May 2, 2013 1 Comment
April 29, 2013 2 Comments
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas wants an apology from the Sacramento Bee for running a cartoon by Jack Ohman that links his touting of loose business regulations to the tragic fertilizer plant explosion that leveled blocks and killed 14. Says Perry, in a letter to the paper,
I won’t stand for someone mocking the tragic deaths of my fellow Texans and our fellow Americans.
Perry learned this trick from George W. Bush, who accused anyone who questioned his war decisions of attacking the men and women he was sending to die.
Kudos to the Bee for honoring the dead by holding Perry’s feet to the fire in an effort to prevent similar catastrophes in the future, and shame on anyone who lets politicians hide from responsibility behind the victims of their own decisions.
April 17, 2013 1 Comment
George W. Bush is coming out of hiding to open his presidential library, and you’ll be happy to know he feels fine about his record as president. Bush reminds me a lot of Dan Quayle.
When, after Bush Sr. chose him as his running mate, concern was expressed about Quayle’s family pulling strings to keep him out of the Vietnam War, which he supported, he explained,
I did not know in 1969 that I would be in this room [as a vice-presidential nominee] today.
In other words, he didn’t understand the question. Rather than address his failure to do his duty, he spoke about a political blunder.
Bush, ahead of the library opening, explains away his unpopularity this way:
I’m comfortable with what I did.
What makes him think anyone cares?
Does he really think concern about the deaths of U.S. soldiers and Iraqis, torture and its consequences to our national image, the debt his administration racked up, or any of the other disasters of his presidency can be balanced by, “Well, as long as Bush feels okay about it…”? Does he think his critics are more worried about whether he feels bad than about the millions who were affected by his policies?
When your critics are wrong, a meaningful response details what they’re wrong about and why, but Bush, like Quayle before him, and not for the first time in his public life, doesn’t understand the question.
April 13, 2013 Leave a comment
Between Rand Paul at Howard & President Obama with Chained CPI the “Party of Lincoln” is just as true as “Party of FDR”
— 0dysseus (@zerOdysseus) April 12, 2013
March 28, 2013 Leave a comment
The arguments against gay marriage coming out as the Supreme Court ponders DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 are not only entertaining, but they provide a fascinating look at the way the minds of some of these right-wingers work.
Talk show host Matthew Hagee argues that when women are allowed to marry each other, they’ll stop having kids (leading, of course, to the most horrible thing that could befall a society–economic collapse due to a lack of consumers).
David R. Usher, president of the Center for Marriage Policy, argues that women who can choose each other will use men only as sperm banks and sources of child support.
Have any of these wingnutters ever been in a relationship with a woman? What sort of life must a man lead to fear that when women are allowed to marry each other none (or very few) will ever choose to marry a man?
February 21, 2013 1 Comment
Police don’t believe Oscar Pistorius’s claim that he felt threatened by the person locked in his bathroom, who turned out to be his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, now dead, but it doesn’t strike me as very different from the paranoid fantasies with which gun owners now routinely argue their need for limitless firepower. Gayle Trotter recently testified before congress that women’s safety requires the ability to instantaneously repel multiple violent attackers in their homes, though the only support she could come up with from the whole history of violent attacks was one that had been handily repelled by a woman with a non-assault weapon.
Just as some woman might some day face multiple intruders determined not to flee until she’s killed each one, so could an armed intruder in Pistorius’s bathroom have been about to shoot him through the door. This possibility forced him to shoot first.
Until gun owners learn to distinguish between their fears and reality, no one is safe. As Steenkamp, Trayvon Martin (whose shooter feared he might be armed), and many less publicized victims have shown us, it’s impossible to avoid looking as though we might be about to threaten someone’s life.
February 6, 2013 Leave a comment
Another gun death getting headlines. Too bad the victim didn’t have a gun to protect himself with. Oh, wait. He was an accomplished sniper and he was killed at a gun range.
Condolences to Chris Kyle’s loved ones. Let’s hope something good comes of his death. Maybe NRA supporters will figure out that guns don’t make them safe. Guns favor those who shoot first; they’re great for attacking, not so good for defending against other guns. It’s much better to prevent the bad guy from getting a gun in the first place than to have a gun around when he starts shooting.
January 21, 2013 4 Comments
Pro-gun activists designated Saturday “Gun Appreciation Day” and many gathered to show opposition to gun control. Nobody took the holiday more seriously than the five people who celebrated by being accidentally shot.
Meanwhile, in Albuquerque, a
boy, believed to be 15 years old, is in custody, charged with two counts of murder and three counts of “child abuse resulting in death.”
I know, of course, that guns don’t kill people, fifteen-year-olds kill people. I’m just having trouble remembering how they did it before they had access to guns.
January 11, 2013 5 Comments
Vice President [Joe] Biden is asking the president to bypass Congress and use executive privilege, executive order to ban assault rifles and to impose stricter gun control. F*ck that.
I’m telling you that if that happens, it’s going to spark a civil war, and I’ll be glad to fire the first shot. I’m not putting up with it. You shouldn’t put up with it. And I need all you patriots to start thinking about what you’re going to do, load your damn mags, make sure your rifle’s clean, pack a backpack with some food in it and get ready to fight.
I’m not f*cking putting up with this. I’m not letting my country be ruled by a dictator. I’m not letting anybody take my guns! If it goes one inch further, I’m going to start killing people.
William Saletan sensibly suggests that, despite differences of opinion on gun control, it should be easy to agree that we need to find a way to keep guns away from dangerous people. The obvious place to start, I would think, would be those who threaten that if they don’t get their way, they’ll kill people.
ADDED ON 1/12/13
As anyone following this story knows, Mr. Yeager’s handgun carry permit was suspended yesterday (1/11) by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, which makes my post (written before the suspension, or at least before I knew about it) pretty superfluous. I don’t write posts stating the obvious unless I think there’s a reason to do that. Our government’s stance toward gun ownership and a lot of outrageous straight-faced statements of gun owners and the gun-industry lobby have led me to believe that a lot of what seems obvious to me isn’t obvious to everyone. I’m relieved that the threat posed by Mr. Yeager was obvious to some to whom I wasn’t sure it would be.
January 9, 2013 Leave a comment
On Saturday, my brother emailed regarding his latest wish.
MATTHEW’S BROTHER: I would be happy if Joe Biden was named Vice-President for life. I really would.
My brother also sent an email linking to the following clip of Ezra Klein guest hosting The Last Word. I like how Klein divides his time talking about Biden-the-entertainer and Biden-the-negotiator. But why does it look to me like Klein borrowed his dad’s suit to be on the TV?
December 25, 2012 Leave a comment
A dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant that he found attractive simply because he and his wife viewed the woman as a threat to their marriage, the all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday. The court ruled 7-0 that bosses can fire employees they see as an “irresistible attraction,” even if the employees have not engaged in flirtatious behavior or otherwise done anything wrong.
(to the tune of “Unforgettable,” by Irving Gordon,
popularized by Nat King Cole)
(Dentist James Knight)
Irresistible, you’re truly grand,
Irresistible. So, doll, you’re canned.
Female charms are unignorable.
Here’s the ax, ’cause you’re adorable,
You have to go because you are so
Irresistible in every way,
Irresistible, if you should stay.
That is why I stand here stating you
Get this pink slip, terminating you,
‘Cause I dream of fornicating with you.
(All-male Iowa Supreme Court)
Irresistible we found his case
Irresistible. She has no place
In his office looking glamorous.
It’s her fault that he is amorous.
So he wants to wham-bam-ma’am her? Us, too.
December 24, 2012 Leave a comment
After his 2008 win, he talked a lot about bipartisanship. This time he’s determined to squeeze it out of Republicans. He believes he owes that to the people who voted for him.
That’s not exactly President Obama speaking. This characterization of the president’s feelings comes from “staffers and friends” as their comments are written up in the Politico/Random House e-book End of the Line and as that e-book is described by co-author Glenn Thrush.
Obama’s first term makes me reluctant to get my hopes up, but the words in Thrush’s article are pretty sweet. Let’s hope the President’s true sentiments have survived the many layers those words were filtered through. Let’s hope that this time, Obama will stand up for progressive values.