29 June 2010

Profiles in casual depravity

Sharon Angle's primary win is the gift that keeps on giving to Harry Reid. Now she comes out as a stalwart defender of rapists' rights:
MANDERS: Is there any reason at all for an abortion?

ANGLE: Not in my book.

MANDERS: So, in other words, rape and incest would not be something?

ANGLE: You know, I’m a Christian, and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things.
And I thought pandering to her teabagger constituents by off-handedly sympathizing with the desire for "Second Amendment remedies" (read: violent uprising) for losses at the ballot box was bad.

In Angle's world, women have no right to control their reproductive lives, but their rapists' have the right to see their children born.

I dare Angle to look a rape or incest victim in the face and tell her that she shouldn't worry about being forced to carry her attackers' child because she just needs to "have a little faith" that her violation is all part of a divine plan.

In that case, Six-Gun Sharon better hope she's got a "second amendment remedy" of her own, handy, because I think that's about all that would save her from the woman in question.

If people have suffered through something awful and want to comfort themselves with the idea that "everything happens for a purpose," then that's one thing. For some self-righteous monster to offer that subjective worldview as a reason why women should be victimized all over again is beyond the pale.

That strange, mysterious land

they call "Hawaii":
"Obama is detached form the American experience. He just doesn't identify with the average American because of his own background. Indonesia and Hawaii."  -  Former Sen. Rick Santorum
Like others before him, I guess Man-on-dog Santorum thinks that some states are more American than others.
Be intertesting for Ricky and the Quitter to explain what makes one "average" or "real" considering Hawaii makes up a larger percentage of the U.S. population than the--presumably--average and real Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, or Wyoming.
Oh well, since places like New York (when it's not being blown up), Masschusetts (when it doesn't vote for Scott Brown), and California (24/7/365) clearly aren't "average America," either, in these folks' estimation, what's marginalizing one more state in the interests of pandering to the xenophobes--and, let's be honest, racists--in the constituency?

27 June 2010

Problem not scary enough? Lie.

Governor Papers Please has apparently decided that her state's immigration problems aren't inducing the proper level of panic among her constituency, both locally, and those whom she's pandering to in the national news. After what could charitably be called a minimal amount of thought, she's hit upon a novel solution: simply make shit up:
"Well, we all know that the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now becoming drug mules," (Governor Jan) Brewer said. "They're coming across our borders in huge numbers. The drug cartels have taken control of the immigration.

"So they are criminals. They're breaking the law when they are trespassing and they're criminals when they pack the marijuana and the drugs on their backs."
Now, I don't claim to be an expert on lying as a politician, but it seems to me there are probably a few guidelines to follow. Near the top of the list: when selecting the basis for your fabrication, don't pick a scenario that has an entire government agency dedicated to dealing with it. Agencies like those tend to have employees who just might take issue with your attempt to make them look like they're doing an already nearly impossible task even more poorly:
T.J. Bonner of the National Border Patrol Council told CNN that Brewer's claims were "clearly not the case." Bonner said that some undocumented immigrants caught by border patrol agents have drugs on them, and that they sometimes blame pressure from the drug cartels.

But, he said, those claims have little credibility because drug smugglers are typically transporting much larger quantities of drugs. And besides, he said, if what Brewer said were true, there would be many more prosecutions for drug smuggling.

Brewer's comments, Bonner said, don't "comport with reality -- that's the nicest way to put it."
But, in the grand scheme of things, if Iraqi WMD, death panels, and the president being a commu-islamo-socialist sleeper agent didn't "comport with reality" why start being straight about the brown people you're using to terrify the electorate?

26 June 2010

Saturday Shuffle

Cure For Pain (live) - Morphine
Kiss Me Deadly - Reel Big Fish
To Have And To Hold - Depeche Mode
I Awake - Soundgarden
All Apologies - Nirvana
Regulate - Warren G & Nate Dogg
Still Suspicion Holds You Tight - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Rabbit In Your Headlights - U.N.K.L.E.
If 666 Was '96 - DXT
You Can Never Hold Back Spring - Tom Waits

22 June 2010

Pawns in Obama's ten dimensional chess game

Quoth John from AMERICAblog (who's already disproved ten dimensional chess):
Justice Dept to file suit against Arizona immigration law next week

At first blush, this is great. But what worries me is that the Latinos are being played the same way the gays have been played. Rather than pass comprehensive immigration reform this year, as promised, the administration is weighing in on a high-profile case that, heinous as it is, only affects one state. It's an easy to way score points on immigration without doing the heavy lifting of trying to pass real national reform.
The way that I see it, there's little point in worrying about things that are set.

There's no "if" about it. There is no doubt in my mind that Latinos/as are being played, just like the LGBT community and the Unions before them. For all its sound and fury on the stump, this administration has clearly taken close note of the last eight years and begun to treat its various constituencies the same way that the GOP has treated the Evangeliban:

You're the audience of choice on the campaign trail. You get focused speeches and carefully tailored rhetoric at every turn in order to get you to the polls, only to become the crazy aunt they try to hide in the attic once the election is over.

At least in the GOP's case, they simply ignore the Christian Right. The Obama machine actively attacks and marginalizes those whose support it figures it won't need for awhile.

Say whatever else you might about them, the number of Fundies--sick of getting red meat speechifying and little else--and who've gone teabagger, attacking incumbents of both stripes, make the progressive presidential apologists look all the more whipped.

19 June 2010

Saturday Shuffle

I Alone (live) - Live
Rhythm of the Night - DeBarge
Telegram Sam - Bauhaus
Generation Landslide - Alice Cooper
Blackened - Metallica
Janie's Got A Gun - Aerosmith
Omegaman - The Police
Beetles - Aphex Twin
Starling - Tori Amos
The Pet Semetary - Elliot Goldenthal

17 June 2010

Lying in the bed we made

From CNN:
Mothers of detained U.S. hikers urge Iran to prosecute or free them
The mothers of U.S. hikers urged the Iranian government to either prosecute or free the three held since last year after reportedly crossing the border into the country while hiking in Iraq.
..."Shane, Sarah and Josh have been detained in Iran without due process for almost 11 months, in continued violation of Iranian and international law," the mothers said.
"To continue to detain our children without regard for their legal and human rights reinforces suspicions that they are being held in a cynical attempt by Iran to exert leverage with the United States. Iran has no legitimate reason at this stage not to release them or move forward with a fair trial in which our children can openly answer any allegations against them."
When I first saw the abbreviated "latest news" headline on the front page--"Iran told to prosecute or free hikers"--I had to wonder what politican had the guts to get in front of a microphone and try and take that position with a straight face.  Unfortunately, at this point, their mothers are about the only ones who *can* credibly advance this argument.
And it's a good thing they're out there, trying.
Because again and again and again, our government has shown that it no longer occupies the moral high ground necessary to honestly make a similar appeal on their behalf (though that pesky little detail hasn't stopped us in the past). 
Now Iran isn't doing this because of the administration's stance on detainees at Gitmo and Bagram; it's a childish provocation in the interests of gamesmanship in the two nations' nuclear enrichment standoff.  But it absolutely highlights the fact that we can't expect, much less dictate, that other nations behave according to standards that we repeatedly refuse to apply to ourselves.

15 June 2010

Abandoning the dogwhistle

First it was Blubberin' Becky claiming that the President has "a deep seated hatred for white people." Now Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has decided to throw his pointy white hood into the ring:
"I'm offended by Eric Holder and the president also, their posture," said King, 61. "It looks like Eric Holder said that white people in America are cowards when it comes to race."

King continued: "The president has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race on the side that favors the black person in the case of professor Gates and officer Crowley."
And exactly what is your problem with their "posture," Stevie? A little too uppity for your taste, perhaps?

Now Beck is nothing more than a demagogic shit-stirrer, concerned with little else than keeping his slack-jawed viewers frothing for his ratings and advertising dollars (and selling his dreadful novel, of course). As such, he's pretty much held to no standards, whatsoever, be they for objectivity, truth, or even rationality.

King, however, is an elected official trying to make political hay by claiming the attorney general is somehow hostile to whites and the President is a blatant racist. To that end, he simply lies. And since King has such a track record of asinine statements, the most shocking thing about all of this was seeing the writer actually call him out on his horseshit:
Holder, in a 2009 speech, did not suggest that whites are more cowardly than blacks when discussing race, as King indicated in the radio interview.

"Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot," Holder said, "in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards."
While I might've placed those 'grafs higher in the piece to serve as a more immediate exposure of King's mendacity, that it's there at all is wonder unto itself. Rather than uncritically repeating every claim as if it's a legitimate point of view that must be weighed by the reader--as is standard practice in the pursuit of "balance"--the writer actually fact checked.

Congratulations AP; now Journalism trails Stenography by only ten touchdowns, or so.

Courting the unhinged

In the wake of her win over Sue "Chickens for Checkups" Lowden in the GOP Senate primary in Nevada, it appears that Teabagger darling, Sharon Angle, suffers from a similar case of foot-in-mouth disease. Unfortunately, Angle's fantasies appear to be far more disturbing than pipe dreams of bartering for breast exams:
Asked by the host, Lars Larson of Portland, Oregon, where she stands on Second Amendment issues, Angle replied:
"You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.

I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out."
"What can we do?"

How about voting?

Your inability to succeed at the ballot box is not a justification for violence. (And make no mistake, based on now our system functions, that's exactly what she's saying).

Note to Swamp Fox Sharon: As has always been the case, Congress is "going the way it is" because more people supported the legislators of the majority party than their opponents.

If it "keeps going" it's not due to tyranny, it's due to the fact that you and the GOP aren't winning elections. Period.

So when you say that you "hope we're not going to have armed rebellion, but..." it necessarily follows that the "but" that opens the door to violence is "if we keep losing."

12 June 2010

Saturday Shuffle

Whistle Down The Wind (For Tom Jams) - Tom Waits
By Demons Be Driven - Pantera
The History of Mill House - Humphrey Searle
Tangled Up In Plaid - Queens Of The Stone Age
Lover's Rock - The Clash
Skinned - Blind Melon
Under My Thumb - The Rolling Stones
I Hate Morning - The Exceptions
Steamer Trunk - Alkaline Trio
Mary Jane - Tori Amos

09 June 2010

Admin to Unions: "Know your role and shut your mouth."

(As if taking management advice from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was actually going to pan out...)

After Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) managed to squeak by challenger Bill Halter in the runoff of her Senate primary, despite voting away the support of the unions (and having them flood Halter's coffers with $10M in funding) there were a couple different lessons one could take away.

One would be that politicians need to remember that, every now and again, people actually cast their votes based on more than the letter that follows the name on the ballot. When elected to support peoples' interests, you occasionally need to give that support.

Another would be the White House's interpretation:
A senior White House official just called me (Politico's Ben Smith) with a very pointed message for the administration's sometime allies in organized labor, who invested heavily in beating Blanche Lincoln, Obama's candidate, in Arkansas.

"Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members' money down the toilet on a pointless exercise," the official said. "If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November."
...Another senior Democrat (who also would not be quoted by name) echoed the point in an exchange with the Huffington Post. "Labor is humiliated," the source said. "$10 million flushed down the toilet at a time when Democrats across the country are fighting for their lives, they look like absolute idiots."
Setting aside the abject cowardice of the anonymity-insisting worm who floated this garbage (not to mention the pointless granting of anonymity by Smith and Huffington Post for little more than smears) is it possible for an administration/party to be more entitled?

It speaks volumes that the administration has abandoned thinking it must work to earn peoples' votes in favor of chastising supporters as "idiots" when they don't spend their own money according to DNC/DSCC priorities. With all the anti-incumbent furor sweeping the country, it's breathtaking that they think they can attack national groups of reliable allies for insufficient fealty.

There are only so many times you can take a group for granted and stiff them on the support they (thought they) bought with their votes and donations.

At this rate, who will be left in November, much less 2012?

07 June 2010

Actions: *Still* having consequences...

How much "not racist" can you really buy with $250K?
Arizona finds itself at the vortex of an immigration debate that is increasingly bitter and, figures on both sides say, increasingly unwinnable. Opinions are split, with fear of harassment rising among Hispanics and worry about an economic boycott growing among the state's leaders.
Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has appointed a committee and allocated $250,000 to re-brand the state's image, while 13 Arizona chamber of commerce executives appealed to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to keep the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix after he faced pressure to change locations. They said it would preserve jobs for "innocent citizens, including our Hispanic community."
Musical performers such as Sonic Youth, Kanye West and Rage Against the Machine have said they will boycott the state. Phoenix City Hall calculates that Arizona has lost nearly $100 million in convention commitments. Meanwhile, supporters and opponents of the immigration law are taking to the streets weekly.
$100M sounds like a pretty good start, and the monetary hemorrhaging is likely to only continue once the law goes into effect and the "existing while brown" questionings and arrests begin to occur. 
Further, Bud Selig needs to recognize that this is win-win for him.  He can finally realize his pipe dream of making the All-Star Game "count" if he simply shows the spine to move this otherwise meaningless spectacle, elsewhere.  It's a chance to both do the right thing as well as put his product center-stage not just on ESPN, but on every news network across in the nation, both at the time of the announcement, as well as next year when, "The 2011 baseball All-Star Game, originally scheduled to be held in Arizona..." will be obligatory lead-in material.
If he doesn't, hopefully the players of hispanic and latin american ancestry will take the decision out of his hands and do a little boycotting of their own.

05 June 2010

Saturday Shuffle

Liquid Swords - GZA
Severed - Kittie
The Fly - U2
Just Like I Picture It - Medeski, Martin & Wood
Seen The Light Alone - Medicine
Lick a Shot - Cypress Hill
Hands of Death (Burn Baby Burn) - Alice Cooper & Rob Zombie
Outlaw (Alternate Mix) - The Cult
Waltz in the 4th Dimension - Michael Andrews
To Defy The Laws of Tradition - Primus
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