My new hero Jackson Ripley, writing to Mitty Romney in his head as his younger sister Kennedy looks on.
Dear Governor Romney,
I’d like to say congratulations on winning the republican nomination. But, I wish you stayed in Massachusetts. You’re plan for America isn’t what we need, and would hurt us more than it would help.
First, repealing Obama care and other health plans he’s put in place have helped families across America, including mine. I live in a middle class family, and two years ago my little sister; Kennedy was denied insurance because of her pre-existing condition. This was a huge emotional stress and financial burden on my entire family. Under Obama Care, insurance companies can no longer deny Kennedy and kids like her, the coverage they need and deserve. Because of Obama care my little sister was able to have the several surgeries she needed that helped save her life. Once the President was elected he put Obama Care into action, just like he promised and made it so that you could get insurance with pre-existing conditions. This has made a direct impact on my family. My family is with out a doubt better off now, than we were four years ago!
It is to my understanding that you stated that you were going to repeal Obama Care, including the part I have mentioned, which will take away the insurance we have and need for my sister Kennedy. Why do you think she doesn’t deserve health care? Also, when you were interviewed on “Meet the Press”, you stated that you would NOT repeal this part of Obama Care, but then your campaign backpedalled and on the “Tonight show with Jay Leno”, you said that you WOULD repeal this.
Also, you’re domestic plans (birth control, gay rights etc.) are horrible! Women should get to manage their own health, and if you wonder why you’re not appealing to many women voters, rethink your birth control and women’s’ rights plans. And people should be able to marry whom they want. We built this country so people could have freedom, and not have religious beliefs control them to that length. This country was in no way built on any religion, so we should not create laws that repress the American people in a religious way and hurt our most vulnerable.
“This man has no dick.”—Bill Murray in Ghostbusters
Another day, another massive, Matterhorn-sized pile of shit for Mitt Romney to step in. In this case, it was actually some shit with a long fuse that he stomped around in awhile back that was caught on videotape. Today that tape came back to haunt him. Today was the day, as Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce so brilliantly put it, that Mitt Romney “declared a class war on himself. “
In a closed-door meeting with an inner circle of high-end, millionaire GOP donors, Romney let his hair down—as much as he ever does, of course—and testified to his fine-feathered friends that:
“There are 47% of the people who will vote for the President no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this President no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.”
Here was Romney raw and unplugged—sort of unscripted. With this crowd of fellow millionaires, he apparently felt free to utter what he really believes and would never dare say out in the open. He displayed a high degree of disgust for nearly half of his fellow citizens, lumping all Obama voters into a mass of shiftless moochers who don’t contribute much, if anything, to society, and he indicated that he viewed the election as a battle between strivers (such as himself and the donors before him) and parasitic free-riders who lack character, fortitude, and initiative. Yet Romney explained to his patrons that he could not speak such harsh words about Obama in public, lest he insult those independent voters who sided with Obama in 2008 and whom he desperately needs in this election. These were sentiments not to be shared with the voters; it was inside information, available only to the select few who had paid for the privilege of experiencing the real Romney.
“Generally you don’t see that kind of behavior in a major appliance.”—Bill Murray in Ghostbusters
He said this shit, too:
My heritage, my dad as you probably know was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico, and, uh, had he been born of, uh, Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot at winning this. [Rich donors cracking up]
But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lieved there for a number of years. And, uh, uh, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be, uh ... Latino.
I hope none of you had liquids in your mouth when you read that last one, but I would imagine that whopper of a line left plenty of shorted-out computer keyboards and iPads in its wake.
And best of all, he said THIS:
“We ... we, uh, use Ann sparingly right now so that people don’t get tired of her.”
I can think of at least one numskull Mormon multi-millionaire Republican Presidential candidate who’s going to be sleeping on the couch tonight. You, too?
If Romney is this comically clueless when it comes to talking about his own wife in public, how would Mittens fare with the G8 leaders and NATO? Vladimir Putin probably can’t wait to look deep into Mitt Romney’s eyes and make him piss right in his pants…
I’ve always seen Mitt Romney as “Thurston Howell III” from Gilligan’s Island, but he’s really much closer to another Jim Backus character: “Mr. Magoo”!
Happily, we’ll probably never get to find out what sort of damages Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would inflict upon America. I am actually starting to give a lil’ credence to those wingnut conspiracy theories that Mitt Romney is a Manchurian candidate sent to infiltrate and then destroy the Republican Party. I mean, this guy sucks! He’s the worst of the worst. How can Mittens even top this latest misstep? Pull his dick out during the third debate?
“This chick is TOAST!”—Bill Murray in Ghostbusters
“Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy. As the governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government, including the record number of people who are on food stamps, nearly one in six Americans in poverty, and the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work,” Romney spokesperson Gail Gitcho said in a statement. “Mitt Romney’s plan creates 12 million new jobs in four years, grows the economy and moves Americans off of government dependency and into jobs.”
AS IF this even begins to address this latest mess. So sweet to watch this shit happen in real time. And it’s not even like I’m “rooting” for the Democrats or Obama to win, I just want to see Mitt Romney and the Republicans lose!
UPDATE: Romney himself finally made a statement about the videotape at a press conference Monday evening, via AP
Republican Mitt Romney says a video clip in which he called nearly half of Americans “victims” was “not elegantly stated” and was “spoken off the cuff.” But he says President Barack Obama’s approach is “attractive to people who are not paying taxes.”
The Republican nominee did not disavow the comments but said they were made during a question-and-answer session. He said it was indicative of his campaign’s effort to “focus on the people in the middle.”
Not elegantly stated? Oh my, now aren’t we deluded?!?!
During the presser Romney called for the entire videotape to be released. Mother Jones seems happy to oblige him. MJ reporter Adam Serwer tweeted:
“Mitt wants the full video huh? Well don’t worry, there’s more to come.”
The liberal American Bridge PAC has already hit Romney, hard, over his private remarks with a viral video. Watch until the end:
At a campaign event in Cincinnati this morning, President Obama really got his audience’s enthusiasm flowing. One man apparently drank in a little more of Obama’s greatness than everyone else, and, unable to contain himself any longer, he snuck off to relieve some pent-up pressure, killing some grass in the process…
As the Firesign Theatre would say: “It’s in the water!”
Mondo Hollywood, Robert Carl Cohen’s poetic 1967 documentary, begins not as you might expect, with shots of LA’s tie-died hippies but rather with a John Birch Society-type anti-Communist meeting attended by, among others, Glenn Beck’s idol, W. Cleon Skousen, the kooky Mormon “historian,” FBI agent, crackpot conspiracy theorist, and slavery apologist. (Mitt Romney studied under Tea party icon Skousen while in college at Brigham Young University).
Without meaning to, Cohen’s time-capsule film begins by pointing out to viewers how, in some respects, so very little has changed since the 1960s—these folks are the Teabaggers of 1965, they’re even reading the very same batshit crazy Cleon Skousen books—and then he shows how much they did change, or at least the beginnings of that change to come.
Mondo Hollywood uses what appears to have been a lot of silent (very well shot) 16mm footage, and interviews and voice overs done at different times, to create a fascinating time capsule of life in Los Angeles during the very year when the culture went from black and white to vivid psychedelic color. Along the way, we’re introduced to poets, dreamers, acid eaters, trust fund kids, body painters, strippers, proto-hippies (or “freaks” as the Los Angeles variety of hippie was known in 1965-66), transsexuals, avant-garde artists and—this being Los Angeles—plenty of movie stars, a young Frank and Gail Zappa seen at a wild party and even then governor Ronald Reagan, who rails against “filthy speech advocates” at UC campuses. Spookily, future Manson murderer Bobby Beausoleil as well as future Manson Family victim, celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, both appear in the film.
It’s interesting to note that Mondo Hollywood was set to open the Avignon Film Festival in 1967 but was banned by French government censors who stated:
“This film, in the opinion of certain experts of the Commission [of Control], presents an apology for a certain number of perversities, including drugs and homosexuality, and constitutes a danger to the mental health of the public by its visual aggressivity and the psychology of its editing. The Commission proposes, therefore, its total interdiction.”
Not much in the film would raise an eyebrow today, these “perversions” have all been mainstreamed. I still can’t get over the vintage Tea party crowd at the beginning, myself.
Although I didn’t actually see Mondo Hollywood until many years later, I used to have a huge square poster, similar to the album cover pictured above, hanging over the bed in my first NYC apartment in the 80s. I really wish I still had it!
(*No, that’s not what he said at all, but hey, Matt Drudge can do it, so why can’t I?)
I was as much amused by Rick Santorum’s comment yesterday—“We will never have the elite, smart people on our side”—during his speech at the ultra conservative Values Voter Summit as I was by this paragraph—or some variation thereof—that invariably followed without any need for further comment or elaboration:
“Rep. Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Kirk Cameron, Gov. Jan Brewer, Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Steve King are among other scheduled speakers.”
On nearly every blog, the ingredients of the report were the video of Santorum (see below) and a mention of some of his fellow far-right fuit loops who would be speaking at the conservative Christian political confab. Perhaps they were trying to be droll—I decided to take it that way—or maybe they were just dryly reporting the facts. Either way, a list of those particular Republican names speaks volumes, doesn’t it?
Former GOP presidential candidate Santorum’s full quote was:
“We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country. We will never have the elite, smart people on our side, because they believe they should have the power to tell you what to do.”
Well, Rick, that’s one way to look at it, but there’s an obvious—or what should be obvious—flip-side to that equation that you might want to take into consideration: WHY do you reckon that it’s difficult for these “elite, smart people” to acquiesce to the will of a bunch of folks who they perceive as a bunch of ignorant hicks who have decided that they’re going to “take back our country” and so forth?
Take it back from…? And where will these science-denying dumbshit Tea party Taliban types take it back to? Before African Americans had the vote or before they were allowed to play Major League Baseball? Just how far back are we talking, here?
His delightfully candid remark calls into question how Mr. Santorum and other Christian conservatives define “freedom,” a word and concept that was thrown around—and shit on—by at least half of the Values Voters Summit’s speakers: Should “the elite, smart people” stand silently by and do nothing and simply allow, without protest or objection, a group of people they consider to be rank ignoramuses and dangerous buffoons to run roughshod over what they see as THEIR OWN RIGHTS (or the rights of others)?
If you take only the example of marriage equality, one groups wants to get married for a variety of benefits that will have virtually ZERO effect—none—on the lives of conservative religious straight people, so why A.) do the people who attend the VVS even care and B.) why do they think that THEY should have final say over what gay people do, simply because they “don’t agree with it”?
That’s not a reason!
What I don’t get, and what is making me laugh, is how it doesn’t seem to phase Rick Santorum even one tiny little bit that he’s is, in essence, defining himself as being a member of the STUPID TEAM that the evil smart elite people want to subjugate with stuff like gay marriage and insurance being required to cover birth control. His argument isn’t “We’re smarter than they are so they should listen to us,” it’s more like… well, to be honest, I don’t even know, really, how the fuck to parse what Santorum believes. Once someone admits that they’re hositle to intelligence itself, I don’t really feel it’s incumbent upon me to search out the nuance of their blinkered, unsophisticated worldview.
Mr. Santorum doesn’t seem to have noticed the causality between his own position of being against birth control and the fact that he lost—and lost miserably—to a man who now seems set to lose handily himself in the general election. But he has made an important observation: “Smart people” and Republicans don’t have a whole lot in common anymore.
In any case, why aren’t the right wing bloggers and peanut gallery commenters at Breitbart, The National Review and WorldNetDaily absolutely up in arms about Santorum calling them stupid?
Tee-hee! Personally, I think Rick Santorum has inadvertently hit on THE defining reason for the GOP’s problems with “the elite, smart people”: Intelligent, NON-GULLIBLE voters will, never, ever cede the control of their lives to the likes of Michele Bachmann, Steve King or Todd Akin. Any Republican politician who could carry Mississippi, Alabama or Arkansas in a national election IS GOING TO LOSE in the more populous, better-educated coastal states. You can stuff your face with Chick-fil-A until you puke, but nothing is going to change that fact, bunky. The GOP has backed itself into a demographic corner, a demographic that’s literally dying off.
So what advice will those multi-million dollar consulting and marketing firms come up with to help the GOP keep winning elections after they get absolutely trounced this November? Forget about them, I say to you, Republican overlords: It was those top dollar marketing smarty-pantses that gave you guys Mitt fuckin’ Romney in the first place
Nope, Rick Santorum has already got it all figured it out for ya, you shadowy reptilian Republican druids who pull the levers of power behind the curtain: It’s all coming down a simple matter of smart vs DUMB and Santorum defined the battle yesterday in a single sentence of crystal clear truth:
“We will never have the elite, smart people on our side.”
Some of the bloodiest violence in Jamaica’s history took place in the lead-up to the country’s 1980 elections. The battle for political leadership between socialist Prime Minister Michael Manley’s Peoples National Party and Edward Seaga’s Jamaican Labour Party, brought the country to the verge of civil war. The conflict started in 1976, and arose out of the PNP’s plan to form closer links with Cuba. The JLP wanted to bind Jamaica closer to the USA and a free market. Both parties used gangs (posses) to enforce their will within Kingston - Seaga accessing weapons via America. This violence culminated in the 1980 elections that left 800 Jamaicans dead, as Seaga was elected Prime MInister.
It was against this background, the documentary Bongo Man was filmed. Bongo Man told the story of Jimmy Cliff, as he traveled across Jamaica to Kingston, in an attempt to unite the country through the power of Reggae.
Cliff’s philosophy was simple: ‘Politics divide, Music unites’. The legendary Cliff is a fascinating character and this is an exceptional and engrossing documentary, containing excellent concert footage and some of Cliff’s best songs.
If you think you’ve seen all the footage there is to see of the mighty MC5, check out Leni Sinclair and Cary Loren’s short film “Kick Out the Jams.”
Sinclair was married to MC5 manager and revolutionary poet John Sinclair (author of Guitar Army) and organized the infamous John Sinclair Freedom Rally (headlined by John Lennon and Yoko Ono) when he was imprisoned ten years for two joints. She was active in the Artists Workshop, which evolved into the Trans-Love Energies commune, which then in turn became the White Panther Party. Cary Loren was a founding member of “anti-rock” art rockers Destroy All Monsters along with Jim Shaw, Niagara and the late Mike Kelley.
One hears and reads all sorts of things about the Trans-Love house and the different roles of men and women there…from a contemporary standpoint, it sounds very traditional. Can you comment on that?
Leni; It might look like that in retrospect, because that was before the advent of feminism, but as far as living in that situation, the women did not feel oppressed or second-rate. I mean, women didn’t pick up instruments and try to play and try to be in the band, but as far as the atmosphere at the time, we all considered ourselves equal in the endeavor. We were revolutionaries; there was no hierarchy like the males up here and the women down there. At the time, we all felt that we were contributing equally to this effort we were involved in, whatever it took. I’ve heard some things…that “the women were on the floor, scrubbing the floor.” That was a lot of hokum. Everybody pitched in, everybody did their chores and their work. We had it tightly organized. Childcare was shared, kitchen duties were shared, everything, except for playing in the band.
In fact, I wrote an article one time in the newspaper, in the Ann Arbor Sun, I think, about “cock rock” and the criticism that was starting to appear about “cock rock” guys with guitars. And my thesis was, there’s nothing wrong with that; the only thing wrong is that women have to start learning to play, too, and getting up there.
And that happened in the ‘90s.
Leni: I didn’t say it, but “Let’s have cock-rock and pussy rock” (Laughs)
When John was imprisoned in 1969, did the Five renege on a promise to help you out financially while he was in prison?
Leni: I don’t really know if there had ever been a promise. Nobody knew that John was going to go to jail, and I don’t think that he ever had any discussions prior to going to jail to see what would happen. Everybody just figured he would get an appeal bond and be out on the street in a matter of days, or maybe weeks. Well, that didn’t happen, and the MC5…first, they severed their relationship with J.C. Crawford, which we all felt was a big mistake, because J.C. was almost a sixth member of the band, he was almost an integral part. So when they fired him, we had kinda bad feelings about that, and then when they brought in Jon Landau as a manager, of course we had bad feelings about that. The financial part was…I don’t really know. ‘Cause no promises were made, John never had a written contract with the band or anything like that. It was on the honor system.
But I do know that after John went to jail, there were about 17 of us who had spent the last two years doing nothing but working for the MC5 and making them a success, never taking any money for ourselves, just room and board. All of a sudden, John is gone, and we have no money coming in. Our phones got cut off just at the crucial point when we needed to make some publicity and let people know John was in jail. We had no way; we had no phones and we were just begging for food. My mother-in-law and father-in-law helped us out like they usually did, but it was devastating for awhile. And there was probably hard feelings thinking that the MC5 should have kept John on as a manager, even if he was in jail. People told them otherwise, other people told them John would be a hindrance, because now he was too hot to handle. John was now too much of a political figure. So they said no, better get rid of John Sinclair and the revolutionary image. Which was a mistake, I think we all agree. Because they lost whatever they had going for them, they kinda got lost after that.
What did you do immediately after that?
Leni: Well, I was pregnant with Celia and we had a child, and we had to organize to make a living and we had to organize the John Sinclair freedom movement.. We kept it together by hook or by crook, and the person who’s most responsible for all that is Dave Sinclair, John’s brother, who took over the financial management of this whole shebang. The Up became the house band for the revolutionary White Panther Party wing (Laughs). They were no MC5, but they could kick it out, and so we kept it going like that. So for the next two and a half years, we were just continuing without the Five, focusing our energies on getting John out and continuing to organise.
Do you know about the Bentley archive? When John and I broke up, I had a whole roomful of all the things that I’d collected since I came to this country—all the fliers, all the magazines, all the books we published. We published, at one time, four magazines, and put out about twenty books of poetry, most of them mimeographed by hand. I’m a pack rat, so I saved every last scrap of paper, every memo, everything. So when we broke up, we donated our collection of stuff to the Michigan Historical Library, which houses the papers of the governors and the supreme court justices of Michigan and all that. And so they have the John and Leni Sinclair Papers…a huge amount of materials, and people come from far and wide to study the ‘60s now. It’s at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Sinclair is also an accomplished photographer who has snapped iconic shots of many a Motor City madman and documented important events in rock and roll and counterculture history. She has taken photographs of Iggy and The Stooges, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Allen Ginsberg among many other revolutionary counter-cultural luminaries of the 60s and 70s.
Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Fritz Lang explains how his meeting with Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the Mad Man of Nazi propaganda, made him flee Germany the very same day.
Director of Metropolis and M, Lang had been called to see Goebbels over his undisguised attack on Hitler in his 1933 film, The Testament of Dr Mabuse - which the Nazis had banned. Instead of the expected interrogation and inevitable incarceration, Doctor Goebbels offered Lang the unexpected position of Head of the National Socialist Film Studios. Goebbels explained that both he and Herr Furher hoped the director would accept. Goebbels then offered his advice on the ending of The Testament of Dr Mabuse, which he had found unsatisfactory. Instead of Mabuse going mad, it would have been better if the mobs had destroyed him with their wrath.
It’s a good story, even if the facts don’t add up. One that’s worth retelling - just to hear Lang build up the dramatic tension with his powers of descriptive narration.
Speaking this morning at the Values Voter Summit, Rep. Michele Bachmann dedicated her remarks to attacking the Obama administration for supposedly catering to radical Islam and that Muslim Brotherhood, citing a decision by the FBI to purge hundreds of anti-Muslim documents from its training materials as proof that the administration was enforcing “Islamic speech codes here in the United States.”
This fool is on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. SHE is one of the politicians who oversee of the CIA, the NSA and the rest of the U.S. intelligence community.
She’s a tinfoil hat-wearing buffoon who can barely string a coherent sentence together and yet she’s privy to intelligence briefings. A loose cannon like Bachmann? There’s not an ounce of intelligence to be found in her entire body. It’s nothing short of madness to trust her with classified information. We have House Speaker John Boehner to thank for this appointment. He could have just as well given her some crayons and she’d have been distracted for months, but no, he’s got to go and appoint well-known crazy lady Michelle fucking Bachmann to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence! Way to go, uh, Bonie!