Category: Rants

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The Commoditization of Starbucks, by Howard Schultz

Because I live in a great, coffee-abundant city, I can be a bit disparaging toward our hometown heroes, Starbucks. I have nothing against the company, and they rightly deserve credit for pushing up the quality of espresso in America. But I find their coffee to be just okay. One of the company’s biggest advantages is ...

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Goodbye 2006

The new year’s arrival echoed most of 2006: it happened almost as an afterthought. Kim and I stayed home New Year’s Eve, she with a cold and me with work to do, and our good friend Shannon came over to see what a Carlson New Year’s Eve was like. Fortunately, she didn’t have high expectations, ...

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A Word to the House Dems

According to the latest news reports, the Democrats have taken power in the House. This is extraordinarily satisfying, because hopefully this means there’s going to be some positive force in government. But we (and here I actually mean you, House Democrats) can’t get cocky. Oh sure, we want to. The big Republican bully, the one ...

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Authors on the celebrity circuit

So, after I appeared in the Seattle Times yesterday, I got an email from my father who points out that my officemate Kim Ricketts appears in today’s edition: “Authors on the celebrity circuit“. The article is about the types of literary events that she puts on, where an author comes to town and speaks to ...

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Cutting and Running from ‘Stay the Course’

Josh Marshall succinctly makes one of the most obvious comparisons: Bush the president and Bush the failed CEO/entrepreneur are exactly the same: Fundamentally, it doesn’t have to do with military strategy or ideology. It has to do with coming to grips with the monumental failure he has wrought, which of course he can never do. ...

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To My Republican-Supporting Friends and Family Members

Due to a bill that passed in the Senate today, I want you to understand just what you’ve been supporting since electing George W. Bush as President. I suspect that you’ve bought into the drumbeat, forced into your consciousness, that Democrats are terrorist sympathizers and are interested only in “cutting and running.” But let’s look ...

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Forget false “compromise”: block torture altogether

Glenn Greenwald, writing at Salon, notes why all the talk of a Republican compromise over the detainee interrogation bill that Bush wants passed is bunk (“The president’s power to imprison people forever“). The fact that the government is actively trying to legalize torture is amazing to me, and proves that the country is off the ...

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Broke. The. Law.

President Bush today vowed that he would overturn yesterday’s ruling that the government’s warrantless wiretapping program is, in fact, illegal. The best part of the ruling is this: We must first note that the Office of the Chief Executive has itself been created, with its powers, by the Constitution. There are no hereditary Kings in ...

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Nuke the Messenger

I’ve long believed (in any administration), that when you start blaming the media, it’s a clear sign that your problems are your own, and the media is just a convenient way to distract attention from yourself. Bush and the Republicans have taken that to the extreme this week by claiming that the New York Time’s ...

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Delusional, Paranoid Dick Cheney

In an interview with CNN, Dick Cheney said: Neither an immediate nor phased withdrawal would confer any protection on the United States, Cheney said. “If we pull out, they’ll follow us,” he said of terrorists. Does he really believe that maintaining a failing presence in Iraq is keeping terrorists away from the U.S.? That there’s ...