Monthly Archives: June 2012

Deep Supreme Court Thought

I may not be much of a lawyer nowadays but I’ve been amused by all the folks who are *absolutely* certain that the Supremes will throw out the Health Care law. It’s all based on tough questions asked at the oral argument. One thing I learned from my Con Law profs is that appellate cases are won with written briefs and that oral arguments are for show. Yeah, the raving monster loony justices were mean to the solicitor general but that doesn’t mean the law will be struck down.

What we’ll learn from tomorrow’s decision is whether or not Chief Justice Roberts minds being seen as a partisan hack. He strikes me as very image conscious, which could lead to commerce clause precedents being upheld instead of slashed and burned per the wishes of the delusional and downright demented Scalito/Thomas faction of the court. The commerce clause gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce and health care amounts to something like 1/6th of our national economy. If that ain’t commerce, I don’t know what is.

So, I’m going to stick my neck out and predict that the law will be upheld by a 6-3 vote with Kennedy and Roberts joining the sane faction of the court. The only part of the law that *might* be thrown out is the so-called individual mandate. I say so-called because mandates usually have an enforcement mechanism and this does not. It’s a man without a date or a date without a man or some such shit…

I could be wrong, I have been many times before and y’all are welcome to mock me if I am. But if Roberts and Kennedy are *really* conservatives they’ll defer to the legislative branch on this issue instead of having this opinion compared to the partisan hackery ofBush v. Gore.

Branding the Damage On

And I say that as somebody whose spouse got a tattoo of their wedding date on his ring finger.
(Which was not my idea [much less my command]. I found it sweet, if a little bit fate-tempting, like isn’t this like painting on a target for the universe? That’s how this kind of stuff happens, you get your lover’s name inked on you and immediately, as if that caused it, she’s banging the fellow who does the landscaping.)
(Nevertheless, it was sweet. And nobody does our landscaping. We live in a condo. Landscaping is when I throw out the dead plants I forgot to water.)
This is gross. Look, marriage is hard enough without throwing all this cutesy bullshit at it designed to make you hate each other. The world is designed to make you hate each other and yourselves already, what with the weather and the economy and how we can’t build a washing machine that doesn’t at some point make a noise like someone stuck a squirrel in the gears, so let’s keep pimping out this adversarial view of relationships where you’re locked in a struggle to the death. Who has time for that shit? Jesus, no wonder nobody gets married now until they’re like 35, because it takes you that long to jettison all the cultural crap you’ve been loaded up with, like this idea about “preventing” cheating somehow, and decide if you really want to do this after all.
A.

Oh For Fuck’s Sake, Own It Already

This will so totally work, you guys:

Claire McCaskill will not be attending the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, a McCaskill aide confirmed to TPM Tuesday. McCaskill joins a list of vulnerable Democratic politicians whose home districts are hostile ground for President Obama and who will be steering clear of the convention.

This always works. It’s always totally effective for a Democrat to run against other Democrats. I mean, we know it completely impresses the Sunday shows, and that’s who’s really voting anyway! It makes you look all mavericky and complecticated, and it absolutely insulates you from criticism that you’re a babykilling gay-married who wept over Osama’s bullet-ridden corpse while listening to a dramatic reading of Rules for Radicals by Bill Ayers and Al Sharpton. In Chicago. Where you took the bus.

It is just so fucking predictable and sad at this point, watching Democrats fall for this shit. I don’t know who’s advising them. I don’t know who’s sitting them down and saying, for too long in American history we have relished electing bold and courageous leaders who display the values of loyalty and integrity even during difficult times. For too long, Americans have chosen men and women with gusto and gallantry, whose acts of bravery have inspired little schoolchildren and lit the fires of hope in every heart across this dark, dark planet we call home.

Now, as a country, we finally are ready to vote for a bunch of pussies who are askeered of standing at the side of the nation’s first black president whose re-election is only vaguely endangered because his opponent’s asshole supporters have more money than God and blowing it on dressage horses got old. Right now, America is looking for a candidate who knows who her friends are, and wants to be as far away from them as possible. Lest someone on Fox call her a rude name.

WHICH THEY ARE SO TOTALLY DOING ANYWAY. So it’s not even effective politics. It’s not even working.

Look, I’m not saying you should never disagree with your friends. I fight with my friends all the time about stuff and I love them like I love my left breast. What I am saying is that in moments of extremity, say, during an election year when your enemies want to kill and then eat you, you might consider that if you throw your friends overboard you’ll be left with your enemies, alone.

A.

Weekend Question Thread

E-readers. Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc. Have one, want one, like them, don’t?

A.

Nora Ephron, R.I.P.

Writer, director and second generation humorist Nora Ephron has died at the age of 71. Her bookHeartburn is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read although her ex-husband Carl Bernstein, who is skewered therein, may beg to differ. Her film career ended on a high note in 2009 withJulie & Julia and who among us didn’t howl, guffaw and cackle during When Harry Met Sally? Writing comedy is serious business and Nora Ephron was one of the best. She’ll be missed.

Here’s a swell tribute to Nora by Lawrence O’Donnell:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Visit msnbc.com forbreaking news, world news, andnews about the economy

Nora Ephron, R.I.P.

Writer, director and second generation humorist Nora Ephron has died at the age of 71. Her book Heartburn is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read although her ex-husband Carl Bernstein, who is skewered therein, may beg to differ. Her film career ended on a high note in 2009 with Julie & Julia and who among us didn’t howl, guffaw and cackle during When Harry Met Sally? Writing comedy is serious business and Nora Ephron was one of the best. She’ll be missed.

Here’s a swell tribute to Nora by Lawrence O’Donnell:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Oh For Fuck’s Sake, Own It Already

This will so totally work, you guys:

Claire McCaskill will not be attending the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, a McCaskill aide confirmed to TPM Tuesday. McCaskill joins a list of vulnerable Democratic politicians whose home districts are hostile ground for President Obama and who will be steering clear of the convention.

This always works. It’s always totally effective for a Democrat to run against other Democrats. I mean, we know it completely impresses the Sunday shows, and that’s who’s really voting anyway! It makes you look all mavericky and complecticated, and it absolutely insulates you from criticism that you’re a babykilling gay-married who wept over Osama’s bullet-ridden corpse while listening to a dramatic reading of Rules for Radicals by Bill Ayers and Al Sharpton. In Chicago. Where you took the bus.

It is just so fucking predictable and sad at this point, watching Democrats fall for this shit. I don’t know who’s advising them. I don’t know who’s sitting them down and saying, for too long in American history we have relished electing bold and courageous leaders who display the values of loyalty and integrity even during difficult times. For too long, Americans have chosen men and women with gusto and gallantry, whose acts of bravery have inspired little schoolchildren and lit the fires of hope in every heart across this dark, dark planet we call home.

Now, as a country, we finally are ready to vote for a bunch of pussies who are askeered of standing at the side of the nation’s first black president whose re-election is only vaguely endangered because his opponent’s asshole supporters have more money than God and blowing it on dressage horses got old. Right now, America is looking for a candidate who knows who her friends are, and wants to be as far away from them as possible. Lest someone on Fox call her a rude name.

WHICH THEY ARE SO TOTALLY DOING ANYWAY. So it’s not even effective politics. It’s not evenworking.

Look, I’m not saying you should never disagree with your friends. I fight with my friends all the time about stuff and I love them like I love my left breast. What I am saying is that in moments of extremity, say, during an election year when your enemies want to kill and then eat you, you might consider that if you throw your friends overboard you’ll be left with your enemies, alone.

A.

The Many Moods Of Richard Mourdock

Oh fer fuck’s sake. I’ve tried twice to post over here today and both times my post got eated. Once it was a really lovely piece about the SCOTUS health care ruling and it just *poof* went away.

I’m not even going to bother anymore. Here’s a video from last night’s Colbert Report, wherein he mocks Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who pre-taped his different responses to the SCOTUS health care decision and then accidentally published them on YouTube last week. Woopsies.

Needless to say, Mourdock’s pre-taped responses, absent anything factual like, y’know, why SCOTUS would have ruled the way it did, were superficial affairs, loaded with talking points and little else. Of course. Who really cares why SCOTUS would overturn, not overturn, or partially overturn the Affordable Care Act? These things are unimportant to Richard Mourdock, who only cared about being first out of the box in letting the world how it affects him, Richard Mourdock.

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The Country as a Whole

So everybody’s been piling on this guy, who richly deserves it:

“I see a reporter here,” he said. “I just pray that you start writing about these issues. I just pray. Stop always writing about, ‘Oh, the person couldn’t get, you know, their food stamps or this or that.’ You know, I saw something the other day — it’s like, another sob story, and I’m like, ‘But what about what’s happening to the country and the country as a whole?’ That’s going to devastate everybody.”

And I want to talk about this a little bit because it’s not just that he doesn’t see what he likes in the press anymore. It’s not just that he doesn’t want to be reminded of people who have less than he does. It’s not just that he’s a rich asshole who would rather not have to look at what happens when rich assholes get their way. That’s been going on forever. That’s the very nasty, very HUMAN response to getting exactly what you ordered from the menu of various types of shitstorms you could have.

We saw that with the Iraq war, too, with the anger from the right over the pictures of burned and bloodied and yes, terrorized people, with the pictures of the tortured from Abu Ghraib. We see that now with the aftermath of drone strikes, with stories of black sites and secret proceedings: Take it away, don’t make me look at it, don’t make me see what I’ve done. When given that this is what you’ve done, the least you can do is look at it.

No, what I want to address is this guy’s insistence that we’re not seeing the big picture.

One of the things that drives me nuts about our current political conversation is the insistence on prizing abstractions over actual, you know, things. Wittering on about the deficit and the idea of “running government like a business” when people need jobs and old age is only not automatic poverty by dint of amazing luck, for example. Talking about needing to kick some ass in other countries because otherwise people will think we’re weak. Shrugging off anyone who’s hurt by modern economics as oh well, just part of the cost of living. That’s what this guy’s really pissed about. He thinks the system is the story, “the country as a whole.” The rules and how they’re followed are the point, to him.

He’s completely 180 degrees bass-ackwards, of course, but not for the reasons he thinks, not because sob stories just deep-down make him feel icky and instead of taking that icky feeling for what it is — a HINT — he’d rather you stop encouraging it. He’s wrong because the system, the rules, “the country as a whole,” isn’t the point. People are the point. A system is only good so long as it actually serves people and when it no longer does it’s time to burn that motherfucker down, as has happened throughout history every time this has occurred.

Perpetuating the rules for the sake of perpetuating the rules — following The Law because it is The Law, and not because it is also right and good — is the source of most of the up-fuckedness in the world and always has been. “The country as a whole” is not the rules and it’s not the system. It’s not the deficit, it’s not the budget, it’s not government spending. It’s who can’t get their food stamps. It’s who’s being failed and who’s getting lost because our fate is your fate, because the country as a whole means the country as a whole, all of us.

The country as a whole is and always will be what happens to the very least of us, and no more. It’s what we tolerate happening in the name of perpetuating a system that rewards the powerful and punishes the powerless. It’s what we’re willing to sacrifice in service of the rules we’ve made, so that those rules continue.

That’s a sad story. It probably is upsetting to hear it. Easier to talk about the system and the rules, because by themselves, they don’t mean anything at all.

A.

The Many Moods Of Richard Mourdock

Oh fer fuck’s sake. I’ve tried twice to post over here today and both times my post got eated. Once it was a really lovely piece about the SCOTUS health care ruling and it just *poof* went away.

I’m not even going to bother anymore. Here’s a video from last night’s Colbert Report, wherein he mocks Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who pre-taped his different responses to the SCOTUS health care decision and then accidentally published them on YouTube last week. Woopsies.

Needless to say, Mourdock’s pre-taped responses, absent anything factual like, y’know, why SCOTUS would have ruled the way it did, were superficial affairs, loaded with talking points and little else. Of course. Who really careswhy SCOTUS would overturn, not overturn, or partially overturn the Affordable Care Act? These things are unimportant to Richard Mourdock, who only cared about being first out of the box in letting the world how it affects him, Richard Mourdock.

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Scalia: Get off my lawn, Barry

Antonin-Scalia

Every time I hear wingers say that they love judicial restraint and hate judges who legislate from the bench I think of Bush v. Gore, which was perhaps the most overtly partisan opinion ever issued by the Supremes. We have a new entry in Justice Scalia’s lone wolf opinion/rant in the Arizona immigration case.

Nino’s mind is apparently boggled by the Obama administration. Guess it boggles easily but *my* mind is boggled by the ad hominem and intemperate language used by Scalia. The Supremes are most respected when they float loftily above the politics of the day but Scalia seems to have forgotten this. He’s also finally worn out his welcome among the “respectful disagreement” crowd.

Newt Gingrich has been described as a dumb person’s idea of a smart person. I’ve heard the same remark made about Antonin Scalia, and until today I would have said that was unfair. Scalia has always had a taste for over-the-top rhetorical flourishes, as well as an unnecessarily high opinion of his own intellect, but these weaknesses had to be balanced against … oh never mind, I can’t do this any longer.

Scalia, who 25 years ago had a certain gift for pointing out the blindness and hypocrisy of certain versions of limousine liberalism, has in his old age become an increasingly intolerant and intolerable blowhard: a pompous celebrant of his own virtue and rectitude, a purveyor of intemperate jeremiads against the degeneracy of the age, and now an author of hysterical diatribes against foreign invaders, who threaten all that is holy.

Nino is a crank who may eventually be found on his porch with a shotgun demanding that skateboard kids show him their papers. It’s quite revealing that his favorite hunting buddy is former Vice President Duce who was a cranky old man in utero

There was an urban myth that circulated at Tulane Law School when I went there in the late ’80’s. It involved Scalia and a liberal law professor who will remain nameless since I’m unsure as to whether or not the story is true. Once upon a time, Scalia lectured at Tulane Law’s Greek Isles summer course. The story goes that the professor in question got extraordinarily drunk one evening. (Not sure if Ouzo was the culprit but I haven’t touched the stuff since an episode in the Plaka eons ago.) The prof was seated next to the Justice and, well, tossed his cookies on Scalia’s lap. I’ve heard dozens of versions of what Scalia said at that point but this is my favorite: “You call this respectful disagreement?”

I Remembered, I Run A News Division: Newsroom Thread

Mchale

I mean it, it’s different this time. It’s really special. You wouldn’t understand.

I’m going to take a page from Aaron Sorkin’s book and tell you why smarter people than I am are absolutely wrong.Pierce:

Cronkite did his famous “We are mired in a stalemate” in 1968, which was about six years at least after said stalemate was obvious to people like Neil Sheehan. A year after Cronkite’s broadcast, a solid plurality of Americans polled were still in favor of “total military victory,” whatever the hell that meant, and the war groaned on for four more years, more than 20,000 more dead Americans, and god alone knows how many more dead Asian peasants. Murrow certainly contributed to Joseph McCarthy’s downfall, but not as much as Joseph Welch did, and Murrow did it while still hosting a show where he had to ask Liberace when he was planning to get married. Sorkin is so attached to his own personal Great Man theory that he applies it retroactively to events most of his audience is old enough to have lived through, and, at those moments, he seems to be relying on the general American historical amnesia so many of his characters spend so much time decrying.

Spoilers within.

Continue reading

Scalia: Get off my lawn, Barry

Antonin-Scalia

Every time I hear wingers say that they love judicial restraint and hate judges who legislate from the bench I think ofBush v. Gore, which was perhaps the most overtly partisan opinion ever issued by the Supremes. We have a new entry in Justice Scalia’s lone wolf opinion/rant in the Arizona immigration case.

Nino’s mind is apparently boggled by the Obama administration. Guess it boggles easily but *my* mind is boggled by the ad hominem and intemperate language used by Scalia. The Supremes are most respected when they float loftily above the politics of the day but Scalia seems to have forgotten this. He’s also finally worn out his welcome among the“respectful disagreement” crowd.

Newt Gingrich has been described as a dumb person’s idea of a smart person. I’ve heard the same remark made about Antonin Scalia, and until today I would have said that was unfair. Scalia has always had a taste for over-the-top rhetorical flourishes, as well as an unnecessarily high opinion of his own intellect, but these weaknesses had to be balanced against … oh never mind, I can’t do this any longer.

Scalia, who 25 years ago had a certain gift for pointing out the blindness and hypocrisy of certain versions of limousine liberalism, has in his old age become an increasingly intolerant and intolerable blowhard: a pompous celebrant of his own virtue and rectitude, a purveyor of intemperate jeremiads against the degeneracy of the age, and now an author of hysterical diatribes against foreign invaders, who threaten all that is holy.

Nino is a crank who may eventually be found on his porch with a shotgun demanding that skateboard kids show him their papers. It’s quite revealing that his favorite hunting buddy is former Vice President Duce who was a cranky old man in utero

There was an urban myth that circulated at Tulane Law School when I went there in the late ’80’s. It involved Scalia and a liberal law professor who will remain nameless since I’m unsure as to whether or not the story is true. Once upon a time, Scalia lectured at Tulane Law’s Greek Isles summer course. The story goes that the professor in question got extraordinarily drunk one evening. (Not sure if Ouzo was the culprit but I haven’t touched the stuff since an episode in the Plaka eons ago.) The prof was seated next to the Justice and, well, tossed his cookies on Scalia’s lap. I’ve heard dozens of versions of what Scalia said at that point but this is my favorite: “You call this respectful disagreement?”

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Strange Ofays edition

Good morning, gentle people!

This whole Romney / Freeperati thing has taken a bizarre turn – they hate him so much that they’ve all turned into DFHs.

Think I’m kidding?

Prepare yourselves for –I can haz war, plz?

Mitt Romney Says He Could Wage War on Iran Without Congress’ Approval
The Alatnic ^ | June 20th, 2012 | Conor Friedersdorf

Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 8:59:50 PM by Mozilla

On Face the Nation on Sunday, Mitt Romney said that if elected president he wouldn’t have to get congressional permission for a military strike on Iran.

To quote him directly (emphasis added):

I can assure you if I’m president, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world. I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now. I understand that some in the Senate for instance have written letters to the president indicating you should know that a containment strategy is unacceptable. We cannot survive a course of action which would include a nuclear Iran we must be willing to take any and all actions.

All those actions must be on the table.

1 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 8:59:57 PM by Mozilla
Now you know down deep in their hearts, these assholes never met a sending-someone-else-to-die they didn’t like, right?
Right?

To: Mozilla

Yeah Willard

send those 5 boys of yours at the front of the line…

2 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:01:50 PM by Tennessee Nana (Why should I vote for Bishop Romney when he hates me because I am a Christian)

JawDrop

To: Mozilla

Some times ya just need to keep ur mouth shut.

5 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:04:26 PM by TribalPrincess2U (Criminaliens or Crimigrants…0bamao’s people? Answer: Evidently yes.)

So it’s OK to intend to start another war in the Middle East, as long as you lie about it to get elected?

To: Mozilla
Well, we all know that arguing with idiots doesn’t work on the basis of our experiences with our neighbors and co-workers.

Having said that; if we start up another war in the Middle East, we may very well run out of soldiers and armament.

I say let those people over there argue over whose god is the real god and which zombies and prophets are right about the universe until they wipe each other out.

I personally would not care if the entire Middle East was reduced to a sea of glass with no inhabitants.

9 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:10:18 PM by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)

I have no words.

To: Mozilla

Oh great. Now we have our own candidate to be king.

Now some folks can run him on the ‘My king is better than your king” platform.

Armour and chain mail will be handed out at the jousting tournaments this fall.

Maybe we could cooperate with the other side to make sure their two armors are oppositely charged. The first time they make a pass, they’ll merge into one big glob of king juice and we can start over.

11 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:10:51 PM by DoughtyOne (Remove all Democrats from the Republican party, and we won’t have much Left, just a lot of Right.)

To: Mozilla

Nope.

It was wrong when Obama did it in Libya, and it’ll be just as wrong if Romney does it in Iran.

3 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:02:55 PM by Yashcheritsiy (not voting for the lesser of two evils)
Isn’t anybody going to stand up for the time-honoured GOP policy of borrowing billions to bomb the browns?

To: Yashcheritsiy
It was wrong when Obama did it in Libya

Apples and oranges, my friend.

Libya was an internal matter and we should have stayed out. Iran wants to wipe another country off the map.

That was Iraq – and we did that for them. And not even a thank-you card in return!

That, cannot be allowed.

6 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:05:00 PM by The Iceman Cometh (Proud Teabagging Barbarian Terrorist Hobbit Son-of-a-Bitch!)
To: The Iceman Cometh
Apples and oranges, my friend.

Sorry, but I don’t buy that we have to go involving ourselves in every hot spot the world over.

Somebody please tell Romney that we don’t even have enough money left to operate that pirate ship in the Pirate’s of the Caribbean ride at Disney, much less launch yet another war in the Middle East.

15 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:12:32 PM by Yashcheritsiy (not voting for the lesser of two evils)
To: Mozilla

Where is dicator wannabe going to get the money for his war, I wonder. Dumb as a box of rocks.

26 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:18:55 PM by SaraJohnson

To: Sherman Logan

In all the “UN-declared” wars we have lost approximately 120,000 lives with close to 330,000 wounded.

For what? A draw, a loss, and the verdict is still out on the latest two – OIF and OEF.

And here we have yet another Neo-con boasting how he will bypass Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution once again.

Words simply escape me – that can be posted under Jim’s guide lines anyway!

51 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 11:13:12 PM by ImpBill (“America, where are you now?” – Little “r” republican!)

Alll we are sayyyyyy-ing – Is give peeace a channce!
Strange days indeed.
More scherzo for schizoids after the Turing Test.

Continue reading

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Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Sioux Spaceman

I’m fond of Westerns and as I’m overly fond of saying they’re the root of most of today’s action genres. Edgar Rice Burroughs was one of the grandaddies of sci-fi and his books gave their heroes a space helmet instead of a stetson; other than Tarzan who was hatless except when Cheetah sat on his head.

This week’s pulp cover takes that whole mixed hat thing to it’s logical extreme:

Sioux Spaceman

Not Trying Hard Enough

I’ll say:

Mr Cameron said the existing benefits system was “sending out strange signals on working, housing and families”.

He went on: “A couple will say, ‘We are engaged, we are both living with our parents, we are trying to save before we get married and have children and be good parents.

“‘But how does it make us feel, Mr Cameron, when we see someone who goes ahead, has the child, gets the council home, gets the help that isn’t available to us?’

“One is trapped in a welfare system that discourages them from working, the other is doing the right thing and getting no help.”

But your fictional couple is getting help. They’re getting help from their parents, which makes them lazy and entitled, last I checked in with the world’s foremost authorities on self-determination, right-wing politicians of the world. “My dad could afford to give me a start in life, therefore I am completely independent and deserve sole credit for all of my achievements” is a construction I will never understand.

Then again I suppose we should all have the grace to be born white in a Western country, because I totally remember that choice in the womb and boy am I awesome for having made it.

A.

ps. I’m just about done with the state telling people how many children they can have. Either put birth control in the water supply and make people have to apply for a breeding license, or shut the fuck up, because shaming people for having children is like the least effective way to do this.

Not Trying Hard Enough

I’ll say:

Mr Cameron said the existing benefits system was “sending out strange signals on working, housing and families”.

He went on: “A couple will say, ‘We are engaged, we are both living with our parents, we are trying to save before we get married and have children and be good parents.

“‘But how does it make us feel, Mr Cameron, when we see someone who goes ahead, has the child, gets the council home, gets the help that isn’t available to us?’

“One is trapped in a welfare system that discourages them from working, the other is doing the right thing and getting no help.”

But your fictional couple is getting help. They’re getting help from their parents, which makes them lazy and entitled, last I checked in with the world’s foremost authorities on self-determination, right-wing politicians of the world. “My dad could afford to give me a start in life, therefore I am completely independent and deserve sole credit for all of my achievements” is a construction I will never understand.

Then again I suppose we should all have the grace to be born white in a Western country, because I totally remember that choice in the womb and boy am I awesome for having made it.

A.

ps. I’m just about done with the state telling people how many children they can have. Either put birth control in the water supply and make people have to apply for a breeding license, or shut the fuck up, because shaming people for having children is like the least effective way to do this.

The Country as a Whole

So everybody’s been piling on this guy, who richly deserves it:

“I see a reporter here,” he said. “I just pray that you start writing about these issues. I just pray. Stop always writing about, ‘Oh, the person couldn’t get, you know, their food stamps or this or that.’ You know, I saw something the other day — it’s like, another sob story, and I’m like, ‘But what about what’s happening to the country and the country as a whole?’ That’s going to devastate everybody.”

And I want to talk about this a little bit because it’s not just that he doesn’t see what he likes in the press anymore. It’s not just that he doesn’t want to be reminded of people who have less than he does. It’s not just that he’s a rich asshole who would rather not have to look at what happens when rich assholes get their way. That’s been going on forever. That’s the very nasty, very HUMAN response to getting exactly what you ordered from the menu of various types of shitstorms you could have.

We saw that with the Iraq war, too, with the anger from the right over the pictures of burned and bloodied and yes, terrorized people, with the pictures of the tortured from Abu Ghraib. We see that now with the aftermath of drone strikes, with stories of black sites and secret proceedings: Take it away, don’t make me look at it, don’t make me see what I’ve done. When given that this is what you’ve done, the least you can do is look at it.

No, what I want to address is this guy’s insistence that we’re not seeing the big picture.

One of the things that drives me nuts about our current political conversation is the insistence on prizing abstractions over actual, you know, things. Wittering on about the deficit and the idea of “running government like a business” when people need jobs and old age is only not automatic poverty by dint of amazing luck, for example. Talking about needing to kick some ass in other countries because otherwise people will think we’re weak. Shrugging off anyone who’s hurt by modern economics as oh well, just part of the cost of living. That’s what this guy’s really pissed about. He thinks the system is the story, “the country as a whole.” The rules and how they’re followed are the point, to him.

He’s completely 180 degrees bass-ackwards, of course, but not for the reasons he thinks, not because sob stories just deep-down make him feel icky and instead of taking that icky feeling for what it is — a HINT — he’d rather you stop encouraging it. He’s wrong because the system, the rules, “the country as a whole,” isn’t the point. People are the point. A system is only good so long as it actually serves people and when it no longer does it’s time to burn that motherfucker down, as has happened throughout history every time this has occurred.

Perpetuating the rules for the sake of perpetuating the rules — following The Law because it is The Law, and not because it is also right and good — is the source of most of the up-fuckedness in the world and always has been. “The country as a whole” is not the rules and it’s not the system. It’s not the deficit, it’s not the budget, it’s not government spending. It’s who can’t get their food stamps. It’s who’s being failed and who’s getting lost because our fate is your fate, because the country as a whole means the country as a whole, all of us.

The country as a whole is and always will be what happens to the very least of us, and no more. It’s what we tolerate happening in the name of perpetuating a system that rewards the powerful and punishes the powerless. It’s what we’re willing to sacrifice in service of the rules we’ve made, so that those rules continue.

That’s a sad story. It probably is upsetting to hear it. Easier to talk about the system and the rules, because by themselves, they don’t mean anything at all.

A.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Strange Ofays edition

Good morning, gentle people!

This whole Romney / Freeperati thing has taken a bizarre turn – they hate him so much that they’ve all turned into DFHs.

Think I’m kidding?

Prepare yourselves for –I can haz war, plz?

Mitt Romney Says He Could Wage War on Iran Without Congress’ Approval
The Alatnic ^ | June 20th, 2012 | Conor Friedersdorf

Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 8:59:50 PM byMozilla

On Face the Nation on Sunday, Mitt Romney said that if elected president he wouldn’t have to get congressional permission for a military strike on Iran.

To quote him directly (emphasis added):

I can assure you if I’m president, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world. I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now. I understand that some in the Senate for instance have written letters to the president indicating you should know that a containment strategy is unacceptable. We cannot survive a course of action which would include a nuclear Iran we must be willing to take any and all actions.

All those actions must be on the table.

1 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 8:59:57 PM byMozilla
Now you know down deep in their hearts, these assholes never met a sending-someone-else-to-die they didn’t like, right?
Right?

To: Mozilla

Yeah Willard

send those 5 boys of yours at the front of the line…

2 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:01:50 PM byTennessee Nana (Why should I vote for Bishop Romney when he hates me because I am a Christian)

JawDrop

To: Mozilla

Some times ya just need to keep ur mouth shut.

5 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:04:26 PM byTribalPrincess2U (Criminaliens or Crimigrants…0bamao’s people? Answer: Evidently yes.)

So it’s OK to intend to start another war in the Middle East, as long as you lie about it to get elected?

To: Mozilla
Well, we all know that arguing with idiots doesn’t work on the basis of our experiences with our neighbors and co-workers.

Having said that; if we start up another war in the Middle East, we may very well run out of soldiers and armament.

I say let those people over there argue over whose god is the real god and which zombies and prophets are right about the universe until they wipe each other out.

I personally would not care if the entire Middle East was reduced to a sea of glass with no inhabitants.

9 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:10:18 PM byelkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)

I have no words.

To: Mozilla

Oh great. Now we have our own candidate to be king.

Now some folks can run him on the ‘My king is better than your king” platform.

Armour and chain mail will be handed out at the jousting tournaments this fall.

Maybe we could cooperate with the other side to make sure their two armors are oppositely charged. The first time they make a pass, they’ll merge into one big glob of king juice and we can start over.

11 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:10:51 PM byDoughtyOne (Remove all Democrats from the Republican party, and we won’t have much Left, just a lot of Right.)

To: Mozilla

Nope.

It was wrong when Obama did it in Libya, and it’ll be just as wrong if Romney does it in Iran.

3 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:02:55 PM byYashcheritsiy (not voting for the lesser of two evils)
Isn’tanybody going to stand up for the time-honoured GOP policy of borrowing billions to bomb the browns?

To: Yashcheritsiy
It was wrong when Obama did it in Libya

Apples and oranges, my friend.

Libya was an internal matter and we should have stayed out. Iran wants to wipe another country off the map.

That was Iraq – and we did that for them. And not even a thank-you card in return!

That, cannot be allowed.

6 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:05:00 PM byThe Iceman Cometh (Proud Teabagging Barbarian Terrorist Hobbit Son-of-a-Bitch!)
To: The Iceman Cometh
Apples and oranges, my friend.

Sorry, but I don’t buy that we have to go involving ourselves in every hot spot the world over.

Somebody please tell Romney that we don’t even have enough money left to operate that pirate ship in the Pirate’s of the Caribbean ride at Disney, much less launch yet another war in the Middle East.

15 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:12:32 PM byYashcheritsiy (not voting for the lesser of two evils)
To: Mozilla

Where is dicator wannabe going to get the money for his war, I wonder. Dumb as a box of rocks.

26 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:18:55 PM bySaraJohnson

To: Sherman Logan

In all the “UN-declared” wars we have lost approximately 120,000 lives with close to 330,000 wounded.

For what? A draw, a loss, and the verdict is still out on the latest two – OIF and OEF.

And here we have yet another Neo-con boasting how he will bypass Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution once again.

Words simply escape me – that can be posted under Jim’s guide lines anyway!

51 posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 11:13:12 PM byImpBill (“America, where are you now?” – Little “r” republican!)

Alll we are sayyyyyy-ing – Is give peeace a channce!
Strange days indeed.
More scherzo for schizoids after the Turing Test.

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I Remembered, I Run A News Division: Newsroom Thread

Mchale

I mean it, it’s different this time. It’s really special. You wouldn’t understand.

I’m going to take a page from Aaron Sorkin’s book and tell you why smarter people than I am are absolutely wrong.Pierce:

Cronkite did his famous “We are mired in a stalemate” in 1968, which was about six years at least after said stalemate was obvious to people like Neil Sheehan. A year after Cronkite’s broadcast, a solid plurality of Americans polled were still in favor of “total military victory,” whatever the hell that meant, and the war groaned on for four more years, more than 20,000 more dead Americans, and god alone knows how many more dead Asian peasants. Murrow certainly contributed to Joseph McCarthy’s downfall, but not as much as Joseph Welch did, and Murrow did it while still hosting a show where he had to ask Liberace when he was planning to get married. Sorkin is so attached to his own personal Great Man theory that he applies it retroactively to events most of his audience is old enough to have lived through, and, at those moments, he seems to be relying on the general American historical amnesia so many of his characters spend so much time decrying.

Spoilers within.

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