Category Archives: Politics

Obama And Castro: The Handshake Heard ‘Round The World

Earlier this week, conservative blogs and the Twittersphere exploded over President Obama’s handshake with Cuban president Raul Castro at the funeral services for former South African president and overall legendary hero to billions, Nelson Mandela. And when I say exploded, I am not kidding. Senator John McCain even compared it to then-UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain shaking hands with Adolph Hitler. Seriously?

The vitriol was truly astonishing. A handshake is just about the most basic pleasantry that can be exchanged between two world leaders and, well, that’s just what you do. Especially considering it’s hardly the first time a US president has done something like this. Clinton shook Fidel Castro’s hand, Nixon shook the hand of Mao Zedong. It’s called diplomacy and considering they were at the funeral of a man who was able to reconcile with his former jailers and end Apartheid, I am happy that the spirit of diplomacy prevailed.

[Oh and Senator McCain? Douche. Why? That hypocritical fuck shook hands with Gaddafi! See hysterical and frustrating Daily Show clip below.]

Continue reading Obama And Castro: The Handshake Heard ‘Round The World

The Truth About POTUS’ Selfie

So about this ridiculous uproar over the selfie that President Obama took with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and British Prime Minister David Cameron? Turns out not only was Michelle Obama not angry, but the whole thing was blown out of proportion. (I’m shocked! Shocked to find rank sensationalism going on in here!)

 

Check out this blog post by the Agence France Presse photographer who took those oh, so scandalous pix!

Peter Gabriel On The Loss Of Nelson Mandela

Peter Gabriel points out something that very few of the stories about Nelson Mandela’s passing are focusing on:  reconciliation. In a world where there’s so much recrimination, so much anger, so much partisan fighting, bickering and warfare, we have just lost a man who reconciled with those who not only put him in prison but who ran a system of government that systematically brutalized and murdered thousands and thousands of black South Africans.

Think about what that took. What strength of character he must have had to endure decades of brutal imprisonment only to emerge, lead his people to freedom, become the president of a new South Africa and lead a process of reconciliation. Truly an amazing man.

Rick Santorum, Bill O’Reilly Continue GOP Parade Of Morons

I know it was only a day ago, but in today’s short news cycle, maybe I should remind you…remember when I reflected a little bit about the racist language and stunning inability of some on the far right to understand historical context and to know when certain things are inappropriate?

Well, guess who’s putting their foot in their mouth, again. Yep, it’s the far right GOP’s #2 moron (Sarah Palin is always #1, IMHO) Rick Santorum. Speaking on The O’Reilly Factor (and following another incredibly stupid comment by Bill O), Santorum decided that directly after lauding the (very) recently deceased Nelson Mandela, it was the right time to draw a parallel between Mandela’s struggle against Apartheid and the GOP’s “struggle” against Obamacare and “the ever increasing size of government.”

*Face Palm*

Martin Bashir Should Never Have (Been Forced To) Resign

And here’s why…

I submit to you that what Martin Bashir says in the clip below absolutely pales in comparison to many of the things Sarah Palin and her ilk have said, repeatedly. Indeed, the very thing that sparked Bashir’s outrage, that the US national debt to China would be like being a slave, is worse than anything Bashir said by an order of magnitude. Hell, she even knows she’s going to get shit for it. She prefaced her remarks by stating that they weren’t racist! Methinks thou dost protest too much….

Let me explain my reasoning.

By equating being in debt to being a slave, by pretending that the two experiences are even remotely similar, Palin demeans millions of human beings and shows that her understanding of human experience is lacking to an extreme.

On the other hand, the worst that can be reasonably said about what Bashir said is that it was unprofessional. Perhaps it was even against some sort of MSNBC code of conduct and as such, a public apology, a suspension (without pay) may have been in order.  But for the man to lose his job because he expressed his opinion in the way he did, is shortsighted and unjust. It’s also hypocritical. Fox News personalities routinely spew the most hateful, racist bile and are never disciplined by that massive misnomer of a media organization.

This is also emblematic of the lack of critical thinking and subtlety that permeates American culture, these days. Bashir was not saying that someone should literally shit in Sarah Palin’s mouth. I am sure that if you asked him, he would agree that such behavior is barbaric and not acceptable, even as a punishment for those we revile. It was hyperbole. Bashir was outraged by Palin’s remarks and reacted in an emotional, colorful, and ultimately effective way. Is the right wing so thin-skinned that they can’t let it go? If I screamed for their head every time Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity said something offensive, I’d be permanently apoplectic and hoarse.

Here’s how this exchange would have worked in a reasonable world (and I am paraphrasing, of course):

Palin: “When we’re in debt to the Chinese, it will be like slavery!”

Bashir: “You’re an idiot, Sarah! Someone should shit in your mouth.”

Palin & Bashir, simultaneously: “I apologize. I used insensitive analogies and simplistic and hyperbolic imagery to express my anger at a situation. I apologize unreservedly to (Sarah Palin/Slaves).”

Bashir: “But you’re still a moron, Sarah.”

Palin: “Bite me, Martin.”

See? That way we keep our healthy left-right antagonism, yet realize that this particular brand of partisanship is all just a bunch of bullshit.