Saturday, December 05, 2009

Jesus, Man, Buy the DVD and Get Over It

Arlington mayor fires at Obama online:
In the opinion of Arlington Mayor Russell Wiseman, President Barack Obama's speech on Tuesday night on the war in Afghanistan was deliberately timed to block the Christian message of the "Peanuts" television Christmas special.

Wiseman made the statements on his Facebook page, where he declared Obama to be a Muslim. Only people on Wiseman's "friend's list" had access to the post. He has more than 1,600 friends on Facebook.

"Ok, so, this is total crap, we sit the kids down to watch 'The Charlie Brown Christmas Special' and our muslim president is there, what a load.....try to convince me that wasn't done on purpose. Ask the man if he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he will give you a 10 minute disertation (sic) about it....w...hen the answer should simply be 'yes'...."

As you know, SWORS (Spasmodic Wingnut Outrage Syndrome) is a disorder of the central nervous system that causes impairment of higher brain function in some American conservatives. Sufferers from SWORS experience a near-total loss of any sense of proportion and become prone to manic outbursts of indignation over trivial events.

I think going ballistic and accusing the President of deliberately scheduling what was arguably the major policy address of this year just to pre-empt Charlie Brown is a sign that SWORS has permanently damaged this guy's brain.

As my friend BCB puts it: Good grief!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Panderin' Palin

Sarah Palin on Wingnut Talk Radio:
"I think the public rightfully is still making it [whether President Obama was born in the US] an issue," Palin said. "I don't have a problem with that. I don't know if I would have to bother to make it an issue, because I think that members of the electorate still want answers."

Sarah Palin on Facebook a few hours later:

Stupid Conspiracies

Voters have every right to ask candidates for information if they so choose. I’ve pointed out that it was seemingly fair game during the 2008 election for many on the left to badger my doctor and lawyer for proof that Trig is in fact my child. Conspiracy-minded reporters and voters had a right to ask... which they have repeatedly. But at no point – not during the campaign, and not during recent interviews – have I asked the president to produce his birth certificate or suggested that he was not born in the United States.

So Sarah Palin, Ms. Roguey Maverick, Ms. "I'm just a hockey mom," talks like a "birther" when she's on right wing talk radio, then backs off it when she's not.

There's a word for that.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

None Dare Call it Treason, At Least Not Any More

Matt Lewis, Politics Daily:
[T]he fact that a former vice president -- possibly the most influential in American history -- chose to criticize the policies of the sitting president of the United States on the eve of his committing 30,000 troops to war strikes me as inappropriate.
Certainly, there is hypocrisy on both sides. Conservatives were incensed -- and had a right to be -- when Democratic leaders, including Harry Reid and Joe Biden, took verbal pot shots at George W. Bush while the president was on foreign soil. (Jimmy Carter was even tackier: Carter went abroad and criticized Bush.) We tended to view that kind of behavior as unpatriotic.

Let me help you out a little, Matt. it wasn't just described as unpatriotic. It was described as treasonous, and people who did it were threatened with death.

Dick Cheney, however, gets the mildest possible criticism, and a continued soapbox to try and defend his failed policies at the expense of the country.

Liberal media, my ass.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Betrayed By the Obama in Your Head

it seems that filmmaker Michael Moore has joined the chorus of people claiming that they've been betrayed if Barack Obama sends more troops to Afghanistan.

Well, Mike, as well as anonymous ex-Marine who began haranguing my wife and daughter at a gas station over their Obama bumper sticker, I don't know who you thought was running, but this is the guy I pulled the lever for:

"The greatest threat to that security lies in the tribal regions of Pakistan, where terrorists train and insurgents strike into Afghanistan. We cannot tolerate a terrorist sanctuary, and as President, I won't. We need a stronger and sustained partnership between Afghanistan, Pakistan and NATO to secure the border, to take out terrorist camps, and to crack down on cross-border insurgents. We need more troops, more helicopters, more satellites, more Predator drones in the Afghan border region. And we must make it clear that if Pakistan cannot or will not act, we will take out high-level terrorist targets like bin Laden if we have them in our sights." -Barack Obama, July 15, 2008

I've said since the beginnings of Dubbya's Wacky Iraqi Adventure that we needed to be concentrating on Afghanistan and that Iraq was going to be a long and costly diversion. And part of the reason I backed Barack Obama in the first place was that he felt the same way, and wasn't afraid to say so:

We need more resources in Afghanistan. I have been arguing for this since 2002, when I said that we should finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban instead of going into Iraq. I have called for at least two additional combat brigades to support our efforts there. "-Barack Obama, June 18, 2008

You can have disagreements as to whether or not this buildup is a good idea. Personally, I'm waiting to see the rest of the plan. By which I mean, "30,000 troops to do what, exactly?"

But for people to be weeping and wailing "OMG we are betrayed!" because Obama's sending more troops simply ignores history or worse, rewrites it to suit some image in your head. Leave that for the wingnuts.

UPDATE: The Rude Pundit provides even more Obama quotes on sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Wingnut No More

Charles Johnson at the conservative blog Little Green Footballs has finally had enough. In his essay "Why I Parted Ways With The Right," he sets out point by point why "The American right wing has gone off the rails, into the bushes, and off the cliff". In the process, he defines exactly what I mean when I use the term "wingnut," including but not limited to: "bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism"; "Support for anti-science bad craziness "; and "Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech". And he names names.

It's particularly significant because this used to be one of the blogs that was Wingnut Central. Mr. Johnson and I would probably disagree on just about everything political, but it's nice to see a conservative denouncing the crazies who have hijacked his movement.

It's definitely worth reading in full, but stay out of the comments section unless you have a strong stomach.

And before anyone starts shrieking about Michael Moore or Alec Baldwin or whoever the right wing bogeyman du jour is, let me make two points:

(1) None of these people has done or said anything that's nearly as insane as the stuff Michelle Bachmann or Rush Limbaugh spouts every freakin' day, and, most importantly,

(2) They're not leaders of the Democratic Party. No one, for example, backpedals to kiss Michael Moore's ass the day after even mildly criticizing him.

Welcome to the ranks of the sane, Charles. Only problem is, you keep this up, and other conservatives follow your lead, I won't have anyone left to make fun of.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Correctness

Latest Newspaper Column (the director's cut):

Now that Thanksgiving is done and the shopping frenzy of Black Friday has passed, we are well and truly into the Christmas season.

At this time of loving, giving and maniacal consumption, let's not forget that there are some people for whom this time of year is particularly difficult. I'm speaking, of course, about people who suffer from SWORS: Spasmodic Wingnut Outrage Syndrome.

People with SWORS have it tough during the holiday season. Even the mention of the word "holiday," however innocent, can trigger an attack of SWORS:

NORMAL PERSON: Happy Holidays, Mr. Gundermeyer!

SWORS SUFFERER: You mean "Merry Christmas."


SWORS SUFFERER: Say it! Say Merry Christmas! SAY IT! SAY IT!

NORMAL PERSON: OK! OK! Merry Christmas! Just don't hit me, please!

Good will toward men, indeed.

Like the shopping season, the SWORS season seems to begin ­earlier every year. This year, the first company to be attacked was that mainstay of the American ­shopping mall, The Gap. The American Family Association, a hotbed of SWORS infection if ever there was one, got cranky about not seeing any mentions of "Christmas" in Gap advertising. Perhaps the fact that it was early November may have had something to do with it, but nevertheless, the AFA called for a boycott.

A few days later, The Gap responded by releasing one of those ads that seems destined to go down as one of the most annoying ever, the kind of ad that makes you dive for the remote and fumble for the "Mute" button. "Go Christmas!" chirps an insanely peppy group of dancing teenagers, dressed, of course, in Gap clothing.

Now, you'd think that mentioning Christmas right up from there would serve to soothe the riled-up nerves of the SWORS-afflicted. A SWORS sufferer, however, looks at every olive branch as if it contains a nest of tarantulas. And in this case, the fact that the group also chants "Go Hanukkah, Go Kwanzaa, go solstice!" seems to have nullified whatever palliative effect was intended. "It seems like a desperate attempt to get every possible demographic to shop in their stores," sniffed The Dallas Republican Examiner.

Now, to the non-SWORS-infected, it would seem obvious that the whole point of having a store would be to get as many people as possible in the door. And most normal people realize that when they hit the stores to do their shopping, they'll be right there alongside "every possible demographic," including Jews, African-Americans and the sort of person who likes to go on and on about "solstice."

One of the tragic things about SWORS, however, is the feeling of deep resentment and bitterness that its victims experience at the very thought that someone may look, feel, or believe differently than they do, coupled with a paranoid certainty that those "other people" are getting more of life's goodies than they are.

While it's certainly easy for a nonsufferer to be annoyed by people with SWORS, it's important to keep in mind that these are people with an illness. They just can't help themselves, and the problem is only made worse by the plethora of high-profile wingnut media figures who, like crack dealers, make themselves fat and rich by feeding other peoples' disease.

It is a shame that SWORS spoils people's appreciation of the things that all people, whatever their beliefs, celebrate during this season. Things like peace, hope, good will, generosity and reflection on what's really important in life.

It seems even more a shame that they have to inflict their lunacy on the rest of us. But in this time of comfort and joy, take a moment to talk to someone who suffers from SWORS. Put your arm around them, look into their angry, troubled eyes, and say those simple words that mean so much at this time of year:

"Lighten the hell up, will ya?"

Happy Holidays to you and yours.