Category Archives: conservatives

Murica Murica Murica

Do you love Murica? Do you love it as much as right-wing propagandist/author/filmmaker/criminal/adulterer D’Nesh D’Souza does? Probably not! D’Nesh D’Souza has named so many of his little propaganda tomes “America” that he has confused the Great Gazoogle, and now if you are an America-lover like D’Nesh D’Souza and want to see his latest Murica-loving flick, named “America” (of course! Not to be confused with his last flick,
“Obama’s America,” though!), you had better not use the Google and maybe should try Fandango because Google’s algorithms say “that’s too much America, D’Nesh D’Souza!” What do you expect from a person whose first and last names begin with D-apostrophe? Really, people!

D’Souza’s camp is pretty sure this is all one big conspiracy from Liebrul-Obama-lovin’ Hollyweird, though:

“This is merely a reiteration of what we heard nearly a week ago, and yet the problem has persisted and potential moviegoers are still confused,” D’Souza told THR. “The American people need to know if Google is going to be a trustworthy source of news and information that doesn’t tilt in one political direction or another.”

Simultaneously to the Google controversy, Costco has been under fire for issuing an edict that all of its stores stop selling D’Souza’s latest book, America: Imagine a World Without Her, which is the source material for the movie.

Costco reportedly says its decision is based on lackluster sales, not politics, though critics point out that the book is poised to appear July 13 on the New York Times best sellers list. On Tuesday, the book was No. 3 at Amazon.com. Costco did not respond to a request for comment.

Poor little D’Nesh! He’s sooooooo oppressssssed, you guys! D’Nesh D’Souza is not having a good year, and it’s all Obama’s fault!

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Filed under conservatives, politics and film, pop culture

Isn’t She Special

Y’all probably don’t watch The Real Housewives Of New York City, which I admit is an occasional guilty pleasure of mine (don’t judge! Dorito’s for the brain, cripes, even I need to unwind every now and then). But there was this time about three or four seasons ago when cast member Kelly Bensimon had some kind of nervous breakdown on a trip to the Virgin Islands. It was one of those deals where everything erupted into what you thought was going to be a typical Real Housewives catfight, with Kelly yelling at the other housewives and they’re arguing back at her. But the conversation was odd, there were words but they weren’t forming coherent ideas that related to what anyone else was saying, and all at once you see the other women realize that Kelly was clearly experiencing some kind of mental breakdown. She started shouting “Al Sharpton! Al Sharpton!” apropos of absolutely nothing and cramming hard candies into her mouth.

And as the realization that something was seriously wrong with Kelly dawned on the other women you just saw them all back down and say, “okay, we’re not going to argue, there’s something wrong here, let’s get you some help.” I mean, it was truly amazing to see, how they all at once realized that they were not dealing with a mentally healthy person but someone having a clinical episode of some kind.

That’s kind of how I feel after reading this interview with Victoria Jackson (warning: there’s an annoying auto-start ad at the link so turn your volume off if you don’t want to be screamed at.) I just can’t piece out quotes and make fun of someone who clearly is just … not … all right up there.

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Filed under conservatives, pop culture, Saturday Night Live, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Follow The Links, People

[UPDATE]:

Thanks to my friends at Wonkette, it appears this whole smear started in the most predictable of places: the lying liar Frank Luntz:

LuntzTweet

Well, nobody could’ve anticipated ….

———————————————————–

This almost seems too petty to be believed, except it’s such a classic example of how the right-wing smear machine works that I just had to share it.

Our travel through the conservative cesspool begins at The New York Times, where we have this innocuous little story about the White House executive pastry chef leaving his position in June. Here’s the tantalizing lede:

WASHINGTON — The first lady, Michelle Obama, is soon to lose her executive pastry chef, Bill Yosses. And she is partly to blame.

Ooh, yummy! What did that wretched woman do now? Ah, it’s all fun and games, as the story goes on to say that FLOTUS has inspired Chef Yosses’ newfound interest in healthy food. Oh, okay! They were joshing us. Indeed, Yosses was originally famous for his rich desserts, but he changed his ways at the direction of Mrs. Obama and has a new culinary calling. Not only has he changed his own diet, he’s found a new passion for creating healthier yet still delicious dessert treats:

She has piqued his interest in the relationship between food and health, he said in a recent telephone interview, so the man who made the Hawaiian chocolate-malted ganache for the White House state dinner for France is now headed to New York with an aim to teach children and adults about eating better. In the meantime, he has given up his usual breakfast doughnuts for a smoothie made with apple, kale, spinach and ginger — from time to time.

Oh! So the Times was just using a time-honored literary device to pull readers into the story. Nicely done. The chef further tells the Times,

The result — oatmeal bars, baked apples and pear-quince cobblers, among many others — will have a lasting impact on his eating habits, as will Mrs. Obama.

“She has done it with humor and good will, without preaching, just the way you would hope the ‘Mom in chief’ would do,” Mr. Yosses said. He called her “definitely an inspiring boss, a combination of spontaneity and seriousness.”

Hugs and kisses all around! The openly gay chef will get to finally live with his husband of three years — they’ve been separated for their entire 11-year-relationship — and Chef Yosses has found a new career direction. So, a nice little (dare I say it?) fluff piece, yes? Nothing to see here, move along.

Unless you’re The Daily Caller, of course! Over at Tucker Carlson’s Little Conservative Lie Machine, a nothing little story about the White House pastry chef is given a complete 180 and turned into a major smear of FLOTUS.

Here’s the screen shot:

daily_caller_smear

Nice way to take quotes out of context there, guys! See how they mashed up the Times piece to put an entirely new spin on what Chef Yosses actually said:

White House executive pastry chef Bill Yosses is resigning after First Lady Michelle Obama fundamentally changed his job duties to focus on healthier food.

Yosses is leaving the White House in June to work on a new project focusing on “food literacy” and The New York Times says Michelle is “partly to blame.” The openly gay chef was hired by Laura Bush in 2007 to make his trademark cookie plates and sugar sculptures. Mrs. Obama took over in 2009 and ordered Yosses to make healthier plates in smaller portions.

Yosses began replacing butter with fruit puree and sugar with honey and agave. But Yosses was never fully committed to the new policy.

“I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs,” Yosses said, noting that his departure from the White House is a “bittersweet decision.”

Oh, I see what you did there! That nice twisting of facts and quotes to give them an entirely new context is what we in the business call “fundamentally true but essentially bullshit.” Just enough plausible deniability to prevent a lawsuit in these United States — but don’t try that shit in Britain, Patrick Howley! You’d get your ass sued.

Oh, and give them extra points for actually linking to the original New York Times story. That takes balls. It appears the business model of The Daily Failure is to assume nobody follows links. Considering how lazy the right wing readership is, I’d say that’s a pretty good gamble.

But our little story isn’t finished, kids. Nope: along come the usual rabble of right-wing idiots like Tennessee’s own Marsha Blackburn to post the “smear” version of the Chef Yosses story on Facebook, with a snarkly little anti-Obama quip to feed her brain-dead followers:

blackburn page

This takes talent, it really does. This is how the conservative bubble operates. None of this would work if just one person followed the links from a Daily Caller story and actually compared the two versions. But they don’t. Clearly Marsha Blackburn didn’t — she didn’t need to. Because what matters to them is not what’s actually true, but what they want to be true. And they want to believe that even the White House pastry chef hates Michelle Obama. The entire right-wing spin machine is created to make a fringe minority believe they are a persecuted majority. It’s how the outrage stays alive.

This is not something Democrats need to aspire to in any way, shape or form, but it is something we need to be aware of the next time someone tries to launch another Swift Boat attack on a war hero or tries to sell death panels and FEMA camps to the masses.

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Filed under conservatives, FLOTUS, food, media, Rep. Marsha Blackburn

D’Nesh D’Souza’s Very Bad No Good Year

God I almost feel sorry for the guy except, y’know, he’s a pseudo-intellectual dick, so I don’t:

Conservative commentator, author Dinesh D’Souza indicted

(CNN) – Conservative commentator and author Dinesh D’Souza has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of making illegal contributions to a U.S. Senate campaign.

D’Souza allegedly made and arranged $20,000 in campaign donations to an unnamed campaign in 2012 and then reimbursed those who were directed to make contributions, according to the charges handed up in New York City.

Oh, woopsies. The New York Times report indicates the candidate in question was Wendy Long, New York’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate who lost to Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand. Apparently D’Souza and Long went to Dartmouth together.

Not too long ago D’Souza was a very prominent conservative columnist and author, affiliated with such notable right-wing outfits as the American Enterprise Institute, the Hoover Institute, and National Review Online. He authored numerous books with juicy titles: stuff like The Roots of Obama’s Rage, Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream, The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, Ronald Reagan: How An Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader and The Virtue of Prosperity (those five titles alone summarize the entirety of conservative thought, don’t you think?). He was also the guy who brought us that anti-Obama “documentary” “2016: Obama’s America,” which peddled conspiracy BS right before the election.

D’Souza was also an outspoken cultural and religious conservative, and president of King’s College, a private Christian college in New York City. A little over a year ago he got busted traveling with a woman who was not his wife — to be fair, D’Souza and his wife were divorcing and the other woman was his fiancee. But Christian colleges frown on such shenanigans and he got axed.

That was October 2012. Things just haven’t gone his way since.

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Filed under conservatives

Don’t Know Much About Biology

I can’t imagine why Republicans have a woman problem with idiots like Erick Erickson spouting insane shit like this:

“I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science. But liberals who defend this and say it is not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology — when you look at the natural world — the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complimentary role.”

Actually, no. Not even close, idiot.

Erickson, who shared these pearls of wisdom in an all-male panel discussion about working women on Loud Obbs, is showing his remarkable ignorance of science, evolution, and the natural world — not to mention history and anthropology. He’s pathetically trying to shoe-horn his right-wing ideology exactly where it doesn’t belong, and he’s making an ass of himself. May I suggest another place to put that ideology? Some place dark, moist, and not all that pleasant-smelling?

The one thing any observer of the natural world knows is that the animal kingdom is marked by its diversity. Boy Biologist Erick’s first mistake was to open his yap and say “typically” in regards to the natural world. Because nothing is typical in nature. No such thing, Boy Biologist. But Erick seems to think because male homo sapiens are physically larger than females, every species is that way. His second mistake was to equate size with dominance — something else not borne out in the natural world. Sometimes, but not always. Especially not when dealing with species such as humans, with our ginormous brains and all.

Let’s start at the bottom of the food chain for an example. That would be the male spider, frequent post-coital meal of the larger, more dominant female spider. Or let’s look at fish. Did you know that all clownfish are born male? And the most dominant male clownfish becomes female? True story. It appears a male clownfish’s highest aspiration is to be female. Suckit, Boy Biologist.

The animal kingdom is filled with examples of female-dominant sexual dimorphism. And in many animal species, it’s not just size which matters: it’s social order and behavior, too. Look at hyenas, where females have all the power — and it’s inherited, regardless of other hyenas’ age or size. Even in primates, female dominance is prevalent.

But silly me. Boy Biologist Erickson and his friends at Loud Obbs don’t care about science. They are anti-science, we all know it. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t keep opening their yaps and letting all the stupid fall out.

Here’s some science for you guys. This one comes from the Southern Beale archive:

You know, I can’t imagine what it’s like to have my reproductive organs flying around loose in the breeze where any predator, fungus or hunting accident could come along and snip it all off, making me evolutionarily irrelevant. That’s a hard burden to bear, a not-so-subtle reminder of how biologically dispensable you guys really are. There are always more males out there willing to spread their seed; it’s the female of the species who carries the burden of the species’ survival. We’re the ones who not only bear the young but care for them as well.

This isn’t me talking feminist claptrap, this is basic evolutionary biology: the bird that’s going to get snapped up at the feeder is the bright red highly visible male cardinal, not the drab brown female blessed with a natural protective camouflage. She’s more important in the grand scheme, which is why she’s been given this protection. God I know that chaps y’all’s ass big time.

It’s the battle of the sexes, played out over thousands of years. Men are bigger and stronger and take down a mammoth but for all your bravado it’s we women who keep the species going. And you’re just dying to control that, too.

Sorry, fellas. I love you, I really do. But when it comes to science and stuff? You’re sorta disposable. That doesn’t mean I’m ready to retire to Amazonia, I’m just pointing out what we science-y types learned in evolutionary biology 101.

So yes, Republicans, do tell me how the war on women is all in our pretty heads and how you’re not anti-science. I’m all ears.

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Filed under conservatives, Erick Erickson, evolution, feminism

Anne Boleyn’s Head

Peggy Noonan is a very weird lady. Noonan wrote a column scolding liberals and liberal Catholics for having the temerity to hold an opinion that differs from Peggy Noonan’s on the next Pope. For your enjoyment, an excerpt:

I once read an account of Anne Boleyn’s death. In the moments after she was beheaded her head was held aloft by her executioner, to show the crowd. Her nervous system was shocked, her neurons misfired, her head didn’t know it was severed from her neck. Her eyes blinked, her mouth moved crazily. Those critics who go on TV now to tear down what they don’t even understand: they are removed and unknowing. They are Anne Boleyn’s head.

Well, that’s an interesting characterization. I guess comparing us to Hitler no longer had the desired shock value.

Now that it appears Anne Boleyn’s zombie head has prevailed, maybe Nooners will shut her own yap.

Also, be warned: I have claimed Anne Boleyn’s Head as the name of my all-female punk rock band.

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Filed under conservatives, media, religion

Steve Gill: Don’t Let The Door Hitya Where The Lord Splitya

Nashville-based syndicated conservative talk radio host/Tea Party hero Steve Gill is quitting his radio show. All together now: Awwwwwww. You’ll love the reason why:

He said the growing corporate influence on radio also has made it more difficult for small broadcasters to thrive.

“When we started 15 years ago, radio was a different animal,” Gill said. “The way corporations work, it’s difficult to have a grassroots, listener-focused show right now.”

Wow. The guy who never met a tax or regulation he couldn’t slam, who devoted his career to selling free market snake oil, who promoted the Tea Party every chance he got? That guy? He appears completely oblivious to the fact that the very policies he promotes has created an environment of corporate consolidation, which actually suppresses free markets and free speech.

Facepalm.

But sure, Steve. Remind me how the Muslim Brotherhood is behind the Murfreesboro Islamic Center, how we need to kill Julian Assange, or how Obama’s nomination of Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State violates the Constitution. Or how high gas prices are Democrats’ fault. Dude, you were always focused on the wrong things. The foamy-mouthed, hate-spewing, fearmongering, bash-the-left stuff. Can’t believe WKRN hired him has a “political analyst.”

I mean, I could spend all day dredging up more of Steve Gill’s greatest hits, but I think you get the point. Gill is the worst sort of political hack who never missed a chance to twist a fact or gin up an outrage if it slammed liberals, President Obama, or any politician with a “D” after their name. Amazingly, people seem to be tired of that shit! Hoocouldanode?

The free market has spoken.

I’m not crying for Gill, he’ll no doubt benefit from Wingnut Welfare. But at least he won’t be spreading his crackpot ideas on the public airwaves anymore.

By the way, I dredged up this excellent 2009 piece from the memory hole. Mary Mancini saw it all coming. She predicted not just the decline of conservative hate ratio, but the destruction of the GOP brand overall.

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Filed under conservatives, Media, Steve Gill, talk radio, Tea Party, Tennessee

The Great Tea Party Con

UN-believable. Anyone who gave so much as $1 to the Tea Party got fleeced in a well-orchestrated conservative con job:

“The arrangement was simply FreedomWorks paid Glenn Beck money and Glenn Beck said nice things about FreedomWorks on the air,” Armey, the former House majority leader, told Media Matters Friday. “I saw that a million dollars went to Beck this past year, that was the annual expenditure.”

Armey, who left the organization this past fall after a dispute over its internal operations, said a similar arrangement was also in place with Rush Limbaugh, but did not know the exact financial details.

Wow. So the Tea Party was basically a massive shake-down by the conservative media. Beck and Limbaugh get all the white folks in a lather about some invented Obama conspiracy they cooked up, then they tell everyone to donate to FreedomWorks to fight said manufactured horrible thing, and all the money goes straight back to Beck and Limabugh.

You know what gets me? That Dick Armey had nooo problem with this little scam as long as he was in charge of FreedomWorks. But he obviously knew the whole set-up was a grift, because he wouldn’t be spilling the beans about it now.

These people have no shame. Every damn one of them should be thrown in jail for fraud. The syndicators and networks who aired their programming were complicit in the fraud, and they need to be held accountable too. And finally, the MSM which decided the Tea Party was some shiny-sparkly political toy deserve to go out of business for their negligence.

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Filed under conservatives, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Tea Party

Grand Old Graft

This story of Dick Armey trying to take over FreedomWorks with a gun-wielding enforcer in tow cracked me up. There’s a lot that’s outrageous here but the part that got me was the way they got rid of him: they wrote him an $8 million check. If only all of our gun-wielding nutjobs were appeased so easily.

Also: I’m pretty sure when a guy walks into an office with an armed accomplice and walks out with money the word for that is robbery. But I’m just an old-fashioned housewife from Tennessee. What do I know.

This is how your modern Republican Party works, people. It’s all about the Benjamins. It’s funny because just last night I read “Blues Cruise,” New York Magazine’s take on the NRO’s post-election Caribbean cruise, followed by Bruce Bartlett’s post-election bridge-burner, “Revenge Of The Reality-Based Community.” Both pieces present different sides of the same coin, which is the GOPs alternate reality problem. And what I realized after reading them both is that conservatism, and the Republican Party in particular, is no longer a political party or ideology. No, it has disintegrated into an elegant, elaborate money-making scheme. What Dick Armey did with his gun-toting friend is the apotheosis of modern, institutionalized conservatism. It’s simply perfect. Hollywood couldn’t write a better epilogue for the GOP’s election loss.

Here’s the thing: A lot of us have looked with great puzzlement at the Republican Party’s strict allegiance to an alternate conservative reality, their disinterest in facts, and their willful denialism (or, to use the wonky term, “epistemic closure”). It makes no sense to anyone looking at the GOP as a political operation. This self-sequestration into a conservative bubble is completely at odds with what a political movement should do. Don’t they want to win elections? Don’t they want broad appeal? Isn’t the point to put your policy stamp on the governing mechanism? Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about?

But no, we’ve had it all wrong. They don’t want to govern. That’s the last thing they want. They want money. End, full stop. They want to keep the national amygdala tweaked, keep telling the rich precisely what they want to hear, and keep the donations flooding in. Spend that money on renting your own mailing list to ask for more donations. Or another con, it doesn’t matter. As long as the money keeps coming. It’s really that simple. It’s all a huge grift.

This isn’t a new revelation by any means — Rick Perlstein pretty much laid it out in The Long Con: Mail Order Conservatism — but I always assumed the con referred to a few leeches sucking off the system. There will always be some Glenn Beck types playing the rubes in Missouri and Tennessee, selling their snake oil and taking advantage of the gullible in flyover states. But I didn’t realize the whole fruit was rotten. I didn’t realize, until now, that the con is the point of the Republican Party. The Republican Party and all of its ancillary operations are simply mechanisms for making money. Again: end, full stop.

This explains so much. It explains all of the petty graft at the heart of the GOP. It explains why we have dysfunction in Washington. One party doesn’t want to win the policy debate, they don’t really care about their legislation, they just want a talking point for the next fundraising letter.

And it explains the incredible infrastructure they’ve built up — the think tanks, the polling firms, the media outlets, and on and on. It’s all carefully (and expensively) crafted to reinforce a conservative alternate reality, firmly planted sometime in 1988 when Reagan was still president, whites were still a majority, the Soviets were our clear-cut enemy, and conservative ideas still had some credibility.

That reality is 25 years in the past but shh… don’t tell conservatives that. They might stop the money flow.

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Filed under conservatives, Tea Party

Real Americans

Every now and then a member of the conservative establishment unknowingly shares the truth about their worldview.

This is such a case:

Today, The Corner linked to a conversation with Jonah Goldberg and John O’Sullivan on “the problem of demographics for the Republican coalition.” The pull-quote in the link explained that if the GOP is to win over asian-american and latino voters, it must “persuade them to think of themselves primarily as Americans.” I can’t understand why they’re having trouble, given this keen understanding of the voters they’re trying to reach.

The full quote is at the link, but it basically says the same thing, just more words. Most liberals jumped on this as two top conservative pundits once again being clueless, patronizing and racist toward ethnic voters. And yes, assuming Asian Americans and Latinos don’t think of themselves as “American” is clueless, patronizing and racist.

But let’s flip this argument over. Jonah Goldberg, John O’Sullivan and the editors of The Corner are saying that any group which views itself as American must by default be Republican. It is inconceivable to them that any person who views him or herself as American could be a liberal. Let that one sink in for a minute.

This is what happens after a generation of political warfare, of convincing yourself and everyone else that you own the flag, you own patriotism, you own soldiers home from war, and babies, and Christmas, and success, and Mom and apple pie — in short, everything the culture ever identified as part of being “American.”

And of course we’ve heard hints of this before, from the likes of Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, Allen West, Ann Coulter and the rest of those folks in the crazypants corner of the GOP. It is, in fact, what’s behind all of that birther nonsense. But usually the GOP establishment swoops in to do damage control, either disavowing the statement or wresting a retraction from the poor GOPer who forgot he or she was supposed to speak in dog whistles. Rarely is it put so bluntly by a member of the conservative elite.

The Republican Party will never open its tent in any meaningful way as long as the nut of their worldview is that they own being American. Until they start seeing those citizens who think (and vote) differently from them as also being American, they will not be a viable alternative to anyone outside the 27%.

In February 2012, conservative author Bruce Walker wrote this:

The data is consistent, overwhelming, and clear. Conservatives are the Real America. Leftists are colonial governors, small in number, controlling through fear and intimidation from heavily guarded forts at the chokepoints of society, unable to persuade more than a slim minority of Americans to follow them, and protected from the destruction of their own administration. Our campaign against the left is nothing more or less than a national liberation movement. We, not they, are America.

Walker is a nutjob, who writes, lives and breathes on conservatism’s radical fringe — but, sadly, that fringe has been allowed to permeate conservatism’s epicenter. Walker’s “we are the real Americans” perspective is clearly part of the conservative DNA. And guess what: Walker was convinced that Republicans would win big in November, because his unskewed polls told him America is a conservative nation (BTW, I link to Walker’s columns because they are truly hilarious. Go over and read a few, have a good laugh.)

And therein lies the problem. Republicans don’t just need to expand their political tent; they need to expand their concept of what it means to be an American. I’m just not sure they can do it. They’re going to continue to believe their dog whistles speak to everyone, when they just speak to the 27%; they’re going to continue to slip up and oopsies say something boneheaded like, “Latinos need to think of themselves as American before Republicans can reach out to them.” And crackpots like Bruce Walker are going to continue to write laughably out of touch articles proving how hermetically sealed the conservative bubble truly is.

It may take an entire generation to fix what ails the GOP.

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Filed under conservatives, racism, Republican Party