Future 2012 Three-Percenter Rick Santorm: “Well if that person — human life is not a person, then — I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘we’re going to decide who are people and who are not people.’”
I think I’m going to go with “unwittingly racist due to a lack of self-awareness and just general cluelessness” rather than voting for fully racist. But I could be persuaded otherwise. What about you?
The damage caused by the WikiLeaks controversy has caused little real and lasting damage to American diplomacy, senior state department officials have concluded. It emerged in private briefings to Congress by top diplomats that the fallout from the release of thousands of private diplomatic cables from all over the globe has not been especially bad. This is in direct opposition to the official stance of the White House and the US government which has been vocal in condemning the whistle-blowing organisation and seeking to bring its founder, Julian Assange, to trial in the US.Oops. You have one guess as to where we learned this news from:
Newt Gingrich said Republicans “should aim for winning 40 more House seats and 12 or 13 more Senate seats in the next election,” the Myrtle Beach Sun News reports. Said Gingrich: “If you’re going to govern in 2013, you’re going to need a really large margin.” To do so, he said GOP candidates “need to spend at least 30 percent of their time campaigning with Blacks, Hispanics and other minorities to increase the percentage of those communities which vote for Republicans.”This is just ludicrous: the notion that there are even that many more seats in play is silly, and 2010 was almost certainly a high-water mark for the GOP due to the economy. Democrats who survived that can survive anything. And according to Larry Sabato, there are only about six Democratic seats in play in the Senate. I guess minority outreach is supposed to bring more supporters, but the reason these communities tend to be more Democratic in orientation is not because they’re under a false impression of what the GOP stands for, or because they’re racist against white people in any appreciable fashion. It’s because, substantively, they’re big fans of the Democratic agenda and don’t like the Republican agenda. Not on everything, but the evidence is strong that Hispanics simply very progressive when it comes to the environment, education, and (obviously) immigration reform. I’m sure they’d like to pay less taxes just like everyone else, but generally speaking that’s more of an issue that appeals to middle-aged and older voters instead of younger ones, as well as to more upper-middle and middle-class people instead of working-class ones. It’s a matter of priorities, and Republicans have the wrong ones as far as most Hispanics are concerned. Republicans could make inroads with Hispanics if they wanted to, but that would mean adopting a softer stance on the issues Hispanics care about, instead of trying to force your agenda onto them. That just doesn’t work, and you can ask Meg Whitman all about it. (And the Republicans’ Plan B of just running a Hispanic guy for president is hardly assured of success. Not all groups are as solely obsessed with cultural signifiers as the Republican base is, as Sarah Palin proved.) A lot of Republicans are under the impression that the only reason anyone votes Democrat is because they were brainwashed somehow by liberal propaganda, but in general, polling data suggests that most Hispanics vote for Democrats not because they’ve been brainwashed into thinking Republicans are xenophobic (wonder where they got that idea?) but rather because they prefer Democratic policies. Of course, Gingrich is not in a position to implement this. But it’s amazing he’s still followed closely by the media. It took the public less than a year after this guy became speaker to figure out he is a fool. It took the media…oh, wait, they still haven’t figured that out. So we continue to read this “analysis” that mostly just confirms that, whatever led to the 1994 Republican midterm victories, they likely happened in spite of Gingrich rather than because of him. P.S. The title refers to this, by Bob Dole: “You hear Gingrich’s staff has these five file cabinets, four big ones and one little tiny one. Number one is `Newt’s Ideas.’ Number two, `Newt’s Ideas.’ Number three, number four–`Newt’s Ideas.’ The little one is `Newt’s Good Ideas.’”
I can’t believe that the AP actually put this out. Its sole point is expressed in its headline:
Some question pep rally atmosphere at Obama speech
Some conservative commentators are criticizing the cheering and peppiness of the Arizona mass shooting memorial that featured President Barack Obama.
Some have wondered whether it was a scripted political event, but White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday he and other aides didn’t expect Obama’s speech to receive as much applause as it did.
Some people might call this bad, insipid writing, nearly bad enough to make journalistic saint H.L. Mencken rise from his grave and deliver a rant that would make his William Jennings Bryan obituary look tame.
Some might say that an article that contains merely one single quote–one that probably came via a Drudge link–and that clocks in at all of 116 words while lazily repeating assumptions and offering no new context or information, and could easily have been generated by a seventh-tier conservative blog in about two minutes–is just a waste on every level.
Lev, a blogger at Library Grape, called the piece “bad, insipid writing, [...] a waste on every level” but admitted that he didn’t like the piece.
And for the two (!!!) people who created this thing, I’ll like to send you both a copy of a much better-written book:
I knew Bill O’Reilly was pretty fucking stupid but this takes the cake:
O’REILLY: I’ll tell you why [religion's] not a scam, in my opinion: tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that. You cannot explain why the tide goes in.
SILVERMAN: Tide goes in, tide goes out?
O’REILLY: See, the water, the tide comes in and it goes out, Mr. Silverman. It always comes in, and always goes out. You can’t explain that.
Yes, O’Reilly is as pridefully ignorant as the Insane Clown Posse.
The Onion A.V. Club flags NASA starting a website dedicated to counteracting the delusion that the world will end in 2012:
“The agency is getting so many questions from people terrified that the world is going to end in 2012 that we have had to put up a special website to challenge the myths. We have never had to do this before.”Accordingly, that site addresses the many supposed catastrophes the film says are headed our way, using science and skepticism to allay apocalyptic fears and assure us that none of the cinematic catastrophes predicted by Emmerich’s film will happen next year. Which is just what they want you to think. There are only so many seats on those ships, after all.
On the other hand, NASA gives Blade Runner a positive ranking:
Blade Runner was also singled out as a convincing portrayal of a futuristic Los Angeles that’s just a few years away now. So it’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that the world will soon be a cold, ruined place lorded over by autocrats and swarming with genetically engineered serfs and possibly dinosaurs. Just don’t start bringing solar storms into it. Everyone should adjust their paranoia about the coming years accordingly.
One could clearly argue that the American public is pretty stupid if it believes what happens in movies–one hears anecdotal reports of people believing in The Da Vinci Code, for example, as though it were anything other than exploitative fiction. But it’s even crazier to believe that the Mayans somehow had some special insight into our times. Why them? And why now? This is way dumber than the Y2K bug, which at least was based on a real software problem. I’m sure the readership here at Library Grape is above such nonsense, but if someone happens to come across the site who does believe in this Mayan business, let me pose this question to you: If the Mayans were somehow truly far-seeing and, through prophecy or some other means, were able to see into the future–to see the end of it, in fact–then why couldn’t they keep their civilization from vanishing without a trace?
Rep.-elect Joe Walsh, R-Illinois, told CNN’s Jim Acosta that he and his wife will not accept the insurance offered to members of Congress because he made a pledge during the campaign last January. “My wife and I are going to struggle a little bit because of it. But I was sent to Washington to do what I said I was going to do,” Walsh said in an interview on American Morning. “I don’t want to burden the American taxpayer with my health care bill. The federal government is my employer. Right now, the health care system has a real bias against folks who need to shop out there in the individual market,” Walsh said. The Illinois Republican’s wife has a preexisting condition that Walsh said will make finding insurance difficult. “My wife and I now are going to have to go through the struggles that a lot of Americans go through, trying to find insurance in the individual market and having to deal with problems of preexisting conditions.” The health care reform bill that passed last year includes a provision that will be phased in barring insurance companies from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions, but Walsh said he nonetheless opposes “virtually the entire bill.” Walsh said what’s needed is “a change in mindset.” “We just don’t want to get into a system where people can purchase insurance and then drop insurance whenever they want to. That’s not – that’s not going to help the system at all.”There is just so much fail here I don’t even know where to start. The last line seems to indicate that he actually likes the current, failing, employer-based insurance model, but he doesn’t want to take insurance from his new employer? He doesn’t want people to buy and drop insurance at will (?) but that’s exactly what he’s doing in the individual market. He admits that the individual market is bad, but he opposes a bill that in large part tries to fix the problems in the individual market. And he’s jeopardizing the health of his family in order to make a damn political point. Somehow, he’s one-upped Sarah Palin on the ick factor of using your family as a political argument. Family values! I think this is my fundamental problem with modern conservative thought. When I see things that I consider wrong or unjust, it makes me angry. If I can do something to make things better, then I’ll try to do it. But this clown clearly sees the problems in our health care system and gets mildly sorrowful, but accepts it, even though his family’s health is at risk, and even though we can do something about it, and indeed have. That’s not failure as a politician, that’s failure as a husband (among other things). It might well reflect fidelity to conservative principle, but I’ve always believed integrity to be an overrated virtue, especially if it’s in the service of something that is wrong. Better to be right than to be faithful, always. What I can’t get over is the sense of defeatism to Walsh’s statements, as though it’s impossible to fix these problems so there’s no point in trying. A glib acceptance of the shortfalls of our society as impassable. I simply can’t relate to this on any level, and after the dust settles, I can’t imagine the public will really take a shine to Walsh’s attitude. Okay, so I know it’s not the same guy, but I offer this anyway, because it’s awesome. It used to be one of the Eagles songs I could tolerate, before I learned it wasn’t an Eagles song at all: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzxF-M2erx8
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