Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Right Old Dilemma: Which Not-Romney?

With Rick Santorum’s suspension of his campaign and effective withdrawal from the primary, where does that leave those Republicans who remain bitterly unconvinced of Mitt Romney’s ability to win the election, let alone govern in a sufficiently wingnutty way to pass muster among the base?

Most of the attention I’ve seen has focused on Newt Gingrich, last seen screwing up yet another state campaign by bouncing a check for $500 at Utah’s Elections Board and leaving nobody home to answer the subequent enquiries about it. Thus demonstrably clueless, reportedly at least $4.5 million in debt, with no sugardaddy to bail him out nowadays and next to no ground game, but still pledging to run all the way to Tampa, Gingrich claims the suitably ironic mantle of “the last conservative standing.”

But not so fast, says Ron Paul:

After Rick Santorum ended his White House bid on Tuesday, Ron Paul’s campaign praised the former Pennsylvania senator, but said Paul did not have plans to follow suit.

“Congratulations to Senator Santorum on running such a spirited campaign. Dr. Paul is now the last – and real – conservative alternative to Mitt Romney,” Jesse Benton, Paul’s campaign chairman, said in a statement.

The oldest swinger in town still has game, as his campaign airs a new ad in Texas which is a bit of a hoot.

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 04/11/12 at 10:04 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '12MittensNuttersTeabaggeryPoliblogs

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

So long and thanks for all the…Santorum.

I guess it should be noted for posterity that theocratic homophobe Rick Santorum has bowed out of the 2012 GOP Best of the Worst competition after a morning of speculation turned out to be dead-on.  From a purely blogular standpoint, I’m going to miss him, a little, but he’ll never really be gone. Whenever awkward tone-deaf metaphors for gay marriage are spoken, he’ll be there. Wherever “Did he or didn’t he?” vague racial comments are made, he’ll be there.  Whenever Fox News decides they can afford to cut him a paycheck for doing his thing, he’ll be there. Whenever the earliest availability for scrounging up 2016 presidential interest appears—he will totally be there. Or, to employ a different cultural meme no less sacrilegious, where job creators defend their privilege, it’s there you’ll find old Rick.

I think the thing I admire most, if you can call it that, about Santorum’s campaign was that he actually made it this far and made Mitt Romney’s campaign spend lots of money to put him away. All things considered, it was right for Santorum to drop out now, after Romney made it clear he’d go full-on alpha-male and pee on every tree in Santorum country. So the Romney campaign is committed to a big ad buy in this market for a showdown that isn’t actually happening. Of course, if Santorum was sticking with his quest for the nomination as he indicated with his “half-time” metaphor, this was the right thing for Romney to do.  After all, knock Santorum out in his home state, and he has no momentum and no resources left to go anywhere.  But as it stands, Santorum gets to wind down his campaign having done some reasonable damage to the front-runner’s long-term chances in the general election with an escalatingly negative campaign prior to dropping out, and I note, without an endorsement for him, either.

You know what Charles Pierce calls Santorum? I don’t like to use gendered insults like that, but I concur with the sentiment. And I suspect Romney might, too.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 04/10/12 at 08:15 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '12

Inside the Brain of a Right-Wing Propagandist

James O’Keefe is apparently out of jail. For how long who knows. While he’s out his award-not-winning enterprise Project Veritas is hard at work attempting to commit voter fraud. See, the logic is that if he successfully commits voter fraud that’ll prove that liberals are wrong when they say that voter fraud doesn’t exist. Even if he’s the only example of voter fraud, that vindicates the belief that voter fraud exists.

A skeptic might point out that would be like somebody saying that no one wears a rhinoceros costume to church, and then O’Keefe wears a rhinoceros costume to church just to prove that somebody wrong. Yeah, that is pretty much what he’s doing. I know what you’re thinking: someone like that’s a real dick.

In this case no one is wearing a rhinoceros costume. But, O’Keefe is having someone impersonate Eric Holder. O’Keefe claims that he’s portraying Holder because Holder is challenging recently legislated voter id laws. (a wee bit more on that here)

Here’s how Mike Debonis puts it:

People like O’Keefe think voter ID laws are a common sense way to prevent voter fraud; people like Holder say they address a problem that doesn’t exist, and the laws would give officials new pretext to keep legitimate voters from casting ballots.

Mike, who used to be active in grass-roots politics here in DC before getting the WaPo job, is being unbelievably generous by characterizing O’Keefe that way. No doubt he’s also trying to avoid the liberal bias label that got Dan Froomkin fired. But, Mike doesn’t know how O’Keefe thinks. Neither do I, but I’m willing to be less charitable than Mike. I would have said that People like O’Keefe think that voter id laws are an easy way to steal elections.

I also tend to believe that he’s impersonating Holder not because he’s the symbol of liberal oppression, but because Holder is virtually invisible as far as cabinet members go. If O’Keefe really had cajones, he’d impersonate Hillary Clinton. Not gonna ha pen.

Posted by AltHippo on 04/10/12 at 01:49 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '12

Monday, April 09, 2012

Slow-Roasting VDH, or, Why the Hell am I reading National Review?

Part of the fun with a new gig (like blogging here) is exploring ways of upholding valuable traditions (like skewering people who require it) whilst leaving my own mark. I’m not the sort who regularly wades into conservative publications looking for targets—not me! I like the soft white underbelly of the elected representative class for my targets and leave my fellow scribblers go—but for whatever reason, the National Review has garnered my attention recently as being a thing still in existence in this world. It’s not just the Derb business that has alerted my attention. The National Review, as WFB’s big old segregation-apologist Bircher-bashing thing, seems to have at one time set the tone for the conservative movement, as I understand it.  But in the Tea Party Age, or the post-9/11 era, or however we want to demarcate the Ascendance of the Batshit, the whole thing just looks like a time-progression of the Breitbartlets all grown up. Anyhow, I follow Dave Weigel on Twitter and he linked to this Victor Davis Hanson incoherence, and like the obsessive-compulsive I am, I wanted to get what the almighty Gee-Darn to Heck VDH was on about.

The proposition is that the Trayvon Martin case is promoted due to hysteria about racism, and people following it are likewise hysterical. Or race pimps. Let’s break down his assertions to see if this is ably argued:

1) If one suggests that there may not be, at least as yet, enough evidence to overturn the initial police decision of not charging Mr. Zimmerman with a crime, then one is a de facto racist.

In other words, the liberal position of letting all the evidence be reexamined in a dispassionate fashion is now illiberal. And the illiberal one of charging someone with a felony without established probable cause is liberal. But just arresting and charging a suspect to let a judge or jury post facto decide whether there was ever probable cause for such an arrest is neither liberal nor consistent with American jurisprudence.

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Posted by Vixen Strangely on 04/09/12 at 10:26 PM
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Categories: Skull Hampers

If You Can’t Teach Gym

In Annie Hall Woody Allen posited an employment hierarchy that went more or less like this: Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym. I would argue that you can continue along that line: those who can’t teach gym, become ombudsmen. Then, at the very bottom of the hierarchy is the Washington Post fact checker.


I think most of us would accept without argument that a fact checker should a.) go to the public record (the intertubes) to verify basic information. b.) when assertions go more into the world of opinion, i.e., opinion checking, be a neutral arbiter between what is being asserted and the real physical world.


Take today’s column. The fact checker dismisses the claim of judicial activism by quoting some guy who works at Cato. I suppose the assumption is that a libertarian institutional wouldn’t hire ideologues that support the tenets of libertarianism. Which is, basically, a really crappy assumption.

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Posted by AltHippo on 04/09/12 at 11:00 AM
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Categories: PoliticsHealth CareOur Stupid Media

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Season’s Greetings, somewhat—

I’ve been dreadfully desultory in posting—but I think a chicken with an umbrella is a ridiculously cool open thread header. I’m pro-chicken for one thing, and pro-umbrella for another. Am also very sad over our recent loss of Mike Wallace—he was a pretty solid journalist and expert questioner.  His expert investigative style will be missed.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 04/08/12 at 10:57 PM
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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Reports of my death have been greatly optimistic from a financial-planning standpoint

image
pictured: a dumb hairy animal suffering from lameness and his dog

Funny story! Actually multiple intertwined funny stories, except for the one about Parker’s (second) torn ACL, which is only funny insofar as I spent last Sunday convinced he was playing an April Fool’s joke (“check out the look on his face when he sees me limping, he just finished paying off the interest on my last orthopedic surgery,” is what I imagined him saying to the cats). Those stories shall be told once I can type sans agony* again, but I wanted to check in so’s to let everyone know I’m not gone for good. Wouldn’t want the haters to get their hopes up only to have them cruelly dashed (just go with me here—the only thing that bothers me more than the word “haters” is the near-certainty that I don’t merit any).

Okay, back to hammering out these his-and-smaller-his breastplates, ‘cause the arrows of outrageous fortune can’t be far behind.

*no, I mean once I can type without causing myself agony, my writing style hasn’t changed any

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/07/12 at 05:29 PM
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Categories: CrittersRumproast Related

My Version of “The Talk”

After the senseless killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Central Florida, some black people were incensed enough by the prospect of their own progeny being gunned down for walking through a residential neighborhood while black that they revealed the existence of “The Talk”—a conversation they have with their youngsters to help the kids avoid Trayvon’s fate. This didn’t set well with certain white grievance mongers.

After breakfasting on “Birth of a Nation,” masticating The Bell Curve and washing it all down with a 151-proof bottle of Ye Olde Imperial Wizard, NRO’s resident white supremacist, John Derbyshire, vomited up a screed in the guise of his own version of “The Talk,” which ABL eviscerated here. Derbyshire’s column on “The Talk” was overt enough in its racism to attract condemnation from “conservatives” who prefer dog whistles to white linens, a dishonesty that Freddie deBoer ably vaporized here.

I can now reveal the existence of yet another version of “The Talk”—this one a heart-to-heart we liberal white women who are raising daughters in Dixie have to help our children navigate life among ignorant bigots, religious fanatics and Derbyshire-class assholes in the rural South:

1) Some 41% of our fellow Americans identify as “conservative;” this is why we can’t have nice things. By “nice things,” I mean things like universal health care, marriage equality and a sane foreign policy. “Conservatives” believe despite all evidence to the contrary that it makes more sense to invade foreign countries, kill tens of thousands of people and spend trillions of dollars in a fruitless effort to convert Baghdad and Kabul into Arlington, Virginia than it does to ensure that American families aren’t one diagnosis away from medical bankruptcy and homelessness.

2) Despite the fact that “conservatives” and “Christians” have dominated civic life in America for centuries and even today ritualistically require candidates for practically any elected office to declare fealty to Jesus, “conservatives” always behave as though they are the victims of anti-religious bigotry. Even though your entire holiday choir program was devoted to Christian-themed songs (well, I think they did the dreidel song too) and that you and your classmates are free to engage in private prayer the entire time you are at school, “conservatives” will insist that the country is going downhill because radical atheists gave Jesus the bum’s rush. You can point out reality and make enemies or privately roll your eyes. The result will be the same. This is what’s called “an article of faith.”

3) Being able to look down on gays makes “conservatives” feel better about their own dumb life choices and misery. That’s why your aunties can’t get married and enjoy the special tax treatment and societal status your father and I enjoy, even though they’ve been in a monogamous relationship for just as long.

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Posted by Betty Cracker on 04/07/12 at 11:43 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBedwettersNutters

Holiday Weekend Saturday Open Thread

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At this time of year, even First Pooches have their crosses to bear.

As the syncopated cacophony of ailing lawnmowers drowns out the wildly rutting birdlife, what’s up in your neck of the woods? 

Posted by YAFB on 04/07/12 at 08:57 AM
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Categories: CrittersMessylaneous

Friday, April 06, 2012

Guest Column: Comedy Masterclass from Frank J. Fleming

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In the interests of snark development, I hand you over this morning to Frank J. Fleming at Pajamas Media, whose credentials are impeccable: “Frank J. Fleming is the author of the ebook ‘Obama: The Greatest President in the History of Everything’ published by HarperCollins, writes columns for PJ Media and the New York Post, blogs at IMAO.us, and comes up with his best jokes after his captain takes his humor badge away.”

Fleming has taken exception to Alf LaMont’s article at HuffPo, “Turn Left? The Lack of Right-Wing Comedians,” and has much sage advice to offer we on the humor-deficited left. Here is a summary of Fleming’s manifesto “Face It: Liberals Just Aren’t Very Funny,” along with some key quotes and worked examples to illustrate his RW principles of humor. Read and learn.

1. Comedy requires detachment and the ability to be self-effacing.
Key quote: “While conservatives let their religion influence their politics, to liberals, politics is their religion and is thus sacred and can’t be joked about. They don’t find anything funny about the current political atmosphere, because they intensely fear that racist Republicans are going to lynch the president and then rape everybody with ultrasounds.”

Worked examples from this very article of Fleming’s

A.

Now, I know liberals think conservatives don’t tell jokes and only find humor in laughing at poor people. (Actually, that gives me a good show idea: “Poor People Falling Down Stairs.”  It’s funny because it’s poor people getting hurt and also because you’re thinking to yourself, “How did these poor people afford a place with stairs?”)

B.

Take me, for example. I’m certified funny by all the national authorities. In fact, doctors often use my material as a diagnostic tool. If someone reads something I’ve written and doesn’t laugh, that probably means he has a brain tumor.

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Posted by YAFB on 04/06/12 at 07:46 AM
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Up with the Chickens (Open Thread)

Last week, I showed off one of my Australorp chicks. This week’s pullet is a Rhode Island Red:

image

As you can see, she’s sprouting tail feathers, and her wing feathers have developed sufficiently to allow her to briefly achieve liftoff.

In other news, incredibly, it turns out the late Andrew Breitbart really was the brains of his eponymous outfit. His lackeys continued their “Vetting the Bed”* series yesterday with a piece about how President Obama once scandalously colluded with Chicago Cardinal Bernardin to promote universal healthcare:

The law, had it passed, would have forced the state to enact a plan that, in the Orwellian words of the Chicago Tribune, “permits everyone in Illinois to obtain decent health care on a regular basis by 2002.”

God knows we can’t have that. (More here.)

Anyhoo, what are y’all up to this weekend?

*H/T: different-church-lady

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 04/06/12 at 06:32 AM
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Categories: CrittersPoliticsBedwettersNuttersOur Stupid Media

Thursday, April 05, 2012

We Could Be Butterflies, Someday, Though

Wow.  Somebody should tell Reince Priebus “We’re right here, dude. We can hear you.”  Check this out:

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was on a rhetorical roll Thursday. In an interview with Bloomberg TV set to air this weekend, Priebus said the so-called “war on women” is a Democratic fabrication perpetuated by the media, as frivolous as a “war on caterpillars.”

“Well, for one thing, if the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars, and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we have problems with caterpillars,” Priebus said. “The fact of the matter is it’s a fiction,” Priebus continued, and it started as a “war against the Vatican.”

Huh.  I wonder which Amendment gave caterpillars the right to vote. Oh, that’s right. Caterpillars aren’t people. Women are. Incidentally, we also vote. I love (Editor’s note—I don’t mean “love”) how his dismissal of the “war on women” includes the insinuation that our dumb lady brains believe whatever “mainstream media outlets” tell us, and that we can’t figure out for ourselves that there has been a serious up-tick in bills at the state and federal level whittling away our access to reproductive health care. The article I just linked is from last year, and as it predicts, things have been getting worse.  And one can’t help but note that this up-tick came right after the 2010 elections and the Tea Party insurgency that put more Republicans in office.

Fancy that.

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Posted by Vixen Strangely on 04/05/12 at 09:08 PM
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Categories:

Greetings, and a little Techmology

A brief funny from an actual Vonage Visual Voicemail. But first, a little about me.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Polly, Kevin K, Marindenver, gil man, Tom65, and others from the Rumproast Board of Directors. They are as delightful in person as they are in the virtual world. Just wanted to assure you that you are in really good hands here. Well, Tom65 is a bit off, but really the rest of them are all right. :)

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Posted by AltHippo on 04/05/12 at 12:00 PM
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Categories: Rumproast Related

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Your Sexxxytime-Obsessed GOP Primary

Things are hotting up out there as Mitt “Captain Inevitable” Romney plows on toward a primary victory that will no doubt prove as pyrrhic as it will be indecisive.

The routine decrying of President Obama as a godless Manchurian Candidate obviously has some legs as a campaign strategy to placate the base, but Mitt’s wife Ann decided to raise the stakes with a double entendre worthy of Benny Hill:

Ann Romney’s remarks came during an interview with Baltimore radio station WBAL, during which the host asked her, “And one of the things, Ann Romney, that folks talk about with your husband, Mitt Romney, and I’ve seen him in casual conversation-He comes off very smooth and okay. But sometimes he comes off stiff. Do you have to fight back some criticism, like ‘My husband isn’t stiff, OK?’”

Laughing, Ann Romney responded, “Well, you know, I guess we better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out because he is not!”

Leaving her listeners feverishly trying to fight off the nausea and work out whether she’d just complimented her husband or cast deep aspersions on his virility, she swept on to praise his wit and sense of fun, but we’ve seen plenty of evidence of that already—like Herman Cain (allegedly no stranger to sexxxytime himself) before him, Mitt really needs to have a clown horn permanently attached so that people can be cued to roar along with him when he cracks wise with a “Corporations are people too,” or “I’m currently unemployed,” or a “my wife drives two Cadillacs” rather than tut-tutting like po-faced scolds because liberals are so famously humorless.

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Posted by YAFB on 04/04/12 at 02:09 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '12MittensNuttersOur Stupid MediaPolisnarkSkull Hampers

Anatomy of a “Christian” Astroturf Outfit

The media were mildly agog yesterday when Fox News weekend anchor Heather Childers tweeted:

Heather Childers

Thoughts? Did Obama Campaign Threaten Chelsea Clinton’s Life 2 Keep Parents Silent? Godfather Politics: godfatherpolitics.com/4506/obama-cam…

After some uproar, Childers was soon chided by her employer, according to Mediaite:

“The tweets have been addressed with Heather and she understands this was a mistake.” – Michael Clemente, Fox News senior vice president for news

Don’t bother looking for Childers’ tweets now unless you’re an old pal or family:

@heatherchilders’s account is protected.

Only confirmed followers have access to @heatherchilders’s Tweets and complete profile. Click the “Follow” button to send a follow request.

Yeah, Hannity et al. have the knack of coloring just inside the lines in their question-mark-punctuated musings about the President’s legitimacy and nefariousness, but since Beck went the way of all bloated flesh, speculating in public whether Obama is a mafioso mofo who can out-Vince Foster the Clintons is beyond the pale. Funny old country you got there: Those closer to Obama’s political views think he’s a wimp who caves in a puff of wind; those diametrically opposed think he’s a cross between Stalin and Dick Cheney.

Most of the media focus in this kerfuffle has been on Childers and Fox News, but what of Godfather Politics, a new kid on the block to me in the overcrowded depths of truth-challenged RW crazy? Since it seems so keen to attract attention, who am I to decline?

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Posted by YAFB on 04/04/12 at 09:59 AM
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Categories: Geek SpeakPoliticsBedwettersElection '12NuttersTeabaggeryRelijunSkull Hampers

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