Who is Keyser Söze?

What I should tell folks is that during the hiatus of this blog, I have been in regular touch with the commenter who called himself Republitard. I guess he did not know that it has started back up, because he sent me this email just the other day. I edited this to save him embarrassment for his notoriously poor spelling:

That Obama is a wily one.

In an effort to advance his nefarious gun-grabbing plan that includes no actual gun-grabbing, he issued a series of over-reaching executive orders which included no actual executive orders. He has you all fooled. The whole thing is crystal clear to all but those self-deluding unfortunates who believe that the President was born in Hawaii and that Ike was not a commie.

I don’t know about you, but I am going to buy more guns and ammunition, just to make sure I am ready to defend myself against federal agents who have come for my stash of guns and ammunition.

Take That, Dolan

This is the first election in a while where I’ve seen a big chunk of my Church’s hierarchy throw in so blatantly for one candidate. So, how has the “never mind that social gospel, there’s a gay guy out to ruin your marriage and hand out birth control” thing worked out for the partisan bishops?

Here ya go:

Obama leads opponent Mitt Romney among Catholic voters by 54% to 39%, according to the survey, conducted from September 12 to 16 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Of course a big chunk of Barack Obama’s lead is among Hispanics and blacks (5% of African Americans are Catholics), but Pew’s poll shows Obama and Mitt Romney in a tie among white Catholics.

About That…

I guess it’s time for me to weigh in fully on this one.

I get the conservative argument on the welfare state: dependency is bad for the poor long term, and conservatives hope to free up capital so that businesses will expand and people will be hired, and there won’t be so many poor people. I don’t buy that one, but I see where they are coming from.

The trouble is what Mitt Romney actually said:

[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

Fun fact: 61% of the 47% he is talking about actually pay payroll taxes, meaning they work, although, obviously not for a high enough salary for them to be responsible citizens in Romney’s view.

And this gets to where I often have trouble buying that people who espouse conservative economics give a darn about what happens to the non-rich: because it is so often wedded to Ayn Rand inspired spite like this. It’s hard to buy that you have sympathy for the troubles of the middle class and everyone under them if your next breath you say they are a bunch of bums who are getting what they deserve.

(Aside: anyone notice how many Republican politicos here in the Old Pueblo that spout this “maker and taker” rhetoric seem to be employed by our city’s largest federal contractor?)

So, S. E. Cupp had an interesting take on this yesterday. Her argument was that Barack Obama himself created this rhetoric by claiming that working people were the victims of Wall Street greed and of the economy. Obama was the one calling them victims and Romney just followed suit, she asserts. I suppose this gets back to the view from conservative commentators that class warfare is only a bad thing if it is waged from below, but I find it funny because it seems like no one is as good at playing the victim card these days as the right.

It’s even built into some of the rhetoric on the 47%. Years ago, the Wall Street Journal ran an article calling those that don’t make enough money to pay income taxes “Lucky Duckies,” as if the struggles of trying to figure out how to pay your bills from month to month make you “lucky.” It was a rather odious argument, but one that has blossomed into full flower as of late.

So, these people who don’t pay federal income taxes (leave aside the numerous taxes they do pay) are moochers, looters, parasites, right? They are mooching, looting and feeding off of whom? Oh, so who is pretending to be a victim now?

You find this victimhood all over the place. Give it a couple of months, the next time a greeter at Walmart says “Happy Holidays,” and Bill O’Reilly will be on about how some secular oligarchy is persecuting the good people of America.

Romney played a bit of the victim himself when he joked that he’d be doing better in the race if he were of Mexican decent. That’s right, because Bill Richardson and Ben Fernandez made such a splash in their campaigns. Mexican Americans get all the breaks. Ask my Mom about growing up in Barrio Millville sometime, Mitt.

Pobrecito el Mitt. He’s a victim of circumstance. It’s hard to be a rich white guy these days.

Backpeddling

The funniest part of Gabrielle Saucedo Mercer’s response to the kerfuffle over her racist comments in an interview she did for a far right website is her assertion that the video was doctored by Raúl Grijalva’s campaign. It’s funny because the video that’s circulating is the one that was posted by the publication that interviewed her.

Along those lines is Ally Miller, who also was interviewed by the Western Free Press. In the video, Miller proclaims her pride at being a Tea Party member. You’d think that that isn’t nearly as inflammatory as GSM’s statement, but according to David Safier over at Blog for Arizona, she’s going back on that one:

Ally Miller went on the Bill Buckmaster Show August 30 and said it was “name calling” and “juvenile behavior” to call her a Tea Party member. She even said people who refer to her membership in the Tea Party are “willing to fabricate just horrible stories and lies about me.”

Remember, she’s the one that termed association with the Tea Party a “horrible story,” not me.

She’s dialing back on, nay running away from, her affiliation with the local Tea Party, whose enthusiasm won her a primary, because she suddenly found out that in a tough general election, she might need to get the votes of people who don’t think the circumstances of Barack Obama’s birth were part of a scheme worthy of a Richard Condon novel.

Geez, if Teismo won’t fly on the Northwest side anymore…

Now That’s What I Call Racism

Jan Brewer accused Barack Obama of “race baiting” this morning and was angry about accusations of bigotry.

Being accused by la Cervecera of race baiting is a bit like being accused by Randy Travis of public intoxication.

Since her side is free of race baiting and bigotry, I’m sure she’d be more than happy to see who her party is running for congress in CD 3:

Yep. Middle Easterners are dangerous. Send Jamie Farr back.

A blanket statement that all people of a certain ethnicity or origin are dangerous regardless of what they as individuals have actually done…hmm…yes kids, that’s called racism.

Brewer is scheduled to do a fundraiser for Saucedo Mercer on September 12th. Of course, since she’s against race bating and bigotry, she’ll cancel, right?

I’m not counting on it.

The interview was posted on Western Free Press’s website back in June of last year, but that hasn’t stopped a legion of Republicans from giving her their support. Will any of them drop it? Will the press put any pressure on them to?


Well, Not First…

Website Ancestry.com got some attention this week for their finding that Barack Obama is descended from an African-American slave. Interestingly, this ancestor is on his mother’s side of the family.

Something in the release from Ancestry.com struck me:

A research team from Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, has concluded that President Barack Obama is the 11thgreat-grandson of John Punch, the first documented African enslaved for life in American history.

Okay, here we dive head first into one of my favorite snits: saying that Punch was the first African slave in “American history” reveals a rather narrow view of what American history is, one that is viewed entirely through an Anglo-Saxon lens.

Yeah, it’s a weird point to argue: “But my ancestors had slaves first!” But, ignoring what came before John Punch ignores our nation’s Hispanic, Native American and, yes, African American history.

In 1527, more than a century before John Punch was enslaved, and decades before Virginia was even colonized, a man named Pánfilo de Narváez was leading an expedition to Florida. Among his companions in this expedition was Andrés Dorantes de Carranza and his African slave, Estevan de Dorantes, sometimes referred to as Estevanico.

Estevanico’s arrival in Florida made him, in essence, the first African-American. Things did not go well, and the hungry explorers tried to set sail to Mexico. A hurricane stranded them on Galveston Island with only four survivors: Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Alonso del Castillo Maldonado, Dorantes and Estevanico.

The four survivors wandered what is now the Southwestern United States, and Estevanico was a particular asset for his talent for learning local languages. The four men managed to survive by offering their services to different tribes as healers. Cabeza de Vaca’s diary became the first written account of the American Southwest.

After they made it to Mexico, Estevanico offered his services as a guide to Marcos de Niza, who was looking for the Lost Cities of Cibola. Estevanico served as a sort of herald to de Niza.

Estevanico’s career and life ended in the village of Hawikuh in present day New Mexico. Historians speculate that he was killed because the local tribe distrusted him or that he made unreasonable demands. One popular rumor is that he faked his death to secure his freedom.

The kachina Chakwaina is said by some to be based on Estavanico. It’s hard to confirm, but Chakwaina carries the gourd rattle that Estevanico carried as a symbol of authority.

I suppose you could argue that Florida and the Southwest wasn’t the United States yet. Then again, neither was Virginia.

We miss some fascinating and important parts of our history when we pretend that our history is only an Anglo history. Of course, acknowledging that in our schools is considered too radical.

Yeah, I went there. Sue me.

Nie Wierzcie Elektrykom

I’ve been getting grief from my liberal friends about Lech Wałęsa’s endorsement of Mitt Romney. Some of this is over what he regards as a personal slight from Barack Obama; some of it is because of Wałęsa’s stongly held social conservatism.

Solidarność, the labor movement he once headed, doesn’t share Wałęsa’s enthusiasm for Romney. They released a statement:

In relation to Lech Walesa’s meeting with Mitt Romney, a candidate for President of the USA, I wish to inform that NSZZ “Solidarnosc” is in no way involved in the organization of this meeting nor had the initiative to invite Mitt Romney to Poland.

Regretfully, we have learned from our friends in the American trade union central AFL-CIO, representing over 12 million workers, about Mitt Romney’s support for the attacks against trade unions and labor rights. In this respect, I wish to express, on behalf of the President of NSZZ “Solidarnosc” Piotr Duda, our solidarity with American workers and trade unions. NSZZ “Solidarnosc” will always support the AFL-CIO in their struggle for the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively.

Wałęsa dropped his membership in Solidarność back in 2006 in a political dispute. Solidarność threw in with the Law and Justice party, while Wałęsa was a supporter of Civic Platform. The two center right parties were then and remain the two main parties in parliament.

Piotr Duda, the current head of Solidarność, has also written a letter in support of public employees in Wisconsin.

He Knows How Silly He Looks, Right?

Joe Arpaio has scheduled yet another press conference for Tuesday to tell all of us what his “cold case posse” has found out about the circumstances of Barack Obama’s birth.

He promises it will be “breathtaking.” What’s breathtaking is that this baboso continues to be taken seriously as a political and law enforcement figure by the press and much of our so-called responsible civic leadership.

So, is he going after Obama because of federal lawsuits, or is he mad that Ken Bennett has been taking over his birther turf?