Saturday, October 25, 2008

Maybe Michelle Bachmann should just shut up...

Since everyone is jumping on the I Hate Michelle Bachmann bandwagon, I wanted to post this video that went live on The Huffington Post showing another glowing example of prideful ignorance injected into right-wing patriotism.

Never mind that the riots in question at the time had nothing to do with teenagers demanding bigger welfare payouts, but rather neighborhoods who felt that government sanctioned racial discrimination had become commonplace, the catalyst for which was the death of two suburban teens during a high speed police chase. Nobody can really feign shock and surprise anymore when politicians refuse to let facts interfere with a good campaign speech.

The most shocking part of Bachmann's rhetoric is that she seems to have little or no idea exactly how evil or stupid she sounds. "Only in France," she says with a self-indulgent chuckle that would make Rush Limbaugh proud, "could you have suburban youths rioting because welfare benefits aren't generous enough." Then she explains that they're really rioting because they are all watching al Jazeeera on cable TV, and that this was all happening because France was letting the the Muslims come in and take over their culture.

You could spend hours reading into the racist, nationalist, xenophobic, bigoted, and downright ignorant origins of every word the woman forces out of her mouth. Especially about how France "had" a great culture, but they were losing it the Muslims who were refusing to assimilate into the culture. However, I'm going to take a moment to obsess over a little line that slips through the cracks somewhere between the rioting teens and "Not all cultures are equal."

My personal favorite is when she laughs at the absurdity of poor people complaining about not having any money, yet they still have cable television in their apartments. This is the kind of mental slight-of-hand that became real popular back in the late eighties, when it became common to dismiss the idea of poor people by listing the luxuries they had. Rush Limbaugh would spend hours complaining how people considered too poor to pay taxes could afford "luxuries" like air-condition, VCR's (yeah, that's how old this argument is) and even cable TV.

The next time someone complains to you about welfare recipients having dvd players or cable television, tell them to get a pen and paper.

Then tell them to make a column with the cost of a cheap second-hand dvd player, a used television, and the annual rental cost of basic cable.

Then tell them to make a second column with the estimated costs of rent, clothing, groceries (both food and necessities, like toiletries), medical bills, school supplies, and utilities for a family of four currently trying to struggle through hard times on welfare.

Then have him compare the number from the first column to the number from the second column.

Then kick him in the shin. Really hard.

Is it a Lie, or is it Memorex? Michelle Bachmann is not quite sure...

A week ago, Minnesota Republican Michelle Bachmann was on Hardball with lovable psycho-boy Chris Matthews. When Chris challenged her on her recent statements about Barrack Obama being anti-American, she not only backed her original statement, but gleefully called for McCarthy reminiscent investigations into the patriotism of other office holders.

Reaction was swift, and thankfully, much of that reaction was outrage and disgust. Bachmann's opponent in Minnesota, Elwyn Tinlenberg, received a sudden influx of nearly half a million dollars in donations the next day, while NRCC chairman Tom Cole thanked Bachmann for linking this year's Republican election races to one of the Right Wing's darkest moments in US history by pulling her campaign funds.

Apparently, Michelle Bachmann is not only stupid enough to think that calling for a new political witch hunt was a good call, she's also dumb enough to think that no one would notice if she denied having ever said what she was recording as saying on a major cable news channel.

With both sides calling her an out-and-out idiot, she quickly scrambled to release a recorded statement (good call on avoiding another interview, Michelle) that was neither a retraction, an apology, or even an acknowledgement of the trouble she'd gotten herself into.

What's more mind-boggling to me isn't the complete ambiguity of her statement, but rather the 'choice' she says Americans now face: "We could embrace Government as the answer to our problems, or we could choose Freedom and Liberty." Where do you start to tear this pseudo-intellectual crap apart? Do you start at the inference that or government isn't interesting in or capable of delivering Freedom or Liberty? How about the idea that government is to blame for all of our problems today, so the one thing we shouldn't do is expect it to set things straight? Am I the only person that could read this as a call to Anarchy? And exactly what the hell do Freedom and Liberty have to do with the problems that most Americans are facing today? A lot of people are in agreement that the humongous debacle that our economy has suddenly become can be blamed on a little too much Freedom being afforded to financial institutions over the past few decades. It was a very good call not to make this statement in an interview setting, as I have no doubt Bachmann would have been dumb enough to explain upon questioning that Freedom and Liberty is achieved by preventing the government from actually helping anybody struggle through the hard times that it's blatant mismanagement have caused.

(On a personal note, I find it exceedingly funny that the party Ayn Rand, who became a symbol for them because of her praise of cold rationalism and hatred of unintellectual emotion-based politics, now constantly races to emotional qualifiers like "I know what's in my heart" when cornered on the illogical stances they take. But that's me; I dig irony.)

This is the kind of stuff that drives the logical part of me to irrational degrees of anger and frustration. We live in a day and age where people are recorded with and with out their knowledge to a frightening degree on a daily basis, and these are just the average everyday people with no fear of media scrutiny.

And yet... and yet... not only do politicians repeatedly forget that when it comes to the media, the microphone is always on, they have this stubborn inability to realize that once they have said something on camera, it can be played back again later!

Granted, this attitude might have been more successful twenty years ago, when an adamant denial like the one Bachmann made would only be exposed if the interviewer later dug up the tape and played it, and even then it would be too late to have any real effect of the lie. But now, in the day and age of YouTube, streaming video, viral emails, and relentless bloggers, trying to pull this kind of day-to-day revisionism borders on being absurdly ignorant.

I'm not going to get into the whole Bush/Wristwatch nonsense, because it truly does sadden me, but the fact that side-by-side videos like these are popping up on a weekly basis exposes an underlying truth that we as a collective of people being governed and ruled by these people need to fess up to.

The truth, the honest truth, is that they've always lied like this. They've always treated the public with contempt and disdain, and have always acted on the belief that we never pay attention long enough to actually be aware of what they are really up to. And for the longest time, they've been right. The only reason we are catching up with them and their lies is that they haven't yet figured out how to adapt their way of life to the rapidly changing technology and the new world that is emerging from it.

And when they do, that's when we're really going to have to start watching our backs.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Obatman and McPenguin Debate

The similarities between The Penguin's (Burgess Meredith) opening comments in his debate against Batman (Adam West) are eerily reminiscent of John McCain's campaign and its chosen form of attack against Barack Obama.

Holy Liberal Biased Media!

Finally, a candidate I can get behind...

...because I sure as hell wouldn't want to get in his way.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tardy as Charged

For those who check up on me periodically, you might have noticed that I have not posted much in the past months. For this I apologize, as it is a crime for me to withhold my political savvy and brilliance from the rest of the world. This is doubly inexcuseable considering the complete and utter circus this election has become.

My excuse, however, is quite simple: I've been busy with other projects. The biggest of these projects, two books to be published by the end of the year, will be shamelessly promoted on this site when they become available, despite their having nothing to do with politics.

Then again, the focus of the books will be on horror films, and I will be the first to admit that some of the stuff I've been witnessing on the news and in the debates has truly scared the living shit out of me.

But, long story short: I'm back for awhile. I hope you missed me.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania residents: Obama is a Terrorist, Muslim, and Commie Faggot

I live in Branchburg, New Jersey, just across the Delaware river from Easton, Pennsylvania. It is about a twenty minute drive to Bethlehem from my house, a drive that I often make.

Odds are that some of these people actually live near me.

These are the people in your neighborhood.

Mister Rogers wept.

Racism, Ignorance, and Hatred at the PA Palin Rally.

More insightful video of my friendly, thoughtful neighbors in Pennsylvania...

I'd like to think that not all McCain/Palin supporters view the Civil Rights movement as something that happened to other people. I really would.

Pennsylvanian Republicans Show Their Ignorance

The truly sad part is, I live next to these people.

It's nice to know that Hannity's America is actually educating the masses. Jesus.

The Big Lie: Taxes equal Welfare

I've got to blame Obama on this one. He knows who he is dealing with, and he knows how they think. He should have known better to actually utter the phrase "Spread the Wealth" within earshot of anyone, let alone camera crews.

That was all the McCain Campaign needed ramp up their "Liberals are Communists" paranoia. After all, "Spread the Wealth" sounds a lot like "Take from the Rich and Give to the Poor", right? And what could be more UnAmerican than that?

Now, to be perfectly fair to the American public as a whole, I will admit that this is not a tactic that will work across the board. On the contrary, you'd have to be either a complete idiot or a die-hard Republican to actually buy into the idea that Taxes equal Welfare. That's almost like claiming that your landlord demanding rent money is tantamount to Extortion.

Or, to be more blunt, it's a Big Fucking Lie.

Of course, the McCampaign has been throwing BFL's left and right since the race officially started, so tossing one more on the fire doesn't seem like a big deal. But it is almost mind-boggling how big the balls of the Republican Party are when they come right out and say that Taxes are anti-American, except when they do it.

McCain Political Ad #576: Cut his head off

What do informed, educated McCain supporters think of Obama's economic policies?

In the last debate, when racist and violent obscenities shouted during McCain/Palin rallies were brought up, McCain was expected by most logical people to condemn those attacks. Instead, he complained that there were t-shirts at Obama rallies that he thought were hurtful to him, and then went on to defend his supporters against some imagined/unvoiced attack against them as a whole.

It an easy yet transparent trick. If he condemns the idiots in his crowd, he is admitting that a percentage of his supporters are idiots. So instead, he paints a quick picture of his entire base as two-job-working hockey moms and patriotic military veterans, and acts outraged that anyone would dare cast aspersions on these fine Americans.

Meanwhile, realizing that the Ayers/Obama link is gaining little or no ground outside of Hannity's America, the GOP Noise Machine and McCain's Campaign are now lifting the bar by screaming out more recognizable catch-phrases, such as "Marxist" (which I challenge most people leveling the claim to properly define), "Anti-American" (In case you think Markist is that guy with the mustache that walks funny), and "Welfare" to describe any taxes under Obama's plan. The later will probably be the most effective, as the Republicans have spent the last couple of decades heaping fear, lies, and misinformation upon the general public to the point where just hearing the word Welfare evokes mental images of lazy minorities with seventeen illegitimate children cashing government checks and driving off in fur-lined Cadillacs to buy drugs with food stamps. Isn't it great to know that a portion of people on the far Right still see poor people through the filter of seventies exploitation flicks?