The Joy of Comment Threads.

So I clicked a link at Slate yesterday that took me over to The Cut at New York Magazine to read an article asking insiders in the world of advertising the question many of us have been wondering: how the hell that Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad got made.  And while the article wasn’t a complete waste of my time, the true enjoyment came at the end, when the first comment to the post contained an example of the inability to recognize white privilege so amusing it actually resulted in coffee dripping off my monitor from the spit take.  Many thanks, dashodell.  You made my day.

“You feel like you don’t ‘have a voice’? I’m a 43yo white male and I don’t recall anyone ever listening to me or giving a shit about what I was saying.”

Exactly what we are all thinking, dash.  When are people in America ever going to listen to the poor, neglected, ignored white males for a change?

More Anti-Intellectualism in Advertising? Never, Not in America!

Continuing the grand tradition here at Foster Disbelief of highlighting especially idiotic television commercials/ ad campaigns, which began way back in October of 2014 with this take down of Toyota’s “Bold” campaign for their Camry, then continued recently with Cracker Barrel’s anti-intellectual ad for mac and cheese, I give you “No Debate” for the Dodge Charger and Challenger.

At least the Cracker Barrel spot was kind of amusing?  I don’t get this at all.  I mean, I guess that guy is famous for something, and his fans might enjoy seeing him in a commercial?  And it is funny when he interrupts the debate?  I mean, “NERDS!!!!”, amirite?  And then the girl is the one to slap the notes out of the boys hand at the end, which is supposed to be hilarious because the girl is bullying the boy dork instead of the opposite?

Sure makes me want to buy a Dodge.


Future headline:  “Dodge Stock Soars As Trump Supporters Flock To Buy Challengers and Chargers.”

You Know Guys, I’m Starting to Think Salon Has Something Against Hillary.

Quick stop at Salon (I know, I have a problem…), massive case of the eye rolls.

First we’ve got:

A liberal case for Donald Trump: The lesser of two evils is not at all clear in 2016

followed closely by:

Please, FBI — you’re our last hope: The Democratic Party’s future rests upon your probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails

Let’s quickly begin with Walker Bragman……wait, seriously?  *returns to Salon and clicks around his author page.*  Hmm, “Hillary is only Republican lite”,….ah, here’s “Fine, give the GOP four years,” wonder if he just expects all the Supreme Court justices to be fine and stay in office until 2020 or if he just doesn’t care?  Oh, wait.  I missed “Hillary supporters present a false choice.”  Hmm.  Oh god, sorry about that.  I got lost in his Salon history consisting of nothing but Hillary hit pieces.  Anyway, yeah, his name appears to be Walker Bragman and his is “a liberal case for Donald Trump“:

That said, now that the race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton is effectively over, with the former secretary of state essentially guaranteed the nomination, many liberals and progressives are preparing, once again, to vote for the lesser of two evils. The choice may not be as clear as some Democrats believe — especially if Democrats can take back the Senate and assure themselves of a check on a GOP House.

*raises hand*

Why the living fuck would we be expecting the Democrats to take back the Senate if the Presidential election results in a Donald Trump victory?

Like it or not, the Supreme Court needs to count for much more than anyone willing to concede 4 years to a GOP president is counting it.  GOP presidents have had a much stronger hand in shaping the present court, and that court has been horrible for those wish for a political system they can trust.  It isn’t all about reproductive rights, although if you honestly think we aren’t one judge away from allowing states to outlaw abortion, and if you really believe that they would stop at just abortion once they won that battle, then I envy you your ignorance supported bliss.  The current court gutted the Voting Rights Act.  Citizen’s United was their decision.  Union cases sit at 4-4 currently.  The Supreme Court matters.  It may be the most important result of the upcoming election.  Yet all of these “Sanders or Bust” or “HRC over my dead body” columns act like it’s no big thing.  I don’t get it.  Do they just think all the liberal justices are in perfect health?  Misogyny based on the ignorant belief that the only reason progressives care about the court is abortion access?  Forgetting that a Bernie Sanders presidency would more than likely see the Supreme Court rule every second move he made unconstitutional?  Refusing to believe in the third branch of government?  I just don’t get it.

Anyway, since any conceivable Trump presidential victory would result in the GOP retaining the House and Senate, I really don’t see the need to read any further.  Feel free if you want though.  When you’re done, join the rest of us below…..

As we mock H.A. Goodman’s open letter to the FBI.  (I’m serious.  That’s what it is.)  The letter starts right off raising the stakes super high for us readers:

“Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi.  You’re my only hope.

Wait, sorry, wrong letter.

To the Honorable James B. Comey, Jr. and all the good people at the Federal Bureau of Investigation,

Yeah, that’s all I can bring myself to quote.  I’m sorry, it’s kinda embarrassing, like that time Fonzie got roped into performing a water ski trick over a large fish.  The “TL;DR” version?  It’s a Bernie supporter who finally realized that the only way Sanders is going to get the Democratic nomination this year is if the FBI indicts Hillary before the convention, so he goes to the FBI, telling them how everyone else thinks they are total jokes who will never move out of their parents basements or get a date, but he respects  the FBI as a proud, patriotic, professional organization with VERY LARGE PENISES who should be held up as everything that’s right with America, and oh by the way if you would PLEASE INDICT HILLARY OMG PLEASE PLEASE I’M BEGGING YOU PLEASE!!!!

The saddest thing is that those of you who decide not to read the whole letter will never realize exactly how close my “TL;DR” summary actually is to the original.

I Wonder What They Talk About on “Gun Owners News Hour”?

Did you know that Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt hosts a show called “Gun Owners News Hour”?  Neither did I!  I wonder what they talk about on that show?  I bet it is about new products the gun industry is bringing out for law abiding, responsible gun owners, such as handguns that can fire legal armor piercing rounds, new triggers to make your AR-15 practically fully automatic (since the evil government has overreached and attempted to stop sales of the ARFA kit to make it full auto.  Thanks, Obama.), 30 round handgun clips (for self-defense.  duh.), youth rifles that come in pink, and children’s books such as “101 Things to Do in the Backseat with Mom’s Handgun.”  (Okay, I made the book up.  I was actually going to make up 4 or 5 crazy gun related products, but I kept finding real ones.  Sigh.)  Anyway, let’s see what the show is all about!

Conservative activist Jesse Lee Peterson appeared on the “Gun Owners News Hour” with Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt last weekend, where he repeated the thesis of his most recent book , which is that racism in America does not exist, but rather is a myth perpetuated by people like President Obama who was raised to hate white people and is incapable of feeling love.
God damn it.  Now there’s coffee all over my monitor.  What the fuck did they just say?

Peterson told Pratt that once Americans “dispel that notion that racism exists,” liberals will lose power because “their father the Devil” feeds on such lies.

The two then, for some reason, started comparing and contrasting Dr. Ben Carson, the former Republican presidential candidate, with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the pastor who became a right-wing lightning rod during Obama’s first presidential campaign.

Peterson told Pratt that African American voters didn’t support Carson’s presidential bid because they’re in an “evil state” and “prefer evil over good.”

“And yet, in their fallen state of anger, most blacks see Dr. Carson as the enemy and they see Jeremiah Wright as the good guy,” he said. “And even though Jeremiah Wright speaks evil, he is evil, but because they’re in that evil state, they identify with him over a good, decent man like Dr. Ben Carson. And blacks would never vote for him, the majority would never vote for him because any time a person who’s good like that, they see them as a sell-out, they don’t accept good, they prefer evil over good and they call evil good and they call good evil.”

So blacks who vote Democratic are in an “evil state?”  OMG!  If you add a “n”, it becomes the Demoncratic party!  Why didn’t I ever see that before!  The horror, the horror!

Earlier in the program, Peterson expounded on his theory that President Obama has been sympathetic toward the Black Lives Matter movement because he was raised by a mother who “hated her own race” and grew up without his father so “he doesn’t feel love, he has nothing but anger in his heart.”

Pratt evidently thought this was very perceptive and said that the president “has developed a very cold shell to cover that with and when I see him, it’s almost like looking at a robot, the lack of human emotion that’s on display.” Meanwhile, he said, the president has a “Mt. Vesuvius” of anger bubbling underneath.

Peterson agreed that “Obama is evil, he’s cold-hearted, he doesn’t care about anyone but Obama” but voters have never really understood “how wicked this man is.”

You know, as a 40 year old white man, I’m going to refrain from making the obvious point about who really “hated her(his) own race” and instead just wonder what the fuck any of this had to do with guns.  Oh, yeah.  I forgot.  Obama is coming to take away our guns.  Run for the hills.  Hide your weapons (and your white women).  The bad black President is coming to take them all away.

Any day now.
Definitely before the election.
Or maybe right after.
Or after he declares martial law and makes himself President for life.
Yeah, definitely that last one.  Bet the farm on it.

Dammit, Quit Feeding The Trolls

Do you know who Nicole Arbour is?  Without using Google, that is.  No?  Good.  Feel free to move along, this post doesn’t concern you in anyway.

Those of you who are left probably know her from her viral video “Dear Fat People,” or her kinda sorta follow up, “Dear Black People,” or maybe even her most recent bowel movement, “Dear Fat People 2: The Second Helping.”  Since you are reading a feminist supportive, progressive blog at the moment, I have to assume that, like me, you watched “Dear Fat People” and “Dear Black People” with the sort of fascination normally reserved for vehicular accidents, be they train or auto.  I’m not going to lie; parts of “Dear Fat People” caused me to chuckle even while I found it, on the whole, shallow and offensive.  Her latest video has zero redeeming qualities.  It is still shallow, it is hateful, and it supports the idea that there is one, and only one, standard of beauty that every woman should attempt to live up to, while being openly seen as “less than” if they fail to live up to the ideal.

While it is easy to assume that Nicole Arbour actually believes the vile shit that comes out of her mouth in the latest video (She is a Trump supporter, and happens to fit right into the standard definition of beauty in America), the sad fact is that these videos were released to be purposefully controversial in order to get views.  Something that she has definitely succeeded in doing.  She is getting video views.  She is getting talked about.  (Here’s a link to Salon’s latest piece on her and her new video.)  Sure, a lot of those views are probably from people nodding along with her, cheering as she tears into the “politically correct” culture that would dare to tell a girl who wears a size 10 that she’s not a disgusting fat pig, but I have to think a lot of those views are also from people who are watching while swallowing back the vomit that keeps trying to escape every time she opens her mouth.

I actually really hope she believes the stuff she says in her videos, believes that her fat shaming is really going to save someone’s life down the road, because the thought that she is viciously body-shaming other women just to get views is abhorrent.  Hurting people because you are shallow and don’t know any better is one thing.  Hurting people as part of a callous plot to draw attention to one’s self is on a different level entirely.

No matter what her true thoughts and reasons for making the videos are, one thing remains the same.  She doesn’t deserve our views or our attention.  This will be the last thing I ever write about Nicole Arbour unless she does something worth writing about.  I won’t be commenting on her videos anymore because I won’t be watching them, and I urge you all to do the same.  Life is far too short to waste any of it listening to this hateful persons cries for attention.  Youtube is filled with funny women who don’t feel the need to body shame other women for a laugh.  If I’m ever tempted, just to see what new hateful thing she has to say this time, I’ll watch Rachael Bloom videos until the urge passes me by.


And before I go, I’ve been debating whether or not this was too low of a blow, but then I realized that I really don’t care cause she opened herself up for it.

For Nicole Arbour to complain about Ashley Fucking Graham not meeting her standard of beauty is hilarious.  Even without taking personalities into account I’d choose Ashley over another cookie cutter, stick figure blond every day of the damn week, and twice on Sunday.  Ashley Graham is not beautiful for a plus size model.  She is just beautiful.  Full stop.

I’ll Take Race Baiting for $1000

You know, as a skeptic I really don’t give much credence to most conspiracy theories.  Once I hear one I normally take the time to do enough research to figure out if there’s anything to the theory, and for the ones I find most interesting I’ll learn enough to be able to hold an intelligent argument (well…as intelligent as possible) with any conspiracy theorist who I run into.  (Note, I said “hold” an argument instead of “win” an argument because, in my experience, you don’t “win” arguments with conspiracy theorists.  Any proof you use to counter their arguments just becomes further “proof” of the conspiracy.  It’s exceedingly difficult to use logic and evidence to get people to give up a conclusion they didn’t use logic and evidence to reach.)

That being said, sometimes I look at current events and have to wonder if there is a bit more below the surface than it seems at first.  Take Dr. Ben Carson (please.  *rimshot*) and the fact that he is still a candidate for the 2016 GOP nomination.  He has to have noticed that he has absolutely no chance of winning the nomination by now, yet in the race he stays in spite of the GOP’s desperate need to shrink the field to have any chance of stopping Trump from claiming the nomination.   So what gives?  Applying Occam’s Razor to the question results in me assuming that his entire presidential campaign was nothing but an over-promoted book tour, in which case why would he drop out until he absolutely has to?  The publicity you receive running for the presidency is literally priceless.  But then I stop and wonder if the real reason isn’t his ability to say things like the following without immediately being Photoshopped into a Klan robe.

Dr. Ben Carson is questioning the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s connection to the black community, arguing that it’s “a bit of a stretch” for Obama to claim he identifies with black Americans, because he was raised by a white mother.

“He’s an ‘African’ American. He was, you know, raised white,” the Republican presidential candidate said of Obama in an interview with Politico’s Glenn Thrush published on Tuesday.

Or who could forget this gem:

(Carson once said Obamacare was the “worst thing to have happened in this nation since slavery,” for instance.)

The theory (okay, hypothesis really) falls apart when you realize that it would probably be much more useful for the GOP to still have Carly “If my daughter was still alive, I’d fire her as well!*” Fiorina in the race to take potshots at HRC than having Dr. Carson hang around to throw barbs at a lame duck.  Of course, the GOP could just be much more worried about offending African Americans than they are of offending women, since it is a bit difficult at times to figure out if the GOP considers women full people, so take that reasoning how you will.  I still find Dr. Carson’s Endless Book Tour to be a more likely reason for his continuing presence in the race over any other, at least for now.


* I dedicate this Carly Fiorina’s daughter joke, tasteless as it may indeed be, to Eli Bosnick.  Love your work, Eli.

This Election is Like Fentanyl

For a political junkie, that is.  For someone who simply cares about the future of this country, this election is nothing short of terrifying, but for a political junkie, this mess is like fetanyl to an opiate junkie.  Fetanyl, for those fortunate enough not to know, is an incredibly potent (from wiki:” Fentanyl is approximately 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine and roughly 40 to 50 times more potent than pharmaceutical grade {100% pure} heroin“) prescription painkiller.  For a addict accustomed to heroin or more common prescription opiates, fetanyl (or many of its analogs) provides a surprisingly intense rush, and as such is usually highly valued.  Unfortunately, the very thing that draws addicts to fetanyl is also its worst drawback.  Fetanyl’s strength makes it incredibly dangerous as a street drug.  Anecdotally, I know of several overdoses caused by prescription fetanyl patches (and unless I state otherwise, all overdoses are caused by misuse and/or abuse of said drug.  I definitely believe fetanyl should be available to people who need it for pain reduction), and my own past experiences taught me to be very careful with fetanyl patches.  When you get into bags of heroin that contain fetanyl or an analog, you are getting into really scary territory.

This election is fascinating.  It is ludicrously long,  and completely unbalanced, yet both sides still have an amazing amount of drama unfolding.  The Democrats have been playing second fiddle, partially by the design of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s failed plan to make damn sure no one saw a Democratic primary debate this year, and partially due just to the sheer amount of crazy on the opposite side, but the story currently unfolding is incredible.  After losing to then Senator Obama in 2008, this was finally supposed to be HRC’s year.  Joe Biden gave her a bit of a scare before deciding not to run, but in the end the Democratic party mainly agreed that she would be the nominee.  Hell, her main competition wasn’t even a Democrat, he was a self proclaimed socialist Senator from Vermont.  The above mentioned chair of the Democratic party seemingly scheduled the debates to fly under the radar and insure that HRC would get through the primary season fresh and ready for the general election, while the GOP nominee would be limping in after a crowded primary fight.  Flash forward to today.   Sure, HRC “won” Iowa.  Sure, everyone already knew Bernie would do well in New Hampshire.  But if you are a HRC supporter you can not tell me you aren’t feeling the “here we go again” taste of 2008 right now.  I still feel that HRC will eventually secure the nomination, but I’m starting to come around to the idea that the previously unthinkable is possible as well.

This isn’t a normal election.  Just look at the other side for all the proof of that you’ll ever need.

I feel sorry for Jeb Bush.  Don’t read any of this as an endorsement, of course.  I still think his policy ideas are evil, it’s just a benign evil.  He’s not trying to be evil, that’s just the way he was raised.  He’s a Bush.  I don’t vote based on who I would like to have a beer with, but Jeb seems like a nice enough guy.  I wouldn’t mind having a drink with him, as long as we didn’t talk about politics or religion.  It’s hard not to feel sorry for the man when you see him bear hug a stranger who mentioned Bush could conceivably swing his vote, or quietly plead with a crowd to applaud his applause line.  Perhaps the memory of his brother’s time in office doomed Jeb’s chanced no matter what happened, but we’ll never know.  The crowded GOP field at first appeared as pins set up for Jeb to strike down.  Following his brother’s approach, he raised a ton of money before anyone else even knew there was an election coming up, giving himself the appearance of the eventual nominee.  Oh what sweet summer children we were back then.

If I would have told you, at this point last year, that 2016 would begin with Donald Trump finishing 2nd in Iowa before winning New Hampshire convincingly, you would have rolled your eyes and moved on to the next post or the next blog.  I never thought this was an impossible situation, but I admit I found it incredibly unlikely.  Like everyone else (well, almost.  Brad Friedman at Bradblog took him seriously the whole time) I thought Trump would fizzle out and one of the establishment candidates would take control.  Instead we have a complete revolt against the national GOP by the angry “base” they created over the past decades.  After Iowa it appeared as if perhaps Marco Rubio would be the establishment’s hail mary, saving the GOP from either Trump or Cruz.  That hope seems a bit further fetched now after Chris Christie finally justified his presence in the race by short circuiting Marco’s programming at the last debate.  Mr. Rubio finished back of Jeb and was shut out from delegates in New Hampshire.  Let me say that again.  He lost to Jeb.

Sure, Kasich came in second, but he isn’t a legitimate establishment choice.  He is far too moderate for the “base” that controls so many red states.  (And seriously, look at Kasich’s positions and realize how scary it is that he is considered too moderate.)  The GOP race seriously seems like it could come down to Ted Cruz v Donald Trump, and if that happens, what does the national party do?  If it was anyone else, the answer would be throw everything possible against Trump and hope for the best, but I can not see them siding with Cruz, a candidate many of them actively hate.

And yet, as fascinating as it all is, as much as you want to see what happens in the next debate, in the next primary, the dangers lurk below the surface.  The GOP’s Trump problem was hilarious until it wasn’t.  As long as any path Trump had to the GOP nomination ended in a general election defeat, it was all in fun.  As long as we knew Ted Cruz would lose in a landslide, it was a game.  “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.”  What happens if we do lose an eye?

They don’t even have to win to do damage.

But with the revolution in the Democratic party unlikely to end soon, it becomes increasingly more likely that instead of the GOP nominee emerging from a bitter primary fight to find an untouched HRC with a full war chest and the whole Democratic party behind her, they find they have to face either a self-proclaimed socialist in Sanders or HRC, both having just finished an equally grueling primary fight.  And then the “what ifs” begin.  If the nominee is HRC, what if Sanders voters stay home?  If it’s Sanders, does he cause establishment wing Democrats to stay home?  Can a “socialist” win a general election in the United States?  (Fwiw, I consider myself a socialist mainly.)  If it’s HRC, did Bernie hit her on the e-mails?  Did it hurt?  Is there a terrorist attack preceding the election?  (I find this to be incredibly likely.  Terrorism is normally intended to force a response.  ISIS wants an apocalyptic ground war on their territory.  They have to know that they are much more likely to get their war with a GOP president, and that a terror attack will push votes to the GOP candidate.  They aren’t stupid.  I hope our anti-terrorism forces are on the ball.)

As I said, the “what ifs”.

With fetanyl, the danger is overdose, always lurking in the shadows, waiting for you to get sloppy.  With this election cycle, it is President Cruz or President Trump.  Catastrophic results to a fascinating ride.

For those of you who don’t love politics, I apologize.  All you get is a possible Trump or Cruz presidency.  You don’t even get to enjoy the high.


Shed a Tear

Attention, fellow evil secularists!

While I am aware that most of you are quite busy this time of year, waging our non-stop war against a holiday half of us already celebrate culturally, I urge you all to take a quick time out from your assault on Christmas this December and think of poor Linda Harvey.  While we are all plotting who to say “Happy Holidays!” to next, or designing seasonal cups in minimalist, inclusive ways, all in our effort to persecute Christians, Mission America’s Linda Harvey used her column at the World Nut Daily to share her heart-breaking tale of holiday woe:

“Well, it’s that time again — time to get out the Christmas list and start hitting the stores,” she wrote. “The problem is — what stores? For any Christian who wants to spend hard-earned dollars with family-friendly, Christian-affirming retailers, restaurants and service providers, the list is growing shorter all the time.”

Harvey urged readers to avoid stores such as Macy’s, Target, Walmart and JC Penney, along with items from Mattel, Levi-Strauss and General Mills. For online shoppers, Harvey said that Amazon, Google and Facebook should also be off-limits.

Companies that post high scores on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, Harvey wrote, are joining “Satan’s Office Party” and “the nation’s leading self-declared enemies of Christians.”

Isn’t that sad?  I seem to have a bit of a cold, as I can not get a single tear to roll down my cheek over Linda’s plight.  Stupid tear ducts.  Also, I seem to have misplaced my tiny violin collection, which means I can not play “My Heart Bleeds for You” for her on the world’s tiniest violin.

So if any of you have a single tear to spare, or a little violin to condescendingly play for her, feel free to correct my oversights.



2015: When Dr. Frankenstein Discovers He Can Not Control His Creation

It’s almost funny.

Okay, I’m lying.  It isn’t “almost” funny, it is straight out hilarious.  But once the laughter dies out, we are left with the sad reality of a major political party imploding in front of our eyes with devastating effects on the nation.   Perhaps other democracies could weather a similar storm better, perhaps not, but what is undeniable is that our system, with its two major political parties accompanied by several meaningless “3rd” parties, is badly damaged when one of the two main parties, if you pardon my french, shits the bed.

I admit to having liberal pipe dreams of a reality where progressives held super majorities in both houses of Congress alongside the presidency, the same dreams I’m sure many conservatives have substituting in their own party, where economic and social reforms pass into law as fast as the Speaker can call the vote.  I also know that the scenario is not only unrealistic, but also not in the best interest of the nation.  The thought of the GOP with a rubber stamp, able to pass any legislation they desire rightfully scares me, but it’s not like I trust the Democratic party with that kind of power either.  They may give us a 15$ minimum wage and true nationalized health care, but we’d need it with all the unvaccinated kids running around, making sure there’s no GMOs out there, increasing yields and feeding hungry people.

Those are extreme examples of liberal idiocy, and I understand that there are anti-vax nuts who consider themselves conservatives as well, but the point is simple.  Conflict, argument, and debate yields better policy than rubber stamps.  No matter what party is in power, our system demands a strong opposition party.  We have ways for the minority party to affect legislation built in to the system.  I’m not running a civics class here, but the framework the founders set up encourages discussion and compromise, with the understanding that no matter how much members may disagree on issues, everyone is working for the betterment of the United States and its citizens.

Decades ago, when the GOP set “The Southern Strategy”in motion, no one understood what kind of monster they were building.  What they knew was that it worked.  The demographics at the time allowed Republicans to win elections on the strength of nothing but the votes of white men, as they routinely lost all other categories.   The cycle was now in place, as each election victory the Christian social conservatives delivered to the GOP caused the Republicans to cater to them more, counting on their turn out to get them the needed votes.  But when you court no one other than one narrow group, you risk irrelevance if that group ever falls out of power.  Perhaps in the 1970’s Republican strategists honestly believed the nation would always be majority Caucasian.  Perhaps they just didn’t care, figuring the strategists who came later would change tactics when the demographics warranted the switch.  Maybe they were just really racist.  Whatever the case was in the previous decades, today we live in a different country, both demographically and culturally.  The GOP has found itself in no-man’s land.

That “base” of the party that they spent so many years cultivating, through fear, xenophobia, and extremist rhetoric, makes up less of the population than ever.  After the 2012 election cycle, many members of the GOP admitted that in order to win the presidency, they would have to branch out and attract other groups.  No longer was “The Southern Strategy” a viable path to the White House.  Yet almost as soon as those words were printed, those who spoke them began to walk them back.  While that “base” wield less power than ever nationally, within the GOP it is an entirely different story. For in a country notorious for poor electoral participation, the so-called “base” exercises their right to vote yearly, and there are enough of them to cost GOP Congressmen and women their seat in primary elections if they are seen as RINOs, leading GOP representatives and senators to have to worry about challenges not only from the left, but from their right as well.

Who is this “base” that has taken control of the GOP?  They are the creations of right-wing talk radio, Fox News (Fair and Balanced!), and the Republican parties own propaganda.  They value ideological purity, not the ability to compromise.  They want what they want and are willing to watch the whole system crash and burn if they don’t get it.  They are poisonous to the party they claim as their own.  If you don’t see that, chances are you are one of them, as even many Republicans understand the damage they are doing.

Speaker Boehner resigned before teaming with the Democrats to pass a spending bill keeping the lights on in the Government til December, avoiding an unprecedented challenge to his leadership by “fellow” Republicans who want to shut the government down over deceptively edited hit videos on Planned Parenthood.  His almost definite successor, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, became much less definite after withdrawing from consideration yesterday.  McCarthy was just about as conservative as they come, as was Speaker Boehner.  They also believe in the system, and understand two vital rules in politics; you can’t always get what you want, and some hills are not worth dying over.  Why the hell would McCarthy take the job if he was destined to face the same attacks from his own party as Boehner suffered?

Perhaps the situation was best summed up by Representative Peter King (R-NY):

“This is unprecedented to have a small group, a tiny minority, hijack the party and blackmail the House,” said Rep. Peter King of New York.

Yep, sure is.  Wait til December when they shut down the government.

We’re living through history, boys and girls, make sure to pay attention.  The GOP has to deal with their creation, and no matter how they choose to do it, it isn’t going to be pretty, unfortunately, for either the Grand Old Party or the nation as a whole.  Sure it’s fun to watch them flounder and suffer the consequences of their own design, but those consequences affect all of us.

Two Quick Things.

First off, greetings m’lord, how’s the fog and  rain?  Not sure what caused the rather large influx of visitors from the U.K., but I’m not complaining.  Some of my fondest memories occurred on the British Isles.

Of course, that’s not enough to warrant a post, so….

Progressives, liberals, or whatever you prefer to call yourselves.  Can we please get off Ahmed Mohamed‘s underage dick?

He built a clock.  Yeah, the school’s response was idiotic, especially since they knew damn well it wasn’t a bomb (cause if they actually would have any doubts, you can bet the school would have been evacuated and the bomb squad called in to make sure), but it isn’t like this is the first time a school has responded idiotically to a zero threat situation.  Yeah, a lot of the stories the right’s outrage machine cranks out are false.  Kids don’t get suspended for reading the Bible, or praying silently at their desk.  But a girl did get strip searched over an Advil and a kid did get suspended for chewing his Pop Tart into a gun like shape.  I don’t remember either of them getting invitations to the White House, though the right did admittedly try to make the Pop Tart Bandit into a poster child for something or other.  (Which was every bit as ridiculous as the left making the Clock kid into a celebrity.)

Let’s be honest.

Photo provided by the Irvine, Texas, Police Department of the digital clock that 14-year-old Ahmed Mohammed made from a pencil case.
Photo provided by the Irvine, Texas, Police Department of the digital clock that 14-year-old Ahmed Mohammed made from a pencil case.

That is awesome.  When I was 14, if I would have built something like that I would have been proud as well, and I would have also wanted to show it off.  But in a post-9/11 America, where people are on edge and taught to report any unattended package, can you kinda understand how someone may look at that and get a bit freaked out?  Hell, first time I saw the picture, with no background information, I thought it was a fake bomb.  I would have still brought it in to show my science teacher, but I first would have explained to him/her what I was bringing in before hand.

Was the school’s response colored by a healthy dose of Islamophobia?  Yeah, probably.  Is it sad that we live in a country where I would urge any young person, no matter their race or religion, not to bring an awesome science project to school if anyone could possibly mistake it for a bomb?  Yep, definitely.  National paranoia doesn’t make us safer, just less free.  Depending on racial/religious profiling to prevent terrorism just increases the likelihood that the people behind the next attack don’t fit into those categories.  Protip: Not every Islamic terrorist looks like the stereotypical Islamic terrorist.  Do you think they can’t read or listen to the news?  That they are unaware that we pay special attention to those who “look terroristy?”That all, or even most terrorists are Islamic?  *cough*OklahomaCity*cough*

Ahmed Mohammed never should have been put in handcuffs.  The school’s reaction was insane.  But all “zero tolerance” policies are insane, just like mandatory minimum sentences are insane.  But he isn’t a “hero,” just another victim of the “zero tolerance” society we are creating.  I’m reluctant to do any victim blaming here, because I am far from convinced the school would have had the same reaction if he would have been Christian and white.

So yeah, feel free to continue bitching about a “zero tolerance” system that routinely treats kids like criminals for nothing.  But get off this kid’s dick already.  He’s underage.