Monday, June 29, 2009

"socialism cannot work or Russia would still exist"

Some priceless hate mail sent to Markos Moulitsas. My question to you: real or fake?

I'm going with fake. It's too perfect, too comical. It's exactly what I think a Kossack would write pretending to be a right winger.

a bizarre perception of moral imperative

This whole Sanford thing has gotten so, well, weird. Here we have Lindsey Graham telling David Gregory that the besieged governor should be allowed to keep his job, but only if he reconciles with his wife.

It makes my brain hurt.

First, let's set aside the strange spectacle of a single, and an almost certainly closeted gay, Republican senator essentially implying that Sanford becomes unfit for public office if he loses his marriage, though that alone makes me stare at Graham like he just leapt upside down onto the ceiling while cackling and spitting green goo. What difference does it make whether Sanford's wife agrees to reconcile or not, or for that matter whether he decides his marriage is worth saving or not? Who the f**k cares, and what does it have to do with his ability to do his job? Does his infidelity somehow become less egregious if he convinces his wife to stick around? If this happened because his marriage is emotionally over, is it more "gubernatorial" to stay in a loveless marriage than to get a divorce?

Either I just don't understand the southern conservative moral code, or Lindsey Graham doesn't.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Karzai on pace to coast to re-election

This is particularly disheartening in light of the corruption crippling Afghanistan. Not sure how Obama can fix the place with this crook in charge.

That being said, apparently there is still hope for Pennsylvania.

UPDATE: and hey, look at that! Right on time with the emergency pander. I'm guessing Democrats should be expecting a lot of love from ol' Arlen for some time. A reversal on EFCA, perhaps?

fear of reciprocity

Crazy Michelle Bachmann, in the full flower of craziness while discussing her super-crazy refusal to fill out her census form:

"Take this into consideration. If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the Census Bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations at the request of President Roosevelt, and that's how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps," said Bachmann. "I'm not saying that that's what the Administration is planning to do, but I am saying that private personal information that was given to the Census Bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up, in a violation of their constitutional rights, and put the Japanese in internment camps."

That's pretty crazy. So crazy, in fact, that my first instinct is to laugh at Congress' own crazy cat lady and move on. Weird as it sounds, though, I don't think such a dismissal would do as much good as trying to unpack this nonsense and see what she's trying to say.

So, what is she trying to say? What's the lesson of "American history between 1942 and 1947?" It's hard because she's dancing around it, hiding her real meaning so that only people prone to thinking like her are going to catch it, and even then it's probably less purely "dog whistle" than tickling an inchoate fear. It sounds to me like she's saying that the federal government is going to be tempted to start throwing people back in internment camps or otherwise severely hampering their freedom of action. I don't think there's any other direction she could go with this argument.

But who are the ones that will be targeted? Who are Michelle Bachmann's Japanese? It isn't Americans in general, or women, or politicians, or Minnesotans; it's white conservatives. She's saying she thinks there's a not insignificant chance that President Obama is going to start cracking down on white conservatives by tapping their phones, infiltrating their groups and clubs, building dossiers on them, and perhaps eventually moving to more overt forms of oppression like ghettoizing and interning.

Her choice to bring up the internment of a particular disadvantaged, powerless ethnic group is meant to be analogous to the oldest bogeyman of white America: the reversal of power to black people and retributive oppression of white people. In Bachmann's crazy, crazy world, white people are like the World War II Japanese Americans: an innocent, put upon, utterly powerless minority being ruthlessly harassed by a tyrannical Democratic president, except this one's been waiting for a long time to put those white people in their place. In her mind, black people live their lives just aching for the chance to finally get back at white people for all those things that happened in the past. All black people are just Panthers, gangsters, and Nation of Islam brothers in disguise, and they've finally set the perfect trap: a smiling, well-spoken, articulate black man who'll con all the bleeding-heart, guilt-ridden, weak-minded liberals to vote for him, allowing him to slowly implement Operation: Kill Whitey.

After all, it's what white people have looking for in Obama since he first started running for president. What were the early scandals and bad press episodes for Barack Obama? He's a Muslim. Jeremiah Wright saying "God damn America." Michelle supposedly saying "whitey let Katrina happen" (in a meeting with Louis Farrakhan, no less!). Manchurian candidate. William Ayers. Tim Russert spontaneously asking Obama to answer for comments made by Louis Farrakhan and Harry Belafonte in the debates. Obama in traditional Kenyan garb. The birth certificate. The Anti-Christ.

Crazy Michelle's point is much uglier than it first appears.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

a neighborhood in flux

Got this from the listserv today:
From: Near Northwest Neighborhood [redacted] On Behalf Of Pastor [redacted]
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 1:23 PM
Subject: [NNN] Marriage Seminar

Hello everyone. I pray that all is well with you. I just wanted to personally invite you to a marriage seminar that will be held this coming Saturday (6/20/09) at [redacted] Church located at Van Buren St. The seminar is scheduled for 10-2 pm.

If you are married, want to be married, want to know why you are not married, this seminar is for you. There is no charge for the seminar and lunch will be provided. Registration begins at 9:30. Hope to see you there.

The lectures will be a tax account who will talk finances and the family.

a family therapist/marriage counselor will talk about conflict resolution in the family.

the last lecturer is myself ( I won't tell you what I will be teaching on, you much come to find out).

Again, hope to see you there

Because He lives I can face tomorrow.

The first reply:
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: [redacted]
To: [redacted, the listserv]
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 1:41:08 PM
Subject: Re: [NNN] Marriage Seminar

Is this for heterosexuals only?


don't apologize to me, apologize to her!

John Ensign is a hypocrite and a douchebag. He browbeats people for engaging in the same behavior he engages in. His efforts to prevent other people from gaining equal rights have apparently failed to protect his own marriage.

Of course, it's kind of amazing this story ever made it this far. What are the chances that the swindler son of a casino mogul would become a United States senator by painting himself as the paragon of Christian morality?

I will give him credit, though: he's the only politician I've seen admit to infidelity without dragging his wife up onstage with him while he apologizes to everyone else. Kudos. I guess.

Monday, June 15, 2009

open mic night at the RNC

From NY Daily News:
Commenting on a report posted to Facebook about a gorilla escape at a zoo in Columbia, S.C., Friday, longtime GOP activist Rusty DePass wrote, "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors - probably harmless."

Busted by South Carolina political blogger Will Folks on his FITNEWS blog, DePass told WIS-TV in Columbia, "I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest."

Then he added, "The comment was hers, not mine," claiming Michelle Obama made a recent remark about humans descending from apes. The Daily News could find no such comment.

Yeah, I know, that's really ugly even for southern fried Republicans. And yeah, that's a pretty terrible apology.

Here's what I want to talk about, though: who was it that thought it was a good idea to get every GOP politician and stooge their own Twitter account? Seriously, am I wrong or is this perhaps the worst idea in electoral politics since McCain put Sarah Palin on his ticket?

Racism is a problem for the Republican party. A big problem. Racism is what gives them their stranglehold on the South, but it kills them everywhere else. Because of this, Republican speechwriters and campaign strategists have cooked up all manner of ingenious ways to give dog-whistle signals to the former segregationists and Dixiecrats that make up the party's southern base: "affirmative action," "welfare queens," sexual innuendo, speeches in Philadelphia, Mississippi on states' rights, etc. It's a subtle art, though; if people outside the privileged group catch your underlying meanings, you're in deep doodoo, so you don't want every Confederate cracker with a chip on his shoulder and a hood in his closet taking a turn at the GOP's microphone to do his best Jesse Helms impersonation, and you sure as s**t don't want to give them the opportunity to send unerasable, impromptu, unsupervised messages accessible to anyone with an internet connection!

Unless, apparently, you're the dumbass who thought Twitter would be the secret weapon in the great Republican electoral juggernaut of 2010. Macacas for everyone!

UPDATE: Already another one here.

UPDATE 2: And now an email. Maybe low-level southern Republicans should just stay away from writing.

Penguins win the Cup

Nice. Thought the Red Army was gonna repeat.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

oh no! it's a snake!

Behold! The awesome power of Flash!

That is all.

UPDATE: Links should work now. Like all my other experiences with flash, it's fascinating that I can do exactly what I'm supposed to do, in this case what I always do when posting links, but suddenly I get a bizarre "BURRRR BURRR DOES NOT COMPUTE" reaction from the computer. I hate technology sometimes.