Morning Links

Monday, April 19th, 2010

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49 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    If I hear or read the word “maverick” one more time, I think I’ll puke. Only James Garner and Carolyn’s Ford (my ride in high school) get a pass…

  2. #2 |  Mike H | 

    Why did the John Waters’ pencil-thin ‘stache get such a poor rating? I’d trust that man with my life.

    (Although not so much with one of my chickens. If I had chickens.)

  3. #3 |  Dave W. | 

    William Anderson has been covering . . .

    Semi-related: I strongly suspect that the Pukemon guy is getting railroaded. I don’t doubt that he was being a jerk or that he threw up, but I seriously doubt the parts about the inducing and directing the spew and I seriously doubt he threw the first punch. Anyway, Officer Vangelo’s story appears to have changed considerably between late last week and this morning. The media coverage has been incredibly conclusory — probably be cause policemen are involved.

  4. #4 |  Elliot | 

    Democrats who ruthlessly go after the “teabaggers” and other peaceful groups with a more libertarian element express more hatred and fear of them than they do against the Republicans who stand a chance of defeating Democrats in elections. As long as you stay in the narrow confines of campaigning for a major party candidate, you’re playing the game they want you to play, and they know that in the long term, they’ll win.

    Tea Party protesters are a tame group, who are too diffuse to make a real difference. They’re not even engaging in civil disobedience. But they question the system itself and oftentimes call things as they are, instead of the usual wimpy faux-respect between the major party candidates. Bill Clinton warns them not to “demonize” the Democrats, i.e., to just stand around with signs and make a little noise, then dutifully line up at the ballot box to desperately try to vote themselves back to freedom by picking more kindly masters.

    The message is clear: if you have rational anger at the government attacking your rights and see that both parties are an enemy of your freedom, you’ll be marginalized and ridiculed, and associated with every anti-government group or individual, no matter what the facts are.

    Just go along with the big government pageant and you’ll be safe. Move along. Nothing to see here.

  5. #5 |  Kristen | 

    That interview with the mayor of Johannesburg is all kinds of awesome.

  6. #6 |  Charlie O | 

    I still have to question the Tea Partier’s motivations considering their timing. Where the hell were these people when W was invading Iraq with billions in borrowed money from the Chinese? Where was the outrage not so much for starting an illegal war, but for spending billions and billions to do it and cutting taxes at the same time?

  7. #7 |  Bob | 

    Amanda Knox:

    “Amanda would not even have been a suspect in any US investigation.”

    I wish I could be believe that. But no, not until investigators in the US are held to high, common standards and held accountable for poor performance will that statement ever be true.

    On the lighter side… my new exercise product “Abs like Jesus!” is coming along great! With my proprietary techniques, you too can hard balling abs, just like Jesus! (See the Crucifix story a couple days ago).

  8. #8 |  Mattocracy | 

    I’m with Charlie O. I believe that the general public involved with the Tea Parties are sincere, but Palin, Gingrich, Hannity, and Beck are full of shit. Fox News glossed over the deficit under W. Now that their crew is trying to jump on this populist bandwagon, it undermines the whole movement. It’s kind of like when your favorite underground band ends up on MTV. No one likes a sell out.

  9. #9 |  Robin | 

    Privatize the post office? Oh dear lord, those wacky tea party folk. That columnist selects his political beliefs based on blandness.

  10. #10 |  Marty | 

    the tea party movement looks a little wacky to me. kind of like the anti-war protests… it looked like a lot of anti-war protesters showed up just to get high or to be a part of something cool- some of the tea partiers are showing up for reasons that have nothing to do with taxation. I guess that’s any movement, though.

  11. #11 |  ktc2 | 

    Gotta agree with Bob @#7.

    I think former FBI agent Steve Moore has some coke bottle bottom thick rose glasses on when it comes to US law enforcement. That kind of prosecution/persecution happens daily here as well.

  12. #12 |  Saint Zero | 

    I do not understand how people can whine about the deficit under Bush (which was bad enough) and yet can’t say a word about the disaster Obama has steered us towards. We’re talking adding trillions of dollars faster than any other President. Yet Obama gets a pass while Bush, who hasn’t been in office a year or so, gets blamed.

    I think it’s time to admit you’re yelling at the wrong person.

  13. #13 |  Wade | 

    The small-c conservatives who have become tea partiers were OK with the GWOT expenditures because they were legitimate (whether they were wise or unwise) uses of federal money and power. The Constitution gives Congress and the POTUS the right to fight our foreign enemies. Even if you don’t agree with the wars, you can’t deny that they only started after Congress approved them.

    The tea party started gaining momentum during the lame duck portion of the Bush administration when the bailouts of incompetent bankers started. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives Congress or the POTUS the right to take huge amounts of taxpayer money and hand it over to their buddies on Wall Street. Obama’s nationalization of GM and renewed commitment to stealing from main street to help Wall Street only hardened the resolve and increased the mainstream acceptance of the tea parties.

  14. #14 |  Kristen | 

    Holy crap – haven’t we learned yet that they’re ALL bad? Why are we still fighting over “who started it”? Republican a Democrat politicians are all evil, all the time.

  15. #15 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Love Bill Anderson, been reading him for years over at FFF. He led the charge on the Duke Lax case, turned the name Nifong into a verb, one that any liberty-minded person should be aware of.

  16. #16 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #1 | Mike Leatherwood — “Only James Garner and Carolyn’s Ford (my ride in high school) get a pass…”

    Oh, c’mon, there’s room for just one more…

    Tom Cruise in Top Gun!

    “I feel the need for speed!”

  17. #17 |  random guy | 

    The problem with the tea parties is that it isn’t one single movement, they all are under the same banner (or more accurately placed their by the media) but individual motivations and group unifying elements vary from location to location.

    From what I’ve seen most of the East coast protests have been legitimate, although not always eloquent, complaints about the size and scope of government. However take a look at similar gatherings in the South, especially Texas, and a very different picture emerges. There are openly racist signs, there are obama nazi posters, there are illiterate signs complaining about immigrants not speaking English, there are groups of people chanting “take our country back” which given that context gives the chant a very different and somewhat ominous meaning.

    Those who says the timing of these events aren’t a little convenient are missing something. Anyone thats been staying informed knows that Obama’s policies have just been a continuation of Bushes, and the health care reform was the same thing the Republicans put forward in the early 90’s. The fact that a Black Democrat with a funny name (I’m willing to admit it may be his political affiliation and not his skin tone that has some people riled up) is president is definitely a key motivator to many of these events taking place. There are a lot of simple people in this country, to ignore the very plausible motivation of racism for some of these protesters is an act of willful denial.

    Beck, Palin, and Fox News involvement has made it harder to take them seriously. But that door swings both ways, the tea party events have grown because of that coverage. For many people Beck and Palin were the prime motivators for them to get involved in the movement at all, so take from that what you know about the demographics of Fox News viewership.

    Tea Parties are not the Klu Klux Klan, but they’re not the Cato Institute either. For better or worse they are moderate gatherings of pissed off ordinary Americans. There motivations are not uniform, and not all of them are noble, but they don’t need to be either. Simple dissent is sometimes enough in and of itself, but that doesn’t make the dissenters saints or devils.

    I now humbly await my -20 karma.

  18. #18 |  Peter Ramins |

    Saw this on Fark yesterday. Boiled down – elderly male gay couple had mutual power of attorney documents, mutual medical-care-decision-designee documents, etc, and the county totally disregarded the documents, put the healthy one in the home after denying him access to the hospital bedside of the dying one (couldn’t even visit, much less be consulted on his care) and then eventually more or less seized all their property and auctioned it off, despite the fact that the healthy one was… well, healthy.

    I wonder whether this was so much a “ignore the legal documents of this gay couple issue” so much as whether it was an issue of “hey they have like 150 combined years of property-acquisition we can seize and auction for revenue!”

    Either way it is enraging and infuriating and very very sad.

  19. #19 |  Peter Ramins | 

    Re: Your wish that US journalists questioned politicians like in the linked article –

    They used to! But then it was determined that the People wanted heavily slanted and loaded articles that told them how to feel about stuff instead of just describing the stuff. People DON’T want hard-hitting exposing-style journalism that brings corruption or ineptitude to light.

    I mean, look how well the papers are doing now, and a paper is a business.

  20. #20 |  jb | 

    Re the FBI agent…he writes:

    “Hypothetically, any trained investigator operating for many hours without rules, in a foreign language, slapping and threatening a naïve, frightened girl just out of her teens and in a foreign country, (denying her food, sleep and the right to an attorney and Consular advice) can get her to say just about anything. If this was the medical profession, one might deem such activities “intentional malpractice”.”

    I wonder what his opinion is on the activities of the U.S. intelligence services in Gitmo.

  21. #21 |  Chris Berez | 

    #5 | Kristen | April 19th, 2010 at 9:32 am

    That interview with the mayor of Johannesburg is all kinds of awesome.

    Yeah, seriously. That is utterly fantastic. That absolutely made my day.

    South Africa better be ready. The Cup starts in June.

  22. #22 |  shecky | 

    Just reinforces my perception. Tea partiers are full of shit. What they’re really pissed off about is that the folks running the show have a (D) next to their names. Tea party has become the new “libertarian”, a name one used to sound more hep than “conservative”, less poisoned than “Republican”. The real libertarian element of the movement has been overrun by the big government conservatives, the Palin/Fox machine, with a smattering of freaks/racists/neo-Confederates. It seems rarely coherent when taken on an individual basis. Is it any wonder that the group is incoherent as a whole? Being against big government has no meaning. Everybody is against big government in some way. Until they can present some intelligent specifics, the default judgment will be that of disgruntled yokels.

  23. #23 |  Marty | 

    #18 | Peter Ramins

    My gf and I have been together for a few years and we’ve made a conscious decision to build a life together, but not get married. This is scary stuff- gay or straight!

    I’ll be watching…

  24. #24 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “I believe that the general public involved with the Tea Parties are sincere, but Palin, Gingrich, Hannity, and Beck are full of shit.”

    Nah, really?

  25. #25 |  James D | 

    “random guy”, considering Andrew Breitbart has said he’ll pay 100K to anyone with audio or video evidence of racism or violence at ANY Tea Party rally and no one has come forward, I call bullshit on all the talk of Nazi/Racism stuff at the rallies. Watching the media ‘cover’ the Tea party events has really shown how biased most of them are.

  26. #26 |  PersonFromPorlock | 

    The question isn’t whether Amanda Knox is innocent, but whether she’s important enough, or related to someone important enough, for it to matter if she is.

  27. #27 |  Blakenator | 

    Re: Amanda Knox: The case does look like she was “wronged.” However, I was impressed with the linked article by the FBI “ace.” He should know about those things because all he has to do is refer to the SOP (standard operating procedures) of law enforcement right here in the good ol’ USofA. The cynic in me is always amused when Americans jump to criticize the justice system in any other country when an American is involved. Just can’t trust them foreigners, especially when they are the home team. Where is the “tough on crime” crowd that always shouts “if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve nothing to worry about.”

  28. #28 |  Charlie O | 

    Why is it whenever someone points out the gross debt run up by the Bush administration, some people assume that is absolving the current administration. I make no excuses for the current administration’s debt or spending. My point is where was the outrage when the white guy did it?

  29. #29 |  Athena | 

    I watched some local coverage of the Tea Party protests in Western Washington and was shocked by how many “Tea Party Crashers” showed up with their misspelled, racist signs intended to make tea partiers look bad. The Tea Partiers had a simple enough solution, though – it appeared that, for every imposter, there was an authentic Tea Partier standing next to them with a neon sign identifying the imposter as a “Crasher”.

    How fanatical does one have to be to come to the conclusion that impersonating a follower of an opposing ideology with the intent to make them look bad is a reasonable tactic?

    I’d like to believe it backfired badly. I was on the fence about Tea Partiers prior to the most recent protests, but seeing how the opposition has decided to react to them, they’ve got my full support.

  30. #30 |  Foobs | 

    There are a modest number of people like Radley who are upset about the size and scope of government regardless of the party in power or the race of the president. Does anyone really think that people like that are the bulk of the tea party movement?

  31. #31 |  sqlcowboy | 

    I basically agree with randomguy.

    My local tea partiers are the “Obama is a socialist!” (with a picture of him as Hitler or the Joker) and “Go home Mexicans!” type. True, you could say that there’s no racism in those messages (even though the first is a lie, and the second is just silly, IMO)… but given the type of people that live near me, I’m pretty sure racism is at the core of their message.

    The Tea Partiers who only started making noise when we got a black president are a lot different than the libertarians who were doing so all along. I can respect the latter, but not the former.

  32. #32 |  Aaron | 

    Charlie O: because many people do point out the bad behavior of the other guys to try to absolve their guys (or at least distract from it). Tu quoque is not a good defense, of course. I would’ve hoped that on this site people would give you the benefit of the doubt: Most politicians are pretty awful and attacking one is obviously not directly a defense of another. Alas even here there are partisans who turn off their minds when convenient.

  33. #33 |  shecky | 

    If the tea partiers want to be taken as reasonable folks, they need to boot the geniuses who book the likes of Tom Tancredo to speak at their events, shitting on the event by saying things like “If [Obama’s] wife says Kenya is his homeland, why don’t we just send him back?”, or the Constitution Party’s Dan Gonzales saying “this is the end of America right here,” and if the Tea Partiers “don’t get to work we’re going to be fighting in the streets.”

    Once again, the Tea Party movement is full of shit, venting stream of consciousness nonsense now that a Dem (and a black Dem at that) is in office. I’m proud that so many TPers are sane and non violent. So get the fuck out and boot these lunatics from the podium already.

  34. #34 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I fear FOR the Tea Party. They’ve been ignored and now laughed at. We know what’s next. Gubmint fights with guns.

    “First, they ignore you. Then they laugh at you,
    Then they fight you. Then you win.” – Gandhi

  35. #35 |  shecky | 

    Oh, and not to mention the odd gay baiting that Lindsey Graham seemed to get.

  36. #36 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    The comments on this thread are peculiar in that many paint the Tea Party with a single, vulgar brush. Please try going to a TP event and point out ONE person who you can say “THERE! That man IS THE Tea Party!” You can’t. Nor can you with any group of people gathered for any event.

    Fair warning would be that this political movement is in danger of being usurped by radicals seeking to monetize this bitch. (Make “Home Alone” hands-to-face gesture now)

    It is at least interesting to see how this develops, but don’t condemn everyone as “full of shit”. Then, YOU would be full of the shit.

    PS: I can go through close to 500 photos I’ve taken at 4 different TP events and I might be able to find one sign that would be in questionable taste (much better than any Philly sporting event). I am not a TPer.

  37. #37 |  CC | 

    (((considering Andrew Breitbart has said he’ll pay 100K to anyone with audio or video evidence of racism or violence at ANY Tea Party rally and no one has come forward,)))

    Then either he is defining “Racism” very strictly or he owes some money to Talking Points Memo and everyone else who has video of Tom Tencredo’s Tea Party Rally speech where he was saying Obama should be sent “back to Kenya.”


  38. #38 |  shecky | 


    I simply went to one site covering a single TP event, and found two asshole speakers addressing the crowd. No nutpicking among the riff raff needed. Do attendees really need misspelled signs and three cornered hats when their own headliners are wearing crazypants enough for everyone? If you’re part of this nonsense, where the only recognizable uniting cause is Obama Derangement Syndrome, then you are full of shit.

  39. #39 |  James D | 

    “Then either he is defining “Racism” very strictly or he owes some money to Talking Points Memo and everyone else who has video of Tom Tencredo’s Tea Party Rally speech where he was saying Obama should be sent “back to Kenya.””

    That’s not racism, that’s questioning that he’s a citizen (birther/etc). And it has been pointed out, a lot of ‘crashers’ have been trying to infiltrate the protests with racist signs on purpose. Considering the outright scum I’ve seen at anti-war, eco-terrorist and SEIU rallies (where there IS actual hatred and violence) … I still find the backlash against this Tea Party stuff beyond laughable.

    I’m getting pretty sick and tired of hearing anyone questioning this congress or administration being called racist. We all know it’s BS. And ‘playing the race card’ is getting REALLY old in all of American life. The next president should wear a bear suit their entire campaign and presidency … then we can complain about them without any BS excuses as to WHY.

  40. #40 |  RGD | 

    James, I’d bet money you’re white. Only a white guy can make an argument about how racism isn’t racism and be completely serious about it.

  41. #41 |  CC | 

    (((That’s not racism, that’s questioning that he’s a citizen (birther/etc).)))

    I don’t think Tancredo said word one about his citizenship, merely that he should be sent back to Africa.

    I’ll be the first one to admit some rotten stuff has happened at liberal rallies, too. There are certainly crazies in both parties and I would never deny it. But if people are claiming that calls for sending the black guy back to Africa aren’t racist, well, I’m having trouble taking that seriously.

  42. #42 |  André Kenji | 

    The cynic in me is always amused when Americans jump to criticize the justice system in any other country when an American is involved. Just can’t trust them foreigners, especially when they are the home team. Where is the “tough on crime” crowd that always shouts “if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve nothing to worry about.”

    I´m not an American, but:

    1-) I find astonishing that in fact so many Americans in fact defend the *prosecution* in this case.

    2-) Well, well, We are talking about Italy, a country that has a Prime Minister so corrupt that even people in Brazil are astonished about it.

  43. #43 |  shecky | 

    James D:

    Are Tancredo and (Constitution Party’s) Dan Gonzales liberal crashers out to make the tea Party look bad, too? They must be damn good infiltrators, to have gotten the chance to actually speak at a TP event.

  44. #44 |  random guy | 

    James D, no one here is saying that the tea party is made up entirely of racists, or that the presence of racists does anything to disprove their other arguments. I said as much in my original post. I hate to be the one to break this to you but America does have racist citizens, and at any public protest its not unexpected that a few might show up. Especially when the protests happen to be critical of the policies of the new black president.

    What are you really arguing here? The issue of race interjects itself into every single national debate we have. Do you honestly believe, or expect anyone to else to believe, that out of all the political movements to ever be created the tea parties are the only ones that managed to not garner the support of a single racist at any of their gatherings? I mean just the presence of a few birthers, an entire movement founded on passive aggressive racism, will undoubtedly lead to racist things being said.

    I gave you the benefit of the doubt yesterday and googled “racism tea party”. In the first five pages 2/3s of the links were people holding racist signs and tea partiers being quoted as saying racist things. The other 1/3 is conservatives saying that didn’t happen. Its long past the point of willful denial.

    Let me give you some advice, if you legitimately care about the tea parties being taken seriously you will drop the racism denial. Denying the unfortunate reality of the situation just gives the critics more reason to let the issue of racism dictate the conversation. Admit that some racist things happened at a few tea party rallies, but that being a series of public protests this is bound to happen, and that no one should be using racism or accusations of racism in place of an argument for or against what the tea partiers are complaining about. Stick to the big government issues, those are arguments you can win.

  45. #45 |  tim O. | 

    The Tea Partiers in the American South reflect an all too human trait. Like the sunnis and the shias, they cannot let something that happened in the distant past be merely history. The South has never gotten over getting their butts kicked in the Civil War. This movement, at least in the south, is the distillation of a hundred years of sour grapes.

    Like my friend’s mother (in Atlanta) said, the republicans turn out to be sore losers. Just like the sons of the confederacy.

    As for the tea partiers in the north and west, many of them are libertarians, pretending that if the government would go away we could just have things like they once were. As if that could happen. Or, indeed, as if it were actually true.

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