September 2010

I believe Dave Chappelle has already broached this difficult and challenging subject matter.


Mind you, Glenn Beck is not shunned and sent off to live the life of a hermit in the hills, or even given the rough treatment of, say, Helen Thomas:

The most incriminating book in my personal library is the only authorized biography of the poet Ezra Pound, inscribed to “my friend Graeme Wood” by its author, Eustace Mullins, whose work Glenn Beck cited yesterday on his show. Mullins was an open purveyor of blood libel: he claimed that Jews kidnap Christian children, ritually puncture their veins, and drink their blood as a restorative for their own degenerate bodies. During Pound’s involuntary commitment in St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington in the Fifties, Mullins visited him frequently, and under his direction, Mullins authored foundational texts in Federal Reserve conspiracy theory. Those theories have proved impressively durable. In addition to Glenn Beck’s citation yesterday, Pat Robertson’s books peddled variations on them in the 1980s, and elements of the Tea Party echo them now. (Short version: the Federal Reserve controls the world, and the UN is taking over the US via the New World Order.)

Mullins died in February at 86, and when I visited him in Staunton, Virginia, six years ago on assignment for The Jewish Daily Forward, he was already slowed by age, living in a creepy, dark rat-trap filled with religious icons, votive candles, and old newspapers. The wallpaper curled down off the wall in two-foot sections, and the chairs coughed up decades’ worth of dust when we sat down. He surprised me by snatching the Pound biography from my hands and inscribing it. The moment reminded me of the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Doctor Jones accidentally gets Hitler’s autograph in his notebook. […]

He told me that things were getting worse for the enemies of the Jews, and where once they came at him as single spies, now they attacked in battalions. They had tried to kill him seven times, most recently by cutting his brakelines.

They were everywhere. To find them, he said, watch CNN. David Duke showed up on the news via satellite up-link from the Tehran Holocaust-denial conference, and Mullins identified him immediately as an agent of Zion: no true enemy of the Jews could get airtime on a major network. “He’s a playboy. Some Jew must have taken him to Hollywood and given him a big pompadour. He looks like a homosexual from the most homosexual part of New York.” Duke, he said, was peddling ersatz Jew-hatred at the behest of the Jews themselves, as a way to discredit the anti-Semitic cause. Sharing airtime with Wolf Blitzer, he said, is its own proof of intellectual bankruptcy (admittedly not the craziest thing I ever heard).

I suppose this is yet more evidence of liberal fascism.

Not that it was ever in doubt but the Contract with America 2.0: This Time We Really Mean It is chock full o’ teh stupid.  Adam Serwer examines just a portion (you have to take the thing in small doses lest you gouge both your eyeballs out and eat ’em out of spite):

• Keep Terrorists Out of America: We will prevent the government from importing terrorists onto American soil. We will hold President Obama and his administration responsible for any Guantanamo Bay detainees they release who return to fight against our troops or who have become involved in any terrorist plots or activities.

Interesting idea. First off, there are already 359 convicted terrorists on American soil, 240 of which the government says have ties to international terrorism. That’s more than the number of accused terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison, which currently number at 174. Are the GOP going to deport all the ones who are currently here? Guantanamo is also a huge money hole. It costs 16 million dollars a year to maintain the detention camp in Cuba, 650,000 dollars a year per prisoner. By contrast, it takes 27,251 dollars a year to house a federal prisoner in the United States. Fiscally responsible!

• Demand an Overarching Detention Policy: Foreign terrorists do not have the same rights as American citizens, nor do they have more rights than U.S. military personnel. We will work to ensure foreign terrorists, such as the 9/11 conspirators, are tried in military, not civilian, court. We will oppose all efforts to force our military, intelligence, and law enforcement personnel operating overseas to extend “Miranda Rights” to foreign terrorists.

The GOP, in their reverence for due process, seems to have forgotten the whole “innocent until proven guilty” part of how trials work. They’re not terrorists unless they are proved to be terrorists in a court of law. There have been hundreds of civilian terrorism convictions in civilian court since 9/11, the vast majority of which were secured by the Bush administration. There have been four military commissions convictions in the past decade, and they are currently facing legal challenges that may put past and future convictions in doubt. What Republicans are promising here isn’t just a departure from the prior administration, it would ensure that fewer terrorists are brought to justice. 

Moreover, this document gives the impression that military personnel are tried in “military commissions.” They’re not, they’re tried in courts-martial. Military commissions were invented out of whole cloth to give the government an edge in terrorism cases. Whomever wrote this document either doesn’t know the difference, or is lying, neither of which should inspire much confidence. 

Finally, law enforcement doesn’t “extend” Miranda rights to foreign terrorists. Anyone, regardless of citizenship, already has Miranda rights if they are apprehended on American soil, unless the public safety exception is invoked. Moreover, when the administration began offering to work with Republicans on legislation to “modify” Miranda, Republicans balked because they know this complaint is nonsense and they just want to be able to attack law enforcement for upholding the law whenever a terrorist suspect is arrested.

No, you see, it’s a return to the principles of our founding fathers, small government, reverence for the Constitution, blargh, blargh, blargh. 

How could it not be?  Tea Partiers wear tri-corner hats.  QED motherfucker.

From Woodward’s new book, Saint Petraeus explaining his foreign policy in Afghanistan (not sure if Obama was consulted, but does it really matter?):

Woodward quotes Petraeus as saying, “You have to recognize also that I don’t think you win this war. I think you keep fighting. It’s a little bit like Iraq, actually. . . . Yes, there has been enormous progress in Iraq. But there are still horrific attacks in Iraq, and you have to stay vigilant. You have to stay after it. This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives.”

Winning is for quitters. 

Real men keep fighting.

Bonus Petraeus:

During a flight in May, after a glass of wine, Petraeus told his own staffers that the administration was “[expletive] with the wrong guy.”

This country is so fucked.

Your modern GOP:

Lifted from this guy’s twitter feed, on the beautiful coherence of the Teahadist movement:

It’s amusing that those guys use American independence mythology and imagery, yet use “anti-colonial” thinking as an insult?

Yeah, Obama’s supposed big sin is that he believes colonialism wasn’t so great.  As opposed to our ersatz founding fathers in tri-corner hat drag who think colonialism was swell.  Just like the real founding fathers!

Is there any doubt that these folks would have been the loyalists complaining about the liberals with their revolution talk way back when it counted?


The following is from a National Federation of Republican Women’s meeting in Charleston, South Carolina.  I believe the guy in the middle is one of the heirs of MLK’s mission, reclaiming the mantle of the civil rights movement on behalf of real Americans. 

Also, a hopeless nostalgic:

nfrw-main.jpg nfrw-003.jpg

Ah, the good ol’ days.


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