Thursday, February 24, 2011

Huckabee's Honesty

Here at SR we have a proud history of "reporting" on the most egregious abuses of Race Cards (available at your local CVS pharmacy) in politics, particularly by conservative politicians apparently so oblivious to differences in skin-color that the very idea of talking about race is seen as a cowardly concession to pigments. Yesterday, former Arkansas governor, probable GOP presidential candidate/current Fox News contributor (sames) and part-time rocker Mike Huckabee joined an elite group of said conservative politicians with his comments regarding his clemency of Maurice Clemmons. For those unfamiliar: Clemmons was convicted to 108 years in prison for unarmed, aggravated burglary committed at the age of 16. As governor, Huckabee exercised his office's constitutional authority and released Clemmons after he served 11 years of his sentence. Tragically, Clemmons went on to murder four people in Washington state. Hello Willie Horton moment.

"And most people wouldn't have served -- they wouldn't have even been sentenced to 11, much less served 11. It was clearly a disproportionate sentence, based on all the other cases like his," Huckabee said. "Quite honestly, I'd love to tell you this isn't true, but that kid was black. And if he'd been white, and upper-middle class and had a good attorney he wouldn't have served a day. He'd have had probation, he'd have gone to see a counselor, and he'd probably gone to college, and he'd probably be on Wall St. making a couple billion bucks a year."

Hold the phone, blow the whistle. Did that white Southern Republican governor just claim that a criminal received an unfairly harsh punishment simply because he was poor and black? Well ain't it something. Note the lengths to which Huck went to demonstrate his commitment to this claim; he even squeezed in a mention of conveniently unpopular Wall Street, what with their billion bucks a year would-be convicted felons and all.

"If I had the same file in front of me today that I had then, I would make the same decision, and I would like to think -- God help us when we get to the place when the only decisions we make are the ones that are in our own political self-interest," Huckabee said.

Exactly. Just like your decision to acknowledge the inherent racial inequalities in our criminal justice system (and offering a cursory shot at Wall Street), reversing course on your party's sharply honed messaging on these issues in order to staunchly defend a controversial decision, wasn't in your own political self-interest. Really, it wasn't. Winning this argument with conservative voters by playing the race card is an interesting strategy, if not ill-conceived. For the record, your clemency of Maurice Clemmons was not only justified but courageous. Your refusal to cower to those who place the death of those four Seattle slain on your hands by defending your decision is admirable. And your honesty in your appraisal of Clemmons' sentencing and circumstances is refreshing, especially coming from a conservative politician who would sooner accuse judges of being empathetic reverse-racists.

Article from Talking Points Memo.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

All the Presidency's Men

Happy President's Day to 39, 41, 42, 43, and 44.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

The Tale Of Two Seasons

This epic post-OT winner celebration picture of Ilya Kovalchuk says everything about how I feel inside. The Devils 11-1-2 tear has got fans and experts talking playoffs (don't say the word!) After the disastrous, nightmarish start to this season, fans, though still loyal, were beginning to salivate over the prospect of our first high 1st-round draft pick in many a year. Sitting in the basement of the league, last in goals for and highest in goals against, a first-year head coach who in hindsight was pretty terrible and yet is still a franchise legend, a marquee high-scoring stud injured for what appears to be the entire season, a struggling Hall of Fame best-in-the-world goaltender, and a $100 million dollar face-of-the-franchise Russian superstar unable to score, the Devils looked done, out of the playoffs for the first time since 1996. The first 41 games yielded a 10-29-2 dead last result.

And yet, hope.

Jacques Lemaire, sent from angels/Lou Lamoriello, is back behind the bench (and just earned his 600th career win as head coach last night, putting him in rare company). Martin Brodeur, though a bit banged up currently, has been stopping rubber like an abstinence program, and though Zach Parise is still watching home games from the press box, Kovalchuk is lighting lamps like it's Diwali (15 points in 14 games). Suddenly the Devils, though still closer to the bottom than to the 8th seed, are 21-30-4. This year's campaign really has been the tale of two seasons. Although we're 13 points out of the playoff picture and are heavily reliant on Carolina, Buffalo, Florida, Toronto, AND Atlanta all simultaneously tanking while we win out 90% of our remaining schedule, I still believe. And if we don't make the playoffs this year, well at least Devils Nation can take pride in the fact that our team didn't go out like a bunch of punks fishing for a draft pick (see certain Canadian franchise located in nation's capital).

Shark hunting tonight in Jersey. LET'S GO DEVILS!

Screenshot via

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The People In Their Infinite Wisdom

Watch as master equivocator and probable little person Frank "it's not health care reform, it's death care death taxes" Luntz leads an insightful discussion with Iowa Republican voters about President Obama's handling of the Egypt crisis on Hannity (read: legitimate). My favorite part? No, it's not 25 seconds in when Dr. Drew Pinsky look-a-like talks himself into a corner about how Obama "doesn't know what the details are" (Dr. Drew KNOWS the details, he watches Hannity) and ends his abortion of a statement by referring indistinctly to "what we need as a country." It isn't the Henry Paulson look-a-like picking up where Dr. Drew left off by exasperatedly declaring "[Obama] doesn't know what a republic is [PSSSSH]."

My favorite part of this video isn't the Mark Hamill circa Return of the Jedi look-a-like then claiming "no one seems to know what's going on" (irony!) within the Obama administration when it comes to Egypt, not the president, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, the joint chiefs, the chef, NO ONE (Mark Hamill knows what's going on, he watches Hannity). I thought my favorite point might have been when two-chocolate-chips-short-of-a-cookie-zilla weighs in with her very, very profound assessment of President Obama's foreign policy, during which she proceeds to claim that the president's religious beliefs (muslin) "govern" his handling of Egypt. My favorite part wasn't when everyone around her grumbled in approval. My favorite part was not Frank Luntz's "my gosh" shock at the realization that half the room believes the president is a Muslim, nor was it his very earnest attempt to remind these corn-bred regular American folk that the big bad media (SR proudly included) is going to savage them as imbecilic hate-fueled stubborn unintelligent backwater dumbass goats.

My favorite part wasn't when Dr. Drew and a man allegedly named BRUCE relish their very clever assessment of the president when they claim that "intolerant liberalism" is his religion, only to be followed immediately by tolerant Marilyn's assertion that the president is, despite what he says, a freaking muslin I mean LOOK at him (muslin irony!). The part where Frank Luntz then innocently asks this frothing wolfpack "shouldn't we be backing the president? Isn't that the loyal thing to do [SNICKER]?" ALMOST became my favorite moment, and then Very Serious Mustache Man with the finger-point FTW declares that Obama is the second-coming of Neville Chamberlain because he's an appeaser of...Hosni Mubarak? Egyptian protesters? Bill Ayers? It doesn't matter because NAZIS. "Destruction!" Favorite moment.

But right after that came a true gem, my favoritest favorite part of this whole video, despite the brilliance that came before it. Little Sarah Palin-glasses Betty Sue from Davenport had been waiting patiently to chime in with her really, really important comment and when the boom mic finally swings her way, she offers a line so wrought with irony it can only be regarded as beautiful in its utter lack of self-awareness: "[Obama] gives textbooks answers" *shakes head and closes eyes in both disgust of her subject and pride in her wisdom*. THAT was by far my favorite part.

"He doesn't know what to do. He never knows what to do."

Me neither. But some folks might disagree.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Olberevolution Will Not Be Televised...On ESPN

In all the media whirlwind surrounding former MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith How Dare You, Sir Olbermann's next career move, it seems SR managed to play, through an innocent--and of course humorous--tweet, a small part in heightening the intrigue. Yesterday, upon hearing the news of Olbermann's scheduled conference call with reporters during which he would announce his new venture, I made this 133 character quip:

It was a small bit of brilliance but certainly an obvious joke; the door was left wide open for it and I'm sure I wasn't the first to see the comedic congruence between Olbermann, The Decision, and ESPN. Hours later I began to notice my inbox filling up with "now following" notices. Pleased with this sudden burst of fans, I investigated its cause and discovered I had scored the coveted Olberetweet:

LeBron joke FTW! Inexplicably however, many of Olbermann's followers took his laugh-out-loud all caps endorsement of my funny to mean the fictitious prime-time special I alluded to was actually happening, necessitating this clarification:

I know, Keith. Simpletons just don't understand our style.  Of course this isn't the first time a major cable news network personality interacted with us through the tweets. I'm getting kind of used to this. Still waiting for @glennbeck to respond to my many, many questions.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

How (Some) Conservatives Used To Speak

"A major element of our strategy has been to delegitimize terrorists, to get society to see them for what they are - criminals - and to use democracy's most potent tool, the rule of law, against them."

This from Paul Bremer, aide to Ronald Reagan, in 1987 regarding the administration's anti-terrorism strategy (from a brief but revealing WaPo piece on the five--of several--myths of the Reagan legacy). This strategy of "downgrading" terrorists from foreign warriors to the thugs and murderers they truly are is precisely what the Obama administration has sought to accomplish by pursuing the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention center (and the subsequent transfer of prisoners to U.S. soil, covered by SR here and here and here) as well as the trying of enemy combatants in Article III courts. Of course, to ask today's GOP how they feel regarding the above quote would lead only to unpleasant frothing and incoherent mumbles about creeping sharia in public schools.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mr. Wahls Goes To Des Moines

"The sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character."

This is the kind of speech one prays to be given the chance to deliver. Check out that poise at 1:35. My hat is off to you, Zach. Go on and change things.

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