And pardon me for a provincial rant here this morning!
This year will be my 20th anniversary of living in New Orleans. Yes, I was here before, during, and after Katrina. Yes, I have lived in the French Quarter and now I’ve been in the Bywater for nearly 15 of those 20 years. When I moved here, most of the folks were very old people, people living in section 8 housing, a gay contingent working in the quarter, and a very odd sundry of people trying to get out of the Quarter that had been a counterculture enclave but was rapidly turning into weekend condos for people from Texas and Georgia.
I had a few friends that owned bars and galleries here. Then, a few friend that opened up some restaurants. Then, Katrina happened. Then, we extended tax credits to movies studios and got Treme and a few interesting movies and now, well now it’s really, really attracting a group of people who have “discovered’ our wasteland and decided it’s ripe for their sort’ve civilization. We’re all so quaint here. No taxis would come here before they moved here. And, there is no kale to be found any where. But, it so authentically authentic. Isn’t it wonderful they discovered a new Brooklyn?
For some reason, I didn’t feel the need to civilize the city when I moved here. I just sort’ve dove in and let it wash all over me.
I will admit that some things are not as they should be here in the Not Always so Big Easy. There’s the NOPD. There’s still a contingent of politicians down here that are way too generous to their friends and to their own bank accounts. There’s plenty of institutional racism, sexism, and provincialism to go around. But I see this every where and at least New Orleans fills its cracks with good food, good music, and a lot of friendly people. Believe me, that makes up for a lot. However, for some reason, we’re attracting a lot of folks who want to turn us into Brooklyn or what Brooklyn has become. For this, I will reference Spike Lee who shouts “We’ve Been Here”. Discovering new lands that already exist and contain culture and people is not just a Christopher Columbus kind’ve thing.
Then comes the motherfuckin’ Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can’t discover this! We been here. You just can’t come and bogart. There were brothers playing motherfuckin’ African drums in Mount Morris Park for 40 years and now they can’t do it anymore because the new inhabitants said the drums are loud. My father’s a great jazz musician. He bought a house in nineteen-motherfuckin’-sixty-eight, and the motherfuckin’ people moved in last year and called the cops on my father. He’s not — he doesn’t even play electric bass! It’s acoustic! We bought the motherfuckin’ house in nineteen-sixty-motherfuckin’-eight and now you call the cops? In 2013? Get the fuck outta here!
Nah. You can’t do that. You can’t just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you’re motherfuckin’ Columbus and kill off the Native Americans. Or what they do in Brazil, what they did to the indigenous people. You have to come with respect. There’s a code. There’s people.
You can’t just — here’s another thing: When Michael Jackson died they wanted to have a party for him in motherfuckin’ Fort Greene Park and all of a sudden the white people in Fort Greene said, “Wait a minute! We can’t have black people having a party for Michael Jackson to celebrate his life. Who’s coming to the neighborhood? They’re gonna leave lots of garbage.” Garbage? Have you seen Fort Greene Park in the morning? It’s like the motherfuckin’ Westminster Dog Show. There’s 20,000 dogs running around. Whoa. So we had to move it to Prospect Park!
I mean, they just move in the neighborhood. You just can’t come in the neighborhood. I’m for democracy and letting everybody live but you gotta have some respect. You can’t just come in when people have a culture that’s been laid down for generations and you come in and now shit gotta change because you’re here? Get the fuck outta here. Can’t do that!
Yeah, you right.
You may have been reading my previous columns about how people that have just moved here have suddenly become the authentic carriers of New Orleans Culture and all things civilized. I have written about it before. The NYT just will not leave my neighborhood alone. Now, I have neighbors moving in from New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York, and all over. They just have decided that we’re passable if they can just civilize us a little bit more. We’re quaint and they can make us tolerable. Part of this post is about the hubris that comes from journalists. Part of this post is about the hubris that comes from being young. A lot of this post is about the hubris that comes from deciding that you’re just going to come into some one’s neighborhood, label them quaint, and then proceed to become the authority on what it is and isn’t.
“New Orleans is not cosmopolitan,” said the actress Tara Elders. “There’s no kale here.” Her husband, Michiel Huisman, the actor and musician who moved here with Ms. Elders in 2009 to shoot the HBO series “Treme” (he’s currently on the series “Nashville”), agreed. “The sign on a shop says that they’ll open at 10? You’re there at noon and it’s not open,” he said.
We were sitting outside at Sylvain, a restaurant in the French Quarter that Mr. Huisman said “takes Southern cuisine and pushes it a bit more modern.” With its elegant but rustic décor, cocktails featuring noirish names (Blood in the Gulfstream, Dead Man’s Wallet), and inventive food, Sylvain wouldn’t be out of place in Brooklyn — but Ms. Elders said spots like this are still the exception. “So many of the cool places here are really rundown,” she said. “And not because a stylist designed them that way.”
Just for your information, we have plenty of kale here. I went to Rouse’s Market yesterday and you can barely spot the mustard greens through the various assortment of kale. In fact, we’ve decided that #kalespotting is the new event for the post Mardi Gras let down just so they NYT knows we’ve got it. I have it on good authority that the Walmart in Chalmette even has it now.
In a long-ago episode of “The Simpsons,” a tourist to Springfield enters Moe’s bar and declares, “This isn’t a faux dive! This is a dive!” That was satire. But Goodman quotes Elders saying essentially the same thing and with apparent sincerity. “So many of the cool places here are really rundown. And not because a stylist designed them that way.”
Goodman’s story also includes a new transplant’s translation of a Mardi Gras Indian chant: “Shallow water, your mama.”
“Music really flows through the veins of the town, like where we are going tonight,” Mr. Huisman said, referring to the United Mardi Gras Indian Practice. “It’s so true to itself and so African. That really resonates with me: Nothing moves me as much as that beat, that rhythm that is truly New Orleans.”
We all piled into the family Jeep and drove out to Handa Wanda’s, an open warehouse space with a band set up in the back, a bar in the middle, and red beans and rice on hot plates up front. This spot is home base for the Wild Magnolias, one of dozens of tribes. Come Mardi Gras day, the tribe leader, or Big Chief, will lead a procession in full costume, challenging other tribes to mock battles. But tonight is an open practice and all are welcome.
Perched upstairs in the rickety balcony, we drank whiskey and Cokes out of Dixie cups while revelers of all ages shook it to a rollicking beat punctuated by chanting from the Big Chief. Instinctively, all of us leaned over the balcony and started bobbing our heads. Mr. Huisman saw me trying to sing along to words I couldn’t decipher. He smiled and said into my ear, “They’re saying, ‘shallow water, your mama,’ ” a traditional Indian call-and-response.
We are now fighting for t-shirts that say “Shallow water, Yo Mama”. Yes, the new dats are singing their own special lyrics in the shower cause you know how authentic and how, well so true and so African it all is.”
— Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses
“Take me down to a very nice city” Actual lyric: “Take me down to the Paradise City.”
— Rock the Casbah by The Clash
“The sheep don’t like it, rockin’ the cat box” Actual lyric: “Shareef don’t like it, rock the Casbah”
— Africa by Toto
“I left my brains down in Africa” Actual lyric: “I bless the rains down in Africa”
— Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival
“There’s a bathroom on the right” Actual lyric: “There’s a bad moon on the rise.”
— You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate
“I Remove Umbilicals” Actual lyric: “I believe in miracles”
— Suffragette City by David Bowie
“This mellow fat chick just put my spine out of place” Actual lyric: “This mellow thighed chick just put my spine out of place”
— Waterfalls by TLC
“Don’t go, Jason Waterfalls” Actual lyric: “Don’t go chasing waterfalls”
So, a group of the local New Orleans Twitterati and facebookers spent the day coming up with just the precisely right phrase to dub our invaders. Oh, excuse me, those that are here to authenticate and purify and discover our lowly asses along with their search for Kale. We’ve adopted the term Fauxhemians.
New Orleans does have a long outsider tradition. After all, the Barataria pirates and Jean Lafitte wandered the swamps here quite awhile ago before being pardoned for their outstanding fighting during the War of 1812. We’ve had our share of people chasing the local muses. You probably know that our long literary tradition includes Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner. The filming of the movie “Easy Rider” sent in an entire new group that took up residence in the quarter. However, Bourbon Street has always been a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
Educated young people were aware of their privilege, and a certain segment grew bored and anguished with it. As Adam Nathaniel Mayer writes, they “suffered a kind of postmodern malaise which in turn spurred a quest for meaning.”  Previous generations had common causes like escaping poverty or fighting wars to satisfy the top tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; this generation did not. So they sought meaning through individualized quests for authentic experiences.
Because authenticity seemed to call for a certain demeanor, its seekers brooded, acted aloof and squinted when they dragged on their cigarettes. Because it needed a certain look, they grew or chopped their hair defiantly, got tattoos, and donned ragged or vintage clothing. Music, food, cinema, literature, cars, religion: just about every aspect of culture had a “groovy” (1960s), “alternative” (1980s) or “critical” (2000s) counterpart which pitted itself against the mainstream and viewed itself as authentic. And because authenticity also had a geography, its seekers packed their knapsacks and hit the road — out of suburbia and into the wilderness, to distant countries, communes, college towns and mountain villages, and to the decaying inner cities abandoned by their elders. In the past few decades, educated, mostly white youths from prosperous backgrounds have transformed urban spaces in cities like Brooklyn and Oakland and Baltimore and Boston and London from shabbiness and indigence to restoration and gentrification.
New Orleans fit the bill perfectly. It had history, culture, and the poignancy of tragedy and past grandeur. It had a European look, a Caribbean feel, an expatriated vibe, an abundance of historic housing at low rent, a pervasive booziness, and music, food and festivity to boot. It was authentic!
Gentrifiers seem to stew in irreconcilable philosophical disequilibrium. Fortunately, they’ve created plenty of nice spaces to stew in. Bywater in the past few years has seen the opening of nearly ten retro-chic foodie/locavore-type restaurants, two new art-loft colonies, guerrilla galleries and performance spaces on grungy St. Claude Avenue, a “healing center” affiliated with Kabacoff and his Maine-born voodoo-priestess partner, yoga studios, a vinyl records store, and a smattering of coffee shops where one can overhear conversations about bioswales, tactical urbanism, the klezmer music scene, and every conceivable permutation of “sustainability” and “resilience.”
It’s increasingly like living in a city of graduate students. Nothing wrong with that—except, what happens when they, well, graduate? Will a subsequent wave take their place? Or will the neighborhood be too pricey by then?
But, at least we’re some what separate from the state. The right wing side of the media has decided one of the movies filmed down here and about down here is far too mean to the institution of slavery. I guess every one has their notion of what we’re supposed to be about down here.
Some conservatives have started laying into the Oscar-winning movie 12 Years a Slave for creating an unfairly negative portrayal of slavery. You see, the movie portrays slaves being made unhappy by slavery. But that negativity is merely anti-slavery “propaganda,” according to James Bowman in conservative magazine The American Spectator:
If ever in slavery’s 250-year history in North America there were a kind master or a contented slave, as in the nature of things there must have been, here and there, we may be sure that Mr McQueen does not want us to hear about it. This, in turn, surely means that his view of the history of the American South is as partial and one-sided as that of the hated Gone With the Wind.
…Yes, there was much cruelty and hardship in the slave-owning South, as there has been in most of the rest of the world most of the time, and Mr. McQueen’s camera is all over that. But it strains ordinary credulity to suppose that there was nothing else.
We are wondering, was Bowman equally aggrieved by the lack of happy Jews in Schindler’s List?
To be fair to the American Spectator‘s readers, the comment thread under the article is mainly filled with people asking WTF the article is all about. The top comment reads, “‘a contented slave’ – is this article a joke of some sort?”
This state has been cursed with some of the worst leadership that could walk the planet. The head of the current plantation system is a cruel master.
“We’ve got Eric Holder and the Department of Justice trying to stand in the schoolhouse door to prevent minority kids, low-income kids, kids who haven’t had access to a great education, the chance to go to better schools,” Jindal said.
As the Washington Post points out, Jindal’s rhetoric is an apparent allusion to former Alabama Gov. George Wallace’s 1963 “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door” demonstration, during which the anti-integration governor stood in a doorway at the University of Alabama as two black students attempted to enter the institution.
Jindal also gave a shout out to some of his home state’s biggest celebrities — the stars of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty.”
“We must not let [the left] silence the Robertsons,” Jindal said of the reality show family, referencing national outrage over patriarch Phil Robertson’s homophobic remarks last year.
The report also says that:
- 41 percent of voucher students scored at grade level or above on key tests.
- Voucher students account for more than half the enrollment at 18 schools in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas of the 118 reviewed statewide.
- The state was overcharged for tuition by 35 of the schools, including a top overbilling of $5,566 per student.
The school was not identified.
Those who get the state aid — backers call it scholarships — are not supposed to be charged more than others.
Vouchers are state aid for students who attend public schools rated C, D and F, and who meet income rules, to attend private schools with the tuition and some fees paid by the state.
Whether they provide students viable options to low-performing public schools is one of the most hotly-debated issues in Louisiana education circles.
Jindal is making a run at president and wants to replace Chris Christie as the Governor that can be taken seriously. But, any on that watches him from down here knows he only does what best for Jindal. It is only about him and his ambitions.
As governor, Jindal had an opportunity to put his big ideas into action. But his bold prescriptions look a lot like the same ideas Republicans have been pushing for decades—perhaps not surprising for a man who started out in an industry built around telling corporate leaders what they already know.
The centerpiece of his agenda was education. When he took office, Louisiana had some of the nation’s highest dropout rates and lowest literacy scores, and Katrina had battered New Orleans’ school system. Like another Southern governor, Jeb Bush, he built a reputation as an education reformer from the GOP mainstream—charter schools, teacher merit pay, and a voucher program to pay private-school tuition. But Jindal’s agenda also had a strong Christian flavor. In 2008, he signed the Louisiana Science Education Act, which allows public schools to teach creationism. Jindal framed it as a matter of giving local districts more control, but the effect was obvious: Thousands of high school students, especially in the state’s Baptist and evangelical north, were instructed that (for instance) the Loch Ness monster proves humans and dinosaurs coexisted.
Some think Jindal was simply playing politics, rewarding a religious demographic that was instrumental to his rise. “He’s smart—he was nearly gonna go to Harvard Medical School. I can’t believe that he believes in creationism,” says 20-year-old Zack Kopplin, who, as a high school student, persuaded 75 Nobel laureates to sign a letter opposing the legislation. But Jindal’s own statements suggest otherwise: As far back as 1995, fresh off his final semester at Oxford, Jindal wrote that there was “much controversy over the fossil evidence for evolution.”
Jindal’s voucher program has so far funneled at least $4 million to religious institutions, many with strict discriminatory policies. In the state’s northeastern corner, Claiborne Christian Academy students believed to be pregnant can be suspended and expelled upon confirmation. (An abortion warrants expulsion, too.)
Other voucher-funded schools in the region subject gay students to the equivalent of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. At Northlake Christian School in Covington, students can be refused admission if they or their family promote the “homosexual lifestyle.” Northeast Baptist School in West Monroe states that “students that profess a sexual orientation contrary to God’s Word will not be accepted and may be un-enrolled…upon discovery.”
“I guess they would confess it, and they would talk about it to the kids, and I would ask about it,” says Anita Watson, Northeast Baptist’s principal, when I call to ask how the school would find out about gay students. “To be honest, it hasn’t ever really come up because the teenagers that, I don’t know, that are leaning in that direction, they would probably choose not to come here.”
While aspects of Jindal’s education policies evoked Bush-era compassionate conservatism, in most areas he has embraced brute austerity. In the name of cutting waste—overspending has historically been a vehicle for corruption in Louisiana—Jindal has sought to slash the services on which residents of the nation’s third-poorest state have depended. He moved to cut the retirement benefits of some state employees by as much as 50 percent, while blocking even incremental increases in levies like the cigarette tax. State funding for higher education has been cut by 80 percent, with Jindal turning down federal stimulus funds that could have filled some of that gap. And last spring he vetoed $4 million to help relieve a 10-year waiting list for developmentally disabled Louisianans seeking in-home care.His constant travel has eroded his stature at home. One state appointee who supports Jindal calls him an “absentee landlord.”
Jindal touts his record as the first Louisiana governor in recent history not to raise net taxes. Instead, his approach has been to shift more of the tax burden onto the state’s poorest residents, while giving high-earners a break: In 2013, he proposed increasing sales taxes so the state couldeliminate all income and corporate taxes. (The plan died amid bipartisan rebellion.) And like 24 other Republican governorsacross the country, he turned down funding to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, denying coverage to 214,000 low-income Louisianans.
Jindal’s zeal to keep spending low and protect his reputation as a budget hawk has undercut other initiatives. He brought on environmentalists to help write his 2012 plan to shore up the coastline, but has so far fruitlessly insisted Washington, not Baton Rouge, foot the bill. When the state’s independent flood control board sought funding for the plan by suing 100 oil and gas companies for elevating flood risks through the construction of pipelines and canals, Jindal—who has received more than $1 million in contributions from the industry—asked the courts to throw the case out, and when that failed, replaced three of the board’s members. And even though Jindal had called outdated ethics rules the No. 1 obstacle to economic investment, and had pushed through an overhaul, his budget dramatically slashed the number of employees keeping watch; an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity gave Jindal’s administration a D+ for enforcement of corruption laws.
So, here I sit in a really changed post-Katrina world coming on 10 years after the flood. Who could predict that my neighborhood would be discovered by people seeking a new culture path to Brooklyn? Or that, my governor, a Rhodes Scholar who was a pre-med student at an ivy league college would put in a law that puts creation mythology on the same footing as science? It’s a strange reality and one that makes you wonder if any really cares about authenticity these days or even knows what it is.
So, there’s a lot of links to be shared down thread because I didn’t do it here. What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
I’ve been watching two HBO series recently as well as doing my usual reading of the latest news. I’ve sensed a theme. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s what I’m fascinated with, drawn to, or surround by in this existence. But, every where I look I see power brokers and money and ultimately war and violence against mostly the poor, women, and children. This is true in the worlds of True Detective and Game of Thrones which are fiction but appear to be loosely based on the corrupt mess of politics and religion in Louisiana and the nastiness of England’s War of the Roses respectively. It’s also true if you look around.
Grabbing power and vast wealth takes money, cunning, and the naked willingness to do anything to further one’s fortunes. Every one else be damned! I looked for news for the morning post and it appears that fiction does indeed mimic real life because the same threads of deceit and power grabbing rule the headlines too. Evil power brokers and tyrants looking for more territory don’t only exist in the pages of literature and the visuals of cinema. They also don’t just haunt the pages of medieval history or swampy, backwards Louisiana. The desire to corrupt the corruptible for personal gain is every where.
“People are really drawn to the Koch model,” said Anthony Scaramucci, a New York hedge fund investor and Republican fund-raiser, who attended the Kochs’ annual donor conference near Palm Springs, Calif., in January. “It’s adaptive, data-driven, and they are the most propitious capital allocators in political activism.”
The quiet revolt signals a broader shift in the world of big money. Clubs of elite donors in both parties are taking a more central role in shaping policy and campaigns, displacing party leaders and the outside-spending organizations they helped create after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010. And the sheer scale of their spending is almost certain to rewrite the playbook for political campaigns this year, as candidates reckon with the strongly held views of some of the world’s wealthiest people.
The phenomenon is not limited to the right. Super PACs blessed by Democratic congressional leaders have posted strong fund-raising over the last year, bolstered by victories in 2012. But those organizations are now being overshadowed by donors like Tom Steyer, the billionaire who is raising a $100 million political fund with other wealthy environmentalists to battle politicians deemed hostile to climate regulation.
Parties have “lost the ability to control the process,” said Jim Nicholson, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, partly because of legislation that cut the flow of money to party committees. “The party can’t coordinate with these super PACs and neither can the campaigns, so there’s a lot more chaos and disequilibrium in the campaigns. And the party structure clearly has a diminished role because they don’t have the resources they used to have.”
Rob Stein, a founder of the Democracy Alliance, one of the largest clubs of donors on the left, agreed.
“The devolution of the two-party system has begun,” Mr. Stein said. “Money is leaving the parties and going to independent expenditure groups. These now are fracturing the ‘big tents’ of our old two-party system into independent, narrow and well-funded wings.”
We’ve seen the Republican party struggle recently with so many factions that it has nearly made the country ungovernable. The powerful–who once thought that religious kooks were their pawns–are now looking to other means of addressing their greed and expansion needs. I’m watching Mary Landrieu be assaulted on TV by Koch Brothers money right now. There is not even a challenger at the moment although there are several very extremist congressmen hanging about in the wings. The point appears to be to remove the obstacles first. I’m not sure that they very much care about the overall results as long as the resulting chaos creates an environment where they can thrive without oversight and responsibility for the havoc they cause.
It’s also fascinating to watch Putin flex those old KGB muscles in the Crimea. The same teapots seem to brew endless tempests. Wow. Did the establishment media and analysts miss this one. They’d do a lot better spending time with reruns of Game of Thrones than sitting in their Georgetown condos discussing their talents for taking complex concepts and boiling them down to digestible and infinitely discussable bits of prose and sound bytes.
Nobody, including us, is infallible about the future. Giving the public your best thoughts about where things are headed is all a poor pundit (or government analyst) can do. But this massive intellectual breakdown has a lot to do with a common American mindset that is especially built into our intellectual and chattering classes. Well educated, successful and reasonably liberal minded Americans find it very hard to believe that other people actually see the world in different ways. They can see that Vladimir Putin is not a stupid man and that many of his Russian officials are sophisticated and seasoned observers of the world scene. American experts and academics assume that smart people everywhere must want the same things and reach the same conclusions about the way the world works.
How many times did foolishly confident American experts and officials come out with some variant of the phrase “We all share a common interest in a stable and prosperous Ukraine.” We may think that’s true, but Putin doesn’t.
We blame this in part on the absence of true intellectual and ideological diversity in so much of the academy, the policy world and the mainstream media. Most college kids at good schools today know many more people from different races and cultural groups than their grandparents did, but they are much less exposed to people who think outside the left-liberal box. How many faithful New York Times readers have no idea what American conservatives think, much less how Russian oligarchs do? Well bred and well read Americans live in an ideological and cultural cocoon and this makes them fatally slow to understand the very different motivations that animate actors ranging from the Tea Party to the Kremlin to, dare we say it, the Supreme Leader and Guide of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
As far as we can tell, the default assumption guiding our political leadership these days is that the people on the other side of the bargaining table (unless they are mindless Tea Party Republicans) are fundamentally reasonable people who see the world as we do, and are motivated by the same things that motivate us. Many people are, of course, guided by an outlook not all that dissimilar from the standard upper middle class gentry American set of progressive ideas. But some aren’t, and when worlds collide, trouble comes.
Too much of the Washington policy establishment looks around the world and sees only reflections of its own enlightened self. That’s natural and perhaps inevitable to some degree. The people who rise through the competitive bureaucracies of American academic, media and think tank life tend to be those who’ve most thoroughly absorbed and internalized the set of beliefs and behavioral norms that those institutions embody and respect. On the whole, those beliefs and norms have a lot going for them. It would not be an improvement if America’s elite institutions started to look more like their counterparts in Russia or Zimbabwe.
But while those ideas and beliefs help people rise through the machinery of the American power system, they can get in the way when it comes to understanding the motives and calculations of people like President Putin. The best of the journalists, think tankers and officials will profit from the Crimean policy fiasco and will never again be as smug or as blind as so much of Washington was last week. The mediocre majority will go on as before.
It seems power brokers do lose interest though. A few years ago, this skirmish was centermost on the minds of those folks getting their opiate on via the Oscars last night. There is just one more imperialist army left in the Afghanistan dirt. Russia has moved on from there. And, now, so do we. There is one more little outraged pawn exiting the global throne room.
In an unusually emotional interview, the departing Afghan president sought to explain why he has been such a harsh critic of the 12-year-old U.S. war effort here. He said he’s deeply troubled by all the casualties he has seen, including those in U.S. military operations. He feels betrayed by what he calls an insufficient U.S. focus on targeting Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan. And he insists that public criticism was the only way to guarantee an American response to his concerns.
To Karzai, the war was not waged with his country’s interests in mind.
“Afghans died in a war that’s not ours,’ he said in the interview, his first in two years with a U.S. newspaper.
In Karzai’s mind, al-Qaeda is “more a myth than a reality” and the majority of the United States’ prisoners here were innocent. He’s certain that the war was “for the U.S. security and for the Western interest.”
Such statements elicit scorn and shock from U.S. officials, who point out that Americans have sacrificed mightily for Afghanistan — losing more than 2,000 lives and spending more than $600 billion in the effort to defeat al-Qaeda and the Taliban and rebuild the country.
Let’s call it McDomination. It’s been a well thought out and highly financed war plan since the 1970s. Big Business and Power Brokers dislike all the little people taking to the streets about ecology and civil rights.
On August 23, 1971, Lewis Powell sent a confidential memo to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The memo was both a call to arms and a battle plan for a business response to its growing legion of opponents. Powell was a corporate lawyer, a former president of the American Bar Association, and a board member of eleven corporations, including Philip Morris and the Ethyl Corporation, a company that made the lead for leaded gasoline. Powell had also represented the Tobacco Institute, the research arm of the tobacco industry, and various tobacco companies. Later that year, President Richard Nixon would nominate Powell to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, where he served for fifteen years.
Powell’s memo serves as a useful starting point for understanding how the transformation of the corporate system that began in the 1970s set the stage for today’s global health problems. “No thoughtful person can question that the American economic system is under broad attack,” wrote Powell. “The assault on the enterprise system is broadly based and consistently pursued. It is gaining momentum and converts.” “One of the bewildering paradoxes of our time,” Powell continued, “is the extent to which the enterprise system tolerates, if not participates in, its own destruction.” He enumerated the system’s enemies: well-meaning liberals, government officials intent on regulating business, news media, student activists, and an emerging environmental and consumer movement— especially its most visible leader, Ralph Nader, in Powell’s view “the single most effective antagonist of American business.”
Powell called on business, especially the Chamber of Commerce, to end its “appeasement” of its critics and launch an aggressive and systematic counter-assault. The memo warned that “independent and uncoordinated activity by individual corporations, as important as this is, will not be sufficient. Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years … and in the political power available only though united action and national organizations.”
Powell urged new, well-funded public media campaigns to support the free enterprise system, the creation of think tanks and institutes to develop policy proposals and “direct political action” in legislative and judicial arenas. “It is time,” he argued, for “American business … to apply their great talents vigorously to the preservation of the system itself.” Powell’s “confidential” memo was first circulated within the Chamber of Commerce, then released in 1972 by investigative reporter Jack Anderson during the Powell Supreme Court confirmation hearings. While the document may not have been the blueprint for the rise of the Republican right that some analysts claim, its real value is as the articulation of the corporate prescription for capitalism’s ills.
Today, more than forty years after business took up Powell’s appeal, its success in achieving the goals he laid out makes it hard to fathom the depth of his concern.
A new fresh hell from the minds and money of Putin, Charles Koch, Ted Cruz, Henry Kissinger and Richard II . Perhaps I should be watching less dark fiction and I’d be less prone to pick up the similarities.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today.
Sometimes I just really want to reach through the TV or computer screen and slap the shit out of people. Bill O’Reilly is always high on my list. The last time he interviewed our country’s president he interrupted so many times that you had to wonder why he just didn’t lecture a chair like grizzly old Clint Eastwood did at the Republican National Convention. O’Reilly is at the top of my list for men I’d like to slap the crap out of for mansplaining why Madam President might have a downside to a pair of political consultants that are women..
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly invited two women onto his show to discuss whether a woman could be the leader of the free world, expressing his concern about her “gender deficiency.”
Neither guest was having it.
Following up on a previous interview with Michele Bachman (R-MN), who stated that she did not feel that America was ready for a woman president, O’Reilly invited Republican strategist Kate Obenshain and Fox contributor Kirsten Powers on to discuss the issue.
O’Reilly started with Powers asking if there was “some downside to having a woman president, something that may not fit with that office, correct?”
“Hmmm, I’m gonna say say, no, Bill,” Powers replied, while Obenshain laughed.
“Just because you’re female that it would… something … ummmm,” Powers said, running out of words before asking O’Reilly, “Let me ask you this, whats the downside of a man being president?”
O’Reilly replied that it would take “three years” to discuss, stating, “look at some of the guys we’ve had in there since 1864.”
Turning to Obenshain, O’Reilly admitted that men “may not be as open to sensitive discussion as women” and asked, “There’s gotta be a downside for a woman, do you know one?”
“Uh, you know , I’m having a tough time with this one too, Bill. It depends on the certain individual,” she replied before Powers interjected and Obenshain laughed and added, “Oh, good.”
Yes, folks! There has to be a downside to stuff that makes you feel threatened and icky. Ever notice how many straight men obsess on icky girl parts and icky gay sex? I thought penis cakes were for Bachelorette parties, but there’s a Republican Man that thinks they’re an essential part of a gay wedding. “Judson Phillips, president of Tea Party Nation, is a little upset about Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision last night to veto a bill that would have expanded the ability of business owners to discriminate against LGBT people and others.” Methinks the dude doth protest a little too much. He seems to have an unhealthy interest in other people’s sex lives.
Should a devote baker be required to create a cake for a homosexual wedding that has a giant phallic symbol on it or should a baker be required to create pastries for a homosexual wedding in the shape of genitallia [sic]? Or should a photographer be required to photograph a homosexual wedding where the participants decide they want to be nude or engage in sexual behavior? Would they force a Jewish photographer to work a Klan or Nazi event? How about forcing a Muslim caterer to work a pork barbeque dinner?
Clearly Jesus was sexy.
After all, He is the Son of God.
I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but as I watched the trailer for the new movie, “Son of God,” I found myself gawking at the actor portraying Jesus.
For a group of people obsessed with immaculate conception and virgins, we sure seem to have a close up view of a few secret gardens, don’t we? Yes, no one excels at mansplaining more than Catholic League President Bill Donohue who thinks that no one ever, EVER discriminates against the GLBT community and wants some one to come up with an example.
“Where are the examples of gays being discriminated against?” Donohue asked. “If they’re being discriminated against, how come they make more money than straight people on average?”
“Is somebody being denied at Applebee’s getting a hamburger? Where are these examples?” he followed up.
“Under the law in Arizona, there is no special protection of the LGBT community, so a business member, if he or she wanted to or she wanted to, could discriminate without violation,” Como said. “That’s why the law was unnecessary. Do you get that?”
“Can you enumerate for me examples of gay people in Arizona who are having their right violated by people of faith?” Donohue asked.
Yes. Nothing to see here. Just move on with those penis cakes to some other place.
Turning oppressors into victims seems to be the new tactic in the Culture War. White men with guns are scared of you black unarmed teenage boys going about your business. Guess who has the right to use deadly force? Then, there’s the continual series of jaw dropping court findings that continue to represent the worst of rape apologia. Let’s just let the mansplaining begin.
In 2006, Kelly Vosgien pled guilty to three counts of rape, three counts of sodomy, one count of sexual abuse and three counts of compelling prostitution. The Oregon state court gave him a sentence of 55 years. These charges were brought against Vosgien after he traded cigarettes and money to his daughter and her friend in return for sex. Both girls were minors at the time.
The case had seemingly been put to rest until 2013, when Vosgien applied for habeas relief, claiming “actual innocence” with regard to his previous convictions, paying special attention to the charges of compelling prostitution. Vosgien missed the one-year filing deadline for habeas, but as is common and often imperative with retrials, the appeal was allowed to proceed.
The Oregon district court that handled this initial appeal used Bousley v. United States to throw out the innocence claim, citing precedent: “In cases where the Government has forgone more serious charges in the course of plea bargaining, petitioner’s showing of actual innocence must also extend to those charges.”
The second part of the court’s argument, less lawyerly and therefore more straightforward, claimed that bribing one’s daughter, or any child, in exchange for sex must constitute some sort of crime under Oregon state law.
In the end, the judge refused to alter any charges on the 2006 conviction, so Vosgien applied for a second appeal, which went to the 9th Circuit court.
This move, amazingly, worked—sort of. The court’s decision, filed February 13, reversed the ruling of the district court in part by throwing out the three counts of compelling prostitution. The argument that got Vosgien off the hook was based on a 2010 case, State v. Vargas-Torres, which narrowed the legal definition of “compelling prostitution” in Oregon. The court determined such a charge now requires that goods be traded for sex through a third party. Since Kelly Vosgien procured the sexual favors only for himself, these three counts will be stricken from his sentence.
“Goods be traded for sex through a third party”. WTF?
Paula Deen’s $100 million empire crumbled last year after she admitted to using the N-word in her life, and as she continues campaigning to repair her public image with a $75 million investment deal on her side, the celebrity chef has compared her struggles to those of the NFL’s first openly gay prospect, Michael Sam.
“I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name. It’s like that black football player who recently came out,” Deen said in a People Magazine cover story, which hits newsstands on Friday. “He said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player.’ I know exactly what he’s saying.”
Yes, a white southern woman using a racist slur and giving plantation themed parties is just like the struggle of a black gay man trying to live authentically in the the NFL.
Is it too early for a whiskey neat?
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
I’m forever aghast at the number of folks that prefer tropes and memes to actually investigating what works and doesn’t work for the economy. It’s a bit like watching people rush to that wagon where the snake oil salesman promises a miracle cure. Meanwhile, back here in the land of data, we use the scientific method. Wishful thinking just doesn’t cure math deficiency.
Of all the myths and falsehoods that Republicans have spread about President Obama, the most pernicious and long-lasting is that the $832 billion stimulus package did not work. Since 2009, Republican lawmakers have inextricably linked the words “failed” and “stimulus,” and last week, five years after passage of the Recovery Act, they dusted off their old playbook again.
“The ‘stimulus’ has turned out to be a classic case of big promises and big spending with little results,” wrote Speaker John Boehner. “Five years and hundreds of billions of dollars later, millions of families are still asking, ‘where are the jobs?’ ”
The stimulus could have done more good had it been bigger and more carefully constructed. But put simply, it prevented a second recession that could have turned into a depression. It created or saved an average of 1.6 million jobs a year for four years. (There are the jobs, Mr. Boehner.) It raised the nation’s economic output by 2 to 3 percent from 2009 to 2011. It prevented a significant increase in poverty — without it, 5.3 million additional people would have become poor in 2010.
And yet Republicans were successful in discrediting the very idea that federal spending can boost the economy and raise employment. They made the argument that the stimulus was a failure not just to ensure that Mr. Obama would get no credit for the recovery that did occur, but to justify their obstruction of all further attempts at stimulus.
So the American Jobs Act was killed, and so was the infrastructure bank and any number of other spending proposals that might have helped the country. The president’s plan to spend another $56 billion on job training, education and energy efficiency, to be unveiled in his budget next month, will almost certainly suffer a similar fate.
This may be the singular tragedy of the Obama administration. Five years later, it is clear to all fair-minded economists that the stimulus did work, and that it did enormous good for the economy and for tens of millions of people. But because it fell short of its goals, and was roundly ridiculed by Republicans and inadequately defended by Democrats, who should have trumpeted its success, the president’s stimulus plan is now widely considered a stumble.
There are so many people that would rather look at what’s in front of their nose rather than examine information over time and look for trend and random events. Did you know that January 2014 was the 4th warmest on record for our world?
But it turns out that according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this January was the warmest since 2007 and the fourth warmest January on record. It was also the 38th January in a row that boasted temperatures above the average for the 20th century: temperatures were 1.17 degrees above average globally.
You have to go all the way back to 1976 – the year Paul McCartney and Wings made it to #1 with “Silly Love Songs” and Elton John and Kiki Dee followed close on their heels with #2′s Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, to find a below average temperature for January.
Think about it: If February’s temperatures are also above average, we will have seen 29 years since the last month of below average temperatures.
And global warming deniers never once mentioned California’s drought. It was as though it was not even happening. But these extremes of weather are predicted by the scientific model. Instead of intelligent discourse, we had Todd Akin (R-MO) claiming back in 2009that regulating CO2 will make the seasons stop,” showing he knows no more about climate science than he does about biology. That same year we saw Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) say that because CO2 is in Coca Cola that it is safe and should not be regulated. More recently, we getTony Perkins asserting there is more evidence that God is behind “hurricanes and storms” than there is for climate change. We get David Barton saying last October that abortion is really to blame for climate change. And we get Glenn Beck claiming those who deny climate change will shortly be sent to internment camps.
In other words, you are not going to get an intelligent debate on climate change from Republicans. And Beck, who is a genre unto himself? Nice a fantasy as this is, it’s not going to happen.
What is going to happen to everyone is going to be much worse than internment if something isn’t done. The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet would mean sea levels rising more than 200 feet. If you want to know what the world will look like then, go to National Geographic and take a look.
Keith Brekhus reported here in January that “the Australian based Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science has released a new study arguing that climate models have underestimated the extent to which the doubling of carbon dioxide will affect global surface temperatures.” What we get in response is the Exxon-funded Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change telling us that CO2 is actually good for us, and that global warming will be beneficial, and that anyway, the fact that the planet is warming and that CO2 emissions are increasing, is not evidence of causation.
When Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), vice chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, says that CO2 is good for plants it is because that is what Exxon and other fossil fuel giants are paying her to say.
It’s equally interesting that a law denying rights to GLBTs boils down to a few crazy businesses that don’t want to send wedding accouterments to gay couples because OMG! Have any of these folks ever read about the abuses that lead to our Constitutional concept of religious liberty? Do they think really think that selling a wedding cake is the same as subjecting oneself to the Inquisition?
The Arizona law seems to apply to services beyond those tied to weddings, but same-sex weddings are the impetus for these bills. Specifically, they are in response to lawsuits against three different Christians who refused to photograph, bake a cake, and sell flowers for same-sex weddings. The backers of these laws claim that a Christian cannot, in good conscience, provide a good or service for a same-sex wedding because it violates the teachings of Christianity.
If these bills become law, we could see same-sex couples being denied service not just by photographers and florists, but also restaurants and hotels and pretty much anyone else who can tie their discrimination to a religious belief.
Many on the left and right can agree that nobody should be unnecessarily forced to violate their conscience. But in order to violate a Christian’s conscience, the government would have to force them to affirm something in which they don’t believe. This is why the first line of analysis here has to be whether society really believes that baking a wedding cake or arranging flowers or taking pictures (or providing any other service) is an affirmation. This case simply has not been made, nor can it be, because it defies logic. If you lined up 100 married couples and asked them if their florist “affirmed” their wedding, they would be baffled by the question.
Strangely, conservative Christians seem to have little interest in this level of analysis and jump right to complaints about their legal and constitutional rights. It’s not that these rights don’t matter. Rather, they should be a secondary issue for Christians. Before considering legal rights, Christians wrestling with this issue must first resolve the primary issue of whether the Bible calls Christians to deny services to people who are engaging in behavior they believe violates the teachings of Christianity regarding marriage. The answer is, it does not.
Nor does the Bible teach that providing such a service should be construed as participation or affirmation. Yet Christian conservatives continue to claim that it does.
Okay, and now for something about True Detective. It’s my latest addiction and I fully confess that I passed it on to BostonBoomer, my sister, and Doctor Daughter. (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT)
David Haglund: This show gets into your head something fierce. About halfway through this episode, called “Haunted Houses,” Rust’s commanding officer chews out his subordinate for bothering people about the long-since-closed Dora Lange case. My eye flashed to the officer’s nameplate: Leroy Salter (played by Paul Ben-Victor, by the way, also known as Vondas from The Wire). Leroy … that derives from French for “the king.” As in the Yellow King? And what could “salter” mean?
Before I could start Googling surname origins, Rust began spouting his theories about a high-reaching murderous conspiracy and, for the first time (in my book, anyway), they sounded like the mad ravings of a paranoid. I recalled that Satan-themed T-shirt on one of the jailed boys who had sex with Marty’s daughter—a shirt that sported a black star or two—and thought about how sometimes the signifiers of devil worship are just for show. The ground beneath me started to shift.
Bring me back from the brink, Willa.
I haven’t had this much fun since Twin Peaks.
I’ve been haunted by this song since I started watching the series. The music track is as haunting as the imagery and the story line. It’s chosen by T Bone Burnett who is an artist I’ve had the pleasure to mic and mix. I love the Train Song By Vashti Bunyan and it’s perfectly placed in the series.
BTW, do you watch “Big Bang Theory”? I hope you know that Mayim Bialik who plays Amy Farrah Fowler actually has a doctorate in neuroscience. You can’t do many advanced degrees without a lot of calculus. I actually started to like math when I went into the part that wasn’t bounded as finite. Most folks may remember her as Blossom but …
During a red carpet interview at the SAG awards this January, the actress was forced into an awkward situation after Bono’s doppelganger tried to asked her if people assume that she can do advanced math because she plays a smart character on TV. As it turns out, she can do calculus in her sleep because she’s secretly a neuroscientist. And by secretly, I mean she publicly taught for several years, wrote a book about the science of hormones for parenting and has given several public (and very recent) lectures about the importance of investing in STEM careers and research. Oh and she’s also the official spokesperson for Texas Instruments graphing calculators.
She’s a scientist and an actress.
Just one more thing …
I know my fiction from my fact. I’m not so sure that’s true about a lot of policy makers these days of the Republican Persuasion.
I guess there’s something about “FOR ALL” that some people just don’t seem to understand.
I’m not sure where Arizona belongs in the category of states that really haven’t signed onto the Constitution yet, but it’s WAyyyyyy down there.
State senators voted Wednesday to let businesses refuse to serve gays based on owners’ “sincerely held” religious beliefs.
The 17-13 vote along party lines, with Republicans in the majority, came after supporters defeated an attempt to extend existing employment laws that bar discrimination based on religion and race to also include sexual orientation. Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, said that’s a separate issue from what he is trying to do.
But Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, said that’s precisely the issue.
“The bill opens the door for discrimination against gays and lesbians,” he said.
Yarbrough, however, said foes of SB 1062 are twisting what his legislation says.
“This bill is not about discrimination,” he said. “It’s about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith.”
A similar measure is awaiting a vote in the House, probably later today.
Arizona already has laws which protect individuals and businesses from any state action which substantially interferes with their right to exercise their religion. This bill extends that protection to cover what essentially are private transactions.
The push follows a decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court which said a gay couple could sue a photographer who refused on religious grounds to take pictures of their nuptials. Yarbrough’s legislation would preclude such a ruling here.
But Gallardo said this legislation makes one person’s religious freedom an attack on others.
“We all have the right to our religious beliefs,” he said.
“But I do not agree that we have the right to discriminate because of our religious beliefs,” Gallardo continued. “I do not believe we have to throw our religious beliefs to others that don’t share our same beliefs.”
I had thought we’d gotten to the point where denying the rights of others was considered wrong. But, I guess I’m wrong. Jim Crow just keeps on raising his head. Now, it’s Jane Crow, Juan Crow, and Freddie Mercury Crow.
Republicans lawmakers and a network of conservative religious groups has been pushing similar bills in other states, essentially forging a national campaign that, critics say, would legalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Republicans in Idaho, Oregon, South Dakota, and Tennessee recently introduced provisions that mimic the Kansas legislation. And Arizona,Hawaii, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Mississippi have introduced broader “religious freedom” bills with a unique provision that would also allow people to deny services or employment to LGBT Americans, legal experts say.
“This is a concerted campaign that the religious Right has been hinting at for a couple of years now,” says Evan Hurst, associate director of Truth Wins Out, a Chicago-based nonprofit that promotes gay rights. “The fact that they’re doing it Jim Crow-style is remarkable, considering the fact that one would think the GOP would like to be electable among people under 50 sometime in the near future.”
Several of these measures have sprung up within a short period of time. The Kansas bill wasintroduced by Republican state Rep. Charles Macheers on January 16. On January 28, Idaho state Rep. Lynn Luker (R-Boise) introduced a bill that would prohibit the state from yanking the professional licenses of people who deny service or employment to anyone (including LGBT customers) on the basis of their religious beliefs. (There’s an exception for emergency responders.) Luker has since pulled that bill back into committee, to address concerns about the language being discriminatory.
On January 30, a coalition of Republican senators and representatives in South Dakotaintroduced a bill that would have allowed a business to refuse to serve or people due to their sexual orientation, or be compelled to hire someone because of their sexual orientation. Under this measure, a gay person who brought a lawsuit charging discrimination based on sexual orientation could have faced punitive damages of no less than $2,000. The bill also declared that it is protected speech to tell someone that his or her lifestyle is “wrong or a sin.” The bill was killed this week by the state Senate judiciary committee.
On February 5, Republicans introduced legislation in both chambers of the Tennessee Legislature allowing a person or company to refuse to provide services such as food, accommodation, counseling, adoption, or employment to people in civil unions or same-sex marriages, or transgender individuals, “if doing so would violate the sincerely held religious beliefs of the person.” (Government employees are excluded.) State Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) tells Mother Jones that he sponsored the bill because “a person shouldn’t get sued for choosing not to participate in a person’s wedding.” But this week, the bill’s lead sponsor in the Senate, Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), shelved the measure until next year after facing heavy criticism. And in Oregon, voters could have the opportunity this year to vote on a ballot initiative that would also allow people to refuse on religious grounds to support same-sex couples.
In addition to these bills, lawmakers in Arizona, Hawaii, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Mississippi have recently introduced Religious Freedom Restoration Acts with a provision that could also allow discrimination against LGBT Americans. These state-sponsored RFRAs, which aim to stop new laws from burdening religious exercise, are nothing new—29 states already have some kind of RFRA in place through legislation or court action. But legal experts say that these particular bills are unique in that they allow individuals—and in some states, businesses—to cite religion as a defense in a private lawsuit.
My latest “Republican Asshat of the Day” is McConnell’s primary challenger who thinks that gay marriage will lead to Parent/Child Marriage. Seriously. I’m SERIOUSLY. WTF?
Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin suggested that legalizing same-sex marriage could lead to legalizing marriage between a parent and child.
The comments by Bevin, who is running in the Republican primary against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), were made on The Janet Mefferd Show on Wednesday and highlighted by Right Wing Watch.
“If it’s all right to have same-sex marriages, why not define a marriage — because at the end of the day a lot of this ends up being taxes and who can visit who in the hospital and there’s other repressions and things that come with it — so a person may want to define themselves as being married to one of their children so that they can then in fact pass on certain things to that child financially and otherwise,” Bevin said. “Where do you draw the line?”
There’s a number of Republicans that just can’t seem to grok the idea of the “FOR ALL” idea. Some of them sell out their own demographic for religion or money or stupidity. Michelle Bachmann may be leaving Congress, but, she is not going quietly into the night. I almost hate to link to this site, but it’s the original source.
Bachmann was the only female GOP candidate in the race when she ran for president in 2012. She says, “Two things that need to be done: Remind people (Clinton) is seeking to become commander in chief (and) how she has operated in the past with these types of responsibilities. She was in charge during the Benghazi debacle. If a person reads the Senate Intelligence (Committee) report and the House Foreign Affairs (Committee) report released (last) week, it is damning for Hillary Clinton.”
Bachmann says Clinton testified before Congress that she was “aware” of the deteriorating conditions in Benghazi but did nothing. “She has a real problem when it comes to Benghazi,” says Bachmann.
In addition, she says, Clinton is “the godmother of Obamacare,” trying “behind closed doors” to push through something similar when Bill Clinton was president.
Maybe such an approach will work, but would the lure of the “first female president” overcome these concerns in voters’ minds? Bachmann says: “Effectively she would be Obama’s third and fourth term in office.” That might scare enough people to vote for the Republican nominee.
Bachmann says a lot of people “aren’t ready” for a female president. “I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt.” (Presumably she means because of slavery and the lengthy denial of civil rights to blacks.) “People don’t hold guilt for a woman,” she says, adding that while people vote for women for virtually every other office “I don’t think there is a pent-up desire” for a woman president.
She says while Obama was “new and different,” Hillary Clinton has been around a long time and is less likely to stir the juices as Obama did.
“I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt,” she said. “People don’t hold guilt for a woman.”
She added that while voters elect women for virtually every other office, she doesn’t think there is “a pent-up desire” for a woman president.
Bachmann, who was the Republican Party’s only female candidate for president in 2012, did have some prescriptions for would-be Clinton challengers, should Clinton run.
“Two things that need to be done: Remind people [Clinton] is seeking to become Commander-in-Chief [and] how she has operated in the past with these types of responsibilities,” Bachmann said. “She was in charge during the Benghazi debacle. If a person reads the Senate Intelligence [Committee] report and the House Foreign Affairs [Committee] report released [last] week, it is damning for Hillary Clinton.”
Least we forget, racist dog whistles still define many folks and these folks have now found a home in the Republican Party. This sad news comes from the Wisconsin statehouse. Outright Racism isn’t just for Southerners any more.
According to documents released Wednesday related to a secret investigation of Walker and his staff, then-deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch received an email in April 2010 that contained a photo of four dogs and mocked welfare recipients.
“This morning I went to sign my Dogs up for welfare. At first the lady said, ‘Dogs are not eligible to draw welfare’,” the email, first reported by Buzzfeed, read. “So I expla ned [sic] to her that my Dogs are mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who the r [sic] Daddys are. They expect me to feed them, provide them with housing and medical care, and feel guilty because they are dogs.”
“That is hilarious. And so true,” Rindfleisch replied.
Rindfleisch was convicted of misconduct in office in 2012 for doing campaign work for a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor on government time.
The Scott Walker documents also contained a questionable email forwarded by another former aide, then-chief of staff Thomas Nardelli, involving a nightmare about waking up as black, Jewish, disabled, and gay.
Nardelli also circulated an off-color email containing a photoshopped picture of President Barack Obama wearing an acorn top for a hat, a reference to the now-defunded Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
It’s difficult for me to leave Republicans alone these days because they just. DONT. SEEM. To. GET. ANYTHING. There’s no convincing them that actual history, economic, psychology, and ever branch of science negates their delusions. It’s beginning to look like some kind of personality disorder.
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) on Thursday reminded Americans who wrote the Constitution.
“I think we got off that track when we allowed our government to become a secular government, when we stopped realizing that God created this nation, that He wrote the constitution, that’s based on biblical principles,” DeLay said when asked when people stopped doing good for others in the name of God on “The Difference,” a talk show on Global Evangelical Television.
Delay said he was optimistic about the return of faith to America, noting that he encouraged House members to take up Bible studies when he was leader.
“I pray every day for an awakening in this country, and I think it’s coming,” he said.
Ya know, I’m the GGGG grandaughter and niece of a lot of signers of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and nearly every damned one of us at the family picnics are not religious people. I’ve heard many tales passed down from the greats, but a gawd writing The Constitution is not one of them. In fact, no gawd is even mentioned in it.
Anyway, I’m turning the post over to you for the day. What’s on your reading and blogging list?