Friday, December 28, 2012

Nothing Racist About This At All, Obviously...

 Dunno about you guys, but I for one expected better from a denizen of Kentucky:

A Casey County man says the life-sized mannequin in his front yard of President Obama holding a slice of watermelon was meant as a joke and not a racist display.

"The way I look at it, it's freedom of speech," said Danny Hafley. "I don't know how other people will take it."

Hafley bought the Obama mask on sale after Halloween and put up the display around the time of November's presidential election.

The mannequin, dressed in a grey suit, clip-on tie and blue-collared shirt, was originally standing in Hafley's yard but the homeowner decided it would look better near the road.
I have to ask. Why is it every time some random red neck says/does something blatantly racist, they always say "bubububu freedom of speech!"? I mean, no one's saying you don't have the right to be a racist cretins. Rather, it's about whether one should be a racist cretin (at least, a completely proud and open one anyway). For that matter, anyone else also notice the few times right wingers give a damn about the 1st amendment at all, happen to be in instances like this?

Anyway, this is probably my favorite part of the article:

When asked the reason behind the watermelon, Hafley responded that he thought the figure "might get hungry standing out here."

Well, that was considerate of him. Also:

This isn't the first time Hafley has made such a display. He pulled off the mask and unbuttoned the suit coat to show a white mannequin with a drawn-on moustache wearing a blue-collared shirt with "Stupidville Police Department' written on the right side. Hafley said he designed it after Hustonville Police Chief Fred McCoy.

I can just picture Chief McCoy reading that story in the newspaper during breakfast, with a solemn look on his face, nodding his head and saying: "Well played, Hafley. Well played."

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's So Adorable When They Do This...

So apparently, mouth breather extraordinaire, Jim Hoft, was apparently not too happy at the idea that anyone would have the audacity to label a vehemently anti-gay group of scumbags as "right wing Christian":

(GP Correction: Fred Phelps is not a “rightwinger”, he’s a Democrat. And the Westboro Church is not a Christian group – It is a sick cult.) 
It is well known that Fred Phelps has run for office as a Democrat several times.
Shame on the Cochrane Times for labeling him rightwing!

Many people of the conservative persuasion try to make this type of argument. I've referred to this in the past as the "If Rush Limbaugh is so racist, then why was Abraham Lincoln a Republican, HMM?!" gambit.

Basically, the argument states that the thing that characterizes a person is not their beliefs, their principles or their actions, but simply their label. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, Rush Limbaugh is a Republican, therefore by the transitive property, Limbaugh is exactly like Lincoln, and therefore can't possibly have any racial issues with Black people.

Similarly, because Democrats in the 1800s were fighting to suppress the rights of Black people, that means Democrats in present day also continue to try and suppress the rights of Black people.

This is how Hoft arrives at his mangled conclusion that Phelps and his church aren't right wing, cause he called himself a Democrat at some point. Seriously. That's it.

Even by right wing standards, it takes quite a bit of imagination to square this circle. I mean, I'd like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that we're talking about a guy who's made a name for himself as the "GOD HATES FAGS" guy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that doesn't appear to sound very tolerant of the homosexual community. Let's go down the list of other things Mr. Phelps isn't a fan of:

-Most of the key people in the Clinton Administration

Oh, and also Barack Obama. Yeah...

Now, mind you, I'm not saying that you can't be a member of a party where you find yourself opposing major portions of its plank (see: Log Cabin Republicans), but it does tend to make things a little awkward, I'd imagine. At the very least, we can probably agree that Mr. Phelps is a very confused individual.

By the way, while I would never say that Phelps religious views describe that of the vast majority of America's Christians, I do wonder if perhaps Phelps called himself a Muslim, would Mr. Hoft make the same distinction with those who practice mainstream Islam?

Somehow I'm doubtful he would.

Man Who Attempted to Burn Down Mosque Was A Fan of Fox News - Let's See How Fox News Reports The Story...

So back in September, some disturbed individual set fire to a mosque in Toledo, Ohio. But there was a little detail that made this story more noteworthy than usual:

After setting fire to the prayer room of a mosque in Ohio on September 30th, Randolph Linn of Indiana today pleaded guilty to the crime.

Under the terms of his plea deal, Linn will cut his 40-year jail sentence in half.

The St. Joe resident, who brought several firearms and gas containers with him to the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, told Judge Jack Zouhary he had become "riled up" after watching Fox News.

Well, I for one am shocked at this revelation. I also liked this bit as well:

When asked by the judge if he knew any Muslim or what Islam is, Linn reportedly said, "No, I only know what I hear on Fox News and what I hear on radio."
 Sounds about right.

So I was curious to see, in light of this recent news how the "news" organization in question would report this story. Can YOU see anything missing?

Ctrl-F: "Fox".

No results found.* Imagine that. I'm sure this was just an oversight by one of the unpaid interns, and will be updated with the correct information in no time.

*Yes, I'm fully aware that you can't Ctrl-F an image file.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Well, This Is Definitely The Stupidest Thing I've Read Today...

Jonathan Chait flagged this blog post from recent Newsweek hiree, Meghan McArdle. The post itself is overall fairy innocuous, except for this little passage midway through:

I'd also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.
Yes, you read that right. McArdle is arguing that people who find themselves in a situation similar to what transpired in Sandy Hook Elementary, should essentially act as human shields. This presumably includes children as well.

McArdle is a libertarian, so as offensive as her suggestion is, at the same time, it's not really surprising.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Alcohol Lobbyist Doesn't Seem To Understand What Marijuana Legalization Actually Does

Cenk Uygur had on his show the other day a lady named Sandra Hagin Solin, a member of a pro-business organization called Colorado Concern. Colorado, if you'll recall, was one of a handful of states that voted to legalize marijuana this year. Solin, and Colorado Concern aren't too happy with that, and she attempted to explain why (skip to 6:44):

Unfortunately, Solin didn't do a particular good job with her explanation. First she starts off by saying that having a constitutional right to smoke weed would cause problems in the work place. Cenk was noticeably confused and asked her to clarify, seeing as how we have a right to drink alcohol, but that doesn't mean we can do it at work. Furthermore, nothing in the law prevents an employer from firing any employee that smokes marijuana at work or comes to work impaired. Solin herself concedes Cenk's point but insists that this new law creates a "gray area" where the employer could be sued for wrongful termination.

Cenk ended the interview by asking her the real reason for why she and Colorado Concern were objecting to the new law, to which Solin insisted that her intentions were pure and also pointed out how long term marjijuana use causes diminishing of cognitive abilities and therefore lowers productivity.

Well, I'm convinced.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Jake Tapper Gives Cover To The Hostage Takers

Oy vey. With the whole debt ceiling thing once again taking center stage, I was wondering which beltway simian would be the first to try and spread some of the culpability to Obama, and it seems the winner was ABC's Jake Tapper:

Somebody shoot me.

Tapper attempts to wag his finger at Jay Carney and Obama by pointing out that Obama himself voted against raising the debt ceiling as a senator, therefore he's just as much of an economic terrorist as Boehner and the House Republicans are right now, so let's dismantle medicare already.

This probably would have been a great point if it wasn't for one minor little detail. As Carney pointed out, the critical distinction between what Obama did and what House Republicans are doing (again) is that when Obama did it, there was no worry about the U.S. going into default. Obama and the Democrats didn't control the Senate during the time, whereas House Republicans DO control the House right now. That's kind of an important aspect to keep in mind. It's like comparing a guy who says he's going to rob a bank but spends the day staying at home, watching T.V. to a guy who says he's going to a rob a bank who happens to already be in the bank with a loaded gun pointed at the teller. Only one of them can be reasonably criticized for attempting to actually rob the bank.

In fairness, I did feel that Tapper brought up a somewhat legitimate point towards the end where he asked if it was basically okay to fuck around with these type of votes if you're not actually creating any real danger.

I've been following politics for a long time and one of the things you learn is that congressman vote for or against a lot of things just simply for show. With the raising of the debt ceiling, prior to last year, it was one of those things that was going to be passed, simply cause it HAD to pass. To not let it pass would be to welcome disaster. And it was exactly because everybody knew it was going to get passed that it allowed some congresscritters (usually the minority party) to make some inane, useless symbolic vote to show that they're taking a principled stance against whatever. Which is one of the reasons why we need to get rid of having a vote requirement for the debt ceiling altogether (the other being that keeping this around for Republicans to dick around with is like handing a shotgun to a two year old).

Having said all that, Tapper still needs to understand context, and all this idiotic example of false equivalence does is muddy up the debate when the country (and the world) really can't afford to do. So to summarize: in the past, both Republicans AND Democrats have voted against raising the debt ceiling, but it's only recently that the people who are refusing to do just that are the people that would actually have an effect in making the country default. It's not that hard, Jake.

And I just have to ask once more, why the fuck is this NOT the biggest scandal of our generation again?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

They Still Don't Get It...

 So two White guys from a major right wing website were brainstorming ingenious ways to appeal to minorities, and here's a sample of what they came up with:

“I see that the way we will get the Hispanics and the other groups, the Asians, as part of the Republican Coalition is to get them first part of the great American Coalition. Make them think of themselves, not make but, persuade them to think of themselves primarily as Americans."

Yes, the problem it seems is that groups like Hispanics and Asians who vote heavily Democratic only do so cause they're actually temporarily confused Republicans. Now I'm just gonna go out on a limb here, but I would suggest that instead of Republicans attempting to make Hispanics and Asians think of themselves as Americans, it would probably be a better idea if Republicans themselves started thinking of Hispanics and Asians as Americans first. From there we'll slowly work our way up to deal with that whole three-fifths thing with the Blahs. 

Also, a commenter from another website I frequent made a pretty astute observation:

Notice you never hear anyone lamenting the fact that Italian Americans have their own pride and culture, or why Irish Americans have their own holiday, or why non-Polish people can't say Polack. Cultural pride is perfectly fine for white people but is divisive and reverse-racist when blacks or Hispanics partake.

They don't get it, and I'm not sure they ever will. 

 Pretty much.