Looks like we're getting some unwelcome attention. Don't know if I caught a Stormfront link or what. I'm going to try to be discriminating here. But not that much.
Looks like we're getting some unwelcome attention. Don't know if I caught a Stormfront link or what. I'm going to try to be discriminating here. But not that much.
Courtesy of Andrew:
"Anonymous liberal commentators, the rabid pests of the new media, sought out the most popular conservative blogs to flood the zone with familiar Rush Limbaugh slanders. Their goal: To demoralize the right with layer upon layer of media domination. Only talk radio with its emphasis on Socratic debate over raw emotionalism and with Mr. Limbaugh in the driver's seat has escaped the left's clutches of pure media dominance,"
Yeah talk radio will save "Socratic debate." That's what I always thought. Much like CNN will save the New Yorker.
I've been pretty hard on Michael Steele for his abuse of Ebonics. But I think his most recent sonning courtesy of Rush Limbaugh needs to be put in perspective:
"My intent was not to go after Rush - I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh," Mr. Steele told The Politico. "I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership."
I'm not offended that Steele is kow-towing to Rush. I'm offended that Steele would wrap himself in the garb on hip-hop, and then apologize to Rush.
Man listen: The first rule for establishing "Off The Hook Urban-Suburban Hip-Hop Strategies" is if you gonna dis a mofo, then dis him. Don't come out the box quoting "How You Like Me Now," and then go and apologizes to the guy who you just dissed.
Could you imagine Moe Dee apologizing to LL? Kris apologizing to Shan? Shante apologizing to the Real Roxanne? Hillary Duff apologizing Lindsay Lohan?
Come on man. You ain't no wiling-out-for-the-night-fist-thrower:
Mr. Steele called Mr. Limbaugh after the radio host belittled Mr. Steele on his show, questioning his authority and saying the new Republican leader was off "to a shaky start."
"It's time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of trying to be some talking head media star, which you're having a tough time pulling off," Mr. Limbaugh said, in a transcript of his remarks he posted on his Web site."Mr. Steele: You are head of the R.N.C.," Mr. Limbaugh said. "You are not head of the Republican Party. Tens of millions of conservatives and Republicans have nothing to do with the R.N.C. and right now they want nothing to do with it."
Shorter Rush Limbaugh--"Don't make me have to call your name out\Your crew is featherweight\My talk-show will make you levitate..."
UPDATE: We'll re-open later. It's tough being popular. I like being the geek so much more.
Friend of the room, Evan Narcisse, talks to RE5 designer Jun Takeuchi. The whole thing is worth reading. Forgive the extensive block quote, this exchange is great:
Narcisse: I had a strong reaction upon seeing the trailer. But, also I understand the series and I understand the fiction that it's building on. How do you feel about people having strong reactions about the game without prior knowledge of the series? There's potential for a large part of the audience playing the game to feel like a judgment is being made against them by virtue of their portrayal in the game.
Jones: He's having a hard time shooting poor black people. That's the core of what he's trying to get at. He loves the series but he's having a difficult time getting involved...
Narcisse: Maybe this is getting a little too personal, but I'm only a generation removed from that kind of experience.
Chris Kramer: Was it easier for you to shoot poor brown people in Resident Evil 4?
Jones: There were no brown people in Resident Evil 4.
Narcisse: Spaniards, they're swarthy ... Because there was a certain aspect of normalization in that game -- in that the contrast [between Leon and the human enemies he was fighting] was not as stark -- I didn't have that kind of reaction.
Kramer: Skin-color contrast or social contrast?
Narcisse: Both. And because there's a history of demonization and subhuman portrayals with regard to people of African descent, there's a certain sensitivity around that. I understand that legacy for the most part is completely different in Japan. But that history of negative portrayals was what informed my reactions. I'm not judging the game. In seeking to portray a certain kind of terror, the game may make people of certain backgrounds feel like they're being portrayed as frightening or less than human. How do you feel about this unintended consequence? I just want to know Takeuchi-san's reaction to that.
Takeuchi: You mentioned that you're one generation removed from those kinds of problems. If you look at us in Japan, one generation ago Japanese people who hadn't done anything wrong were being bombed in Tokyo and other places during the war. That doesn't mean that we think that Americans are all bad or that we think that Americans are bad at all. [These are] just things that have happened in our pasts. That's maybe not something that we should try to be too sensitive about, or not try to be too sensitive about, when we make these kinds of things... [telephone rings, startling us all] At the end of the day, we're making a piece of entertainment. We're not making anything that has a political message to it. And, I feel that if you start to decide who you can treat as enemies or who you can take on in a game...
Postbourgie points the way.
As the husband of a woman who looks like Venus and Serena, it offends me that my standards of beauty are not recognized or validated in professional sports. And as the father of a 6-year-old black girl who loves to run, jump, sweat, grimace, grunt and do all the things that are necessary for her to excel as an athlete, it pains me to think of the choices that will be forced upon her as she gets older because of these standards.
I have more sympathy for the latter than the former. I think, if I had a daughter, I'd spend a lot of time worrying about beauty standards. But here's the thing--if I were white I'd be doing the same thing. I guess I'd do more worrying as a black guy, but I've never been white, so I don't know.
Leaving aside the weirdness of judging an athlete by her appearance, my big problem with this argument is its rather cloying, begging nature. This is the old Malcolmite in me--I think Serena Williams is gorgeous by the light's of my standards (and Brett Ratner's. Jews FTW. Again.). Fuck their standards. Why do we care? Seriously is this the argument now, "Our women deserve to be leered over and have their professional achievements ignored too!!" Meh. Our ice melts just like their ice--just like all ice.
I disagree with Don Banks that Ray Lewis lost a lot by trying to play free agency. Lewis built the Ravens, and they'll still love him when the season rolls around.
Matt Cassell aside, this, as a Cowboy fan, is fascinating:
Now that Chris Canty has signed a six-year, $42 million deal with the Giants, a contract that includes $17.25 million guaranteed in the first two years, here's something to keep in mind: The ex-Cowboys defensive lineman is now better paid than all three of New York's top three defensive ends, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Mathias Kiwanuka.
Hope he's worth it. Canty was always mediocre to me.
When you don't have any ideas...
It seems that "socialist" has supplanted "liberal" as the go-to slur among much of a conservative world confronting a one-two-three punch of bank bailouts, budget blowouts and stimulus bills. Right-leaning bloggers and talk radio hosts are wearing out the brickbat. Senate and House Republicans have been tripping over their podiums to invoke it. The S-bomb has become as surefire a red-meat line at conservative gatherings as "Clinton" was in the 1990s and "Pelosi" is today.
"Earlier this week, we heard the world's best salesman of socialism address the nation," Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, said on Friday, referring, naturally, to a certain socialist in chief.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas decried the creation of "socialist republics" in the United States. "Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff," Mr. Huckabee said, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference here over the weekend, a kind of Woodstock for young conservatives.
"Socialism is something new for us to hit Obama over the head with," said Joshua Bolin of Augusta, Ga., who founded a Web site, "Reagan.org," which he calls a conservative analog to the liberal MoveOn.org.
Right. Something new. Because no one called Obama a socialist during the general election. And had they, the GOP clearly would have won.
I'm rather late to the party, but I just want to correct one error on TNC's part - employees do NOT pay anything for unemployment insurance. The cost is borne entirely by the employer. It is not deducted by the employer from pay, and is actually not very expensive, either. It is actually a minor cost, when compared to such things as FICA and health insurance.
I think donovong for the correction. That said, this, as articulated by JonF, is more what I was thinking:
Any money an employer pays for labor costs (including health premiums, the employers' share of FICA, unemployment insurance and workman's comp premiums) is ultimately coming out of employee compensation even if it is not itemized as such on the pay stubs.
Above all, I wanted to point out the stupidity of punishing workers whose jobs have vanished. I don't want to take this too far, because I never bought the welfare-queen bit. But there were a lot of people, during the mid-90s, talking this "ethic of work" business. Part of working, is putting money aside so that, should something go wrong, you're covered. Unemployment Insurance is an effort to do just that, collectively. The feds, recognizing that we're living in extremely rough times, have extended the benefit. Denying that benefit to people who would work, who have worked in the recent past, just seems trivial and wantonly cruel.
We talked earlier about black folks stepping over dollars to snatch up nickels. This is the dollar here--in both literal and figurative terms. I have no doubt that African-Americans, a disproportionately Southern community, will likely make up a disproportionate share of those affected by the grandstanding of Bobby Jindal and Mark Sanford. If you're really worried about the fate of black people in this country, and not narrowly focused on cleaning white people, then this should bug you more than any cartoon put together by some hack artist. Cartoons may hurt your feelings, but Jindal and Sanford are going to hurt your kids. This is not metaphorical or symbolic. This is actual money
And the best part is that, like all our greatest fights, we are not alone. Tons of workers, of all colors, will be hurt by this. If you're wondering what "black issues" look like for liberals in the 21st century, in the Obama era, than this is it. There are several fights out there which cut across racial lines, but still disproportionately affect blacks. We're going to have to be smarter. Sanctimoniously shaming white people is a weapon of the stone age. Our foes have upgraded. We need to follow suit. I think Ghostface said it best, "They used guns, while we angrily shot arrows\You better keep your eye on the sparrow."
Fellow Atlien Reihan Salam offers his take, and then talks to Noam Scheiber.
This is an interesting debate. What you have below are four people--two, presumably from each side. I think Harold Ford gamely defended Obama's budget. Dee-Dee Meyers, not so much. I'm not even sure that that's why she was there. Also there's David Gregory. His job is to be critical of Obama and I have no problem with that. But because of the other parts of the panel, you end up with a three against one dynamic, with Dee-Dee Meyers kinda giving color commentary. Moreover, even our one is barely a one--whereas Scarborough and Murphy would call themselves conservatives in a minute, Ford has never thought of himself as a liberal.
My beef is simple--We need actual liberals to represent the liberal perspective. I think part of the problem may be that our most effective defenders are no long in the MSM, but here online. You can pull yours truly out of that convo. On budgetary policy, I would have gotten stomped by Murphy and Scarborough, and I've got the sense to know it. But give me Ezra, or Matt. Give me someone from the Obsidian Wings crew. We have people who know this stuff. God bless Krugman, but we have a deeper bench than that.
Wasn't Bobby great in "Slumdog Millionaire"?
I'm sure someone will pop up and claim that Coulter was making a joke. But it's an awful joke. There's no punchline. There's nothing, except, all Indians look alike to me. This isn't Jeff Ross telling black jokes, at the Emmitt Smith Roast in front of a bunch of black people. This is Coulter slurring one of about five visible minorities in her party, to an audience filled with people who probably have never had dinner with an Indian-American.
I understand that many conservatives hate Coulter. I also think that there's nothing particularly conservative about that slur. But sometimes you see this shit, and when partnered with Michael Steele's crack, you have to believe that a significant portion of the GOP enjoys being the Party Of Macacca. How else can we read this? It's like these guys are stuck on Dice Clay in 86. And every year, fewer and fewer people are laughing. But they keep making the same old cracks.
I think people are laboring under the impression that this is a hand-out to people who don't work. In fact to qualify for unemployment, you have been working and thus have paid money into the very system that you're petitioning for help. It's true that you don't want to create an incentive for people to simply sit home. But there's something sick about attempting to deny unemployment insurance to people who've spent their working lives being taxed for that very insurance:
For people like Henry Kight, 59, of Austin, Tex., the possibility that the money might be turned down is a deeply personal issue.
Mr. Kight, who worked for more than three decades as an engineering technician, discovered in September that because of complex state rules, he was not eligible for unemployment insurance after losing a job at a major electronics manufacturer he had landed at the beginning of the year.
Unable to draw jobless benefits, he and his wife have taken on thousands of dollars in credit-card debt to help make ends meet...Mr. Kight and other unemployed workers said they were incensed to learn they were living in one of a handful of states -- many of them among the poorest in the nation -- that might not provide the expanded benefits...
In Mr. Kight's case, he was unemployed for the second half of 2007, after losing an earlier job he had at a different electronics manufacturer in a downsizing. As a result, when he applied for unemployment benefits, he did not have enough immediate work history to qualify.
"I have worked for so many years, a total of probably 30 years, contributing to the support system that helps people when they get in a tough spot like I'm in," Mr. Kight said. "I haven't needed it too much in the past, but I sure could use it right now."
I don't have the knowledge of economics to really go at this, but it's striking to me that it is the poorest states in the union, that are doing their best to deprive their citizens of federal dollars. What a scene.
Jelani on Obama and cartoons:
I don't think that we can or should rally the troops around Obama every time a cartoonist goes off his meds and his editor trips over the boundary between edge and outrage. The reality is that all Presidents are subject to unfair criticism -- though Obama is the first for whom that criticism has taken on a racial hue. Carter and Clinton were both ridiculed as backwater hicks (how often did we see references to Clinton's libido paired with images of his down-home roots?)
Reagan's advancing years brought with them a harvest of Alzheimer's jokes: Did you hear that Ronnie announced he has Alzheimer's... Again? Lincoln was ridiculed in Northern newspapers and depicted as (irony of ironies) part Negro and Andrew Jackson's wife was assailed as a bigamist in the newspapers of the day...
...All of us, but especially we black folk, are going to have to develop thicker skin and a shrewder sense of when we go Al Sharpton on some fool and when we offer the empty-heads only the tinny echo of their own isolated voices.
As a commenter said in an earlier thread, we need to stop stepping over dollars to pick up nickels.
From commenter Jhodi:
But I'm still uneasy about one basic point. Can white people giggle at Steele or should we be biting our tongues?
Heh--If you have to ask, than probably not. Any twangs of guilt likely come from laughing at something else, besides the joke.
All kidding and blog titles aside, you can laugh as much as the rest of us. I don't actually believe it's that hard to detect racism. Even if it is, I'm not sure how much I care. I'm quite sure some of the best jokes in the Steele thread, come from people who don't look like me. Besides, who could ever forget this number. Blacks and Jews FTW.