Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Party of Love Needs a Great White Hope

Republican Representative Calls for the "Great White Hope":
U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins offered encouragement to conservatives at a town hall forum that the Republican Party would embrace a "great white hope" capable of thwarting the political agenda endorsed by Democrats who control Congress and President Barack Obama.

"Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope," Jenkins said to the crowd. "I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington."

Jenkins, a Topeka Republican in her first term in Congress, shared thoughts about the GOP's political future during an Aug. 19 forum at Fisher Community Center in the northeast Kansas community of Hiawatha....

The phrase "great white hope" is frequently tied to racist attitudes permeating the United States when heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson fought in the early 1900s. Reaction to the first black man to reign as champion was intense enough to build support for a campaign to find a white fighter capable of reclaiming the title from Johnson.

Think anyone in the so-called liberal media is going to ask Michael Steele about this? Anyone? Anyone? I mean, one remark about a "Wise Latina" got play for weeks. But do you think anyone in the media is going to have the balls to bring this up and finally ask Steele the question: "Has the GOP decided to limit its appeal to angry, bitter white people terrified of the Great Dark Horde coming to take their stuff? And how is this a path back to power? "

I'm not holding my breath.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Ralph Nader has Written a Novel?

...the vivid account by political activist and best-selling author Ralph Nader that answers the question, "What if?" What if for once the driving force in America was harnessed in the interests of the citizens of this great nation? What if some of America’s most powerful individuals decided it was time to fix our government and return the power to the people? What if Walmart were persuaded to unionize? What if a national political party were formed with the sole purpose of clean elections? What if we really embraced the alternative forms of energy that will effectively clean up the environment? What if, one by one, we set out to solve each of the problems that plague us now in the real world?

This extraordinary book, backed by a major promotional budget and written by the author who knows the most about citizen action, returns us to the literature of American social movements—to Upton Sinclair, to John Steinbeck, to Stephen Crane—reminding us in the process that repairing the body politic of America is still possible.

It sounds like some sort of heavy-handed satire of ATLAS SHRUGGED, but I can't see anyone as glum and earnest as Ralph Nader pulling it off.

Quote of the Day

From Paul Levine at The Naked Truth about Literature and Life:
People who carry guns to President Obama's town meetings are exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms and their God-given right to act like total dipshits.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Am a Bad Person and I Am Likely Going To Hell

Because when I saw this story, my first, visceral reaction was, "Oh, Christ, now we're going to have wall to wall Michael Freaking Jackson coverage all over again for the next six months. Maybe a year."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Here Come the Robots, Redux

So there's this artist named Christopher Conte who lives in New York. His day job is making artifical limbs. But his passion is for sculpture, particularly metalwork of scary looking, steampunky robots. Click through and kiss sleep goodbye.

Looks Nice, But Do You Have It In a .44 Long?

Latest Newspaper Column:
Are guns the new fashion statement?

Whether you're headed out to shout down a congressman at a town hall meeting on health care or attending a presidential speech to show that foreign-born usurper in the White House that you won't be intimidated, a firearm is the must-have fashion accessory this summer for the wingnut on the go.

We talked a little last week about William Kostric, the hardy Vermonter who showed up at a presidential appearance with a gun strapped to his hip because, he told Chris Matthews, he "wanted to be heard." (Kostric did not, as we implied last week, get arrested or have his gun confiscated. That was another fellow nearby who, unlike Kostric, had his gun concealed. This column regrets the error.)

Who knew that Kostric, who's a dead ringer for the guy who played Kramer on Seinfeld, would turn out to be such a trendsetter? Suddenly, it seems, wingnuts who show up to see the president of the United States without a firearm would be so out of style they might as well have shown up in a leisure suit.

At a recent Obama speech in Phoenix, for instance, several folks showed up packing heat. One young man, identified only as "Chris," had an AR-15 assault rifle slung on his shoulder to complement his nice shirt and tie. You could say he was dressed to kill.

Chris told an interviewer he brought the gun to show that "We will forcefully resist people imposing their will on us through the strength of the majority with a vote." I guess this goes to show just how out of fashion I really am, what with believing in democracy and peaceful transfers of power after elections and whatnot. I feel so passe.

The White House, for its part, showed that they're down with this fun new trend. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the White House had no problem with folks showing up with their favorite armament and observed that all of the well-heeled hecklers were acting within local laws.

This attitude must have come as a great disappointment to the ­protesters, in much the same way a teenager is deflated when the outfit she was all geared up to have a ­confrontation over gets only a "you look nice" from Mom. After all, a ­central tenet of wingnut fear is that the Scary Mooslim Man and his ­liberal posse are coming to take their guns.

I imagine Chris secretly felt a little cheated when the cops didn't try to wrest his AR-15 away so he could go all Charlton Heston and start ­screaming about his "cold, dead hand." Next thing you know, Obama won't be trying to kill his grandma, and then what will he have to be upset about?

So now that guns are trendy to wear when you're out and about, what, you may ask, is the proper gun for each occasion? Obviously, each person has to develop their own unique look, but here are some ideas:

For a night out with the missus, say a nice dinner and a show, the classic look of his-and-hers pearl-handled revolvers is always in style. For late-night clubbing, give your outfit a bit of urban chic with the fun and funky MAC-10 machine pistol, or go for a more sophisticated European look with the Heckler and Koch G36 assault rifle.

For church, funerals, and other solemn occasions, something ­dignified and subdued is the way to go, like the simple and unadorned lines of the Glock 9mm (unless you're Jewish, in which case you may prefer the Israeli-made Uzi or Galil assault weapons).

In the workplace, you want to avoid looking flashy or trashy. Avoid firearms with chrome or nickel ­plating, which just screams "look at me!" and shows that you're insecure in your own competence. Something simple and businesslike is the key to tell people you're a force to be ­reckoned with. To that end, you can't go wrong with the .44 magnum. And for real high-powered negotiations: suitcase nuke.

Please, wingnuts, keep carrying guns to political events. They look so good on you. And there's no better way to convince the average American that opponents of health-care reform and of the president aren't crazy.