Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn will seek to offset federal aid to victims of a massive tornado that blasted through Oklahoma City suburbs on Monday with cuts elsewhere in the budget.> more ... (0 comments)
Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn will seek to offset federal aid to victims of a massive tornado that blasted through Oklahoma City suburbs on Monday with cuts elsewhere in the budget.
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STEM courses are for punks and suckers; a broad general education gives answers to the *big* questions, like why mostly everywhere assholes have the upper hand.
From La Cazzaria/The Book of the Prick, by Antonio Vignali (ed. and translated by Ian Frederick Mouton, Routledge, New York, 2003, pg. 94):
Consider next that the asshole is the most honored among all the necessary things of life. For at that time when the parts of the body agreed to gather together they did not want to invite the asshole, since it was a filthy thing, and he, indignant at their great disdain, made them realize that they could not do without him. He quickly shut himself up, not wishing to let anything pass out of the body, with the result that all the food stayed in the middle of he stomach and began to putrefy to the great detriment of all the parts of the body, which, not being able to rely on the benefits of Nature, lay close to death, weak and infirm. It became necessary to negotiate with the asshole, and they told him that he could impose on them any penalty that he saw fit. But since he is so humane and courteous [...] rather than kill them or impose any of the other punishments he could have, not wishing to do anything inhumane, lovingly pardoned them all–with this condition: that at meetings he would always be honored first, above all the others. And thus we see even today that at all weddings and ceremonies the ass is always the first to sit down, as befits the leader of all the other parts of the body. Nor may one begin to eat anything, if the ass has not already sat it its proper place. Also, for this reason, most people, when they get up in the morning, the first thing they do is put their ass where their head has lain all night, as a sign that in matters of honor and reverence the head gives way to the ass, because the ass is a worthier and nobler part of the body.
Mister, we sure could use a man like Harry Truman again — in re: the NRA collective gums-flapping about the President’s daughters, comma, security measures there-for. Somehow White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s response lacks a certain piquancy in the riposte area:
“Most Americans agree that a president’s children should not be used as pawns in a political fight,” Carney said in a statement. “But to go so far as to make the safety of the President’s children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly.”
For mo-better, here’s Harry S’s response to WaPo music critic Paul Hume, in re: his review of Margaret Truman’s Constitution Hall performance, via the Truman Library website:
I’ve just read your lousy review of Margaret’s concert. I’ve come to the conclusion that you are an “eight ulcer man on four ulcer pay.”
It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful. When you write such poppy-cock as was in the back section of the paper you work for it shows conclusively that you’re off the beam and at least four of your ulcers are at work.
Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!
Pegler, a gutter snipe, is a gentleman alongside you. I hope you’ll accept that statement as a worse insult than a reflection on your ancestry.
Alls I’m saying is that in the land of the dicks, the steel-shod toe is king. Or something to that affect.
For a more cogent point, I refer you to Tim F. over t’Balloon-Juice:
Parents who choose the Sidwell School therefore pay $34,000 per kid (plus fees) to ensure new books and computers, keep mold off the wallpaper and Legionnaire’s out of the air vents and, also, to pay armed security to watch the front gates. Public schools spend about $10k per year per student. If we want armed guards in every public school, great! Put a line for it in the tax code. No doubt the NRA will jump right on that plan.
As an aside, the Truman Library mentions that the original Hume letter is now in residence at the private Harlan Crow library in Highland Park, TX. Check out the interior of that place (you’ll need to scroll down); I am agog.
Lot of people noting that Michigan Republicans exploited a loophole to make right-to-work legislation not susceptible to citizen's veto. But why not think outside the box and take another go at passing the Constitutional amendment that would end the effectivness of the legislation? It's already written, after all, so why couldn't you just literally try again? It failed pretty hardcore this year but the pricipal argument against it ("it's not necessary") no longer applies, and if Wisconsin is any indication, the drive would have little trouble finding funding from progressives nationwide.
I strongly suspect such a redo would be successful. Scott Walker's recall failed because the labor groups allowed Walker to define himself as being the victim, targeted by a fairly extraordinary tactic even after his opponents had already gotten their ounce of flesh. I don't think this is an accurate read, but it's essentially how he put it, and it wasn't entirely based on lies. The Michigan situation seems much more like the more successful Ohio repeal drive, where it is possible to narrowly target unpopular laws without necessarily rallying the other side behind their captain. Of course, if Wisconsin had voter intitiatives Walker's law would not have lasted very long, and recalling Walker without a strong candidate in mind to run against him was folly. But this is a different situation, and I think that surreptitiously unloading the other guy's gun isn't going to work so well when he also happens to have a grenade launcher on the table.
Also, that amendment ought to include something about lame duck laws having no immunity from a citizen's veto.
Recall that, just last year, the president touted the “Arab Spring” – which any high school history buff could have predicted would devolve into the utter chaos it has – as “an extraordinary change taking place,” wherein, “Square by square, town by town, country by country, the [Muslim] people have risen up to demand their basic human rights.” (You know, like the Quran-given right for Muslim men to beat or kill women and homosexuals with impunity; or like the human right for both Iran and the Palestinian Authority to “wipe Israel from the face of the earth.”) Whether due to naiveté, foolishness or pure dishonesty, President Obama’s bungling of the Middle East crisis – let alone his unprecedented attacks on our constitutional freedoms stateside – has disqualified him to lead the free world. And so, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stepped forward to answer the call. He has become de facto leader of the free world – chief defender of Western civilization. [emphasis mine] As America’s light fades under the Obama regime, Israel has become – for now at least – “the shining city on the hill.” With a nuclear Iran perhaps only months away, Western civilization needs defending now more than ever. Israel needs defending now more than ever. Consider these words from top Hamas cleric Muhsen Abu ‘Ita: “Annihilation of the Jews here in Palestine is one of the most splendid blessings for Palestine.”I realize this is Bircher claptrap to the extreme, but sometimes you just have to take a step back. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Iran is indeed close (only months away!) from acquiring a nuclear bomb that can be delivered by a missile. Which is not at all the interpretation supported by the facts we know, but okay. Apparently pledging to use force only in the event that Iran acquires one single nuclear weapon not only makes Obama weak, incompetent, practically Carter-like, but also apparently an enemy of freedom itself? Only by being willing to use force well ahead of the development of such a device counts as strong, patriotic, and freedom-loving? I guess, by this logic, George W. Bush not only revoked his leadership in the fight for freedom when North Korea developed nuclear weapons, but he very nearly destroyed the whole free world, leaving such freedom-loving patriots like China President Hu Jintao to assume the heavy burden of leading the free world. Right? Also, while I’m hardly going to waste my time thoroughly fisking this thing, it’s worth noting that the Qu’ran does not, actually, give men the right to beat women. Muhammad did, in fact, believe in gender equality to a striking degree for someone who lived 1300 years ago. Clearly his own view isn’t carrying the day among many of the supporters of the faith he founded, but neither have Jesus’s invocations to live in peace with your neighbors and to help the poor. Not entirely fair to hold those guys responsible for what people make of their message over a millennium later, now, is it? As with many things, the problem with domestic violence in the Middle East isn’t a “values” problem, it’s a poverty problem. Being poor with little work, less opportunity and no way to change it typically leads to free-floating anger and violence of many kinds, including violent crime and domestic violence. This is such an obvious point it shouldn’t be necessary to cite something, but here’s something anyway. In general, generalizing the behavior of poor people as some broader indication of local attitudes is silly–humans are humans and the pathologies are the same everywhere. The caricature of a liberal would say not to judge people under those circumstances, which is incidentally always good advice. But unless you’ve seen just how crushing poverty can be to people–and my experiences are admittedly limited to only a couple of weeks in my own lifetime–it’s rather icky for well-heeled pundits to talk about other people as if they have a clue who they’re talking about. Poor people are just as much an abstraction to Barber as Muslims are.
This interview with Eric Dondero has gotten quite a bit of attention, and I heartily agree with John Cole’s judgment that he’s the saddest person in the world. But aside from the breathtaking lack of empathy the answers reveal, what strikes me most is how dumb and juvenile his political outlook is, to the extent that I’m not sure he knows what the point of politics is. The point of politics is, essentially, to bring people around to your point of view so that your kind of change can happen. Dondero’s vision is the reductio ad absurdum of identity politics, but the point of identity politics is to get people to vote based on their identity rather than their interests. Dondero thinks identity is the point. This is dumb.
To be sure, I’m hardly of the opinion that politics ought never to be discussed out of politeness. And it’s certainly true that a person’s politics often reflect their own personal values, which can in some cases serve as shorthand in determining how you’re going to feel about the person. But the way a person’s politics reflect their personality or beliefs can often be orthogonal, or even entirely counterintuitive. Just think of the divorce-ridden Bible Belt standing tall for “traditional marriage” or Republicans who fear “the gay agenda” while proudly accepting gay friends or kids in their lives. But that aside, what’s really puzzling about Dondero’s views is that he doesn’t seem to understand what the point of politics is. The idea of cutting close family members out of your life because of their beliefs is apparently intended to be a statement of principle, but ultimately Dondero is hurting himself in order to achieve no real payoff. Let’s say that Dondero’s boycott gets a family member to sincerely switch affiliations and become a Republican. That’s…one more vote for the GOP, in a country of 300,000,000. Causing yourself great personal pain in order to possibly win over only one more vote is obviously idiotic. Passing up business opportunities for the same reason is silly. Not helping people because of their political affiliation is just an invitation to load yourself up with sublimated guilt. Ultimately, Dondero’s “statement” is essentially a declaration that he’s going to make his own life worse out of spite for the other party. Which is his right. But to do so when what you stand to gain from this is literally almost nothing is ridiculous, and the opposite of how politics really works. It is, essentially, a tantrum disguised as something else.
Somehow this seems apropos:
Here’s what he said:
Incest is so rare, I mean it’s so rare. But the rape thing, you know, I know a woman who was raped and kept the child, gave it up for adoption and doesn’t regret it. In fact, she’s a big pro-life proponent. But, on the rape thing it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s a consequence of this crime, how does that make it better?
This is pretty wrong, but I’d argue, quite a bit less offensive than Richard Mourdock, and vastly less so than Todd Akin. The last part, funny enough, is easily the most defensible. I don’t agree with it, but it’s a fairly logical conclusion for a pro-lifer to draw. If you believe that a fertilized egg instantly becomes a person, then it follows that children conceived by rape are people and shouldn’t be aborted. Most pro-lifers do not advocate this stance because it is politically unpopular, but it’s the only reasonable conclusion that follows from the premise. After all, if you manage to get abortion banned for everything but rape and incest, quashing those last vestiges ought to be easy enough.
The rest of it though…like, wow. Incest is rare? I think Koster is making the mistake of separating out child abuse from this definition, though it very much counts, and is highly prevalent. The real problem with “rape and incest” exceptions is that the connotations are tricky: people know basically what rape is, but incest typically carries a more voluntary connotation, specifically since it’s included in this particular cliche as something separate from rape, even though the voluntary variety is, indeed, quite rare, and outside of the Phillips family, more known for fictional portrayals in A Game Of Thrones and other series. Assuming he actually means the voluntary kind of incest (to the extent that can even exist, given how complicated consent can get with an older, stronger, male family member), it’s unclear why a child created by this process ought to be an exception for pro-lifers at all. One suspects that these exceptions are generally made because of how heinous the specific offenses are considered, rather than through any sort of logic. Of course, my basic belief is that the entire mainstream pro-life position is arbitrary and a made-up, phony position. I have no idea when life begins and neither does anyone else, but as with many issues, it comes down to one group’s desire to remove any ambiguity and to wax self-righteous and maximalistic versus another group’s acceptance of difficulty, nuance, and different viewpoints in coming to a decision. There’s more to it than that, but not all that much.
What one gets from this answer, and from much of the rhetoric and action on the part of pro-life men these past two years, is how much they don’t want to engage with these questions. Koster’s friend who had the baby is a red herring, as she’d still be able to do so under a pro-choice regime. Because of, you know, choice. It’s just a daydream of a world where women just bear whatever children they’re supposed to without any complaint. But does anyone read this quote and come away with a sense that the guy has engaged deeply with these deep, weighty questions?
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