Evening Reads: The Barlow* Edition

Click for more flapper fun over at Collector’s Weekly…

Hey all, I’m filling in for Mink while she continues to rest up and recover from a nasty migraine. There’s no way I can compete with the excellent work she does on a daily basis, but I’ll try to do her Evening News space at least a fraction of the justice it deserves. Feel better soon, JJ! Sending you lots of healing energy!

So, I’d like to start with some reading on the Chick-fil-A idiocracy we live in, which IMHO, is the most definitive piece you’ll read about this mindboggling madness (though “The Chick Fellatio” gets an honorable mention.) Via Huffpo Gay Voices…

Chick-fil-A: 5 Reasons It Isn’t What You Think, by David Badash, founder and editor of The New Civil Rights Movement. I especially appreciated the last reason on the list:

5) Chick-fil-A is just exercising their First Amendment rights by running a business based on the Bible, right? Wrong. There’s a line between the “free exercise of religion” and violating the law. If Chick-fil-A is violating the law by discriminating against gay people, or by firing women so that they can be “stay home” moms, as one woman who is suing Chick-fil-A says in court documents, that’s not exercising religious expression or free speech, and that’s not a First Amendment issue. It may be, if the court decides, a violation of the law.

Thank you, David Badash!

Before I continue, I’d just like to note that we live in an era where a gun-toting embryonic chicken sandwich has more authority on interpreting the Bill of Rights and the Constitution than the average, living, breathing human being. Sad.

On the upside, Chick-fil-A manager goes against flock, sponsors gay pride festival! REFUDIATE DAT, HATERS!

Unfortunately, internal politics is a-roostin’

“As all this news was swirling around yesterday about the Chick-Fil-A sponsorship for PrideFest, we started hearing that some people from within our own community are coming together to stand against us,” said Ryan Manseau, senior director for NH Pride Fest.

On Wednesday Manseau got a call about a major sponsor for Pride Fest being pressured by another local group to drop out because of the Chick-Fil-A sponsorship.

Let’s hope they get their feathers straightened out!

And, that is all I will link to on that. Otherwise, my puns will go further south than they already have… oops, I guess they just did 😉

Moving along. Michael Moore says… he wouldn’t say he supports Obama. And, the cow jumped over the moon.

Oh, but no worries! He and Susan Sarandon still hope O gets four more years. Well, ok. I guess that’s clarity of some sort…that means absolutely nothing.

Incidentally, because I know y’all are just dying to know. Here’s where Mona the Wonk stands:

  • I’m Switzerland on Obama 2012.
  • I don’t want to see Romney get four to eight years at any point on the space-time continuum.
  • Hillary 2016.

Speaking of which… While I was in the airport en route from Houston to Chicago last week, I picked up a copy of the lastest issue of Foreign Policy on the stands. I hope to do a separate post on the Hillary feature soon. A good way for me to start exercising those blogger muscles again… 😉

In the meantime, I’d like to direct you to another feature in this edition of FP–Anthropology of an Idea, “American Exceptionalism: A Short History,” by Uri Freedman. Teaser:

On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney contrasts his vision of American greatness with what he claims is Barack Obama’s proclivity for apologizing for it. The “president doesn’t have the same feelings about American exceptionalism that we do,” Romney has charged. All countries have their own brand of chest-thumping nationalism, but almost none is as patently universal — even messianic — as this belief in America’s special character and role in the world. While the mission may be centuries old, the phrase only recently entered the political lexicon, after it was first uttered by none other than Joseph Stalin. Today the term is experiencing a resurgence in an age of anxiety about American decline.

An enlightening little timeline follows at the link. Fascinating tidbits like:

1950s
A group of American historians — including Daniel Boorstin, Louis Hartz, Richard Hofstadter, and David Potterargues that the United States forged a “consensus” of liberal values over time that enabled it to sidestep movements such as fascism and socialism. But they question whether this unique national character can be reproduced elsewhere. As Boorstin writes, “nothing could be more un-American than to urge other countries to imitate America.”

Touche. Click over and give it a look.

A couple DC headlines for y’all before I close this…

Taylor Marsh on Reid’s tax charges against Romney:

Majority Leader Reid isn’t backing down. The problem is that he’s turning into the story.

Meanwhile Boehner has stopped crying or some other such development:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday he is “feeling better” about Republicans’ chances of holding the House than he did in April, when he said the party faced a “one in three” likelihood of losing the majority.

“Our team’s in pretty good shape,” Boehner said as he briefed reporters in the Capitol for the final time before Congress departs for a five-week recess. “Our members have worked hard. Frankly, our candidates and challengers out there — a lot of them have been through tough primaries. And I feel good about where we are as a team. We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and November, but our team is doing well.”

Boehner’s comments in the spring warning about the possibility of losing the House were seen as an intended wake-up call to Republicans in advance of the election season. Most political analysts now believe the chances that Democrats will win back the House in November are slim. They need a net gain of 25 seats, but most projections show them gaining only in the single digits.

In other news…Americans and all citizens of Planet Earth? Still screwed.

The always essential Glen Ford at the Black Agenda Report sums it up well:

The Poverties of a Decaying System

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

This crisis of capitalism will be full of drama.”

A preview of new Census figures indicates that poverty in the United States will likely soon reach the highest levels in 50 years. Now, some of you optimists out there are saying: Well, there’s nowhere to go but up. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily true. What I think is so depressing to many people about this particular historical juncture, is that there is absolutely nothing on the economic horizon on which even optimists can pin their hopes. There are no new industries on the verge of some huge explosion, no scientific breakthrough just around the corner. With education costs soaring, people can’t even hope to study themselves out of hard times.

It’s not a good time to be a child, because there is nothing sadder than growing up around adults who have themselves lost hope that our world will become a better place. It’s not a good time to be middle-aged, knowing that the Golden Age was 40 years ago, when the proportion of Americans in poverty was the lowest ever: only 11.1 percent. It’s expected to hit 15.7 percent under a president elected as an agent of Hope and Change.

But actually, there’s really nothing wrong with the world that a social revolution can’t fix. The fact that the two corporate political parties have no ideas worth listening to, simply means that the Democrats and Republicans can no longer even pretend that they can serve the 1% and take care of the rest of us at the same time. There’s no need to despair – just direct your political energies, elsewhere.

Well, now that I’ve brightened up your evening… 😉 … it’s your turn! Have at it in the comments, Sky Dancers.

*barlow: a girl, a flapper, a chicken.