December 31, 2008

Hurray for the Magic Negro

By Papa Bonk

Is the word “Negro” coming back? My mother used it along with “colored people” back in the day. Now the GOP is all over it. Recently they issued an apology to all the Negroes in America. I guess you could say it was from all their Caucasian friends at the GOP. Of course this is all about “Barack the Magic Negro,” a song parody sort of about Barack Obama. “We do not want one ill-considered song parody to create the wrong impression,” the RNC apology read. “The Republican Party has always been, and will always be, the friend of the negroe” (the extra “e” is the GOP’s.) So I think the word is back, and I expect the GOP to keep using it. It really reflects the way they think over there.

Frankly, I don’t think anyone really believes that one little song parody is creating the wrong impression. As I pointed out when Speaking Truth to Morons some time ago (See The Lincoln Legacy) racism is an important part of the GOP strategy. You play the race card (by using Willie Horton, or supporting whisper campaigns against John McCaine’s negro baby) and automatically you keep the southern racist vote which, when combined with the Christo-taliban and deregulation business blocks, gives you power.

The GOP loves Negroes. It has more problems with black people. I remember back in the 1970s when my next door neighbor, an up and coming young black businessman, got a personal call from Bob Dole to ask him to run for the state legislature. My neighbor was politically indifferent, but it was Kansas and it could not hurt an up and coming businessman to be a successful Republican in Kansas politics, and Bob Dole had called personally. So my neighbor agreed to run. (I should note that this was in one of the only places in Kansas where Republicans are not automatically elected each year). About a month before the election, the candidate stopped over to ask for help. It seems that while the Republicans were glad to put him on the ticket, they offered no money, no help getting money, no help with issues research. No help at all. The candidate had to appear at a candidate forum in two days, and did not want to embarrass himself. So I spent the next two evenings briefing him on the local issues, educating him on his opponents’ positions and what he might want to think about as opposing positions. (The opponent was a friend of mine, and I am a Democrat, so I could not help him formulate positions, but I did not want him to embarrass himself either.) My neighbor lost the election and I suspect never again got involved in politics, at least not as a Republican.

He had, however, served an important purpose. He proved that the GOP really did have Negroes in its membership. That’s exactly how they used Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Kenneth Blackwell, Clarence Thomas… in Powell’s case, they also got to use his good name to sell their criminal conspiracy.

So the GOP has a Negro problem. Few Negroes want to be GOPers, and most who sign up still eventually feel the cold breath of racism on the back of their necks. I think the tempest over the Magic Negro song merely underscores the GOP problem. They have so little credibility in this area that they have to apologize for what is, after all, just a parody.

Yes, Lush Rimjob, that dumb-ass pill popping radio jockey was right for once. It is a parody, and not a bad one if you get it. The pretense is that it is sung by Al Sharpton in response to an LA Times OpEd, in which the author opined that Obama was just black enough to assuage white liberal guilt and thus win the election. “Sharpton” sings: “Real black men like Snoop Dog, or me or Farrakan, Have talked the talk and walked the walk, Not come in late and won…”. So the satire is about the old black political establishment getting handed its ass by Obama and not being happy about it. A reasonable satiric turn on an LA Times Article, especially if you are a GOPer.

Filed Under: Speak Truth To Morons

Cenk is Right

By Brady Bonk

I am not a big listener to The Young Turks. I will be honest; I found the show more listenable when Ben was there and certainly much more listenable when Jill was there. Cha-cha-cha. But I find it now to be one of the worst offenders of the one-man one-mic radio model that I think ruins a lot of moonbat radio. However, I do really like to READ Cenk Uygur.

Cenk has sounded off on the current situation in Israel, and he is right, though I might raise.

Cenk says the current crisis is the fault of the Untied States of America, that, because our boneheaded foreign policy boneheads insisted on elections in Gaza and then balked when Hamas won the elections, our keystone cop diplomatic efforts helped sow the seeds for the disaster we’re seeing now. I am down with that.

You see, there is but one American President, the much maligned Jimmy Carter, who has ever actually achieved peace in the Middle East. Mr. Carter wrote a book on the subject that took a lot of flack, primarily from those who did not get past the title jacket, called Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. One big idea Carter expresses in the book is that Middle East peace is not possible without vigorous intervention by a third party, and that the United States is uniquely qualified for the job.

Of course, the Opposite Day administration of the Current President departed drastically from this sound advice. From day one, this administration has been completely disinterested, and, when it did choose to inject itself, has always misread the tea leaves.

Now, I may depart from many liberals on this subject. I think that Israel has every right to strike against an organization that codifies against its right to exist. I do of course wish it could have waited until responsible leadership was installed here so a new peace process could begin. But there is little doubt that the bloodshed that’s occurring right now is the direct result of a botched foreign policy by the Current President.

Thank goodness we finally elected the right guy. 21 days to go.

December 22, 2008

How Big is Our Tent?

By Papa Bonk

Rick Warren has been has been telling us a lot about how he understands gay people, and man he knows a lot!!! In a fascinating interview on ABC News, The Reverend Rick says Gay people want to fuck everybody all the time. He admits that he wants to fuck every good looking woman he sees. But The Reverend Rick has great restraint because he is a civilized Christian man, and he is not gonna fuck the neighbor’s wife, or any of the beautiful women in his congregation. (And I guess that means he isn’t going to go out and buy it like some of his evangelical colleagues occasionally do.) However, unlike the Reverend Rick, Gay people have no restraint, so they do fuck everybody all the time.

So I guess that’s why Gay people shouldn’t get the same marriage rights as other people. They won’t stop fucking their neighbors’ husbands!! What was that I said about loudmouthed know-it-all blowhard preachers?

I cannot imagine a greater insult to the quiet, scholarly, successful (both lawyers) lesbian couple whose (not legal) wedding I attended 10 years ago, which they held on the 10th anniversary of their relationship. (Parents of two bright, happy children.) Or to my dear friend who lives quietly in the DC Suburbs with her lover of 12 years, or to the two nicest men I know, one a professional gardner, one a lawyer, together since college over 30 years ago. Then there is my brother, who was once my sister, who has been with his wife (also a not legal ceremony I attended five years ago) for about 10 years. Happy by all accounts and looking forward to their first child.

These people, my gay and lesbian friends and family with long-standing, monogamous relationships, would all be very welcomed in The Reverend’s church provided they repent of their evil ways and become straight. Give up their lovers and find someone else. Maybe a lonely church member who can’t find a gal no how. The Reverend even has a treatment program for the gay disease to help them on their way. Such a deal. Salvation and the straight life all in one neat bundle!!

And now, Warren says that his support for Proposition 8 was not at all about sex. Of course he was very upset about the redefinition of marriage, which has been well established for 5,000 years. Even Muslims agree that marriage is between one man and one woman…. well maybe Muslem men get a few extra babes, but who is counting? (Where did this guy study history?) And Warren says his big objection was about free speech. Yeah. No kidding. It seems that if Proposition 8 had passed, preachers could no longer spew hatred of gay people from the pulpit. It would be viewed as hate speech, he said, and could be prosecuted. Specious nonsense.

The Reverend Warren is a slick weasel. If you listen to his BeliefNet interview he appears to be fairly reasonable. For example, he appears to endorse civil unions. When asked that question specifically, he said, “I don’t know if I’d use the term there but I support full equal rights for everybody in America. I don’t believe we should have unequal rights depending on particular lifestyles so I fully support equal rights.” If you read the transcript, where he has been allowed to clarify his views, he says, “ No American should ever be discriminated against because of their beliefs. Period. But a civil union is not a civil right. Nowhere in the constitution can you find the “right” to claim that any loving relationship identical to marriage. It’s just not there.”

I do not think the tent is big enough for this guy.

Filed Under: Speak Truth To Morons
December 19, 2008

Lets See Some Fierce Advocacy!

By Papa Bonk

I think my personal opposition to religion begins with a visceral dislike of loud-mouthed self righteous extroverted know-it-alls. That’s what most preachers are. If they sold soap suds or used cars or God it would be the same. I don’t mind the idea of God so much, but the people he has hired to sell his bullshit are, for the most part, self aggrandizing, hypocritical blowhards.

So that’s where I start with Rick Warren, the epitome of the Cadillac salesman preacher. And I have no expectation that Rick Warren, being who he is, would in any way favor equal treatment for all Americans or care about the privacy rights of women. I am sure if he had been working this trick 50 years ago he would oppose miscegenation and preach the divine right of white people.

I agree with our President Elect that there is room in America for people like Rick Warren. But he does not belong at this inauguration. As Barney Frank pointed out in today’s Huffington Post, “The selection of a member of the clergy to occupy this uniquely elevated position has always been considered a mark of respect and approval by those who are being inaugurated.” Respect and approval. The man we will be honoring at the Inauguration has said that homosexuality is the equivalent of bestiality and child abuse, that the right to choose is tantamont to the Holocaust, and that people who do not believe in God should not be allowed to hold public office. (I suspect he will have a test for exactly which god qualifies.) Certainly we could have found another blowhard to honor at this inaugural, not one who was front and center in the fight for Proposition 8. The Empire State Pride Agenda website has a list of 335 preachers who support equal marriage rights in New York.

And this is where this gets personal. We (and I mean me) put a lot of hard work and money into this election campaign and we did not do it so that the people we have been fighting against can be up front and center on Inauguration Day. Invite him some other time. Have him in for one of those prayer breakfasts. Don’t have him in to preach to the entire nation on January 20.

In his defense, the President Elect says he believes in a diversity of views, and that he is a “fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans.” (Note no mention of transgendered Americans, like my little brother, who often get left out of this shuffle, but I am going to assume here that there is no actual intention to exclude them.)

As Rachel Maddow pointed out last night the extent of Obama’s fierce advocacy is open to question. At the SaddleBack dialogue he repeated his along-standing position that he favors civil unions but opposes gay marriage. I have to admit this is something of a milestone for presidential candidates, but it falls short of fierce advocacy. Separate but equal is not equal. Earlier, Obama said that as a Christian he believes there is something sacred about a marriage between a man and a woman. He has supported some legislation that is favorable to the GLBT community such as hate crime and anti-discrimination bills. In all, he gets an 89 percent score from Human Rights Watch, a GLBT advocate. That’s a B in most schools.

So if the President Elect is serious about being a fierce advocate for All Americans, here are a few things he can do soon, before we begin to believe he is closer to Rick Warren’s people than he is to his own: make a clear statement in the Inaugural Address that all Americans, including Gay,Lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans, shall enjoy equal protection under the law, including the protections of marriage that all straight Americans enjoy; eliminate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; extend federal employee benefits to all families of federal employees; propose repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act; appoint some members of the GLBT community to the federal bench. (I have a few candidates if you need names.)

Filed Under: Speak Truth To Morons

Outvocation

By Brady Bonk

I have previously mentioned my Uncle Bonk who used to be my Auntie. He is married to a lovely young woman the family adores, and they make their home in the handsome midwest. I always love to watch straight and uninitiated people try to figure that shit out.

“But wait,” they say, wrinkling their noses. “‘His’ wife is a lesbian? That means she likes women, right? Then why’s she with a woman who looks like a dude? Why not just go with a dude?” Then their heads explode and fireworks and monkeys shoot out, and the monkeys scream and jump around and throw their own poop. You should see it. It’s awesome.

Here, fellow straight people. Let me sort it out for you.

When people are becoming aware of their most basic identifying traits, they learn three things about themselves. They discover what kind of naughty parts they have. They learn what gender they are. And, they figure out if they want to grope males or females. For straight people, these three aspects all happen to line up all in a row. So we commit a gigantic post hoc ergo propter hoc, and that post hoc delves a large, central brain ridge with the assumption that our genitals dictate our gender identification and that those dictate our sexual preference, and we put a nice pretty little bow on that and we stick it under the I’m-Straight-So-Life-Is-Nice Tree.

In truth, though, or at least by my theory, it is profound ambivalence, not the nice neat lines that the straight of us have to work with, that is the natural order of things. The truth is that these three human aspects are separate issues. One’s junk doesn’t determine anything but one’s junk. Gender I.D. and sexual preference are arrived at independently. Don’t think so? What the hell else explains how I know a F-M transgendered person who still likes boys?

(Do not expend too much effort on that last sentence at once. I don’t want to cause any more spontaneous cranial explosions than I absolutely have to.)

This is why many straight people have such difficulty understanding and accepting homosexuality. We assume that A leads to B leads to C, but it just doesn’t. Just because you’ve got an outie doesn’t mean you’re a man, and just because you’re a man doesn’t mean you feel like cozying up to a lady. Sit alone with this idea for a little bit, and it might just explain a thing or two.

This is why a guy like Rick Warren and his ilk sound so utterly ignorant to me, when they compare homosexuality to goat-fucking and pedophelia. And, certainly, this marks my first disagreement with the President-Elect, who is having “Pastor” Warren deliver the inauguration invocation.

This is a bad idea. If it’s meant to appease the religious goofies, it won’t. Remember, Bill Clinton’s invocation was led by Billy Graham, whose ground troops spent the next eight years sniping at him from the stands. You cannot appease these people. You cannot appease these people because they are people who will not rest until we pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ. All this will accomplish is to piss off the folks who hit the streets and the dial tones for him in October.

Which brings me to this: It’s not just Warren’s astounding pronouncements about homosexuality that renders him unqualfied for the job. It’s his statement that those who “do not believe” are not qualified to serve in public office. That probably qualifies him even less than his biggotry of homosexuals. The man is an admitted theocrat, and theocrats make up a tremendous bulk of the scourge that has ruined this country.

Besides, it is time now to dispense with the notion that all American Christians are politically conservative whackos. Believe it or not, some Christians actually voted for Barack Obama! In this entire world, Barack, you can’t find a Pastor who doesn’t equate a gay person to a goat-fucker? You don’t need to go far, sir, to find a tolerant, progressive church. You really don’t.

Look, I understand that President Obama isn’t going to be able to govern from the hard-core left, and I don’t even think that he gave any indication that he intended to try. I do, however, think that Obama did promise to bring back a certain level of civility and respect to public discourse. In other words, I know he didn’t promise to get out in front on gay marriage, in fact, he said quite plainly that he’s more of a “civil unions” guy. But I think he did promise to be the kind of President who wouldn’t point and laugh and yell “fag.” That is essentially what this pick does, and it is entirely the wrong foot from which to step first.

December 17, 2008

Duh.

By Brady Bonk

The Case For Caroline

By Brady Bonk

The new senator from New York, no matter who is appointed, is going to be in quite a pickle.

This person will by default be the most junior senator. There will be no hefty committee appointments. There will be no seniority. It will be the last four years of a term previously occupied by a respected, feared, and loved legislator. The new senator will essentially be told to STFD and STFU.

So, I say, New York had better send somebody who’s already known, who’s already adored, and who already has a name in politics. It is the only way you folks are going to get heard in that august body.

Yep, I think New York needs Caroline Kennedy.

Just a thought.

Filed Under: Potpourri

The Astounding Success of Air America Radio

By Brady Bonk

When it comes to Air America Radio, I am hardly a fanboi (I reserve my radio fanboi luv for Robin Ophelia Quivers). I have in fact been often critical of the network and its obsession with one-man-one-mic programming, its abandonment of the Winstead Doctrine, and its baffling programming decision to cast management as talent. And let’s not even get into how the network manhandled The Goddess. For that alone, no liberal listener could be blamed for boycotting Air America Radio for the duration.

However, today I would like to mark a milestone and to discuss the astounding success of Air America Radio:

Fox News Channel said popular cable TV host Bill O’Reilly will step down as the host of his syndicated talk radio show early next year.

“The Radio Factor” — which began in 2002 and runs on more than 400 radio stations, as well as satellite operator Sirius XM Radio Inc. — will end in the first quarter of 2009, Fox said late Thursday.

In a statement, O’Reilly said the workload has become too much, adding, “I can no longer give both TV and radio the time they deserve.”

O’Reilly will continue hosting “The O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel and writing his weekly newspaper column.

I wish I could write that Bill O’Reilly’s departure from the air means abject failure. But I can find no evidence of it. Radio ratings are difficult to track down, and, by what accounts I can find, Bill-O may actually have had some listeners. But, there is victory, regardless: Bill-O will no longer broadcast on the radio, and Air America Radio, which he denegrated mercilessly—though I suspect that was more driven by a personal cock-off with soon-to-be Senator Al Franken—does still broadcast. No matter how the fact comes down, it is: We’re paper, motherfucker, and you’re rock. Take that, you big giant Ted Baxter head.

O’Reilly was among many of conservagoat talkers who premptively predicted and prayed for AAR’s immediate failure. I always thought it was a strange and telling aspect of that mindset. It wasn’t just that they disagreed with the ideas espoused at AAR. It was that they couldn’t even stand the mere thought that AAR was allowed to exist, that its broadcast day, whether they were listening or not, was enough to make the big forehead vein pop out. It was this that led me to one of my most basic dictionary definitions:

A liberal is somebody who, when he first encounters Voltaire’s declaration that “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it,” gets misty-eyed and says, “That’s beautiful.” A conservative is somebody who, when he first encounters the quote, clenches his fist and says, “Who’s this Voltaire faggot?”

They were nearly granted their wish when a month or so in it became apparent that its primary financial backer, Evan Montvel Cohen, didn’t have nearly as much money behind the deal as he said he did. The initial stumble had nothing to do with ratings, content, advertising, or actual success or failure, but these morons were just ass-first in the schadenfreude punch bowl over it nonetheless. The great fear of the liberal listener was that Air America Radio, even with all its good press and all its celebrity power and all of its quality programming (it did have quality programming once) would merely serve to prove the O’Reillys of the universe right, that liberal ideas could not compete in the intellectual marketplace, that liberal talk could not entertain and hold ears, and that it certainly couldn’t sell ads.

It is a shame AAR had to suffer that initial stumble (documented so nicely in the documentary Left Of The Dial) because it immediately stunted the network’s initial creative impulse and made it abandon the directive that the shows needed to be entertaining first and politically biting second (the aforementioned “Winstead Doctrine”). It forced the network to the mantra, “we’re a business, we have to act like a business.” Evan Cohen stole the soul of AAR; he was, most certainly, this tale’s Grinch.

My theory of radio is that there have been three innovative models created in the past 50 years: NPR, Rush Limbaugh, and Howard Stern. I know I sound like a curmudgeon, still today bemoaning the loss of Morning Sedition, but that show understood that you could steal a bit from each of these models and spin radio gold. No show AAR has created since—hell, no show that radio has created since—has even come close to establishing this aesthetic. It’s a damned shame.

AAR’s continued insistence on thrashing and wrecking its best products is nothing new in radio nor in corporate America, and at AAR, it was virulent and chronic no matter who was CEO. Recent examples of this: Its inability to retain funnyman Kent Jones of the The Rachel Maddow Show, who is still missed sorely on that show, and the previously mentioned beat-down of smoky Brooklynite Randi Rhodes. It is this self-destructive tendency through the years that leads me to characterize the network’s continued success as “astounding.”

By my count, Air America Radio currently has 47 affiliates. This is down severely from the network’s heyday, when I think they broadcasted on about 100 affiliates. Yet it survives. It suffered Evan Cohen, who also screwed AAR by embroiling it in a scandal involving the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, it suffered bankruptcy, it suffered the departure of all of its initial big-name talent. And yet, today, I can still tune in and hear liberal talk. It survives, while Bill-O abandons his air. That is an astounding success.

But, wait. There’s more. Air America Radio has been astoundingly successful in another way entirely, that is, in educating its listeners.

Before AAR went on the air, I knew of one, maybe two liberal talkers. I had always assumed that, if I wanted radio as I drove to New York or Pennsylvania, I’d have to settle for El Rushbo or for WGOD. Now I know differently, and I know that if AAR bites it tomorrow, I can still seek and find liberal talk. I can podcast. I can use satellite and Internet radio, and I know who the talkers are now. AAR has permanently altered the methods by which I consume media. This is a tremendous and lasting success for the network, one that no conservagoat yapper can ever take away.

And I think it’s no coincidence, by the way, that political liberalism is seeing a resurgence. I believe that the resurgence, the election results of 2006 and 2008, are driven partly by the fact that there have been liberals on the radio for five years (in March). I have no empirical evidence of this. But anecdotally, you must admit that we are better represented in the media than we were five years ago or so. You do see Katrina Vanden Heuvel on the TV a lot more often these days, don’t you?

This is due in part to the greatest and most surprising success of Air America Radio, the birth of its ultimate rock star, the disarming, brainy charmer of a woman called Rachel Maddow, who made it to television long before I had predicted in this space. If Air America Radio was solely created for the lone purpose of introducing Maddow to a national audience, if that alone was the network’s deliberate, stated purpose, then it would have been enough. Maddow’s ascendence is the crowning achievement of AAR; its single most important contribution, a rube in experience who held her own fiercely in the marathon of cable news election coverage, a pundit who is so utterly good that Matthews and Gregory and the whole lot of them are pissing themselves. Who knew such a personality could be discovered on a whacky little morning show with Chuck “The Rhyme Animal” D and Lizz Winstead?

Now, I know there are other talkers other than those at the network of the Greens, and I must tip my hat to the likes of Big Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller, and now Randi Rhodes at Nova M, all of who have my ear at some point of every week. But, like it or not, all of them and their independent deals owe quite a lot to Air America Radio, which grabbed the attention and was big enough to convert a couple of random talkers out in outer space into a bona fide genre. And, I have to yet again point out that Bill O’Reilly is quitting radio while Air America Radio continues to broadcast. Nyah.

Filed Under: Left of the Dial
December 16, 2008

Line of the Day

By Brady Bonk

…goes to Rising Hegemon.

I mean he dodged those things like they were “Vietnam”.

Thanks, LTLBH.

Kucinich 2012

By Brady Bonk

We here at the Serious Poo-Poo Institute of Technology have wondered for some time what the hell a guy’s gotta do around here to get impeached.

Now, we know.

An Illinois legislative impeachment panel started work on an unprecedented impeachment process Tuesday, taking the first steps toward removing Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office.

The embattled Democrat signaled he isn’t going down without a fight.

Lawmakers on Monday quickly shelved the idea of setting a special election where voters would fill the vacant Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama — the seat the governor is accused of trying to sell before his arrest last week on federal corruption charges.

But the House also voted 113-0 to create a bipartisan committee that will recommend whether Blagojevich should be impeached.

Pot Pourie

  • By the way. If you had your heart set on buying up “kucinich2012.com,” it’s too late. I just wish I could find a T-shirt.
  • Anyone else nervous that Obama has yet to name a Labor Secretary?