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Category Archives: Political Theatre

Ukraine Shenanigans…

Fred Kaplan from Slate on the Ukraine situation.

A Romney administration’s response would have been to shout louder and get tougher (although corporate wheeler dealer versus former KGB agent seems a lopsided battle), which demonstrates to me how bad U.S. foreign policy has become in the past 20 years. It’s no longer whether we should get involved but how poorly we should bungle our involvement.

I also reject the notion that it’s perceived “weakness” that compels another country to defy U.S. interests. First off, Pee-Wee Herman could be president and he would still command the largest military in the world. It’s easy to speak loudly when you’re carrying other people’s sticks.

John Green helps you understand the Ukraine. In my younger and more vulnerable years, this is what I imagined 24-hour news networks would give us.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2014 in Political Theatre

 

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Utah gets all up in your business…

From Raw Story:

Utah state Rep. Jim Nielson (R) says that he is sponsoring a bill to force divorcing couples to take classes because he says that men are often “surprised” when women want to end the marriage.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Nielson had filed a bill that would require couples to take part of mandatory divorces classes even sooner than the law required when Utah became the first state with the mandate in 1994. Nielson would like to see couples take at least half of the $55 two-hour classes at the beginning of divorce process.

While Nielson told The AP that he hoped the classes would reduce the divorce rate in Utah, he was even more specific about his goals earlier this month on an Internet show called DadsDivorce.com.

“The friends that I have that have gone through a divorce, most of the people that I know personally that have gone through that personally are men,” Nielson explained to host Matt Allen. “And my sense, at least from the men that I interact with, is that they’ve usually been surprised by the divorce request, by the filing.”

The women I know who have “surprised” men with divorces or break-ups had consistently made clear the problems in their relationships… but their spouses/boyfriends never listened or didn’t take it seriously until she — to quote the Gap Band — “burned rubber” on them.

Now, many of these men had every intention of seriously working through the issue in their relationships… as part of a formalized process with a clear end result (she comes back). They however either lacked the inclination or the ability to become more empathetic or engaged in the relationship on a consistent basis.

I call this the Romantic Comedy Myth. Vince Vaughn or Owen Wilson or Ben Stiller or some other overpaid man child has spent the past 90 minutes demonstrating to their partner and the audience that they shouldn’t be in a relationship with anyone but during the final 10 minutes of the movie, they make some grand declaration of love (showing up unannounced at her place of business with a mariachi band or rushing past security to board her flight out of town and tell her how he can’t live without her — failing to realize that his codependency is not her problem), and the credits roll as the couple kiss and make up. Fortunately, fiction and Fox News don’t have to reflect reality, so we don’t see the couple spiral back into the same problems.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2014 in Political Theatre

 

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What the hell, Arizona?

From CNN:

Arizona’s Legislature has passed a controversial bill that would allow business owners, as long as they assert their religious beliefs, to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.

To borrow from the Robot Devil, this bill is as lousy as it is bigoted.

CNN’s interview with Rep. John Kavanagh who supported this bill is straight-up crazy. This guy is a legislator and he can’t effectively communicate how this bill would actually work any better than some random person interviewed on the street who isn’t wearing pants. Apparently, the freedom to be a religious bigot extends to independent contractors (wedding photographers) and small business owners but not to a waitress at a diner who doesn’t want to serve a gay couple. Huh? What possible legal principle is at work here to distinguish the two? Rep. Kavanagh claims the “burden” the religious feel when dealing with icky gay people has to be high, which taking pictures of drunk people dancing poorly at a gay wedding is, but refusing to rent a room to that newly married couple isn’t. That’s absurd on its face, because bed and breakfasts don’t allow children under a certain age so it’s not that much of a legal stretch, especially with this law on the books, for them to not rent to homosexual couples.

Of course, the gooey center of logic supporting the bill probably serves its purpose in making life miserable for gay Arizona residents and swell for local attorneys, who homosexuals can have on retainer to look into every discriminatory action they face. What a country!

We are tripping over dead kids from gun violence and that’s not enough for a gun bill. Arizona’s own congressional representative is permanently disabled after being shot in broad daylight in a public place and that’s not enough for a gun bill. But my god, someone might have to photograph two gay men slow dancing. Time to legislate!

 

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Ted Nugent, the man the GOP still loves to love

Ted Nugent, the man the GOP still loves to love

The GOP’s tepid repudiation of Ted Nugent’s racist statements about Barack Obama continue to fail what they used to refer to on Law and Order as the “laugh test.”

Nugent, in a recent interview with Guns.com, called Obama, the product of a biracial union, a “subhuman mongrel.” Because these disgusting comments were not about his sexuality and rationalized by his religious beliefs, his Republican friends sort of, kind of rejected them.

“Ted Nugent’s derogatory description of President Obama is offensive and has no place in politics. He should apologize,” the Kentucky Republican tweeted Thursday night.

OK, that’s something. I suppose they’ll sever ties with a race-baiting clod, right?

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told CNN he disagreed with Nugent’s language but also didn’t rule out campaigning with him in the future.

“You’ve never heard me say such a thing and nor would I,” Cruz said. “I will note, there are reasons Ted Nugent – people listen to him, which is that he has been fighting passionately for Second Amendment rights.”

I suppose I’m not as encouraged as Sen. Cruz is by the thought of a racist who is a passionate supporter of gun rights.

Look, it’s not like this is a summer action movie and Nugent is the psychotic racist the hero has to recruit anyway because he’s the only one who can (PLOT DEVICE) the (PLOT DEVICE) before the (PLOT DEVICE). This is America. The GOP can surely locate another passionate fighter for the country’s right to self-destruct who isn’t a repugnant racist. Or at least isn’t a known one.

But if you thought Cruz was hard on Nugent, wait till Gov. Rick Perry gets a hold of him.

“That’s pretty tough words,” Perry said. “I wouldn’t have used those words. … I’m not going to get into this side of whether it’s appropriate or not. There are people who say things all the time. I mean, the idea that Ted Nugent said something that’s outrageous shouldn’t surprise anyone, he’s been saying outrageous things for a lot of years.”

Yes, Perry would have found more eloquent ways of impugning Obama’s heritage. And, gee, we already know Nugent is a bigoted jackass, so why are we complaining even if GOP politicians continue to embrace him?

And Perry really can’t take a stand on whether a clearly racist comment is appropriate? In fairness, people say (racist) “things” all the time, and Perry’s a busy man fighting gays and the Liberal War Against Religion.

After some pressure from Wolf Blitzer, Perry conceded that it was wrong to call the president a “mongrel.” Non-elected officials are apparently fair game. And just because a racist endorsed a GOP candidate for governor and will presumably continue his association with him is no reason to do something crazy like vote for the liberal woman.

“A comment by someone who has come in and endorsed him in the campaign I would suggest to you is not what this campaign is going to hinge upon, it’s going to be on Wendy Davis’s very liberal record,” Perry said. “I think this will be a news story or two and then we will get back to being focused on what the people of the state of Texas really care about.”

Texans don’t care about actual racists. It cares about the imaginary things they’ll say about Wendy Davis.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in Political Theatre

 

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Michele Bachmann says more dumb things…

Michele Bachmann says more dumb things…

Michele Bachmann discusses Hillary Clinton’s presidential chances.

If Clinton were elected, “effectively she would be Obama’s third and fourth term in office,” Bachmann said, calling Clinton “the godmother of Obamacare.”
But while Obama was “new and different,” Clinton is an old-timer who is less likely to excite voters, she said. Plus, she’s a woman, and she isn’t black, which Bachmann hinted is one of the reasons why people voted for Obama. “I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt,” she said. “People don’t hold guilt for a woman.”

So, Bachmann thinks that people (presumably white people) voted for Obama because he’s black. It was guilt that drove them to elect Barack Obama over John McCain, whose vice presidential selection could have only been worse if it were Bachmann herself. This guilt also carried over to 2012.

Also, why do some conservatives have no problem saying, with a straight face, that liberals voted for Obama because of his race but deny that any conservatives voted against him because of his race?

Here’s a free clue for Bachmann: In the history of this country, racism and sexism have always trump any trace of guilt.

I consider Hillary Clinton eminently qualified to serve as president. I understand that many conservatives would disagree. However, if we’re considering her gender, I think it might behoove America to muster some excitement, throw on some pants, and finally arrive to a party attended by England, Germany, Argentina, Switzerland, Ireland, Finland, Lithuania, Costa Rica, Brazil, and South Korea that managed to elect a female head of state.

Of course, knowing America, if it ever did elect a female president, it would act as if it did it first — sort of like the history of rock and roll.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in Political Theatre

 

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Gun Crazy…

So, another school shooting.

This is sadly getting far too routine.

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Political Theatre

 

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So, as I understand things…

1) Congress has “pulled the grenade” — i.e. it has done what it has threatened to do and cannot do anything more severe. This action also affects them, so it is analogous to pulling the grenade and not actually throwing it but splattering bystanders with bits and pieces of your exploded body.

2) The “goal,” or I suppose the “sane” goal as there are some in Congress who claim to have desired the current outcome, is that the President would have “blinked” and avoided the pulling of the grenade. As that didn’t happen, the original goal, which I am still benignly referring to as “sane,” was not achieved.

3) This is the point of negotiations when you wait out the clock, and the weaker party is the one to break first. Unlike the previous government shutdown, the sitting President is not up for reelection and what’s being demanded of him is significant enough that he would gain nothing by surrendering it. Members of Congress are always up for reelection, and what they’re demanding is not static: Unlike Gingrich and Clinton’s face-off about the terms of a budget that was not yet in place, the Affordable Health Care Act has already started. The Shutdown did not prevent that, and more people enroll as each day passes, which makes the situation more difficult for them. So, the time advantage is not in Congress’s favor.

4) It is obvious now, as it was obvious before the Shutdown, that the GOP members of Congress are divided on this issue, whereas the Democrats are not. That is not good for the GOP.

5) Regardless of party affiliation, no one should negotiate with people who are willing to go nuclear to get what they want (these people probably watch a lot of movies with Clint Eastwood or some other suitably testosterone-rich star where that works out well but that’s not reality). You only encourage those actions and guarantee a repeat of what just happened. I presume that the President, as the father of young children, is aware of this, but if not I think the Dreamy Prime Minister from Love Actually says it best.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Political Theatre

 

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Really, New York Times?

The New York Times prints unfounded, vicious gossip about Anthony Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin.

Sipping sparkling water by the bustling patios of Bryant Park on Wednesday afternoon, the young women touched on the usual topics of lunchtime gossip: men, work, relationships.

And it’s apparently Upper Middle Class gossip. The Times does understand that Weiner is running for mayor of all of New York City, not just the Upper East Side, right? Is print in such trouble that it can’t afford to spring for a cab to Harlem?

As her companions nodded, Noebeth Toro, 30, said she could understand how Ms. Abedin chose to stand by her husband in 2011 when he was first discovered sending explicit messages to women online. But she was puzzled to see her beside Mr. Weiner once again on Tuesday, defending him despite new revelations of more recent online encounters.

“Fool me once, shame on you,” Ms. Toro said. “Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Her colleague, Jessica Marrocco, 26, suspected another motive.

“I think she’s really just doing it for the publicity, and she wants a husband in office,” she said. “Because no self-respecting woman would stand up there and say that something like that’s O.K.”

Abedin, I’m sure, appreciates that Toro “understands” why she did something that’s none of Toro’s business. Meanwhile, her friend Marrocco accuses a perfect stranger of being a shameless attention seeker. And she comes to the conclusion thanks to sparkling water and the fizzy substance inside her head.

 

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The Ballad of Carlos Danger…

anthony-weiner-i-regret-not-telling-you-when-lewd-sex-chats-happened
In the middle of the night when his wife has retired
prowls a disgraced politician whom we once admired
With his long wooden pipe,
fuzzy, woolly palms
he trolls the Internet and everybody knows him

Carlos (Carlos)
Carlos Danger
He’s only three feet tall
Carlos (Carlos)
Carlos Danger
The bravest little flasher of them all

Now Internet predators are creeps you know
They don’t like to hurry and they take things slow
They don’t like to travel away from home
They just want to expose themselves and be left alone
But one day Carlos decided to go
on a big adventure to the city he knows
to help the Democrats get back the mayorship
that was stolen by Giuliani in the days of old

Carlos (Carlos)
Carlos Danger
The bravest little flasher of them all

Now his poll numbers have sunk and he might have to retire
that disgraced politician we all used to admire
just sittin’ alone as his campaign hopes ebb
flashing his pipe on the World Wide Web

Carlos (Carlos)
Carlos Danger
He’s only three feet tall
Carlos (Carlos)
Carlos Danger
The bravest little flasher of them all
 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Political Theatre

 

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Weiner Setback…

Reuters reports that Anthony Weiner’s sideline as an amateur porn star has not been good for his mayoral campaign:

New disclosures of explicitly sexual online chats have cost former Congressman Anthony Weiner the lead in the New York City mayor’s race and helped City Council Speaker Christine Quinn pull ahead among Democratic voters, according to a poll released on Thursday.

Quinn is openly gay, so perhaps New York is so sick of Weiner’s penis, they not only prefer a female candidate but one for whom any possible sex scandal will not involve a penis in any capacity.

However, it is still possible for Weiner to win the primary but only if he legally changes his name to Carlos Danger. Who wouldn’t vote for that guy?

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Political Theatre

 

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