Friday, January 31, 2014
Want A Cookie Little Girl?
Well, the Flying Monkeys of the Righteous Right have turned their laser-like focus on that insidious incubator of the RADICAL FEMINIST AGENDA!! and AGENT OF LESBIANISM!1!! the Girl Scouts of America. The FMRR became aware, back in December, during the Merry Christmas season, that the GSA had tweeted out some suggestions for Girl Scouts to think about in advance of choosing their Woman of the Year for 2013.
That list just happened to include State Sen. Wendy Davis, whom the FMRR have lovingly dubbed Abortion Barbie, and Quelle horreur! Kathleen Sebelius, loyal Obamabot and Woman Who Refuses to Cry, Resign or Otherwise Submit to Congressional Committees.
The FMRR have mulled over their options and have decided that a fitting penance for such unladylike thoughts would be to hit the little beggars and their feminista handlers in the purse. Thus it is that COOKIECOTT 2014 was born . . .
I don’t know about the rest of you Roasters but I’m not doing without my thin mints or samoas . . . think I’ll order a case of each.
Posted by Bette Noir on 01/31/14 at 08:28 AM
Sunday, January 05, 2014
McCain and Graham are Predictable About Violence In Iraq
I think it is unfortunate that there is increased violence in Iraq and a bloody shame that al-Qaeda seems to have control of Fallujah. Based on the aftermath of first, the invasion of Iraq, then the war there, then our withdrawal, it is likely that reasonable people could predict that there would be increased violence, and that Fallujah was a likely place for a bunch of it. And, sure as fire is hot and water is wet, Senators McCain and Graham are all over it, and if you’ve been reading the libretto thus far, I bet you know what song they are singing:
McCain and Graham had been vocal critics of President Obama’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011, and they called the reports of al Qaeda gaining control in Fallujah and elsewhere “as tragic as they are predictable.”
“While many Iraqis are responsible for this strategic disaster, the administration cannot escape its share of the blame,” the Republicans said in a statement. “When President Obama withdrew all U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011, over the objections of our military leaders and commanders on the ground, many of us predicted that the vacuum would be filled by America’s enemies and would emerge as a threat to U.S. national security interests.”
“Sadly, that reality is now clearer than ever,” McCain and Graham said. “What’s sadder still, the thousands of brave Americans who fought, shed their blood, and lost their friends to bring peace to Fallujah and Iraq are now left to wonder whether these sacrifices were in vain.”
It’s very sad that the country was destabilized by a decade of war, and it is President Bush who signed the status of forces agreement that led to the withdrawal, and ending the presence of US troops in Iraq was overwhelmingly in accordance with what the US public wanted. That decision has consequences—and so would staying. If Sens. McCain and Graham are under the impression that brave Americans specifically fought, shed blood, and lost friends to bring peace to Fallujah, they might want to ponder a rationale for the AUMF that started with weapons of mass destruction that no longer existed, and contemplate also why Fallujah does not happen to have peace today. The presence of US soldiers battling ISIS today would not constitute peace, and if the size of the conflict was smaller because of our continued presence, it would be somewhat like a lid on a pot that’s boiling over. Asking us to take into consideration whether the living or the dead Americans who fought in Iraq wonder whether their sacrifices are in vain—is itself a vanity.
read the whole post »
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 01/05/14 at 12:50 AM
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Are the Benghazi Talking Points Quite Done, Here?
The use of the deadly attack on the embassy in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans as a political tool has frankly astonished me since the foreign policy naif Mitt Romney had the bad taste to broach it the very evening that it happened. For that reason, I see a kind of lukewarm vindication of the Obama Administration’s public statements regarding the matter in the NYT’s in-depth study on it, which draws two meaningful conclusions: that al-Qaeda was not involved in the attack and that it did stem in part from the widespread protests over a rather dumb bigoted little video, just as was stated by current NSA Susan Rice.
It has long seemed to me that the Benghazi affair as initiated by the Romney folks was a matter of using President Obama’s perceived strength (as having authorized the successful raid that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden) against him. The failure on the Romney side began with the claim that a statement attempting to ameliorate matters from the Cairo embassy was a sign that the Obama Administration actually sided with radical Islam, but this blew up into a claim that the administration was actually somehow derelict in defending the Libyan embassy from attack from several others on the Republican side, including Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa. The use of the Benghazi tragedy as an indictment of the Obama Administration spans a number of criticisms that conservatives have had with the Commander-in-Chief—that he is Muslim or more sympathetic to radical Islam, that he isn’t a real leader, or that he wants America to fail.
It’s pretty much always been bullshit. Senators McCain and Graham did the best job of giving the game away when they failed to attend a briefing on the matter, opting instead to hang their faces in front of a camera pointing fingers. Rep. Issa, supposedly a kind of watchdog, has fluffed the matter at intervals, but is mostly of the school of investigation that insists that if he doesn’t hear what he thinks he ought, there is surely a cover-up afoot.
And it appears that, for the time being, he is not apt to drop this very tasty rag while there is yet some flavor in it:
On Sunday, “Meet the Press” host David Gregory asked Issa to respond to The Times story, which was published online Saturday. The story also said the Benghazi attacks were “fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”
“We have seen no evidence that the video was widely seen in Benghazi,” Issa said Sunday. “People from this administration … have said under oath there was no evidence of any reaction to a video.
“What we know, David, is the initial reports did not name this video as the prime cause,” he added.
Is that so? (No, it is not. And being a very concerned person, he might perhaps have looked at more than a few media accounts, no?) He’s also said that if a group alleges it has some connection with al-Qaeda, then that is good enough for him, which must be very validating to jihadi-come-lately groups who can at least claim to know somebody who knows somebody.
I’m afraid until Fox News gives the high sign, the idea that there was something more than usually rotten in Benghazi will be as certain a thing as the unbearable whiteness of Santa Claus in some quarters.
What I do want to point out, though, is that there is a sobering side to this in that the militants who made this attack came from the people the US supported in the overthrow of Qaddafi. I think there is an analogy that could be preemptively applied to involvement in Syria, for example. If anyone has the ear of, say, Sen McCain, they might want to try to explain it to him. I sort of hope President Obama has figured it out, but I’ve no real idea. Something about good intentions.
(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 12/29/13 at 11:22 PM
Friday, December 20, 2013
Blow Me Away
Every year, in December, the International Order of Peter Pan awards its annual “I’ll Never Grow Up” award to the adult public figure who, in the society’s opinion, has delivered the most compelling public portrayal of arrested development for the year.
Christmas, of course, is a natural time of year for this particular awards ceremony because . . . well, we all get to be kids again, for a bit.
So, without further ado, the winner of this year’s “I’ll Never Grow Up” award goes to Henry J. Radel, III aka Trey, the Hip-hop Conservative.
Trey has had a “colorful” past, reflected in his resume, that suggests a little Career ADD—in the 13 years since Radel graduated from college he has done stints as: an actor and comedian; journalist, working as both an anchor and as a reporter; TV and radio talk show host; owner of the Naples Journal community newspaper; and Founder of Trey Communications LLC, a conservative media relations firm which also purchased and sold internet domain names.
He was only ten months into his latest gig—U.S. Representative—when he had the misfortune to be caught up in a drug sting for buying some coke to help him with his alcohol addiction . . . ?
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 12/20/13 at 12:24 PM
Thursday, December 19, 2013
The Free Market Giveth, And the Free Market Taketh Away
Thank God it’s Thursday and American Culture has finally spit up a hairball that will effectively distract us all from real problems like expiring unemployment benefits, minimum wage and Republicans newest threat to blow up the global economy if they can’t have their Canadian pipeline.
Evidently the crusty old patriarch of the Duck Dynasty had a few colorful thoughts to share with a GQ interviewer recently (WTFGQ?) on the illogic of being gay and the “good times there are not forgotten” cheerfulness of Louisiana’s black tenant farmers in pre-civil-rights days:
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person,” Robertson is quoted in GQ. “Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
I’m thinking Duck Daddy went to the wrong nightclubs and somehow missed “strange fruit” season on the Bayou.
Anyway, what he had to say about gays was pretty inflammatory, too, with the usual references to sin, hellfire and bestiality.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 12/19/13 at 04:35 PM
Monday, December 02, 2013
Postcards From the Conserv-o-sphere
Anyone who worked in business during the ‘90s is probably over-familiar with Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It was a thing for a while and transformed regular workers all up and down the ladder into pioneering Paradigm Shifters.
The world of business is particularly susceptible to pop psychology fads, ideally presented at a fourth-grade level, that promise to revolutionize the work environment in ways that just happen to flow right to the bottom line. The book also happened to spawn a cottage industry of workshops, book sequels, videos and probably action figures that made the highly effective Mr Covey quite wealthy, indeed.
Covey’s 7 Habits for those who don’t have them tattooed on their inner arm, are:
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Easy enough? Well, lately I’ve been noticing traces of a deviant strain that appear to have infiltrated the 21st century Republican Mind.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 12/02/13 at 10:42 AM
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wait! I Said Coup! COUP!!
Mr C. W. Cooke [with an “e,” if you please] is a young British gent who has come to America to seek his fortune telling Americans how to do American better. He does this important work in the pages of National Review and via occasional guest appearances on conservative thought leadership outlets such as Fox News, The Blaze and The Washington Times.
Now, aside from the fact that Mr Cooke, at 30 years old, has been in this country for only a grand total of two years, he is an Oxonian [British for a graduate of Oxford University] who has spent considerable hours swotting away [as they say] at Modern History and Politics.
So. That makes him a very smart fellow indeed who has found his niche lecturing Americans on free speech, the Second Amendment and American Exceptionalism. Obviously, young Mr Cooke is hankering to be an exceptional American himself.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 11/21/13 at 05:44 PM
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Say You Want A Revolution?
Unless you’re a right-wing extremist voyeur or really peculiar in other ways you were probably completely unaware of the demonstration taking place in Lafayette Square across the street from the White House, today.
The demonstration/occupation/whatever is being led by a former Reagan administration DoJ prosecutor turned birther named Larry Klayman. The name might ring a bell because Klayman showed up at the World War II memorial for the “Million Vets March,” last month, to help the Republicans who shut the memorial down, reopen it.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 11/19/13 at 02:15 PM
Sunday, November 10, 2013
So Let Me Get This Straight, 60 Minutes…
The respected tv news show runs a story about Benghazi, which Lara Logan says she worked on for a year, which basically melted like a snowball in a saucepan in something like 48 hours, and the correction and apology takes up just a couple minutes at the end of the show, and that is that?
Okay. We have a story that seems to have consisted of one flawed source with no corroborating eyewitness, whose book has been recalled and will be pulped, I guess. And there must be some indignity, no doubt, in 60 Minutes now being fact-checked by WND. They point out that Dylan Davies, who went by a pseudonym “for his protection” in the piece and as a nom de plume, was mentioned as having left town in a Telegraph story a year ago. This is really rather embarrassing for them, you’d think?
Or maybe they’d simply prefer not to dwell on how they got this one wrong. I do not know that it’s true, as fired former 60 Minutes exec Mary Mapes speculates, that they did this story specifically to appeal to a right wing audience, but I agree with the lesson that this is “instructive”, in the sense that just because there are people pointing to something, doesn’t mean that something is really there. I also don’t know whether a former Fox News honcho now with CBS had much to do with green-lighting the piece, except to agree that it is fascinating how stories can seem to serve certain biases, hm?
The mea culpa here seems a bit insufficient in this case particularly, though, in that the ongoing appearance of a bigger story has been the basis for a certain senator holding up Obama administration nominees--not that the spoiling of this particular line of inquiry has any effect. But all the same—if the organization is interested in getting it right, and fails, maybe they should try caring about making it right?
(And as an aside, regarding Sen. Graham’s continued quest to appear relevant in the face of his primary challenges, would it be entirely possible for him to appear actively obstructive if not foolhardy if his stand continued to turn up nothing of note? After all, if the Administration’s position as of 9/12/12 was no different than what anyone else knew at the time, you’ve not really got evidence of a cover-up at all, so much as the Administration’s failure to be omniscient—a standard that most people would agree is mighty high to expect of mere humans. I dunno. Maybe Graham is a romantic at heart and has always been prone to the menacing of aerial turbines. But this is shall we say, a Quixotic act—not realpolitik.)
(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 11/10/13 at 11:24 PM
The Fever Swamp’s Not So Deep Anymore
The news that Rand Paul got a gig with Breitbart’s organization after the Moony Times cast him loose because of repeated instances of plagiarism made me nostalgic for some of the hilarious conspiracy-theorizing that the right-wing engaged in when Carroll O’Connor’s evil doppelgänger kicked the bucket. The sheer lunacy of those paranoid comments inspired me to check out Free Republic, one of the worst fever-swamps of the American right.
I was a bit taken aback when I checked out the site, which often featured thousand-post comment threads. The most recent threads didn’t break double digits, and many of them had less than ten comments. Apparently, the moderators at the site conduct purges (recounted more fully at this right-wing site). The purging of insufficiently right-wing members of the commentariat was common enough so that the community had it’s own term for a banning. A look at the site’s web traffic revealed a precipitous drop in late 2012 (I wonder why?) and in early 2013… it seems to be clawing its way back up to a decent traffic level, but the spirit of the community seems to be diminished.
Happily, I found the site Freeper Madness, so I don’t have to actually check out Free Republic to get a dose of right-wing lunacy. Yeah, I can give my traffic to a great site, not one of the worst sites out there. For added bonus content, I’m including some Freeper comments which perfectly illustrate the combination of paranoia and narcissism that infects even rank-and-file right wingers. Beneath the fold, there’s comedy gold…
read the whole post »
Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 11/10/13 at 06:23 AM
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Consider, if you will, the career of one Jonah Goldberg, a lumpen lout guaranteed a lifetime wingnut welfare sinecure by virtue of his relation to the woman who almost brought down the Big Dog back in the 90s. Jonah has had his status as a public idtellectual thrust upon him, and no matter how many of his bulk bought “bestsellers” moulder in warehouses at Cato Headquarters, he comes across as a guy who’d rather loaf around on the couch watching bad 80’s teen comedies on Blu-Ray while mainlining Cheetos. Hell, he even referenced the movie Meatballs in a recent column in the right’s most “prestigious” publication. While his “thug with a thesaurus” predecessor William F. Buckley, could at least fake erudition, Goldberg is more comfortable making allusions to bad movies than he is conducting actual research… or even relating anecdotes from his real life.
Even when Jonah references a book, it’s often a work of genre fiction. In one unfortunate column from 2011, Jonah referred to Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi “Dune” series. In his column, Jonah refers to an anti-computer “jihad” that features in the back-story to Frank Herbert’s novels. He then decides that an anti-TSA “jihad” is in order:
read the whole post »
Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 11/06/13 at 10:24 PM
Monday, November 04, 2013
Rand Paul: Taking a Page Out of Numerous Books
If the past four weeks are a barometer, it’s going to be a loooong four years for RandPaul/2016 because, obviously, he has not yet internalized even the basics of Presidential Campaigning for Dummies.
See, when one is considering a run in a high profile national election, it’s NEVER a good idea to take a minor blip on the oppo radar and escalate it into a days-long nuclear standoff. Neither is it advisable to refer to political pundits as “hacks and haters” “unfairly targeting” you for irrefutably pointing out your sloppy work habits and lapses in judgment. That’s their job—to investigate whether or not you’re up to the job you’d like to have [or even your current one]. And, BTW, it’s not unfair to call a plagiarist a plagiarist.
In such situations the political pundit almost always comes off looking composed and well-prepared and you, dear candidate, come off looking like a testy middle-schooler.
And, of course, that’s exactly what happened to Rand Paul, this week, culminating in a disastrously silly appearance opposite George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week in which Sen. Paul seesawed between making light of the “footnote police” and yearning for the old days when he could have defended his honor with bullets and shot ne’er-do-wells like Rachel Maddow dead.
I take it as an insult and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting. I have never intentionally done so. And like I say, if, you know, if dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know, it would be a duel challenge. But I can’t do that, because I can’t hold office in Kentucky then.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 11/04/13 at 10:30 AM
Thursday, October 24, 2013
And things were said and tears were shed, People
The above video is of Rep. Pete Sessions of TX, who was supposedly the person who said he could not stand to look at President Obama at some point in a White House meeting. And I don’t even know if it is true. I won’t pretend I know. Let’s just call him the Schroedinger’s Racist, and posit that unless the White House meeting in question was actually recorded, we simply can not infer from the available data whether he actually expressed the opinion that he could not stand the President and will not know until that event can be observed.
Some people might allege that based upon a priori data, we can reasonably speculate that Pete Sessions is in fact just the sort of person who might have made a disrespectful remark regarding the President. Others might state that the authoritative denial of the White House spokespeople negates the likelihood that he said that thing—but reasonable people might also weigh the possibility that the remark exists as an inadmissible anecdote—not on the record, but having been heard by someone, just not in a fashion readily reproducible.
In other words, he may have said it, and have had it been officially unsaid. In fact, it may have been very necessary to do so, because in order for the aforementioned White House meeting to have been in effect, the actual authority of the holder of the office that the White House represents would have to be validated. The failure to recognize that authority would tend to corrupt the resulting exchange of the conversation.
And we have no particular reason to believe that the conversation was corrupted, do we?
I leave that logical exercise for the reader to determine on his/her/their own.
(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/24/13 at 10:44 PM
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Postphoning the Goperdammurung?
It seems that whenever there is a Republican setback lately, whether electoral or politically in general, there are a spate of thinky pieces about what’s going wrong in the Republican Party and how they might fix it. I don’t despise the impulse, even while I find it overly optimistic and paradoxical. Many of the premature postmortem-writers aren’t ostensibly fans of the Republican party, to begin with. And rather than consider how whatever rupture between the party and the mainstream can be repaired, I know my gut instinct is to reach for a lever and pull like a mad mother. Political writers are, for the most part, I think, bright people and problem-solvers at heart. We are generally not rooting for armageddon. There is a code of honoring bar tabs and not kicking even bastards in the slats when they are down.
And I am a political writer and not immune to the zeitgeist, so why don’t I carve into this still-wriggling corpus and see what political wisdom may be extracted? (Let’s get it down first. And maybe a kick to the slats? And while we are here, a shiv and that lever. Thank you.)
read the whole post »
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/19/13 at 04:30 PM
Friday, October 18, 2013
New Southern Strategery: Let the Poor get Poorer While the Rich get Richer
Discouraging piece in the Washington Post today about the increase in poverty in southern and western states as measured by the percentage of school kids qualifying for free or reduced price lunches. This graphic compares 2000 to 2011:
In 2000 only four states reported that a majority of their public school kids were on free or reduced lunch. In 2011 seventeen states did. All in southern or western states. The author of the article quotes Michael Rebell, executive director of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Columbia University as attributing this increase in poverty to statistics showing that the U.S. lags behind other countries in educational testing. He points out that kids from high income areas are holding their own but when you look at scores from schools with a lot of low income kids the bottom drops out. The rise in poverty can certainly be at least partially explained by the recession. The Southern Education Association spokespeep also throws in “immigration and a high birthrate among low-income families”. (Translation: “If only those poors would stay where they belong and not breed so much here!”) Hank Bounds, Mississippi commissioner of higher education has a couple of cents worth too:
Hank Bounds, the Mississippi commissioner of higher education, said the country needs to figure out how to educate the growing classes of poor students and reverse the trend.
“Lots of folks say we need to change this paradigm, but as a country, we’re not focusing on the issue,” said Bounds, who was previously Mississippi’s state school superintendent. “What we’re doing is not working. We need to get philanthropies, the feds, business leaders, everybody, together and figure this out. We need another Sputnik moment.”
Sputnik moment? Seriously? OK, here’s what that 2011 map called to mind for me.
read the whole post »
Posted by marindenver on 10/18/13 at 02:15 PM