Archive for March 2nd, 2012
Romney Backer Ted Nugent Has History Of Extreme, Violent Political Rhetoric
Ultra-conservative rocker Ted Nugent endorsed Mitt Romney on Friday. It’s the kind of backing that could do more harm than good.
According to Nugent’s Twitter feed, he made his decision after speaking with Romney himself. TPM has reached out to the campaign to check whether Romney was calling to personally seek his support, which comes days after Romney held a meeting with another musician, Kid Rock, in order to gain his approval. Via “the Nuge’s” feed:
after a long heart&soul conversation with MittRomney today I concluded this goodman will properly represent we the people & I endorsed him
Romney hasn’t shied away from controversial endorsements this cycle — he accepted Donald Trump’s seal of approval, who led a birther revival last year. One of his 2008 campaign officials, Joe Arpaio, become an embarrassment for Republican officials this week when he held a press conference outlining his own theory that Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud (he has not endorsed a candidate in 2012). But Nugent’s allusions to violence likely put him in a league of his own.
Mitt recently insisted he won’t “light [his] hair on fire” with offensive anti-Obama rhetoric, but Nugent certainly has no such qualms. He has a history of outrageously violent boasts against Democrats and the president that go well beyond the usual conservative shock jocks and into “call the Secret Service” territory. Take this concert meltdown from 2007, while Hillary Clinton, whom he called a “toxic c**t” in 1994, and President Obama were duking it out in the Democratic primaries:
“I was in Chicago last week. I was in Chicago. I said, ‘Hey, Obama! You might want to suck on one of these, you punk!’ Obama, he’s a piece of (expletive deleted), and I told him to suck on my machine gun. Let’s hear it for him! And then I was in New York. I said, ‘Hey, Hillary! You might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless (expletive deleted).’”
He called out Democrats using similar themes during the health care fight in 2010, suggesting to FOX’s Neil Cauto they should be shot like pigs:
NUGENT: But, I am Ted Nugent, governor of pigland. So I am the expert on the health care bill because I kill pigs. And, I just shot a monster big pig here in Texas. And, seeing as how this is a pig bill created by pig bureaucrats to help out American pigs, as I approach this huge pig that looked like a beached sperm whale I was expecting George Costanza to come out of the bushes and extract a Titlelist No. 3 ball from his blowhole. But, as I was about to put a 10mm slug in this pig’s head, the last thing he said was [mimics squealing pig], which is pig for “where is my health care?” They’re pigs, Neil. We gotta kill the pig. And, in November we gotta vote the pigs out of office, because this is a redistribution of wealth. This is the Communist-Mao-Che agenda of the Communist-Mao-Che fans in the White House. They’re pigs, Neil!
CAVUTO: All right, So I’ll put you down as a no on health care.
As Rush Limbaugh is dragging the GOP down this week with his “slut” crusade against a Georgetown law student, Nugent may not have picked the best time to walk back on to the scene. Democrats are already picking up on the endorsement: “Seriously, who is going to ask Romney if he condemns Nugent saying POTUS should ‘suck on my machine gun’? Will he condemn hate?” DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell tweeted Friday.
Romney’s son Tagg, a campaign surrogate for his dad on the trail, tweeted his enthusiastic approval, however:
Ted Nugent endorsed my Dad today. Ted Nugent? How cool is that?! He joins Kid Rock as great Detroit musicians on team Mitt!
© 2012, agentleman.
Eliot Spitzer: Spending Money on Prosecuting Pot Is Ridiculous
Former New York governor and attorney general Eliot Spitzer says he not only supports medical marijuana, but thinks we should replace marijuana prohibition with legalization.
Former New York governor and attorney general Eliot Spitzer says he not only supports medical marijuana, but thinks we should replace marijuana prohibition with legalization. Speaking on Friday night on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Spitzer said: “To spend prosecutorial resources on pot is ridiculous…I’d be in favor of legalized pot. Legalizing pot is the right way to go.”
It’s nice to see a group of people with such different political leanings all agreeing that it’s time to end prohibition. Still, the joke from Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal at the end of the discussion about how supporting legalization might somehow hurt Spitzer’s future political aspirations is particularly unfortunate…and premised on a roundly absurd notion.
While supporting legalization himself, Moore doesn’t seem to realize that marijuana legalization is one rare issue that he, Spitzer and — oh yeah — a majority of American voters all agree on.
Come to think of it… the idea that supporting legalization would harm any future aspirations at elected office Spitzer might have, or the political pursuits of most any office seeker in 21st century America, is becoming funnier all the time. Perhaps an appropriate joke for Maher’s show after all.
In the clip, even Spitzer himself only reluctantly got around to stating that he’d favor ending marijuana prohibition across the board instead of just allowing medical marijuana. It’s a strange thing, this tendency of political figures to act as if they should be afraid to say something that a rapidly growing majority of American voters agree with.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) blog.
© 2012, agentleman.
Andrew Breitbart: Death of a Douche by Matt Taibbi
So Andrew Breitbart is dead. Here’s what I have to say to that, and I’m sure Breitbart himself would have respected this reaction: Good! Fuck him. I couldn’t be happier that he’s dead.
I say this in the nicest possible way. I actually kind of liked Andrew Breitbart. Not in the sense that I would ever have wanted to hang out with him, or even be caught within a hundred yards of him without a Haz-Mat suit on, but I respected the shamelessness. Breitbart didn’t do anything by halves, and even his most ardent detractors had to admit that he had a highly developed, if not always funny, sense of humor.
For instance, it would be dishonest not to tip a hat to him for that famous scene when he hijacked Anthony Weiner’s own self-immolating “apology” press conference, and held up the entire event by standing at the lectern and congratulating himself at length, before Weiner could let the humiliating healing begin.
For that one, brief, shining moment– still one of the most painful-to-watch YouTube spectacles of all time, right there with Mitt Romney’s priceless attempt at singing “Who Let the Dogs Out?” with a group of black voters in Florida in 2008 – Breitbart could legitimately claim to have the biggest, hairiest balls on earth.
Watching Weiner apologize to Breitbart later in that same event was certainly chilling for a number of reasons (if I were Weiner, I wouldn’t have apologized to that fucker even under torture) but it was hard not appreciate the deliciousness of the scene from Breitbart’s point of view. Watching Weiner pause, swallow hard, and make the extraordinary decision to plant his lips squarely on the loathsome Breitbart’s ass on national television, that was like the ultimate Mona Lisa masterpiece of right-wing media provocations. That the outrageous Breitbart was standing right there, looking gorgeously gassy in his unbuttoned shirt, bloated Joey Buttafuoco cheeks and splendiforous silver half-mullet, made the humiliation of the trim and neatly-groomed Weiner even more abject.
Furthermore, the ACORN videos made by Breitbart and his two young acolytes, Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe – it’s hard not to see the inspired humor behind their elaborate stunt. And anyone who’s heard their proposals before ACORN staffers to bring underage girls over the border as part of a white-(or nonwhite-) slaving startup firm, and doesn’t think the ACORN responses (or non-responses, as it were) were shocking, they’re deluding themselves. In the Baltimore office, they ran the whole underage hooker-den spiel past an ACORN staffer, and got the following response: “You are gonna use three of them – they are gonna be under 16, so you is eligible to get child tax credit and additional child tax credit.”
That is seriously messed up material. Did they edit the videos heavily? Hell yes. Did they make ACORN’s behavior out to be a lot worse than it was? Absolutely. But there’s no way to watch the raw footage and not grasp how totally nuts some of this ACORN “counseling” was. We have to give Breitbart that.
Breitbart has written some nasty things about me personally, once contrived to publish my private emails online, and even teamed up with Rush Limbaugh to humorously mis-identify me as a behind-the-scenes marionettist of the “media-Democrat industrial complex” (Breitbart thought I was improperly advising Occupy leaders), but all that’s okay. I think today, it’s safe to stand back and simply recognize that while many people go through their lives without leaving distinguishing marks, Andrew Breitbart definitely had his moments.
But he also had enough of a sense of humor to appreciate why someone like me shouldn’t bother to pretend I’m sad he’s dead. He wouldn’t, in my place. So to use one of his favorite words: Good riddance, cocksucker.* Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
* See the following Breitbart quote: “I like to call someone a raving cunt every now and then, when it’s appropriate, for effect… ‘You cocksucker.’ I love that kind of language.”
© 2012, agentleman.
The Brave Soldiers Who Show True Honor By Clancy Sigal
We need soldiers that fight for the values that make America truly great.
Even though the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially in the United States, is winter-hibernating – Oakland, California’s dorky vandals notwithstanding – I can’t forget an image from last October’s Zuccotti Park events. If you recall, down in Times Square, when frightened, out-of-control New York cops, on their rampaging motorbikes and panicky horses, batoned and pepper-sprayed Occupy Wall Streeters, a former Marine Corps sergeant, Shamar Thomas, in his camo gear with three rows of ribbons, suddenly appeared on the sidewalk to furiously confront the police.
“Where’s your honor?” he bellowed face to face with cops. “These are unarmed people….this is not war…THERE’S NO HONOR IN THIS!”
The video is wonderfully revealing not so much about righteous Sgt Thomas, who served two Iraq tours including Fallujah, but the police. They stood there dumbfounded, staring, paralyzed – in shame? Embarrassment? – at the big African American war veteran lecturing them about the connection between duty and honor. I don’t know much about New York-born Sgt Thomas except that both his father and Bronze Star-awarded mother are military veterans, as was his grandfather and great grandfather. Somewhere along the line somebody must have taught him an unusual lesson concerning ethics in uniform.
In its training manuals and academies all four military branches make a big deal of honor and integrity, trust and professional honesty. “A great moral code – a code of conduct and chivalry,” is how General Douglas MacArthur, a former West Point superintendent, phrased it to cadets. The Marine Corps’s “Semper fidelis” – always be faithful – is an almost religious part of its official code drilled into all new recruits.
The question is, faithful to what?
The Corps wants you to be faithful to “the mission” and to your brother Marines. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Yet Sgt Thomas went above and beyond the call of duty by dragging into this equation a reminder to the NYPD that one’s duty to fellow citizens may also be part of the Marine code and its “military mission”.
His eloquence inspired many Occupiers and sympathizers like me; and also infuriated many of his fellow Marines who condemned him for wearing his combat ribbons while making what was to them an obnoxious political statement.
The ultimate mission of any military is to protect a country by killing. No argument there. The argument begins in the conflict between the in-the-field reality of military life and its so-called spiritual ideals which people like Shamar Thomas clearly take to heart. Of course, spirituality can cover many sins such as “killing for Christ” and finding Biblical reasons to slaughter the infidel enemy, under a “Christian Embassy”, which some of our nuttier senior officers and proselytizing Pentagon officials are crazy about.
Meanwhile down on the ground Marines who massacre Muslim civilians go unpunished, and PYA – protect your ass – is the unwritten real code among field-grade-and-above officers who get promoted by outright lying about battlefield conditions. Please see Lt Col Daniel Davis’s “J’Accuse” report in the February 2012 Armed Forces Journal blasting top uniformed and civilian leaders for their total dishonesty about “progress” in Afghanistan. Col. Davis is a serving officer, with 27 years in, on his fourth combat deployment.
So there really are at least two militaries: one corrupt and mendacious, the other honorable or at least trying to uphold minimum standards of decency, if such a thing is possible, in the killing business. Organizational pressures to conform are intense. And the psychic reality is, once you enlist your mind signs a binding contract to obey the chain of command no matter what, a relinquishing of autonomy for the greater good of the unit. It often takes almost superhuman courage, while wearing the uniform with pride, to listen to your conscience. For every atrocity-committing bunch of cowboys, like Haditha’s Kilo Company Third Marines, there are plenty of units, like Sgt Thomas’s Light Armored Recon Battalion, that have the cool discipline to stand fast even when provoked.
Our current military establishment is the product of three lost wars – Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan – and is plunging into what the Pentagon calls the “era of persistent conflict”. That is, an Obama-blessed permanent war. Our army is increasingly drawn from the warrior-culture southern states; the officer corps has gradually swung from conservative-neutral to hawkish rightwing Republican; the percentage of Congress and cabinet who served, and therefore may know a little about the cost in death and mutilation, is way down. It adds up to a recipe for detached, irresponsible, consequence-less war making by people who don’t have a clue.
In this kind of military two things are sure. I wouldn’t give a nickel for the future military career of whistleblowing Col. Davis. And more than ever we will need brave souls like him and Sgt Shamar Thomas.
© 2012, agentleman.