As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Quick Hits

Since I didn't get a week in review in last Sunday night:

• This month is the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, a reminder of the roots of the civil rights movement. Vanity Fair has a fascinating article about an iconic picture taken back then, of a black schoolgirl and her white tormenter, and the history of those two figures through to this day.

• I didn't actually take a look at this video, where Ahmadinejad gets laughed at for his silly comments about homosexuals in Iran.

This minute of video validates Columbia's decision more than anything else. He's a clown, and he was exposed as a clown. Would that the bedwetters of the conservative movement could figure that one out. A confident nation welcomes dialogue and knows that their ideas will prevail. Duncan Hunter would rather defund the university who gave that dialogue a platform. Jon Stewart just had Evo Morales, the Bolivian President, on his show, and he's going to take a lot of heat for it, for being a useful idiot for propaganda from a "socialist." Stewart is a confident person. These conservatives are pants-pissers.

• Art Levine goes undercover at a union-busting seminar. Jim "Mad Money" Cramer cheers on such union-busting enthusiastically, and openly wishes for the destruction of the American manufacturing base in the name of moving stock prices.

Matthews: ” Do you see a future five, ten years from now where we don’t have an auto industry in this country, Jim Cramer?”

Cramer: “If you don’t break the UAW we won’t. There’s no real reasons to make cars here.”

Tell that to 75,000 productive GM employees.

• Jerry Weller is leaving the Congress, and as a parting shot, an aide of his pushed a reporter down the stairs. There's video, too.

• It somehow got by me that the President signed a sweeping ethics reform bill into law, marking yet another key reform that the Democrats have accomplished. Add it to the minimum wage increase, halving student loans and instituting the 9/11 Commission recommendations. Iraq takes up all the oxygen in the room, but there have been significant breakthroughs.

• I never wrote anything about the tasering incident at the University of Florida. I think Jesus' General had this one pretty much right.

Well, tasering is in the news again. Long time readers know that, like Our Leader and my beloved GOP, I believe submission to authority to be the ultimate act of patriotism. That's why I've applauded police in the past for tasering a 14 year old who refused to stop playing Nintendo and a five year old little girl who refused to stop raising hell in her school principal's office.

The way I see it is that it doesn't matter whether a person is armed or not, if they refuse, or are unable, to comply with an authority figure's commands, they're likely to be some kind of communist, islamunistofascist, or other kind of enemy of the state, and they deserve to have the hell tasered out of them.

That's why I cheer the officers involved in the lastest series of taserings making the news. You've probably already heard about the student who was tasered for not yielding the mic while questioning a US Senator, so I won't spend any more bytes on it, but I'd like to recognize the fine officers involved in the other incidents.

And there are a lot of them, as our society just becomes a little more brutal, a little more authoritarian, a little less American, at least in the conception I remember it.

• Hans von Spakowsky, a conservative ideologue dedicated to stopping minorities from voting, is up for a seat on the Federal Elections Commission in the Senate Rules Committee tomorrow. Time to make some phone calls - this guy should be nowhere near the FEC.

• Still nothing from Mitt Romney about his ties to Blackwater or the events surrounding their shooting incident in Iraq. In fact, Cofer Black, the head of Blackwater, will remain an adviser to the Mittster's campaign. Eventually, he'll be calling for a doubling of Blackwater.

• I'm just happy to link to Paul Krugman without it being behind a paywall. In this op-ed, Krugman discusses Jena but also the fundamental disconnect between Republicans and America's growing diversity.

One of the truly remarkable things about the contest for the Republican nomination is the way the contenders have snubbed not just blacks — who, given the G.O.P.’s modern history, probably won’t vote for a Republican in significant numbers no matter what — but Hispanics. In July, all the major contenders refused invitations to address the National Council of La Raza, which Mr. Bush addressed in 2000. Univision, the Spanish-language TV network, had to cancel a debate scheduled for Sept. 16 because only John McCain was willing to come.

If this sounds like a good way to ensure defeat in future elections, that’s because it is: Hispanics are a rapidly growing force in the electorate.

But to get the Republican nomination, a candidate must appeal to the base — and the base consists, in large part, of Southern whites who carry over to immigrants the same racial attitudes that brought them into the Republican fold to begin with. As a result, you have the spectacle of Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, pragmatists on immigration issues when they actually had to govern in diverse states, trying to reinvent themselves as defenders of Fortress America.

And both Hispanics and Asians, another growing force in the electorate, are getting the message. Last year they voted overwhelmingly Democratic, by 69 percent and 62 percent respectively.

In other words, it looks as if the Republican Party is about to start paying a price for its history of exploiting racial antagonism. If that happens, it will be deeply ironic. But it will also be poetic justice.

Indeed, some GOP leaders are increasingly worried that turning their backs on the future of the country will marginalize and doom their party. But those leaders' voices are being drowned out.

• CBS, according to court documents, tried to spike the Abu Ghraib story at the behest of executives and even the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers, who personally called Dan Rather requesting a delay. Rather is being lampooned for this lawsuit against CBS, but this allegation that the network tried to take their scoop about Abu Ghraib off the air seems a bit significant to me. You?

• Finally, I'm thinking that the Minneapolis airport should just give in and call it WideStance Land and charge admission to the bathroom. I'm sure the EPCOT guys can contribute some animatronic exhibit.