Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The GOP Cockroach Scurry

Posted by Broadway Carl

I find it amazing that elected officials are so afraid of reporters with cameras, they literally run away as fast as they can. Mike Stark (of HuffPo and FDL) is the light switch that makes these GOP roaches run for cover. And all because they don't want to be on official record as supporting the Birther Movement, yet giving it credence by saying there may be something there.

And Rep. Thaddeus "I'm focused on health care issues" McCotter actually introduced a resolution to get President Obama to officially apologize to Cambridge Police officer Sgt. James Crowley. A fine use of time for the state of Michigan and their tax dollars.

More on "Twilight"

So I've finally gotten (mostly) through Stephenie Meyer's Twilight novels. I say "mostly" because I simply could not bring myself to read every single word of the final installment, the execrable "Breaking Dawn." I sort of speed-read through that one to see how the whole thing wrapped up, skipping the portions in the middle that dragged and generally made no sense. Unfortunately for me, I didn't skip over the very worst bits: (SPOILER ALERT) the most horrific pregnancy and birth in the history of literature, along with the creepy pedophile overtones of the Jacob-falls-in-love-with-the-demon-baby sequence. All I can say is: oh my GOD, what is wrong with this woman?

The clunky end to the series is unfortunate, because the first two books were actually pretty good. By the third installment, "Eclipse," the narrative starts falling apart at the seams, before the utter train wreck of the fourth novel. I find the whole thing fascinating, from a writer's perspective (how is it that the editors and publisher allowed Meyer to go off in such unhinged directions in the last book? And why did she feel the need to go in those directions?) and from a mother's. I've read that Meyer's got a bunch of kids--evidently pregnancy was not kind to her. I find it hard to believe that a woman who went through relatively normal pregnancies could have written that section describing Bella's unnatural gestation and ghoulish childbirth. I could be letting my imagination run away with me, but it seems to point to some unresolved personal issues on the part of the writer. To put it mildly.

But, flawed though the series may be, it does have its moments. The first book lays a convincing foundation of suspense and tension, and pretty accurately describes the intensity of first love. Edward is a figure of pathos in the first book, rather than the humorless, authoritarian figure he becomes later. And the character of Jacob, at least until he goes off the rails in the last book, is far and away the most convincingly fleshed-out of all the inhabitants of Meyer's twisted little world. Well, him and Alice, who I also liked a lot. And even in "Breaking Dawn," you can see hints of the talent that evidently got Meyer her publishing contract in the first place.

You know how in certain books, an image will stand out from the rest, providing a compelling visual hook for the story? One example that comes to mind is from J.K. Rowling's final Harry Potter book, "Deathly Hallows." I'm thinking of Rowling's description of Draco Malfoy's mother standing at Severus Snape's door with her long blonde hair flowing down her back, "giving her the look of a drowned person." Similarly in "Breaking Dawn," when Jacob witnesses Edward's suffering as Bella gestates the vampire/human hybrid baby: "This was the face a man would wear while burning at the stake."

It's too bad this talent wasn't put to better use as Meyer wrapped up the series. It seems to have ruined the whole thing for many of the fans, and it's set up what could be an unresolvable conflict for the movie studio producing the films of the books. How in God's name are they going to make a decent movie out of "Breaking Dawn"? There is no way in hell that they can replicate that birth scene without turning it into a torture porn movie. And, the whole "imprinting on the baby" has to assume the studio lawyers won't let them go anywhere NEAR that. Which means that if they make a movie at all, it's going to be vastly different from the book by default. With any luck, maybe it will be better. It's hard to imagine it could be worse.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rachel Corrects The Record

by Broadway Carl

Last week during the groudswell of racism that permeated the US Sentate hearing on the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, I posted video without comment of MSNBC "pundit" Pat Buchanan and the pretty remarkably harsh, racist statements he was making on the issue. I didn't comment on them because I thought that they basically spoke for themselves and that there were soooo many misstatements, factually incorrect statements and flat out lies, it would have taken too much time out of my life to go through them one by one. Besides, I value my normal blood pressure.

Luckily Rachel Maddow, who had a debate with Buchanan on the issue, took it upon herself to correct the record because she couldn't stand not to.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Eagle Has Landed

Forty years ago today.

Check out more video at Bob Cesca's blog.

(H/T Bob Cesca)

Why I don't watch the news anymore, Part XXVVI

Because it has all become "The Onion." Really. We have people elected to Congress in this country whose intellectual powers don't compare favorably to those of the lower primates. I read about these things after they happen and they just stagger my ability to comprehend that so many of our elected officials are this...I can't even think of an adequate word. "Stupid" comes to mind but doesn't begin to cover it. People like Republican Sen. Tom Coburn are to "stupid" as...oh, I don't know...a Maserati is to a Chrysler K Car? Maseratis and K Cars are both, technically, cars, but the former is in an entirely different league. To put it mildly. There's stupid, and then there's Tom Coburn Stupid:

And in one comical if awkward exchange with Mr. Coburn, on whether Americans had a right to self-defense, Judge Sotomayor broke with her resistance to hypotheticals to invoke one, imagining an instance in which, threatened with imminent harm, she went home, got a gun and came back to shoot him.

“You’d have lots of ’splaining to do,” Mr. Coburn replied, borrowing Desi Arnaz’s frequent line in his portrayal of Ricky Ricardo, the Cuban-American bandleader on the old “I Love Lucy” television show.

Seriously. This actually happened on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Just shoot me.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Equilvalent of Hoods

By Broadway Carl

I've always found it rather unsettling that the anonymity of the internet causes what would otherwise be normal discourse and debate into heated, hate-filled rhetoric that one would most likely never dare to say face to face for fear of physical assault.

With the ascent of our country's first African-American president after our sordid history of racism however, never has it struck me more that the progeny of the cowards who once wore hoods and robes are now trading them in for the 21st century version of their shameful furtiveness.

We've seen it bubbling up more and more. What may have started as a moron with a Curious George doll at a Palin campaign rally or the accusations of President Obama being a secret Muslim has escalated to deadly violence and frightening vitriol on conservative websites without the slightest hint of disgrace or remorse.
Case in point. Free Republic.
"A typical street whore." "A bunch of ghetto thugs." "Ghetto street trash." "Wonder when she will get her first abortion."

These are a small selection of some of the racially-charged comments posted to the conservative 'Free Republic' blog Thursday, aimed at U.S. President Barack Obama's 11-year-old daughter Malia after she was photographed wearing a t-shirt with a peace sign on the front.

The thread was accompanied by a photo of Michelle Obama speaking to Malia that featured the caption, "To entertain her daughter, Michelle Obama loves to make monkey sounds."
The cowardice to write such things while hiding behind a keyboard used as a hood and a username used as a robe is immeasurable. This isn't about disagreeing with the administration's policies. This isn't worrying about national security. This isn't about the threat of terrorism. This is hostility and disdain for an 11 year old girl purely based on the color of her skin. This is about the overt racism displayed at the President of the United States and his family.

And the bigotry doesn't stop at the faceless ones living under rocks. Now the ugly scars and boils filling in a Dorian Gray's portrait of the GOP are visible for all to see. Chip Saltsman, a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, sent out CDs containing the song,"Barack the Magic Negro." South Carolina GOP activist Rusty DePass joked that an escaped gorilla from a local zoo was an "ancestor" of Michelle Obama.

Speaking of primates, let's not forget about the editorial cartoon depicting police officers shooting a monkey and lamenting that "they'll have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill." And most recently there's Audra Shay, a candidate to chair the Young Republicans National Federation, who "LOL"ed when a Facebook friend ranted that they had to "take this country back from all of these mad coons." Further review of her Facebook account and her poor attempts to scrub her page found more than a few racist and homophobic comments.
In October 2008, in the wake of news that an effigy of Sarah Palin was being hung outside an affluent Hollywood home as an offensive Halloween decoration, Shay replied, returning to the “LOL” style that she employed after the “coons” comment: “What no ‘Obama in a noose? Come on now, its just freedome [sic] of speech, no one in Atlanta would take that wrong! Lol.”
She picked up the thread again the next morning with a clarification and a new insight. “Apparently I could not spell last night. I am wondering if the guys with the Palin noose would care if we had a bunch of homosexuals in a noose.”
By the way, she won her election.

Apparently, this is the future of the Republican party, continuing to elect not only racists, but overt ones at that. While the anonymous "hooded" cowards of the Internet feel free to spew their intense hate of "the other" without fear of repercussion, their elected Grand Dragons and Imperial Wizards further marginalize the 21st Century Whigs.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Ballsy Greenpeace Protest

Greenpeace activists scaled Mt. Rushmore today to issue a challenge to President Obama. "Our brave climbers rappelled down the face of Mt. Rushmore today to issue a challenge to President Obama: If he wants to get his face on this monument, he needs to be a true leader on global warming, not a politician," said one Greenpeace member.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sanford Censured

As Major Garrett would say, "What took you so long?"
After nearly four hours of deliberation and multiple rounds of balloting, the South Carolina Republican Party voted Monday night to censure Mark Sanford for secretly traveling overseas to visit his mistress — but stopped short of calling on the governor to resign.
We can't totally blame them. After all, if a schlub like Mark Sanford can get an Argentine hottie to play Evita & Juan then you gotta give him a little credit. So what if he called for the resignation of Bill Clinton when he was in the same situation? Obviously his mistake was that he didn't keep his shenanigans overseas.

So, a little slap on the wrist for a Governor who abandoned his state for almost a week with no information to his whereabouts in case of emergency. But hey, it's okay if you're a Republican.

And then Mariah Carey, Usher, and Lionel Richie will moonwalk around the coffin!

Holy merciful crap, this is disturbing:

Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton revealed this morning during a live radio interview that despite days of plans indicating otherwise, the coffin containing the body of the late King of Pop Michael Jackson will be taken from the earlier private funeral at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills to the Staples Center, where it will be on stage during the memorial event.

Someone help me out here...they're going to have Jackson's coffin ON THE STAGE while the performers are, you know, performing? Singing and dancing around the body??

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Pandemic of Stupid (Part Three: The Michele Bachmann Edition)

posted by Broadway Carl

Minnesotans should be completely embarrassed having this moonbat represent their state. Michele "Armed and Dangerous" Bachmann's latest conspiracy theory involves the evil Barack Obama and the use of information in the upcoming 2010 Census.

Now the Census, for those that don't know, has been around since Thomas Jefferson in 1790. A Founding Father. But that doesn't matter to Bachmann. She's convinced these personal questions are an invasion of privacy and doesn't know what the evil government (the government she is a part of) would do with such vital information like her phone number. Because we all know it's impossible for the government to get that information unless provided by the customer. The telecom companies would never surrender than kind of vital info.

Well, Michele, the U. S. Constitution (Article I, Section II) requires that there be a census every ten years in order to apportion the seats in the House of Representatives among the states. That would be to assure idiots like Bachmann have a job. Census information is also used by federal, state and local governments to assess needs and allocate funding, by academics to study the changing population, by individuals to trace their genealogy, and for many other purposes.

Besides the fact that you are subject to prosecution if you refuse to answer census information and Bachmann insisting she will not comply with the census next year, the killer is this little nugget: she is upset that they ask for all this very personal information, but don't ask if you are an American citizen. Listen to the MENSA conversation between Bachmann and Sean Hannity.

Really? Is there no question in the US Census asking if you are an American citizen? Surely that has to be an oversight, and an egregious one at that. Could Bachmann be correct? ...Of course not.

Section 3: Page 18, Question 8

Of course, Bachmann also brings ACORN into the mix, just one of over 250 organizations used by the government in compiling information of over 300 million people. I always knew that some ultra-conservatives righties were nuts when they were in power, but now that they're out of power they are freaking out and coming out of the woodwork faster than the zombies in Night of the Living Dead.

Here's Stephen Colbert's take on the Census (Thanks to Annette for the video).

(H/T GottaLaff)

The Pandemic of Stupid: Parts One and Two