Category Archives: rants

Rep. Jim Cooper FAIL


Rep. Jim Cooper, obviously getting angry phone calls from people other than me, explains his vote thusly:

“It’s largely redundant. Republicans don’t want you to know that,” Cooper told The Tennessean in a phone interview Thursday.

Um, actually, no. But before I get to that, let me remind everyone of the Rep. Jim Cooper who made a name for himself by his “mavericky” refusal to go along with politiized, grandstanding legislation. That Jim Cooper would never have voted for something “largely redundant” because, of course, if it’s largely redundant why the fuck are we wasting our time on it? I remember that Jim Cooper, don’t you?

But that’s not what this bill does. This bill requires the FBI director, secretary of Homeland Security and director of National Security to personally certify to 12 different Congressional Committees that each individual refugee does not pose a security threat. It basically gums up an already long and complicated process to the point where applications will be brought to a standstill.


Jim Cooper voted “aye” on the “American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act,” AKA the Let’s-punch-Syrian-and-Iraqi-refugees-because-we’re-scared-and-crapping-our-pants-and-also-we’re-ignorant Act.

One of only 47 Democrats, and thanks for playing, Rep. Cooper. I’m so over you right now. TN-05 is a pretty safe district now, thanks to Republican gerrymandering, so I’d say we’re safe to make a protest vote now, maybe even find someone who’s a more reliable Democrat who isn’t  stuck in the past and thinking being a Blue Dog is still what the kewl kids are doing.

I called his office and asked the guy who answered the phone what the hell  Cooper was thinking. I was told that “the Congressman supports Syrian and Iraqi refugees as long as they’re vetted properly.” Jesus Christ on a Saltine, they’re already vetted, and far more rigorously than the average shmoe coming into our country on a tourist visa. But thanks for buying into the pants-wettng Fright-wing Fox News meme. Super helpful for the rest of us moving forward!

I can just see it now: “even Democrats agree that refugees are a risk!” Or, even better, “even Democrats don’t support Obama!” Why, lookie here, it’s already on the Wall Street Journal:

In a rebuke to President Barack Obama, a substantial contingent of House Democrats voted for a bill the White House had threatened to veto ….

You ignorant ass. Why on earth would a terrorist subject themselves to a two year UN/Dept. of Homeland Security background check (which was improved in 2011 following the 2009 entry of Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, the two individuals Rand Paul has been fearmongering about)? Why do that when getting a tourist visa is so much easier? Hell, what about those “porous borders” desperately in need of a wall the wingnuts are always blathering on about? Wouldn’t that be easier?

Why aren’t we doing something about the fact that anyone on the terror watch list can still buy guns? Legally? Isn’t that important? In fact, the best indication we have that this entire thing is ginned up fear-porn BS designed to help Republican electoral prospects is this:


NRA defends stance on law that allows terror suspects to get firearms

The NRA says it’s just trying to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to buy guns — even if their names appear on a terror watch list.

Hey, Rep. Cooper: why don’t you do something about that? No?

Anyone who tells you that all of this ginned up fearmongering is anything other than political posturing designed to make voters run to Republican Daddy is lying. But thanks, Rep. Cooper, for playing along.


You are completely dead to me.


Filed under fear, Housekeeping, immigration, rants, Rep. Jim Cooper, Tennessee

“Republican” As A Synonym For Coward


Just as I predicted:

Christian groups break with GOP over Syrian refugees

Faith-based groups, who play a key role in resettling refugees to the United States, say they are dismayed by the wave of anti-refugee fervor set off by the Paris terrorist attacks and are urging supporters to contact elected officials on behalf of victims of the Syrian civil war.

Many of you may not know this but Southern Beale works with refugees. It’s been my job for the past two years. So when I hear Tennessee Republicans like Glen Casada say such repulsive things as,

“We need to activate the Tennessee National Guard and stop them from coming in to the state by whatever means we can. I’m not worried about what a bureaucrat in D.C. or an unelected judge thinks. … We need to gather (Syrian refugees) up and politely take them back to the ICE center and say, ‘They’re not coming to Tennessee, they’re yours.'”

… it really makes me want to punch that guy in the face. Really, the amount of ignorance and hate on display in such comments just boggles the mind. It’s like they’re in a race to see who can be the most despicable human being.

My students have told me stories here and there, so I’ve gained a little perspective  about what it’s like to be a refugee. One thing that’s clear is how hard it is to come to the United States; you don’t just get handed a ticket and land in Nashville. There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty. Some of my students have spent years in refugee camps. When they finally do make it through the arduous process, many of them don’t even know where they’re going. One of my students was first sent to Los Angeles, was immediately redirected to Idaho (Idaho!), was there for just two days (two days!), before then being sent on to Nashville. So  I think stories like this one are not unusual, current events notwithstanding.

Republicans are playing to their fearful, nativist, xenophobic base. I don’t for a second think that they believe the crap that they’re spewing. They’re just trying to gin up a response, and fear is their go-to emotion. Keeping people scared is what they do. Last year it was Ebola, this year it’s refugees. Republicans are the “OMG WE’RE ALL GONNA DIIIIIIE!” party.

What they don’t seem to know is that a large majority of the groups helping refugees navigate these uncertain waters are Christian. Organizations like World Relief, Catholic Charities, and Church World Service are all involved in refugee resettlement. That’s because once upon a time, Christians were interested in more than just abortion and gay marriage. They knew that Leviticus didn’t just have something to say about gay sex, but also about not mistreating foreigners, “for you were foreigners in Egypt.” So as Republicans race to the bottom vilifying people fleeing war in Syria, they’re also pissing off another large contingent of their base.

We’ve seen this all before. It’s an election year, they want to appeal to the lowest common denominator of their base, so they tweak that amygdala,  instead of trying to appeal to the better elements in their party. And come the next post-mortem, Republicans will continue to wonder why they’re perceived as the party that doesn’t care about people. Same as it ever was.

“Republican” is a synonym for coward. Not just because they’re scared shitless of everything — Muslim refugees, Ebola nurses, married gay people, you name it. But because they’re too scared to be anything else.


Filed under conservatives, Current Events, fear, Housekeeping, immigration, rants, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Vote, Dammit!

There’s been lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth over yesterday’s election results, which put a Fundiegelical wackadoodle into the Kentucky governor’s office, denied transgender rights in Houston, and some other depressing news.

It seems this happens every time it’s not a presidential election year. And there’s a very good reason for that.

Democrats don’t vote in off-years. They just don’t. There may be a lot of good reasons for it — voter suppression, working three crap jobs, etc. etc. but the bottom line is, rank and file Democrats don’t think it’s important to vote in non-presidential elections. They’re not going the extra mile to overcome the obstacles like they do in presidential elections. They just don’t see it as a priority. The volunteers aren’t there, the motivation isn’t there, the energy isn’t there.

Republicans sweep every off-year election (I don’t know, feels like it, at least). Republicans run on amygdala-tweaking issues like gays and ‘bortions and fear and loathing and that gets people to the polls every time. Democrats don’t seem to do that; if they do, it doesn’t seem to resonate. Yesterday we did have one sparkle of good news: the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court. Seems to me people understood the importance of that vote and they made the effort.

This is a big problem for Democrats. It’s why we have Tea Party nutballs in Congress and state legislatures voting on Agenda 21 resolutions. Now thousands of Kentuckians could lose their health insurance as a result.

Democrats, you need to figure this out. Not too long ago Nashville had a very important General Election where we voted for a new mayor. Several of my gay friends, people in their early 30s, did not vote. They “didn’t have time.” Really what they were saying is, they didn’t make the time (although with a week of early voting in Nashville, there’s really no excuse for that). Among those running were a candidate who voted for a GLBT non-discrimination ordinance, and someone else who said they were against such things. You’d think that would have been sufficient motivation. Someone who supports your right to exist, versus those who do not. In fact, one of my gay friends said he supported Megan Barry but when I asked if he voted, the answer amazingly was no! That’s some support, folks.

People, with support like that, how can Democrats win?

Fortunately, Nashville’s mayoral election went into a runoff and I badgered my non-voting friends mercilessly until they went to the polls, and showed me “I Voted” stickers to prove it.

But you know, this is a problem for Dems nationwide. And we will continue to lose elections until we figure out how to impress upon our voters the importance of, you know, actually making the effort to vote.

It seems stupid and it is, but this is something the DNC and state and county parties really need to figure out. There needs to be a public education campaign, there needs to be a real grassroots effort, from the churches to the unions to neighborhood organizations and every other group to get people off their asses. Every election. Not just every four years but every year.

Elections are every year, people! And if you don’t vote in every election, you’re a bad person.

If we can’t figure this out, the rest is just pointless. We cannot succeed with a party that doesn’t care about anything but the White House.


Filed under Democratic Party, rants

Relatable, Now With Electrolytes

Today’s front page of The New York Times has a story on Jeb Bush trying to lose weight, which is fine, I get that the political punditry wants to “humanize” presidential candidates and present a picture of them as “real people.” But this particular a piece of bullshit pissed me off:

The rigid abstemiousness runs the risk of putting him at a dietary distance from an American electorate that still binges on carbohydrates and, after eight years of a tea-sipping president, craves a relatable eater in chief.

What. The. Fuck.

America “craves a relatable eater in chief” who “binges on carbohydrates” like they do? No. I’m going to stop you right there, buckaroo. I don’t know from under which rock reporter Mike Barbaro pulled this piece of conventional wisdom, but let me say: nothing shows how out of touch you are from the rest of America than stupid statements like this. Americans don’t drink tea? Low-carb diets aren’t popular in the U.S.? Have you been to a fucking grocery store lately, buddy? A real one, not one of those little New York City corner delis, I’m talking the goddamn Kroger or Safeway. Do you ever step outside Manhattan for more than two hours?

Can we please stop portraying the American electorate and American politicians in such childish ways?

I am sick of this bullshit that crops up every four years, when the punditry suddenly decides it has its pulse on “real America” and it knows what we “crave” in a presidential candidate, which is to be exactly like their (completely false) image of us. We want to have a beer with them! But not any beer, certainly not one of those gay beers from Yurp, it has to be a manly-man beer! A Budweiser!

Do you people even hear yourselves? Do you hear how insulting that is to us, we Real Americans in the “flyover states,” not to mention how insulting it is to the candidates? Fucking-a.

Memo to the New York Times, writer Michael Barbaro, and the rest of you idiots in the political media: you have no fucking clue what America craves, so stop with the idiotic “real America” framing. You’re making fools of yourselves.

We do not have the luxury of playing that stupid media game this time around. We simply do not have the luxury of pretending to give a crap that the presidential candidate put Dijon mustard on his hot dog instead of a Real Murcan Mustard like French’s (irony alert). We do not have the luxury of debating whether Hillary Clinton should have gone to Taco Bell instead of Chipotle. And I am not going to pretend that because I live in Nashville, Tennessee my diet consists solely of deep fried fat balls and a side of sweet tea. It does not.

I am not going to pretend that I can’t relate to Jeb Bush because he’s on a Paleo Diet instead of binging on microwavable Mac’N’Cheezybits like Real Murcans. I can’t relate to Jeb Bush because he’s a conservative hawk who has embraced the architects of his brother’s Iraq War fiasco. I can’t relate to Jeb Bush because while he claims to favor small government, in actuality he inserted himself into the Schiavo family’s darkest hour. I can’t relate to Jeb Bush because he would return us to the same pro-corporate, pro-wealthy policies that sank the economy when his brother was in the White House.

What he eats for dinner isn’t even on my damn radar, you fools. Stop treating the electorate like idiots.


Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, media, rants

War On Terror Electric Boogaloo

Hey kids, let’s shoot a machine gun with the Navy Seal who killed Bin Laden! All it takes is a cool 50 grand:

Key contributors to a conservative group have received a special invitation: For $50,000, they can shoot guns and hang out this June with Robert O’Neill, the former Navy SEAL credited with killing al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The offer was recently made by the ForAmerica organization. Those invited have until May 10 to RSVP for an event at the Amangani Resort Hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The facility offers picturesque views of the Snake River, and is on the southern tip of Grand Teton National Park. A room there can cost more than $1,000 per night.


The ForAmerica group is run by America, Inc., of Reston, Va. It was founded in 2009 by Brent Bozell, a conservative commentator who also started the Media Research Center, which provides a conservative critique of the media. It received nearly $4.9 million in contributions in 2012, and $2.5 million in 2013, according to tax documents.

I am so sick of this jingoistic, pro-war, amygdala-tweaking, “wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross” bullshit fascism-disguised-as-patriotism we’ve come to expect from conservatives.

But hey, maybe I’m just being melodramatic, right? Silly woman. But nothing speaks — no screams — a morally bankrupt culture louder than this. Nothing screams that institutional conservatism is made up of a bunch of sick fucks louder than this.

War is not entertainment. Assassinating Osama bin Laden may have been necessary (I say may — because we never did have a national conversation about that, did we?) but for God’s sake, don’t turn it into a fucking fundraiser! Don’t cheapen this entire chapter of American history by monetizing it, for fuck’s sake.

What the hell is wrong with these people?


Filed under advertising, Afghanistan War, gun violence, rants

There Is No Santa Claus, Idiots

Jesus effin’ Christmas Tree. This explains what’s wrong with your modern conservative, in a nutshell. Arguments over whether Santa Claus was white, black, orange or green are completely ridiculous when you dial back a bit and remember one crucial thing: Santa isn’t real!

You know, I’d love to use this nonsense to point out all of the other fictitious things conservatives believe in: the free hand of the market, trickle down economics, tax cuts create jobs, Obamacare death panels, Conservative Jesus, etc. Seems like I’ve had to remind conservatives about the difference between fiction and reality before, back when they were pretending Jack Bauer was a real person and torture was the best defense against terrorism. But that’s not what’s going on here.

That conservatives are divorced from reality when it serves them is not news; that they will go to the mat in defense of Santa’s “whiteness” speaks to something deeper. This is about race and identity and the pathetic need to hang onto the idea of white superiority. It wouldn’t matter what race a mythic figure like Santa Claus is if conservatives like Bill O’Reilly didn’t feel so insecure about their cultural position in the first place. It’s another manifestation of the conservative inferiority complex, broadcast on Fox News for all the world to see.

There is nothing more ridiculous than a privileged old white guy arguing that no, black people cannot have Santa Claus. He’s ours. Do you people even hear yourselves?

And they wonder why the rest of the world laughs at them.


Filed under Bill O'Reilly, racism, rants, Republican Party, War On Christmas

Today’s Rant: Do NOT Correct Me, TwAppGoogleSoftBook


I finally figured out how to disable the universal autocorrect. You open System Preferences, go to Language & Text, click on the “Text” menu, and there’s a box which you can uncheck which says “Correct spelling automatically.”

Here ya go:

AutoCorrect pic

See, this is why I love Apple. No other product gives me that sense of satisfaction and well-being that comes from figuring out how to make it stop annoying the hell out of me.

You are hereby absolved from reading the rest of this post. All is well.


I do not update my technology very often, not because I’m a Luddite, but because I find every new incarnation of a device or app I use contains some horrible new “improvement” which invades my privacy or does something I don’t want or no longer functions as it once did. But as you all know, last week my creaky old MacBook went kaput and I had to buy a new one.

This one is about three generations more advanced than my old one. Instead of being gently lulled into that Brave New World with successive OS tweaks and software fixes, I’ve had to leap headlong into the modern era, and it’s like jumping into a pool of cold water. This laptop has a click pad which inexplicably makes things bigger if I rest my hand on it the wrong way. Also, as I’ve mentioned, WordPress no longer gives me a scroll bar to select “categories” and “tags.” That’s not so bad for tags, since you can just type them in, but for categories you really need to be able to scroll down the list. Inexplicably, the scroll bar appeared maybe twice? I don’t know what made that happen, but regardless, I can’t seem to repeat that scenario. Yes, FYWP.

But by far the worst “improvement” is the universal autocorrect, which I have yet to figure out how to disable. In the new Macs universal autocorrect will correct your typos as you type, regardless of what application you are in. Whether I’m on WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Pages, Scrivener, mail, or commenting on someone’s blog, my Mac will autocorrect me as I type along.

While this may sound like a good thing on paper, in reality it is the most evil fucking thing ever invented. I type really fast and I do make mistakes but I also 99.99% of the time correct them, because under the old system a typo was very obvious. Now my Mac corrects me as I go along, based on what it thinks I meant to say, and the misspelled word is no longer underlined so I haven’t even realized I’ve made a typo. Sadly, more often than not it picks the wrong fucking word. So, for example, last night I sent an email to someone and used the word “reply” but universal autocorrect changed it to “replay,” something I only noticed when my correspondent replied back to me. I look like an idiot.

Even worse, I use a lot of different language in my writing, neologisms and expressions like “whaaaaa!” or maybe even a French or Spanish word or two. When I’m writing fiction I write dialogue, and that means things like “Whi-” (stage direction: interruption). And no, MacBook, that was not meant to be “whig.” Thanks for caring, though.

People, I would much rather have an obvious typo in my copy than the wrong fucking word. Dear God but this is awful. I now look like an illiterate asshole, not an asshole who can’t type.

The absolute last thing anyone wants is their computer telling them what it thinks they meant to say. Make it stop. Please.


Filed under rants, technology

Anger Issues

This video clip has already gone viral so you’ve probably seen it, but in case you missed it: I bring you the face of our modern, pro-gun conservative movement. Filled with inchoate rage at their cultural irrelevance, unleashing a testosterone-fueled fury with firearms because we all know that’s what the need for this firepower is really all about: not to protect home and hearth or even to bring down a deer, but to release the stress that comes from constantly having that amygdala tweaked by those who profit handsomely from the chaos they create (Rush, I’m looking at you, buddy).

This is not your typical “responsible gun owner,” of which I know many. Those people are not the ones who see tyranny in gun background checks. This is the face of the gun lobby. This is the “real America” of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Ted Nugent. The only thing scarier than seeing some rage-fueled gun loon get his rocks off firing an array of weapons is the knowledge that he’s the chief of police in some pissant Pennsyltucky town.

All of that firepower and all of that authority still cannot stem the rage of his cultural powerlessness.

Dude, take a pill. You’ve obviously got some serious problems, and “libtards” are not among them. You’re not a Second Amendment hero. You’re what the rest of America recoils in horror at.

Get some help.


Filed under gun control, gun violence, rants

What The Hell Is Wrong With Stacey Campfield


Check out this hilarious exchange wherein Campfield (or someone posting as him) defends his “out the gay kids” part of his legislation.


Fresh off his “suffer the little children” legislation, State Senator Stacey Campfield, R-Sociopath, has brought back his “Don’t Say Gay” legislation for the third time, this time with an extra helping of hate:

The bill, SB 234, still bars Tennessee teachers from discussing any facet of “non-heterosexual” sexuality with children in grades K-8. But the newest iteration also includes a provision requiring teachers or counselors to inform the parents of some students who identify themselves as LGBT.

What could possibly go wrong! Gee, I think if a kid felt safe talking to their parents about issues of sexual orientation, they wouldn’t be bringing it up with a school counselor in the first place, now would they? Dumbass.

Look, three things need to be said about Stacey Campfield:

1- What the hell is wrong with you, son? Did you not get enough titty when you were a baby? Were you born without a compassion gene? Are your shoes too tight?

2- The culture wars are over. Republicans lost. Give it up.

3- Finally, rumors about Campfield’s own orientation have been rampant for years. If they’re true, then dangit I sure wish someone would please just out Stacey Campfield already.

You know what? I’m only half joking here. Good grief, but I’ve never seen a straight man so obsessed with all things gay who didn’t eventually end up on the wrong end of a rentboy scandal. Certainly not these guys. There has to be a reason Campfield is focused like a laser on all things gay, and self-hate seems as good a reason as any.

Campfield’s hate is damaging GLBT kids. And no, teen suicide is not “a lark.” Just ask the family of Jadin Bell. If Campfield thinks it’s perfectly fine for the state to mandate outing gay or possibly gay or maybe not even gay but confused kids to their parents — to leave these kids with nowhere safe to go to talk about what’s happening in their lives — then I hope someone returns the favor.

Also, thank you very much New York. Campfield is yours, he’s from Binghamton and didn’t move to Tennessee until he was 25 years old. I’m tired of Tennessee getting blamed for his fuckery; we’ve got plenty of our own home-grown bigotry, please don’t saddle us with the blame for this asshat. I spent a summer in that part of the world and let me tell you, there are as many rednecks in upstate New York and Pennsylvania as in Tennessee.

And finally, hope you’re enjoying your Republican super-majority, Tennesseeans. This is what you get when you vote Republican: a bunch of bullshit about gays, and constitutional amendments banning stuff we’ve already banned three times before, because Tennessee Republicans are too lazy to vote unless the General Assembly uses the ol’ carrot-and-stick approach. So much for the important stuff.


Filed under GLBT, rants, Tennessee politics

Just Shoot Me Now

God, fucking liberals, you annoy the hell out of me. As you may have heard, a “reporter” with Tucker Carlson’s right-wing rag The Daily Caller heckled President Obama in the Rose Garden today. The response has been about what you’d expect, with the wingnuts going full-frontal to embrace their new hero and the left … ah, well, let’s turn it over to Chris Hayes, shall we?

Yes, what would The Daily Caller say if a reporter with The Nation did this? Let’s ask The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel what happened the last time one of her reporters acted like a jackass to the president of the United States. OH WAIT. That never happened!

What is the fucking point of musing about what the “liberal media” would do if a similar thing happened, when both sides do NOT pull this shit. God. You’re killing me here. Just fucking stop it already.

But Katie Couric did ask Sarah Palin what newspapers she read and you’d think she’d asked her to explain thermonuclear physics.

Jesus. Fucking liberals, what the hell is wrong with you people? This is why we can’t have nice things. You act like jackasses.

Neil Munro is just this year’s Jeff Gannon, and Daily Caller is just the latest incarnation of Talon News. That some in the media are defending this tells us everything we need to know about the death of modern journalism.

Just, stop.



Everyone seems to think Hayes was being sarcastic, but I don’t read sarcasm in his remark. But the point is, he wasn’t the only one. Here’s another:


Filed under Media, President Barack Obama, rants