Category Archives: Liberals

Hot Air

The Party’s Over

So, the Republicans now are the big boys, running the halls of Congress like they own it. The Democrats, meanwhile, are crying, moaning, copping pleas, and generally behaving like high school sophomores who failed geometry because they didn’t study.

I have no use for either gang at this point in history.

The Republicans give me the jitters because their party has been hijacked by loons. The Dems upset my stomach because they’re all afraid of their own shadows. What choice does a bright, intelligent, caring, charming citizen such as I have?

Ick. Just Ick.

BTW: Those BMOC Republicans who think they own Congress? They don’t. The Koch Boys and several other nefarious, archcriminal, ungodly wealthy sociopaths do. Not that it matters to the Republicans in Q. The money’s gonna flow into their campaign coffers for the foreseeable future and, really, that’s all that matters. The Dems? Money’s still flowing into their war chests, too — just not as obscenely much as that emanating from the checkbooks of Chucky and Davey et al.

Koch Industries

The Nation’s Capital

For years I’ve been telling people we in the Dem party shouldn’t pin our hopes on peeps like Dennis Kucinich or Elizabeth Warren for possible White House runs. They’re too liberal, I’d say, pretending I’m some wise old political strategist. They need to be on the outside, shouting in, I’d pontificate. Mom and Pop Murrica won’t buy them. Apparently the Dem “brain” trust bought that argument as well, imposing upon us slate upon slate of milquetoasty, innocuous, borderline vacuous stuffed shirts. Oh no, they weren’t too liberal at all. They were, um, uh…, well, they were alive as far as the rest of us could tell. Barack Obama is alive. So is Hillary Clinton. Harry Reid. Alison Lundergan Grimes. Rahm Emanuel. Andrew Cuomo. John Kerry.

Ugh. I’m sick to death of all of them, every single middle-of-the-road, safe, non-threatening, “successful” Dem out there, and that’s a huge lot. (Admittedly, Obama’s brown skin and Hillary’s vagina threaten the bejesus out of tons o’folks in this holy land but no matter; those people are never going to vote Dem anyway.) The “safe” way has been so successful that the Dem party has pissed away control of the White House and both houses of Congress as late as 2010 to the point now where a certain revivified corpse pundit can ask, Is this the end of the Democratic era?

So, yeah, bring Elizabeth Warren on! And bring with her legislators like Judy Chu and Keith Ellison. Al Franken ought to get an invite. Donna Edwards, Sam Farr, Mike Honda, Jan Schakowsky, and Linda Sanchez too. Put out the call for Barbara Mikulski, Brian Schatz, Maria Cantwell, and Tammy Baldwin while you’re at it.

Warren

Bring Her On!

They’re all too liberal, acc’d’g to conventional wisdom — which makes them just liberal enough for me.

Hell, sticking like glue with true believers worked out fabulously well for the Conservatives, resulting in the beatification of one Ronald Wilson Reagan. Old Dutch never once apologized for his views. He was, at one time, long, long ago, considered a political joke. Saint Ronald now sits in heaven at the right hand of god.

Give me E. Warren for Prez in 2016.

Out Is Back

Drop what you’re doing and tune in tonight at 6pm. bloomingOUT! is back on the air.

South Central Indiana’s only LGBTQI-oriented radio talk show went silent for a few months after the retirements of producer Carol Fischer and her partner, host Helen Harrell, in August. Now, WFHB is airing the program again, starting immediately after the Daily Local News tonight.

“We have a big crew of volunteers from eclectic backgrounds coming together to produce bloomingOUT,” says WFHB New Dept. chief Alycin Bektesh. “We have a rotating cast of hosts, segment producers and engineers. Many IU students are involved as well as Indiana’s Marriage Equality Poster Boys Jeff Jewel and Jeff Polling.”

Jewel/Polling

Jeff Jewel & Jeff Polling Get Married (Photo: Chris Howell/Herald Times)

Hot Air, Hot Taunt

Libtard Pride!

A few years ago I screamed out in an earlier incarnation of this blog/colossus that I’m proud of being a liberal.

From Open Salon

Remember the days when calling people liberal was about as rotten as calling them child molesters? Yeah, after Piggy Figgy Newt Gingrich sent out marching orders in the form of his infamous mid-1990s GOPAC Memo, even the most dyed-in-the-wool Democrats ran away screaming if anyone even used a word beginning with the letter L in their rabbity-scared presence.

“Language is listed as a key mechanism of control used by a majority party,” Newty wrote after the 1994 election in which his GOP had become, yep, the majority party in the US House of Representatives. That victory got Gingrich and his coatholders to thinking that with a little more luck and concerted effort they could wipe the Dems off the face of the Earth, or at least equate them in the anencephalic public’s mind with commies or Nazis.

Language, in fact, was so important to this goal that the GOPAC Memo included a couple of lists of words that Republicans could and should use in their speeches and sound bites to redefine the political landscape.

When referring to themselves or the Republican Party, Gingy advised, speakers should use certain words. “These words,” he wrote, “can help give extra power to your message.” They included:

  • Children
  • Common Sense
  • Courage
  • Crusade
  • Fair
  • Family
  • Freedom
  • Incentive
  • Legacy
  • Liberty
  • Moral
  • Prosperity
  • Proud
  • Strength
  • Tough
  • Truth

How nice.

When speaking of the, ugh, Democrats, Newt wrote, other, less complimentary verbiage was required. “These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast,” he counseled.

  • Betray
  • Bizarre
  • Cheat
  • Collapse
  • Corrupt
  • Crisis
  • Destroy
  • Disgrace
  • Failure
  • Impose
  • Liberal (Woo-hoo!)
  • Lie
  • Obsolete
  • Pathetic
  • Radical
  • Selfish
  • Shame
  • Sick
  • Steal
  • Taxes
  • They/them
  • Traitors
  • Unionized
  • Welfare

Old Joey Goebbels would have been proud.

The two most important words in that list of pejoratives seem to have been liberal and taxes.

Every Republican candidate for any office in the last two decades has villified liberals and screamed to high holy heaven about taxes.

To my chagrin, not one Dem I can recall stood up and said, Damn right I’m a liberal; what of it?

The GOP became so enamored with demonizing liberals that they even began turning the slur upon each other, so we were often confronted with the bizarre specter of two anti-tax, anti-affirmative action, anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-science blowhards accusing each other of the mortal sin of liberalism.

And the goddamned Democrats ran away and hid!

Well, I sure as hell wasn’t going to hide.

I stood up as proudly as that field full of extras, Tony Curtis, and Kirk Douglas in Spartacus, and shouted: I am a liberal! I’d have climbed the roof to holler it, only I’m not so fond of heights.

From "Spartacus"

I Am Spart…, er, I Mean, I Am LIberal!

Now that the Me Party-ists and other even more wingnutty factions of the Far Right have grasped control of the Grand Old Party, the word liberal seems far less ugly. Somehow not even the craziest Lefty can compare to the psychopathy of the new Right. As a matter of fact, self-described liberal websites have popped up all over the place. Even though pols, natch, still have not overcome their terror at the mere mention of the word, more and more wags and mavens are embracing it.

So, of course, the panic peddlers of the Right have had to jigger their language — remember, it “can help give extra power to your message.” The preferred slander today, apparently, is libtard.

This word alloy combines the “wisdom” of Newt Gingrich with the cruel intent of the towel-snapping high school gym locker room punk. Liberal and retardlibtard! — the term embodies a certain repulsive beauty, much like the brilliant and awe-inspiring colors of nuclear weapon flash.

I am, a certain segment of the populace is convinced, a libtard.

Really, Libtard?

So be it. As a matter of fact, I’m going to borrow a page from the LGBTQ and Black factions of my own club. Just as queer and nigger have been appropriated by those respective groups, I’m snatching libtard from the slack jaws of the citizens of Fox Nation.

I am a libtard!

Because if this guy considers me a libtard

Ted Nugent

… then I’m more than happy to be one.

 

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There’s nothing to do but to stand there and take it.” — Lyndon B. Johnson

Johnson & Kennedy

AT LAST!

This is it, kiddies. Who’s your hero: Ayn Rand or Saul Alinsky?

Time to put up or shut up. If you haven’t voted yet, get going.

In Monroe County, you may vote at The Curry Building, 214, W. Seventh St. Or you can go old school and vote at your precinct polling place.

BIG MIKE MAKES THE CALL

Alright, let’s get down to cases.

Here’s what’s going to happen today. I’ve already told you Barack Obama’s going to win. Now I’ll give you the margin.

We’ll Do It Again In January

The winning margin for the Democratic candidate for President of the United States in the popular vote will approach five percentage points.

That’s right. My guy will be reelected by a rounded-off plurality of 52-47 percent. That odd one percent will go to the usual lineup of perennial candidates and write-ins for Mickey Mouse.

A number of states have broken their own records for number of early voters. Big voter turnout is good news for Obama.

Here’s the dramatic prediction, though: Obama will win the electoral college contest in a landslide with some 300 votes.

I feel confident in these projections, as confident as I felt when I predicted the Chicago Cubs would go to the World Series in 2004.

NICE MEME

… THE BEAUTIFUL

There’s plenty to be outraged and disgusted about in this holy land. Still, hidden somewhere deep beneath the the jingoism, the greed, the entitlement, the delusion, the willful ignorance, and the maddening piety, lies a republic of the people.

Had he been alive when this whole crazy American idea got off the ground, Ray Charles would have been a slave, considered to be somewhat less than fully human. By the time he died in 2004 he’d become the designated psalmist for the nation.

It’s worth thinking about the truest quote I’ve ever read about this nation. It was written by another person who’d been written out of America’s charter, a woman, Molly Ivins. By the time she died in 2007, she’d become the plain-speaking conscience of the nation.

“It is possible,” she wrote, “to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.”

That’s why I vote.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.


Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

VOTE ◗ The Curry Building, 214 W. Seventh St. or your local polling place; 6am-6pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer Hall — Doctoral Recital: Namanja Ostojic on guitar; 5pm

POETRY ◗ The Venue Fine Art & GiftsReading, “The Art of Poetry,” By Jenny Kander; 5:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopElection Viewing Party; 7pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Nenette and Boni“; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleThe Indiana Boys All-Star Jam; 7-9pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center, Recital HallGuitar Studio Recital: Students of Petar Jankovic; 7pm

STAGE ◗ IU Halls TheatreDrama, “Spring Awakening“; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubBlues Jam; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallWind Ensemble, Stephen W. Pratt, conductor; 8pm

GAMES ◗ The Root Cellar at Farm BloomingtonTeam trivia; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallHot Tuesdays Series: Jazz Combo; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center, Recital HallDoctoral Recital: Yuan-Yuan Wang on violin; 8:30pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Threads of Love: Baby Carriers from China’s Minority Nationalities“; through December 23rd
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st
  • Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt; through December 23rd
  • Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism,” through December 23rd

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits through December 1st:

  • “Essentially Human,” By William Fillmore
  • “Two Sides to Every Story,” By Barry Barnes
  • “Horizons in Pencil and Wax,” By Carol Myers

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits through November 16th:

  • Buzz Spector: Off the Shelf
  • Small Is Big

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits through December 20th:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners
  • Gender Expressions

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

  • “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
  • “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
  • “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
  • “Picturing Archaeology”
  • “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
  • “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
  • “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
  • “TOYing with Ideas”
  • “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
  • “On a Wing and a Prayer”

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibits:

  • The War of 1812 in the Collections of the Lilly Library“; through December 15th
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections from the Slocum Puzzle Collection

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibits:

  • Doctors & Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical Professions
  • What Is Your Quilting Story?
  • Garden Glamour: Floral Fashion Frenzy
  • Bloomington Then & Now
  • World War II Uniforms
  • Limestone Industry in Monroe County

The Ryder & The Electron Pencil. All Bloomington. All the time.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.” — Yogi Berra

SANTORUM, THE LIBERAL

Okay, the Republican presidential primary race has officially turned psychotic.

Apparently, the closeted candidate, Rick Santorum, has passed the mannequin candidate, Mitt Romney, as the frontrunner for the nomination.

That’s scary enough in and of itself. What makes this shift in standings even more petrifying is the Romney camp’s reaction to it. According to political reporter Ben Jacobs in The Daily Beast, the Romney brain trust will now go all out in attacking Santorum and one of the biggest guns in its arsenal will be — oh, my aching head! — Santorum’s liberal voting record in Congress.

Liberal voting record!

Are these people out of their freaking minds?

I mean, I understand that Romney’s trying to prove he can be just as antediluvian as the next Republican but saying the words liberal and Santorum in the same sentence is about as ludicrous as pairing the terms Trump and decent human being.

Romney’s gang can’t be expected to fry Santorum over his twin preoccupations with homosexuals and women who insist that they have the right to enjoy sex. That is, not if he wants to have a prayer of gaining even one vote from a certain GOP base that sits around in its own flatulence from morning till night grumbling about fags and strumpets.

And he really can’t challenge Santorum on his other stances, which include building a wall on the US-Mexican border, privatization of Social Security, denial of climate change, his “drill everywhere” energy policy, his view that there is no right to privacy, and his embrace of “intelligent design.”

No, Romney can’t hit Santorum with those clubs because they are the weapons the Republicans have used successfully to bludgeon the sane among the electorate for a good 35 years now.

So Romney has to concoct a different kind of evil Santorum — and what’s more satanic than a liberal?

Commie

I don’t know how the Romney boys are going to do it. Perhaps they’ll accuse Santorum of being soft on teenaged masturbation. They may even charge Santorum’s wife with buying a loaf of organic bread once.

I suppose this new strategy may work, though. Just uttering the word liberal in a roomful of Republicans makes them all break out in hives.

Still, it’ll be a tough sell. For pity’s sake, Santorum himself once even wrote that liberalism was to blame for the Catholic priest sex scandals.

TOO THIN, TOO FAT, TOO SOMETHING

The IDS carries a compelling piece this morning on the pressures ballet students face to remain whisper-thin.

It’s been well-documented that many teenaged aspiring ballerinas fall victim to eating disorders.

Women have started to rebel against unrealistic body images imposed on them by fashion mavens, dance teachers, gymnastics coaches, and panting frat boys. But the blowback apparently hasn’t reached all corners of the distaff population as yet.

Still, it heartens me to see women like Adele make it big on world stage.

She is, after all, considered, well, large.

Imagine that.

How dare she try to entertain us when she can’t even hide the fact that she doesn’t try to throw up every spoonful of yogurt she’s ever put in her mouth?

Now, the truth is Adele was a rather chubby young girl and even after she became a star she remained curvy. But of late, she seems to have slimmed down considerably, no doubt thanks to the constant harping of jerk record executives and verminous PR people.

But she’s no scarecrow as of yet so the tastemakers still cluck their tongues over her mass. Honest, even the seemingly almighty Oprah Winfrey was bullied into shedding excess padding by Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

“Stop Eating; That’s An Order.”

I’ve got a bit of advice for my female friends. Whenever people criticize your form, tell them what I tell people who are idiotic, insulting, and insensitive: “Kiss my fat ass!”

BABY GOT BACK

Generally, I’d prefer to hear a corrupt judge sentence me to the electric chair than any hip-hop music but this 1992 hit by Sir Mix-A-Lot fits perfectly here.

After this, I promise I’ll never post another rap, hip-hop, or house song again.

The Pencil Today:

TODAY’S QUOTE

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H.L. Mencken

NEWT’S LATEST BOGEYMAN

Our boy Newty has created a brand new bete noir.

You may recall that almost 20 years ago Newt Gingrich, as the virtual capo of the Republican Party, wrote the infamous “GOPac Memo.”

Mob Chieftan

The memo advised Republican candidates for Congress that specific words and phrases would galvanize public opinion for the GOP and against the Dems. In fact, the memo’s title was “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control.”

Gingrich was convinced that the repetition of these words would create indelible images within the minds of voters, much like a TV sitcom hypnotist’s use of trigger words.

Here are some of the words Gingrich recommended Republicans use to associate with themselves and their party:

  • Common sense
  • Confident
  • Courage
  • Duty
  • Family
  • Liberty
  • Moral
  • Pro-flag
  • Proud
  • Strength
  • Tough
  • Truth

As for the Democrats, Gingrich urged his confreres use these terms:

  • Anti-flag
  • Bizarre
  • Cheat
  • Collapse
  • Decay
  • Disgrace
  • Impose
  • Lie
  • Pathetic
  • Radical
  • Shame
  • Sick
  • Taxes
  • They/them
  • Traitors
  • Waste

Democrats, According To The GOPac Memo

You had to figure the word taxes would be in there. The first word a Republican infant utters upon emerging from the womb is taxes.

Garry Trudeau in his “Doonesbury” strip called the GOPac memo “The Magna Carta of attack politics.”

Anyway, the single most damning, uncomplimentary, insulting word on the list would turn out to be liberal.

To be branded a liberal was tantamount to being barred from winning another election for the rest of your life.

One of the reasons the Democrats so infuriate me is that, instead of embracing the liberal label, they ran from it as if it was analogous to child molester.

Otherwise Known As The List Of Prominent Liberals In Indiana

Thanks in huge part to the GOPac memo, the GOP staged its mini-revolution in the election of 1994. The party gained control of both the House and the Senate and Gingrich became the Speaker of the House.

Say what you will about the craven, cynical nature of the memo, it worked. And Newty is nothing if not an astute politician.

Today, you can be forgiven for thinking liberals don’t even exist in this holy land.

So, now that the Georgia Doughboy is running for president, he finds himself in need of another monster under the bed. He has found it. And he’s got a name for it.

Gingrich’s sworn enemy in these Republican primaries is Mitt Romney. Ergo, Romney must become Newty’s new Godzilla or John Wayne Gacy.

Romney

This week, Newty found the damning terminology for Romney. Since the liberal dragon has been slain, Gingrich has had to move the enemy bar lower.

Here’s the crushing epithet Gingrich now uses against Romney: He’s a Massachusetts moderate.

The horror — a moderate.

Yep. That’s what he called Romney this week, his voice dripping with Newt-ish contempt. “I am the only viable conservative candidate,” Newty added.

Yikes. If these Great United States, Inc. move any further to the right, Ronald Reagan’s gonna be lumped together with Abbie Hoffman.

LEFT BRAIN-LESS

Some of my pals on the far left seem to be going just as batty as Newty — only, of course, in the opposite direction. A lot of radical bloggers and Facebook-posters are so disgusted with the wishy-washy politics of Barack Obama that they’re actively calling for his defeat this November.

They say, What’s the difference between Obama and the Republicans?

Well, I have the answer, in three words: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The nation’s second female US Supreme Court Associate Justice will turn 79 in March. She’s already been walloped in recent years by colon cancer and pancreatic cancer. She’s as frail as a newborn robin. Plus, she has indicated she’d like to retire at the age of 82, which would mean whoever is president in 2015 will select her successor.

I shudder to think of who Newty Gingrich or Rick Santorum might tap to become the sixth conservative member of that august ennead.

Ann Coulter?

She’s No Moderate

TRUTH IS FICTION

Boxcar Books hosted a book release party for Bloomington’s Julia Karr last night, before the region was iced in.

Karr’s new book, “Truth,” is the sequel to her young adult dystopian novel, “XVI” (or “Sixteen” for the Latin-deprived among us.)

She read a few pages from the fresh tome and took questions from the audience. Karr then revealed she has to split up her writing session each day, sitting at her keyboard for a few hours each morning before going to her day job and then doing the same thing after work.

As expected at these affairs, there were plenty of questions about how an unpublished author can break into the business. Karr kindly advised the wannabe scribes on how to write the perfect query letter and how frustrating and heartbreaking the whole process of trying to get a first book published is.

Karr handled the questions better than I would have. Forget about getting your book published, I’d have advised. Try something easier, like climbing Denali in the middle of winter.

 

%d bloggers like this: