The Susan Rice farce continues anon. I remain gobsmacked that John McCain's
personal pique is driving the whole story as well as getting Senators who
allegedly know better involved. The Senator in question is Maine's
Susan Collins. I am avoiding the usual modifier applied to her,
"moderate," because I'm not buying it, and I'm sick and tired of
hearing her called a moderate when on vote after vote after vote, she toes
the party line. The late Senator Jake Javits of Noo Yawk was a genuine
GOP moderate, Senator Collins is not. That is why she is malaka of the week.
Collins has added *another* specious concern to this mess: Rice's role in the aftermath of 1998 bombings
in Tanzania and Kenya when she worked for the Clinton administration. This is preposterous: it never came up when
Rice was nominated for her UN post and Senator Moderate Malaka voted *for* Rice
but now it suddenly matters.
I don't give Collins' complaints about Rice's "political role"
after the Benghazi fiasco any weight whatsoever. I have a policy of
disregarding and mocking any pol who criticizes someone else for playing
politics. Every act by every administration is political even when they deny
it. There is no separation between politics and government, and there never has
been, and never will be.
The worst that can be said about Ambassador Rice's alleged offense is that
she lied for her country and her President, which she didn't, and even if she
had, it is the essence of diplomacy. Just ask Henry Kissinger.
I was strongly in favor of John Kerry being appointed as the master of the Foggy
Bottom bureaucracy; until this week, that is. I think the President needs to go
ahead and appoint Rice, and fight for her nomination unless she declines it in
disgust. Who could blame her?
Hell, I'm not even one of those people who believes in the Scott Brown
restoration theory as the explanation for this surreal episode. That's too
rational. This whole thing reeks of the irrationality and personal pique that
drives every action by Senator Walnuts. I think he's predominantly pissed off
at Rice because she made her comments on a Sunday show. That's McCain's safe
place, y'all. I admit that that's a crazy notion but who's crazier and pettier
than John McCain?
Senator Collins, you ought to be ashamed of yourself for stooping to McCain
and Little Lindsey's level when even Holy Joe would not go along with them. I
used to think you were okay, but now I see you for what you are: a fake
moderate and a real malaka.
If this attempt to create a cheap alternative to actual
learning sounds familiar, it’s because Texas braintrust Rick Perry thought of
it first. During a statewide address, Perry called for colleges and
universities to keep the costs down, even pitching the idea of a $10,000
degree. Other awesome ideas these two Ricks agree on include collecting data on
faculty to see how many students they are teaching and how much grant money
they are raising, limiting state appropriation increases and providing
funding-based incentives based on how many kids a college can graduate.
Nothing says quality education quite like the “charge ‘em
cheap, stack ‘em like cordwood and shove ‘em out the door quick” model.
Instead of pitching a “We’ll paint your car for $99” degree,
Walker helped push out the “Flexible Option” degree this week. This will allow
people who think they already have a pretty good handle on book learnin’ to
show those skills to other people who will be incentivized to make this program work so
they can get a jumpstart toward an “almost bachelor’s” degree at various
The bonus? Although the people involved don’t know how much
this will cost, it will be cheaper than going to school for a traditional
At some point, we, as a society, must start to figure out
what it is we are valuing here: Is it the degree or is it the knowledge?
It used to be theorized that one begat the other and the
other reflected positively upon the one. Now, it’s a “Git Er Dun!” approach
that makes educators become “providers” and students become “customers.” People
want degrees faster, cheaper and easier.
As the proud holder of more degrees than most, I can tell
you with absolute certainty that degrees don’t matter worth a crap.
The doctorate was cool for about five minutes. I passed my
defense, called a restaurant and ordered reservations for “Doctor” me. After
that, it really didn’t do much. However, that stats class I killed myself in to
learn how the hell to do research mattered. The assistantship I took that
forced me to teach really smart kids how to be smarter and encourage really
weak kids to apply themselves and learn something mattered.
If you want to dial it back even more to my master’s and
bachelor’s degrees, I can’t say I learned a whole hell of a lot from the tests
and quizzes, but rather the experiences.
Being “forced” at the time to take courses in ethnic
studies, sociology and other areas helped me figure out who I was and how I fit
into a puzzle of many other pieces.
Taking speech, even though I’d been speaking competitively
for four or five years, helped me see what other bad speakers did that I needed
to avoid and what other good speakers did to help me want to better myself.
Being on campus didn’t hurt either, as I got to meet people
from other races, ethnicities and sexual orientations and realize they ran the
gamut of “full of shit” to “really fucking awesome” just like everyone else. I
got to ask questions and give answers regarding who we all were and why people
could or couldn’t get along.
(Speaking of questions and college, here’s my best one ever:
I’m in a room at age 19 with my journalism TA and four other guys who were also
gay and we were all drunk as shit on margaritas.
One guy asks, “So you’re straight?”
Him: “I gotta know. What’s a woman’s … y’know… like?”
Before I can answer, Stereotype Gay Guy chimes in with
“Honey, I’ve been there. It’s like a wet, loose handshake.”)
Not one of those things (not even the “handshake”
discussion) led to a degree. As the years went on, I realized that the degree
was pretty much a by-product of the learning.
My father would probably lose his damned mind if he heard me
talking about this, and not just because he’d figure out that his 19-year-old
son was shithammered on tequila in some guy’s apartment watching “Priscilla,
Queen of the Desert” on VHS.
Dad was a big believer in the power of the degree. He spent
his whole life in one factory and he was often passed over for improved
positions due to his lack of a sheepskin. He was a foot smarter than anyone
around, but that four-year degree held an almost mythical power over those who
doled out promotions.
If he said it once, he said it a million times: “Your mother
and I have done pretty well for ourselves, but let me tell you…” he’d pause and
a wistful look would creep across his face. “If I only had that damned degree,
we would be a lot better off.”
On more than one occasion, he referred to my degree as “your
generation’s union card.” When he found out that I kept the actual diploma in a
box of crap under my bed, he looked at me like I’d used it for toilet paper.
The sheepskin didn’t matter. The stuff in my head did.
I try my best to pass that along to my students each day I
teach. If you’re here for a grade, I explain, you’re cheating yourself. Some
nod, others don’t, but I think a lot of them figure it out. It’s my hope that
they figure this out a lot faster than I did and that they vote for people who
understand it as well.
Still, every semester, including this one, I have a painful
email conversation with at least one kid that usually starts like this:
“I’m supposed to graduate next week and I just noticed I’m
failing your class. Can I get some extra credit or something? My mom and dad
are coming out for graduation and we’ve got a party planned, so I need those
This tune sprang to mind for two reasons. First, the Guardian recently had an extensive interview with 10cc's fab four of Creme, Godley, Gouldman and Stewart. Second, it's been in my head since I saw the Egyptian bloke in Charlie Chan in Egypt call everyone "effendi." It is not for the easily effended.<ba-boom>
There's also a pretty swell live version on the YouTube but it's not embeddable. Here's a link.
I have more guilty pleasures than any mere mortal should have. One of them is (are?) Charlie Chan movies. They are laced with ethnic stereotypes, broad humor and Scandinavians playing Asians but, lord help me, I love them.
I recently watched Charlie Chan in Egypt for the first time in many years. It is simultaneously good and campy. It features an Egyptian dude who calls everyone "effendi," the fortune cookie wisdom of Warner Oland as Charlie Chan and the antics of Lincoln Perry aka Stepin Fetchit. The story is swell but every time Oland and Perry were onscreen together I started riffing about duelling ethnic stereotypes: the positive versus the negative. I suspect you can figure our which is which.
Anyhoo, here's the lobby card. Btw, Rita Cansino is the *very* young version of future screen goddess, Rita Hayworth who was a Latina playing an Arab. She was pretty darn cute as a brunette too:
Brad Penuel, the co-chair of the New York Hurricane Sandy commission to which Dr. Ed Blakely claimed he had been appointed last week, told Gambit by phone today he wasn't familiar with Blakely — and in a subsequent email, added, "Just received confirmation that Ed Blakely will not be serving on the Commission."
The Respond Commission is one of three announced by the state of New
York to analyze the response to Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.
Penuel, its co-chair, is also director of the Center for Catastrophe
Preparedness and Response at New York University,
An official press release released an hour ago from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's
office announced the commission's makeup and made no mention of
Blakely, although it noted "Additional appointments may be made to the
Penuel, though, made it clear that Blakely would not be one of them.
I'm not sure if the flack from NOLA caused a retreat or Blakely just lied about it. My money is on the latter. Kaiser Ed has never been part of the reality based community and he's too old to start now.
A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post.
To add a personal note, when I lived in Wisconsin, I was usually part of the annual August 15th migration (you can google "Madison August 15" if you're not familiar)...I'm pretty sure I registered on-site for every election I voted in up there. It was very easy, very effective...and if Scott Walker has his way, no longer an option.
Gyp Rosetti is moving in on Nucky Thompson's Atlantic City
fiefdom. In fact, Nucky is on the run after Gyp's guys burst into Nucky's suite
at the Ritz and shot up the joint in the opening scene of Two Impostors. The Nuckster is bound to be banned from swank hotel
life after this. It makes a Keith Moon room trashing look sedate. I suspect the
AC Ritz would rather have Led Zeppelin as guests. Should I go on? Nah.
On to a few terse comments about the not so terse turf war, and then I'll tersely order a surf and turf:
I've been demanding the return of my favorite illiterate but awesome gangster for
weeks now. We've had a few Chalky teasers but he's back in his full blown
glory. Why? Nucky runs home to Chalky after Gyp's gang seriously wounds his
faithful factotum Eddie. It takes time for Nucky to fully grovel but after Gyp
offers Chalky $25K to sell out Nucky, the latter finally gives in.
Chalky's proto-Buppie future son-in-law reappears to doctor Eddie's
gut wound. He keeps saying: "I'm only a student" but it looks like
he's got a promising future as a mob surgeon. It's unclear as to whether Eddie will make it
but, hey, at least Nucky knows he has a family now.
"They talked some happy talk about doing revenues, but we only have a couple weeks to get something done," Reid said about Democrats' negotiations with Republicans. "So we have to get away from the happy talk and start talking about specific things."
Despite his tone of frustration, Reid also said he is optimistic that lawmakers ultimately will reach a deal to avoid plunging off the fiscal cliff, a convergence of an estimated $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that threatens to trigger another recession.
"I'm extremely hopeful, and I do not believe that the Republicans are going to allow us to go over the cliff," Reid said.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has tapped Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to help reach a deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” a senior GOP aide confirms to TPM. The elevated role puts the staunch conservative and recent vice presidential nominee in a tough predicament that carries important implications, both for his personal political future and, potentially, for relations between the White House and Congressional Republicans.
Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, is now at the center of fiscal cliff talks and involved in daily GOP leadership meetings, along with Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp and Energy & Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, the aide said. That means that unlike previous hard-fought bipartisan deals, his fingerprints will be on the final outcome.
LOL. Shorter Boehner: You wanna be the future of the party? Then BE IT, asshole. I'm tired of your nonsense. Fuckin' teaheads. They show up all WE IZ NOW IN CHARGE BITCHEZ and then don't want to be caught holding the bag when the wet cat inside it claws its way out. Well GUESS WHAT, I'm outie. You fix this crap.
(An aside: Ryan's not a "staunch conservative." He's a pissy little brat who has been dining out on having half-written a grade school report on the economy for the past however many months, and he doesn't understand that absolutely everybody everywhere is fed up with his shit, won't want to cut social security, and thinks the job creators can suck it.)
Marvin Miller was always a controversial figure in his time as the head of
the baseball players union. He was a die-hard union man who came to sports from
the United Steelworkers. In this era of overpaid free agents and millionaire
bench warmers, it's easy to forget that ballplayers used to be little more than
indentured servants. Marvin Miller was the one who changed that. He
died today at the age of 95.
Despite being one of the most consequential off-field figures in baseball
history, Miller is not in the Hall Of Fame. I suspect that being the scourge of the
owners may have something to do with that. That's as good a reason as any for
his enshrinement but the real reason is that he changed the game in a major way.
As much as I grumble about overpaid players, Miller's legacy is a positive
one: ballplayers have the right to control their own careers, which brought the
American way to the National Pastime.
It's a pity that most current players know little or nothing about the man
who made them rich and spared them from having to get a j-o-b in the off-season.
I have some nostalgia for those days: it was always cool when an announcer told
you what a player did in the off-season. Richie Hebner, who played for the
Pirates, Phillies, Mets, Tigers and Cubs had my favorite ballplayer job: he was a gravedigger.
I am not making that up.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that the Republican Party, which lost minority, women and young voters in 2012, needs to have a "bigger tent" during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."
"I think we have to have a bigger tent," McCain said. "And obviously, we have to do immigration reform. There's no doubt whatsoever that the demographics are not on our side."
Watching these people flail about is really amazing. It's like they just woke up JUST THIS MORNING and oh holy shit, brown people everywhere. Chicks. With their chick bits, which need attention. WHERE DID ALL THIS COME FROM? If only there had been some sign, in the past 40 years, that singing Dixie under your breath wasn't gonna work forever. If only someone had warned them.
Also I love how they're flat-out stating that it's not that dealing honestly with minorities and women is the right thing to do, or that minorities and women have legitimate needs of any kind. It's that "the demographics are not on our side." In other words, we can't win with just the old white racists anymore so NOW it's a crisis and I guess we HAVE to listen to them, god, the indignity, but what are you going to do? They keep existing and breathing oxygen. Inconvenient.
"And as far as young women are concerned, absolutely, I don't think anybody like me -- I can state my position on abortion. But to -- other than that, leave the issue alone," McCain said.
"I'm proud of my pro-life position and record," McCain said, clarifying that he did not mean he was now pro-choice. "But if someone disagrees with me, I respect your views."
Do you respect his or her views enough to allow him or her equal rights under the law? If not, NO YOU DON'T RESPECT MY VIEWS, you colossally panderiffic assclown.
In other words I love women but I MEAN I DON'T OH GOD PLEASE DON'T PRIMARY ME TEA PARTIERS. So much for the courage to call for a bigger tent.
In any event, the $989 million in pension liabilities Hostess ended up owing various union funds, according to its bankruptcy filing, didn't accumulate in secret, like termite damage. It accrued because Hostess and its sister bakeries judged their retirement obligations to be relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Now that the bill has come due, Hostess blames the workers for demanding what they were promised.
So rude. How dare they ask for what they were told they could expect? Why don't they just sit down like good little boys and girls and let the adults cast lots for the spoils of their labor? In fact, why don't they go away entirely? Their presence is an uncomfortable reminder that we once told them they could live like human beings. They're being so uncivil. They're being so loud. They're being so insistent. Don't they know everything is just a big ironic joke now? Why do they have to get so upset? It's not like this matters.
You know, 90 percent of all of our political and cultural problems, I am starting to think, come from getting mad at the person pointing out that THE WORLD IS ON FIRE instead of grabbing a bucket and joining the fire brigade.
First you have to prove that the world is on fire, and then that you have a legitimate right to speak up in the meeting to alert people to the fire, and then you have to prove you didn't start the fire in the first place, and meanwhile livestock is fleeing the danger zone and the temperature's approaching molten-lead levels, but we're still debating whether you're enough of an expert on incindiaries to make us put down our morning coffee.
May I call you Andrew? Let me start with a few compliments. I think you're
doing a good job so far as Governor of the Empire State and I'm a *great
admirer* of your father, Mario. Yeah, he left me at the altar in 1988 and 1992
but the man is too awesome to hold a grudge against. Of course, you know that,
and are probably tired of hearing about your dad when you have your own
Okey doke, that was the sweet part of this open letter, here's the bitter.
What on earth were you thinking when you appointed former Katrina Kaiser Ed
Blakely to your Hurricane Sandy commission? It looks like your staff fell down a
12-story walkup on this one. I am a New Orleanian and Dr. Blakely was about as
popular and competent as the man who appointed him, C Ray Nagin.
When Kaiser Ed (I always called him that, Tsars are for schmucks) first came
to NOLA, he had the hint of the windbag about him but I wanted to give him a
chance. I stuck to my guns for about 6 months until it became clear that
Blakely was all talk and no action. He insulted the community (he's bound to
call Staten Islanders insular Guidos at some point) and launched a flotilla of
trial balloons for initiatives that never came to fruition.
I cannot honestly think of a tangible accomplishment by Blakely during his
time here. He promised "cranes in the sky" and, well, the skyline was
bereft of them until he was metaphorically ridden out of town on a rail.
I reckon that your staff looked at Kaiser Ed's resume and didn't use the Google
before the appointment was made. Bad staff, bad. If they had they would have
found my little buddy Jeffrey's classic post, Come
Crane With Me: An Ed Blakely Timeline. It's a brilliant summary of
Blakely's misspent time in the Crescent City and it's funny as hell to boot.
There is only one way that this appointment makes sense, use him as an
example of bad recovery planning. Anything Kaiser Ed suggests, do the opposite.
The man does not know his ass from a hole in the ground but he can talk for
hours without saying a bloody thing that makes a lick of sense.
There's still time for you to dodge the Blakely bullet, Andrew. I initially
refused to believe it was true so I consulted with Gambit
Editor Kevin Allman who confirmed the story even though it had yet to
appear anywhere in the reality based media such as the Times or Daily News; the
NY Post doesn't count but you knew that already.
So, Governor, shitcan the appointment before Ed shows up, makes an ass out of
himself and embarrasses you by saying something stupid and offensive. Don't say
that the folks in New Orleans didn't warn you of his douchebaggery and
malakatude because I just did.
Well, folks - it felt a bit strange taking the "Paul Ryan" and "Mitt Romney's flaccid penis" tags down and packing them away, but I think we're all had enough of Mr. Forty-seven Percent to last us a lifetime.
So - let's see what's in the first drum of toxic Freepitude, shall we?
To: Thane_Banquo; All; FReepers
Let not your heart be troubled. On Fox, Karl Rove is painting a
very good picture for a Republican win in Ohio, Florida and Virginia. I
realize Karl was not very popular hereabouts a few months ago but he’s
an astute observer of politics and an excellent numbers cruncher.
posted on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 7:34:36 PM
(DP...that's what I like about Texas.)
HOLEE SHIT! Kibitzer - hold the lid down while I weld it shut!
Jeez - we're gonna be mopping up this stuff for months.
Republican strategist Steve Schmidt said early Wednesday morning on
MSNBC that it’s time for Republican leaders to stand up to “extreme
statements” and “nonsense” coming from within the GOP, including Rush
“Now, people calling for revolution and these extreme
statements — when I talk about a civil war in the Republican Party, what
I mean is, it’s time for Republican elected leaders to stand up and to
repudiate this nonsense, and to repudiate it directly,” Schmidt said.
posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2012 1:00:51 AM
(The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.)
And the Freeperati say that the problem with Dems is that they're uninformed.
To: Windy City Conservative
Rush is extreme. You can thank him for the Sandra Fluke
phenomenom and of coursse you can thank him for operation chaos four
posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2012 1:01:23 AM
To: Windy City Conservative
Another indication that the GOP is going to go the way of the Whigs.
The GOP establishment doesn’t realize that they’ve shot their last wad.
posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2012 1:02:20 AM
To: Windy City Conservative
The republican establishment is kaput! They cannot put blame anywhere but on themselves.
The ignoramuses of this country re-elected a communist. It's not the conservative's(sic) fault!
posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2012 1:05:54 AM
(chewed up his body for a decade)
To: Windy City Conservative
Anybody have Steve Schimdt’s telephone number.
posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2012 1:06:16 AM
(Obama helped murder US Navy SEALs.)
Why? You gonna ask him if his refrigerator's running? Are you going to fake-order 100 Papa John's pizzas for delivery to his house?
Two birds with one stone and all that...
To: Windy City Conservative
I am enjoying the talk about revolution.
posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2012 1:07:48 AM
So am I, but for a different reason.
There was a revolution, all right - and you're the British.
Rush needs to learn not to take stinky bait like the Sandra Fluke thing and then doubling down
posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2012 1:08:06 AM
Rush was led down the primrose path by a master baiter.
C'mon guys - don't go off the deep end here.
To: Terry Mross; All
Would not be surprised if folks like Rush like ended up being
“disappeared” by Federal Law enforcement/Dept. of Homeland Security in
the not to distant future.
The open mass grave that is the history of the 20 century shows us
what will be happening in the country in the next 4 years & if you
think that American cops would never do something like round people up
for reeducation/liquidation bear one little fact in mind .
In all of the genocides,pogroms,dealing with stubborn Kulaks,Great
Leaps Forward,final solution to the Jewish Question not once did the
police or the legal system stand up & say NO THIS IS WRONG WE WILL
NOT CARRY OUT THESE CRIMINAL ORDERS . Just the opposite is the grim
reality . Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Rush,Glenn Beck ,Mike Savage,Hannity would be wise to make plans on
how to get out of the country on really short notice & without
government permission, the key words being without government permission
failure to do so could lead to being in government custody for thought
crimes to a bullet in the back of the head.
The founder of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, John O’Neill told Fox News’ Hannity that if Barack Obama nominates John Kerry to Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense the group will “do the very best we can” to protest the appointment.
Twitter is full of this bitchery this morning, armchair warriors yelling about the sacredness of our military and how JOHN KERRY IS A GAY FAGGORT and all manner of other oldsauce nonsense.
The only saving grace in trying to re-run smears is that in our brand-new information superhighway magical mystery Internet wonderland, anything we've heard more than twice is ancient history and an official Nobody Cares is decreed, and then a Kardashian does something somebody deems slutty and we're all on to the next thing.
This is a distinct disadvantage when trying to point out, say, that somebody took the country to war and lied about why, or blew up the whole economy and then tried to blame poor people and union workers. However, it can just as well work for making sure we don't re-run the greatest hits of the Bush Administration's surrogates.