Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Last Call

Try harder, Republicans.  Bryan Preston at Bananas in Pajamas:

Progress Kentucky is angling to push GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell out of the Senate. The “progressive” group seems to have a problem with race, though, specifically the race of McConnell’s wife.
Recently, the group turned its attention to McConnell’s wife, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, with a focus on her race.
In a Feb. 14 Twitter message, Progress says: “This woman has the ear of (Sen. McConnell)—she’s his wife. May explain why your job moved to China!”
Chao, you see, is ethnically Chinese. She was born in Taiwan. To these “progressives,” she’s a yellow menace.

Now, Chao was Labor Secretary for Dubya for eight years, under which 2.3 million US jobs were lost to China.  Still, that was a bad choice of words for the tweet and it's minimum casting Chao as the "other" based on China, which means somebody is an asshole and deserves the crapstorm that's coming.  Public apologies to Chao are minimum acceptability here, which is what they have done this evening:

Progress Kentucky is dedicated to ensuring the people of KY have the kind of representation in the US Senate they deserve. In an effort to educate KY voters as to the varied interests of Sen. McConnell we provided information about connections between the senator and business and government interests in China. This information included an inappropriate comment on the ethnicity of the former Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao, the senator’s wife. 

We apologize to the secretary for that unnecessary comment and have deleted the tweets in question. In addition, we have put a review process in place to ensure tweets and other social media communications from Progress KY are reviewed and approved prior to posting.

Which is lukewarm at best.  But, you notice this story broke nearly two weeks after the tweet was made, until Ashley Judd conveniently had to denounce something less than 24 hours after a story about her in the NY Times?  Even more so, let's remember Progress Kentucky is basically one guy on Twitter, Shawn Mark Reilly.  If it's a Democratic SuperPAC, I'm a world-famous archaeologist because I found an arrowhead once when I was in Boy Scouts.

Finally, let's not forget that Republicans sure enjoy making actual racist comments on purpose.  But what's uncalled for is this tirade by Preston:

Progress Kentucky’s racist tweet is far from the first time leftists have engaged in overt racism against Republicans who happen to be minorities. Bobby Jindal faced race-based attacks on his Indian heritage when he successfully ran for governor of Louisiana. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has faced racist and sexist attacks from the left. The Democrats opposed Miguel Estrada’s appointment to the federal judiciary during the Bush years explicitly because he is Hispanic. He was never even given a vote. The Democrats’ opposition to Clarence Thomas’ appointment to the US Supreme Court was fueled by Democrat racism.

The Democrats are and have always been the party of racism. From sparking the Civil War to defend slavery, through the “white primaries” in Texas to Jim Crow and now this attack on Elaine Chow, the left exploits race for power when they can and run racist attacks when they believe they can get away with it.

No, that's projection.  I'll tell you what,  when you decide to hold the GOP to the same standard on iffy tweets where the President and his wife are referred to as tarbabies, gorillas, and savages, let me know.

Wrestling With The Immigration Debate

Oliver Willis has a point here with the WWE's latest gimmick, where wrestler Jack Swagger and his Hannity-spouting manager Jeb Colter are the Gadsden Flag waving heels -- the bad guys being booed by crowds -- and "Mexican Millionaire" Alberto Del Rio is the face -- the good guy fighting to cheers.

On Monday’s edition of WWE Raw, Colter and Del Rio had a debate about immigration that really could have been ripped right out of cable news. Colter again complained that undocumented workers were taking American jobs and weren’t hard workers, while also whining about it being politically incorrect for him to refer to “illegals.”

He was booed. Loudly.

Del Rio responded by describing America as “the greatest country in the world,” which was the motivation for immigrants coming here to seek a better life for themselves.

This argument from Del Rio, coming from the Latino character in response to the right-wing xenophobe, was roundly applauded and prompted a “USA” chant in the arena.

In Texas.

(True to conservative form, Colter later complained that the moderator of his debate with Del Rio had shown… bias)

Sure, it’s a silly, goofy, over the top fake wrestling show – but it is also an entertainment vehicle that historically has had its finger on the pulse of its audience, changing itself to pander to the cultural zeitgeist of the moment.

WWE boss Vince McMahon, a modern day P.T. Barnum (and husband to a failed Republican Senatorial candidate), tends to give his audience the heroes and villains needed to attract eyeballs and open their wallets. McMahon and WWE have discovered that a pro-immigrant hero attracts applause and cheers, while an anti-immigrant villain is laughed at and booed.

The character who would be right at home between The O’Reilly Factor and Hannity is the bad guy.

Maybe somebody should tell the Republicans.

Oliver's right here, Vince McMahon knows what sells (his wife as a teabagger Senator in Connecticut, not so much.)  But it's a least a small sign that the times, they are a-changin'.  No matter what the GOP says, the rest of the country is having a huge laugh at the expense of the teabaggers, and if the fans of the WWE are booing the GOP line on "illegals" and cheering for a Latino hero living la vida loca (what's more "American Dream" than that?) then that's at least one more brick coming down in the wall.

Welcome to 2013, GOP.  Maybe someday you'll join us.

The Sequester Fester

As I mentioned this morning in Stupidinews, Republicans have decided to Do Something About The Sequester:  propose that the Obama Administration has to come up with the cuts, but leave the total amount of slashing the same, so that all the blame falls on the President.

In a last-minute bid to minimize the most painful impacts of federal spending cuts – and perhaps blame – Republicans will propose this week allowing the government to choose where to cut.

They plan to introduce proposals to allow flexibility while maintaining the overall level of cuts mandated by a 2011 law.

The proposal is in response to the Obama administration’s repeated complaint that the law doesn’t allow managers the flexibility to shift the reductions from such areas as teachers or programs to help female victims of violence. It’s also a move to shelter the GOP from blame should the cuts cause widespread pain. 

“As a leader, he should want as much flexibility as he can get from Congress,” said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association. “When did he ever go to his Cabinet secretaries, his agency heads and say, ‘What would be the least painful . . . way?’

Democrats criticized the proposal, however, saying it would lock in the overall level of cuts – $85 billion for this fiscal year and $1.2 trillion over 10 years – which they argue would hurt the economy. They’ll propose smaller spending reductions supplemented by tax increases.

“The overwhelming majority of Americans want us to compromise before our neighbors, friends and family members get pink slips or notices that they can only work for a few days a week this month,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

So this is GOP 101, a move so stupidly partisan that even McClatchy is pointing out the obvious.  They're literally proposing a bill that absolves them of any responsibility for the sequester.  If the cuts are "miniscule" and helpful to the economy then why not own them?

Nobody seems to have the answer to that question, least of all the GOP.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/02/25/184131/gop-will-propose-sequester-changes.html#storylink=cpy


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