Tag Archives: Andrew Sullivan

Don’t blame me; I voted for Bernie! (redux) And: DINOs are Bernie blind

Image result for Bernie Sanders crowd

Despite the huge crowds that true populist Bernie Sanders garnered in his campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination (the photo above is from Bernie’s rally in Portland, Oregon, in August 2015) — and despite the fact that Bernie remains the most popular politician on the U.S. national stage today — the Billarybots and the limousine liberals just can’t think of who could or should take on “President” Pussygrabber (or “President” Pence…) in 2020. No fucking wonder the Billarybots and limo libbies, with their political acumen, cost us the election in November.

“If you look at the numbers, Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in America – and it’s not even close,” writes The Guardian’s Trevor Timm. “Yet bizarrely, the Democratic party — out of power across the country and increasingly irrelevant — still refuses to embrace him and his message. It’s increasingly clear they do so at their own peril.”

Indeed.

Timm continues (links are Timm’s; my comments are in brackets):

A new Fox News [!] poll out this week shows Sanders has a +28 [percent] net favorability rating among the U.S. population [61 percent in the poll favor Bernie, while only 32 percent disfavor him, so actually, Sanders’ net favorability rating is 29 percentage points], dwarfing all other elected politicians on both ends of the political spectrum. And he’s even more popular among the vaunted “independents,” where he is at a mind-boggling +41 [percent].

This poll is not just an aberration. Look at this Huffington Post chart that has tracked Sanders’ favorability rating over time, ever since he gained national prominence in 2015 when he started running for the Democratic nomination. The more people got to know him, they more they liked him – the exact opposite of what his critics said would happen when he was running against Clinton.

One would think with numbers like that, Democratic politicians would be falling all over themselves to be associated with Sanders, especially considering the party as a whole is more unpopular than the Republicans and even Donald Trump right now. [Emphasis mine.]

Yet instead of embracing his message, the establishment wing of the party continues to resist him at almost every turn, and they seem insistent that they don’t have to change their ways to gain back the support of huge swaths of the country. …

Well, indeed, for most members of the Democratic Party establishment, they’ve been using the party not to benefit the highest number of other human beings that’s possible (which is the credo and the modus operandi of true progressivism), but to benefit themselves. They’re addicted to that self-serving power, and they’re not going to give it up any year soon.

The solution?

In a recent column, leftist Ted Rall posits that the Democratic Party could split into two parties — into actual Democrats, that is, those of us who actually are progressive, and the remnants of the center-right, sellout, corporate-ass-licking, Repugnican-Lite, Clinton-Obama Democratic Party.

Rall even suggests a name for us actual Democrats who split off from the current Democratic/Repugnican Lite establishment: the Progressive Party or the New Progressive Party.

Rall notes that of course in the short term, the split of the Democratic Party into two different parties probably would benefit the Repugnican Tea Party. But of course over time the (New) Progressive Party, actually representing the best interests of the majority of the American people for fucking once, probably would siphon off enough support from the Old Democratic Party that the Old Democratic Party over time would wither, dry up and blow away, as things that are irrelevant and obsolete tend to do.

Indeed, my response to the current Democratic/Repugican Lite establishment that tells us actual progressives that we have nowhere else to go is something like this: Fuuuuuck you! We can leave you and form our own party, and then if you want to win any elections, you’ll have to join us, bitches! You’ll have nowhere else to go!

The Democratic Party establishment hates Bernie Sanders because he’s the real deal. He’s not self-serving and he’s not corrupt. He means what he says and he does what he says (thus, he polls better than does any other U.S. politician on the national stage), which is something that the Democratic Party establishment stopped doing decades ago.

Bernie, because he is so beloved by the American electorate, is an existential threat to the continuation of the Democratic establishment’s continued power. Of course they shun him.

Of course it’s not just about Bernie, but it’s about what he represents: actual populism, not the bullshit Pussygrabber “populism,” which, with “President” Pussygrabber’s cabinet of billionaires and insane proposed federal budget that benefits only the war profiteers, makes the poor even poorer and the filthy rich even filthy richer. That’s not populism; that’s the status fucking quo (which, under a President Billary, wouldn’t have budged any more than it did under Barack Obama).

I still feel about “President” Pussygrabber now as I did when he “won” the election in November: It’s too bad that he “won,” but he “won” because the Democratic Party establishment (including the slimy members of the “neutral” Democratic National Committee, including then-DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who resigned in disgrace after their anti-Bernie e-mails were publicly released) fucked over the more popular and the more viable candidate — Bernie Sanders, who all along polled better against Pussygrabber than Billary Clinton did (see more on this fact here and here) — and instead backed the unlikable, corrupt Billary, who is so unlikable that in 2008, Barack Obama, who at that point in time had been in the U.S. Senate for only four years, beat her for the Democratic Party presidential nomination even though she’d been on the national political scene since the early 1990s.

Abject, intractable Democratic establishment stupidity and stubbornness were at least as much a factor in Pussygrabber’s “win” as were white racism or Russia’s interference, I am confident.

But of course I don’t expect the prideful Billarybots ever to admit that they, with their stubborn, mind-blowing stupidity in making an individual whose favorability ratings all along were in the negative* their presidential candidate, were instrumental in bringing us “President” Pussygrabber.

That’s why I’m fully on board with Ted Rall’s idea of the Democratic Party splitting into two and letting survival of the political fittest take its course.

At this point I’m thinking that that’s probably the only way to drive a stake through the cold hearts of the DINOs for once and for all.

Not that it would be easy.

To give just one example, limousine liberal Bill Maher and his limousine liberal guests on his show this past Friday night (Andrew Sullivan and the even worse Barney Frank, who is a huge DINO sellout) all claimed that they just couldn’t think of someone who could take on “President” Pussygrabber in 2020 (assuming that he’s still there, of course).

Shall we call these mindlessly obedient Billarybots Bernie blind?

In the 2016 presidential contest Bernie kicked ass, with higher favorability ratings than both Billary and Pussygrabber ever garnered during the campaign — both Billary and Pussygrabber were historically disliked presidential candidates in 2016 — and Bernie remains the most liked politician on the national stage right now, yet the limousine liberals and other Billarybots just can’t think of who could or should run for president in 2020.

All signs point to the probability that the limo libbies and the Billarybots don’t want actual progressivism in the United States of America, because it would threaten their privileged status, their status in which they pay lip service to progressivism but actually live their over-privileged lives in an entirely other way.

We true progressives face a war on two fronts: against the Repugnican Tea Party traitors and the DINO traitors who want to continue their center-right, self-serving, sellout bullshit — which no longer wins elections because we commoners are on to them — in perpetuity.

If we progressives want to win the war, me must dissociate ourselves from the DINOs, who only want to take us down with them.

P.S. In case you are wondering how Billary Clinton’s favorability rating is doing these days, well, they’re not polling much on her since she lost/“lost” the presidential election, but a recent Suffolk University poll has her still significantly under water — 35 percent approval to 55 percent disapproval, a hole of -20.

Billary apparently never got a post-election sympathy boost.

In the Suffolk University poll, Pussygrabber, Mike Pence and the Repugnican Tea Party as a whole all fare better than both Billary and the Democratic Party as a whole. (Bernie Sanders was not in the poll.)

*Billary Clinton’s net unfavorable/negative ratings began in April 2015 and persisted all the way through the November 2016 presidential election. See her favorability timeline here.

As Trevor Timm eluded to, it was very different for Bernie Sanders; the more people got to know him, the more they liked him. Bernie Sanders saw nothing but growing net favorable/positive ratings from July 2015, when people were starting to get to know him, all the way through the November 2016 presidential election. See his favorability timeline here.

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Cooper tarnishes his coming out with ‘no one else’s business’ business

Anderson Cooper arrives at the 39th Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills

Reuters photo

“The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud,” CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who long had been rumored to be gay, proclaimed in his official coming-out e-mail that was released today. Cooper’s explanation for why it took him so long to come out, however, indicates some degree of internalized homophobia that perhaps even he isn’t aware of. (Cooper is photographed above at last month’s Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills.)

While I’m pleased that CNN anchor Anderson Cooper finally came out of the closet — and pleased with most of what he has stated in regards to his coming out, such as that “visibility [for non-heterosexuals] is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy” — damn, he just had to say just one “little” thing that, for me, tarnished it.

“In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted,” he stated in his coming-out e-mail to his long-time friend the right-wing gay blogger Andrew Sullivan, who published the e-mail with Cooper’s approval.

While I agree with that latter part — that there is value in standing up and being counted as non-heterosexual, because otherwise some (presumably heterosexual) people might otherwise think that there really aren’t that many of us non-heterosexuals — what the fuck is “In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business”?

Heterosexuals generally don’t assert that their sexual orientation is no one else’s business. Heterosexual celebrities (actors and other artists, politicians, TV news/“news” anchors, et. al.) generally have no problem being seen in public with and/or talking publicly about their opposite-sexed mates, if they have an opposite-sexed mate, whether they are married or not. They generally don’t take the stance that their heterosexuality is no one else’s business — because they aren’t ashamed of their heterosexuality.

Heterosexual journalists aren’t seen as violating some journalistic ethic if they let the world in on the “secret” that they are heterosexual, so why does Anderson Cooper essentially state, in his apparent justification for his having dragged his feet for so long in coming out of the closet, that he had thought that to do otherwise would have been unprofessional?

Why would a gay man assert that his homosexuality is no one else’s business, and why would a gay male journalist act as though divulging his sexual orientation would be unprofessional, unless, at least on some level and to some degree, he is ashamed of his sexual orientation?

True, whatever the silver fox Coop likes to do sexually (or whether he even has an active sex life at all) is none of our business. It’s none of our business if he’s a top or a bottom, if he spits or if he swallows or if he won’t allow a dick inside of his mouth at all, if he’s ever done anal or if he’s anal-phobic, if he’s chocolate or if he’s vanilla, whether he masturbates (of course he does) and if so, how and how often, etc., etc.

But if there is nothing wrong with being gay, as Cooper says he believes — he proclaimed in his coming-out e-mail:

It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something —something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.

— why, then, the rather revealing counter-statement that “In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business”?

Cooper has, I suspect, residual shame over his homosexuality, which, in such a homophobic and sex-shaming society, I can’t entirely blame him for — neither he nor none of us exists in a vacuum — but I would hope that all of us gay men and lesbians and other assorted non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals do the self-examination that is necessary for us to identify the homophobia that we all too often carry, to some degree, within ourselves.

Most of us non-heterosexuals, I believe, have some degree of internalized homophobia, and it is worth it for us to identify it and to work to dig it up by its roots. But until we first identify it, we can’t eradicate it.

Yes, our sexual orientation is everyone else’s business. It is an important and a basic part of ourselves, of who and what we are.

To assert otherwise is to lie — to lie to others, and worse, to ourselves.

Man up, Coop — your sexual orientation, as mine and everyone else’s, always was, is, and always will be our business.

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Hitchens was an overrated gasbag

Christopher Hitchens, journalist and author of his new memoir "Hitch 22," poses for a portrait outside his hotel in New York

Reuters photo

And only Donald Trump has worse hair than he did.

On Slate.com’s home page right now I count no fewer than twentyfuckingfive pieces about the now-dead pundit Christopher Hitchens.

You know, when Hitchens made himself a prominent cheerleader for the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War, which unnecessarily has cost thousands and thousands of Iraqi and American lives and (at least) hundreds of billions of dollars, he totally lost me. He was dead to me then, already having lost all respectability.

In his later years, the overrated Hitchens tackled the topic of atheism. Oh, big fucking whoop! Doesn’t just about every pseudointellectual college freshman pontificate about atheism?

The fact that there is no God is self-fucking-evident. Why the need to expound upon it when many others already have done so over the past many decades?

It’s necessary to prevent the theofascists (be they “Christian,” Muslim, Jewish or whatever) from trying to shove their bullshit beliefs down our throats and from otherwise trying to infringe upon our freedoms and liberties (such as the freedom and liberty to marry whomever we please), but other than that, what’s to talk about? God doesn’t exist and neither do dragons, but we don’t write entire books about and otherwise discuss at incredible length the nonexistence of dragons, do we?

(This also goes for Brit pundit Richard Dawkins, who also has made atheism his bread and butter, although he’s much more likeable than Hitchens was.)

It is the fact that he was British-born that gave Hitchens (who became a U.S. citizen in 2007) the air of the intellectual here in the United States, from what I can tell.

Pundit Andrew Sullivan, who like Hitchens did writes in and about the United States, also apparently benefits from having been born in Britain, but he’s just as frequently clueless as was Hitchens. Like Hitchens did, Sullivan supported the obviously woefully misguided (to put it mildly) Vietraq War. (Maybe the British-born Sullivan and Hitchens primarily desperately wanted to demonstrate their Americanness by supporting whatever fucking war the treasonous members of the unelected Bush regime wanted to pull from their treasonous asses using 9/11 as a pretext?)

Sullivan’s latest cluelessness is having endorsed Texas U.S. Rep Ron Paul — another favorite of the pseudointellectual college freshmen — for president of the United States of America, even though Sullivan is gay and Ron Paul is a homophobe as well as a nutjob.

The real story in the death of Christopher Hitchens, it seems to me, is that Americans apparently don’t have faith that there are any homegrown American intellectuals, and that if you’re British-born or use an affected British accent (like the American-born late wingnut William F. Buckley did), a huge number of Americans are going to regard you as fucking brilliant, no matter what stream of fucking stupidity comes out of your mouth.

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On blogging fatigue and revolution

Of course, what I have is more like life fatigue, but this is a blog, so we’ll call it blogging fatigue.

I blog when I am moved to blog. I don’t believe in blogging on a schedule. I can’t see anything of worth being produced that way. Not consistently, anyway. My best blogging comes when the spirit moves me, and so if the spirit doesn’t move me, I don’t blog.

I haven’t been blogging much lately because what is there to blog about these days anyway?

Egypt looks like it’s on its way to freedom, and hell, maybe even Iran, too, but we’re a long way from freedom here at home — in no small part because once you mistakenly believe that you’re already free, you see no reason to pursue freedom.

How free are we here in the U.S.A. when the next several years are so fucking predictable?

I predict with a significant degree of confidence that the Richie Rich frat boy Mitt Romney will emerge as the 2012 Repugnican Party presidential nominee. I once thought that his being a Mormon would prove to be an insurmountable obstacle for him, but it’s pretty clear that the Repugnican Party is going with the youthful (well, in comparison to John McCainosaurus, anyway) white male now, as evidenced by the fact that last month Repugnican National Committee chair Michael Steele was dumped and replaced by some youthful white guy whose Richie-Rich frat-boy name no one can pronounce (or spell).

(Yeah, I know, Repugnican Rep. Ron Paul just won the wingnuts’ straw poll — again — but the wingnuts’ ball was packed with Paul supporters. He doesn’t have the Repugnican Party’s backing, so he’s going nowhere.)

No real Democrat will emerge to challenge Barack Obama for the 2012 Democratic presidential nomination — or if one does, it will be one who has a snowball’s chance in the rapidly melting North Pole, like Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich — and so Barack Obama will be re-elected in November 2012.

I predict that Romney will do at least a little bit better against Obama than McCainosaurus did, due to Romney being more photogenic than McCainosaurus and due to Obama having lost his luster of “hope” and “change,” but that Obama will get his second term.

There is no reason to believe that at any point in his presidency Obama will change his game significantly. He always takes the path of least political resistance. He thinks that slogans are a substitute for testicles.

I wholeheartedly agree with Andrew Sullivan, who recently wrote:

[Some U.S. senators] have to lead, because this president is too weak, too cautious, too beholden to politics over policy to lead. In [his recently released federal] budget, in his refusal to do anything concrete to tackle the looming entitlement debt, in his failure to address the generational injustice, in his blithe indifference to the increasing danger of default, he has betrayed those of us who took him to be a serious president prepared to put the good of the country before his short-term political interests.

Like his State of the Union, this budget is good short-term politics but such a massive pile of fiscal bullshit it makes it perfectly clear that Obama is kicking this vital issue down the road.

To all those under 30 who worked so hard to get this man elected, know this: He just screwed you over. He thinks you’re fools. Either the U.S. will go into default because of Obama’s cowardice, or you will be paying far, far more for far, far less because this president has no courage when it counts. He let you down. On the critical issue of America’s fiscal crisis, he represents no hope and no change. Just the same old Washington politics he once promised to end.

Yup. Not only does Obama refuse to stand up to the baby-boomer and senior citizen lobbies, which are perfectly happy to leave much less than nothing for those of us who follow them — and it’s not just those of us under the age of 30 who are getting screwed, but those of us in our 30s and 40s, too — but, as Sullivan also notes, Obama refuses to stand up to the military-industrial complex’s bloated-beyond-belief budget as well.

On one hand, the spineless, politically self-serving Obama, by refusing to push for what needs to be done, is only continuing the damage done to the nation by the unelected Bush regime, but on the other hand, Obama’s utter ineffectiveness in solving the nation’s problems demonstrates to us Americans that we’re foolish to continue to leave our nation’s fate in the hands of the ossified system in D.C. — a system that certainly doesn’t have our best interests at heart now, if it ever fucking did (any more than U.S.-backed Hosni Mubarak ever had the Egyptians’ best interests at heart).

Out of this realization that our government in D.C. is useless, real revolution, like what we’ve just seen in Egypt, just might take hold here at home.

Of course, revolution is a tricky business.

How many of us who are itching for revolution actually are going to take the advice of those who say, “OK, you throw the first Molotov cocktail!”?

Still, that first Molotov cocktail needs to be thrown.

After all, I need the inspiration to blog regularly again.

P.S. Another reason that I have blogging fatigue is that the nation is so fucking bogged down in high-schoolish diversions that few Americans are willing to have a dialogue about anything that actually fucking matters.

For instance, Salon.com, The Huffington Post and Media Matters — all of which are supposed to be robust members of some progressive media — all have reported that the Archie Bunker-like wingnutty liar Andrew Breitbart’s website has depicted Michelle Obama in a cartoon as — gasp!fat!

Media Matters notes that “this is the sort of stuff most of us left at the grade-school playground.” True, but Media Matters also not only reports on the unfunny cartoon, but reproduces it, thus elevating the level of our national discussion — not.

Meanwhile, our nation’s and our planet’s problems, such as the fact that the military-industrial complex and the baby boomers are draining the lifeblood of our nation and the fact that Homo sapiens’ continued existence is threatened by global warming, go unaddressed because we’re talking instead about the stupid fucking cartoon in which Michelle Obama is portrayed as fat.

Along these lines, you might want to read Salon.com’s Michael Lind’s little piece, which he begins:

What dumb thing did Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann or Glenn Beck just say? You don’t need to watch Fox News to find out. The progressive media will tell you. The economy is still in a coma, revolution is rocking the Middle East — but you can be sure that Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews will take time to snicker at something silly that Palin or Bachmann or Beck said in the last 48 hours.

Is the constant mockery of these bloviating right-wing demagogues really the best use of precious center-left media time? …

As Lind writes, attacking every stupid thing that comes from the circus freaks on the right, among other things,

[Is] a reactive strategy that gives the initiative to the right. When progressive opinion leaders wait for conservatives to say something stupid and then pounce on it, they cede the choice of topics in national debate to their enemies. No doubt this drives ratings, attracting hyper-partisan Democrats whose greatest pleasure in life is the rather low one of picking apart the statements of Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck…. But it’s no substitute for a liberalism that tells its own story, on its own timeline, and lets the right react.

and

[Is] a waste of effort and attention. We are mired down in two wars in the Muslim world and suffering from the greatest global economic crisis since the Great Depression. The last time things were this bad, in the 1930s, American liberals and leftists were debating the nature of capitalism and government and world politics and putting forth their own, often contradictory plans. Liberal politicians and journalists devoted little, if any, time to dissecting the errors of right-wing crackpots of the period, like the radio priest Father Coughlin.

If nothing else, the crackpots on the right do their corporate paymasters’ bidding by creating diversions from the national discussions that we should be having. These diversions maintain the status quo.

And I, for one, am sick and tired of the back-and-forth that doesn’t change a fucking thing. I can’t even visit the politics section of a bookstore anymore because I already know what to expect: the same old tired arguments that aren’t going to change anyone’s minds. (Or, in a word, gridlock.)

We need actual movement now, not more pointless debate that only keeps us in stasis.

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I join the cat fight over Kagan

“So is she gay?” — asks gay pundit Andrew Sullivan of Elena Kagan.

“Elena Kagan is not gay,” answers gay pundit Richard Kim of The Nation. (Um, I think he’s gay, that is. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

Sullivan and Kim exemplify the two camps on this question — this question that I would answer with another question: “Is Johnny Weir gay? Duh!”

Concludes Kim:

Gay isn’t some genetic or soulful essence; it’s a name you call yourself –and Kagan has not done that. So in my book, case closed. Elena Kagan is not gay. Is she straight? I don’t know, and again, I don’t care. Why does she have to have a sexuality at all?

Wow. I wholeheartedly disagree.

Gay is not just “a name you call yourself.” A straight guy can call himself gay and that doesn’t make him gay. Gay indeed is a “soulful essence,” and it’s probably genetic, too, at least in many if not in most cases.

What is Kim smoking? (Shit, maybe it shouldn’t be legalized…)

Why does Kagan have to have a sexuality at all? Um, because she’s a human fucking being?

Why is it so important for Kim and his ilk to strip Kagan (and some others) of all sexuality? (I mean, who is she, Jesus or Mary?)

The straw man that Kim and the others of his camp put out there is that people want the salacious details of Kagan’s (and other public figures’) sex lives. The very last sentence of Kim’s piece is: “The Senate and the press have the right and responsibility to interrogate [Kagan] about her legal opinions—not about her sex life.”

Oh, puhfuckinglease.

Like anyone (besides a “tea party” dipshit, perhaps) actually is going to ask Kagan if she engages in cunnilingus (receptively and/or administratively) and/or whether she has worn and/or been the recipient of a strap-on.

No one, to my knowledge, has much, if any, interest about any of Kagan’s actual sexual practices (or whether she even engages in any sexual activity at all).

However, to assert that her sexual orientationa basic part of herself (and perhaps I should write that as “her self”) — is irrelevant is pure, raw, unadulterated bullshit.

Sullivan writes of the question of Kagan’s sexual orientation:

It is no more of an empirical question than whether she is Jewish. We know she is Jewish, and it is a fact simply and rightly put in the public square. If she were to hide her Jewishness, it would seem rightly odd, bizarre, anachronistic, even arguably self-critical or self-loathing. And yet we have been told by many that she is gay … and no one will ask directly if this is true and no one in the [Obama] administration will tell us definitively.

He continues:

In a word, this is preposterous — a function of liberal cowardice and conservative discomfort. It should mean nothing either way. Since the issue of this tiny minority — and the right of the huge majority to determine its rights and equality — is a live issue for the court in the next generation, and since it would be bizarre to argue that a justice’s sexual orientation will not in some way affect his or her judgment of the issue, it is only logical that this question should be clarified…. Are we ever going to know one way or the other? Does she have a spouse? Is this spouse going to be forced into the background in a way no heterosexual spouse ever would be?

Yup. Excellent fucking points.

Sure, I would rather focus on Kagan’s record (what there is of it) and how she might perform for the plethora of progressive causes as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

But, truth be told, there is plenty of that discussion already, and as a blogger, I prefer to discuss what people aren’t discussing but should be; there is no reason for me to regurgitate what plenty of others already are saying.

And I’m with Andrew Sullivan on this one.

The fact that no one — on the uncomfortable right or on the cowardly left — wants to address Kagan’s sexual orientation — when one’s sexual orientation is as basic to oneself one’s self as is one’s race, age, biological sex, and political and spiritual/religious beliefs and values — and that addressing her sexual orientation at all is considered by so many to be “inappropriate” — demonstrates how far the United States of America needs to go on the issue of equal human and civil rights for those who are not heterosexual and/or not gender-conforming.

Frankly, I don’t want to see Elena Kagan seated on the U.S. Supreme Court until I know whether or not she is heterosexual or homosexual or somewhere in between, and whether or not she has a significant other, and if so, whether her partner is a he or a she. (We would find it awfully odd for a heterosexually coupled U.S. Supreme Court justice to try to hide his or her partner, so why wouldn’t we find it equally odd for a gay or lesbian justice to hide his or hers?)

You know, as a member of the court that will rule on my equal human and civil rights, Kagan’s business indeed is my business.

Duh!

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Assorted shit

Why the dick won’t shut the fuck up

In this photo released by ABC former Vice President Dick Cheney ...

Associated Press photo

Gas bag Dick Cheney appears on a political talk show aired this morning in order to (what else?) bash the Obama administration. The Associated Press correctly although too diplomatically deems Cheney’s “public criticism on a successor administration” as “unusual.”

Gay conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan and I agree on one thing (besides our attraction to members of our own sex): Former Vice President Dick Cheney is still talking, more than a year after he left office, because he’s afraid that he might, just might, actually be prosecuted for his war crimes one day.

Politico quotes Sullivan as having stated in an e-mail:

“Cheney’s unprecedentedly aggressive approach … reflects his own knowledge that he has committed war crimes of a very grave sort, war crimes that at some point could lead to prosecution and will undoubtedly lead to historical infamy.”

“If that becomes the prevailing narrative — because it is true — he will go down in history as a man who betrayed the very core principles of Western civilization out of panic and then covered it up,” Sullivan continued. “So he has to change the subject and launch this kind of PR campaign to throw everyone off the scent….

“Cheney is cornered. He knows justice is coming, and he knows that one day the full truth will come out and there will be no hiding. Until then, he will fight and fight and break every taboo that respect for the Constitution and for civil discourse requires.”

Sullivan has been one of the leading voices criticizing the news media — and Politico specifically — for giving Cheney a platform for his rhetorical blasts in interviews without challenging his premises and also forcing him to answer for his own alleged misdeeds in office….

Cheney isn’t fooling anyone, though, isn’t throwing anyone off of his stench. And by keeping himself in the limelight, he is drawing more attention to himself and to his treasonous war crimes. Stupid.

I mean, George W. Bush, a dumbfuck extraordinaire, is smart enough to keep a low profile, and why is Dick Fucking Cheney criticizing the Obama administration when Al Gore, President Bill Clinton’s veep, didn’t routinely criticize the BushCheneyCorp administration, even though there was plenty to criticize?

(I can recall that Gore only made one fiery speech critical of the unelected Bush regime, in the wake of the breaking of the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors scandal to the entire world community. That speech was quite appropriate, given that it had turned out that Americans had treated Iraqi prisoners, most of them innocent of any crime, in a Nazi-like fashion. I don’t believe that during the eight long nightmarish years between January 2001 and January 2009 Gore made more than one or two prominent speeches in which his main topic was criticism of the BushCheneyCorp, yet here is Cheney, who can’t keep himself off of the Sunday morning political shows.)

Anyway, it isn’t like it was Sullivan who made me see the light of the truth. It was in a post titled “Die, Dick, Die!” in October that I wrote:

Cheney, with his latest act his rant against the Obama administration’s handling of Afghanistan (where he would have proclaimed “mission accomplished” already), is trying to salvage his “legacy” by acting as though he really cares about national security instead of war profiteering (he did deliver his war-profiteering corporation Halliburton the Vietraq War, after all), the pundits are chattering, but my best guess is that Cheney is terrified that he might actually be charged as the war criminal that he is and that he therefore is trying to drum up public opinion to be sympathetic toward his sorry, felonious, treasonous ass should justice actually ever be done and he actually be held accountable for the thousands upon thousands of unnecessary deaths of our men and women in uniform and of innocent Iraqi civilians (and many, many other innocent civilians throughout the Middle East).

I also have to wonder if perhaps Tricky Dick still believes that he is in power; maybe that faulty, Grinch-like, two-sizes-too-small heart of his isn’t supplying his brain with enough oxygen. Politico quotes Cheney as having said, when asked how George W. Bush feels about his outspokenness, “I’m the vice president now — ex-vice president. I have the great freedom and luxury of speaking out, saying what I want to say, what I believe. And I have not been discouraged from doing so.” 

“I’m the vice president now”? Sounds like a Freudian slip to me.

Fuck the filibuster!

Rachel Maddow has called — I think — for doing away with the filibuster.* While she focuses on how boring (but how important) the concept of the filibuster is, and calls for renaming the filibuster, what she seems to be aiming at is doing away with the filibuster altogether.

Maddow notes that the filibuster used to require two-thirds, or 67 votes, of the U.S. Senate, to be overcome. The filibuster threshold now stands at 60 votes.

While I believe that a simple majority is good enough in a democracy — we don’t require a presidential candidate to get 60 percent of the vote — I could compromise and put the filibuster at 55 votes. That is one-half of the Senate plus one-tenth of one-half of the Senate. That seems fair enough to me.

(And indeed, the infamous progressive Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida has called for a 55-vote filibuster threshold, and you can sign his petition for this more reasonable filibuster threshold at StopSenateStalling.com.)

As Maddow and Grayson note, the filibuster is not contained anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, but is only a Senate rule. Wikipedia notes that Senate rules can be changed by a simple majority vote of the Senate — and that this is what the Repugnicans, during the reign of the unelected Bush regime, threatened to do with their “nuclear option,” to do away with the filibuster, an option that the Democrats thus far have been too pussy to take.

I say: Nuke the motherfuckers. Now. 

The 60-vote filibuster is preventing any progress from being made and has hamstrung the U.S. government.

The 60-vote filibuster reminds me of how the two-thirds vote requirement for the California Legislature to pass the state’s budget has only hamstrung rather than helped my home state’s budget process.

Unfortunately, that ridiculous requirement for a super-majority is contained in the state’s Constitution, and the easiest way to change that would be to amend the state’s Constitution at the ballot box. Many if not most proponents of changing the state’s two-thirds-vote budget-bill requirement are OK with making it a 55-percent-vote requirement instead. I’m OK with that.

Dick Cheney and I actually agree on something!

An Associated Press article on how long it might take the U.S. military to finally stop discriminating against non-heterosexuals reports:

The goal, according to senior defense and military officials, is to avoid the backlash that could result from imposing change too fast. While officials expect resistance from only a minority of service members and believe that it could be contained with discipline, officials fear isolated incidents of violence could erupt as a means of protest.

What does it say of the quality of the individuals in our military that “violence could erupt as a means of protest” against granting equal human and civil rights to everyone in the military?

Actually, though, I don’t think that really is the stupid white men’s concern. I suspect that once again, the stupid old white men are just using our troops as political human shields for themselves. (The members of the unelected Bush regime did that routinely when they tried to morph any valid criticisms of their launching and their handling of their Vietraq War into attacks on our troops.)

It’s the stupid old white men who are far more afraid of the change than are the young people in the military.

Even Dick Cheney, whose daughter is a dyke, has my back on this one. Reports the AP:

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, three-quarters of Americans say that they support openly gay people serving in the military. The 75 percent figure is far above the 44 percent of Americans who said so in May 1993.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, defense secretary in the first Bush administration, said [today] he supports a review of the [“don’t ask, don’t tell”] policy.

“When the chiefs come forward and say we think we can do it, it strikes me it’s time to reconsider the policy,” he said. “I’m reluctant to second-guess the military in this regard.”

Cheney, who has an openly gay daughter, said he thinks society has moved on from staunch opposition to gays serving in the military.

“It’s partly a generational question,” he told ABC’s “This Week,” adding that “things have changed significantly” since the [“DADT”] policy took effect.

“Partly” a generational question? No, it’s almost wholly a generational question.

OK, so I guess that I still have plenty of disagreement with the dick…

Move over, Margaret!

Speaking of dykes, Wanda Sykes is my new favorite comedian.

I recently bought the DVD of her HBO stand-up special “I’ma Be Me,” which was recorded in Washington, D.C., in August, and my boyfriend and I have watched it twice.

Wanda rocks.

Margaret Cho, a self-proclaimed fag hag, has been the default gay guy’s comedian for some years now, and I still love ya, Margaret, but Wanda is funnier and fresher than you are.

Wanda’s political sensibilities seem to be much sharper than those of Margaret, who, if her autobiographical claims about herself are accurate, apparently spent a lot of years partying before she woke up to the political scene circa 2003 or 2004.

And while Margaret’s material is stale, Wanda’s is new to me.

Wanda comes to her comedy from the perspective of being a black lesbian. (She came out in November 2008, after the odious Prop H8 passed here in California.)

In her HBO stand-up special Wanda doesn’t talk too much about lesbianism — her comedy is much less sexually graphic and less scatological than is Margaret’s — but her take on what it’s like to be black in white America is hilarious and even eye-opening.

“White people are looking at you!” she intones throughout her routine, and while it’s comedy, it rings true. Her bit about finally being able to buy a whole watermelon at the supermarket — now that Barack Obama is president — is hilarious and probably only she could get away with something like that.

Wanda’s riff on pirates (yes, pirates — a reference to when the Somali pirates were in the news) also is ROLF-level good, and the way that she brings back certain themes throughout her routine is masterfully funny.  

Wanda’s 15-minute performance at the 2009 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner probably gave her the most national exposure that she’s ever had, but, as she says right off in “I’ma Be Me,” she had to hold back at the correspondents’ dinner.

She’s much better when she’s off-leash, so to speak, as she is in “I’ma Be Me.”

The only criticism that I have of “I’ma Be Me” is that Wanda uses at least two or three of the jokes that she already used at the correspondents’ dinner. She’s allowed to rehash her own material, of course, but you would think that she would have realized that many if not most of us had already heard those jokes.

Wanda’s facial expressions and her willingness to move around on stage liberally add entertainment value to her already-funny material, and she’s so adorable that even when she chuckles at her own jokes it’s quite forgivable.

You owe it to yourself to watch “I’ma Be Me,” whether it’s still showing periodically on HBO or whether you buy the DVD (such as via amazon.com).

Out to pasture for the McCainosaurus?

There is talk that Repugnican John McCainosaurus might lose the Repugnican primary to his even wingnuttier challenger, J.D. Hayworth, ending McCainosaurus’ stint in the U.S. Senate, which began in 1987.

Reports The Associated Press:

Phoenix – Defeated just two years ago as the Republican presidential candidate and with his bonafides as a true conservative again being challenged, John McCain finds himself in a struggle to get even his party’s nomination for another term in the Senate.

Many conservatives and “tea party” activists are lining up behind Republican challenger and former [right-wing] talk radio host J.D. Hayworth, reflecting a rising tide of voter frustration with incumbent politicians. Only 40 percent of Arizonans have a favorable view of McCain’s job performance.

Faced with his toughest re-election battle ever, McCain has moved to the right on several hot-button issues, like gays in the military and climate change, and has built a campaign war chest of more than $5 million. Former running mate Sarah Palin and newly elected Republican Sen. Scott Brown, both popular with conservatives, are pitching in.

Hayworth, who will officially launch his campaign [tomorrow], began using his talk show on conservative radio station KFYI to drum up opposition to McCain.

“You have a consistent conservative challenger and an incumbent who calls himself a maverick but in fact is a moderate,” Hayworth said, outlining what he views as the central choice for conservative GOP primary voters in August.

McCain is launching his own statewide tour, complete with visits next month from Palin and Brown, who already has recorded calls asking Republicans to support McCain.

The four-term senator and his allies also are taking aim at Hayworth. In December, they filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission arguing that the talk show host was a de facto candidate and his radio station was providing a corporate gift by allowing him to campaign on the air. And they’re attacking Hayworth’s 12-year record as a [U.S. representative] representing the eastern suburbs of Phoenix….

Democrat Harry Mitchell defeated Hayworth four years ago, winning the GOP-dominated [U.S. House] district amid a rough national climate for Republicans and questions about Hayworth’s dealings with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Hayworth ran a conservative campaign emphasizing his opposition to illegal immigration, but he was dogged by a reputation for being an angry and combative partisan, highlighted by an editorial in the state’s largest newspaper recommending “Mitchell over the bully.”

Hayworth said he decided to quit the [right-wing radio talk] show and run for [the U.S. Senate] in late January after holding “town-hall meetings five days a week” with his conservative listeners.

They are angry, Hayworth says, about McCain’s history of teaming with Democrats on key issues. In the past decade McCain has worked with Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin on campaign finance reform and with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts on an immigration bill that would have created a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants….

A poll last month by the Phoenix-based Behavior Research Center found [McCain’s] lowest approval rating since January 1994, when McCain was in the midst of the “Keating Five” scandal in which he and four other U.S. senators were accused of trying to intimidate regulators on behalf of a real-estate developer later convicted of fraud.

McCain’s once-powerful support from independents is particularly lacking; just 38 percent approved of his performance…. Arizona allows independents to vote in primaries. They could make the difference in a state where 30 percent of the electorate doesn’t belong to a political party….

While I suspect that the McCainosaurus will beat Hayworth, who I remember only as a fugly, goofy-looking

(  )

local television sportscaster when I lived in Phoenix more than a decade ago, it would be hilarious if the McCainosaurus were to lose the Repugnican primary to a tea-baggin’, mouth-breathing, Sarah Palin-Quayle-like stupid white guy whose main platform, like that of Repugnican former U.S. Rep. Tom “Bring Back the Literacy Tests!” Tancredo, is to beat up, like the ignorant bully that he is, on powerless, brown-skinned, “illegal” immigrants, who, as Wanda Sykes correctly points out in “I’ma Be Me,” aren’t criminals, but who just want to make a better life for themselves. (I would tell her joke, but I don’t want to spoil it for you; you’ll just have to watch “I’ma Be Me.”)

*Wikipedia’s entry “filibuster” states:

A filibuster, or “speaking or talking out a bill,” is a form of obstruction in a legislature or other decision-making body whereby one attempts to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a proposal by extending a debate on that proposal. A popular saying is “filibuster it to death!”

The term “filibuster” was first used in 1851. It was derived from the Spanish [word] “filibustero,” meaning “pirate” or “freebooter.” … 

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