Friday, February 24, 2012
A Mighty Prankster Is Our God
Big Pink Inc., still smarting from that unfortunate Planned Parenthood rock-turning incident that exposed the wingnut creepy-crawlies running the joint, the inflated executive salaries, the breathtakingly large portion of donations funneled toward corporate whoring, etc., has hired Mark Penn’s flak organization to gauge PR fallout and presumably craft a communications strategy to repair the damage. Here’s a sample survey question:
Penn, as you may recall, was the genius behind the twin ”caucuses, what caucuses?” and “hard-working white Americans” strategies in the Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign that nearly destroyed the Clinton brand and almost certainly cost the current Secretary of State the nomination while leaving her campaign on the hook for millions of dollars. Penn has since gone on to be wrong about just about everything else, making a serious play for Bill Kristol’s all-time wrong record. So he’ll no doubt be a terrific asset to the Komen peeps.
[X-POSTED at Balloon Juice; H/T: Rumproast commenter MikeJ]
Rachel Maddow found PolitiFact beautiful once.
Much as Tom Friedman gleans man-on-the-street wisdom from the cabbies who ferry him to and fro, I sallied forth from the Cracker Cloister yesterday to mingle with the common folk, securing priceless insights that I will share directly. Unlike Friedman, I didn’t board a G6 and fly to Aspen to pick up a $75,000 speaking fee.
Rather, I played hooky along with my teenage daughter to visit a couple of theme parks, including a park that has a section devoted to a fictional young sorcerer. The fiction-based city to which we traveled for this purpose should be renamed “Or-LINE-do” since visitors spend the majority of their day languishing in queues. There were lines to access the $15 parking lot. Lines to pay an outrageous sum to visit the parks. Lines to have our bags searched. Lines to hear a sales pitch before paying $29.95 for a plastic replica of a wizard’s wand.
There were even lines for lunch seating at The Three Broomsticks tavern and the privilege of paying $40.00 for a bagged salad that reeked of chlorine, a dollop of runny mac ‘n cheese accompanied by a sad cluster of grapes and souvenir tankards of “Butterbeer” (which turns out to be cream soda topped with an oilier incarnation of Cool Whip). Anyhoo, it was at The Three Broomsticks that I obtained “cabbie wisdom” by briefly eavesdropping on the conversation of a pair of 20-something women at the adjacent table.
As they consumed THEIR $20 bagged salads, the young women’s discussion turned to the upcoming Republican debate. They admitted to one another that they hardly pay attention to politics at all and hadn’t watched the previous debates, but both expressed interest in seeing that evening’s tussle. Why? Because they were alarmed about what they’d heard regarding the Republicans’ wholesale assault on women’s rights and birth control.
Will the Mittbot 2012 get its mojo back? Tune in to CNN at 8 and prepare for a Santorumpalooza of a night.
So let’s all send our regards to former Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist! You don’t have to go through the hassle of mailing a card, you can just head down to your local hospital and wave jauntily at a surveillance camera; he’ll see you wishing him well from deep inside TeleDiagnostic Op-Center Alpha.
I had my heart set on a cat-themed cake, but I was afraid he’d just butcher it. I’ll save that template for Romney—baked goods do not travel well.
Categories: Rumproast Related •
He’s actually pretty good too:
By Michael O’Hanlon
My fiancée (a wonderful man) and I are getting married in May, and he invited a mutual friend from our college days—I’ll call her “Joy”—who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend. I’m not jealous of his former flames, but I have it on good authority that she’s still carrying a torch for him, and I’m afraid she might say or do something that will cast a pall over our special day. How can I convey my discomfort without seeming possessive or mistrustful?
~Not A Green-Eyed Bride
A number of options should be considered. How will “Joy” be travelling to the nuptials? If she’ll be using public rail for one or more legs of her trip, a well-timed air strike against a transit hub will buy you peace of mind. If she’s planning on taking a plane, I would suggest going through UN channels to establish a no-fly zone enforced by surface-to-air missiles and a squadron of F-15s ready to scramble at a moment’s notice. A car would make things trickier but by no means impossible; a multi-pronged campaign involving roadblocks, overpass-mounted snipers, and daisy cutters (in the event “Joy” makes it to a parking garage) should suffice.
My septuagenarian father-in-law, who is in the initial stages of Alzheimer’s, recently moved in with our family. I love him dearly, but I strongly believe he can’t get the care he needs under our roof. He is often confused and agitated and sometimes lashes out, which we as adults can handle, but I fear it’s too much for our two young boys who can’t understand why “Grampa’s being so mean.” I’ve brought up the idea of placing him into hospice, but my husband insists he’ll be fine where he is and that I’m overreacting. Is he being irrational or am I being selfish? Help!
~Children And Parents Eventually Role-Swap
Old age is not for the faint of heart; many of history’s genocidal monsters have been elderly. I suggest spurring a household “coup,” i.e., have your sons play in and around his room with as much exhuberance as they can muster—all that youthful energy is likely to set him off, and when he unleashes his rage your husband will finally see how untenable the situation is. Soon he’ll be calling the orderlies (AKA “Gators on the ground”) to take Grampa off to the nursing home, and you’ll be much happier knowing the family patriarch is being looked after in a facility attuned to his needs. Then drop a daisy cutter on it.
I’m a confirmed bachelor and a man of simple tastes (bottled beer is about as “classy” as it gets). I don’t entertain much—when I have buddies over for Super Bowl Sunday, I always use the “good” plastic bowl for Doritos, but the Four Seasons my apartment ain’t. Anyway, I somehow let my coworkers talk me into hosting a dinner party, and they’re a well-heeled bunch, so i’m hoping you can help me avoid embarrassment. One of the guests will be taking care of the food (she’s tasted my cooking), so I’m just looking for some tips on how to set up the dining area for a swanky multi-course meal.
~Puttin’ On The Ritz (Crackers)
The salad fork should be placed to the left of military force, which should never be taken off the table.
Rachel Maddow is fed up with PolitiFact. She’s not alone. PolitiFact’s galloping case of Broderitis seems to have worsened recently. Perhaps its most infamous foray into useful idiocy was its 2011 “Lie of the Year” award for Democrats who correctly characterized Paul Ryan’s “Coupons4Codgers” plan as the end of Medicare as we know it.
But PolitiFact routinely distorts the facts in ways large and small, as chronicled frequently at this blog and elsewhere. This morning brought a fresh example of PolitiFact’s moldy decay to my attention: It rated Florida Governor Rick Scott’s claim at CPAC that his administration is “poised to get rid of over 1,000 more regulations in 2012” MOSTLY TRUE despite the fact that the numbers simply don’t add up (by PolitiFact’s own account) and that they had to broaden the definition of “the Scott administration” to encompass the entire Florida legislature to even get within striking distance of TRUE.
Hard on the heels of Where The Fuck Do You Put The Apostrophe, Or Is It Optional? Day comes Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, as it’s known in my neck of the woods.
We may be poor as churchmice, but we know how to live it up over here.
A Buckinghamshire town is due to hold what is thought to be the world’s oldest pancake race later.
The race in Olney dates back to 1445 and is believed to have begun with a towns woman arriving late for the Shriving service at the parish church.
The 24 female competitors will run the race wearing aprons and headscarves and carrying a frying pan with a pancake.
The winner, on crossing the line, is greeted by the verger with the traditional kiss of peace.
“Ladies from the town race from the Market Square to the church in memory of a town cook,” race organiser Ian Ford said.
“The story goes that on hearing the shriving bell, calling everyone to the church service, she ran out of the house clutching her frying pan and still wearing her apron.”
Pancakes. Domestic drudgery. Prescriptive gender roles. Cosiplay. Sexual subjugation by religious authority figures. Shriving. All human life is here. You thought Monty Python’s Flying Circus was a comedy show? It was a documentary.
Open thread if you want. Hit it.
“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
~“Father of His Country” George Washington, expressing his gracious (if self-serving) perspective on Abraham Lincoln et al. glomming onto what was supposed to be HIS day, offering prescient career advice to Paul Rodgers, and giving the tacit go-ahead to cavort with skanks
Categories: Messylaneous •
Santorum spoke Alice Stewart seeks to “explain” Ricky’s references to President Obama’s religion the other day. It doesn’t go well.
An honest misspeak? Direct line from unconscious to mouth? Undigested talking point burp? We report, you decide, but in view of Ricky’s dogfoghorn-blowing, you have to wonder.
There seems to have been little discussion in any media of recent developments in the long-running lawsuit between Shirley Sherrod and Andrew Breitbart.*
Following the infamous scandal that saw Sherrod resign from her USDA post after Breitbart propagated a misleadingly edited video of a speech she made at a March 2010 NAACP event and alleged on several occasions that it showed evidence of racism, with delicious timing he was served with a lawsuit at CPAC 2011. (We covered earlier developments here, here, here, here, and here.)
Big bullying right-wing hero that he is, you’d think that Breitbart would be absolutely desperate to see this case proceed so he can gain wider currency for his claim that the motivation behind the video was to expose Sherrod’s role in the supposed “Pigford Affair” and pursue the mythical discovery process that his followers were jumping with joy over when news of the suit first broke. But Breitbart’s legal team, which appears to have enlisted Orly Taitz as a consultant, has been trying to stall and have the suit thrown out on numerous grounds, most recently in April 2011 by invoking the Anti-SLAPP Act:
WASHINGTON (CN) - Former U.S Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod’s lawsuit against right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart survived a motion to dismiss, clearing the way for her to pursue the high-profile defamation suit she filed against him and a colleague last year.
Sherrod Sued Breitbart and associate Larry O’Connor in February 2011, charging the two men posted a heavily edited clip of her online that led to accusations of racism and ultimately got her fired.
Breitbart filed his motion under the D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act, which provides that if a defendant can show the claim at issue arises from an act in furtherance of the right to free speech - and if it is also related to an issue of public concern - he can file a special motion to dismiss.
But in a terse decision, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon tossed the motion, pointing out that the D.C. law that the motion was based on did not take affect until more than a month after Sherrod filed her defamation suit.
Thank you Friedmanio! But our insight is up another asshole!
New York Times columnist and scourge of anthropomorphic mushrooms Thomas Friedman finally drops the BS about “extremists on both sides” and admits that “centrism” means nothing but the median of whichever two points are being discussed at any given moment (since there’s confusion, a quick primer: “median” is the equidistant point, “mean” is the inevitable tone of any piece that considers Friedman’s prescriptions, and “average” is the level of intelligence you must evince for Charlie Rose to consider you an intellectual giant). Furthermore, he’s convinced the time is ripe for a third party challenger, never mind that we’re having a hell of a time coming up with a second party challenger.
If that candidate is Rick Santorum, I think there is a good chance a Third Party will try to fill the space between the really “severely conservative” Santorum (or even Mitt Romney) and the left-of-center Barack Obama.
Setting aside the notion that random capitalization lends authority to common nouns and their modifiers, Friedman’s found his man: David Walker, former comptroller general (I am assured this position affords some measure of prestige despite its surfeit of lowercase letters), who you will be shocked to learn is a white man in his early 60s who favors sensible suits and says “deficit” a lot. Tom, any details you’d care to toss out, maybe something incredibly telling to anyone who’s spent some time on the internet in the past few years, something that will expose your reasoning as puerile, your solution ill-conceived?
Walker — who came in second to Hillary Clinton in a reader poll that Politico conducted last October for favorite Third Party candidate
Ah yes, a poll of the kind of people who would take a Politico reader poll, i.e. 4chan board regulars without the civic literacy.
Disclosure: I’m actually a fan of Friedman’s book The Lexus and the Olive Tree. It’s a harrowing memoir of his long road to recovery from an accident in which his Pakistani driver was so caught up in formulating a pithy quote that he lost control of the car and careened into a grove, whereupon Friedman was impaled through the head by a low-hanging branch.
There’s been a good deal of attention paid to traumatic brain injury around these parts lately, and I don’t mean to diminish TBI’s effects on its victims and their loved ones, but just because someone bravely fights their way back from the edge of death, that’s not necessarily a reason to give them primo real estate on the country’s most influential op-ed page. Heck, Tom, we’re just impressed that you can type.
dumb dumb dumb, dumb dumb DUMB
Rick Santorum is easily the most likable candidate remaining in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination.
Just dwell on that opinion for a moment.
Leaving aside the ecumenical matter of damning with faint praise, “likability” is obviously in the eye of the beholder. But even James Joyner, who dreamed that sentence up, typed it out, didn’t go “Nah” and hit delete, then decided to broadcast it to the world via Outside the Beltway, feels driven to qualify that “likability” in the face of a speech the New Not-Romney gave in 2008 at Domino Pizza’s “saint factory,” Ave Maria University (“Excellent. Affordable. Catholic.”) in Florida (mercifully audio only).
To summarize the Tanktop Torquemada’s address, unearthed by Right Wing Watch: You’re all—those of you “smart people” who’ve been exposed to academe, you Protestants, heck the whole damned lot of you—Hellbound Godless heathens in thrall to the “Father of Lies,” except Ricky and his ilk in the Catholic Church. And he’s not so sure about his ilk. (Transcript after the fold for the recently breakfasted.)
Let’s be fair. Maybe Ricky’s evolved a little from these extreme views? Ah. Here’s Ed Morrissey, twisting himself into semantic knots to blame President Obama for injecting theology into the public debate:
Normally, I would advise presidential candidates to avoid getting caught in arguments over the relative merits of the faith of their opponents. Americans typically don’t respond well to politicians claiming that they have a superior theology, especially when it comes to translating that into public policy. In this case, though, Rick Santorum didn’t start that fight yesterday in Ohio:
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum challenged President Barack Obama’s Christian beliefs on Saturday, saying White House policies were motivated by a “different theology.”
A devout Roman Catholic who has risen to the top of Republican polls in recent days, Santorum said the Obama administration had failed to prevent gas prices rising and was using “political science” in the debate about climate change.
Obama’s agenda is “not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your jobs. It’s about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology,” Santorum told supporters of the conservative Tea Party movement at a Columbus hotel.
Well, Satanism’s a theology, I guess. You wouldn’t want an atheist in the White House, would you?
Morrissey’s conclusion? There are some things a presidential candidate just shouldn’t say out loud.