Tag: Corrupt Politicians


I think Ruben Bolling pretty much nailed my opinion on the misplaced priorities of the latest raft of Obama Administration scandals.

You know what? If an organization has the words "Tea Party" in its name, it's probably a partisan political organization that shouldn't be given tax-exempt status!

So why did the IRS go after groups with "Tea Party" in their names, and not, oh, I don't know, ...
...actually, I really don't know. Finish that sentence for me, everyone who is morally outraged that the IRS looked for "Tea Party" as convenient shorthand for "partisan political organization". What word or phrase should they have been looking for to nail partisan Democratic organizations to the wall in 2010? Name a ubiquitous catchphrase from the 2010 election season that was synonymous with the Democratic Party.

The Tea Party orgs weren't victims of a partisan witch hunt, they were victims of their own success. Democrats weren't targeted because they didn't have their shit together. They didn't have an easy, two-word phrase that was endlessly repeated in the media or associated with nationwide rallies.

The most upsetting thing about the IRS scandal is the prospect that the IRS will now be gun-shy about questioning partisan political organizations about whether they should really be tax-exempt. That's something they really should be doing -- and yes, they should be doing it to both parties. I'm just noting that, in the election cycle in question, one party made it a lot easier on them than the other.

As for Benghazi -- Benghazi was a tragedy. And the Obama Administration gave pretty mixed messages in the days after about whether it was a planned terrorist attack or a spontaneous outburst.

It's entirely possible that the Obama Administration deliberately delayed making a connection to Al Qaeda because it was right before the election. I wouldn't put it past them. And if that happened, then yeah, that's pretty fucking distasteful.

But when the same sons-of-bitches who praised Bush for what great leadership he showed in failing to stop a certain other terrorist attack on a certain other 11th of September, and who praised him for lying about Iraqi WMD's to drag us into war, rant about how the Benghazi talking points are worse than Watergate, well, Darrell Issa can go sit on a rusty rake.

Spying on the AP, on the other hand? Yeah, I can see room for some Watergate comparisons there. Which I suppose is why it's a distant third on the Fox News Obama Scandal Talking Points.

Course, it's kinda hard to act outraged at a governmental war on whistleblowers when you've spent the past three years crying for Julian Assange's head on a platter, but it's not like Fox News has ever let ideological consistency get in the way of cheering for Republicans and deriding Democrats. Trevor Timm at the Freedom of the Press Foundation recently penned an article titled Virtually Everything the Government Did to WikiLeaks is Now Being Done to Mainstream US Reporters; this of course is precisely what Wikileaks' defenders were warning everybody about when this mess started. That's the thing about the First Amendment -- you start carving out tiny exceptions, sooner or later you're going to find out they're not so tiny after all.

So yeah, I'd say the only legitimate scandal here is the one that the Republicans are spending the least amount of time on -- and the only one where nobody's been fired and Obama's said everything went exactly the way it was supposed to.

It would be great if we had a real opposition party; Lord knows we need one. We need politicians who are really willing to stand up to the President's excesses, for the right reasons instead of just to get attention and campaign contributions.

Sometimes I worry that the closest thing we've got in Congress to someone who's really willing to stand up to the President when it matters is Rand Paul. And that thought depresses me so goddamn much I think I'm going to go grab another beer.

Watch the Bigoted Shit Squirm

Heading south on the 17 tonight, I passed not one but two billboards exhorting me not to sign the recall petition for Sheriff Joe Arpaio. (Too late, asshole.)

This is a good sign. It means he thinks it's a real threat.

Hell, he seems to be taking it more seriously than I am. I signed the petition but I still expect him to wriggle out of this one, just like he's wriggled out of all the other attempts to hold him accountable at the ballot box or in the courts.

Obviously he's not really expecting anybody to choose not to sign the petition based on a billboard. He's just getting his ads in early so he'll be prepared for the real fight when it comes.

Still, seems like it might backfire -- how many people didn't even know about the petition until they saw one of those billboards?

And, not to put a fine point on it? The billboards are just south of Guadalupe, a town populated entirely by people who would vote to recall him. Seems like it might not be the best idea to put a reminder of the petition right in their backyard for them to see every day.

Fuck Terrorism

Welp, today was a bad day.

There were explosions at the Boston Marathon; last I heard there were two confirmed fatalities and over a hundred injuries.

We don't know for sure if it's terrorism or if it's just another random act of violence. Guess we'll find out soon enough.

But hey, to whatever dumb bastards are out there contemplating acts of terrorism -- think about bin Laden, McVeigh, Kaczynski. How'd those assholes turn out? And they killed a lot more people than whatever little shit did this.

Justice will come. Of that I've no doubt.

But I reserve some disdain for the government officials who've spent billions claiming to make us safer. Hey, maybe this was a lone wolf with a couple of pipe bombs -- maybe no one could have caught him before he struck. Maybe that's true; I guess we'll find out.

But in the meantime it throws the last dozen years of security theater into pretty sharp relief.

Janet Napolitano, whose signature achievement as Director of Homeland Security was allowing Jan Brewer to become governor and sign SB1070. I am shocked that this tragedy was not averted by TSA agents groping my grandmother in the airport!

Thomas Menino, who sure acted like a tough guy when faced with the terrorist threat of a couple Adult Swim advertisements. I think I see the problem here: real terrorists don't actually cover their bombs in bright, colorful lights to make them more noticeable!

The FBI, which will now have to entrap a bunch more suggestible twenty-somethings, declare that it has stopped a series of terrorist attacks, and hope nobody considers that maybe giving out toy guns and detonators to people on the Internet is not the best use of its resources.

Two wars and the erosion of our civil liberties haven't made us any safer. And again, hey, maybe nothing any government official could have done would have caught this guy before he struck -- but the stupid shit they are doing sure as hell isn't working.

Nightline 1985, Part 3

Finale. Nice point on how Al Gore wasn't lobbying to regulate country music -- in much the same way that, more recently, California's Leland Yee wanted legal regulations of video game violence but not Hollywood film violence, despite FTC research showing that video game ratings are enforced more consistently than film ratings.

And seriously -- Marvin Gaye? That's the sexually explicit musician you want to protect your children from?

Pity about that last cutoff, but good that someone got a tape at all. Thanks again to uploader koolstrike.

Nightline 1985, Part 2

More from Donny Osmond on how G-rated movies don't sell tickets and directors add more adult content specifically to avoid the G rating. (I hear that's the whole reason for the scene in Star Wars where Luke finds Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru's charred corpses; prior to that scene being added, the film earned a G.)

And does anyone remember where interviewers could just say "A warning to our affiliates: we're going to go over"? I don't. Obviously live presentations and sporting events can go over time, but I don't remember seeing an interview do it -- aside from The Daily Show's frequent "Watch the rest on the Web!" schtick.

This one cuts off abruptly too, a product of YouTube's old 10-minute time limit.

Nightline 1985, Part 1

Koppel interviews Zappa, Donny Osmond, and Kandy Stroud regarding -- what else? -- the Porn Wars. Uploaded by koolstrike.

Kudos in particular to Nightline for pointing out that Love for Sale was once banned from radio and Louie, Louie was investigated by the FBI for having allegedly obscene lyrics. The pro-censorship crowd argues, as always, "Well yes that was silly, but this time is completely different!" Much like people advocating video game censorship today.

Zappa also meets a potentially-unexpected ally in Donny Osmond, who is opposed to the music rating system on the simple grounds that R-rated movies make more money than G-rated ones and music ratings would be a threat to the sales of Osmond's squeaky-clean music.