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Slacker Friday | The Nation

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Eric Alterman

Eric Alterman

Well-chosen words on music, movies and politics, with the occasional special guest.

Slacker Friday

My new Think Again column, " What is Conservatism?" is here.

My Daily Beast piece, on Obama's drilling desires, is here.

Here's Charles:

CHARLES PIERCE
NEWTON, MA.

Hey Doc:

"And Rosemary on the gallows/she didn't even blink/The hangin' judge was sober/He hadn't had a drink."

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: Narcotic Prayer (Chris Whitley) : You could lash me to a shiny new oil derrick in the distant Gulf Of Mexico, and I would still know New Orleans was there, and love it.

Part The First:

I would like to congratulate the Georgia state legislature for being not only morons, but also the most graceless public losers since Bob Knight quit coaching basketball. Let's see. So the bill passes. You're pissed. You ask the AG for a lawsuit. He looks at it, decides (rightly) that it's a waste of his time and the taxpayers' money. So your reply is...LET'S IMPEACH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL! And now, stepping up to the mic here on Blockhead Nite at the Chuckle Hut, let's hear it for Lt. Governor Andre (Speed Racer) Bauer of South Carolina. The last time we did this, we threw out the entire system of government and, Andre, you ain't James Madison. Pass. But, in general, geez, all of you go your your happy places. It's nap time.

Part The Second:

No, stop, you guys are killing me. I swear, the RNC is turning into the Second City of political operations. Really, quit it. I can't breathe.

Part The Third:

If Fred Hiatt had a conscience, this would bother it. A profession that can produce Jane Mayer can almost be forgiven for harboring Mark Thiessen.

Part The Fourth:

Hey, Nutsy Fagen. Knock it off, OK? And by the way, as a little dressing atop the endless word salad of Andrew (Time Magazine Thinks I'm Cool) Breitbart, I believe that Garry Trudeau's offer of $10,000 to anyone who saw George W. Bush doing his guard duty in Alabama is still on the table. Which, by your demented logic, would prove...

Part The Penultimate:

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Politically, this is as maladroit a move as I've seen these guys make. (And I wonder how my friends in Shishmaref, the barrier island in the Chukchi Sea that is being eaten away because of climate change, are going to take the notion that we're "studying" some leases in the Chukchi. It's like making a mugging victim pay for the knife.) As energy policy, though, it's not surprising. What we're seeing is a Nixon-In-Reverse. In between subverting the Constitution and regularly taking the rats in his skull out for a walk on audiotape, the Trickster also gave us the EPA. For all the increasingly noxious boilerplate about the "stale arguments of left and right," if you're a Democratic president who's going to try to sell us on "clean coal, " more nuclear plants, and oil platforms off Chesapeake Bay, then you've picked a side. And it's going to be very interesting to watch them try to do this fandango on Social Security one day.

Part The Ultimate:

At this point, it's just getting too easy with this guy, although, I have to admit, blaming the sexual scandal within Mother Church on the permissive culture of the 1970's is a rather new twist. (No ritual denunciation of the free-love 1960's? You know, the decade in which we all stopped humping on Saturday nights long enough to make it to the weekly banjo Mass? Ross, babe, you're slipping.) Look, laddybucks, an overwhelming number of these criminal bastards -- and almost all of the bureaucrats in the red beanies who enabled said crimes -- went to seminary in the 1950's, pre-Vatican II, when there was enough barely suppressed sexuality rumbling in the dormitories at night to light the Vatican every Christmas.

Also, consensual sex, you moron!

Jesus, man, it's The New York Times. Do better than this. Of course, the NYT could replace young Ross, or the WaPo ol' Thumbscrews Thiessen, with this promising rookie pundit. She should now be accepting apologies from the cowards at SNL--and from the morons who shortly thereafter booed her off the stage at Bob Dylan's 30th anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden. She was right. And she was right early, which is more important. And she'll always have my heart for the way she sings "She Came Through The Fair" on the soundtrack to Neil Jordan's Michael Collins. It was one of my grandmother's favorite songs. But I digress... And good for this guy. Sauce for the goose and all. Ball's in your court, il Papa. That's a figure of speech, by the way.

The Mail:

Name: Stephen Carver

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Regarding your Think Again column, I agree wholeheartedly that Republicans no longer have any moral authority to call themselves "conservative" when it comes to personal responsibility.

Nixon's Watergate fiasco started it when Ford pardoned him; it was furthered by Reagan's Iran/Contra scandal (and Abscam, etc.) during the eighties and continued right through the Bush years (both I and II) until it reached the point where W could actually break American law and get away with it.

I respect conservatives (my parents were both fiscal conservatives) and respect the concept of personal responsibility (I try to live it myself everyday). But the hypocrisy of the current crop of "conservatives" regarding personal responsibility is truly astounding.

You nailed it.

Name: C.L. Patterson

Hometown: Gary, Indiana

Sal Nunziato's post about the TAMI Show did not include a working link on where to buy it. This link would be very much appreciated.

I have been reading your blog since you were at MSNBC and just want to say, please keep up the great work!

Eric replies: You can buy it anywhere. It's in wide release...

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