Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Follies-Ranting At An Empty Chair Edition

The Great RNC Chair Debacle of 2012.  Last night Romney gave a speech accepting his party's nomination to be the Republican standard-bearer for president in 2012.  And no one cared.  Because Clint Eastwood gave a speech, where he ranted at a chair (which was supposed to be stand-in for Obama).  It was...uncomfortable to watch.  See the speech, below:


The internet, predictably, had some fun with "Invisible Obama", as did Obama himself.  Follow me below the fold...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

5 Moments in Racial Dogwhistling History (of the last 30 years or so)

Inexorably during the last 30 years or so, someone starts doing the math, and realizes that white people make up a hefty percentage of the electorate. Politicians inevitably try to appeal to this important demographic, some by using soaring rhetoric and an appeal to better nature. Others, well, not so much. Since it is no longer acceptable to pitch things to people in blatantly racial terms, politicians in recent times have tried to craft workarounds, dog whistles if you will, to appeal to certain demographics, without having to state out loud exactly what they are trying to say. Follow me below the fold to get 5 modern examples of racial dog whistling...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Convention Speeches: 9 Good, 1 Bad, and 1 Ugly


There is an art to a good convention speech.  The best of them live for years after the convention, cemented in the political memory as an encapsulation of a moment in time.  They create catchphrases that become the rallying cry or the main narrative line for the fall campaigns that follow.  And even when the campaign fails, a good convention speech lives on.  So here I give you 9 good convention speeches, and a couple of very bad ones.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Price of Sex

I've been thinking about Emily's piece on The War on Women, and how some issues have become perennial flashpoints. I think in the end, it all boils down to how "cheap" (easy to obtain) sex is in our culture, and how many social conservatives have a deep unease with this notion.  Most conservative social issues boil down to varying strategies to make sex more expensive, especially for women.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The War on Women, A Primer: Part One

Cops in riot gear prepare to meet anti-forced-ultrasound protestors in Virginia.

There has been a back and forth all campaign season about whether there is a War on Women.  Now setting aside the fact that the "War on" title is egregiously overused and somewhat inflammatory, the talk comes from somewhere.  There is a pretty well-acknowledged and consistent gender gap between our two parties.  Men lean right, women lean left.  But on top of that, are there reasons why, this year in particular, we hear about a War on Women?  Has something changed materially about the way Republicans are conducting themselves, or is it just a continuation of conservatives tending to favor policies that favor men over women?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Update: "Legitimate Rape" Edition

In a previous post, we explored current Republican contender for Missouri senator Rep. Tod Akin's controversial statements regarding "legitimate rape", and his curious notion that in the event of a legitimate rape, the human female body is capable of "shutting the whole thing down", and preventing pregnancy.  There have been several new developments since then.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Are You a Segregationist?

Do we self-segregate in America?

In our modern America, laden with choose-your-own options for: news, entertainment, neighborhoods, and even states that lean one way or another - do we now choose to create our own echo chambers and surround ourselves with people with whom we agree on most things in life?

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Legitimate Rape"

First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

                                                                                                             - Rep. Todd Akin

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chain of Fools

Recent controversy this week revolved around some remarks of Vice President Joe Biden who observed that while Romney was planning on unchaining regulations on Wall Street, the Republicans would in fact be putting the middle-class back in chains if Romney was elected. Biden's exact words were, ""He said in the first hundred days, he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street.  They're going to put y'all back in chains."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

7 Fun (And Not-So-Fun) Facts About Paul Ryan

There is a joke in there, somewhere...

So some of you may have heard that Romney picked a running mate this past weekend, Paul Ryan, a Representative from Wisconsin.  And you may have wondered, who is that guy with the creepy eyes that I may, or may not have heard of before?  Well, we have some answers for you, below the fold...

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Right-Wing Stuff?

If Governor Romney loses in November, I think in the final analysis it will have been because the right (Tea Partiers as well as conventional conservatives) would not allow Romney to run on the things that might allow him to gain traction in the general election.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Follies-Olympic Style

In honor of the Olympics, which will be wrapping up soon, here are some of my favorite memes to emerge from this cycle of Olympics:

1.  The U.S. Gymnastics team re-imagined as the cast from Mean Girls

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mitt Romney: Yo Momma Is So Poor...

Did you hear the one about the candidate who decided to race-bait rather than talk about his taxes?

So suddenly this week - into the presidential race about "the economy, stupid" - charges one of the least understood, most micro-managed, least policy-driven debates we ever have in our country.  The debate over welfare.

See, e.g. the new ad Romney has put out, per Rachel Maddow...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

1. This is a personal issue.  I was a kid when Ronald Reagan railed against Welfare Queens.  He talked a lot about single mothers, too.  At the time, my mother was a single mother (not on welfare, but certainly struggling, financially).  I took it personally.  I'm still pretty angry about it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The 7 Worst Vice Presidential Picks

batboyvp.banner.wwn.jpgSpeculation regarding who Mitt Romney will choose as his running mate is reaching a crescendo, though he probably won't announce a pick until after the Olympics are over. Conventional wisdom has Portman from Ohio, or Pawlenty from Minnesota as possible VP picks for Romney. Some others point to Paul Ryan or even General Petraeus. More forward thinkers point to Bat Boy as Romney's clear choice. Here is a guide to some stinkers that some of Mitt's predecessors have made when selecting their running mates. To keep it simple, I have confined the picks to choices who had problems that were widely known by the time Election Day came around.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Mandi talked about Gabby Douglas and the kerfuffle about her hair.  I'm listening to Game Change (I know, it's old, but it's taken me a long time to be willing to revisit the serious anger I developed over the 2008 campaign), and spending a lot of time thinking about how everybody from the Democratic Establishment to the press to Bill Clinton treated Hillary in the 2008 campaign.  And it's not like people were nice to Michelle Obama in that campaign.

Basically, I'm thinking a lot about the expectations we have for women in public life.

Here are some of the things that drive me to think about this topic.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gabby’s Hair-Why Do We Care?

Gabby Douglas Ponytail
“gabby douglas gotta do something with this hair! these clips and this brown gel residue aint it”
“Gabby Douglas needs to tame the beady beads in the back of her hair.”

“Why hasn’t anyone tried to fix Gabby Douglas’ hair?”

The media has been all aflutter recently with Gabrielle Douglas’s gold medal win in the team component, as well as the All-Around competition, the only American to ever do both. Douglas is of course also the first African-American competitor to do both as well, in a sport normally dominated by whites and Asians. Rather than talk about her amazing feats and gravity defying stunts, most of the articles I’ve read revolve around her hair, and what some nitwits on Twitter and other social media platforms have said about her hair.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

I understand why it is flustering and annoying that Harry Reid is not giving up on these "Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years" claims.  For one thing, Democrats always fold when pressed that they are doing something wrong.  For another, it's so Republican.  It's a 10-year-old kid tactic, and an aggressively strategic one:

Romney: You can't have my tax forms and so there.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Romney Says What?: Taxes Edition

Come on, Emily, shut UP about Romney and money already.  We're bored.  We'd so much rather be reading about the crazy Jackson family or Suri's custody status or Robsten imploding.  I know, I know.  I myself have been slightly fascinated by the bizzaro behavior of the Jackson clan (and feeling very sorry for the kids involved)...  But indulge me, because I actually think Romney is calling you and me stupid.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Black People Shouldn't Vote

...Or at least that seems to be the stance of the GOP, according to disgraced former Florida Republican party leader Jim Greer.  He stated in a recently released deposition that, “I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting,” and that “minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party.”  This is the same Florida renowned for it's voter roll purges, so unreliable that they once listed the governor himself as dead.