Friday, April 25, 2008

Gee, What a Coincidence...

The NY Times ran this interesting graphic with their report on the acquittal of three officers who shot and killed Sean Bell in 2006. It's worth a look.

One thing that sticks out is that, with a single exception, those on the receiving end are African-American. Cerbelli (whom I assume was white/caucasian), unlike the others, went out of his way to attack the police (Eleanor Bumpers allegedly "lunged" at officers while weilding a knife; however, the police had initiated the contact in attempting to evict Bumpers from her apartment...if you ask me, the case sounds suspiciously similar to that of my friend George James)...anyway, I digress...let's just note for the record that only a fool, or a wingnut (to paraphrase Richard Cohen) would fail to notice that, particularly for African-Americans, "police presence" can mean something quite different from what it means for the rest of us...and that's yet another example of the not-so-subtle inequality that your average wingnut insists "no longer exists."
Not Exactly a Renaissance Man

Bobo--or Buboe Brooks?

I've often thought that an effective line of attack against greater wingnuttia is to point out that for a VERY long time their, er, "vision:" small government, low taxation, fealty to traditional religion, and an abhorrence of anything that smacked of "socialism" existed in Western Europe. It was known as the Dark Ages.

Little did I know that someone as blissfully foolish as Bobo would actually embrace the concept...I mean, geez, not that I'll ever presumably interact with Brooks, but I WAS being sarcastic...

Oh, and for the record, I've got nothing against the SCA or Ren Faire types, although it should be noted that most of them presumably go home at some point to indoor plumbing, if not electricity.
Why Take the Low Road When You Can Go Right to the Gutter?

Again, what I find interesting about all of these non-stories is the way the media reacts: instead of focusing on the sheer absurdity and even desperation ("Danny Ortega?" I mean, Jesus H. Christ on a cracker), your press corpse insists on treating such libels and slanders as somehow "newsworthy," along with flag pins and proper Pledge posture.

It's as if they were reporting on an election for president...of a second grade classroom.

But, since McCain's decided that guttersniping is right up his alley, let me point out at least one group of people in the news of late who almost certainly favor HIM (and, unlike "Danny Ortega," they're American citizens who can vote):

...I'll bet David Duke prefers Senator McCain, too.
A Perv Has a Dream

Coincidentally, I was browsing around You Tube earlier this week, and eventually got to Mavis Staples singing Eyes on the Prize, which never ceases to astound me, and the entire Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" speech, which does likewise.

By the way, it's not particularly long--less than twenty minutes--and well worth listening to...

Anyway, I can't help but contrast the inspiring, hopeful rhetoric of Reverend King's dream with it's lineal opposite: the literally perverse, ugly, straight from the sewer toxins spewed from the piehole of Rush Lamebone over the past few days. It seems as if Rush has a dream, too, but it's so disgusting that one of his own dittoheads called him on it.

Hoping--or, as he spat it out, "dreaming"--for/of a "riot" is disgusting beyond the pale. Oh, but I'm sure Lamebone will insist it was all a joke, but that's actually about as funny as joking that Tiger Woods should be lynched...or laughing about people drowning in New Orleans because of the flood.

That said, I think Lamebone DOES manage to inform us of one thing--that he, and those who think like him, really DON'T get the concept of civil society.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

McCain: Bush's Response "Disgraceful"

"Mr. President, my friend, you've got some nerve! You call this single layer piece of s**t slab of cardboard a cake? Hell, the icing's falling off the side. Must've picked it up at the day-old bakery and had them remove the original name."

"Thanks for nothing."

Senator McCain then stomped off in a huff. Brit Hume reminded everyone that McCain is prone to "senior moments," and tried to suggest they were sort of like "gravitas," except the opposite.
Standing Firm Like Jello

TPM asks how John McCain expects to stop al Qaeda if he can't even stop local "swift boat freaks."

Maybe he'll use Zell Miller's spitballs...or maybe he'll call, leave a voicemail AND send a stern fax to, you know, whatever cave Osama bin Laden's hiding in...
Just Wait Till They Start Rationing Shoes

Then we'll really be in trouble.
Shared Responsibility

(h/t Library Chronicles)

John Barry explains why flood control for New Orleans is a matter of national concern:

These costs are a federal responsibility because benefits to the entire nation, including massive engineering projects built in, and providing direct benefit to, states as far away as North Dakota, have in the last 60 years transformed New Orleans from a city reasonably safe from hurricanes to one dangerously vulnerable to them. These projects have had an effect as great as sending saboteurs from 1,500 miles away to dynamite Louisiana's levees.

Meanwhile, Johnny Mac was in NOLA today, promising that the NEXT time federally built levees failed in the city, he probably wouldn't spend the day mugging for the cameras and/or shoveling birthday cake down his piehole while in the company of a talking chimp...he also declaimed Rev. John Hagee's odious comments as "nonsense, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense" until the word "nonsense" itself ceased to hold any meaning for the assembled press...whereupon the Arizona senator groveled before "Reverend" Hagee and begged for forgiveness.

OK, so I made that last part up.
"Old" News?

The Army continues its abhorrent practice of stop loss, not that you'll see more than the occasional article or mention in the press...which is how such a horrible mess remains off the national radar screen...

In all, 58,300 soldiers have been affected by stop loss since 2002, according to the Army...For the 3rd Infantry Division, which is responsible for a portion of Iraq south of Baghdad, about 1,500 of its 22,500 soldiers is serving under stop loss, according to Maj. Alayne Conway.

This is the "volunteer" army that Dick...Cheney refers to when he snidely dismisses the dead and wounded as if they were little more than a business expense.

Which, come to think of it, is probably exactly what he believes.

The fact that the media is so willing to defer to Dick...Cheney--and George Dubya--speaks volumes.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Searching for Willie Horton

Oops...wrong one...

How the media reacts to this hatchet/hack job created by the slime who brought you the other Willie Horton will go a long way in determining just how much in the bag they are for their buddy, Senator John McCan-do-no-wrong...particularly if they continue to either ignore or dismiss admittedly inflammatory but nonetheless serious questions about Johnny Mac's claims to heroism.
And I Guess Mississippi Was Just Sort of In The Way

So, the Almighty's, um, almightiness and foreknowlege couldn't get Mississippi--and Alabama...and other parts of Louisiana--off the hook, eh? Don't you love how the God panderers are willing to overlook His collateral damage, which kind of undercuts the whole "all powerful" argument...unless He just decided to whack the rest of the Gulf Coast "for the hell of it."

* (the relevant part is at the 1:27 mark)
Hey, Let's Put on a Show! Nuclear Holocaust! *

Maybe it's just me, but I can't not link Senator's Clinton's "obliterate Iran" and the mentality that it exposes to Hullabaloo's recent posts on how torture perverts the people who practice it.

And I guess if you're willing to plunge to those depths, it's nothing to spew forth lies and innuendo as part of a political campaign...
We're Number One

In prison population, that is, both in sheer numbers and as a ratio of prisoners per general population. Ain't freedom grand?

And the Gret Stet leads the nation, with over a thousand prisoners per 100,000 people.

Apologists for Prison Nation contend that "it works." Yeah...fascism worked, too.
Breaux & Creosote

Trent Lott cashes in...(from Think Progress)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Dumb as a Box of Rocks" Would be an Improvement

How do people this stupid even make it to adulthood? I mean, we're talking "so dumb might forget how to breathe" here.
Senator McSteamy-Ears

Link from Adrastos

Geez, McCain makes Big Time seem relaxed, sedate, and fully observant of proper decorum in comparison...take a look.

The real question, though, is whether or not this actually becomes part of the narrative, or is merely the exception that proves the rule about the media anointing him Saint John Who-Can-do-no-McWrong. A single article, in the whole scheme of things, generates all the punching power of feather. It's only when pattern emerges, i.e., if something survives multiple media cycles, that a cumulative effect is generated...and then, like it or not, the truth or falsehood of a particular item no longer matters: it becomes part of the the folklore.

Hence, wingnuttia's feverish attempt to pin something--anything--on Barack Obama that reinforces the stereotype of "angry black man/radical," even as any reading of the WaPo piece makes it pretty clear that Johnny Mac (like another Johnny Mac) is the one who's a single pedal-to-the-metal away from bursting a gasket...which isn't exactly what you want in someone whose finger would be on the button.

And you know what might really, really honk him off? If someone pressed him on his "disability" pension he receives courtesy of his years in captivity. (credit to First Draft) Personally, I'm not bothered by any stipend he might receive as a token of appreciation; however, to describe it as "disability" is certainly a slap in the face to those veterans who've been turned down for the same. If it's a "POW" pension, fine; otherwise, questions as to his health really ARE legitimate and worth asking.
How Unpopular?

Maybe this will give you an idea--this region is about as wingnut as it gets, at least amongst the white population. A presidential visit--yeah, I know, to a private fundraiser--would nonetheless normally be a big, big deal...

But Shrub doesn't even headline today's "political brief" in the local rag. And while he garners the lede on the other local news website, the story itself is about...traffic delays as his motorcade lumbers through town.

So, sure, I guess the Chimperor still has some cachet with the local plutocrats, who'll be forking over $2,000 dollars to shake his hand--or $5,000 for a photo (I guess that's their version of high-end porn)...but for the rest of us he's just another headache to deal with at some point during the afternoon.

I suppose it's not all that surprising that the media isn't exactly publicizing just where on Perkins Road they're holding the fundraiser...for the record, the road itself is a pretty major thoroughfare, snaking through about half the town. My guess is that the event is probably on the southeast side of the city, where google maps appear to show any number of suitable McMansions.

Given that, I'm a little surprised that closures along both I-10 and I-110 are expected: this apparently means Shrub plans to fly the 75 or so miles to the airport (located on the other end of town)...then hop in his limo for the track back. I dunno...maybe the alternative--driving up from New Orleans--would be even more disruptive.

And it's also telling to see how the media continues to coddle him: a press worthy of the name wouldn't let him slither in and out, even for a private fundraiser, without demanding some sort of q and a...hell, in contrast, Barack Obama's getting the business just for wanting to eat breakfast in peace...
Not Guilty!

Whitman: As innocent as O.J.

I'm not a lawyer, I don't play one on TV, or even on the internets...but I can almost see, in a very technical way, why the 2nd Circuit US Court of Appeals dismissed charges against Christine Todd Whitman. I assume the court feels there's some sort of sovereign immunity with regard to the office itself...ahem, not unlike a US District Court dismissing a class action filed against the ACOE last January. I'll likewise assume the 2nd District also decided to protect Whitman personally, in much the same way that corporate officers are shielded, at least to some extent, from the liability of the corporation itself.

That doesn't mean, though, that it don't stink to high heaven, and that on a moral and ethical level, Christine Todd Whitman personifies a particular sort of sleaziness. Indeed, how she reacts to the verdict will speak volumes, and I'm guessing it will be not unlike Simpson...except for maybe being even less repentant. Whitman willingly made statements that, at the VERY least, she knew were not backed up by any scientific data. She gambled.

But it was the people working at the site who lost.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Russert's Research

I guess what's sleazy trash to most of us counts as treasure for Timmeh.
Because Why Let Reality Get in the Way?

Typical--Shrub's in New Orleans to "promote" free trade and NAFTA, even though, back when it counted, he didn't hesitate to put up a barrier on steel imports, at significant cost to the city.

Of course, that was the only barrier Bush gave--or gives--a damn about in New Orleans:

Most of Bush's time will be spent in a hotel and a historic former city hall in the Central Business District, out of sight from the residential areas hit hardest by Katrina. His agenda includes a few events of local flavor, but they are secondary to diplomatic talks.

Bush has no plans to tour hurricane-damaged neighborhoods on this trip...

In the meantime:

...the Corps of Engineers has discovered a persistent leak in the 17th St. Canal floodwall, the very structure that breached disastrously in the wake of Katrina, flooding a good part of the city. Despite the restraint, the story gets ominous when you hit this quote:
"There's no reason for anyone to worry," (Corps section chief Brett) Herr said. "That floodwall isn't going anywhere."

By the way--the floodwall in my picture above isn't in New Orleans. It's in a little town called Sunbury, PA, north of Harrisburg on the Susquehanna River. But it sure does look like the floodwalls in New Orleans, and appears to be an ACOE job as well.

They might want to give them a thorough inspection.
When Chickenhawks Cluck

"Like my husband--I mean, the president--said..."

Geez, there really does seem to be a certain bizarre pathology to the wingnut mindset, no?
Yet More Proof a McCain Administration Would Amount to a Third Bush Term

Looks like Johnny Mac's dutifully following along with Team Bush's 'they all look alike anyway' policy that's been such a catastrophic success.

Can we really afford four more years of government of the "morans," by the morans, and for the morans?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

And They All Got in Their Cars and Drove on Down to the Earth Day

...where much Earth Day Funnel Cake and Earth Day Coca-Cola was consumed...

OK, maybe I'm being a bit harsh--after all, I did see a number of Priuses (Priusii?) in addition to the usual Red Stick contingent of large pickup trucks, SUV's...and even a Hummer or two--but on the other hand, it sure is weird to attend an Earth Day event sponsored in part by...Exxon and Georgia Pacific.

On the bright side, at least the folks attending didn't show up to mock the tree huggers...and the environment is absolutely a winning issue for progressives...which is why, instead of adopting the usual wingnut derision, plenty of the winger persuasion try to co-opt the proceedings: hence, corporate sponsorship.

Still, this was an Earth Day that someone like Woody Jenkins could attend comfortably--which he did. Surprisingly, Woody looked to be pretty much alone, standing alongside a building wall in the City-Parish Government Complex (for the record, I believe the style of the complex is defined as "brutalist"--fitting, no?) I couldn't tell if the person he was talking to was part or all of his retinue or just someone on the receiving end of his campaign speil. And no, I didn't see any use in approaching Woody--besides, I just wasn't in the mood.

And then, someone almost ran headlong into me because they were busily...consuming funnel cake. Oh well.

Happy Earth Day, all.