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The John McCain of Yore

January 19th, 2011

An embarrassment to true believers everywhere

Photo by Cpl. Pete Zrioka, U.S. Marine Corps

Reading John McCain’s warm appreciation of the President’s Tucson speech in last Sunday’s Washington Post was a throwback to more innocent times. For a moment, we forgot how rigid and cynical the old hero has become. We thought back instead to 1999, a time when McCain seemed like a real person, the “maverick” politician so many of us rooted for over the Bush machine. The op-ed’s high note:

I disagree with many of the president’s policies, but I believe he is a patriot sincerely intent on using his time in office to advance our country’s cause. I reject accusations that his policies and beliefs make him unworthy to lead America or opposed to its founding ideals.

My brother was not sympathetic to these views.

McCain is no conservative.

(Read On…)

“I Am Impressed”

January 13th, 2011

After Tucscon, My brother finds single, unprecedented kind word for Obama

Photo Courtesy oporder

I had been sitting on some typical emails that my brother sent after New Years. The holiday was particularly cold here where I live, frigid over there where my brother does, and pretty much bone-chilling all over the country. Naturally, he sent me some tirades on the global warming hoax, all in the typical “crazy” political rhetoric that he actually believes.

I was writing a draft of a new post called “Happy New Years, How’s That Global Warming Lie Treating You?” when Tucson happened.

What happened in Arizona stuck a dagger through this blog, and as the pain of the tragedy lingered and the national conversation cannibalized itself, the knife twisted. The public conversation of the past 72 hours struck far too close to home. My brother is no evil lunatic, but for the past decade I have blamed our nation’s politics for the not-insignificant damage done to our relationship. I blamed Rush Limbaugh for taking him away from us.

As the week ground on, my brother (and our hyper-conservative uncle) sent me a barrage of unsolicited and increasingly high-strung emails and even phone messages about the Tucson shooting.

“Although I disagree and condemn today’s acts I am not surprised,” he wrote on Saturday night, hours after the incident. “The people of this country are not going to be pushed and told what to do and how to live by leftists,” my brother wrote.

By Monday, as the speculative talk about Palin’s crosshairs and Angle’s 2nd Amendment Remedies started looking a lot like blame, his tenor rose.

(Read On…)

I am Become a Liberal Fool, Again

December 23rd, 2010

Were the Democrats playing political games with the 9/11 First Responders bill?

New York, N.Y. (Sept. 14, 2001) -- A fire fighter emerges from the smoke and debris of the World Trade Center. The twin towers of the center were destroyed in a Sep. 11 terrorist attack. U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Jim Watson.

Taking note of the near-constant negative press the GOP was absorbing by blocking the bill, I sent my brother, I admit it, an antagonistic message. I guess his reply should have come as no surprise.

ME: Do you have any idea how much political damage this is doing to your party? Come 2012, the ads reminding voters of the GOP’s hypocrisy on this issue will be withering. It’s all on tape, the flag-draping back then and the refusal to pay for a moral obligation now. This is a gift to the political opposition and easily the worst single-issue press disaster I’ve seen either party suffer in recent memory.

MY BROTHER: You are wrong again. … The Republican party is being made a scapegoat here on purpose.  The Democrats (who are still in denial of their massive losses on Nov. 2nd) purposely waited to present this bill just as another way of adding to the deficit without taking the time to pay for it the right way. … This is only a gift to the Democrats as long as the media can keep lying about the logistics of this and if they get more useful idiots like yourself to toot their horn for them. … The fact that you can’t see this reassures me of the blind liberal fool you are becoming.

Back to zero. I’m a fool. Anyone who disagrees with my brother’s politics is a wrong-headed, naive, stupid fool. My brother and I are lucky in that we have a friendship that exists separate and apart from all of this. But he does have to decide which of his passions is stronger, the one that hates liberals, or the one that values his family?

The Truth: A Liberal’s Worst Enemy

December 21st, 2010

Blissful in his blinders, my brother assails “worthless” University of Maryland report

photo courtesy Natalie Vella

Did you see this University of Maryland study last week? It made the social media rounds pretty quickly—I saw the usual liberals rejoicing and the conservatives largely ignoring. (The liberals should have read the Times’ report on the study a bit closer; MSNBC viewers don’t come out looking exactly like geniuses.)

My brother did his side proud, not by questioning the study’s methodology or content, but with a more fundamentalist approach. Because it questions Fox News in any way, my brother seems to say, the study is not just untrustworthy, but malevolent.

Sounds to me like some liberals at the University of Maryland are getting nervous with a news organization that doesn’t tow the liberal line and finally tells the truth. Yes the truth is a liberal’s worst enemy. This worthless study only proves more how Fox needs to keep doing what they are doing so that the truth about the hideousness of liberalism stays in the forefront. This is just a study to discredit Fox and the conservative ascendancy taking over America starting on November 2nd, 2010. It is the first of many attacks on conservatives as Republicans take the majority next month—and that is exactly what this is about.

The Forest of Astounding Trickery

December 18th, 2010

Wither art thy trees?

photo courtesy Michael Tyas

There’s so much gamesmanshipping going on in DC this month, it’s hard to follow each major piece of legislation (taxes, omnibus spending, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, DREAM act)  on its own merits. It’s as hard as ever to see the trees through the forest of astounding political trickery.

But one bill has gone largely unnoticed in the press, be it the Lamestream, the blogiverse or the Rightist bureaus.

It’s the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, also known as the 9/11 First Responders Bill, named for the 36-year old city detective who died of the lung disease he contracted after working hundreds of hours at ground zero.There are roughly 16,000 responders—including firemen, police officers and engineers—who suffer a range of serious illnesses from inhaling the toxic debris, and the bill would extend long-term health benefits in a $7.4 billion measure.

As Jon Stewart pointed out in his recent advocacy for the bill, it seemed like a legislative “no-brainer.”

But last week Senate Republicans filibustered to defeat the bill as part of a vow to pass zero legislation until the Bush Tax Cuts were extended.

I asked my brother how this sort of behavior could possibly be defended, from the Party of 9/11 Remembrance no less.

The 9/11 bill isn’t something that the Republicans said they would never pass. … Republicans are fine with passing this in a reasonable time frame after the most important and pressing issues of taxation are resolved.

This is, of course, absurd. There is no reason that both the tax legislation and every other piece of legislation can be passed before the session ends. The GOP is making a principled stand on taxes, fine. But they they are stepping on 9/11 victims in the process. As usual he changed the subject, this time back to the omnibus bill that caused him his earlier apoplexy.

The added debt by Democrats is nothing  more than a big good-bye fuck-you to the American people. The fact is, the Democrats still hate the American people and have no respect for us or this country. The Republicans (the conservatives ones, that is), do love this country and respect the people which is why they were given the majority this past November 2nd.

Now, dear reader, you see not only the boulder, but the mountain I am pushing it up.

Dealing with Relatives

December 18th, 2010

Every family has theirs

My brother is not racist (thankfully), but this discussion at Feministe seems somewhat relevant.

Omnibus Rage

December 17th, 2010

The littlest thing can send my brother into a fury

Photo Courtesy sindesign

But a massive omnibus spending bill can also do the trick.

Harry Reid should be thrown in jail along with most Democrats and a few moron Republicans.

My brother got his news on the bill from this story in Newsmax, a Rightist outlet in, naturally, Palm Beach.

He continued:

These people care more about making a name for themselves to spite the American people even on their way out. November 2nd meant nothing to them. They would rather fight against the will of the American people—add more debt and wasteful spending just for the hell of it. These motherfuckin’ Democrats deserve to burn in hell.

I didn’t even know my brother believed in hell. (Read On…)

You Gotta Heed the Call, Butterball

December 16th, 2010

Michael Steele, embattled muppet, working to protect our bibbles

photo courtesy Gawker

I have no beef with Michael Steele. Considering what he’s up against in today’s reactionary GOP, it’s hard not to have a little affection for the guy. He’s absurd, irrepressible and  lovable in his own buffoonish way. Who else can address a crowd of mostly elderly white people with a “What-up, Topeka?!?!” Love him or hate him, Michael Steele has often been a rare gust of fresh-air in the hyperbaric chamber of conservative politics.

And none have spoofed him better than the muppet masters at The Daily Show.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
The Great Gaffesby
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

(Read On…)

“A Good Day for America = A Bad Day for Obama”

December 14th, 2010

Rejoicing at the healthcare ruling

"Tea Party tax day protest 2010" courtesy Fibonacci Blue

My brother basked in today’s news and sent me this brief little love note:

Hopefully this will lead to the collapse of the whole law and we can throw it in the trash can where it belongs.

The big news—that a federal judge in Richmond, VA, ruled that the healthcare bill’s individual mandate is unconstitutional—sent my brother and lots of other middle-aged white people into immediate orgasmic ecstasy.

This is the sort of thing that makes one’s day these days.

But it’s worth looking at what my brother said today, and what his Rightist talking points really mean. (Read On…)

Let Me Google That For You, Andrew Breitbart

December 12th, 2010

Big Government’s selective omissions mislead readers

Over at the Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan uses the phrase “Epistemic Closure” to describe the Rightist tendency to ignore certain facts when those facts don’t jive with Rightist ideology.

In the Fox News/AM Radio bilesphere, this happens all of the time.

Today The Dish found a prime example of this behavior on Breitbart’s Big Government.