07 June, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Sunday is traditionally a day of rest. However, there's no rest for the stupid. After all, there are Sunday talk shows on which to display one's stupidity:

This morning on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) why he believes the Obama administration is “taking us down the road to socialism.” Shelby said it was “obviously” the case, and pointed to last fall’s bank bailouts as the prime example:

WALLACE: Sen. Shelby, you say that the Obama administration is taking us down the road to socialism. Explain.

SHELBY: Well, obviously. So, they intervene last fall in the bank crisis. No one has ever done it on that scale before. Now the automobile crisis.

Apparently, Sen. Shelby thinks Bush is also a dirty fucking socialist. Sen. Shelby, of course, hasn't the first fucking clue what socialism is. Hint: it ain't what Bush and Obama did in their attempts to save the banks and the auto manufacturers.

Cons aren't good at history and political philosophy. But they truly excel at getting media assclowns to swallow their bullshit and come back for seconds:
As much trouble as conservatives have had with governing, they're adept at not only getting their message out, but getting the media to internalize their talking points.

Here's CNN this morning:

As the world continues to digest and dissect President Obama's historic speech directed at the Muslim world, a senior aide to the president is pushing back on the suggestion that Obama's latest overseas trip amounted to an apology tour.

And here's ABC:

Stephanopoulos says "[w]e've heard some say that this was an apology tour"

Yes, "some" being the Republican National Committee, Republican lawmakers, and Republican activists at Fox News.

Pointing to President Obama's current overseas trip during the June 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson asserted that "[l]ast time" Obama went to Europe and the Middle East, "a lot of people said, Steve [Doocy, co-host], that he was on an apology tour of sorts." Prominent among those "people" who characterized his April trip as "an apology tour" were many Fox News hosts, contributors, analysts, and regular guests, who often took out of context remarks Obama made during his trip to support their claim. Moreover, Fox News has trotted out its smear for Obama's current trip to Europe and the Middle East, baselessly promoting "another apology tour."

It's hard to overstate how foolish this is. The president's speech in Cairo was an important address, helping establish a new foundation for a stronger relationship between the United States and the Middle East. Obama told some hard truths -- tackling issues U.S. leaders rarely discuss in public, better yet in front of a Muslim audience in Egypt -- and challenged those throughout the region. It's the kind of outreach that can pay dividends for the United States for years to come.

And the main point of interest for much of the traditional media is, "Yeah, but did he apologize?"

No. But thank you for playing silly buggers with the lot of us.

If all that playing made you hungry, don't turn to Burger Kings in the Memphis area to satisfy your hunger, unless of course you plan to control your appetite by laughing yourself sick:
The Memphis Flyer recently caught multiple local Burger King restaurants sporting big “Global Warming is Baloney” signs. The Burger King corporation quickly distanced itself from the controversy: “The two restaurants where these signs appeared are independently owned and operated and were not authorized to display this statement. The signs have since been removed.” However, Leo Hickman of the Guardian reports that many of the signs are still up, and the corporation in charge of the franchises — a Memphis-based company called the Mirabile Investment Corporation — is defending its position:

Media attempts to contact MIC to establish why it was taking an apparently defiant stance were rebuffed, but the Guardian managed to grill MIC’s marketing president, John McNelis.

“I would think [Burger King] would run from any form of controversy kinda like cockroaches when the lights get turned on,” said Mr McNelis. “I’m not aware of any direction that they gave the franchisee and I don’t think they have the authority to do it.”

McNelis added: “The [restaurant] management team can put the message up there if they want to. It is private property and here in the US we do have some rights. … Burger King can bluster all they want about what they can tell the franchisee to do, but we have free-speech rights in this country so I don’t think there’s any concerns.”

Something tells me there are concerns. I know corporations, I know how they feel about their reputations, and I have a sneaking suspicion there's probably some fine print in the contract Mr. McNelis should have his lawyers look at. I wish I could be there when he does. It's always so entertaining to watch their little faces drain of color as their bluster dies away. He might even sulk. Global warming deniers can deny science right up until they drown in polar ice cap melt, but corporate lawyers will not be denied.

For a further laugh, watch Kathleen Parker attempt to defend the indefensible:

Oh poor, put-upon Bill O'Reilly. Those mean old "liberals" in the media are just itching to blame him for the assassination of Dr. George Tiller. Never mind that the only "liberal" cited is Olbermann, who flatly rejects the label and those who did actually call attention to the inciting rhetoric of O'Reilly in regards to Tiller were bloggers like C&L, who of course, were not invited by Howard Kurtz to give their point of view.

Kathleen Parker has the unenviable job of defending O'Reilly, though it's made easier by Kurtz's framing, which shows clearly where his sympathies lie:

KURTZ: Some liberal commentators couldn’t wait to accuse O’Reilly of inciting the violence that led to George Tiller’s murder. Fair or unfair?

PARKER: Irrelevant. I mean, yes, of course, it’s unfair. You can’t blame anyone for a crime except the person that commits the crime. Clearly, people on the far left are always looking for an excuse to attack Bill O’Reilly. And Keith Olbermann and O’Reilly tend to bounce off each other a good bit. So I’m not sure who this argument is really between.

Um, news flash to Parker, you absolutely CAN blame someone who incites violence, even if they don't actually commit the act. Ask Charlie Manson.


And, finally, I present you the next installment in our highly-acclaimed Twits on Twitter segment:

In his weekly radio address, President Obama declared “it’s time to deliver” on health reform. The White House is sending the message to lawmakers and the American public that it “is preparing an intense push for legislation that will include speeches, town-hall-style meetings and much deeper engagement with lawmakers.” Apparently over-sensitive to the White House’s public calls to deliver on health care reform (or upset that the President is visiting Paris), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote these nonsensical tweets against Obama today:


Yes, my darlings: that fuckwit sounding like a high-school flunkout is indeed a sitting United States Senator. Pretty sad what Cons will elect these days, innit? It's even sadder that Grassley's one of the smarter ones.

Folks knew the Roman empire was in trouble when a horse became a senator. I imagine the same could be said when it's multiple horse's asses parading around the Senate chamber.

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