Tuesday, October 26, 2010

on sending messages: Ilario Pantano

While deployed in Iraq, Ilario Pantano, GOP and Teabag-backed congressional candidate in North Carolina, shot two unarmed Iraqis 20 times. After they were dead, he changed his clip and fired 20 more shots into them. He told the media he did it to "send a message to other Iraqis." He left a threatening note on their bullet-ridden bodies to drive the point home. The military chose not to prosecute him because the unarmed Iraqis had made threatening gestures to him.

Say one thing about the guy, he's all about going above and beyond the call of duty.
Pantano is struggling against Democratic Blue Dog hack Mike McIntyre.

What other "messages" does he want to send? 


You can read about the head-stepping incident here, here, and here. You can watch the video here. MoveOn is reporting that the woman has a concussion and sprained arm. Rand Paul himself has declined to even hypothetically condemn the violence. [UPDATE: RAND PAUL CONDEMNS ATTACK AND EVEN ADMITS IT WAS PERPETRATED BY A PAUL SUPPORTER.  WELL-DONE, MR. PAUL.]

My interest was a quick survey of the gut reactions of Paul supporters and apologists.  So I browsed a few comments sections and this is what I came up with:

(These are all real--when quoted they are direct; otherwise they are paraphrased, and I'd be happy to track down the original should you care to context-check me)

1. MoveOn staged the whole thing--the people who attacked her were really members of MoveOn. (several righties have accused MoveOn of staging the attack)

2. "It's obvious she was unhurt and was attempting to be disruptive. Maybe she'll exercise a little common sense next time."

3. Lefty thugs exist in some other context and at some point or another hurt somebody, so this is okay/vindication/deserved.

4. It wasn't her head, it was mostly her shoulder.

5. We have no sympathy for her precisely because she's a member of MoveOn

6. She deserved it because she was wearing a wig to conceal her identity

7. If she was a victim, why did the police question her after the incident? (YEAH, COPS NEVER INTERVIEW VICTIMS)

8. Valle has been arrested in nonviolent protest actions before, so she's a fishy character.

9. This was a reasonable way of telling MoveOn members they are not welcome in Kentucky.

10. Rand Paul supporters stomped on her head because they believed scary union thugs were outside of the building.

*Honorable mention: A couple of 'baggers claimed Valle "rushed the stage," but she didn't. She walked.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"I am the very model of a modern mad conservative"

(With halfhearted apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan)

I am the very model of a modern mad conservative
If you don't have the benjamins you've forfeited your right to live
I eschew any notion of social responsibility
And spend my weekends lamenting the government with bags of tea

He spends his weekends lamenting the government with bags of tea
He spends his weekends lamenting the government with bags of tea
He spends his weekends lamenting the government with bags of tea

Obama is a socialist but also he's an Islamist
That these are contradictory it doesn't matter in the least
He aims to grab America and tear it down with all his might
From years of sitting in the pews and hearing Jeremiah Wright

I will protect you from the sodomites and the pornographers
Unless the latter group sends large donations to our headquarters
And in my presence you need never fear attacks by terrorists
Except of course for those whose names are on our biggest donor lists

Except of course for those whose names are on our biggest donor lists
Except of course for those whose names are on our biggest donor lists
Except of course for those whose names are on our biggest donor lists

I will unite the Bachmannites the Palinesques and Limbaughnaughts
The Beckers and the Hannitights the Anglers and the Cheneybots
For imposition of my prejudice no reason I will give
I am the very model of a modern mad conservative

For imposition of his prejudice no reason he will give
He is the very model of a modern mad conservative

amazing interview with Neill Franklin of LEAP

I've interviewed around a hundred celebs, activists, candidates and public officials over the past two years--none have affected me as profoundly as the interview I just concluded with Neill Franklin, Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. His personal journey from undercover narcotics agent to advocate for legalization is an amazing story that everyone needs to hear.  And while we've all heard the statistics and stories about the way our country's misguided drug policies affect minority communities, Mr. Franklin's insights into this, as a Baltimore cop, make for essential listening for everyone concerned about drug policy, social justice, and rational lawmaking. 

Friday, October 08, 2010

Three fun facts about Jan Brewer

1. This week she declared a "Child Health Day" -- after cutting child health programs in Arizona.

2. Rumors are floating around Arizona that Brewer is very sick. She looks terrible in photos, she slurs her words and blanks out, like a drunk would do, and she had that mini-stroke moment in the debate, where she couldn't read the notes that were in front of her. Whatever the specifics, it's clear something ain't right up there. 

Actually, the lies she's told about her father and goings-on in the Arizona desert could also be brain disease-related, although I ain't no physician, so please don't accept any advice from me on medical issues. My point is she lies and lies and lies, and there may be a medical explanation for it. That's all I'm sayin'.

3. She's got a cheatin' heart. Put another way, Arizona Democrats have filed a serious complaint that, even if she wins in November, will follow her into this office she so little understands. True to Arizona form, her defenders are aghast and circling the wagons. We already know of her ties to the private prison industry that stands to benefit from a crackdown on immigration.

Bonus fact: She's probably still gonna win the election. Double-bonus fact: This just means we'll be able to enjoy the meltdown later, when it will do more damage.

Just How Dishonest & Stupid Is Charles Krauthammer?

This blast from last February at Media Matters for America, courtesy of Jamison Foser, sums it up nicely and bears re-posting as we look ahead to Krauthammer's fascist-sympathizing rhetoric between now and the mid-term elections.
Charles Krauthammer says environmentalism is "the new socialism," compares Barack Obama's 2008 campaign to China's Cultural Revolution, accuses Obama of thinking of himself "in messianic terms" and of using "Orwellian language that you expect" from Hugo Chavez and calls Chavez Obama's "new pal" and invokes the Nazis in writing about Obama's stem cell policies. He referred to Khamenei as Iran's "Supreme Leader," attacked Barack Obama for doing the same thing a few days later, then just a few days after that, again referred to Khamenei as the "Supreme Leader." Principled!

Krauthammer has called possible torture investigations "banana republic politics" and made false claims to support his case against investigations. That's unsurprising, given that Krauthammer goes back and forth on whether waterboarding is torture -- but is unwavering in his support for it. And like any good Washington Post columnist, he didn't like the Plame investigation, or feel bound by the facts when discussing it -- and even wrote that Bush should pre-emptively pardon Libby. And Krauthammer has falsely defended the Bush administration's use of Iraq intelligence. He even praised Dick Cheney for doing the "manly thing" in withholding information about his shooting of a hunting companion.
Foser roasts a few of the other Little-Streichers in the piece too.  It's well worth a lookback.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

TSOL at the Key club

More from the unsung craftsmen of American punk. Nobody did the slower, cutting, methodically killing punk better than them.

Suburbia - TSOL

TSOL was an underrated, influential, daring band at a critical time in punk rock. They sacrificed commercial fame and, intentionally or not, kept the west coast American punk tradition alive during the otherwise dilluted 1980s. Glad I ran across this melodic song that anticipates some of the better emo-esque and "pop" punk of the 90s.