Sunday, June 17, 2012

Last Call

Did anyone actually think cowardly Mitt Romney would take a stand on President Obama's new immigration directive?  You're a fool if you did.

Mitt Romney refuses to say whether he’d repeal the Obama administration’s decision to stop deporting certain undocumented immigrants.

In an interview with Bob Schieffer aired Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee five different times declined to answer whether he would conduct the same policy President Barack Obama on Friday announced his Department of Homeland Security will now pursue.

Instead of answering the question posed, Romney called for a permanent solution.

“With regards to these kids who were brought in by their parents through no fault of their own, there needs to be a long-term solution so they know what their status is,” Romney said. “This is something Congress has been working on, and I thought we were about to see some proposals brought forward by Sen. Marco Rubio and by Democrat senators, but the president jumped in and said I'm going to take this action, he called it a stop-gap measure. I don't know why he feels stop-gap measures are the right way to go.”

After Schieffer asked, directly, four additional times if Romney would repeal the policy without receiving an answer, Romney called the move political.

“I think the timing is pretty clear, if he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with illegal immigration in America, than this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months,” he said.

Except for the fact that a permanent solution, the DREAM Act, was offered, Mitt.  And your side killed it because they don't want a permanent solution.  He knows the second he stakes out a choice here, it's over and he's done.  If he decides he has to reverse the policy, he's done with Latino voters.  If he doesn't reverse it, his base will turn on him.  Either way he takes the least damage by not taking a stand.

What a hero making the tough calls.  How can this spineless twit be President?

A Life Of Conflict

Los Angeles police officials confirm Rodney King is dead at the age of 47.

Rodney King, whose beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 was caught on camera and sparked riots after the acquittal of the four officers involved, was found dead in his swimming pool Sunday, authorities and his fiancee said. He was 47.

Police in Rialto, California, received a 911 call from King's fiancee, Cynthia Kelly, about 5:25 a.m., said Capt. Randy DeAnda. Responding officers found King at the bottom of the pool, removed him and attempted to revive him. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, DeAnda said.

There were no preliminary signs of foul play, he said, and no obvious injuries on King's body. Police are conducting a drowning investigation, DeAnda said, and King's body would be autopsied.

"His fiancee heard him in the rear yard," he said, and found King in the pool when she went outside.

And I remember exactly where I was when the verdict came down and the LA riots began.  I was a high school senior in Durham, NC at the time.  The verdict sparked much soul-searching among my classmates and the faculty, and eventually an all-school assembly where we openly talked about race and differences between us...and the similarities.

Rodney King had a life of conflict and pain, ups and downs.  Maybe now he'll finally find the peace that long eluded him.

The Tomb Raider Reboot

Emma Gray writes about the latest Tomb Raider "Crossroads" reboot.  She glosses through some details, and focuses on an attempted rape scene that offended her highly.

And according to Schreier, the way the producers plan to make gamers harness these protective instincts is to make Croft suffer through her friend getting kidnapped, being taken prisoner by "island scavengers" ... and an attempted rape. (The studio has since issued a statement saying that the scene in question has been "incorrectly referred to" as attempted sexual assault, but I agree with Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams that "there's an unmistakable sense of sexual menace in the scene." Click here to view the clip.) Some human suffering is par for the course when it comes to heroes' "how they became how they are" narratives (one classic example is Spider-Man losing his Uncle Ben). However, do kickass female characters really need to endure attempted sexual violence to be sympathetic?
As it turns out, it's not awful.  It's from 2:15 to 2:30, if you want to skip ahead.  For those who don't want to see the whole trailer, a man turns around and caresses her arm, then her hip.  Lara promptly knees him in the balls savagely.  He kisses her, and terrified she ends up with the gun.  Gray isn't wrong so much as overselling the scene and its drama / impact.  It was a completely unsuccessful attack and something unbelievably dramatic had to provoke her to kill.  This was a girl who apologized to a deer she had to kill for food.  This reeks of a slow news week trying to turn a molehill into a mountain.  The official Tomb Raider site says they have shown all there is to see, there is no lurking rape scene to stumble across.  Based on what I saw, it wasn't pleasant but it wasn't graphic, either.

It looks like a hell of an origin story.  For those old farts out there (like me) you probably remember the last time Lara appeared as a little girl.  She was cocky, obnoxious and hadn't earned her dues.  It was really cool to find "the" backpack, but even dedicated fans were a bit turned off by the snoot she was.  This gritty beginning is more realistic for a woman who travels the world and fights mummies for sport.  A person like that is forged, not born. Her story has to be gritty, and it has to be harsh.  She's a survivor, a lifetime of knitting and charity work would not have made sense.

Any woman who travels the world knows the real dangers that are out there.  Most from personal experience.  The rest read headlines where women are sold as property and given virginity checks by crowds of men.  This touch of reality is horror all right, but kept to a very basic minimum.  There is far more graphic violence out there, this pales in comparison to even a second of shoot 'em ups or military adventures.  Or even when compared to real headlines.

I hadn't heard about this yet, so my joy at the upcoming chapter is not ruined by what I saw.  Diminished a little, maybe, but as a storyteller I see the need they faced, and think they justified her behavior well.  It's a drop in a bucket of the overall story, told in fifteen seconds of real time.  

I just think the article on HuffPo tries to make it into something it's not.


Why Bon May Never Sleep Again: The Hairy-Legged Sequel

Victoria Jean Harrah sat down around noon Wednesday to eat a freshly grilled ham and cheese sandwich with her fiance when she decided to warm up a plate of her favorite canned ravioli.
But instead of saucy goodness, the 48-year-old Mims, Fla., woman said she got a crunchy mouthful of what she described as a hairy-legged spider tucked into a pocket of pasta.
"I spit it up…I screamed, rinsed my mouth out and I must have brushed my teeth till my teeth hurt," said Harrah, who claims to have found the surprise in a can of Chef Boyardee Mini Ravioli.
By the end you want to tell her that she's overreacting.  At least, I did.  "I'm so afraid," she says.  However horrifying, surely one must grasp that this is so rare it would surely never happen again.

But I'm terrified of spiders.  I know what she means when she says she couldn't sleep after being bitten by a brown recluse.  I wasn't bitten, but I can easily freak myself out thinking about spiders, and knowing it was in my mouth would drive me to the very edge of sanity.

And now you have a story to gross out Dad with at the dinner table.  You're welcome.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

The Mask Slips Again

...and Mitt Romney accidentally tells the truth.

Mitt Romney plunged into Obama country Friday as he began a six-state bus tour telling voters that if he becomes president, “the era of big government will really be over.” 

What Mitt means by that is the end of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as we know it, and new programs to replace them won't cover much of anything at all.

“Why Romney? Because we don’t like Obama,” said Paul Fidler, a truck driver, after Romney spoke in Stratham. “We’re petrified about what’s going on,” said Suzanne Rufiange, a bookkeeper, as she ate vanilla ice cream in Milford. “There’s too much control by a small amount of people.”

And Mitt Romney will certainly listen to you, of course.  And then he'll tell you that he knows what's best for America, and what that will mean is the retirement age is going up to 70 and you'll need to cover most of your Medicare, and like a good patriot you'll need to skip that vacation and instead save up for your own retirement, because we're sick of taking care of you cradle to grave.

And all this will of course mean more tax cuts for guys like Mitt.  You don't begrudge Mitt his quarter of a billion dollars, do you?  He's a man of the people, you know.  Sure you haven't gotten a raise since 2008 and your benefits just got cut again and the company discontinued the 401(k) program, but really you should be lucky you have a job, so you frankly have no right to complain.

Maybe if you work hard enough, you'll be rich like Mitt too.  You might even be able to afford health care for a while until your insurance company cancels your policy for the pre-existing condition of you broke your arm when you were 12, but that's better than the government being involved, right?

Why, Mitt and his Republican friends will create jobs just like they did in 2001-2009.  Only more of that whole "austerity" thing.

Won't it be fun?
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