Visine pitchman, former Comedy Central gameshow host, and ex-presidential speechwriter Ben Stein really wouldn’t hack me off, what, a couple times every five-six years or so? If he just wasn’t a pious hypocritical ivory tower word-weaseling douche canoe.
It isn’t the highest standard in the world. Many people have avoided being a hypocritical ivory tower word-weaseling douche canoe. He just isn’t living up to that standard, and I despair of his regular attempts at self-sabotage.
So, I point to an interview, which kind of turns on a thin dime so subtly that you might have to think a minute to realize that Stein is weaseling.
“Yes, the government designates many tens of millions as poor, but they almost always have indoor plumbing (which my mother did not have in her small town in the Catskills) and they are super nourished as opposed to mal-nourished,” he said. “They get food stamps. They get free medical care. They get vouchers for many of the needs of life.”
While he pities their plight, Stein pointed out that poverty was greatly reduced in scope and severity in the past century.
“In olden times, poverty was the common human condition,” Stein said. “In the USA, as recently as the Great Depression, poverty was commonplace. FDR might have exaggerated when he described one-third of the nation as ‘ill housed, ill fed and ill clad…’ But surely he was not far off.”
And his mother would be how old? I bet nobody had color tv’s in her day either. And his solution is?
“Maybe, just maybe, if we let God back into the public forum it would help. I have seen spiritual solutions work miracles.”
And in his mother’s day, way back when, when the poor folks were really poor, and not the kind of fake-ass poor we have today—is he saying things were less religious then? Because, unless I’m really mistaken, most conservatives envision the past as being a little less secularized and hippieficated , and way more squared-away, God-fearing, and role-knowing. And yet the really poor folks were back in the day, he says. And his momma did not have indoor plumbing, he also adds.
Thinking about that: Are you saying your momma was godless and self-sabotaging, then, Ben? Because I do not think that proves your point, and you shouldn’t even be talking that smack about your momma. That isn’t decent.
Whether or not the Kentucky Republican actually wins the Republican nomination, much less the White House, is besides the point. The question is whether the politics of the future will be the same as the politics of the present. “I don’t want to be just one thing,” explains one of the protagonists in Divergent. “I can’t be. I want to be brave, and I want to be selfless, intelligent, and honest and kind.” If anything explains Rand Paul’s rising profile, it’s precisely his ability to be more than just one thing—a social conservative, a civil libertarian, a budget cutter, a decentralizer, and more. There’s no reason to fear— and every reason to promote—such divergence in our elected representatives.
Back on Planet Earth, I have to note that Mr Gillespie is headed for a heartbreak if he believes that the popularity of a Young Adult fiction series will have any bearing when it comes to wooing millennials in the 2016 election… Even though the “Twilight” books were wildly popular, young voters didn’t throw their support behind a sparkly Mormon vampire in 2012.
This post is expanded from a comment I left at Roy’s place. In response, commenter mds wrote:
It’s some kind of crying shame that I haven’t addressed the Hobby Lobby case when I am supposed to be a pro-reproductive rights feminist over here. I don’t know where my head is at. But when I was buying yarn to crochet a cozy for a diapraghm case, I had a kind of epiphany that really only comes when you’ve been sniffing the Modge-Podge for a while—
Look. I think we can agree that an employment contract is not a one-way street. It never was meant to be. So, if Hobby Lobby believes it is totally in the right to make decisions regarding the reproductive health and maintenance of it’s employees, in other words, making those employees’ private business their store business, then it’s only fair that the employees should be able to bring their private business right into the public business.
That’s right, Hobby Lobby. If you all think you have a right to dictate the methods your employees use for their bedroom or kitchen floor or whatever activities, those employees should feel comfortable enjoying those activities in your store. I don’t mean on the clock. Off-the clock, of course, since your company has decided to also be the boss of all off-the-clock funtimes. But let’s get this clear—you wanna make the rules?
You should get to make the rules about stuff happening on the premises of your store. Sexy funtimes don’t happen in your store. Until you made it about you. Now I think employees should get to use the break room, or even the return desk, to do what they like—because you guys decided their business was your business. So why shouldn’t your business be where they can do their business?
Of course—no one would probably want to actually screw in your store. Not because pony beads and potholder looms aren’t fucking erotic as hell, but because that is not what your store is for. Your store is for serving your customers, who for the most part don’t give a good goddamn what your employees do so long as they don’t screw up an order and give them exact change. Why don’t you try and be at least as tolerant as your customers? And recognize that your employees are human beings with bodies, and that the female bodies deserve to be treated by the people who have to live in them—and that isn’t you, Hobby Lobby execs.
It’s not unalloyed good news, because although I am optimistic (just see my last blog entry) I was not found in a cabbage patch nor was I raised on sunshine and good vibes. The response of some social conservatives definitely reminds me that nothing is over—if anything, the desire of a handful of retrograde culture warriors to wrap themselves in the mantle of faith and claim special privilege as a marginalized group seems to have grown. It’s what you might call a smaller, but more motivated group. Look at it this way, if it’s right that the SCOTUS Windsor ruling has literally made all further argument on gay marriage moot, what the hell is Brian Brown gonna do now? Get a real job? Even Fox News might stop inviting Tony Perkins on, and everyone knows Bryan Fischer is worried that if folks are freely getting gay-married…well, he’s on his own thing and I think he’s more scared of turning into a vulva than turning gay, but my point is, that rear-guard money is catch as catch can and they gotta hustle now. So they will hustle.
The thing with prejudice is, the people with it like to feel justified. Of course they are fine upstanding better people. They wouldn’t even have the prejudices they do if they weren’t! This “religious freedom” gambit seemed like a nice way to co-opt the language of the persecuted to sound like maybe they were the ones all victimized and wronged by liberal fascism. Which is the very worst kind of fascism because of the PBS programming and organic produce, not to mention the whole meaningful chats about “tone”. But the problem is political correctness, don’t you know.
Conservatism won at least one argument with me. I hate political correctness. I will call these professional victims and family values pimps what they are. And for what it’s worth, if they want to talk about respecting religion, I have some reservations about your garden-variety haters deciding it’s totally okay to rip out pages of Leviticus and use them as a fig leaf to cover up their rage-boners over any class of people…being treated totally the same as anyone else.
But here is something to ponder that I don’t think conservatives are taking into account:
This kissing of theocratic ass is costing them—let’s talk about CPAC.
I love CPAC. I pretend I’m appalled because I’m a proper liberal with all the right credentials but as theater? I was a choir geek in high school—I love theater! And who doesn’t like to watch a hot mess of theater sometimes? But anyway, CPAC has engendered drama because they could never let GOProud in the fold. They were out, and never in. The sucking up around the edges to try and pacify the theocrat powers that be apparently cheesed Chris Barron off enough to quit them, hard enough. Is he not a conservative and a brother?
This wedge issue that used to be good for the GOP circa 2004, is not a great issue about now. But if they think they look spiffy in albatross, who am I to try and stop them? You go, GOP-ers! Wrap yourself in the flag and the Bible and take all of your guns at once and….
I dunno. Write a very serious letter to editor of the Washington Times. If they have one. I guess.
I don’t think that S.E. Cupp is the dumbest pundit working, even though she has produced some of the stupidest punditry to assault the airwaves and t00bz. Cupp is actually pretty canny, having crafted a pretty sophisticated media image. Cupp’s M.O. largely consists of titillation, her “naughty librarian” image, much like that of Sarah Palin, appeals to a conservative male fan base… she’s basically a pinup for pinheads. I guess you can’t spell fanservice without “S.E.”
Congressional Republicans—they are different, you know? Going back to the Truman Administration at least (no, actually, longer than that), pols have thought it might be kind of nice for Americans to have some kind of affordable access to medical coverage so they didn’t die of easily treatable maladies. It was just this thing, you know? We thought our fellow citizens were worthwhile human beings and that maybe they shouldn’t be bankrupted in the pursuit of bodily well-being and not being dead.
Maybe not everyone got the message that our fellow citizens are worthwhile human beings who shouldn’t be bankrupted in the pursuit of bodily well-being. What strikes me as exceptionally tasteless, though, are the folks who have decided that the decades-long work to cover most Americans’ health care was a source of amusement. Like the goofy galoot pictured above, who himself follows in the vein of Asclepius.
Well, sort of. He was a doctor, but somewhere along the way, he decided that science was Satan, and I guess the whole “taking care of the sick and suffering” thing became hilarious. You know he doesn’t really care because this is how he talks about Obamacare during an EPA hearing (I know, right? Like is global warming even a thing? So boring!):
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 conductpurges (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…
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.
You know, I am not surprised that Iowa Rep. Steve King is hanging in regarding the jackass comments he made regarding drug mule immigrants with calves like cantaloupes from schlepping as much as 75 lbs of reefer (on foot!) across the desert. This is who he is. This is what he says all the time. He’s been a US Representative since 2003 with these very views. He’s been a birther. He gets on tv. John Boehner can comment on King’s actions, but you know what? He doesn’t penalize him by taking away his position on any committees. He doesn’t call for a censure.
And Steve King isn’t alone. Take Louie Gohmert. He recently went out of his way to compare the civil rights of minorities to that of “snail darters” and other assorted wildlife. This is a guy who rambled on about “terror babies” He’s been a US Representative since 2005. He says crazy shit all the time. Doesn’t hurt him any. If anything, he grows stronger in the Derp side of the Force every day.
People can talk about there being lines you can’t cross in our political discourse, and maybe to an extent, they might try and classify racism as being a certain line—but that line isn’t in the same place in every region of the country. And these guys kind of show that even if there is a line you don’t cross—as such, it can be politically profitable (to them, anyway) to come up to that line, sometimes, and just kick the bejesus out of it.
And I tend to believe that the kind of person who would return a Steve King or a Louie Gohmert to Congress for term after term? Probably is not susceptible to shame over their shenanigans either. I have wondered if these folks are like villagers who just send their idiot to Washington so that they can have a vacation from him, but no. I think they are more like people who have mistakenly become pursuaded that political contests are not about establishing who is a more competent office-holder, but a bid for who might be a more attention-getting mascot.
This is sad, and I am not sure what the corrective would be.
Today, the fifth of May, marks an insidious annual attempt to lure John and Jane Q. Public into ignoring the threat to America posed by the Mexican Menace, also known as El Peligro Mejicano. While unsuspecting Americans quaff frosty bottles of Corona beer (the name symbolizes the attempt to establish an Aztec kingdom in the U.S. after the overthrow of the democratic republic), the campaign to destroy America proceeds rapidamente. The threat is subtle, as even corn-fed Midwesterners are being transformed into Mesoamerican corn people through, you got it, the consumption of corn. If God wanted humans to consume corn, corn would be naturally edible, with no need to resort to fiendish Aztec alchemy to render the stuff wholesome. At any rate, last year, the man who puts the MO in moron stumbled upon the connection between the Mexicans and the Communists. The following is a recap of a post I wrote last year before joining the Rumproast team…
There’s so much seasonal WTF in this clip from FilmOn TV Networks (via Battlecam TV) which is going viral.
There’s a fairly graphic trailer near the beginning for their stunt at the weekend, when they plan to crucify a guy identified by a usually reliable source (Daily Mail) as Robert Garrison, “a 30-year-old sado-masochist from Florida,” so presumably as long they’ve found some card-carrying sadists to do the nailing, everybody’s cool with that.
Then there’s the increasingly tetchy mobile unit interview between Joe Fioranelli of FilmOn TV and David Phelps—which, for the by now no doubt growing increasingly nervous, I’ll excerpt below, but sounds like it’s an outtake from SNL.
As the scene begins, Phelps—who starts off the interview as grumpy as Hell, and doesn’t get any sweeter as it progresses—kicks off with the charming opener, “I’m David Phelps. And God hates fags. If you hear nothing else I say, I need that message to get out.” Then Fiorelli cites biblical reasons for some skepticism about Jesus’ heterosexuality, which doesn’t go any way toward making make him Phelps’ BFF.
Phelps: This is a mockery. It’s been a mockery from the very beginning. Is this what you plan for your mock crucifixion as well? Fioranelli: It’s not a mock crucifixion, we’re actually crucifying the guy. I mean, he is actually gay. Phelps: Do you have any idea, do you have any idea what it is to receive the payment for your sins from a wrathful, an angry God? Romans 12 says He will pile it on your head like hot coals from a fire. ... May God bring His wrath in a way that all will know it comes from Him.
Things don’t get any better from there on in for Phelps as he makes a bid to abandon the interview, and the fate that awaits him may have made him pray for a visitation from a nice cozy bushel of hot coals. Whatever, he will verily have been in no doubt that It hath come from Him, who moveth in mysterious ways.
For at this point (at 1:30 for the impatient), yea, a 500-pound stark naked ex-wrestler MC by the name of Billy the Fridge emerges from the closet (imagery!) where he’s been waiting and lurches ominously toward Phelps.
Phelps: What do you want?
Now, in the circumstances, most of us might agree that’s not the sort of leading question you want to be asking. Never mind, since Billy ignores it anyway.
Billy the Fridge: THE LEVIATHAN! WE WILL GET YOU! LEVIATHAN! THE LEVIATHAN! WE WILL GET YOU!
At this point Phelps makes an extremely rapid getaway through the door, with Billy in hot, hot pursuit. Over to the Mail again:
An eye-witness later claimed that he saw Phelps being pursued down the street outside the mobile studio by a naked fat man.
Rob Cutler, from Topeka, Kansas, where the church is based, said: ‘I was amazed, first I see David run out of a motor home and the next thing I know he’s been sat on by this giant naked man who is screaming “who’s your daddy now Davey?”’
The way the Phelpses have been bailing out of the hitherto lucrative family cult over the past few years, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Davey—his cherry now well and truly popped, possibly along with some vital organs—and Billy are an item. Happy Easter.
Ermagerd. Sworn off Palin for more than a few years, then two consecutive posts in a couple of days. The shame, the shame. What provoked this?
Well, on Saturday we saw La Diva Loca give her all in a TMI style to a CPAC rabble desperate for distraction from its own endless misery, and inevitably we focused on her Bloomberg big guvmint-bashing Big Gulpaloser, like just about everybody else who was near a keyboard. Perhaps predictably, where some of us—perhaps, let’s be hopeful here, the vast majority of humanity and possibly any eavesdropping aliens—saw teeheehee juvenile pathos and completely unintentional self-parody (and responded with our own juvenilia, because that’s how we roll), her fans saw A HEROIC STAND AGAINST THE MAN!!!!
A few spinoff memes among those with access to Photoshop and way too much time on their hands could be expected, but a full-on IRL movement? Oh yeah. Heeeeere’s Twitchy:
Now, I should warn you of a couple of things. First, that headline is no lie, and if you click it, there are indeed pics and video, and it ain’t pretty; and second, if you’ve never visited malevolent douchesquirrel Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy before, its sole raison d’être, other than mobilizing twittering zombie hordes to relentlessly harass anybody who catches Malkin’s eye and ire, is generally to drag a bunch of rabid derp off the twittersphere and blend it with even more rabid derp in its comment stream, I guess in the hopes that a singularity of derp will be triggered that will engulf the entire universe and beyond in a tidal wave of megaderp—thus fulfilling those apocalyptic predictions of peak wingnut and the wingularity ta-DA!
The ingredients on this occasion range from the pedestrian
Cynthia Yockey @conservativelez
Palin at CPAC: He’s got the rifle, I’ve got the rack (of husband Todd and their Xmas gifts to one another.) Then sips Big Gulp.
to the arguably ill-advised
Michelle Malkin ✔ @michellemalkin
CPAC podiums need to be stocked with 32-oz Big Gulps, not teeny water bottles.
to the marginally more excitable!!!
Roel Marasigan @HeadsWillRoel
Classic Sarah Palin giving nanny Bloomberg a jab at #CPAC!!! pic.twitter.com/bngVu81ZUm
So far, so lame. I’ll kick you off with the first comment over there, then after that you’re on your own if you’re wingnutcurious enough to get off the boat, and don’t say you haven’t been warned, as it gets worse from here on in (though there is some evidence of sedition). Behold the yawning sinkhole in perception:
nc • 2 days ago
Her comedic timing was dead-on perfect! She tells the “rack” joke with a dead pan straight face, then immediately reaches for the Super Big Gulp to deflect any sense of impropriety. Comic genius!
This would be tragic and humorous in a relatively mundane way (“dead pan straight face” *snork*) in itself, but as Wonkette reports, we’re now headed back into the realms of full-on icon-worship again, as the old fanbase at Conservatives4Palin apparently hasn’t entirely been reduced to living under bridges and toasting pigeons on curtain rails through over-donating to The Palin Family and Friends Holiday and Meth Fund SarahPAC, or if it has, it seems to have access to Obamaphones and the Internet down there. Venture after the fold if you dare/can be arsed.
We’re not here to re-brand a party, we’re here to rebuild a country. We’re here to restore America and the rest is just theatrics. The rest is sound and fury. It’s just making noise.
The next 37 long minutes were indeed taken up with sound and fury—the familiar gurns, squawks, shrieks, and dribbling, punctuated by the novel sound of slurping, to rapturous applause. It’s 2013. It’s CPAC. And it’s Sarah Palin.
Yep, the Grifta from Wasilla, having added Fox News pundit (failed) to her résumé, is BACK. And she’s still totally bonkers. And not in a good way.
Lord knows, when the éminences grises behind CPAC booked her, they knew what to expect. It’s an easy call, because whatever else she’s been doing in her copious spare time since bombing out of the ‘08 election in tears, in between lush speaking gigs and boring the pants off Greta van Susteren she hasn’t come up with much new material.
I’m very grateful to Jim Newell, now liveblogging in the unlikely environment of The Guardian, for keeping tabs on the parade of fail at this year’s Gathering of the Indescribables as I really wasn’t feeling up to it. Also to my co-bloggers marindenver and Vixen Strangely, who’ve been taking up the slack. However, when somebody as absolutely desperate for attention as Sarah Palin bobbles along, it would be downright cruel of me not to indulge her at least a little, so here goes.
Her turn wasn’t totally lacking in some semblance of political gravitas, as she insisted that enough with the navel-gazing already, Republicans just need to hit the streets and get persuadin’:
They’re not our enemies. They’re our sisters and our brothers. They’re our neighbors, they’re our friends. It’s imperative to reach out and to share that conservative message of liberty and less government and lower taxes.
So double-bolt your doors and bar your windows before you turn in tonight, just in case.
Boob jokes. They featured, as Jim notes:
Palin sets up a quite extraordinary breasts-and-ammo joke by telling the crowd that for Christmas, her husband had bought her a rack to hold guns on the back of her truck. Then comes the sexy punchline:
He’s got the rifle, I’ve got the rack!
As attendants carried the coronary casualties in the audience out to the waiting fleet of ambulances, as an example of “less government” Palin chose Mayor Bloomberg’s War on Soda (this is where the slurping comes in), ostentatiously sucking on a mammoth serving through a straw in a manner which suggested that if there was a baseball in there, goshdarn she was havin’ it. If she followed it up with a burp, the networks cut it and the written record is silent. But it did lead to a new party game: