Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn’t try hard enough to communicate with Republicans. But in a ‘negotiation’ meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: ‘I cannot even stand to look at you.’ What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
What the HELL.
Edit: Apparently this was a “miscommunication” in reading the transcript of the meeting, according to the White House, and Durbin’s facebook has been updated. http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/10/i_cannot_even_stand_to_look_at.html All that implies to me is that they said it to someone who WASN’T Obama, because what, did someone make that up? But at least someone didn’t throw that flippantly at the President, I guess.
I have more respect for Russell Brand right now than I ever imagined possible. He clearly thought saying this was more important than getting more cushy corporate gigs.
That will be the end of his corporate gigs though lol. Still I appreciate when he speaks about this stuff. No one does. No one ever does.
Your semi-regular reminder that Russell Brand is highly intelligent and pretty awesome besides.
The Hulk ain’t never lied.
I can’t even express how much respect I have for Mark Ruffalo. The dude’s on the US terrorism watchlist for fuck’s sake.
Omg, it’s true.
As if I could love Mark Ruffalo any harder.
I did this thing and it is ridiculous. But so was watching Wendy Davis’s filibuster on Tuesday night! It had become an amazing game of relay fillibuster assists trying to drag out the time before a vote by the time I tuned in. Weird and inspiring!
This is mostly thanks to this tweet by googfriday
OH HEY SOMEBODY DREW A COOL THING ABOUT SOMETHING I SAID
Jen you are so great!! heh heh heh
For those who have been watching American news this week.
omg this is the greatest!
For the last time, the Civil War was not fought because of states’ rights.
I’m from Indiana, which is a funny place because a lot of people there think we’re from the south. I saw a lot of Confederate flags in my high school - on belt buckles, t-shirts, spray painted on people’s trucks. And I heard something I still hear frequently now - a misrepresentation of the causes of the Civil War and the Confederacy’s reason for being. We’re undergoing a terrifying rewrite of history when people believe that the Civil War was fought for state’s rights, not for slavery. (I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard this - “My ancestors fought for states’ rights, NOT slavery.” “The Confederacy stood for state’s rights, NOT slavery,” etc.)
Let’s get one thing clear. Slavery absolutely was the key issue of the Civil War. The Confederate states sure were concerned about their state’s rights - their right to continue the institution of slavery. They seceded when Lincoln was elected because they thought he would try to abolish slavery. Don’t believe me? Look at their own words.
- “Mr. President, it seems to me that northern Senators most pertinaciously overlook the main point at issue between the two sections of our Confederacy. We claim that there is property in slaves, and they deny it. Until we shall settle, upon some basis, that point of controversy, it is idle to talk of going any further.” - Albert Gallatin Brown, U.S. Senator from Mississippi, December 27, 1860
- “We regard every man in our midst an enemy to the institutions of the South, who does not boldly declare that he believes African slavery to be a social, moral, and political blessing.” Atlanta Confederacy, 1860
- “African slavery is the corner-stone of the industrial, social, and political fabric of the South; and whatever wars against it, wars against her very existence. Strike down the institution of African slavery and you reduce the South to depopulation and barbarism… The Anti-slavery party contend that slavery is wrong in itself, and the Government is a consolidated national democracy. We of the South contend that slavery is right, and that this is a confederate Republic of sovereign States.” - Lawrence Keitt, Congressman from South Carolina, in a speech to the House on January 25, 1860
I could keep going with hundreds of more quotes, but I think Representative Keitt said it all. Yes, the South did care about states’ rights and about economic issues - but they all tied back to slavery. Now I’m not saying that every individual Confederate soldier agreed with slavery. The vast majority of them didn’t own slaves and often individual soldiers’ reasons for going to war aren’t the same as those of the people who send them. I don’t feel any need to demonize everyday soldiers (and the US government agrees with me - we started paying Confederate soldiers’ pensions in the 20th century). And the Northerners weren’t abolitionist angels, either, not even close. But if we can’t accept the base reality of the Civil War - that the South seceded in an attempt to protect the institution of slavery - then we can’t even have a rational conversation and we invite a very dangerous (and already very present) idealization of the Confederacy on inaccurate grounds. I have met plenty of people who talk about the South rising again, how the Confederacy should have won, who still feel a tension between North and South in our country. So don’t pretend the Civil War was about state’s rights. Don’t twist and rewrite history to make your ancestors look better. In the long run, everyone’s ancestors look bad. But the fact remains - the Civil War was borne out of conflict over slavery, the Confederate flag stood for the preservation of slavery, and it is inaccurate and disrespectful to claim otherwise.
I was (weirdly, I think, as a Northeasterner) laboring under this delusion for a while. I think the heart of it is in the soldiers vs the politicians argument - there are a lot of reasons ANY soldiers go to war, but those aren’t the reasons the war is happening. It’s important to remember most of the arguments that led to secession - and most secession documents - were about people seeing the increasing potential of abolition as an offense and an insurmountable threat to the southern economy and way of life.
That said the total defense of states’ rights as paramount and large government as tyrannical particularly in southern (and western!) areas, basically shapes our political structure to this day. So it would be remiss to ignore that people do think of states’ rights as something you can kill people over.
This does not sound like the kind of thing that’s going to make everyone realize what a great president George W. Bush was. In fact, it sounds to me like the world’s easiest video game. Invade a country for no reason or don’t invade a country for no reason? Don’t invade a country for no reason. Celebrate John McCain’s birthday while a deadly storm hits New Orleans or don’t celebrate John McCain’s birthday while a deadly storm hits New Orleans? Don’t celebrate John McCain’s birthday while a deadly storm hits New Orleans. I could do this all day. Torture people or don’t torture people? Don’t torture people. Deregulate and tax cut the country into financial ruin or don’t deregulate and tax cut the country into financial ruin?
There is no reason, people, to overthink the Bush presidency. It was just as bad as you thought. As Bush himself might advise, when you’re considering his legacy, go with your gut.
It’s amazing what a little thing like death can do to transform your public image. Apparently overnight, Margaret Thatcher went from being the subject of an intense public debate about whether or not she should even have a state funeral to being “a champion of freedom and liberty.”
Being realistic about who public figures were when they were alive shouldn’t be about being “nice.” It should be about preserving the truth and having an accurate understanding of history. Margaret Thatcher was no champion of freedom and liberty. Ronald Reagan was a terrible president who presided over two recessions and foreign policy that at times bordered on treason. Christopher Hitchens was a racist asshole who supported the Iraq War AND was ardently pro-life. Andrew Breitbart doesn’t even need to be described. Being dead doesn’t change that, and it would be nice if the media recognized that.
Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of “let’s not talk ill of the dead” today and while I understand a little bit of squick about the kind of celebratory postings (and also understand why people would feel like doing that), I feel like it’s disingenuous to be nicer to someone BECAUSE THEY DIED than you would have been the day before.
If you wouldn’t have said “Oh yes, Margaret Thatcher; let’s shush about the terrible things she did — you know, for the sake of her family, why not talk about how she was female instead?” two days ago, don’t do it now. And vice versa, of course. If you supported Thatcher two days ago hopefully you’re still canonizing her now (I mean, at least stay identifiable for the public good).
If I ever become famous enough for people to bitch about, much less hate, I HOPE they keep bitching the day I die instead of cleaning up my memory and sweeping my strong opinions under the table. Hopefully though, I won’t have fucked over way more people’s lives than my own.
Not the Onion. Not the Onion. Not the Onion. Not the Onion.
Not the Onion. Not the Onion. Not the Onion. Not the Onion.
Not the Onion. Not the Onion. Not the Onion. Not the Onion.
Over the past couple days, while everyone on Facebook has proceeded to change their profile pictures in an effort to show support for the American marriage equality movement, I was busy trying to figure out who the hell was who and, oh, found out about, you know, other shit that went on meanwhile:
- President Obama signed the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ into law, effectively barring federal courts from halting the sale or planting of genetically modified (aka GMO) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds, regardless of the health issues might arise concerning GMOs in the future.
- A bill that targets transgender people was approved by an Arizona House panel. It shields businesses from civil or criminal liability if they ban people from restrooms that don’t match their birth-assigned sex.
- Kansas lawmakers got closer to passing a new law that will discriminate against people living with HIV or AIDS by forcing them to be ‘quarantined’.
- Rapper Rick Ross came under fire for the following date-rapey rap lyrics: “Put molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it… I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.” Meanwhile, over 1200 women in the U.S. were raped. And approximately 3 were murdered by intimate partners.
- Approximately 35,948 Americans were arrested, taken to jail and booked. That’s just in one day. The relative majority of them were arrested for nonviolent drug crimes. They were disproportionately Black and Latino.
- Around 2,000 queer youth around the country became homeless. That’s a conservative estimate.
The more you motherfuckin’ know (via Mia McKenzie / BlackGirlDangerous.org).
Our country is just fucking disgusting, really.
Like, I DID know about most of these while I was also being preoccupied with something that will most likely decide the course of my future in many ways (in fact, I’ve been campaigning against some of them for far longer than paying attention to this most recent decisionmaking).
But lots of people haven’t and lots of people also think one avenue of oppression is all they need to pay attention to and that it’s “divisive” to call people out on that (sorry, still bitter from a facebook dispute that eventually had to step away from - new agey poets being passive aggressive is like the MOST ANNOYING THING. “Maybe your attachment to this article calling people out on their shit is actually a reflection of your own negativity and turmoil you should look at that blah blah it’s so NICE to see so many symbols of unity though right? activist snobbery just drags everyone down blah blah ciscentrism blah blah appropriation. Namaste!” Yeah, fuck you.).
Anyway I am massively off topic. Read this stuff. Feel free to delete my commentary as well since it’s more important to reblog ;)
When I see a former governor say that the President is “shuckin’ and jivin’,” that’s racial era slave term. When I see another former governor after the president’s first debate where he didn’t do very well, says that the president was lazy. He didn’t say he was slow. He was tired. He didn’t do well. He said he was lazy. Now, it may not mean anything to most Americans, but to those of us who are African Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there’s a third word that goes along with that. The birther, the whole birther movement. Why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the party?
My goodness, how things have changed: (via Daily Kos: Once upon a time in 1956, there were Republicans who supported unions and Social Security)