Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Teapublicans Want You to Bomb the Capitol Building (Metaphorically, of course)

April 25, 2010

The new face of the Republican Party is pretty creepy... but its definitely an improvement over Dick Cheney.

Ever since the election of America’s first black president, Republican leaders and pundits have been invoking some pretty dubious role models. Texas Rep. Pete Sessions compared Republicans to the Taliban. Sean Hannity called a gathering of Tea Partiers “a bunch of Tim McVeigh wannabes” and they responded with wild applause. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachman organized an anti-health care reform rally on Guy Fawkes Day last year, where she described her followers as “insurgents” and urged these “freedom fighters” to storm the Capitol building to “scare” members of Congress.

Now, some might find it hypocritical for Bachman, a woman who has received more than $250,000 in welfare checks (in the form of corn and dairy subsidies for her family farm), to choose Guy Fawkes as the mascot for her anti-government crusade. Fawkes, after all, was a “terrorist” who was executed for attempting to detonate 36 barrels of gunpowder beneath the UK Parliament with the King and all the noble aristocrats inside.

Guy Fawkes: Hero of the Left or Paleo-Teabagger?

However, Bachman did resign from a school board over controversy involving the movie Alladin promoting “witchcraft;” belonged to a church that thought the Pope was “the anti-Christ;” and recently advocated armed revolution in response to Obama’s energy policy, so the Fawkes thing actually rates pretty low on the Bachman Wack-o-meter.

Anyhoo, getting back to the point, the Republican Governors Association just unveiled a new campaign called “Remember November” that not only rips off its title from the Guy Fawkes legend, but uses the famous “V” logo created by Alan Moore for his Fawkes-inspired comic book “V for Vendetta” (the “V” is subtly inserted into the word “NoVember” at the end of the video.)

Are they serious? It was silly when RNC chairman Michael Steele was co-opting dated rap lingo to sell an “off-the-hook” “hip-hop makeover” for the GOP, but this is just ridiculous. I knew that RGA President and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour was looney tunes when he said that not mentioning slavery in a proclamation about Confederate History Month “doesn’t matter for diddly,” but now he’s running a campaign that’s culture-jacking from Alan Moore – a vegetarian, anarchist pagan?!

Alan Moore: Serpent-Worshipping Hermit or the Next Karl Rove?

Plus, people dressed up like the “V” character were a staple at anti-Bush rallies for years. Republicans can’t steal this from left-wingers – that would be like if progressives started wearing tri-corner hats at street protests or if Glenn Greenwald wore a bow tie during his next MSNBC appearance. Some lines you don’t want to cross.

And, frankly, this is unfair. Right-wingers have so many action heroes to choose from. They made Arnold Schwarzenegger a governor. Chuck Norris was Mike Huckabee’s body-guard/confidant. Sylvester Stallone has recruited a whole horde of washed-up ‘roid-heads for a new anti-Hugo Chavez movie. Besides the blue guy from Avatar and Matt Damon, what kind of ass-kickers do the left have? Emma Goldman?

Instead of co-opting V for Vendetta, here’s a list of movies that I think would be more appropriate for the Teapublicans to use for their next campaign:

Grumpy Old Men
Why: Self-explanatory.

The Wrestler
Why: I think a lot of Tea Partiers should be able to relate to Mickey Rourke’s character: a creepy, over-the-hill white guy who is addicted to pain-killers (like Republican patron saint Rush Limbaugh).

300
Why: The violent, xenophobic nature of… actually, forget it. I don’t want to any super-sized wingnuts running around in loincloths and capes.

Groundhog Day
Why: Because Republicans always make the same mistakes over and over again (failed imperial military adventures; driving up the Federal budget after the say they’re going to “shrink government”; passing “family values” laws and then getting busted for gay affairs and/or soliciting sex workers; etc.)

A Day Without a Mexican
Why: I don’t think they would like the actual movie, but the GOP’s widespread support for Arizona’s new law that makes having brown skin probable cause for arrest indicates that most Republicans are supportive of this concept.

Road Warrior
Why: Mel Gibson, ultra-violent militias and everyone is obsessed with fossil fuel. ‘Nuff said.

OK, since I’ve given all this free advice to the Republicans, I really owe at least once suggestion to the Democrats. If the Dems decide to base a new campaign on movie, I think it should be…

The New Star Wars Trilogy
Why: It didn’t live up to the hype, it was hard for fans to follow the plot, and it didn’t close Guantanamo, just like the Obama Administration, so far…

"Yeah, I know I said I was going to ban corporate lobbyists from working in my administration, but if you don't quit bugging me about that I'll slice your arm off!"

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It Would Make Sense if You Had the Memory of a Fruit Fly

April 6, 2010

“9/11 was an inside job!” What's next -- Rudy Giuliani joining the Truthers?

Even though talking about John McCain is more 2008 than telling people “I drink your milkshake,” this little tidbit is just too ridiculous to pass up.

Old “Crazy Train” McCain actually told a Newsweek reporter: “I never considered myself a maverick.”

This is like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suddenly saying  “I’ve always been cool with Israel” or if George Bush came out and revealed that he actually can read.

Steve Benen over at Washington Monthly sums up the migraine-inducing hypocrisy of this statement:

“In 2008, McCain’s television ads described him as “the original maverick.” When McCain and Sarah Palin would routinely take different positions during their national campaign, aides insisted this was to be expected from ‘a couple of mavericks.’ A quick search of McCain’s Senate website turns up several dozen references to the senator being a ‘maverick’ — in some cases, press releases, instead of quoting McCain by name, would simply note, ‘The Maverick said…’ McCain’s website for his Senate campaign does the same thing, using ‘McCain’ and ‘Maverick’ interchangeably, as if they were practically the same word.”

Jeez. If John McCain is willing to distance himself from the maverick label, you’ve got to wonder what other startling revelations we might need to start preparing ourselves for…

"I have a confession to make... this isn't my real hair."

"Deep down, I've always been more of the sensitive artist-type."

"I've never really conidered myself inspirational... hope is for suckers. You should all just go home, because nothing will ever change."

What’s Going Down?

April 30, 2009

A bank is paying demolition crews to tear down brand new McMansions in Victorville, California, a far-flung San Bernardino suburb about 80 miles outside Los Angeles.  According to Vision Victory Channel, which has posted a series of YouTube clips with footage of the demolitions, the developer couldn’t sell the properties and defaulted on the loans. Once the bank foreclosed, it started getting slapped with fines for code violations, since it now owned these properties.

The bank must have done an analysis and determined that the houses were more of a liability than an asset, so it made sense for their bottom line to simply tear down the houses and avoid the fines. Instead of trying to unload the development on another builder who could at least bring the houses up to code, the bank realized they would take less of a hit if they tore everything down.

You can’t extrapolate the state of the nation’s housing market just by what’s happening in a desert suburb of Southern California, but it would seem to be a troublesome indicator of how confident banks are about property values bouncing back any time soon.

…And speaking of confidence, remember a few months back when Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner laid out a pretty vague roadmap for how they were going to handle the economic crisis? A big part of that plan involved performing “stress tests” on major banks to figure out which ones are solvent and likely to avoid bankruptcy if the economy doesn’t somehow recover in the next two years.

Well, according to a new article from Reuters, the stress-testers are now trying really hard to figure out how to break the bad news to the rest of us. Here’s a preview:

“U.S. officials have still not yet decided how to disclose the results of the bank “stress tests,” but a lack of detail in the release could disappoint markets, a top bank regulator said on Wednesday.

John Bowman, acting director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, said officials are working around the clock to figure out how to provide transparency about the results without causing a large disruption in the markets.”

Unfortunately, there’s no good solution for how to release the stress test results. If they open up the books, we’ll all see how screwed the banks are and the market will drop faster than Elliot Spitzer’s pants at The Emperor’s Club. If they try to muddy the waters by releasing the results un-transparently, the market will see right through the charade and have a similar reaction.

Since Geithner first announced this plan, the number of economists skeptical that it would sufficiently address the systemic rot in the banking and finance industries has grown and grown. These economists’ consensus is that the U.S. government will have to make much more painful decisions to rescue the banks from the ocean of toxic assets that they seem to be drowning in. If the results come out next week, as the article indicates, Monday might be the first day of real reckoning on that front…

The videos below illustrate a shocking waste of resources. They represent a paradox that capitalism somehow makes logical. But they also might capture something else: a preview of the very near future.