May 2009

It’s been a pretty strange week on the personal front, and the politics I typically really enjoy are sucking the life out of me like a mutant, giant and very hungry mosquito.

So I seek out refreshment in the form of someone of like mind. And who tells the tale wonderfully.

We’re in for some big, big trouble. The Stupid and Craven is pandemic. Not only that, It runs everything.

…on Hardball, this jumped out at me. Molinari, apparently taking the new GOP talking points out for a test drive, says something along the lines of she (Sotomayor) has a very wonderful and American story that we should celebrate, which doesn’t mean we can’t ask her some very tough questions, to which Tancredo grunts reluctant agreement.

Which brought to mind what those questions might be: “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Mexican race?” Tancredo, livid for much of the segment, was just a great spokesperson for the nutjobs, who in fairness ought to be given more air time.

It’s spectacular. I can’t believe how Pavlovian the GOP response has been. Beyond stupid, politically, beyond stupid, humanely.

Update: Dear GOP, Sonia Sotomayor has been a judge for about a zillion years, relative to her peers. There’s got to be something out there in all those decisions that will make me sympathetic. Find one. Then I’ll listen. Honest.

Update 2: In Susan Molinari’s defense, she may not have been parroting GOP talking points. She may have been sincere, and kudos to her if she was. She’s a Republican woman, by definition in a tough spot.

Poor thing. I’ve been e-mailing her for years about her spectacularly successful indoctrination in the good kind loving hands of the Catholic Church.

As usual, it appears my effort has been for naught.

My suspicion is that Maggie is gay, but like so many doctrinaire Catholics couldn’t admit it if they were being water-boarded, but I just don’t know. I DO know that her obsession cannot be psychologically healthy. Nor socially. She’s GOT to know some gay people she likes in the circles she runs.

So, get an editor, NOM/Maggie/Einstein. It will help your cause.

Oh, and for some inside-baseball stuff, the title of the S,N! post is based on this.

…on one Erick Erickson of the prominent conservative blog, Red State.

I remain in a years-long state of awestruck wonder at some of my favorite bloggers’ ability to wander around in the dungeons of Greater Wingnuttia, but FSM bless them for it. I’m convinced the open, free dialogue is a net positive in the long run. I just have no ability or desire to do it myself. For me, probing the depths of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and downright stupidity requires resolve of spectacular proportions, a good soldier’s willingness to sacrifice for me.

So, Erick, a blogger of many readers (which is a big part of my horror at reading them, they have Audience), posts this gem. I think it is about the GOP’s current identity crisis and chronic purging of anyone who deviates from the Truth, but I’ll leave that for you to decide.

Fortunately, some real whiz-kids of fortitude and humor have powers that far exceed my own. All of these gave me great joy.

The ever-funny Thers takes his shot, and closes with a typically hilarious flourish.

The geniuses at Sadly, No! have a slightly different take, a little more inside-baseball, but one that I also found wonderfully amusing, since I’m all “inside” and everything.

Atrios, as is his wont, posts a perfectly pithy link to Roy over at aliculblog, who throws in some bonus wingnutilosophy from the ever-sane Ace ‘O Spades as frosting on a very funny cake of a post.

Need something more urbane, more, if I may, classy (no offense to the previous mentions) to satisfy your needs for ridicule? Always read Wolcott. To be fair to Erick, Wolcott doesn’t even mention him, but instead takes the high road and effortlessly and seamlessly the low road by linking respected Wingnut publications and some serious blogging psychosis (Can’t someone figure out a way to harness the energy created by Buckley and Goldwater spinning in their graves? Energy problem: Solved!), being the great writer that Mr. Wolcott is.

It’s never comfortable to watch slow death in progress. I’m pretty sure there will always be a “far right” on the political spectrum, but I’m positive it isn’t going to be afraid of Ivy League educated Puerto Ricans (“Mexicans,” in the current intellectual genius incarnation of the Right), gay people, or people of a different faith in a time not too far off.

Indeed, it seems self-evident that the process has already started, and the far right is in various stages of denial and grief. I don’t imagine most of the folks in the GOP base will ever get to acceptance, at least until they are Raptured up to the Sky for their Great Exit Interview with Jesus, and are shown the light when Jesus or a surrogate tells them torture isn’t cool.

I mistrust unfettered power. “Beware The Man” and all. I have some traditionally conservative principles, like not starting wars of choice on false pretenses, fiscal responsibility, and the government leaving me the fuck alone when it comes to clearly personal decisions that have little-to-no bearing on the public good.

Maybe one day I’ll see a conservative consistently adhere to these principles. My grandfather was one.

He’s dead. And it was slow, and uncomfortable.

Ridicule is a very underrated form of political discourse.

Semi-blog edition. TPM does serious journalism, whether they’re recognized for it or not.

Read it. Made me laugh pretty hard.

Mostly because it is sadly, true!

Don’t know much about her, but two things worry me right out of the box.

One, she could have C. Thomas Syndrome, which goes along the lines of, “I made it through with nothing, why can’t they?” (In Thomas’ case, ignoring all the court cases that made his Supreme Court position possible.)

The other has to do with my personal and professional background. I had a beloved grandfather I lived with for years who was a very brittle diabetic, and both he and I were life underwriters, meaning we tried to decide based on mortality experience how long you were going to live when you applied for life insurance. When I found out the nominee is a juvenile diabetic I was shocked, frankly. Unless Judge Sotomayor is as disciplined as my grandfather was, unlikely but possible, about controlling her disease, she’s very near the end of her expected life-span. (Adding the caveat that individual circumstances are meaningless in the context of large numbers, i.e., some people smoke, drink, and couch their way to long and relatively healthy lives.)

I wonder if Obama is too young, his staff too uninformed about non-political things, to blow off vetting the poor woman physically. There are any number of medical tests I would’ve put her through before choosing her.

Juvenile diabetes is not to be fooled with. She’s obviously no dummy, but I can tell you from painful experience that the rote self-care required to maintain your physical health with early-onset diabetes is somewhat otherworldly.

My grandfather was the second most disciplined person I’ve ever known (lost by a nose at the wire). Controlling his diabetes was work, all by itself. Near full-time. And it didn’t always go well, even with all his knowledge (much more about DM than your average Endocrinologist, in my informed opinion) and monitoring. He was never insurable. He lived until 77, his exact mortality-predicted age, if he was healthy.

It still makes me laugh how much money the insurers would’ve made off him had they been able to make him a life insurance offer.

Update: Whaddaya know, they did check out S.S’s health. It was that “A1C” number I was interested in, but one of the only straight reporters left I have respect for, Karen Tumulty of TIME, has more. In this semi-professional opinion, there’s good evidence the nominee is taking extremely good care of herself.

I think the long-term political impacts of most of us having the ability to post our deepest, most sincere beliefs out there for all the world to see and subsequently ridicule are thus far underestimated.

It’s hard not to see how this kind of thing won’t speed up the marginalization process, that’s for sure.

It’s just…wow. A real wower. And the fact it’s published under The Weekly Standard’s title? Pure joyous frosting-gravy.

Something other than this.

Probably the first thing on the ol’ priority list: Take the asylum back from the lunatics?

What do I know? I’m just a regular citizen who wants an intelligent, fact based political environment with two (actually I would prefer at least three) reasonably sane, honorable political parties. That means the Republicans are going to have to engage in what some of us like to call, “reality.”

Right now it would be interesting to see the math on Republicans who believe in science and education in general, think war is sort of a bad idea, the Earth maybe more than 6000 years old, don’t fear non-whitey, don’t wet their beds every time they see one or hear about one or more arrested for being retarded basket cases, not worried about teh Ghey menace, interested in letting women be in charge of their own bodies, et al, should these fossils decide to break off.

Won’t happen, but would be interesting to see.

Every time I see the torture apologists on the Great Furniture of Learning endlessly babble on in repetitive theoretical language used by, to be fair, either side, I always wonder why the argument isn’t just ended, you know, with a simple request to the “pro-torture” sadists/bedwetters.

“Look, we don’t need to argue about this: Undergo some water-boarding, and if you aren’t made to say something we know to be not only antipathy to absolutely everything you publicly claim to believe like, ‘water-boarding isn’t torture,’ but a blatant factual lie, like, say, ‘The sun rises in the west’ for example, then if you hold out, [I’ll] concede water-boarding isn’t torture. Or you fold, and concede that it is. To make it more fun, we can try to make you say that last bit while you’re being water-boarded, so we’ll have fodder for filling TV time later: Did you say it was torture because you were being water-boarded, or because you (now) believe it is?”

(Hint: This is how Overton Windows are moved.)

Call it the OlbermannVentura gambit.

Christ, it’s sickening to watch. Not only that, it has become so boring to me I just turn the channel. Take that, advertisers!

Cut to the fucking chase, talk about something else, or shut your pie-holes.

Why I’m not a Democrat, part 10 zillion. 90 to fucking 6?

So the question pretty much boils down to one of two conclusions: Our captured “terrorists” (we should probably keep in mind that some of these people are innocent. Always read Digby, Einsteins.) have Superpowers, thus are able to break out of our harshest prisons by morphing themselves into clouds and drifting over the fences, impervious to the bullets.

The other one is maybe this: We don’t want to expose ourselves to more embarrassment via our pristine and deified justice system (OJ!) when some of these folks are able to prove themselves innocent against the non-existent charges.

I’ll admit it: Being imprisoned for something I didn’t do, or even just thought, is more or less fetish-horror-porn to me. My worst nightmare.

Update: A clever third possibility is that Obama is orchestrating this to shore up his cred on the Right. I will not put this kind of thing past him ever again. He’s smarter than I am, and I like it. Bush was not, and I hated it. This has nothing to do with Party.

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