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American Idiots: Rachel Maddow on why Republicans are so lathered up over ‘Fast and Furious’
06.21.2012
09:19 pm

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Media
Politics

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Wrong “Fast and Furious,” dude

...while the rest of us have barely heard anything about it.

Rachel Maddow’s epic explanation of “Fast and Furious” last night on MSNBC—AKA “What Your Uncle Who Watches Fox News All Day Is All Worked Up About”—is must-see tee-vee for anyone wanting to get a glimpse inside of the mind of a Fox News watching nincompoop.

It’s not pretty.

Via Alternet:

Rachel Maddow did progressives a solid by explaining to us what the deal is with the “Fast and Furious” controversy, AKA “What your uncle who watches Fox News all day is all worked up about.” Bless you, Rachel Maddow. We all have that uncle/father/brother-in-law/high school friend.

“This is one of those days when what happened today in politics means something totally different to the portion of Americans who watch Fox News than it does to everybody else in the country,” she said. If you get your news from right-wing media, today was a “five-inch-tall headline, day that will live in infamy, huge deal in American politics!”

And if not? “Today might not have made much sense.” Indeed! Maddow describes “Fast and Furious” as one of those stories they tried to “drag…out of the conservative media world, where it’s been cooking for a year, and they tried to drag it into the mainstream….to see if it could survive outside the right-wing world in which it was incubated.” So what exactly are right-wingers talking about with this “Fast and Furious” thing? Watch the segment below for Maddow’s explanation.

It’s not just your uncle, it’s ALL of them!

I knew the basic outline of “Fast and Furious” already, but man is it much stupider than I thought it was.

What would a Fox News watcher make of this report? Would they understand it or just write it off because a godless librul lesbean said it?

Does something like this change a Republican’s mind when they see it (I know that’s a big “what if” but indulge me!) or does it cause them to dig into their delusions even harder?

(The folks at 14:00 minutes in are pretty classic, by the way…)
 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Nick Broomfield’s utterly insane ‘Sarah Palin: You Betcha!’ doc now on Netflix
06.20.2012
06:00 pm

Topics:
Idiocracy
Movies
Politics
Stupid or Evil?

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“Wasilla makes Twin Peaks look like a walk in the park. It’s a devout evangelical community. Sevety-six churches with a population of only six thousand, and the crystal meth capitol of Alaska.”

The movie that I’ve been raving about to everyone since I saw it on Netflix last week, and that I want to recommend to you, too, dear reader, is Nick Broomfield’s mind-blowing documentary Sarah Palin: You Betcha! When the film played festivals last year, it got a lot of attention, but then it was promptly forgotten about before most people ever had a chance to see it. I had forgotten about it myself, but when I saw that it was on Netflix, I couldn’t hit play fast enough.

First off, it’s not that it’s a “good film,” per se, because it’s most certainly not, but man is it entertaining. Nick Broomfield is a canny and yet extremely lazy documentarian, and Sarah Palin: You Betcha! is chock-a-block full of Broomfield falling back (again and again) on his standard Broomfieldian tropes (chasing people with a microphone as they drive away from him; implying that anyone who tells him to fuck off has a hidden agenda; having doors literally slammed in his face; asking “inopportune” questions in public). But Nick Broomfield, a pioneer in the “You get a documentary PLUS ME” school of film-making and his annoying shtick IS NOT THE POINT of Sarah Palin: You Betcha!!

Sarah Palin and her family are the point, of course. And let me tell ya, the fuckin’ Kardashians of Wasilla do not come off like very well-adjusted people here… No, not at all.

We’ve read about many of the things covered in the film and the narrative arc—a dim, but steel-willed former beauty queen becomes the mayor of a small Alaska town and rules over it like a peevish mean girl fascist dictator, then becomes governor of the state and then the GOP’s VP nominee in short order—is a familiar one, but to actually see and hear people talk who have known her for years (or their entire lives, some of them) and who line up tell their fucked-up Sarah Palin war stories with venom dripping from their fangs (or alternately like kicked dogs) is nothing short of breath-taking, riveting as hell and bust-a-gut funny, too.

With his usual pseudo-bungling charm Broomfield even manages to talk his way into an on-camera interview with Sarah Palin’s father (who quickly sours on the British film-maker), her former brother-in-law (who viciously goes to town on her ass. I found him quite credible) as well as various people Palin has fucked over, froze out or back-stabbed over the years, such as her loyal chief of staff and one time campaign manager. Certainly there is no shortage of former friends and colleagues who have been cruelly thrown under a bus by the imperious Queen Sarah, who comes off TEN TIMES MORE CRAZY than you’ve ever dared to suspect in Sarah Palin: You Betcha!

Of course, the notion of how frightening it was that this idiotic ignoramus got as close as she did to accidentally occupying the Oval Office is by now a only an academic—and yet no less nightmarish—consideration, making the in retrospect “what if?” implications of Broomfield’s Sarah Palin: You Betcha! all the more powerful (and yes, fucking funny in a gallows humor kind of way). What we didn’t know at the time, could have really hurt us. Let me conclude here by saying that Sarah Palin: You Betcha! would make a damned good double bill with Stanley Kubrick’s slightly less unnerving Dr. Strangelove.

This trailer gives away precious little of what delirious insanity awaits you in Nick Broomfield’s Sarah Palin: You Betcha!.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Obama appears to have opened a HUGE lead over Mitt Romney (53%-40%) in new Bloomberg poll
06.20.2012
10:45 am

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Current Events
Politics

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Although we are still several months away from the November general election, and this new Bloomberg poll certainly bucks the trend of most of the polls we’ve been seeing lately (which show a much tighter race), it’s interesting to note that its underlying implication is that Thurston Howell III Mitt Romney has gained almost zero ground with likely voters after an entire year of campaigning.

Although this obviously bodes rather poorly for the millionaire Republican presumptive nominee, enthusiasm to re-elect Obama looks tepid, too.

Barack Obama has opened a significant lead over Mitt Romney in a Bloomberg National Poll that reflects the presumed Republican nominee’s weaknesses more than the president’s strengths.

Obama leads Romney 53 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, even as the public gives him low marks on handling the economy and the deficit, and six in 10 say the nation is headed down the wrong track, according to the poll conducted June 15- 18.

The survey shows Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, has yet to repair the damage done to his image during the Republican primary. Thirty-nine percent of Americans view him favorably, about the same as when he announced his presidential candidacy last June, while 48 percent see him unfavorably—a 17-percentage point jump during a nomination fight dominated by attacks ads. A majority of likely voters, 55 percent, view him as more out of touch with average Americans compared with 36 percent who say the president is more out of touch.

Taken together, the results suggest an unsettled political environment for both Obama and Romney five months from the November election, with voters choosing for now to stick with a president they say is flawed rather than backing a challenger they regard as undefined and disconnected.

If this poll is an indication of any sort of trend—and I’m not saying it is, because until more polls confirm its results, it should be viewed as an outlier—then all Obama would need to do to coast to re-election is to keep hammering away at Romney as a vulture capitalist, corporate raider who will most certainly bend tax reform to benefit his own family’s vast fortune and future investment income, as a guy has no idea what the poor and middle class are going through, and portray him as the Grinch who will steal healthcare. (Well, that and praying to fuck for no unforeseen bad news about the economy, scandals, oils spills, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, etc.).

The Romney campaign ads SUCK, they aren’t even SHITTY, and are totally ineffectual at redefining a guy who we’ve all seen daily on our tee-vee sets for the past four years, whereas the Obama campaign has unleashed some hilariously nasty, viciously scathing—but quite true—ads, just excoriating Romney. Some of them are mini-masterpieces of political ridicule.

Nothing quite like the nuclear bomb (”When Mitt Romney Came to Town”) that Newt Gingrich threw in Romney’s face back in January, however, although I am sure that Obama’s own version of this political Kraken will unleashed by say, late August.

Wait for it, it’s coming. They’re just sharpening their knives and Romney’s such a fucking dipshit that he gives them new material to work with on an hourly basis. If this is the Obama campaign’s definition of “lighthearted” I can’t wait to see what they come up when the gloves are really off.

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Wonderful interview with Muhammad Ali on Irish TV in 1972
06.19.2012
12:23 pm

Topics:
Politics
Race
Sports
Superstar

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Muhammad Ali is a riveting storyteller and has undeniable presence in this entertaining, gutsy and inspiring interview conducted for Irish TV on July 1972. Interviewer RTÉ’s Cathal O’Shannon does a fine job of navigating the enormous personality of Ali and much of what the boxer has to say is painfully true and often way ahead of its time.

The interview took place while Ali was in Dublin to fight Al “Blue” Lewis 16 months after suffering his first defeat at the hands of Joe Frazier.
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Joe the Plumber on how gun control caused the Holocaust
06.19.2012
12:20 pm

Topics:
Idiocracy
Kooks
Politics
U.S.A.!!!

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“If you hunt or just like shooting guns, the 2nd Amendment will always be a good thing. History also tells us it’s our last line of defense in the face of an out-of-control government. And killing fruits and vegetables is… what? Better watch the video to see…”

Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher explains how gun control led to the Holocaust in his latest brain-dead web video.

If you look at the number of views this numskull is getting for his YouTube channel, obviously it’s not even worth the effort to continue making them. Clearly Wurzelbacher is a man who knows how to waste time and effort for no payoff. The only way he can get any attention anymore is when he’s being especially stupid. That’s fucking pathetic.

Given the current Neanderthal state of the Republican party, it’s no surprise that the best candidate they can find to run against veteran Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur is a befuddled moron who doesn’t seem to know his ass from his elbow, let alone anything about history.

But Joe loves America! What more does America need to know about Joe, anyway? Joe is one of us!

“One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us!”
 

 

 
Via Joe.My.God

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Atari Teenage Anonymous: Alec Empire interviews ‘AnonyOps’ over Twitter today
06.19.2012
09:11 am

Topics:
Activism
Class War
Politics

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Dazed Digital has an interesting back and forth between Atari Teenage Riot’s Alec Empire and “AnonyOps” from online hacktivist group Anonymous:

Alec Empire: What do you think about all these new laws that are being put in place around the globe right now? Sopa (the US Stop Online Piracy Act), Acta (the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) and all the variations of them in various countries? I was shocked that almost everyone I spoke to in the independent music industry welcomes those laws.

AnonyOps: The companies pushing for laws like Sopa and Acta are trying to protect their profits, but these laws aren’t really about protecting intellectual property. They’re about making sweeping laws that give governments broad powers to take down anyone’s website and/or business.

New communications technologies have always been a threat to people and institutions in power; they have responded with repression and restriction. It took 100 years for kings to clamp down on the printing press, and 30 years from the invention of radio to the creation of the Federal Communications Commission at the behest of the US Navy and commercial broadcasters. We forget how young the internet is – most of us have only had access for 15 years. We believe that because it’s always been open, it always will be.

We’re losing our ability to communicate, and all the while governments are attempting policy laundering. They recycle the same tired, unpopular bills and this happens because corporations are only too happy to fill the pockets of politicians. Acta, for example, has been characterised by an astounding lack of transparency, negotiated in secret while excluding civil society and non-government organisations. For many years, we only knew what was in the Acta text because of WikiLeaks.

In short, this shit is bad news. We need a new paradigm in politics. One where we demand transparency, and when we find that backroom deals are done, we kick them out on their asses. We need public will in our favour for this to happen.

Alec Empire: I thought of pirate radio in the UK in the early 90s. I had my first record deal back then and we recorded in London. At night we would listen to pirate radio – yes, that was before it was easy to stream music via the Internet. Huge raves were happening in the country at the time and because the major record labels weren’t a part of that the official radio stations weren’t, even though so many kids were listening to this music. Most of the records DJs played were distributed on white labels, and there was a lot of ‘copyright violation’ because sampling technology offered so many news ways to manipulate sounds, beats, voices, basically everything. Another reason why most radio stations could or wouldn’t play it. Most producers of those records stayed in fact anonymous.

Two decades later, nobody can deny that those times were key to what followed. Pop music wouldn’t be where it is today without that huge influence of early rave and electronic music. So the enemy of the major record labels back then became their life saviour. Because the majors had to adapt. What I am trying to get at here is that isn’t it true that when the time has come for an idea that will bring change, nobody can stop that? Not even a country’s army?

Read the rest at Dazed Digital.

Alec Empire and AnonyOps are having a more public discussion over Twitter today. Follow @An0n_DAZED_atrD to join the conversation.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘La cabina’: A short film on the terror at the end of the line, from 1972
06.19.2012
07:33 am

Topics:
Amusing
Movies
Politics
Television

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la_cabina_1972
 
Made during the last year’s of General Franco’s right-wing dictatorship in Spain, La cabina (The Telephone Box or Phone Booth) is a disturbing little movie, which critiques the insidious potential of technology, and the mass indifference of the public to the plight of the individual.

Originally produced for Spanish television, La cabina was a highly regarded film on its release and deservedly won an Emmy in 1973 for Best Fiction. Directed by Antonio Mercero, who also made the award-winning films Planta 4ª (The 4th Floor) and La hora de los valientes (A Time for Defiance), La cabina contains a superb central performance by José Luis López Vázquez (star of Travels With My Aunt with Maggie Smith), as the hapless victim of a series of increasingly sinister misfortunes.
 

 
With thanks to Neil McDonald
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘President Obama must be defeated in November’
06.18.2012
09:53 am

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Politics

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Over the weekend, you may have noticed an article on Huffington Post about how one of Barack Obama’s former professors at Harvard Law, Roberto Mangabeira Unger, proclaimed that the president “must be defeated” in a YouTube video titled “Beyond Obama,” but did you actually watch the video and listen to what he had to say?

Barack Obama took courses in “Jurisprudence” and “Reinventing Democracy” with Professor Unger at Harvard Law School, and you just know that he’s had to have seen this video by now (which to be fair, was made in May before the bold pivot to the left with last week’s unexpected Presidential Order on the children of illegal immigrants. Points there, for sure).

If the President has watched this video, it will be interesting to see if he takes any of it to heart. This is some harsh shit. Well-deserved, though, in my opinion:

“His policy is financial confidence and food stamps.”
“He has spent trillions of dollars to rescue the moneyed interests and left workers and homeowners to their own devices.”
“He has delivered the politics of democracy to the rule of money.”
“He has disguised his surrender with an empty appeal to tax justice.”
“He has reduced justice to charity.”
“He has subordinated the broadening of economic and educational opportunity to the important but secondary issue of access to health care in the mistaken belief that he would be spared a fight.”
“He has evoked a politics of handholding, but no one changes the world without a struggle.”

On the issue of Mitt Romney winning the presidency, Unger remarked “There will be a cost ... in judicial and administrative appointments.” He added “the risk of military adventurism” would be no worse under a Republican than under Obama—true!—and that “the Democratic Party proposes no new direction.”

The guy makes some pretty damning points, although I am not quite as sure that an Obama defeat would be such a good thing for the Democrats or the country as Unger seems to be. He might come off as a bit of a humorless, pompous ass, sure, BUT don’t hold that against a Harvard professor! Ultimately, Professor Unger failed to convince me to vote against Obama, but what he has to say here did make me think.

The whole thing is worth listening to, but if you want to skip past the preamble right to the heart of his anti-Obama arguments, go directly to 6:09.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Book Burning Party’ fights Tea party idiocy with intellectual jujitsu


A 2004 Harry Potter book burning in Missouri

This Troy, Michigan civic brouhaha happened last November—I confess it was news to me—but it’s currently getting a second go ‘round via reddit/r/politics and Redditor ClydeStuff.

Absolutely worth watching, this “reverse psychology” propaganda tactic is GENIUS and could be successfully adapted to a number of different situations in other parts of this country, as you will see:

The city of Troy, Michigan was facing a budget shortfall, and was considering closing the Troy Public Library for lack of funds. Even though the necessary revenues could be raised through a miniscule tax increase, powerful anti-tax groups in the area were organized against it. A vote was scheduled amongst the city’s residents, to shut the library or accept the tax increase, and Leo Burnett Detroit decided to support the library by creating a reverse psychology campaign. Yard signs began appearing that read: “Vote to Close Troy Library on August 2nd - Book Burning Party on August 5th.” No one wants to be a part of a town that burns books, and the outraged citizens of Troy pushed back against the “idiotic book burners” and ultimately supported the tax increase, thus ensuring the library’s survival.

As someone who has toiled in the trenches of advertising and marketing myself, I genuflect to whoever thought this up. This is the kind of thing that can really cheer you up when you’re feeling down about living in an Idiocracy.

The creatives on this Swiftian tour de fource should be snapped up by the Democrats now and given extremely high-paying consultant gigs. And the Democrats should unleash them and fund them to do whatever it takes to deploy this stunt nationally and stay the fuck out of their way.

BRAVO! Standing ovation!

Troy, Michigan’s controversial mayor is Tea party favorite, Janice Daniels. You may dimly remember her as the dipshit who made national news last summer when an unintelligent, unfunny comment she made about gay marriage in New York on Facebook came back to haunt her. Then a few months after that she said she wanted an expert to testify that homosexuality is a mental illness at an anti-bullying educational forum for high school kids!

Dum-dum Daniels, who now faces a recall vote in November which she will surely lose, is also deeply unpopular for her vote against millions of dollars in federal funding to build a transit center near the Troy/Birmingham border that would have created hundreds of new jobs in the area and increased the town’s tax base.

Last week, reacting to news of the recall vote being called, Daniels, doubled down on the stupid by musing aloud that she felt homosexuality might be “dangerous”—like cigarettes!

Ignorance and ideology is a nasty combination.

Of course as soon as she is recalled, Fox News will probably race to sign-up Janice Daniels as a commentator on gay and lesbian issues! I mean hey, wouldn’t she be the perfect spokesperson for all those dimwitted Christian Americans who have had their First Amendment rights stomped on by TEH GAY AGENDA?!?!?
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Everybody hates Newt
06.15.2012
03:40 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Politics

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I LOL’d at this comically forlorn shot of loathsome sack of shit former Speaker of the House and Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s meeting in Washington, D.C. today.

Doesn’t ANYONE give a shit about Newt? Apparently not even conservatives do, which is something for the cable news channels to take note of.

CNN, CNBC and MSNBC—we know Fox News isn’t going to have him back—need to let this slimy amphibian crawl under a rock and delete his number from their auto-dial. No one will miss not seeing Newt Gingrich on their teevee set. No one cares what he thinks.

Now that it’s patently obvious she’s never going to be First Lady—and he’s flat broke—I wonder how long pretty “Stepford Wife” Callista will stick around? Can you imagine what it would be like to watch that old goat age? Sitting around in his underpants farting and pontificating about stuff every day of your fucking life?

She clearly got the wrong end of a poorly negotiated Faustian bargain!

Via BuzzFeed

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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