Monday, July 23, 2012

The Big Tent

In which our favorite honorary Kardashian gets her party invite lost in the mail:

The Mitt Romney campaign hasn’t invited Sarah Palin to speak at — or even attend — next month’s Republican National Convention, in Tampa, Newsweek’s Peter Boyer reported. The convention schedule is still in flux, according to convention spokesman James Davis.

“While convention planning is well underway, we have not made any decisions on program schedule or speakers at this time,” Davis said. “We will announce those details closer to the event.

Ahahaha. Yes, with the convention hardly a month away, they're still trying to decide who's going to appear and speak. Hilarious. Well, Our Girl knows how to take a diss from The Man:

Palin surely knows that the official schedule isn’t set, but that didn’t prevent her from pouncing at Boyer’s inquiry, saying she suspects she’s “not the only one accepting consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle” and that “in accepting those consequences... you don’t invite yourself to the Big Dance.”

Especially if she or one of her offspring has a conflicting reality-show appearance. No, seriously, I think a good chunk of America, cognitively dissonant and downright schizophrenic on a lot of things, simultaneously wants Palin both to go away and to speak at the convention. She's the gift that keeps on giving, and when their lead horse has all the zip of a jar of Miracle Whip, anything to keep awake would be helpful.

It's going to be a desultory affair anyway -- Tampa in August, the summer swelter and the palmetto bugs, the refusal by their most recent successes to drop by and sit a spell, brag about their numinous achievements. Basically a four-day circle-jerk to keep Jonah Goldberg and the rest of the hangers-on believin' just one more time.

The Democrats may not have a whole hell of a lot to offer, but if the Mittster insists on leaving all the pepper at home, he's going to be outclassed by any random Dem back-bencher they throw up there.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


If you happen to see Bobo Brooks or Joke Line walking a little funny these days, it's probably thanks to Charles Pierce's ruthless ass-reaming of their hackery.

It is the elite political reporter's job, upon request, to sing to the real owners of the country a pleasant tune in a charming soprano voice. In return, they become very important players in the increasingly worthless puppet show that the real owners of the country are making out of the politics of the country.

Amen. Political commentators, as a rule of thumb, strive to live down to Upton Sinclair's old saw about a man not understanding something if his paycheck depends on him not understanding it. So you have Brooks praising Romney as the finance version of a personal trainer, one of "rigor" and "productivity", as opposed to simply the equivalent of using other people's money to buy distressed property, borrow money against it to take out ginormous fire insurance policies, then torch the place.

Klein scarcely challenges the status quo any more than Brooks does; the stock in trade of both these men is to find the political center of any debate, on any subject, and attempt to circumscribe the perceived "centrist" path through the muddle.

But there is no muddle here. The stark reality is that, where at one time there may have been some intersection of interests for the peons and the oligarchs, there no longer is. This is by said oligarchs' explicit acknowledgement; if I have to sit through another round of braying by some pampered trophy cow that the people she rents don't understand the workings of the world quite as profoundly as she does, I'm going to punch a wall.

This is the way Romney and his claque want it, the system does precisely what they have engineered it to do. Brooks is right -- Romney is an efficiency expert, and his intent is to optimize. But the conditions he intends to optimize are those of the mafiosi who bankroll him, certainly not the conditions of the thankless rabble. Brooks knows this as well, he has to by now.

Brother From Another Mother

In the annals of unforced errors, this one is small but telling: death squad candidate Willard Mittington Rmoney III runs a tone-deaf hit ad contrasting (free signup required to read entire article at FT link) his smooth Pat Boone-isms with those of Soul Brutha #1:

Mr Romney’s senior moment came as he responded to a withering television commercial released by President Barack Obama’s campaign last weekend. That advertisement features Mr Romney delivering an off-key rendition of “America the Beautiful”, while the viewer is treated to scenes of empty offices and factories and headlines alleging that Mr Romney moved jobs from the US to other countries and kept money in offshore accounts.

Mr Romney counter-attacked with a commercial noting the country’s dismal economic condition and suggesting that Mr Obama only cares about helping his campaign donors. To drive that point home, it concluded with the president singing “I’m so in love with you”, a line from the old Al Green hit “Let’s Stay Together” to cheers from supporters at a fundraiser this year that was attended by Mr Green himself.

Viewed from a tactical standpoint, I was surprised that the Romney camp used Mr Obama’s performance. I could see why Mr Obama featured Mr Romney in his commercial; the Republican’s warbling suggested a lack of harmony between his rhetoric and his record in government and the private equity business. But unlike Mr Romney, Mr Obama sang quite well, raising the question of why the opposition would show him off to his advantage, even in this limited sense.

Fortunately, Rmoney's fambly-valyews advocates from the ownership class (seriously, are the Welches just really terrific human beings or what?) take a moment from lecturing their pool boys and nail ladies on the virtues of bootstrapping to explain just what Mr. Finger-On-The-Cultural-Pulse really meant:

In an appearance on CNN with her husband, Mrs Welch suggested that Mr Obama’s personal style and choice of musical material define him as a member of a “different America”. I would imagine this is why Mr Romney’s campaign included the snippet of Mr Obama singing “Let’s Stay Together” at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. They hoped it would convey his otherness.

“It’s the difference between the songs that they’re singing,” Mrs Welch said. “Mitt Romney didn’t exactly do a beautiful job on that song, but think about what he’s singing, OK? I mean it’s that patriotic song and he goes all the way through it. Then you’ve got the very cool Barack Obama singing Al Green. That is the two different Americas. Isn’t it?”

Indeed. The guillotines can't arrive fast enough.

Son of a Gun

Apparently everyone's expected to have or contrive some sort of received wisdom as to the motivations of the guy who shot up the movie theater the other night. He's a liberal, he's a conservative, he's a fanboy, blah blah blah. Bad enough that people need to declare What This Means, but to transparently utilize it as a template for their pre-existing pet peeves is, at the very least, indecent.

The most noteworthy thing about this tragedy, sadly, is how commonplace it is anymore, and not just mass shootings of random bystanders, but the routine occurrences of family murder-suicides, which seem to be frequently in the wake of economic devastation. The biggest factor in this particular instance is not radical political leanings, or even mental illness per se, it's how easy it is for deranged nutbags to acquire firearms and start spraying crowds.

The horror we all feel is by now tempered with ironic bemusement, because in the wake of this incident, and the next one, and the ones after that, nothing will be done to address the ease with which anyone can acquire deadly force with less hassle than it takes to legally drive a car. It's hard to say that further gun control might solve the problem anyway -- Switzerland has plenty of guns, and almost no gun crime. Whatever is proposed has to be done in a way that doesn't punish the vast majority of responsible gun owners, for the actions of a demented few.

And any proposal for even modest gun control would obviously be career suicide for any pol who put it forth. Where the ironic bemusement comes in is in recognizing that, if anything is done, it will be along the line of increasing surveillance and oversight. Americans will accept the intrusions of the state everywhere -- if someone were to propose putting metal detectors in movie theaters and supermarkets (were they not, you know, privately owned), you can count on a decent number of people endorsing it. They will allow any and every other freedom to be circumvented, rather than make Jared Lee Loughner or the Virginia Tech shooter jump through even one more modest hoop.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The One Who Knocks

One of the very few shows worth watching, easily in a league with all-time greats like The Sopranos and The Wire. It's hard to say enough good things about this show and its amazing ensemble cast. And the recapper in the link clearly loves the show, which is contagious. For some reason, the final season is being split into two eight-episode mini-seasons.

With the now-annual pissing contests between satellite providers and cable networks, over bundling and prices and such, great shows that require people of skill may become fewer and farther between. There's a lot of great stuff on, but as long as enough people are willing to watch retards wrestle gators and tow cars and open storage lockers, it's easy to understand the business decision that opts for the short margin of dreck, over the long-tail model of having to pay skilled people to make shows with expensive sets and costumes and, you know, writing.

If the profit margin of one offsets the prestige and craft of the other, we're all the poorer for it. Even if ingested ironically, it's sad that inbred duck-call manufacturers and handfishin' hillbillies have any cultural presence at all.

But whatever. Enjoy Breaking Bad while it's still around.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beyond Parody

When Andy Griffith passed away last week, most Americans and media outlets probably thought of Mayberry. Some of us thought of A Face in the Crowd.

And then some others just couldn't help themselves, and thought only of Griffith as a "shill" for "Obamacare". That takes some doing, to reduce a 50-year career, featuring not one but several iconic name-the-character-and-you-instantly-know roles, and Teh Precious is the first and only thing that springs to their little minds.

Amazing. This is the sort of shit that puts comedians out of work, because you can't lampoon it. It just is, unabashed, unashamed, unable to help itself, like a drunken hillbilly screwing a farm animal in plain sight of the neighbors.

This is what a good chunk of America has devolved to, folks. How do you like it?

Some Folks Is Even Whiter Than Me (Slight Return)

[Graphic credit: Under the Mountain Bunker]

So the Mittster takes a detour from Hamptons fundraisers for douchey swells to have rap session with the NAACP, and, well, another day, another unforced error:

The audience initially welcomed the unofficial Republican nominee with a standing ovation and applauded when he promised to represent "all Americans of every race, creed and sexual orientation," and noted that "old inequities persist" even half a century after the civil rights movement.

But murmurs of disagreement rippled through the crowd early on when he argued that his policies would help "families of any color more than the policies and leadership of President Obama." When he added that he would reduce spending, in part, by eliminating "nonessential, expensive programs" like the president's healthcare plan, the audience booed for 15 seconds. And when Romney harshly criticized the president for failing to create jobs and "better educate tomorrow's workers," he appeared to have punctured much of the goodwill that was initially directed his way.

Romney stood quietly behind the lectern, smiling at the audience as it voiced disapproval. "I do not have a hidden agenda," he continued. "If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him." To a scattering of boos and catcalls, the candidate paused and nodded firmly before carrying on with his speech. "You take a look," he said.

While a few audience members credited Romney for his bluntness, a number of them suggested that he intended to be provocative.

"He wasn't speaking to us," NAACP Chairman Emeritus Julian Bond said after Romney's speech. "He was speaking to that slice of white America that hasn't made up its mind about him, and he's saying, 'Look at me; I'm OK. I can get along with the Negroes. I can say things to them that they don't like, so I'm not afraid to stand up to them.' … I think that's what this is all about, and that's the reason he came."

That sounds about right. Now he has options -- he can run off to Dick Cheney's for another fatcat hoedown, or go on tour with Dave Chappelle. Either way, hilarity ensues.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bush League

Awful swell of The Atlantic to write ad copy for the next inevitable Bush to run for political office. He's pedigreed! He's pretty! He's half-Mexican! Awesome.

Because that's just what we need -- yet another Bush with their thumb on the public scale. ("P." is #3 on the linked list. My prediction about his political future was off by a few years, but will still probably happen.)

I'll give him this much -- at least he hasn't followed the paths of some of his uncles, and become a money launderer, or an S&L grifter, or the worst preznit this nation has ever endured. Kid's only 36, give him time.

Two Americas

Mitt's big fundraiser in The Hamptons proves once again that having an assload of money doesn't prevent one from being a complete turd of a human being. Hell, with this crowd, it's a qualification:

A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. "I don't think the common person is getting it," she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. "Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.

"We've got the message," she added. "But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies -- everybody who's got the right to vote -- they don't understand what's going on. I just think if you're lower income -- one, you're not as educated, two, they don't understand how it works, they don't understand how the systems work, they don't understand the impact."

Indeed. Stoopid poorz, don't they know what's best for them? Well, no matter -- Mitt and his rich buddies know, and they're gonna give it to them good and hard. If only someone would make these uneducated lower-income morons buck up and bootstrap themselves, why, they wouldn't have so much time to complain. See, Miss Range Rover's got it all figured out.

Is it wrong of me to hope this fucking bitch gets herpes from her pool boy?

Remember, folks, the best way to hurt rich assholes is to turn them into poor assholes. There's a goal worth working overtime for.

Sunday, July 08, 2012


Jesus Christ. Is there anything redeeming about what's left of this "culture"?

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A shot rings out, but the burqa-clad woman sitting on the rocky ground does not respond.

The man pointing a rifle at her from a few feet away lets loose another round, but still there is no reaction.

He fires a third shot, and finally the woman slumps backwards.

But the man fires another shot.

And another. And another.

Nine shots in all.

Around him, dozens of men on a hillside cheer: "God is great!"

Officials in Afghanistan, where the amateur video was filmed, believe the woman was executed because two Taliban commanders had a dispute over her, according to the governor of the province where the killing took place.

Both apparently had some kind of relationship with the woman, said Parwan province governor Abdul Basir Salangi.

"In order to save face," they accused her of adultery, Salangi said.

Then they "faked a court to decide about the fate of this woman and in one hour, they executed the woman," he added.

Both Taliban commanders were subsequently killed by a third Taliban commander, Salangi said.

Maybe, in our eventual departure from (sigh) that place, we can airlift the women and children -- and whatever adult males there are that haven't lapsed into abject barbarity -- the hell out of there. It's hard to say what else can be done; for every legit Taliban thug you kill, five or ten more crop up. Schools and roads get sabotaged and bombed. So perhaps removing their chattel and their sex toys will precipitate the final lapse into desuetude, the elimination of a foul mindset.

Behind every great fortune is a great crime, and behind every great civilization is a lot of shit to apologize for. But for all of our shortcomings, we don't do this....this horrific, scummy parody of a society, where a faceless vagina in a burlap sack is dumped into a soccer stadium to be shot like a piece of meat. It's like something out of a bad post-apocalyptic novel.

May the perpetrators this and so many other crimes -- against humanity, against decency -- be plagued by long and excruciating cases of ass herpes.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Book of Moron

Conventional wisdom, such as it is, has slowly divested itself from the "debate" about Willard "Buzz Killington" Romney's Mormonism. While said religion does have some, ahem, rather unusual tenets, and has been responsible for considerable ugliness in the past (as opposed to, you know, any of the innumerable other belief systems which hinge on devotion to the improbable in order to navigate through life), counterintuitively it seems that, out of everything we know and are still learning about Romney, Mormonism seems to be the best thing about him.

I mean, really, what else can you hang your hat on with this guy -- that he's a rich asshole who was born on third base and acts like he hit a triple? That we the peons get the privilege of subsidizing his wife's "therapeutic" show ponies? That he has the people skills of an Asperger's sufferer? That, to listen to him speak, one's first impression boils down roughly to "Dubya with experience as financial weasel"?

These are fun times, friends 'n' neighbors -- for the next few months, you get to watch Romney's party vainly try to convince themselves that this guy's gonna take 'em to the promised land, deliver them from the clutches of that eeeevil islamocommiefascistneegrow. Hell, it might even work. Considering a substantial chunk of voting-age 'murkins are borderline retarded, anything's possible. Why not unemployed working-class people being bamboozled into voting for a hectomillionaire whose career was outsourcing their jobs? Yeah, that makes much more sense than giving Jon Huntsman and his smokin' hot daughters a shot.

Job Creators Are Go

Awful large of Scrooge McDuck to take a break from his Stepford vacation to grief the peons about the failed policies of failure imposed by their failed preznit, and totally not the fault of supersmart and helpful and wise Republicans who have bent over every which way to try to make this marriage work so neener-neener.

Should be a decent placeholder until the inevitable lecture about how his values infuse his decisions. Or until he whiffs on his veep pick and goes for Rob Portman, possibly the only guy on the planet with less charisma than Willard hisself. Looking forward to the non-stop hilarity of having a ticket with all the charm and excitement of a glass of warm milk.

Epic Flail

ur doin it rong

I defy anyone to watch this video, and be able to tell at the end if naughty librarian S.E. Cupp is actually an atheist, or even a garden-variety agnostic. For someone who supposedly has a degree in religious studies, this is a perplexing muddlement of thinking.

Good thing no one saw it.

Some Folks Is Even Whiter Than Me

Not sure what's more hilarious -- that the Moonie Times has increasingly toxic retard Ted Nugent uncorking a barrel of incoherent spittle on its already craptacular op-ed pages, or that Nugent apparently thinks he's an honorary black guy.

Epic win either way, though. The inevitable snark-lash from this should have poor Nuge weeping profusely about the death of free speech, and how persecuted he is, in no time. That's always been the conservatard M.O. -- clog up various broadcast media with vituperative rhetoric laced with overtly violent references and imagery, then get all butt-hurt when commenters on the intartubez tell him to go fuck himself. Worse yet, they might stop showing up to see him play Cat Scratch Fever for the millionth time, and shoot Hitlery Clinton targets like the flaming jackass he is.