Daily Archives: September 9, 2009

Addison Graves (a.k.a. ‘Joe’) Wilson was aide to racist icon Strom Thurmond

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C. is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, ...

Associated Press photo

Just your average Addison Graves: Politically dead man walking U.S. Rep. “Joe” Wilson, pictured during President Barack Obama’s nationally televised speech on health-care reform, during which Wilson yelled out to Obama, “You lie!”

Shit, all I did was enter “Joe Wilson” into Wikipedia.org’s search bar and I learned that the Repugnican U.S. representative from South Carolina’s real name is Addison Graves Wilson Sr.

How do you get Joe from Addison Graves?

But Joe sure sounds a lot more folksy, doesn’t it? You betcha! You’ve never heard of any Addison Graves the Plumbers, have ya? I mean, you probably wouldn’t want to have a beer with an Addison Graves, but how about a beer with a Joe?

Wikipedia also notes that Addison Graves the Plumber was an aide to the infamous racist South Carolina politician Strom Thurmond, who in 1948 ran for president on the segregationist States’ Rights Democratic Party (“Dixiecrat”) ticket.

As Addison Graves (doesn’t that sound like a medical disorder? “Addison-Graves Disease” or something?) was born in 1947, Thurmond’s racist past had to have been known to him when he decided to become Thurmond’s aide.

Thankfully, Thurmond finally died and went to hell in 2003.

Hopefully, we’ll see Addison Graves’ political death soon. And then maybe we can say that he politically died from Addison-Graves Disease.

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I just gave Repugnican Joe Wilson’s 2010 Dem opponent $20.10 — no lie!

I have dial-up (don’t laugh) and so I haven’t watched President Barack Obama’s nationally televised speech on health-care reform from tonight. It’s a bit late, so nor have I even read the transcript, but I’ll do one or the other or both soon.

But, of course, the big news from tonight’s speech is that Repugnican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina — the first state that seceded from the Union, even before Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated (I’ll never tire of repeating that historical fact) — shouted during Obama’s speech, “You lie!” when Obama was talking about how his health-care reform plans would affect illegal immigrants.

I did watch a clip of that, however, as the clip is only half a minute long (dial-up, remember!), and while Wilson’s “You lie!” shout-out sounds like just another stupid white man being a dick, I find Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s facial expression in response to Wilson’s unprecedented presidential interruption to be much more interesting.

Pelosi understandably is aghast at the incredibly inexcusable outburst, and my guess is that there will be hell to pay. If I were Wilson, I’d fear the wrath of Nancy right about now.

Wilson later issued a statement regarding his pathetic behavior unbefitting an elected official: “This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the president’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill,” he said in the statement.

I doubt that Wilson truly was so overcome with emotion that he felt the need to interrupt a president’s nationally televised address. Especially with, “You lie!”

I mean, whenever “President” George W. Bush’s lips were moving during a nationally televised address, he actually was lying, but not once during the unelected, mass-murdering dictator Bush’s eight long years of ruinous rule did any Democrat (or independent, for that matter) yell out during one of Bush’s nationally televised addresses, “You lie!”

Wilson, I think, rather than having experienced an episode of Tourette’s, took a political gamble and lost. I suspect that he thought that he’d be viewed as hot shit, at least in his first-to-secede home state of South Carolina, for trying to humiliate the nation’s first black president before a national television audience.

Again, he gambled — and he lost.

I just gave Wilson’s 2010 Democratic opponent Rob Miller a donation of $20.10 for his 2010 race against Wilson. If you are as pissed off as I am at what South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson did tonight and you want to help Miller out, you can donate too by clicking here.

Wikipedia notes: “In the 2008 general election, [Wilson] faced his stiffest competition to date: Rob Miller won 46 percent of the vote to Wilson’s 54 percent, the closest race in the district in 20 years.” So yes, you could make a difference for Miller in 2010!

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In praise of other writers

I’m going to do something that writers don’t often do, either because of their egos or because it’s frowned upon to talk about the craft (perhaps this being considered to be too boring or too nerdy or maybe even kind of like a magician talking about the technical aspects of magic): I’m going to praise some recent writing that I’ve seen on the ‘Net.

First, there is Bill Moyers’ line about “the creature from the Second Amendment who showed up at the president’s rally armed to the teeth.” “Creature from the Second Amendment” — that’s priceless. (And a potential title should Michael Moore ever desire to make a sequel to “Bowling for Columbine.”)

Now, I’m all for the Second Amendment — after all, we need to be able to protect ourselves from the armed but brainless dipshits who think that bringing an assault rifle to a public political rally is an acceptable form of free speech.

Seriously, though, I am for the Second Amendment — but the spirit of the Second Amendment is that you get to protect yourself from real danger. The spirit of the Second Amendment is not that you to intimidate people by showing up at public events locked and loaded; that is an abuse of the Second Amendment, just like screaming “Fire!” in a jam-packed movie theater is an abuse of the First Amendment.

Moyers also recently cleverly wrote:

Bill Maher asked me on his show last week if America is still a great nation. I should have said it’s the greatest show on earth. Forget what you learned in civics about the Founding Fathers — we’re the children of Barnum and Bailey, our founding con men. Their freak show was the forerunner of today’s talk radio.

And Moyers continues, talking to President Obama:

No one’s ever conquered Washington politics by constantly saying “pretty please” to the guys trying to cut your throat….

Come on, Mr. President. Show us America is more than a circus or a market. Remind us of our greatness as a democracy.

When you speak to Congress next week, just come out and say it. We thought we heard you say during the campaign last year that you want a government-run insurance plan alongside private insurance…. Open to all individuals and employees who want to join and with everyone free to choose the doctors we want.

We thought you said Uncle Sam would sign on as our tough, cost-minded negotiator standing up to the cartel of drug and insurance companies and Wall Street investors whose only interest is a company’s share price and profits….

This healthcare thing is make or break for your leadership, but for us, it’s life and death. No more Mr. Nice Guy, Mr. President. We need a fighter. 


That’s some pretty good writing.

Then there is Maureen Dowd’s latest column echoing much the same sentiments titled “Less Spocky, More Rocky,” in which Dowd asserts, as the title of her column indicates, that President Barack Obama could be less controlled and logical and above it all, like Mr. Spock, and instead, like Rocky Balboa, take the gloves off already. (“[Obama] can live long and prosper by being less Spocky and more Rocky,” Dowd creatively concludes her column.)

Now, I often can’t get through a Dowd column. She too often tries to be funny but instead falls flat — I usually hate it when she makes up “comedic” dialogue (if she wanted to be a playwright, she should have been a playwright, not a columnist) — and she seems to love to dazzle us with her cultural references that, if we want to know what the fuck she’s saying, we have to Google. (She doesn’t even do the courtesy of giving us links to her obscure reference.)

But if Dowd came up with “less Spocky, more Rocky” on her own, then kudos to her, because it’s pretty clever, like “the creature from the Second Amendment.”  

Anyway, in “Less Spocky, More Rocky,” Dowd writes:

Sometimes, when you’ve got the mojo, you have to keep your foot on your opponent’s neck. When you’re trying to get a Sisyphean [my link, not Dowd’s] agenda passed, it’s good if people in the way — including rebellious elements in your own party — fear you.

Civil discourse is fine, but when the other side is fighting dirty, you should get angry. Don’t let the bully kick sand in your face….

It was one thing for Obama to delegate freely when he was on the Harvard Law Review, but it’s madness to go play golf and delegate freely to Congress, letting Nancy Pelosi make your case. After signaling that there was nothing he’d fall on his sword for on health care; after dropping Van Jones at the first objection from Glenn Beck — a demagoon who called Obama a “racist” — the president is getting to be seen as an easy mark…. 

Yup. Civil discourse works only with civil individuals.

That’s why I write such things as “Glenn Beck Must Die” as a potential book title and “Just shoot me. (But only after you shoot Glenn Beck.)”

Do I really advocate for the murder of Glenn Beck? Oh, as tantalizing as the fantasy is, no, I do not, and if I had Beck’s face in the sights of my assault rifle that I’d brought to a public rally, perhaps a “tea party” — you know, because I’m all about the Second Amendment ‘n’ stuff — would I pull the trigger? Oh, no, very most likely not, unless it was a clear-cut case of self-defense.

But am I too timid to shy away from anything other than “civil” discourse?

Oh, fuck no.

Most of the wingnuts most likely won’t go any further than issuing words, so it’s pretty safe to issue words back.

When we progressives don’t fight back — when we opt to be “Spocky” instead of “Rocky” — this only emboldens the winguts and they win, even though they are only the vocal minority.

It’s time to shout them back down.

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