Friday, April 2. 2010
I wasn’t there as a protestor. I was driving down the street, where I saw a group from Moveon.org and a group from Code Pink protesting on the corner in my home town then, which was Thousand Oaks California. My son had just been commissioned into the Marine Corps, and I was concerned that folks there may have been uh, uh, protesting against him and his bravery, and I stopped to question that. My questions were answered satisfactorily and I was in the process of leaving when I was accosted by, a man came across the street screaming at me that I was an effing idiot, and he was waving his arms in a violent way, and me came at me as if to attack me, and so a scuffle ensued and my fist ended up in his mouth and he bit my finger off. Bill Rice, Boo-hooing to Neil Cavuto About What Happened While Rice Was in the Process of Assaulting Someone
Mr. Rice went into a bit more detail last September when he was asked about it:
Neil Cavuto: …but reports are from witnesses that you threw a punch at him. What happened, really Bill?
Interesting how the story has evolved. Nothing in that first version about the guy “waving his arms in a violent way” and coming at Rice “as if to attack me.” Just the guy calling him an idiot, and Rice punching him in the face a couple of times.
And now the tea party tale is that nobody paid any attention to the incident, that only Fox News covered it at the time. Except that going back and looking at the coverage brings up accounts in The Washington Post, , the Associated Press, The Christian Science Monitor, the Atlantic, CNN...
This pretty much sums up the attitude driving the tea party movement -- a man presented by Fox News as very hard done by because he lost part of his finger while punching someone repeatedly in the face.
Thursday, January 28. 2010
The theme picked up by Media Matters’ overview of conservative response to the President’s State of the Union speech is pretty consistent:
John Hood, at NRO’s "The Corner" pronounced him “flippant and arrogant,” and John Erickson “cocky and snide.”
Jay Nordinger at The National Review allowed as maybe Obama couldn’t help it. "Obama looks arrogant, whether he's arrogant or not. I don't think he can help it: It's the upturned chin..."
Ben Stein before the speech observed that he expected Obama to exhibit “Fake modesty and fake humility" -- “fake” unless Obama says something like what Stein would like him to say which, according to Stein would be, “'I'm not the messiah; I'm a politician. I don't know very much. I'm going to take a year off until I learn more. And I'm not going to interfere and screw up people's lives anymore.' "
John Stossel also has some ideas for Obama's speech. “Well, I’d like him to say, ‘Gee, I’m so sorry. I was arrogant, we were arrogant, we thought we could reshape the world, my vision, so we wasted lots of your money…” Stossel was visibly disappointed afterwards. “He certainly didn’t sound humbled," he complained.
See, that’s why Obama is so darned arrogant. He doesn’t make a State of the Union speech in which he apologizes to everyone, says he was wrong, and promises never to do it again.
That President Obama – he just doesn’t know his place!
Thursday, October 29. 2009
He’s a radical! A wild-eyed America hater! Do you know what Judge Edward Chen said? Just a couple weeks after 9/11? It’s unbelievable! According to this editorial in the Washington Times.
He said one of his first responses was a "sickening feeling in my stomach about what might happen to race relations and religious tolerance on our own soil. ... One has to wonder whether the seemingly irresistible forces of racism, nativism and scapegoating which has [sic] recurred so often in our history can be effectively restrained."
Can you believe that? He worried that there might be a rise in nativism.
Why that…that…traitor! Anyone who implies that anyone in America could be a racist, or a nativist, or engaging in scapegoating is a lousy, America hating traitor!…
By the way...does anyone remember this news story from 2006?
On Sunday, November 26, a WMAL radio talk show host named Jerry Klein pretended to advocate that all Muslims be forced by the government to wear “identifying markers.”
“I'm thinking either it should be an arm band, a crescent moon arm band, or it should be a crescent moon tattoo," he suggested.
The first caller to the station in Washington said that Klein must be "off his rocker." The second congratulated him and added: "Not only do you tattoo them in the middle of their forehead but you ship them out of this country ... they are here to kill us."
Nope. No racists or nativists or scapegoaters here…
Sunday, September 27. 2009
“And we don’t know that the RARE Hitler mustache you see at these Tea Parties was even [done by] a conservative. I suspect they were liberal agitators.” Ann Coulter to Geraldo Rivera on Fox News
Attention Right Wingers! When you see posters of Obama with a Hitler moustache, or other weird signage equating healthcare reform with the Third Reich’s genocidal policies, remember those are actually the work of dastardly liberal provocateurs, who have apparently infiltrated Tea Party rallies (and the Right Wing Blogosphere, including Free Republic) to an incredible extent.
But embarrassing right wingers with stupid signs is only part of their plan. As the mighty Tim Jones warns us, after his chilling encounter with a woman and two teenage ACORN workers (Sure, they were selling “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, but you can tell from looking at them that they’re really with ACORN, if you know what I mean and I think you do):
”...of course, that’s the nature of these people! They try their best to incite you so that you will act in an inappropriate fashion and then they will blame you for your actions, themselves being lily-white pure all along.” Tim Jones, After Heroically Chasing Three Black Women from a 9/12 Tea Party
Yes, you heard Mr. Jones right! Liberals are blaming right –wingers for the actions of right –wingers! That’s exactly what those people do!
But it gets even worse. Not only are liberals slipping embarrassingly stupid signage into right wing rallies and forcing right-wingers into “inappropriate behavior” by virtue of being liberals (or suspected liberals) in front of them, but liberals are actually asking right-wingers like Glenn Beck to expand on things that right-wingers like Glenn Beck have said.
What is white culture? I don’t know how to answer that that it’s not a trap.” Glenn Beck after being asked to explain what he meant when he said that President Obama had “a deep-seated hatred for white culture.”
Can liberals sink any lower?
Sunday, September 20. 2009
“Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes, and prism, are all very good words for the lips: especially prunes and prism." Mrs. General in Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens
This weekend, Noonan, described President Obama’s media presence on the subject of healthcare reform as “boorish.” As she told George Stephanapoulos, with many a delicate moue of regret:
I do think the media environment allows a modern leader to be something subtley damaging and that is boorish! They get their face in your face every day, all the time, it’s boorish and it makes people not lean towards you, but lean away from you no matter what the merits of the issue, and the merits of this issue are not such great merits. Peggy Noonan,
Something about the way Peggy Noonan pronounces the term “boorish” reminds me of a character in the Dickens’ novel Little Dorrit. Mrs. General is a pretentious, ever-so-refined teacher of etiquette who is constantly exhorting her female pupils to repeat the words “prunes and prism” because they give “a pretty form to the lips.” Noonan plainly loves pronouncing the word “boorish.” Watch how tenderly she pitches it, taking a breath before utterance and so prettily pursing her lips around it.
As I mentioned some time ago, back in 2004 Noonan used it to refer to an incident where writer E.L. Doctorow was booed off the stage during a commencement address at Hofstra University after he denounced President Bush. The “boors” were, of course, not the booers. No, it was E. L. Doctorow, who, she announced in her WSJ editorial, exemplified “the boorishness of the aging liberal.” The hecklers, she declared, shouted him down because they “have class.”
Three years later, at the height of our last Gilded Age, she wrote a piece entitled “Rich Man, Boor Man” which was about the prevalence of “lousy manners” among all those icky proles waiting on her in retail stores and restaurants. The extent to which some poor retail worker just can’t win if they draw this woman as a customer is illustrated here:
"Hi! Let me help you find what you're looking for!" She is a saleswoman, cracking gum with intensity, about 25 years old, and she has made a beeline to her mark. That would be me… Her style is aggressive friendliness….What they are forcing you to do is engage. If you engage--"Um, thanks"--you have a relationship. If you have a relationship, it's easier for them to turn you upside down and shake the coins from your pockets.
Restaurant workers don’t fare much better. There’s a whole paragraph about those darned waiters who keep interrupting Peggy and her dinner companion, showing up forty seconds after they sat down, and then pestering them for their order. Yes, I kid you not, that’s what she means by the rise of “boorishness” during the gilded age. The people whose income depends on waiting on her keep trying to wait on her.
It appears that the word “boorish” in the speech or writing of Peggy Noonan is like the word “bitch” in the speech or writing of certain men. Seeing to whom she consistently applies it reveals more about her than it does about the people she imagines she’s insulting.
Saturday, August 15. 2009
Friday, May 22. 2009
So if I’m to judge from this recent GOP ad, Nancy Pelosi has committed the scandal-producing crime of hurting James Bond’s feelings by calling him a liar.
I had no idea that professional assassins were such tender plants.
The house-of-mirrors complexity of what’s wrong with this almost defies summarization. Let’s start with the obvious. Is it really a good idea to run a TV spot showing an elected official in a gun-sight, followed by the sound of a shot and the sight of blood running down the screen?
Yes, yes, I know, it’s supposed to be a “joke,” which brings us to the next point, that being the increasingly blurred line between American political satire and reality. With just a slight shift in framing, this ad could have as easily been offered as a parody of the right-wing’s penchant for defining liberals as super villains. It could be one of those SNL sketches that are inevitably followed by an on-camera apology by Lorne Michaels a week later for even jokingly implying that Pelosi should be shot dead by a secret agent.
Because I mean, come on, a clip of Leon Panetta saying “frankly, it hurts…” after someone has said that the CIA, a spy agency, fibbed to someone in Congress?
And using the character of James Bond – the fictional character who’s “licensed to kill” -- to avenge this heinous accusation?
Tuesday, April 28. 2009
So apparently, Dick Armey’s organization “Freedom Works” has decided to organize a great big “Tea Party” on September 12, 2009: According to the event’s hompage:
“It’s time to take the tea party movement directly to Washington, D.C. Please join thousands of local organizers and grassroots Americans from across the country as we gather in our nation’s capital to deliver a message to the politicians: Enough!
Why do it on September 12?
Probably because much of the Tea Party movement relies on the deliberate amnesia of die-hard George W. Bush fans. The old meme “everything changed on September 11th” is carried to the point where no reality before that day is acknowledged, and everything we were taught in those old pre-9/11 civics and history classes about the vote, the rule of law, checks and balances, etc. is contemptuously thrust aside.
Thus, a lost election is treated as if it were an unprecedented Communist takeover, and marginal tax rates that were actually higher under that Republican conservative icon Ronald Reagan, are touted as an attack on capitalism.
Tuesday, April 14. 2009
Pawlenty emerges as key player in outcome of Senate race
Gov. Tim Pawlenty said today it could take months for the courts to settle Minnesota's long-running U.S. Senate race, and added another caveat as to when he'll sign an election certificate declaring the winner once all of the legal options in state court are exhausted. The governor's comments are critical because his interpretation of state law could play a factor in how the race eventually ends.
So the count is in, and the courts have spoken, but Governor Tim Pawlenty is still hemming and hawing. It’s beginning to look more and more as though Republican reluctance to acknowledge Democrat Al Franken the winner and Republican Norm Coleman the loser can be summed up in one word.
Friday, November 7. 2008
So now we have the nauseating spectacle of some disappointed American right-wingers trying to cast themselves as alarmed observers of the rise of a new Third Reich. Videos of children singing pro-Obama songs are spliced in with shots from movies about Brownshirts. Bloggers begin posts with sinister observations like “Seventy five years ago in 1933 the people of Germany cast their votes. That year Germans legitimately brought to Power the National Socialist Party (Nazis) and made Adolph Hitler the Head of the Government…" and quote what they fondly imagine to be relevant passages about the rise of the Nazi Student League from Robert Jay Lifton: “"Equally important was 'Gleichschaltung' from below: militant behavior on the part of the National Socialist Student League, which organized early and soon came to dominate or replace traditional student groups and formed an arrogant subculture with intense camaraderie and more than a tinge of violence."
This is the point where irony and projection cease to be funny. These same bloggers seem unaware of the extent to which they echo Nazi rhetoric in their obsession with who is or isn’t a “true American,” in the hateful and exclusionary language they use about those who disagree with them. The same blogger who quotes Lifton has this to say about those of us who voted for Obama:
You are not Americans. You are the product of a culturally ignorant, socialist educational system used by unions and politicians to brainwash three generations of young people, who in their blindness have finally delivered the goods, which will forever destroy their future.
Another offered this in his election post-mortem “Requiem for a Dream:”
We must remember that we are conservatives, and not liberals or "progressives" or whatever they're calling themselves today. Politics is not our life. Unlike liberals, if we lose an election, we're still going to be happier than liberals, whose worldview is premised on misery…And unlike liberals, our happiness is where it has always been and will be tomorrow: our family, our friends, our local community, in our work, our faith, and in our country. These will be around whether or not the current incumbents have a "R" or "D" next to their name.
Loathing is being presented as a comfort here. The reader is invited to cling to the belief that as a conservative, he or she is in a fundamental way better than liberals who, one is invited to presume, don’t love their country, their family, their friends, in short, just don’t feel things the way a conservative does.
We can see now why the far right was so attached to “Godwin’s Rule” for the past twenty years. They didn’t want Nazi parallels to be drawn when the Bush administration did things like using a terrorist act as a pretext for rolling back basic civil rights, lying us into a war, detaining people secretly and indefinitely, and torturing suspects. And God forbid it be mentioned in the face of the right wing’s frequent and sinister iteration of the “stabbed in the back” motif (Dolchstoßlegende in the original German)
No, they wanted to save those Nazi parallels up so they could use them to describe the rise of a charismatic and inspiring liberal politician. They wanted their followers to be aware of old newsreels of enthusiastic crowds in 1930s Germany, but not the embrace of hatred and violence and the flat rejection of reason and shared humanity that made that enthusiasm so chilling.
Sunday, October 26. 2008
“There is a cult-like atmosphere around Barack Obama, which his campaign has carefully and successfully fabricated, which concerns me. The messiah complex. Fainting audience members at rallies. Special Obama flags and an Obama presidential seal. A graphic with the portrayal of the globe and Obama's name on it, which adorns everything from Obama's plane to his street literature. Young school children singing songs praising Obama. Teenagers wearing camouflage outfits and marching in military order chanting Obama's name and the professions he is going to open to them. An Obama world tour, culminating in a speech in Berlin where Obama proclaims we are all citizens of the world. I dare say, this is ominous stuff.” Mark Levin, NRO
It sure is! I’m glad Mark Levin told me about this because quite honestly, I had no idea that Obama had his own special flags fluttering in the breeze at his rallies, or a logo showing Obama covering the earth “which adorns everything from Obama’s plane to his street literature.” the only logo I’ve seen has been a stylized O with a red and white striped drape across the bottom, and the only reference I can find to an Obama flag is a case where some imaginative Freepers mistook the Ohio state flag for an Obamacized version of the American flag. I had no idea Obama was writing “street literature," “set in the world of hustlers, pimps, thugs, chickenheads, blinged-out rappers or 'round-the-way baby mamas.” (apparently the man is more versatile than I’d imagined) but I guess it’s not surprising he’d put his logo on it. It’s probably a kind of gritty shorthand, like graffiti tagging, appealing to the streetwise sensibility of the young audience of this new, cutting edge literary genre.
Speaking of which, I can’t find any marching teenagers in camouflage chanting Obama’s name and the professions he’s going to open to them (which, frankly, doesn’t sound like very adroit sloganeering. Too many syllables.) Given that I live in what some consider America’s ground zero for liberalism, San Francisco, this is a bit strange. You’d think they’d be all over the place out here. You’d think that at least one of my lunches at an outdoor café in the Castro would have been interrupted by a starry-eyed young fellow in camouflage rising from his seat to serenade us with “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.”
Every now and then I get the creepy sense that I’m inhabiting a parallel universe unrelated to the world of some of the people around me. I got that feeling years ago, in the days shortly after 9/11 when I would turn on the TV and see quotes from George W. Bush juxtaposed with quotes from FDR and Winston Churchill. Now I’m getting it again, but to a lesser extent and from a smaller group of people. We seem to be going out the way we came in, via a national crisis, and as we exit the Bizarro world of the Bush II presidency, it’s the die-hard Bush fans who are looking around in horrified amazement and asking if we’ve all gone crazy.
“I honestly never thought we'd see such a thing in our country,” says poor Mark Levin. “I sense what's occurring in this election is a recklessness and abandonment of rationality that has preceded the voluntary surrender of liberty and security in other places.”
We might actually give up torture. We might actually revive Habeas Corpus. And attorney/client confidentiality. And in the topsy-turvey world of the far right and the National Review, that would, I guess, qualify as “the voluntary surrender of liberty and security.”
Thursday, March 27. 2008
Maryland's Rep. Wynn resigns for law job
Maryland Congressman Albert Wynn says he's leaving Congress before his term ends to take a job at a Washington law firm.Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
Monday, December 3. 2007
Bush blasts Senate over pro forma sessions
President Bush Monday welcomed back Congress by criticizing Democrats for their priorities and blasting the Senate for using a procedural maneuver to prevent him from making recess appointments.You know, you could try doing something unique like, oh I don't know, nominating qualified, REASONABLE candidates...
Tuesday, August 14. 2007
Wednesday, January 3. 2007
Chief Justice calls for judges' pay hike
Pay for federal judges is so inadequate that it threatens to undermine the judiciary's independence, Chief Justice John Roberts says in a year-end report critical of Congress.In a recent interview, the Daily Show's John Hodgman said that John Stewart wasn't a comedian, he was a straight man and America was the clown.
Here we see Hodgman's words writ large.
A man making $212,000 a year, working maybe four-six hours a day, nine months a year, while provided with lavish offices, 'round the clock security,and generous insurance and retirement benefits (should the ever retire).
Think about that a second. This man makes almost FIVE times the median income of an American household. Even lowly district court judges make almost FOUR times that much. They enjoy generous health insurance that most Americans can only dream of, while working a schedule that my cat would envy. People pamper them, suck up to them, and offer them wads of cash for speak/teaching fees, give them free trips, and reams of honorary degrees.
Then there is job security. Being a judge means never having to worry about being laid off or that some chap from Bombay or Beijing will come in and nick your job because he will render legal opinions piecemeal for $100 a ruling.
These are the people Injustice Robertson wants us to feel sorry for. AND he sees the "low" pay as a CONSTITUTIONAL crisis. I'm sorry, did I miss the part of the Bill of Rights that said "Congress shall pay federal judges ten times what we pay the average citizen?"
George Bush is merrily sodomizing the Constitution at every turn, while handing out the tax-payer's money like Paris Hilton hands out sexual favors, and the thing that has Roberts worried is he and the rest of the judiciary aren't getting their share of the spoils.
Eliminating habeus corpus is a Constituional crisis.
Eliminating nine of the ten rights in the Bill of Rights is a Constituional crisis.
Saying that the president is no longer answerable to the congress or the judiciary is a Constituional crisis.
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