Monday, March 29, 2010


I just found out that this friend from long ago died last November. I feel kind of numb, and very sad.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Calling it what it is

Rape culture and the Catholic Church.


Those of us who became aware of Karl Rove during his days as the campaign manager for George W. Bush when he ran against our dearly beloved Ann Richards are well aware of this tactic. It is one which he (Rove) perfected and for which he is, quite deservedly, notorious. Who could forget this notable incident (from his Wikipedia page):
In 1986, just before a crucial debate in campaign, Rove claimed that his office had been bugged by Democrats. The police and FBI investigated and discovered that the bug's battery was so small that it needed to be changed every few hours, and the investigation was dropped.[19] Critics, including other Republican operatives, suspected Rove had bugged his own office to garner sympathy votes in the close governor's race.[20]
Yeah. Sound familiar?

Good reads for Friday

SEK does Beck. Hilarious. Also, from his Comments:
Uncle Kvetch says:
March 26, 2010 at 6:00 am
On a different note: Am I alone in finding GB awfully fey in his mannerisms at times? Now, this is not a flippant “ultra rightwing loon = closet case” kind of thing on my part…but every time I see a clip of him I’m struck by how effeminate and prissy he can be while plying his schtick.

All I know is, it certainly does make watching him more endurable when my automatic reaction is “Oh, girlfriend, get over yourself.”
500 Days of Summer, from a feminist's pov. Thank you, Feministe.

HRC, beyond numbers.

And rounding up (for now) with this wonderful YouTube, H/T Echidne:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

As if eight years weren't enough

You know, I always saw Bill Clinton as kind of a buffoon with a pretty-much standard-issue moral code, for a politician. But George W. Bush, by comparison, makes Clinton look like a saint. Hell, maybe that's why Clinton chooses to hang out with him - I can't imagine any other reason, for crying out loud.

UPDATE: The video, for posterity:

Coulter "threatened"?

A careful reading of this article leaves one questioning just what, exactly, was the behavior on the part of students protesting Coulter's visit that "threatened" her safety. I call bullshit and I think it's a safe bet, given Coulter's MO. Ever the publicity hound, she was quick to publicize the letter she received from a university offical warning her about Canada's laws against hate speech. Note her immediate response (emphasis mine):
Levant (Coulter's spokesperson) blamed the bedlam on university academic vice-president Francois Houle, who had written Coulter to warn her that Canadian laws make provisions for hate speech.

"Promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges," he warned her in the letter, which Coulter quickly leaked to the media.

The university has refused to comment since. Levant said Houle's advice to Coulter had emboldened students to block her appearance.
So, "blocking her appearance" was threatening to her safety? It's worth noting that Glenn Greenwald wrote a good post about the pernicious nature of hate speech laws such as Canada's, but that's a far cry from suggesting that Coulter's "safety" was threatened because a bunch of students were protesting her talk. Given her propensity for stunts such as this, though:
Coulter, a best-selling author and syndicated columnist, was in the middle of a three-city tour of Canada, which began at the University of Western Ontario in London on Monday, and ends in Calgary on Thursday.

The event in London went without incident, but not without controversy.

When answering questions from students, Coulter told a 17-year-old Muslim student to "take a camel" instead of the flying carpet she has previously suggested Muslims use for transportation. Coulter later told CTV that the "camel" remark was a joke.
maybe it's understandable that she sees threats even where there are none, but I think the more likely explanation is that she just used this as an excuse for retribution against someone who had dissed her. Typical.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

HCR and Texas

Great post from jobsanger.

What I'm unclear about is how much Texas Republicans are going to be able to block implementation of the immediate benefits of HCR in Texas. 'Course I'd like to think this hypocritical strategy (anyone remember the term "frivolous lawsuit"?) will come back to bite them, but I'm not optimistic.

"Gall" is something they have no shortage of

Letter-perfect from Bob Herbert. An excerpt, with my emphasis:
It is 2010, which means it is way past time for decent Americans to rise up against this kind of garbage, to fight it aggressively wherever it appears. And it is time for every American of good will to hold the Republican Party accountable for its role in tolerating, shielding and encouraging foul, mean-spirited and bigoted behavior in its ranks and among its strongest supporters.

For decades the G.O.P. has been the party of fear, ignorance and divisiveness. All you have to do is look around to see what it has done to the country. The greatest economic inequality since the Gilded Age was followed by a near-total collapse of the overall economy. As a country, we have a monumental mess on our hands and still the Republicans have nothing to offer in the way of a remedy except more tax cuts for the rich.

This is the party of trickle down and weapons of mass destruction, the party of birthers and death-panel lunatics. This is the party that genuflects at the altar of right-wing talk radio, with its insane, nauseating, nonstop commitment to hatred and bigotry.

Glenn Beck of Fox News has called President Obama a “racist” and asserted that he “has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

Mike Huckabee, a former Republican presidential candidate, has said of Mr. Obama’s economic policies: “Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff.”

The G.O.P. poisons the political atmosphere and then has the gall to complain about an absence of bipartisanship.
Be sure to read the whole thing.

And rightwingers score another one

ACORN is out of business.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Alliterating Allies

I love my friend Gayle's new blog - and NOT just because she links to me!

Baby Steps

So they passed the damn bill. Good. Maybe sometime in the next 50 years we can get a public option, and maybe in another 50 years or so we can get single payer. Hey, and while I'm dreaming, maybe we can manage to get those things without having to throw women's health under the bus.

But if this debacle has a silver lining (and I do believe it has a few) it may be that Bart Stupak gets tossed out on his ear in the next election. I certainly hope so.

UPDATE: Atrios puts it well. It's more good than bad, but we were right to expect better leadership and a better bill. It's small comfort these days to know that a Democratic administration with a Democratic majority in Congress is still better than the same under Republicans, but that's what we have to live with. We really do need to work on getting better Democrats to represent us, reforming the way our politics are financed, and strengthening a progressive movement overall.

UPDATE AGAIN: And, um, yeah.

Friday, March 19, 2010

RIP Fess Parker

Yet another icon from my childhood falls - ah, the sands of time!

And, I'm sorry, but I just can't let this one go by unshared:

I swear I know every one of those kids. I think the little Oriental girl with the straw cowboy hat is a nice touch. And what's with the coon tail on the hat of that little girl in the middle? And the billy-bub with the glasses in back - does not every elementary class from time eternal have one of those?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole

Oh get your mind out of the gutter. I'm talking about this of course! Opens today! I may even fight the crowds and take my son to go see it after he takes his SATs tomorrow.

"Shamelessness and hypocrisy doesn't even begin to explain it."

How about pure, unadulterated evil?

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Bart Stupak is at it again. Apologies to Donna (who, to my knowledge, doesn't even read this blog anymore, but just in case) but any talk of finding "middle ground" with assholes like Stupak is just absurd. I absolutely believe that pro-choicers have given up entirely too much ground on this issue already, and our work needs to be toward reclaiming lost rights rather than finding new ways to "compromise" with evil bastards like Stupak.

It is the Stupaks of this world that have given us conditions like this in Kenya and elsewhere, and who would gladly see such lethal policies put into place here in the US if they could get away with it. And they won't ever quit trying. Ever.

It's also worth remembering that we have Rahm Emmanuel largely to thank for the fact that Stupak holds as much sway as he does on HCR, especially when reading all the undoubtedly Rahm-generated glowing tributes that have been showing up all over The Village. For a reality check on Emmanuel, this by Froomkin reminds us why he was let go by the Post.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Here's a case to keep an eye on

Should torture victims be able to seek redress in American federal courts? Read this carefully.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

In Which Heydave Attempts To Cheer Me Up

And, I have to say, does a damn fine job of it by sending me this: