But Ours Go To Eleven

So, McCain chose a member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus as his running mate. How… apt. This means we are one step closer to having a real life Ministry of Silly Walks, though being the US, we’ll call it a Bureau and it’ll be headed by a Czar. Because 21st Century America = 19th Century Russia, as any historian will tell you.

Originally posted on twitter.

Update: It seems I was misinformed. McCain’s Veep is in fact Sarah Palin, a pro-life, pro-gun* homophobe, not a famously well traveled comedian and writer. Or British.

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* Pro life and pro-gun: You have the right to own a gun but not use it for it’s intended purpose. Also applies to vaginas.

Cake or Death. Oh, and We’re All Out of Cake.

Fafnir explains exactly why I can’t get excited by the Veepstakes:

  • an old rich white guy who likes to bomb brown people
  • a rich old white guy who likes to bomb brown people
  • an elderly gentleman of the Caucasian persuasion with a great deal of personal wealth who, in his spare time, likes to bomb brown people
  • the manticore, a fanciful beast with the body of a lion, the tail of a scorpion and a deep personal commitment to prison reform
  • a slightly younger rich white guy who likes to bomb brown people
  • Wouldn’t it be cool if this year, we actually had a choice consisting of different but qualified candidates who offered a wide selection of alternate ideas to various problems, rather than one idea for all problems from a mostly indistinguishable cast of rich white men? Yeah, maybe in ’12.

    President Frat Boy Has Senioritis

    If you thought George W. Bush was an asshole before…:

    The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter.”

    He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.

    Just wait. It’s only August. By October, he’ll be publicly urinating on copies of the Constitution. When Obama moves in the White House in January, there will be a flaming bag of dog shit in his desk and dirty cartoons scrawled with sharpie on the walls. The Secret Service better count the silverware.

    Via.

    We Are All Living In a Shotgun Shack

    John Rogers eloquently explains something that needs a lot more attention:

    […] If we want our lives changed, if we want the world changed, we have to let go of that infantile need to assign such potent symbolic powers to our leaders. The bizarre hero-Daddy Bush worship that morphed into proxy-machismo for a lot of insecure Americans is what drove us down the off-ramp to a grand national K-hole in the first place. The struggle of Hillary Clinton is neither the struggle of feminism in America nor a inextricably tied to your own personal journey — it is her own, as an individual. In the same way, Senator Obama winning or losing the Presidency (independent of resultant policies, natch) will not in any significant material way change the lives of the majority of African-Americans, or those of his Millenial followers. We only derive from their struggles what value in our lives that we assign them. Senators Clinton and Obama are powerful symbols in addition to being generally admirable humans. But that can only go so far.

    Senator Clinton is not your beautiful wife. Senator Obama is not your beautiful house. And Senator McCain sure as hell ain’t your fucking life. They are politicians. They’re human. They are not totems of platonic ideals duking it out on a psychic battlefield for the fate of the human race. They’re public servants applying for a job.

    We treat our political leaders in a wildly confusing and inhumane way. We expect them to be Buddhas, beyond the enticement of mere mortal concerns, moral paragons, living saints. Then we want them to sit down and have a beer and shoot the shit, just like they were a coworker. Buddha does not drink your brand of beer. He sips chi out of the navel of cherubim and wipes his dainty lips on the shroud of Turin, removing stains with his fragrant kisses. Your coworker takes a shit when he gets home from work and admires the smell. Your coworker thinks Jim Carry is a pretty funny guy. Do you see the problem? While Uncle Walt* was right and we all contain multitudes, no one man or woman can contain such wild contradictions, because the idea of one man or woman standing up as a paragon of virtue is a god damn lie. And even if such a creature were plausible, we shouldn’t invest them with such power because, as Warren Ellis said, it invites the universe to fuck with you.

    Looking for competent and not-insane politicians isn’t settling for second best, it’s your civic duty. We’re not nominating Jesus, we’re looking for a house keeper who can get the stains out of the carpet.† Because the last tenant shat in the sink and used the spare bedroom to breed ferrets. We’ll be lucky if the new guy can keep the place from being condemned.

    If you have invested your candidate of choice with magical powers to right all past wrongs, then prepare to be seriously disappointed, forever. Because no one is going to solve your daddy issues or erase the stigma of racism or make all your feminist dreams come true. You don’t live in that universe.

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    * Whitman, not Disney. That Uncle Walt is part of the problem, building robot presidents whose bowels remain unmoved and only speak in canned platitudes.

    † Also, I want a “Tripod/Lord Whiskerkins ’08” tee shirt like five minutes ago.

    One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

    Barack Obama had a rally where 75,000 people attended, some of them in rowboats, as that was the only way to get within earshot of the massive crowd.* Meanwhile, John McCain has a rally with George W. as his guest speaker and ticket sales are so poor, it has to be moved out of the Phoenix Convention Center to a smaller, private venue.† Did I mention the rally is in his home state?

    Tell me again, which candidate isn’t electable?

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    *Who, as you all know, showed up only to hear those super massive rock stars, The Decemberists, and were so stoned afterwards that they couldn’t find their cars and so stuck around to hear what the nice black man had to say.

    † The dining room at the local IHOP. Free refills are on W!

    Coming Attractions

    The Independent:

    The tape recordings that Richard Nixon made, almost obsessively, of everything that went on in the Oval Office helped bring down his presidency. And now a similarly thorough archive of video footage threatens to create a world of embarrassment – and legal liability – for Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer.

    About 15,000 videotapes of Wal-Mart executives at work and at play over the past 30 years have suddenly become available to the public thanks to a series of blunders by the retail giant – which paid too little attention to the company it hired to make the tapes before abruptly terminating their relationship two years ago.

    […] Now they are available – for a price – to researchers, labour rights campaigners and lawyers looking for dirt of all kinds. It’s turning into quite a lucrative business.

    A Kansas City lawyer representing a 12-year-old boy who suffered extensive burns when a gasoline can bought at Wal-Mart blew up in her face was astounded – and delighted – to find footage of employees making jokes about their gasoline cans blowing up at a Christmas party.

    The lawyer, Diane Breneman, is hoping to present that footage in court to challenge Wal-Mart’s claim that it couldn’t have known the gasoline cans it sells “presented any reasonable foreseeable risk”.

    The archive also includes footage of Hillary Clinton, who served on Wal-Mart’s board from 1986 to 1992, praising the company to the skies – a position she has since sought to mute.

    “I’m so proud of this company and everything it represents,” Mrs Clinton said at a store opening in Arkansas in 1991. “It makes me feel real good about what we’ve been able to do.”

    While I’m glad that this archive of video will be able to help people reclaim some of the dignity that was sold off at cut rate prices by Wal-Mart, the thought that it might also bring Clinton’s perverse bid for the White House to a close is heartening. Anything to get this opportunistic freak show to end just a little sooner would be a good thing.

    Ralph Nader Will You Please Go Now!

    You and I need to have a talk, Ralph.

    I voted for you in 2000, because I live in Georgia, a forgone Republican Conclusion. My vote would have been nullified by the GOP majority rule, even if Jesus and JFK were the Democrat nominees. But I was young and idealistic than. After eight years of Bush in the White House, I’m a lot less idealistic and a hell of a lot less patient with self aggrandizing kooks.

    When you only step into politics once every four years it’s obvious you aren’t really interested in amending the two-party system, as you claim. If you were, you’d be a year round political activist, starting a grass roots campaign and maybe getting yourself, or someone, elected to the House or Senate as representative of a third party, and building a coalition from there. But you haven’t done that. As far as I can tell, you aren’t even advocated for anyone to do that.

    What is obvious is, you like the attention. But being Ralph Nader, it isn’t enough for you to just want a few moments in the spotlight. As America’s number one moral scold, you also need to teach us all a lesson. And there’s no better way to do that then to tap into the disaffected voters out there and draw them away from the real, legitimate candidates like Gore or Kerry, either of which could have done some good as President. And now you want to try and do it to Obama, because handing the country to Bush wasn’t enough and now you’d like to see President “100 years in Iraq” McCain have a go as well.

    But then you are no longer interested in doing what is bets for the country. You just want us to all learn a hard lesson for not being as ideologically pure as you.

    Please, go away. We’re all adults of voting age and can make up our own minds. We don’t want or need to learn your sort of lessons anymore.

    Racist Bingo!

    Belle Waring brings to our attention this hand crafted, bronze dipped piece of nonsense from Lisa Schffrin, who obviously has access to a higher grade of cannabis than you or I could ever possibly afford:

    Obama and I are roughly the same age. I grew up in liberal circles in New York City — a place to which people who wished to rebel against their upbringings had gravitated for generations. And yet, all of my mixed race, black/white classmates throughout my youth, some of whom I am still in contact with, were the product of very culturally specific unions. They were always the offspring of a white mother, (in my circles, she was usually Jewish, but elsewhere not necessarily) and usually a highly educated black father. And how had these two come together at a time when it was neither natural nor easy for such relationships to flourish? Always through politics. No, not the young Republicans. Usually the Communist Youth League. Or maybe a different arm of the CPUSA. But, for a white woman to marry a black man in 1958, or 60, there was almost inevitably a connection to explicit Communist politics. (During the Clinton Administration we were all introduced to then U. of Pennsylvania Professor Lani Guinier — also a half black/half Jewish, red diaper baby.)

    […] It was, of course, an explicit tactic of the Communist party to stir up discontent among American blacks, with an eye toward using them as the leading edge of the revolution. To be sure, there was much to be discontented about, for black Americans, prior to the civil-rights revolution. To their credit, of course, most black Americans didn’t buy the commie line — and showed more faith in the possibilities of democratic change than in radical politics, and the results on display in Moscow.

    Continue reading “Racist Bingo!”