Friday, July 24, 2009

Let the Wingnuts Burn

Jim Winter Makes Sense.

In short, he suggests that the Republicans with any damn sense just abandon ship, let the clowns like Limbaugh and Co. run the damn thing onto the rocks, and start over. Possibly as Libertarians or even Blue Dog Democrats.

Now, unlike Jim, I've never met a libertarian with a sense of humor, but I'm willing to allow that my contact has been limited to some of the more hardcore members of the party. And I did vote once for a Libertarian for Attorney General of North Carolina , just because I knew the other candidates and they were idiots who were having a good day if they didn't drool on themselves. Also, I thought a libertarian's head might explode having to enforce some of North Carolina's laws, and I thought that might be entertaining. But I digress.

The alternative is to wrest control of the party away from the Birthers and the Teabaggers and restore some intellectual honesty to the GOP so we can have a real debate over real issues, not yapping over BIRTH CERTIFICATE GATES GATES RACIST RACIST RACIST SOCIALIST MARXIST FASCIST AYERS AYERS JEREMIAH WRIGHT from now till fucking doomsday.

But I don't see any will among sane Republicans (and they do exist) to do this.

Quote of the Day

From Balloon Juice:

Remember when Obama was responsible for how the Dow was doing?

Good times. Good times.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sorry, Bill Crider, Now It's Missouri A- Leadin' The Way.

Think Progress » Missouri car dealer offers free AK-47 with purchase of new truck.
Mark Muller, the president of Max Motors in Missouri, is offering a gift certificate for a Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle to anyone who purchases a pick-up truck. Muller, whose business slogan is “God, Guns, Guts, and American Pick-Up Trucks,” said the response to the offer has been very strong. “There is a lot of worry about crime, we have a methamphetamine problem around here and people just want to protect themselves,” said Muller.

Well, it's a nice start, but kinda candy-ass, if you ask me. What he really ought to be marketing is a pickup with a .50 caliber machine gun on a swivel mount.

Let's see those meth-heads fuck with that.

UNCAGE ME Hits the Streets.

From Human Under Construction: UNCAGE ME makes it's appearance in bookstores. La.

In case you missed the earlier warnings, UNCAGE ME is:

The follow-up to 2007's Expletive Deleted. New stories from Scott Phillips, Allan Guthrie, Christa Faust, Victor Gischler, J.A. Konrath, J.D. Rhoades, Declan Burke, Brian Azzarello, Steven Torres, Stewart Macbride, Simon Kernick, Patrick Shawn Bagley, Greg Bardsley, Stephen Blackmore, Tim Maleeny, Nick Stone, Martyn Waites, Talia Berliner, Maxim Jakubowski, Gregg Hurwitz, Blake Crouch, and more! As if all of that wasn't enough, there's an introduction by New York Times best selling author John Connolly

It's a rare privilege to be included in such a stellar lineup. Thanks to Jen Jordan for letting me be part of it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Senate's Comedy of Errors

Latest Newspaper Column

"Unless you have a complete meltdown, you are going to get confirmed. And I do not think you will."

That was Sen. Lindsey Graham this past Monday, addressing soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

It was a rare burst of realism for a GOP senator. After all, the Democratic-controlled Senate has the votes to easily confirm the Appeals Court judge from Brooklyn, even without the expected Republican defections.

As of this writing, Judge Sotomayor hasn't melted down. Some of her opponents, however, are coming pretty close.

It began the day Sotomayor was nominated, when former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee fired off an immediate press release: "The appointment of Maria Sotomayor for the Supreme Court is the clearest indication yet that President Obama's campaign promises to be a centrist and think in a bipartisan way were mere rhetoric. Sotomayor comes from the far left."

Huckabee's criticism might have been taken a little more seriously if the nominee's first name was actually Maria.

The circus continued during the first day of the hearings, when the only thing anyone was hearing was the sound of the senators' own voices and their endless "opening statements." Not a single question was asked of Judge Sotomayor. This didn't stop Glenn Beck, Fox News' most out-of-control hysteric, from raging about how easy the questioning was "as our country burns to the ground." At least he didn't start crying again.

Then Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the point man for the attacks on Sotomayor, stepped on a banana peel when he actually got around to asking a question.

Why, he asked, can't Judge Sotomayor be more like another female judge, that nice Judge Cederbaum, who, according to Sessions, "believes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices"? Apparently, Sessions didn't realize, until Judge Sotomayor pointed it out, that Judge Cederbaum was actually in the hearing room at the time in support of Sotomayor.

"We are good friends," Sotomayor replied calmly, "and I believe that we both approach judging in the same way." In a later interview, Cederbaum confirmed that she didn't "believe for a minute that there are any differences in our approach to judging, and [Judge Sotomayor's] personal predilections have no effect on her approach to judging."

Note to Sen. Sessions: When you plan to use Person B to slam Person A, make sure Person B isn't in the room to cut the legs out from under you within the hour.

But, as Graham tacitly admitted, this isn't about whether or not Judge Sotomayor will become Justice Sotomayor. She will. Nor is it really about qualifications, or concerns about judicial philosophy. It is, first, about payback. Republicans are still grinding their teeth over what they saw as unfair criticism of nominees Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork.

The Sotomayor-bashing is also, however, about running for the next election. The Republican members of the Judiciary Committee are playing to the their shrinking base of old, angry and bitter white men. And they're selling the only thing left to sell, since they long ago abandoned anything resembling principles or ideas: They're selling fear. Fear of the Scary Brown People who are Coming to Take Your Stuff.

This strategy was expressed most nakedly by another former GOP presidential candidate, Tom Tancredo, who blasted Sotomayor's membership in the Latino civil rights organization La Raza, which he called the "Latino KKK." Of course, Tancredo didn't seem to have any problem with La Raza backing George W. Bush's attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, who at one time was being floated as a possible Bush SCOTUS nominee.

But who cares about consistency when you have white folks to scare and money to collect? And after all, who cares if the GOP alienates Latinos and women with their snarky, smug, and condescending questions, including Sen. Tom Coburn telling Sotomayor in a broad Ricky Ricardo accent that "She got some 'splainin' to do"? Who really needs the fastest-growing group of voters in the country (not to mention women)? Yeah, good plan.

Enjoy your minority status, guys. It looks like you're going to keep it for a while.