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    The dagbuzz for 3/2/09: (Abuse, Co-Dependency and Fear of Change)

    Today, I discuss codependent, abusive relationships, and our general resistance to change. Deadman understands the deal. He, too, just wants to relive the good old days and focus on things that will always stay the same, like the Middle East conflict.

    Image: Chris Brown And Rihanna: Back Together For No Good Reason

    Chris Brown And Rihanna: Back Together For No Good Reason

    Image: Obama will sign spending bill despite earmarks      (AP)


    RE: Israel/Palestine - Children.  There are children on both sides.  IMHO, progress might be made if we could beyond all this "right to exist" nonsense.  It's rhetoric.  I'm here.  You're here.  We both exist.  How we continue to exist without being constantly at each other's throats is what's issue.  For every Palestinian who says that Israel doesn't have a right to exist there's an Israeli who claims that Palestine never even existed in the first place.  What's needed is adult supervision.  Whether progress is indeed made will depend heavily on whether the US is willing to be that adult, which will mean issuing serious rebukes to actors on both sides of the conflict.  Until such time as that occurs, I see little hope for changing that game.

    RE: Earmarks - This discussion always bothers me.  First and foremost, no matter how much certain people bitch about it, this is a fact of the game.  It's the old quid pro quo.  You need a vote, I need a honeybee farm in my district.  Greasy wheels turn more easily.  People don't like it when it's oh so naked, but it's a story as old as need itself.  How the sausage is made, etc.  The salient fact is that even though a billion sounds like a ton of money (though I think "orders of magnitude" fatigue might be setting in), it's a small percentage of the total bill, like 1 or 2%.  And of that small percentage, the percentage of the spending that most people would agree is totally wasteful is probably even smaller.  For instance, the honeybee population really is in danger.  That's kind of, like, bad for our food supply.  So that might be something we really do want to invest in.  Some of this will simply remain in the eye of the beholder, but Obama dressed McCain down about the real fiscal impact of earmarks during the debates.  The fact is, it's marginal and could be considered the cost of doing business.  Maybe that's cynical, but I don't know what kind of magical utopian world and/or political system people imagine where people don't use power and influence, where deals aren't cut and wheels aren't greased.  To me, a large part of the complaints around earmarks always end up looking like plain old not understanding how things work in reality.

    Also, politics is a game where not everything is what it seems.  Spending in the stimulus bill too much?  Fine, we'll cut it.  And tack it onto the next bill.  Presto.

    Lastly, expecting that the President can change out the machinery of Washington in a month is laughably naive.  There are 535 independently elected people who don't answer to Obama and are used to doing business this way.  Many of them were there before he was and will be there still when he's gone.  That's simply the reality.  Like it or not, people elect (and most importantly re-elect) representation that brings home the bacon.  But it's the other guy's earmarks that are wasteful spending, right?  Figure out a way to change that dynamic and maybe you've got something.

    RE: AIG/Rihanna - I see what you did there.

    PS - Digging the buzz, keep it up.  As for the editing technique I suggested last time, here's an example of it being used.  It may or may not be something you want to use, but it's a thought for when you need to do cuts.  It also breaks up the visual a bit.

    totally agree about earmarks. I was taking a cheap shot. I kind of always assumed you elected people that could protect your interests and get you cool stuff. The thing i have a problem with is when legislators tack on controversial measures, new spending or otherwise, on bills on which they have no business being just because those bills are so vital that they're bound to be signed. I believe the law against online poker was tacked on to a bill in that manner.

    a line-item veto would take care of that trick, but that of course has already been ruled unconstitutional.

    Piggybacking is pretty lame, but the congressional process has the potential to weed this stuff out.  When it does happen, you can bet that the politicking went off the rails somewhere.  Given that the Constitution grants Congress the right to create their own rules, I don't see how you get around this.

    re: editing tip. now i see. yeah, something like that would probably work, tho i must admit the buzz is already threatening to become an unruly beast that eats up my entire day, what with the recording, editing, uploading, posting. i'd love to create a really polished, professional product, but as long as I still have my day job, i fear i've probably reached my limits.

    No doubt.  Video eating can absolutely gobble up time.  As far as quick and dirty goes, I think you're doing a fine job.

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