Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘kidding on the square

Wednesday

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Kidding on the Square

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Smart post from Greg Sargent Adam Serwer on how skillfully the GOP handles the more deranged fringes of its base:

But by making jokes about it, conservative political figures manage to avoid taking a position one way or the other. They mollify the birther elements of the Republican base who simply can’t accept the legitimacy of a black man in the White House by signaling agreement with them, while allowing Republicans averse to conspiracy theorizing to dismiss it all as a jest. If a liberal expresses outrage over it, all the better — they become the butt of the joke.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Tuesday Afternoon

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* The health care bill the president just signed into law includes a 10 percent tax on all indoor tanning sessions starting July 1st, and I say, who uses tanning? Is it dark-skinned people? I don’t think so. I would guess that most tanning sessions are from light-skinned Americans. Why would the President of the United States of America—a man who says he understands racism, a man who has been confronted with racism—why would he sign such a racist law? Why would he agree to do that? Well now I feel the pain of racism. This is a truly exemplary case of what Al Franken calls “kidding on the square.”

* Dahlia Lithwick plays “Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?” In just a few short weeks Cuccinelli has turned himself into the hero of conservative cable news shows, but he’s done it with what can be described only as acts of purely aspirational lawyering. When TV pundits or politicians argue about what the Constitution should say, it’s one thing. But when an attorney general does it, it’s another matter entirely. What Cuccinelli is doing transcends legal activism—with which I have no quarrel—and places him squarely in the world of constitutional yearning. That’s a particularly cynical enterprise for someone who preaches fidelity to the law and Constitution as they are written.

* Responses to Robert Samuelson’s morally obscene claim that “Obama’s behavior resembles a highly indebted family’s taking an expensive round-the-world trip because it claims to have found ways to pay for it. It’s self-indulgent and reckless.” The best is from Ezra Klein:

And before you think this is all about Samuelson, consider that Charles Krauthammer calls coverage “candy.” There’s an absence of empathy here that borders on a clinical disorder…We are a rich, decent society, or so we say. Extending health-care coverage to those who can’t afford it would be worth it even in the absence of cost controls. Health-care insurance is not candy, and it is not an indulgence.

And that’s before you remember that Samuelson supported the Bush tax cuts, which (unlike the Affordable Care Act) perfectly fit his description of an unwise, self-indulgent splurge…

* Perhaps the GOP should have thought its anti-Census rhetoric through: Only 27% of Texas households have returned their census forms, well under the national average.

In Texas, some of the counties with the lowest census return rates are among the state’s most Republican, including Briscoe County in the Panhandle, 8 percent; King County, near Lubbock, 5 percent; Culberson County, near El Paso, 11 percent; and Newton County, in deep East Texas, 18 percent. Most other counties near the bottom of the list are heavily Hispanic counties along the Texas-Mexico border.

Ed O’Keefe says the Census is also particularly concerned about response rates in Alaska, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

* Greece-style debt overload (including accounting malfeasance) is happening in California, New York, and elsewhere. Even President Palin’s beloved Alaska is hard hit; when the former governor unexpectedly quit her job halfway through her first term the state’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 70%, making it the most endebted state in the union. That’s just the sort of fiscal conservatism she’ll bring to the White House.

* And it’s funny sometimes how liberal American politicians suddenly figure out how bad their policies are just as soon as they leave office—but mostly it’s just terrible.

Fox News

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Fox News (yes, they still exist) is actually telling people that Barack Obama isn’t president because John Roberts botched the oath of office. Via Ta-Nehisi Coates, though it must be noted that Shankar predicted this would happen during the inauguration itself.

UPDATE: TPM has the video, which makes it clear that this is a case of what the Honorable Al Franken (Sen-MN) used to call “kidding on the square.” Via C&L.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 21, 2009 at 1:55 pm

kidding on the square

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I’ve put together another experimental post on science fiction theory for culturemonkey, this one playing with Greimas squares, subgenres, and Olaf Stapledon’s wonderful novel Star Maker. As with others, it’s a bit theoretical and a bit undercooked…

Written by gerrycanavan

March 21, 2008 at 2:32 am