignite the fire of indignation lit by the undying burn of Liberty's torch, fueled with the blood of patriots rising from their shops, their streets, their homes, their towns, marching without fear or reservation from the oceans, the heartland, the desert, the Dixie, and the Lakes, to stand before the usurped throne of Freedom in the center of this fair city to exclaim with all vigor and might ordained by divine Providence, "SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS!"

I'm beginning to realize, in light of teabagging, Anita Dunn, teabagging Anita Dunn, and rampant reactionary dissent in the age of Obama, Fox News may not be pro-Republican or even pro-conservative after all.  Nay, Fox News is simply pro-Fox News.  And if that's true, I guess there's nothing to fault them for.

This particular fleeting bluff was caught not by the hard-nosed journalist writing truth to power or the so-called media watchdogs asleep at the door but by a satirist.  Of course, this artificial augmentation of numbers, while at its best is perhaps innocuous in its subtlety, is merely a slightly disingenuous means to achieve a greater, grander end: a tiny white lie orchestrated by a deft magician concealing the wires of the machinery, pushing a ploy designed to trick the loyal viewing public for its own good.  It's like hiding a heartworm pill inside a dog's beef and biscuit.  Unfortunately, and to the frustration of pet owners everywhere, the damn mutt always spits out that jagged little pill.  Gosh, what's it take to incite a little mob revolution these days?  If only for the good of ourselves.

Step into the rain:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cocks & Castle

I have been waiting patiently for Stephen Colbert to Get to Know the esteemed at-large district of Delaware. My wait is over. Watch this interview quickly devolve into a discussion about sex with chickens and Florence Henderson. Yeah, Castle hit that. And it's one of several reasons revealed in this interview why I admire his Republican ass (and why I don't want Beau to cockblock him).

The Colbert Report
Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Better Know a District - Delaware's Mike Castle

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Political Humor
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

"I Am Here Today"

(At 1:30)

Maine may have said no, but their sons and daughters, some of whom fight today, will say yes.

Via Ganging Aft Agley

Step into the rain:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday at the Fishbowl

This was a blast. I can't wait to do it again and share more of my music (finally).

Step into the rain: