Right-wingers, guns and the same old story

And today in domestic terrorism…oh, forget it. Nobody is actually surprised that a white racist just blasted nine defenseless black parishioners in a church. This is America after all, and if there are two things we’ve got plenty of it’s paranoid right-wingers and guns.

A new study attempts to debunk the claim that gun owners rely on their firearms for self-defense.

The left-leaning Violence Policy Center released a study Wednesday that finds people are much more likely to use a gun to kill someone without cause than to protect themselves.

That’s something that we already knew. Gun nuts are far more likely to assault or kill somebody – or commit suicide – than they are to prevent a random assault. So the numbers may be shocking, but they’re not surprising. Incidentally the one institution most able to do studies like this, the federal government, has been legally prevented from doing so thanks to Republicans and the NRA. So stepping in for the hamstrung Feds, we welcome the VPC:

According to the study, gun owners committed 259 justifiable homicides compared to 8,342 criminal homicides in 2012, the most recent year data was available.

That means gun owners are 32 times more likely to kill someone without cause than to act in self-defense, the study reasoned.

“We hope legislators in every state will stop believing the self-defense myth and look at the facts,” says Julia Wyman, executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence. “Guns do not make our families or communities safer.”

No shit? The fact that the U.S. is the most highly-armed country in the world (fuck off Yemen) and has a homicide rate comparable to a war-torn hellhole isn’t just bad luck. The two facts are somehow connected, what a surprise. I’d say we already know how they’re connected as well: By the species in question, the dangerously over-wrought and over-armed American Yahoo. By the ubiquitous gun nut, who is now so convinced of his substantive serial heroism, as when confronted by radio-toting Negroes or antenna-waving bees, that he’s long since forgotten how the hell to count:

Of course, the above real-life stories are just that: anecdotes…most people will never face such evil and have the ability to thwart it. Yet they’re not nearly as rare as a Sandy Hook or Virginia Tech: your chance of dying in a school shooting approximates that of being struck by lightning. In contrast, Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck estimates that 2.5 million Americans each year use guns for self-defense and that 400,000 of them say they would have been killed if they hadn’t been armed. That’s 400,000 a year.

That many, really? Let’s say we take that figure at whatever face value Florida State-quality research might imbue it, and we use it to crunch the numbers. You feed the statistic of ’400,000′ into one side of the abacus machine, and what comes out the other?

Total bullshit. If Americans didn’t have all those guns, the number of homicides in this country would jump from 16,000 to 416,000? Yeah right – a 2,600% increase. Concomitantly there’d be a 16% surge in the number of deaths per year, and national life expectancy would take a serious statistical hit. Come to think of it…not-having a gun would immediately become the third leading cause of death in America, after heart disease and cancer. Is it any wonder we can’t have a sensible discussion about gun control?

How did America get here? Every year 400,000 gun owners pull out a weapon, wave it in public and believe they just saved their own lives. These people aren’t solving our problems, they’re causing them.

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Donald Trump and Narcissism part one

Donald Trump entered the race to become the 2016 Republican nominee for president yesterday. And to that I say thank you because Donald will be a hilariously bad candidate.

This is not something I merely think, this is something that I’m confident I know. Because Donald is a full-blown narcissist.

Sadly for me I had to grow up with one of these screwed-up people, and so I have become something of an expert on them. And I can tell you that not only will Donald not win the nomination, he will barely compete. The odds are actually pretty good that he’ll never even file the papers to officially become a candidate for president. It’s much more likely he’ll delay the filing, and then he’ll delay it again, and then he’ll find some excuse to bow out – like family matters, health interventions or business callings.

Why? Because narcissists frankly have it hard. For them the prospect of failing in public is a nightmare of epic proportions, the worst possible disaster. So Trump will be less than enthusiastic about pressing a campaign if his nomination isn’t already in the bag. He will be completely uninterested in spending months traveling the country and competing for votes, especially if it ends up being against a viable candidate. It’s only the current prospect of a cakewalk against the likes of Carly Fiorina and George Pataki that’s finally sucked him into the game. But when he finds out tomorrow, to his surprise, that his announcement did little to change the polling or improve his chances he’ll already be in trouble.

You can ask Newt Gingrich about that. In the earlygoing of the last election, in December of 2011, he became the early frontrunner for the Republican nomination. And I wrote this and this in response. In short: Newt Gingrich will not win the nomination.

Narcissists do very poorly managing responsibility, and fewer things are more difficult than successfully carrying something as large as an entire campaign for a year. Great men regularly fail at this. Flawed men almost always fail at it.

The interesting thing for us with regard to Newt the Great is that narcissists are utterly predictable sorts. While he’ll likely fail, we can make some pretty fair predictions about how he’ll do it. Starting with this:

1.) Newt will eclipse his own campaign. The need to impress upon you his greatness will kill the campaign’s messaging. Gingrich has surely been telling his staff that talking about himself is the same as talking about the campaign (it isn’t). And the ways Gingrich will hype himself will come twofold: bragging and gargantuan ideas.

Get a load of the bragging Trump did Tuesday.

And remember the $5 billion [Obamacare] website? $5 billion we spent on a website, and to this day it doesn’t work. A $5 billion website.

I have so many websites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a website. It costs me $3…

I sell apartments for— I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them? I own a big chunk of the Bank of America Building at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, that I got from China in a war. Very valuable.

I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower…

And the one thing is that when you run, you have to announce and certify to all sorts of governmental authorities your net worth.

So I said, “That’s OK.” I’m proud of my net worth. I’ve done an amazing job…

So I have a total net worth, and now with the increase, it’ll be well-over $10 billion. But here, a total net worth of—net worth, not assets, not— a net worth, after all debt, after all expenses, the greatest assets— Trump Tower, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, Bank of America building in San Francisco, 40 Wall Street, sometimes referred to as the Trump building right opposite the New York— many other places all over the world.

So the total is $8,737,540,000.

Now I’m not doing that…I’m not doing that to brag, because you know what? I don’t have to brag. I don’t have to, believe it or not.

Of course – because bragging is for little people. And what about gargantuan ideas? The kind that are laughably unlikely? Try this:

I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.

Mark my words.

Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump. Nobody. [note – from two weeks ago: “Trump said…he knows of ‘a way of beating ISIS so easily, so quickly, so effectively, and it would be so nice.’”]

I will find — within our military, I will find the General Patton or I will find General MacArthur, I will find the right guy. I will find the guy that’s going to take that military and make it really work. Nobody, nobody will be pushing us around.

I will stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. And we won’t be using a man like Secretary Kerry…who’s just being tapped along as they make weapons right now, and then goes into a bicycle race at 72 years old, and falls and breaks his leg. I won’t be doing that. And I promise I will never be in a bicycle race.

At least he can deliver on the bicycle race part. But of all the things he said, this is the best. This is how a narcissist makes a sincere argument to win your vote.

I would call up the head of Ford, who I know. If I was president, I’d say, “Congratulations. I understand that you’re building a nice $2.5 billion car factory in Mexico and that you’re going to take your cars and sell them to the United States zero tax, just flow them across the border.”

…I would say, “Congratulations. That’s the good news. Let me give you the bad news. Every car and every truck and every part manufactured in this plant that comes across the border, we’re going to charge you a 35-percent tax, and that tax is going to be paid simultaneously with the transaction, and that’s it.

Now, here’s what is going to happen. If it’s not me in the position, it’s one of these politicians that we’re running against…They’re not so stupid. They know it’s not a good thing, and they may even be upset by it. But then they’re going to get a call from the donors or probably from the lobbyist for Ford and say, “You can’t do that to Ford, because Ford takes care of me and I take care of you, and you can’t do that to Ford.”

And guess what? No problem. They’re going to build in Mexico. They’re going to take away thousands of jobs. It’s very bad for us.

So under President Trump, here’s what would happen:

The head of Ford will call me back, I would say within an hour after I told them the bad news. But it could be he’d want to be cool, and he’ll wait until the next day. You know, they want to be a little cool.

And he’ll say, “Please, please, please.” He’ll beg for a little while, and I’ll say, “No interest.” Then he’ll call all sorts of political people, and I’ll say, “Sorry, fellas. No interest,” because I don’t need anybody’s money. It’s nice. I don’t need anybody’s money.

I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich…

After I’m called by 30 friends of mine who contributed to different campaigns, after I’m called by all of the special interests and by the— the donors and by the lobbyists— and they have zero chance at convincing me, zero— I’ll get a call the next day from the head of Ford. He’ll say. “Please reconsider,” I’ll say no.

He’ll say, “Mr. President, we’ve decided to move the plant back to the United States, and we’re not going to build it in Mexico.” That’s it. They have no choice. They have no choice.

And politics is supposed to be hard.

If you just want the short version of Trump’s salespitch, here it is: “Why does everybody else fail? Why do I succeed? Because I’m me.” Donald deserves to win your vote beyond all the other candidates not because he knows politics, or studies the issues, or is even aware there are actually three branches of government (Congress imposes tariffs). He deserves to win for the best reason of all: Because he exists. It’s the same reason he’d easily be the world’s best bowling-ball juggler, or lunar astronaut.

Because of that amazing fact what little campaigning we’ll see of Donald will consist entirely of the ‘candidate’ showing up before the voters, engaging in rudderless rambling about himself, about how great he is and how stupid the other candidates are, and in general being an utter and glorious mess. Or, in political terms, acting like a complete loser. Don’t count on seeing him do it for very long.

More later.


– part two here.

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Olivia Nuzzi: Biggest political hack in the world

Shorter the Daily Beast’s political reporter puke confiseur, Olivia Nuzzi:

Today I visited Hillary Island, a Summertime creeping police state ghost town dystopia right out of Grand Theft Auto, featuring brutalist architecture, decaying smallpox hospitals, fake forests and abandoned insane asylums, and populated by O.J. Simpson impersonators, bomb-sniffing dogs, security goons, balding meatheads, cart-careening cops, and a few Men In Black, as well as the autocrat candidate herself who looked and acted like a complete robot, refused to say anything she hadn’t poll-tested, stole shamelessly from Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, lied about her support for gay people, and then declared that all American corporations were “no good.” After all that the old lady tried singing the Beatles’ “Yesterday” to the crowd, but every note was sour. Please like me on Facebook.


Bonus: Twitter hacking.

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The seductive Memory Hole, and the allure of Fox News

The Wall Street Journal bade our collective past ‘adieu’ the other day.

Bye, Bye, American History

Good catch by a Fox News correspondent, Daniel Henninger.

The memory hole, a creation of George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” was a mechanism for separating a society’s disapproved ideas from its dominant ideas… In the U.S. the memory-sorting machine may be the College Board’s final revision of the Advanced Placement examination for U.S. history, to be released later this summer.

What the high schoolers end up learning will directly affect this reality, ma’am. If you’re going to teach them about Japanese internment and the Ku Klux Klan, they might conclude America isn’t exactly a downtown act. If they learn the actual facts they might get the idea this country is little more than an off-route gin joint juggler, with a penchant for ethnic jokes.

At one point the curriculum’s authors say: “Debate and disagreement are central to the discipline of history, and thus to AP U.S. History as well.” This statement is phenomenally disingenuous. From Key Concept 1.3: “Many Europeans developed a belief in white superiority to justify their subjugation of Africans and American Indians, using several different rationales.” Pity the high-school or college student who puts up a hand to contest that anymore. They don’t. They know the Orwellian option now is to stay down.

Should I argue that the slavemasters never pretended to be above their slaves? Or should I go with the fashion? Seeing how wildly popular the option is these days I’ll probably go with Orwell. Look at me everybody, in my leopard skin shut-up chapeau.

Incidentally, you know who else liked to blitzkrieg the America of History? Downtown Dan Henninger.

Let us assume that Mr. Obama’s “smarter” view had prevailed, that we had left Saddam in power in Iraq. What would the world look like today?

Mr. Obama and others believe that Saddam and his nuclear ambitions could have been contained. I think exactly the opposite was likely.

Let’s not bother with Saddam’s imaginary “stockpiles of mass destruction” that he wanted to export to his terrorist pals, which is a rare and extraordinary moral justification for a peace-loving people to invade an Arab country (heavens). Let’s instead talk about how Saddam would maybe have wanted to become a nuclear power someday, which is a rare and extraordinary capital crime, and let’s do so years after we hanged him and posted the video on YouTube.

At the time of Mr. Obama’s 2002 antiwar speech, three other significant, non-Iraqi events were occurring: Iran and North Korea were commencing toward a nuclear break-out, and A.Q. Khan was on the move.

In March 2002, Mr. Khan, the notorious Pakistani nuclear materials dealer, moved his production facilities from Pakistan to Malaysia.

In August, an Iranian exile group revealed the existence of a centrifuge factory in Natanz, Iran.

A month later, U.S. intelligence concluded that North Korea had almost completed a “production-scale” centrifuge facility.

It was also believed in 2002 that al Qaeda was shopping for nuclear materials. In The Wall Street Journal this week, Jay Solomon described how two North Korean operatives through this period developed a network to acquire nuclear technologies.

You’re thinking: Ehh Whaa..? This editorial just fell off the rails. The writer is now running around in circles, spouting random foreign policy headlines. But no, dear reader – this is Daniel Henninger. So you should wait for it. That’s right, wait…and…ta-daaa:

In short, the nuclear bad boys club was on the move in 2002. Can anyone seriously believe that amidst all this Saddam Hussein would have contented himself with administering his torture chambers? This is fanciful.

How you like THAT? American intelligence figures that Saddam would’ve developed an atomic bomb by now because…Kim Jong-Un. And, also, because Iraq’s best friend: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Let’s not forget why every country on Earth now has long-range nuclear missiles: Barack Obama. What Daniel Henninger would think of the Memory Hole if he weren’t pounding it nightly in his dreams, I wonder.


Bonus: I forgot. Normally a persuasive argument requires no multi-media enhancement, but every once in a while a picture helps.

Henninger and Hussein

…and it has to be true, because it’s sourced.

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The GoodFellas…in your pants

Someone has got the Smokin’ Gay Man Love for a Scorsese film.

“GoodFellas”…takes place in a world guys dream about.

…in a world where every man carries an ice pick. In case you need to, you know, slam it into your buddy’s skull for some reason. It’s a fantasyland, like Game of Thrones.

To a woman, the “GoodFellas” are lowlifes. To guys, they’re hilarious, they’re heroes.

A George W. Bush fan thinks these pig-idiots are heroic. I’ll be.

…Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), Jimmy the Gent (Robert De Niro) and Tommy (Joe Pesci) are exactly what guys want to be: lazy but powerful, deadly but funny, tough, unsentimental and devoted above all to their brothers — a small group of guys who will always have your back. Women sense that they are irrelevant to this fantasy, and it bothers them.

It’s more likely that women get that this is your idea of manhood, and you’re not very manly. You aren’t particularly comfortable doing what other men normally do: Work or fuck. You prefer to hang out with other do-nothings and do…no things. Maybe naked, hmm? More power to you, Kyle.

The wiseguys never have to work (the three friends never exert themselves except occasionally to do something fun, like steal a tractor-trailer truck), which frees them up to spend the days and nights doing what guys love above all else: sitting around with the gang, busting each other’s balls.

There we have it. The reason Kyle loves GoodFellas so much = Balls.

Ball-busting means…ball-busting because…had no balls….endlessly bust each other’s balls…of ball-busting etiquette… returning the ball-busting…breaks ball-busting etiquette…breaking Tommy’s balls…for improper ball-busting…based on ball-busting…successfully broken Henry’s balls…

…w@w. Come out already and just say it: Dominate me DeNiro! I will wash them! I’ll shave them! Poor little wingnut.

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Scalia’s big death penalty argument implodes

The dissent of Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun in a 1994 Texas death penalty case:

From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death. I feel…obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed.

Fair enough. But why?

Twenty years have passed since this court declared that the death penalty must be imposed fairly and with reasonable consistency or not at all, and despite the effort of the states and courts to devise legal formulas and procedural rules to meet this…challenge, the death penalty remains fraught with arbitrariness, discrimination…and mistake…

[...]

…no combination of procedural rules or substantive regulations ever can save the death penalty from its inherent constitutional deficiencies… [...] I am more optimistic, though, that this court eventually will conclude that the effort to eliminate arbitrariness while preserving fairness ‘in the infliction of [death] is so plainly doomed to failure that it and the death penalty must be abandoned altogether.’

As usual Justice Antonin Scalia was more interested in taking on his colleagues than taking on the argument. He mocked the bleedingheart Blackmun with this:

Justice Blackmun begins his statement by describing with poignancy the death of a convicted murderer by lethal injection. He chooses, as the case in which to make that statement, one of the less brutal of the murders that regularly come before us, the murder of a man ripped by a bullet suddenly and unexpectedly, with no opportunity to prepare himself and his affairs, and left to bleed to death on the floor of a tavern. The death-by-injection which Justice Blackmun describes looks pretty desirable next to that. It looks even better next to some of the other cases currently before us [...] for example, the case of the 11-year-old girl raped by four men and then killed by stuffing her panties down her throat. How enviable a quiet death by lethal injection compared with that!”

So the dramatics of the argument between Blackmun and Scalia can be reduced to: ‘A flawed system cannot fairly apply a death penalty’ and ‘Homicidal maniacs are worse!’

We move ahead to September of last year. And to this stunning but little noticed bit of breaking news:

A North Carolina death row inmate exonerated by DNA evidence on Tuesday was once held up by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as an example of someone who deserved to die….

“For example, the case of an 11-year-old girl raped by four men and then killed by stuffing her panties down her throat,” Scalia wrote in Callins v. Collins. “How enviable a quiet death by lethal injection compared with that!”

He was referring to Henry Lee McCollum, who at the time had already been on death row for 12 years. McCollum’s conviction was overturned on Tuesday when DNA evidence implicated another man in the case.

McCollum had been on death row for almost 30 years.

In giving short shrift to Blackmun’s legal argument and instead focusing on the horrors of homicide, Scalia set himself up for embarrassment. In utterly predictable fashion, the system found that McCollum 1.) had committed murder 2.) deserved to die. He was as much guilty of a horrible crime as any other innocent man – for example me, or you, or a contemptuous Supreme Court Justice.

Blackmun later responded to Scalia, writing of the flaws in the case as well as McCollum’s mental capacity.

“That our system of capital punishment would single out Buddy McCollum to die for this brutal crime only confirms my conclusion that the death penalty experiment has failed,” he wrote. “Our system of capital punishment simply does not accurately and consistently determine which defendants most ‘deserve’ to die.”

Now can the arguments over the death penalty begin to move forward? Of less importance: Can Scalia admit that Blackmun was ultimately right? Oh I certainly hope so. Otherwise I’d have to conclude the esteemed jurist is something of a hack.

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A gold medal in Jenner hysteria

With Monday’s Vanity Fair introduction of née-Bruce Caitlyn Jenner, there came the predictable cicada-hissing of disapproval and bongo-smacking of gobs from America’s right-wing. It was clear from that moment that Jenner would lose many of her former fans and friends. But then, of course, when Superman grows boobs and puts on an evening gown some of us will take it personally. Leading the way on this fiasco, as he does with most existential threats, Rush Limbaugh made a solid case for the morals crowd to throw off any temptations of tolerance.

He…dismissed a conservative blog that wrote that Republicans should embrace Jenner as one of their own to seem more humane, saying that doing so would constitute falling into a liberal trap.

Perhaps you, Mr. or Mrs. America, don’t give a damn about this person. Maybe you think ‘As long as she promises not to raise capital gains taxes or behead journalists in the Middle East, why should I care?’ You silly fools.

Under this system, “conservatives and Republicans are the new weirdos, the new kooks,” the pundit said, “and that is part of the political objective here in normalizing all of this really marginal behavior.”

C’mon people, she’s a freak! And if you’re not willing to point her out and let loose the Body Snatcher shrieking, where will we be? [...our forefathers spent their lives clawing their way to the pinnacle of Finger-Pointing Normals, and you'd throw that away? Ahem.] To the fagbash!

The bracketed bit there may be less a direct quote of Limbaugh and more my reading his mind, but I stand by it. It’s clear that the emergence of a celebrity transgender Republican has unhinged the right-wingers.

You can bet that Canada’s National Post has noticed. The conservative rag found the perfect story to inoculate the swelling gender hysteria with a dose of nausea:

When he cut off his right arm with a “very sharp power tool,” a man who now calls himself One Hand Jason let everyone believe it was an accident.

But he had for months tried different means of cutting and crushing the limb that never quite felt like his own, training himself on first aid so he wouldn’t bleed to death, even practicing on animal parts sourced from a butcher…

People like Jason have been classified as ‘‘transabled’’ — feeling like imposters in their bodies, their arms and legs in full working order.

It’s called Body Integrity Identity Disorder, and it’s extremely rare. As far as cures for it, amputations are not prescribed. But for still-agitated conservatives, for whom the article was clearly intended, it was Caitlyn Jenner 2: I Hope You’re Happy Now.

Since when do we allow body mutilation as a substitute for fixing the mental issues?

Oh, when there is no objective standards and we live in a society where we reward victims – including those who find new ways to define victimhood and self-select for it.

Some of these people feel the need to cut off their penises, or gouge their eyes out. But what does modern American society do about it? It rewards them with the word “Transabled” in a Canadian news article. Frankly we’d all be better off letting Jeff Goldstein drag a few of these graspers into a darkened alley. That’d stop the whining toot suite, I bet.

Of course, only the politically popular feelings are to be celebrated and enforced. Try claiming to be recognized as a person of a different “race” because you feel like it, or demand respect for your religious feelings as a Jew or Christian.

Yeah, right.

What the hell, people? You’re allowed to be ‘disabled’ just by cutting your arms off? Real live Christians aren’t even allowed to slug Elton John impersonators! And they said that Lincoln ended slavery – this country has gone mad. And who would the liberals probably feel sorry for? The freak, of course.

Hello Rick Moran:

For once in my career as a writer, I really, really hope that this is some kind of parody because if not, the world has gone mad and insanity has become the norm.

Farewell my America. How I did love thee.

My congratulations to Profs Baril and Baldwin for not only their creativity in discovering this previously unknown sub-sub group of fakirs and charlatans, but also their balls in publishing about it.

One can imagine agitation by activists to give people the right to disable themselves while making it illegal to discriminate against the transabled worker. A whole body of law will be created to deal with this new human right. The UN will create an agency to make sure the transabled are protected. And before too long, we’ll have the first celebrity transabled person televising their transformation from able bodied to disabled.

Can’t wait.

Incidentally: Bring it on. Our world has trans-morphed into a maddening dystopia, hasn’t it? No one can quite figure out why “Transabled” is so awful, and there’s your proof. [hint: wanting to chop your leg off.] Joe Cunningham:

At times, it’s really hard to look at some of these trans-diagnoses on the Internet and not think “…Okay, really?” because it’s entirely possible that these people who pop up and say “My spleen is not mine!” are just attention-seeking crazy people. They don’t need news articles written about them. They need psychiatric care, and they need for an overly sensitive media to stop coddling them…

News article about you = love and affirmation. God knows why the Duggars are so uptight over the revelations of child molestation, they’re the biggest thing in media.

I normally try to be sensitive when it comes to trans issues, but transability is taking things way too far. We need to take a step back and figure out where the line is, because otherwise the inmates are going to be running a lot more than the asylum.

One day you people, you’ll see. You’ll nominate one of these freaks for president. And all your moonbat pity will sweep him into the White House. And when he walks into his first big press conference, he’ll pull a paring knife out of his pocket, cut off his balls and throw them on the floor. And then we’ll all say “I told you so.”

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Rush Limbaugh accuses somebody else of being weird

Caitlyn Jenner. Of all things.

What the Great American Conservative will ultimately perceive as a threat, it is remarkable.

Limbaugh said on his radio show Tuesday that liberals are trying to “redefine normalcy” in an effort to stigmatize conservatives and that conservatives shouldn’t agree to their terms by accepting Caitlyn Jenner as a woman.

He likewise dismissed a conservative blog that wrote that Republicans should embrace Jenner as one of their own to seem more humane, saying that doing so would constitute falling into a liberal trap.

Let’s begin with the fact that Caitlyn is a conservative Republican married and divorced three times – just like Rush. We assume this is what radio guy would call “normalcy.” Caitlyn however was willing to admit she wanted more for herself and made a big change. And now she’s…happy.

This behavior is of course entirely freakish and unspeakable. The only saving grace here is that she’s pretty much a one-off (…among Olympic champions turned businessmen that conservatives have long worshiped). So the imminent threat to the country comes from somewhere else – the millions of Americans now willing to accept her as she is.

Under this system, “conservatives and Republicans are the new weirdos, the new kooks,” the pundit said, “and that is part of the political objective here in normalizing all of this really marginal behavior.”

Pardon me, but conservatives and Republicans have always been the kooks. The Southern racists, the pinch-faced wifebeaters, the blood-dripping warmongers, etc. Those are the facts, ma’am. So I appreciate this kind of cautionary argument emanating from their ranks: If you’re going to normalize the freaks, the freakbashers will end up being marginalized. Score: Rush Limbaugh 1, Human Logic 0.

“I mean, if less than 1 percent of the population is engaging in it, it’s marginalized behavior. It isn’t normal, no matter how you define it.”

Abnormal? Is that a fact? From what data I can gather, the number of Americans who have been married four times is…less than 1 percent. So if this is about weirdos who want to pretend they’re normal, take it up with Rush Limbaugh.

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Republicans and Negro music

A bit of sixties history:

citizen councils and negro music

This was a flyer distributed by the Citizens Council of Greater New Orleans. These ‘Concerned Citizens Councils’ were the button-down equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan, more likely to get you fired from your job than burn a cross on your lawn. Shockingly, they still exist today.

As late as 1998 Republicans like Trent Lott and Bob Barr were still attending CCC meetings and talking conservative politics to their members. As late as 2010 Republican presidential candidate Haley Barbour was praising the good work a CCC did in his hometown of Yazoo City, Mississippi.

By the way, yesterday marked the beginning of Black Music Month.

The event was called “A Republican Salute to Black Music Month” and, according to organizer Raynard Jackson, a black Republican consultant, was to include R&B legend Sam Moore (“Soul Man”), Marlon Jackson of the Jackson 5 and others…

Moore, Marlon Jackson and the others showed up. But among the “confirmed participants,” [Reince] Priebus was the sole man missing. And there was nobody from the RNC to take his place.

The chairman of the Republican Party was supposed to grace the event with his presence, but for some reason he missed. Maybe he wasn’t missing much.

Whatever the cause of the chairman’s absence, it would be unfair to say there was widespread disappointment, because attendance itself was not widespread. The organizers had warned of the “limited number of seats available to the general public,” but half of the 50-odd place settings in the room were unused. Rather than a Republican salute to black music, this was a limp handshake.

Even with members of Sam And Dave and the Jackson 5 on the panel, “A Republican Salute to Black Music Month” didn’t draw 30 members of the public. Too bad. I’m sure Sam Cooke fans would’ve have loved to hear this:

…music producer Carvin Haggins, offered the novel view that African Americans quit the Republican Party because of Watergate (and not, say, Barry Goldwater or the civil rights movement). The Democratic Party, he said, “is the slave master’s party.” He explained: “Instead of leaving my plantation and making it on your own, stay here and we’ll feed you and we’ll give you health care.”

Priebus (and the RNC in general) has been widely criticized for doing virtually nothing to integrate the Republican Party after all these long, white years. Still, the organizer of “A Republican Salute…” keeps the faith.

Raynard Jackson offered a defense, of sorts, of the absent chairman. “When I first met him I thought he was a chicken, but when I got to know him and I became friends with him I think he’s a pig now,” Jackson said. “For a chicken to lay eggs, that doesn’t mean anything. But when you ask a pig for bacon, that’s a total commitment. And see, most Republican chairmen have laid eggs in the black community. . . . He’s my pig. He’s made a total commitment.”

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Republicans are some effed-up horndouches

…with a nod to Orin Kerr.

If I understand this correctly, President Clinton was impeached in 1998 for lying about a sexual affair he had with Monica Lewinsky. And the return-to-morals impeachment campaign in Congress was led by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who was having an affair with his personal aide Callista Bisek.

“I said to him, ‘Newt, we’ve been married a long time,’ and he said, ‘Yes, but you want me all to yourself. Callista doesn’t care what I do,’” Marianne Gingrich said in the clip released by ABC, describing the couple’s conversation near the end of their 18-year marriage…

“Oh, he was asking to have an open marriage and I refused,” she said.

Congressman Bob Livingston was tapped to replace the wayward Gingrich. But two days after the nomination Bob resigned because he’d been cheating on his wife.

Hours before Mr. Clinton was impeached for his efforts to cover up his affair with Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Livingston, who had been chosen to succeed Mr. Gingrich, shocked the House by announcing he would leave Congress because of revelations of his own adulterous affairs…

Still, it was Mr. Livingston today who called for Mr. Clinton’s resignation from the House floor.

Ultimately Newt was replaced by Congressman Dennis Hastert. Denny just got indicted for banking violations resulting from a scheme to pay off a victim of his child molestation.

Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Illinois between 1965 and 1981 before entering politics. Federal prosecutors indicted Hastert on Thursday for lying to the FBI about $3.5 million he agreed to pay to an undisclosed person to “cover up past misconduct.”

Bob Livingstone, incidentally, had been a Republican congressman from Louisiana. His replacement was David Vitter. Roll tape:

New allegations tie Sen. David Vitter to a high-priced brothel in his hometown, one day after he publicly apologized for his connection to an alleged prostitution ring in Washington, D.C.

On Monday, Vitter acknowledged being involved with the so-called D.C. Madam. A day later, new revelations linked him to a former madam in New Orleans and old allegations that he frequented a former prostitute resurfaced, further clouding his political future…

“As far as the girls coming out after seeing David, all they had was nice things to say. It wasn’t all about sex. In fact, he just wanted to have somebody listen to him, you know. And I said his wife must not be listening,” Maier said in an interview with The Associated Press.

And personal attacks? Let’s not forget Senator Larry Craig of Idaho.

Larry was arrested in 2007.

Four gay men, willing to put their names in print and whose allegations can’t be disproved, have come forward since news of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s guilty plea. They say they had sex with Craig or that he made a sexual advance or that he paid them unusual attention.

They are telling their stories now because they are offended by Craig’s denials, including his famous statement, “I am not gay, I never have been gay.”…

Craig, 62, says he was a victim of “profiling” when he was arrested June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in an adjoining stall in a men’s restroom.

And, of course, there’s always this guy.

Republican Mark Foley had supported many of President Clinton’s issues in Congress and up until that point had a cohesive working relationship with him. Once Foley discovered that Clinton had indeed lied to the American people, Congress and the world, Foley led the the cavalry towards his impeachment. Mark Foley was relentless in his pursuit to impeach Clinton. He saw President Bill Clinton’s behavior as “Despicable!” Mark Foley was all over the nightly news and talk radio calling for Clinton’s impeachment throughout the 16th District wherever there was an audience, and throughout the halls of Congress.

Mark Adam Foley. Here he is having a text-chat with an intern. A teenage male intern.

Maf54 (8:03:47 PM): what you wearing
Xxxxxxxxx (8:04:04 PM): normal clothes
Xxxxxxxxx (8:04:09 PM): tshirt and shorts
Maf54 (8:04:17 PM): um so a big buldge
Xxxxxxxxx (8:04:35 PM): ya
Maf54 (8:04:45 PM): um
Maf54 (8:04:58 PM): love to slip them off of you
Xxxxxxxxx (8:05:08 PM): haha
Maf54 (8:05:53 PM): and gram the one eyed snake
Maf54 (8:06:13 PM): grab
Xxxxxxxxx (8:06:53 PM): not tonight…dont get to excited
Maf54 (8:07:12 PM): well your hard
Xxxxxxxxx (8:07:45 PM): that is true
Maf54 (8:08:03 PM): and a little horny
Xxxxxxxxx (8:08:11 PM): and also tru
Maf54 (8:08:31 PM): get a ruler and measure it for me
Xxxxxxxxx (8:08:38 PM): ive already told you that
Maf54 (8:08:47 PM): tell me again
Xxxxxxxxx (8:08:49 PM): 7 and 1/2
Maf54 (8:09:04 PM): ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Maf54 (8:09:08 PM): beautiful
Xxxxxxxxx (8:09:38 PM): lol
Maf54 (8:09:44 PM): thats a great size
Xxxxxxxxx (8:10:00 PM): thank you
Maf54 (8:10:22 PM): still stiff
Xxxxxxxxx (8:10:28 PM): ya
Maf54 (8:10:40 PM): take it out
Xxxxxxxxx (8:10:54 PM): brb…my mom is yelling

MOOOMMM (…hold on…) I’M TALKING TO A FLORIDA CONGRESSMAN. Foley was chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, and wtf? srsly.

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Libertarians: Probe her body for a fetus, not mine for pot

Reading Scott Walker’s defense of his government mandated pre-abortion ultrasounds [they're “a cool thing”], I was struck again by the horrible manipulation involved. Who do these Walker people think they are? Why do they think they can do this to women?

And then I thought, “Where the hell have the Libertarians been?” You’d think the Unfettered Liberty squad would be apoplectic over government mandated trans-organ anything, and the probing of all human orifices. You’d think the Fonzies of Freedom would be out riding Harleys in great trans-continental packs protesting the state violating people’s bodies and taking pictures of their innards.

You would be wrong.

If you have a strong disregard for your own health and safety, you are free to express it in all sorts of ways. You can smoke cigarettes. You can gorge on fast food five times a day. You can go live among bears in Alaska.

You can stagger through the worst part of town at 2 a.m. You can become a trapeze artist. You can join the Marine Corps. But if federal regulators get their way, you will not be able to ride a motorcycle without a helmet.

But let’s first start with an authentic Libertarian issue: Helmets.

…in three states—Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire—all riders are free to feel the sun on their scalps and the wind in their hair.

This small zone of personal autonomy causes great annoyance at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a federal agency. Last week, it urged that “everyone aboard a motorcycle be required to wear a helmet.”

The same old song. Government shouldn’t encroach upon my freedom.

Said NTSB Vice Chairman Christopher Hart, “It’s a public health issue.”

Oh, no, it’s not. A public health issue arises when masses of people are exposed to illness or injury by dangers beyond their control—contaminated water, sooty air, natural disaster, marauding bands of hyenas—or when I get a serious disease that I may pass on to you against your will…

But riding a motorcycle without a cranial cushion poses no danger to anyone except the rider. Skull fractures are not contagious.

It doesn’t matter a bit that a helmet will save a person’s life. It doesn’t matter that helmets will save the taxpayers millions of dollars in systemic healthcare expenses. What matters is that placing a confining thing over one’s head greatly sucks. Ever tried it? Okay.

Given that, you can imagine how strongly the Fonzies feel about this: Big Brother cramming a doctor’s wand up one of their wazoos. Ask Matt Welch. It’s so awful, he can barely stand to hear it…

I was hoping to make it through life without hearing television commentators repeatedly utter the word transvaginal. Yet that intimate territory is where the country headed in February, and it is where we will increasingly return as long as the government keeps assuming a greater role in our private lives…

Libertarians have their values stomped on by governments every day. My (high) taxes in Washington, D.C., are helping to pay hundreds of millions in debt service for a baseball stadium I fervently believe should not have received a drop in public financing. My local city council members—who work part time, mind you, and often maintain second jobs—receive $125,000 from taxpayers each year, a pay rate second only to the loot commanded by the inept legislators of the last city I lived in, Los Angeles. And the criminal code is a festival of offensive-to-me-value judgments, prohibiting actions I consider perfectly moral and proper, such as traveling to Cuba, smoking marijuana, or paying money to illegal immigrants.

…a mandated medical probe, of course that’s bad. But you know I can’t even smoke pot! And they won’t let me go to Cuba! How much longer must we tolerate totalitarianism? A nuanced take. Here’s another one, A. Barton Hinkle:

Last week the health committee of the Indiana Senate approved a bill to require not one transvaginal ultrasound, but two – one before the abortion, and one afterward – for medical, rather than surgical, abortions…

Perhaps some enterprising lawmaker in another state will require pregnant women seeking abortions to write letters to their unborn children. We eventually might even get around to requiring scarlet letters, too.

This brings up a much broader problem in American politics: Call it the auctioneer effect. Having approved a new law or program to address a circumstance in one year, politicians confront a dilemma in subsequent years: What next? Often – almost always – the problem does not disappear. It wouldn’t do to conclude that, since previous laws and programs have failed, perhaps the problem lies beyond government’s ability to solve.

Well, I understand why the states force women to undergo ultrasounds [abortions yuck]. But then for how much longer? At some point won’t they have to give it up? Some day they’ll have to admit abortion is too difficult a problem to solve via radiating wands and genital probes. As always, the limits of government [sigh].

You’d think the Sovereigns of Self-Interest would grasp the problem of being self-violated. But they don’t at all, or at least none of the ones I could find at Reason.com did. Speaking of which, get a load of this:

Why Is That Cop’s Finger in Your Butt?
The war on drugs now features roadside sexual assaults.

Last month the Texas House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that requires police officers to obtain a warrant before probing the anuses and vaginas of motorists during traffic stops…

The fact that the bill was deemed necessary speaks volumes about the way the war on drugs has eroded our Fourth Amendment rights and encouraged cops to inflict outrageous indignities on people they suspect of violating pharmacological taboos.

Well now this is very different. We’re no longer talking about women, and medical procedures. Now we’re talking about men, and the way they exercise their personal liberties. This is a frankly serious issue: The God-given right to smoke pot in your car…

That may be hard to believe, but it is also hard to believe that six troopers in three separate traffic stops thought it was reasonable to explore those private areas on the off chance that there might be some pot there.

With this egregious behavior the government isn’t trying to solve any of society’s problems. No, not any more. They’ve just become the morals police. Treating recreational marijuana users like jailbait, they’re nothing but a bunch of brownshirted dragoons bent on oppressing free men of good will. And let’s be honest – anything resembling a roadside anal-probing amounts to “sexual assault.”

Such judgments can be understood only in the context of a prohibitionist mentality that sees bits of dried vegetable matter as a grave threat to public order.

But what if the bad actors aren’t just a few cops, but entire American states? And what sort of “threat to the public order” is abortion, incidentally? If Libertarians have any essential beliefs or values, it’s not clear what they are.

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Scott Walker: Say ‘cheese’ ladies

Scott Walker gets coverage in Salon.

Scott Walker: Women should be forced to have transvaginal ultrasounds because they are “a cool thing”

The Wisconsin governor said a procedure that involves being probed with a 10-inch rod is “lovely”…

Silver-tongued devil, you say.

“Most people I talked to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time that pull out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, we still have their first ultrasounds. It’s just a cool thing out there.”

Wisconsin’s Great Communicator, eh? So will women voters change their minds about this “cool thing”? Will they perhaps give mandatory ultrasounds another chance? Will many of them now choose to lie back and get probed by the greasy wand of Scott Walker’s Big Government? Remember: Until the Governor mentioned it, they didn’t know they could keep iPhone images of their aborted fetuses.

“The thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea…”

What, crazy? No, it’s heartwarming.

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