Just when you were worried the American sociopolitical discourse was devolving, along comes soon-to-be-legendary Jane Skrovota's fascinatingly deranged anti-LGBT testimony to the Lincoln, Nebraska city council. In just five minutes, she makes Bristol Palin sound like William F. Buckley.

sigma7: Sims (dammit)
( Aug. 27th, 2009 09:56 am)
"Republicans are struggling right now to find the Great White Hope, and I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington." -- Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), yesterday.

I'm going to cut Jenkins a huuuuuge amount of slack and attribute her comments to ignorance as opposed to outright racism, for a number of reasons. First off, I'd like to think name-dropping James J. Jeffries into your political conversation, a boxer who challenged then-champion Jack Johnson saying "I am going into this fight for the sole purpose of proving that a white man is better than a Negro" (and that's about the only quote of his I feel comfortable quoting in its entirety) is, even for the current state of political discourse in this country, abhorrent. Second, it's entirely more likely for Jenkins to have glommed onto the phrase second-hand without realizing its origins in one of the most racially-charged events of the early 20th century: there've been enough ironic derivations of the title for someone to be aware the phrase exists and not understand its context. Third, and most compellingly, ideally, your invocation of a "Great White Hope" would be someone who does not, when the time finally comes to drop gloves, proceed to get his ass wiped all about the canvas by the man he mocked and derided.

That said, you would hope an elected official would be a little more aware of the historical context of their rhetoric when bandying it about. I'm guessing Jenkins has learned a history lesson in the last 24 hours.
Challenge: try to explain the arrest of Henry Louis Gates and the resulting kerfluffle -- culminating in the beer summit -- to someone who hadn't heard of it, without having to interrupt with "I'm not kidding, this really happened" whenever you pause for breath. But you have to, to get the full effect of Cambridge Cop Accidentally Arrests Henry Louis Gates Again During White House Meeting.

[livejournal.com profile] rewil brings word that Mr. I-Don't-Photoshop Except When I Can Get Away With It has released an...essay? I guess? I suppose it's to respond to the allegations against him, but it's hard to tell. It's one of the most obnoxiously pretentious and still somehow content-free pieces of shit I've read in a long, long time, so it's worth it for entertainment value and reinforcing the validity that any additional energy expended upon this "artist" is entirely wasted except as a cautionary tale to others, or possibly as an exercise in either steel-reinforced denial or merely merrily prancing about with the English language before beating it to death with the sledgehammer of the tortured misunderstood artist.

EA's not releasing its annual incremental roster patch for its NFL game for the PC for the second year in a row. I smell a spite-torrent or two. Pity Red Alert 3 wasn't worth seeding.

When the rape allegations regarding Ben Roethlisberger (oh God I can type that from memory now) surfaced, I skipped through my usual parade of web sites, pausing when I hit ESPN, thinking they just hadn't filed their story yet. No, as it turns out, they've taken a most curious stance toward the civil case re: Roethlisberger: speak no evil. It took the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports 48 hours to casually mention that there are allegations against the Super-Bowl-winning quarterback, and had any other story simmered in the background for two days, ESPN would kick itself for not covering it. ESPN's half-hearted defense is that the allegations are too weak to merit coverage and that ESPN doesn't cover civil suits -- but even a casual observer will remember allegations with similar if not equivalent levels of veracity trumpeted by the network against Kwame Brown or Larry Johnson. And if you do make the mistake of talking about Roethlisberger on ESPN airwaves, don't worry, they'll correct you soon enough. Is this a network just wanting to keep the premiere sports franchie (and business partner) and one of its brightest stars happy? Or just another manifestation of rape culture?

For the record, that last link explicitly says that suggesting the accuser may be a "lying gold-digger" is rape culture. Maybe I'm missing something, but to me that's just healthy skepticism -- I don't think leaping to a conclusion in either direction suits anyone at this juncture, and if someone wants to paint me with a brush of condemnation for not immediately grasping their standard and waving it frantically, then I guess I get painted. But that's another, much larger can of worms -- removed from the accusations themselves is the issue of ESPN's coverage of them, or lack thereof. It's inconsistent with precedent and its own mission as a purported newsgathering organization, and ultimately it damages their brand (unless they choose to go the route of so many cable channels and change their mission, from sports news to sports entertainment -- and cynics may well ask what the difference is and if that hasn't happened already). To report on allegations as allegations and not foregone conclusions shouldn't threaten Roethlisberger, the Steelers or the NFL, but it's a pity ESPN chose to capitulate. It's not discretion, it's cowardice, and no institution is better served by such.
Sarah Palin out as governor? I admit I hadn't paid the closest attention to politics in the last week, but...huh?

Unrelated (I think), via [livejournal.com profile] midnightvoyager, epic paladin is epic.
So President Obama took the oath of office again today. Some see it as necessary, others redundant. Me, I think it's a fantastic idea -- hell, he should take it every day, like a Green Lantern.
Dude at Caribou Coffee this morning, talking to the girl in line ahead of me:

"I don't want to sound like a racist, but...."

So today's a hot cocoa day.
My offhand prediction: Obama 353, Senate Dems 58, House Dems 247, California yes on 8. Just guessing.

The Raleigh News & Observer sent out a note cracking down on election-night pizza-horking: "Please be polite," wrote Susan Spring, the News & Observer's director of newsroom operations. "If you are working elections, you may have up to TWO slices" of pizza. A few hours later, executive editor John Drescher vetoed the limit, but added that "if Susan Spring chases you with a knife in her hand, you are on your own."

Eight years ago I went to sleep early, after Florida had been called (the first time) -- arrived at work at about 3 in the morning only to find the newsroom buzzing with people, asked the editor-in-chief what was going on, and she talked for five minutes before flittering away and I got absolutely zero information out of her. Hectic, confusing, strange -- but awesome in its own hideous way. Tonight promises to be less so, though some of the lines y'all are reporting from the polls might be the story of the night.

Okay, enough electoral trauma. Fast-forward to tomorrow. No more polarization, no more invective, no more garrulous rhetoric. Back to work.
Ashley Todd, a Pittsburgh McCain campaign volunteer, claimed to have been mugged and sexually assaulted by "a dark-skinned black man, 6 feet 4 inches tall, 200 pounds with a medium build, short black hair and brown eyes." And after noticing the McCain sticker on her car, "he" used a knife to scratch the letter "B" into her face. Backwards, as it turns out.

Dr. Nick: 'The 'B' is for bargain!'

All this must look pretty convincing in the mirror, but not so much to skeptical police and an outright disbelieving blogosphere. Next thing you know the names "Tawana Bradley" and "Morton Downey Jr." are being bandied about, and empathy on the left and the right evaporated. And as I type this, local media's reporting that cops have a confession of fabrication on her part. Nice.

A FOX News VP is saying that this means the end of the McCain candidacy, but that's ridiculous on five different levels -- yes, Pennsylvania's a swing state, but it isn't populated by idiots, Ashley Todd notwithstanding. The left and the right were keen to clue into the sub-Encyclopedia-Brown-level clues that something wasn't quite kosher here, and this obviously disturbed individual's actions and allegations are not the product of policy or politics. Linking McCain, his party or his philosophies to this event does a disservice to the national dialogue, and I don't see it gaining traction with anyone except the most superficial observers. Hm.
"Now, you're the expert," he began. "And I'll gladly be the junior partner in this, but I really think we should take Drew Brees. He could have a big week. Oakland's secondary is a wreck."

Ohhhh, so that's how it's going to be. "Well, I like Carson Palmer," I said. "He's due for a big week, plus he plays in Ohio and I figure that's a state you need, so ..."

He looked at me like I'd stuck my elbow in his soup. "Man, this is more important than politics!" he insisted. "This is football!"
Insert Leonidas here.

And Carson Palmer? Really? Maybe any other year (says the man keeping Ocho Cinco on his roster for the curse if no other reason)....
So I needed an excuse to play around with styling tables with CSS, as I've apparently replaced the CSS repository in my brain with the advantages and disadvantages of the Wildcat formation offense. Anyhow. Your presidential debate 2008 bingo cards with some VP lingo thrown in because I'm, well, tired.

Edit: And if politics aren't your speed, House bingo, ganked from here via Polite Dissent, with additions.
-- I finally figured out where GDBM is going next. And it's closer to canon than you might expect. (Canon? In my Goddamn Batman? It's more likely than you think. Hint: Paul Dini.)

-- Got one of my Spectre covers hotlinked from a hilariously strange post to [livejournal.com profile] scans_daily, so I get notices early in the morning when my 20 MB bandwidth cap gets exceeded. This is how the other half lives, I see. I take back my picspam hotlinking arguments. (No, I haven't forgotten picspam, either.) Just seems counter-productive to hotlink to a site that's only going to be up five hours a day because of the traffic. Hrm. (Then again, the tech support page says that a tool for measuring quota use says they "will build an interface to provide this information" and I'm pretty sure that statement is ten years old now. No hurry, kids. At least I've actually accomplished everything I set out to do ten years ago. Just...slowly.)

-- Via Romenesko: Reporters covering Sarah Palin in Clearwater were greeted with taunts by a crowd of about 3,000, reports Dana Milbank. When Palin blamed Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media," her supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks, shouting abuse and hurling obscenities. Milbank says one supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

-- Speaking of, yes, there's a debate tonight, but it's a pseudo-"town-hall" format, questions submitted in advance, no cross-questioning, so it's a simultaneous stump-speech. Actually, they won't be talking simultaneously, though that would be more entertaining. Sure as hell not watching it -- might try to find a good liveblog so I don't have to. (I will say MightyGodKing's take on the last two debates has been consistently the most entertaining aspect of the election cycle thus far, with Tina Fey a distant second.)

-- Via [livejournal.com profile] rosefox8: I wear my pentical (its just the way it make scene to spell it to me) all the time! and i was playing with it in class and this girl like "your a witch" I said "get your facts right I not!" she said"I not dumb i know what that star means" I said "yep it only has one meaning and i am a witch and you should behead me!" She said "so your a witch" me " No i am a Celt there is a different get it right before you judge" The sad thing is I've had to grade less coherent work than this.

-- The Leonidas icon is moving in time to Todd Rundgren's "Bang the Drum."

-- Via [livejournal.com profile] anw: If you've spent the last few weeks in a funk brought on by a cataclysmic economy, political insipidy, pigskin agony (goddammit, Norv!) or just the general intense fail endemic to the human race, maybe you need a pick-me-up. Read this, then this. Sometimes you just have to delight in the way the world works.
So, let's count the things that have failed today¹.

-- The markets
-- The bailout
-- Wachovia (we could split hairs over what constitutes true fail, but face it, it's close enough -- spell-check wants to replace "Wachovia" with "Chekhovian" and I don't think even Anton was ever this dour)
-- The Legion of Super-Heroes (paging Christopher Bird, please pick up white courtesy phone)
-- Scott Linehan, former coach of the St. Louis Baabaas
-- The Hubble
-- Naked 52-year-old sex offenders found naked in a neighbor's daughter's bedroom with a knife, rope, condoms and a bad heart
-- Bat-flavored coffee
-- Gina Rue's suicide attempt (and I find this just after finishing Crysis Warhead with the riveting bridge cutscene)
-- Getting your butt stapled shut
-- Chili-eating-related fatality (from the Daily Fail, no less)
-- The New York Sun (final issue tomorrow -- print is dead, I tells ya)
-- My sanity and, of course, progress on GDBM (soon, I promise)

I'm sure there's more I'm missing, but those are your highlights. This should be a bank holiday -- like April Fool's, but inevitably self-inflicted.

¹Yeah, I'm cheating on some of these things having happened a few days ago. I'm adopting a quantum denial filter -- they didn't happen until I saw that they happened, and thus the waveform stabilized.
Laura Roslin Responds to "Beauty Queen" Comments

Twenty years ago, candidate Laura Roslin won Miss Congeniality and Most Likely to Airlock a Cylon while a contestant in the Miss Caprica City Pageant. Ms. Roslin's critics look to her days as a pageant participant negatively, citing it as just another reason why she is unqualified to serve as Colonel Tigh's running mate.

Saul Tigh: Tough on Energy Usage

Saul Tigh minces no words when it comes to energy usage: "Gods dammit, cut back or you won't have any energy at all! The Cylons will have it all!" Enough said.

Roslin For Vice President

Saul Tigh's pick of a relatively inexperienced woman for a running mate was a risky but well-calculated choice. Roslin's executive order outlawing abortion in the fleet as well as her readiness to throw Cylons out the airlock will definitely resonate well with the base.

Tigh/Roslin 2008, so say we all.
The risk when selecting a relative unknown to be your vice-presidential candidate in relative secrecy is that you don't have the opposition and the press doing your grunt work for you. An under-the-radar candidate doesn't receive full-bore weapons-grade scrutiny until the limelight is upon them. And I expected something to come out about Gov. Sarah Palin, something embarrassing yet merely a hurdle to overcome -- like calling Hillary a whiner, slumming it in sports journalism, or just accusations of inexperience.

And then...oh my God.

I'm trying to figure out if this timing is a blessing or a curse for the Republican ticket. Do you want your VP candidate fielding questions about allegedly covering up her daughter's pregnancy as her own before the convention? Does that give you ample time to chat with Barbara Walters, put this story into your own framework? Or, if there is truth to this (and your brain trust missed it), do you get a plan B -- hold an uncomfortable news conference announcing that the family scrutiny is too much and drag Pawlenty or Romney onto the ticket?
Sarah Palin? Really?

It's an...interesting tactic, I guess, desperately skewing toward the elusive PUMA (well, those who kept their TVs off this week) while still pro-life. I don't see it working, though. Troopergate aside (which will feed right into the Democratic attack line of cronyism and corruption, politics as usual), I don't see her bringing women voters to the polls -- her popularity up north will probably cement Alaska's electoral votes (all three of them) which were leaning red anyway, but I don't see that appeal cutting into the Democratic base. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm just glad there are some fresh faces in the cycle this time around. Much, much more fascinating.

The ultimate benefactor of this move, regardless of how the presidential race turns out, might just be Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens, the Republican senator since the discovery of gunpowder, under indictment and seventeen points behind Mark Begich. I don't know that even Palin's place on the ticket will help him close the gap, but the man needs every ounce of help he can get. If Stevens pulls out of the primary and another Republican steps up to the plate, though, all bets are off.

Edit via the glory that is [livejournal.com profile] alstaria: Tigh/Roslin '08! This beats out my other dream ticket of Roslin/Airlock.
When you're a Democrat Senate candidate going up against a million-term incumbent in a so-red-it-hurts state like Kansas, down by only 17 points in the last poll, there's no room for error.

So the same state that brought you Dean of Student Life Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2002, brings you....

A campaign worker for Democrat Jim Slattery sent out an e-mail message today to thousands of supporters containing fictitious quotes and obscene language that ridiculed U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

The offensive message went to recipients this afternoon and purported to be written by Slattery campaign manager Julie Merz. It was followed by an apology from Ian Staples, deputy communications director for Slattery.

In fact, Staples sent out both e-mails. He said the first e-mail had been intended for internal use only but a software glitch with “placeholder” quotes was sent out rather than the final draft of the message.

In the first e-mail, Staples wrote that John of Dodge City said this of the veteran Republican senator: “Pat Roberts ... is an asshole.”

I love it when news orgs use the ellipsis of omission, because my imagination is much more entertaining than whatever reality is. (And this coming from a guy who's made similar mistakes with automated e-mail, as a few of you will remember....)


sigma7: Sims (Default)


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