Friday, July 20, 2012

Not Ready to Make Sense of the Aurora Shootings Just Yet

When something tragic and senseless like the cinema massacre happens, it seems to me that as soon as the the “thoughts and good wishes” are passed on to the victims, their families and their community, the next response of many people, even well-meaning people, is to try and make sense of it all. It’s natural to want things to have reasons. It’s natural, I think, for people looking at the enormity of the harm any human being can do to others, to want to understand the why and how of it.

I’m not exactly interested in making sense of it. The midnight showing of what will be a major summer blockbuster—an outing of fun for many people who looked forward to this movie for some time, to which some even brought their young children, who must have been nearly as excited about staying up so late as about seeing Batman—was made the site of terror, pain, and death. If that isn’t a view of things that makes your heart so heavy it breaks the soapbox you stand on, well….  Of course—it doesn’t. Human beings are signifying creatures—we seek meaning. And so a reporter who should know better wonders aloud in front of a tv audience if the killer is the same guy who has a Tea Party membership, and a Breitbart blogger posts that the killer is a registered Democrat. And the words “terrorism” and “insanity”, and the apparent example regarding our fucked up gun laws in this country, and our impressions of race and class and all the mix of things we get and know are trotted out and puzzled over, before we even know all the details, and when rumor is still mingled with fact like peanut butter and jelly in a sandwich.

The US is a country where we have school shootings, mall shootings, post office shootings, and so help us, now movie theater shootings. One in five of our citizens suffers from mental illness and we all have access to all the guns we can manage and more besides.  A small, but insistent, chorus, would like to have us believe that the remedy to our violence is more guns, and a larger, but cowed group murmurs that less guns might do even better. A member of our oldest established criminal class, and a man apparently fashioned of chewed gum and a small portion of hair, whose assignment on Capitol Hill is no doubt so the people of his district can watch their village dunce operating at a safe distance away from them, insists that these things wouldn’t happen if we loved God more, notwithstanding that many of our historical shooters thought themselves in good standing with the deity of their choice, and that most people’s immediate response to the terror is to offer prayer.

As yet, it hasn’t emerged whether the shooter in this case is a person with any political view at all, or someone who simply suffered a grave and unaddressed mental illness. Or any combination of grievance and frailty. We don’t know.  And that’s why when the news media and pundit class give space to speculation and air “profilers”, I just can’t care. I feel like there should be meaning—I don’t expect it in the world we have. And some of the signifying that fills the void seems less appropriate as we draw back and see more of the story.

I don’t know what is needed to prevent these kinds of tragedies. I withhold anything more than my share in the sorrow for lost life and disturbed peace.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 07/20/12 at 09:19 PM

Categories: PoliticsOur Stupid Media

Thursday, July 19, 2012

So, Mitt, Didja Build It?

I know there’s some give and take going on right now with Mitt Romney following the kind of wingnutty flavor of the day regarding President Obama’s supposed “you didn’t build that” gaffe. (I say Romney knows better, but is willing to, as they say, “follow a multitude to do evil”). I’ve been fixated on Mitt’s Olympic experience this past week (or as I’ve begun thinking of it, “Bain Capital: The Missing Years”), almost to the point where I might read his book on the whole thing, if I can a) find it at the library and b) smuggle some bourbon into the library. I find it improbable that I will not want to blunt the tone of self-congratulation I’m kind of already anticipating.

But anyways, this is a thing that was on tv about a handful of months ago:

Now, that isn’t entirely fair of me. Of course, the Olympics is an old established thingie that Mitt didn’t build from the ground up—no. He rescued it. Like, with a bunch of federal money. Just like companies sometimes need federal money to keep going—even companies someone may have built themselves. I guess what I’m getting at is this particular argument—whether any man, woman, or business enterprise, is an island of “do-it-oneselfery”—might not be Romney’s best tack.

That’s all.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 07/19/12 at 09:24 PM

Categories: PoliticsBedwettersElection '12MittensSkull Hampers

Uber Rich, Privileged White Lady Ann Romney Sets Us People Straight on Taxes Issue


Here is an actual quote from Mrs. RMoney:

We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life

She said this on national teevee and you can listen to her say it over at TPM.

This is the same Mrs. RMoney who said that she just totally loves how some working moms with much less privilege have no choice but to go out into the big wide world and earn a paycheck so the mortgage can be paid on their quaint little underwater houses no doubt.  So cute!

So can someone please explain to me why Willard’s campaign thinks this clueless person, who whines that she’s being picked on because someone made a political ad with a dressage horse in it and dressage horses are so totally off limits because, you know, THERAPY, is an effective spokesperson for the campaign and will make regular middle classies and poors just love King Mittster?

Because I am not getting it at all.

read the whole post »

Posted by marindenver on 07/19/12 at 01:45 PM

Categories: PoliticsElection '12Mittens

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another Stupid Week in Birtherism—the Arpaio Saga Endures


In the exciting field of birtherology, yesterday one of the premier researchers in the field, Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio,  stood next to a very large representation of the president’s birth certificate, which you can tell by his face he does not like very much.

“Look here, folks,” he seems to be saying, yet oddly, did not say, “This here poster-board mock-up of a birth certificate is clearly larger than any actual birth certificate, so you can smell what time it is when the president is LOOK! THINGS THAT ARE NOT ME NOT DOING MY JOB!!!!!”

I’m being whimsical, naturally. What he did bring to light was that a person of his acquaintance who has a book for sale on the subject spoke to a 95-year-old Hawaii state worker (retired) who signed the birth certificate—if it is a birth certificate, HA!—but says the numbers might be hinky. Like so—

Nope.  You just work that one out for yourselves. With a little patience, you’ll see where that one went wrong before Arpaio does—on the off-chance he isn’t just scamming for attention.  (As if! Like sheriffs everywhere don’t dress prisoners in pink panties or play Christmas carols endlessly as psy-ops. What attention-seeking behaviors, where?)

His determination?

However, with yet another underwhelming presentation, the media’s patience appeared to be wearing thin with the birther investigation. Thankfully, Arpaio said he and his birther posse have done all they can. Now, he’s calling for Congress to take up the investigation, commending his posse for undertaking a two-man investigation that would have taken “100 federal agents” to do.

Because if the “fast and furious” business wasn’t nowhere enough, let’s totally have congress debate whether we can has taksies-backsies on the last 3.5 years President Obama has been in office because some Tea Party congresscritters might think “kerning” is the new “reading entrails”.  They will know better how to deal with tricky nonagenarian retired state workers, of that you can be certain.

No word yet on whether any birther has successfully investigated the missing plane ticket.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 07/18/12 at 10:18 PM

Boy Scouts of America Reaffirms its Commitment to Homophobic Bigotry


From the NYT:

The Boy Scouts of America has reaffirmed its longtime policy of barring openly gay boys from membership and gay or lesbian adults from serving as leaders. The decision, announced on Tuesday, came after what the organization described as a wide-ranging internal review, and despite public protests.

Apparently the decision came down from a super-seekrit committee formed in 2010 for, presumably, the purpose of trying to figure out how to keep the antiquated policy alive in a matter that they could justify.  Since obviously it cannot be justified they just told the American public to FOAD, we’re sticking with our own version of DADT.  And this is despite the fact that the Girl Scouts, the Boys and Girls Clubs and even the frackin 4-H clubs* all have anti-discrimination policies.

Well, voting with your wallet always helps.  Do not support the Boy Scouts financially and do not buy their popcorn (or whatever it is they’re selling these days).  And seriously consider if this is an organization you want your kids affiliated with.

*  I am not a 4-H hater by any means.  My only point is this is an organization that operates primarily in rural areas that you would expect to lean red and they are even more liberal than the Boy Scouts.

Posted by marindenver on 07/18/12 at 03:42 PM

Categories: LGBTPoliticsBedwettersRelijun

Mitt Romney: King of the Underpants Gnomes


When Mitt Romney “won” the title of presumptive least worst GOP presidential nominee of 2012, many of us were downhearted that the candidate who on the face of it was the least snarkworthy among the unsavory but risible mob on offer had finally bought the prize, leaving us with the prospect of long summer months of processing his tiresome bilge and trying to wring some humor out of a painfully tiresome personality even those who’ve rubbed shoulders with in his own party hold in disdain.

As it happens, so far he’s given us quite a few easy pickings, as some of the flurries of posts below bear out. What he lacks in natural humor, he and his ridiculous campaign staff have more than made up for through sheer effort.

It was evident from past form, and especially during the GOP primaries, that here is a pitiful bully of a man who has proven himself quite happy to dish copious dirt on anyone who stands in his way—preferably at arm’s length, organized and financed by his inconceivably rich backers, abetted by some useful idiots who’ll parrot it abroad so that he can virtuously disclaim responsibility for it—who has a glass jaw when it comes to criticism or what he perceives as lack of respect for his self-importance.

Faced with the no doubt infuriatingly calmer temperament of President Obama, the prospect of an uberpatrician blow-up in the later stages of the campaign was something to look forward to with anticipation.

In the end, all it’s taken is a simple demand to share financial details that every other candidate for the office of President of the United States has made public—a demand echoed by many within his own party who’re tiring of his constant shifty evasiveness—which, coupled with the dropping of the word “felon,” has so wounded this shallow blowhard’s pride that his campaign now declares that “the gloves are off.”

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 07/18/12 at 02:28 PM

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Serial Lying Liar Willard RMoney Lies his Way Through a Speech in Pennsylvania

and HindRocket sees starbursts.

By all accounts, Mitt Romney was sensational today in Pennsylvania. His theme was Barack Obama’s revelatory “you didn’t build that” speech. Over the lunch hour (here in the Midwest), Twitter was burning up with commentary from those who were watching Romney’s speech live. The commentary was unanimously euphoric. Romney spoke without teleprompter or notes, something Obama rarely does without getting into trouble. He was, everyone agreed, passionate and articulate. It seems that Obama’s attack on entrepreneurs and job creators, and his baldly stated conviction that everyone owes everything to government, was the spark that Romney needed. It will be interesting to see how his speech is reported on tonight.

Yes.  Yes it will be.  Very. Interesting.

Here, check out his sensationalamism for your very own selves:

Look at him getting all kinda, you know, choked up by the very audacity of his starbursty, lying, sheer assholiness of quoting Obama out of context to prove that Obummer hates success and he doesn’t want YOU to be successful!!11!!1

Why, the only thing stupider than that would be arguing that Obama’s claims that we need government to provide stuff like roads and bridges and cops and teachers and firefighters to give us the infrastructure to BE successful is so totally collectivism!  But nobody would seriously be that stupid, right?  Oh, wait.  I forgot about Sippy Cupp.  Oops.

Posted by marindenver on 07/17/12 at 07:45 PM

With Friends Like These: That’s Going to Leave a Mark ...

I haven’t until now bought into the deliciously cheap line that John McCain took one look at Mitt Romney’s 20-odd years of tax returns and immediately felt driven into the arms of Sarah Palin (which I think I first saw James Carville gleefully come out with on Up With Chris Hayes, though he probably borrowed it), but when it spurs a headline and lede like this from Politico, I’m glad it gained currency:

McCain: Palin was ‘better candidate’ than Romney

Mitt Romney’s tax returns had nothing to do with Sen. John McCain’s decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, according to the Arizona Republican, saying he chose the former Alaska governor because she was a “better candidate.”

Woah! Be still my snark gland, such headlines and scare-quoted hitlines often don’t pan out in the story they herald. But no, read on:

McCain received more than two decades worth of Romney’s tax returns as the former Massachusetts governor was undergoing the vetting process four years ago, far more than Romney has released publicly in the 2012 campaign. Democrats have questioned whether McCain saw something untoward in those tax returns and decided to choose Palin instead.

But on Tuesday, McCain flatly rejected that assertion and grew angry at questions over his decision to choose Palin over Romney.

“Of course not,” McCain told POLITICO when asked if the contents of Romney’s tax returns disqualified him from the selection process. “I don’t know what depths these people won’t reach. Obviously, it’s just outrageous. That’s just outrageous. It shows the – it’s so disgraceful for them to allege something that they have absolutely no knowledge of.”

Asked why he chose not to go with Romney, McCain said: “Oh come on, because we thought that Sarah Palin was the better candidate. Why did we not take [Tim] Pawlenty, why did we not take any of the other 10 other people. Why didn’t I? Because we had a better candidate, the same way with all the others. ... Come on, why? That’s a stupid question.”

McCain makes an awkward surrogate and defender of Romney at the best of times. According to John Heilemann and Mark Halperin in Game Change, as scotterb over at World in Motion reminds me, during the 2008 Republican primaries:

The candidates lined up at the urinals, Guiliani next to McCain next to Huckabee, the rest all in a row.  The debate was soon to start, so they were taking care of business — and laughing merrily at the one guy who wasn’t there.  Poking fun at him, mocking him, agreeing how much they disliked him. Then Willard Mitt Romney walked into the bathroom and overheard them, bringing on a crashing silence.
Unlike Guiliani, Romney had no reticence about slashing at his rivals.  But the perception of him as a man without convictions made him a less than effective delivery system for policy contrasts.  The combination of the vitriol of his attacks and his apparent corelessness explained the antipathy the other candidates had towards him.  McCain routinely called Romney an ‘asshole’ and a ‘fucking phoney.’ Guiliani opined, ‘that guy will say anything.’ Huckabee complained, ‘I don’t think Romney has a soul.’

Any predictions about the next Romney adversary-turned-defender who’ll, er, “inadvertently” put his or her foot in it?

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 07/17/12 at 01:11 PM

Help Old John Sununu Out (Now With Added More)


There appears to be a phrase or expression would-be Breitbartlet and all-round hoary old hasbeen fart John Sununu’s having trouble fishing for here:

WASHINGTON—In the span of one morning, top Mitt Romney surrogate John Sununu referred to President Obama as dumb and stupid, called the Chicago political culture from which he came “corrupt,” brought up Obama’s admitted use of marijuana as a kid in Hawaii, resurfaced the name of Tony Rezko—the jailed financier with ties to Obama—and then questioned the president’s Americanness.
“This guy doesn’t understand how to create jobs. So there is no surprise—there should be because of that statement no surprise on why he failed so miserably over the last four years, in terms of job creation,” Sununu said on Fox.

“He has no idea how the American system functions, and we shouldn’t be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia, another set of years in Indonesia,” he said. “And, frankly, when he came to the U.S. he worked as a community organizer, which is a socialized structure, and then got into politics in Chicago.”

Then it seems the effects of the bottle of Jack Daniels he’d imbibed before breakfast began to wear off:

It was a tour-de-force performance for the former New Hampshire governor, whose demonstrated willingness to throw punches has made him the wartime consigliere for the Romney campaign. But moments after Sununu said on a conference call Tuesday morning that he wished Obama “would learn how to be an American,” he tried to clarify and downplay the remark.

“What I thought I said but I guess I didn’t say is that the president has to learn the American formula for creating business,” Sununu said. “The American formula for creating business is not to have the government create business.”

This no doubt dovetails with the comprehension conundrum Tim F. is posing over at Balloon Juice at the moment regarding wingnuts’ desperate attempts to wilfully mis-parse President Obama’s recent Roanoke speech:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

Exam time. What was Obama saying that the individual business owner did not build? Discuss.

My honest response would be that Obama would have left himself less open to misrepresentation if he’d said “Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build those. Somebody else made those happen.”

My realistic one would be that those shrieking about it all over the show just make shit up on an hourly basis anyway, so nevermind.

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 07/17/12 at 12:43 PM

Rep. Bachmann Sees Musselmen in Her Cornflakes Again


Michele Bachmann thinks Hillary Clinton’s aide’s dead father’s supporter’s NGO that was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe circa 1970-1990 is evidence that the US government has been infiltrated by radical Islamists.

For the love of god, Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District: You have the opportunity to give this braying ninny the hook every two years, and you keep returning her to Congress. Why do you hate America?

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 07/17/12 at 06:57 AM

Categories: PoliticsElection '12NuttersTeabaggeryRelijun

Monday, July 16, 2012

SOMEONE Sure Wants to Change the Subject . . .

Willard Mitt’s awesomely bad July continues to roll along.  Apparently realizing that bellowing “Heeeeeerrres CONDI”! was not a sufficient distraction to keep people calling on him to release his tax returns already, he first slaps up a new ad with Obama singing (such original thinking) while he is accused of getting donations from donors and then shoveling big bucks their way.  I attempted to embed this video but any attempt to even play it now results in the message that “this video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by BMG_Rights_Management”.  (Here is a YouTube link so you can see for yourselves.)  Hmmmm.  Maybe they’ve been paying attention to certain people pointing out that Candidate Willard will not even release the names of his fund raising bundlers which puts him in the glass house and stones position pretty big time.

Instead I will embed the awesome video put out by the Obama campaign which was their FU reply to Willard going on every teevee station who would take him to demand that Obama apologize for being so mean to him or he WAS GOING TO TELL!!!  Enjoy:

Satisfying, no?  Sorry I quit smoking all those years ago.

Anyway to further try skipping stones and pitching shiny objects there are no less than three (3) major articles up today about three (3) absolutely possible, totally short listers that Willard and his crew are ferociously vetting so that Willard can make an announcement sometime between now and the convention!  And who are the subjects of this breathless anticipation?  Well they leaked John Thume’s name to The Hill.  The NYT got Tim Pawlenty (and boy did they have to work to sound excited about that) and the WaPo got Bobby Jindal (see NYT comment).  Such excitement and anticipation!  Way to beat back that news cycle, amirite?  If one potential VP pick doesn’t distract them, try three!

Well, we’ll see.  But in the meantime (via) Bloomberg decided to take a much closer look at the deals done by Bain Capital when Romney was unarguably in complete control of the joint.

read the whole post »

Posted by marindenver on 07/16/12 at 03:40 PM

Saturday, July 14, 2012

One More Time Mitt Flair.

I feel like I’m really, really late to this thing—but I honestly never knew about the Mitt Romney-themed Olympic pins.  I knew, vaguely, about the Olympic pins from 2002 being manufactured in China, despite many of them having a patriotic American theme, but that’s almost a cliche, right?

But Mitt Romney’s likeness appears on Olympic pins. Huh.

Apparently, this was a thing:

Critic Ken Bullock has them in his Olympic pin collection.

“We have Valentine’s ones with all the Olympic mascots around saying, ‘We love you, Mitt,’ ” Bullock says, as he pulls up images of the pins on his computer.

“We have him pulling a sled of some sort where some of the mascots are saying, ‘Are we there yet, Mitt?’ ”

Ken Bullock scoffs at what he calls “the Superman” pin, which features Romney “with a Clark Kent chin,” wrapped in an American flag.

“I don’t know how to put words to describe how narcissistic they are,” Bullock says.Three Olympic pin collectors and experts consulted by NPR say they’ve never seen pins like these featuring the CEO of an Olympic organizing committee.

I have honestly nothing else to say about that.

(Pointed towards this Olympic quest by Bette Noir.  X-Posted at Strangely Blogged—earlier today, but needed to share this thing.  Mitt Romney Olympic swag, y’all.  Good grief.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 07/14/12 at 10:43 PM

We need to invent new words…

I know I shouldn’t be surprised by anything Dick Cheney says, but sweet, weepin’ Jeebus:


“When I think about the kind of individual I want in the Oval Office in that moment of crisis, who has to make those key decisions, some of them life-and-death decisions, some of them decisions as commander-in-chief, who has the responsibility for sending some of our young men and women into harm’s way, that man is Mitt Romney,” Cheney said, according to The Associated Press.

Let’s review, shall we? The largest terrorist attack in US history occurred on Bush-Cheney’s watch, and they responded so ineptly that the cornered mastermind was able to escape to Pakistan while US troops were ensnared in the longest war in US history. Then Bush-Cheney trumped up another war with a country that had fuck-all to do with the 9/11 attacks, a war that killed tens of thousands of people and drained the US Treasury to no good purpose (unless you’re Halliburton).

And now the wizened old reptile who orchestrated this world-historical clusterfuck has the unmitigated gall to not only dis the dude who is cleaning up his fucking mess, but to render an opinion on who else is fit to send “our young men and women into harm’s way”?

Now we know why Cheney has a bum ticker: His heart was overworked from a lifetime of trying to circulate blood through his freakishly massive balls. Chutzpah? That doesn’t even begin to cover it. Lack of self awareness? There isn’t a negative scale large enough to capture it, even if it extends into infinity.

I’m pretty much a free speech absolutist, but I would make an exception in Cheney’s case. He should be fitted with a shock collar that zaps him every time he utters the words “9/11” or “crisis” or “war” or “commander-in-chief” or “decisions” or “harm’s way.” Better yet, it should just zap the bastard if he opens his yap at all.

Romney’s next fundraising stop: the federal pen in Butler, North Carolina, where he will dine in the prison mess with Bernie Madoff and receive Madoff’s glowing endorsement for his financial acumen.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 07/14/12 at 08:42 AM

Categories: PoliticsBushCoElection '08Election '12MittensNuttersWar In Error

Friday, July 13, 2012

Good Luck With All That, Mitt.

So, here’s what we get from Mitt Romney’s interview(s) thus far—he wants Obama to apologize for discussing Romney’s Bain Capital record, and also, he’s only going to disclose tax returns for two years.

Well, I’m sure that clears everything up, not.

For one thing, I’m certainly not the first person who would point out to Mitt that politics ain’t bean bag. Romney should not expect much sympathy regarding what is or isn’t a permissible charge during a campaign from someone who was accused of “palling around with terrorists” in his last one (or even hears a re-hash of old rubbish from Romney’s surrogates, like this). And for another, if there is any question regarding whether Romney was running Bain Capital even part-time after 1999, that buck should stop with none other than Mitt Romney.

With respect to the tax returns—it’s become a tradition that presidential candidates release their tax returns since some honest, moneyed, Republican candidate did just that thing in the 1960’s. It’s an unfortunate irony that this fellow was Mitt’s old man, but you’d think that would at least have clued him in to the idea that if he were going to run for president (like, once or twice), he might want to have tax returns that other people could look at. If anyone is creating the impression that there is something lurking in his returns—it’s him for making them a secretive, big deal.

Unless, you know—there’s really something there.  (Hmm—which would also be his responsibility, right?)

At any rate, if Romney thinks he’s getting an apology—uh, no.  And I would venture to guess that saying he won’t release any more than two years worth of returns is certainly not going to stop people from asking about them (which I’ve been saying since January, when it was his GOP competition asking.)

So, if he was looking for his interview time to fix the last few days of Bain-mania—no.  Not so much.

(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 07/13/12 at 07:05 PM

Categories: PoliticsBedwettersElection '12Mittens

Thursday, July 12, 2012

“F” is for Fake, Felon or Fraud

It’s been a pretty interesting day in “getting to know Mitt Romney” news, but I’m going to just momentarily ease up on the guy, because, as you all know, I’m a caring giver. Sure, Bain, the company Romney claimed to have left in 1999 submitted SEC filings that indicated that Mitt was the sole shareholder, CEO, chief cook and dog-walker until 2002. And sure, Romney even testified to running Bain during that period to help establish his residency to run for governor of Massachusetts. So maybe it was wrong of Mitt to claim that he ended his involvement with the company in 1999, most likely to distance himself from the outsourcing and the like (which he profited from).  But really—don’t we all forget things like when we were running companies?  It’s like forgetting your own name or where exactly it is that you live—it can happen.

Sure those kinds of things are more likely to happen when you are an inveterate liar, but just sayin’....

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 07/12/12 at 10:10 PM

Categories: PoliticsElection '12MittensPolisnarkSkull Hampers

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