We reads the headlines so's you don't have have to.
After being out of town for a month, it takes a while to catch up and get back to speed. So, I don't have it in me yet to read many news stories, and I especially don't have it in me to read the story that come close to making my head explode. So, it goes without saying I'm not able yet to go into depth discussing those that I do read.
However, I figured that I can at least note the headlines of some of the stories that made me glaze over, and give you immediate reactions without even getting into what the story is -- because for some of these, I think my weary, exhausted head would explode if I got that far.
Joe the Plumber: "Your Dead Kids Don't Trump My Constitutional Rights"
No, I wasn't terribly concerned or interested in what "Joe the Plumber" said. I mean, honestly, he's "Joe the Plumber." Mainly, I just never realized that a person's 15 minutes of fame could last this long. Maybe my watch stopped. I'll have to check.
Cliven Bundy Ditches the GOP
Given that these are the days of high school proms, I think it's only appropriate that Mr. Bundy continues the fine, craven tradition of not leaving the party with you brought you. "Fox News" must be especially pissed off, since they probably figured that this was a guy who could groom for president, and now they've wasted all that air time promoting him.
Gov. Rick Scott Won't Say If He Believes In Man-Made Climate Change: 'I'm Not A Scientist'
No word yet on whether non-scientist Gov. Scott (R-FL) believes in gravity and whether or not the earth revolves around the sun. That and electricity, the possibility of telephonic communication, airplane travel, and the effectiveness of heart surgery, Not being a scientist can make life so confusing. But then...that's why we have scientists...
Fox News Guest Issues Lame Apology
I don't know what the guest was supposed to be apologizing for, and I sense that this headline was intended to be critical. But to me, I found it a real shocker and deeply positive. After all, when was the last time you read about anyone of "Fox News" apologizing about anything. "Lame" is great, when you compare it to non-existent.
Dem Who Compared Obama To Hitler Loses Primary
I have to admit, I was tempted to read this story. I wanted to find out if the candidate got any votes. (Left out of the headline is that there was an accompanying photo, and the Democratic candidate was black. I don't know who the candidate's campaign manager was, but I'm guessing that the person is boning up on the concept of "damage control" for the next election.
Pakistani Woman Stoned To Death For Marrying The Man She Loves
There is no truth to the rumor that the corporate-own NRA issued a statement that it's too soon to be discussing whether or not there should be a law against stoning women.
We read the annoying things in the news overnight, so you don't have to have your head explode.
Former House Majority Leader To DeLay (R-TX) says that among God's many other responsibilities, the Almighty also took time out to write the U.S. Constitution. "I think we got off the track when we allowed our government to become a secular government,” DeLay explained on the Global Evangelism Network. "We stopped realizing that God created this nation, that he wrote the Constitution, that it’s based on biblical principles.”
Assuming Mr. DeLay got his facts and religion right, that would mean the Supreme Being supported black people being worth less than a full white man. And that women shouldn't have the vote. On the other hand, it would also raise question to the Lord's infallibility, since so many Amendments have had to be written to correct oversights in the original document.
Former rock personality Ted Nugent apologized several days after saying that President Obama was...
Oh, who cares what Ted Nugent says, even if he apologizes. The fact that it took him so long shows how meaningless it is. The fact that so many far right personalities even slammed Nugent and left him dangling, which likely forced him to offer his apology, shows how meaningless it is. The fact that we can count on Ted Nugent trying to get crazed attention soon enough again and say something else sick and pathetic shows how meaningless it is. The fact that it really doesn't matter what Ted Nugent says about anything political shows, ultimately more than anything, how meaningless his "apology" is. And what it is that he said in the first place.
On the other hand, the always whimsical Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said, "I'm not going to apologize" for controversial comments (the polite term), telling an Iowa newspapers that "What I've said is objectively true."
What he said -- which to Mr. King is "objectively true" -- is that for every illegal immigrant "who's a valedictorian" there are 100 times more who are "hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert." What it turns out is even more objectively true is that Steve King doesn't understand what "objectively true" actually means.
It is unknown whether Ted Nugent called up Rep. King and said, "C'mon, Steve, apologize. It's the right thing to do. Trust me, I know."
Producer Harvey Weinstein acknowledges he made a big mistake with the film, August: Osage County, which he believes in large part is responsible for the movie only getting two Oscar nominations and not faring well at the box-office. "I do think we paid a price critically by rushing for Toronto," he said, referring to getting the film into the Toronto Film Festival rather than allowing the director more time to work on it.
Personally, I think the bigger problem was that the film he released was 90 minutes shorter than the Pulitzer Prize-winning play had been on stage, a full 40% shorter, ripping the guts and most of the interest out of it.
We watch the news so's you don't have to.
MSNBC announced a lineup change for its daytime broadcasting. Two of the new shows are to be hosted by Joy Reid and Ronan Farrow, the son of Mia Farrow and (perhaps) Woody Allen. In announcing the change, MSNBC president Phil Griffin said, “Ronan and Joy are two of the most thoughtful and impressive journalists out there and I’m excited for what they will bring to the afternoon.”
Ronan Farrow is an extremely bright and talented guy. He may well host an absolutely wonderful show. He's an accomplished lawyer and political activist. He is not a journalist -- and most especially not an "impressive journalist." As far as I know, he's just written a bunch of op-ed commentaries for newspapers. But that doesn't make him a journalist, it makes him an expert. This is a minor point, but there's a reason I mention it. It's one thing for someone to refer to him as "an impressive journalist." It's another for the president of a news organization to do so. I can accept others having some wiggle-room in their definitions. I expect the president of a major news organization to be demanding with high standards of what makes journalism. Call Ronan Farrow a thoughtful and impressive political analyst. Say he will soon be one of the most impressive journalists on television. But please, if you're the head of MSNBC News, don't say someone who has zero experience as a journalist is a journalist, let alone one of the most "impressive journalists out there." It puts your standards in deep question.
Frank Rich had a fascinating article in New York magazine in which he makes the case that Fox News is in decline, to the point of being in trouble. His thesis is that the audience for Fox is a quickly aging, white, limited-focus audience in a changing world. There is a lot of merit in his perspective, even while acknowledging how huge that audience is today. However, there's one particular passage I had more trouble with. It's when he writes,
"The only people who seem not to know or accept Fox’s decline, besides its own audience, are liberals, including Barack Obama, whose White House mounted a short-lived, pointless freeze-out of Fox News in 2009, and who convinced himself that the network has shaved five points off his approval rating."
While the "freeze-out" may have been pointless -- or not, that's subjective -- it happened in 2009, five years ago, when the landscape was very different from the "dying" audience Frank Rich is describing today. And also, though Fox New may be "dying" (or not), that's something for the future, not today when, as Rich acknowledges, it still has the most mass audience of all news channels. So, to suggest that such a powerhouse today would have no impact on shaping approval ratings over five years of attacks, seems thoughtless.
I think the world of Frank Rich. I love his writing, his thinking, his perspective and talent. But he's either way off base here or being a bit disingenuous.
Andrea Mitchel is one of the most actually thoughtful and impressive journalists around today. So, it came as a bit of a shock when she interrupted her interview with Rep. Jane Harmon for the big "breaking" story that Justin Bieber had been arrested. To her credit, she publicly addressed the flack and clearly wasn't happy about it, saying, ""It was obviously awkward and unplanned. All I can say is, so be it. It's the luck of the draw." She noted correctly, "I have more foreign policy coverage five days a week on my program than any other program on television, so you can imagine that this was unusual."
It was unusual, and unfortunate. If MSNBC wanted to cover the "story," at least don't interrupt the actual news -- especially when it's from the accomplished Andrea Mitchell -- and present it instead at another time when people who might care would be watching. More unfortunate though was the comment CNN president Jeff Zucker, who said he was "incredibly comfortable" with how his network dealt with Biebernews. Given that it was Jeff Zucker though whose heart for real news coverage is probably not terribly high, I suppose his comfort level is to be expected.
We reads the news so you don't have to have your head explode.
A group of conservatives in western Maryland have started a drive for the state to allow five conservative counties in their region to secede. They're upset at how the state has become too liberal.
Actually, there's a little-known policy that allows this problem to be addressed. It's called "moving." No doubt Alabama would welcome new residents. A second option is available: a civics course which would explain exactly how democracy works.
Dr. Ben Carson, who is a neurosurgeon and political commentator, got a lot of attention last week for putting his two fields together and calling the Affordable Care Act "the worst thing that has happened to this nation since slavery."
Forget for a moment that this overlooks such things as the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, 9/11, four presidential assassinations and the Kardashians. On the simple statement alone, one massive reality stands out -- I have a suspicion that actual slaves would have fallen on their knees and praised God for his Eternal Goodness if they were giving healthcare.
Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) told a reporter for The Young Turks that if the United States defaulted on its debt, "that would be an impeachable offense by the president."
In fairness to Mr. Gohmert, he didn't explain a) why responsibility for debt failure wouldn't fall on congressional Republicans, b) what actual "high crime" the president would guilty of, which the Constitution requires for an impeachable offense, c) how he could have possibly escaped appointment to the Supreme Court, d) how much ego gratification he gets from seeing his name in print, and e) if he believes the father of his party when Lincoln said, "Better to be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."
In Game Two of the American League Championship Series, the Boston Red Sox were losing 5-1 in the 8th inning, when David Ortiz hit a grand slam to tie the game and then the team won in the bottom of the ninth. I called a Boston friend and massive Red Sox fan to tell him what a great anniversary gift it was for him. He said, "Oh, that's right, it's my anniversary. My wife forgot, too. I'd better go remind her.
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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told CNN on Sunday that "it's not a good idea to go through the debt ceiling."
Just think, and it only took him four days before the debt ceiling must be raised to figure this out. One wonders what thought process brought him to this impressive conclusion. Perhaps he might know some other Republicans to whom he could pass along this revelation. (Note: "Not a good idea" is herewith defined as "catastrophic.") It is believed, but unconfirmed that Mr. Paul also said, "It's not a good idea to test a thermonuclear device in your living room."
An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that 53% of Americans blamed the Republican Party for the government shutdown, while only 31% blamed President Obama. Further, approval ratings for the GOP were only 24%.
In reporting on this, the Huffington Post wrote, "Democrats aren't wildly popular either. Obama's approval rating is a marginally positive 47 percent, while the Democratic Party is at 39 percent," For the math challenged, it's important to point out that these numbers mean that President Obama is twice as popular as the Republican Party, and Democrats are two-thirds more popular. In a political world where 10 points would be considered a landslide, the difference here is not "marginal." Rather, it's not good.
For a definition of "not good," see Rand Paul above...
We read the news so you don't need to and have your head explode.
There are reports that Martha Coakley will run for governor of Massachusetts. The big question though is whether this time she will actually campaign.
Ms. Coakley, you may recall, is the Democratic candidate who was far out ahead of Republican Scott Brown in her race for the U.S. Senate when she pretty much disappeared from the campaign trail, apparently taking her victory for granted. That's what made Scott Brown the U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers officially withdrew his name from consideration to be chair of the Federal Reserve Board. Therefore, regardless of what the calendar says, it's not September 21, but now Summers over.
Much as the president has defended Summers when his name seemed to be the leading candidate, Summers said that were he to be nominated, the process would turn acrimonious and be bad for the Fed. I don't know all that much about the high end of such money issues, but my perception is that not only his nomination but Summers himself would have been bad for the Fed.
Best article title of the year. By Joan Walsh in Salon: "Why Larry Summers Was Not Too Big to Fail."
Miss New York won the Miss America contest on Sunday. I think. I wasn't even aware that the Miss America contest was on tonight, until I happened to be flipped through the channels. And no, there is no truth to the rumor that when I came upon it I said, "There she is..."
Side Note: Year's ago, I was invited to a friend's parents' house for dinner to break the Yom Kippur fast. After dinner, to make the meeting more lively, several people entertained a bit. One was Grace Kahn, whose husband Gus, had written (among many legendary songs) the classic "Makin' Whoopie." At the age of 85, when she sang the song, it was the most slyly sensuous version of the song I'd ever heard. And also performing was a fellow named Bernie Wayne, who sat at the piano and sang his best known song -- "There She Is, Miss America."
Last night, Bob Newhart won his first-ever Emmy, for a guest-star role on The Big Bang Theory. It was his sixth nomination (one was for writing). But that's not the remarkable thing. The remarkable thing is that of his six Emmy nominations -- none were for The Bob Newhart Show.
The rains have not abated in Colorado, and over 1,200 people are now missing, with several thousand people having been rescued by the U.S. Army and National Guard. To put a sense of perspective on the amount of rain that has been falling, the previous record for the wettest day ever in the city of Boulder was 4.8 inches of rain. Usually when records are broken, it's incremental. On September 12, however, the city got almost double that, with 9.08 inches. But further, the average rainfall in Boulder for September is 1.63 inches. This year, though, the city has had nearly nine times that (!) -- 14.62 inches. However, that's not for the whole month of September, that's only for just four days!!
At some point, climate deniers will get their heads out of certain dry, protected orifices and quit laughing about "global warming" and realize that the phrase is "climate change" and that the climate is changing.
By the way, a massive typhoon is about to hit Japan and 260,000 people have been evacuated. But that doesn't count because they're not Americans. Though if they were Americans, it probably wouldn't count for climate change deniers either. Because science isn't real.
We read the news, so that your head won't explode.
There was a lot of media coverage when it was announced that Ruth Bader Ginsburg would become the first Supreme Court Justice to officiate a same-sex wedding, She will officiate at the wedding of Michael M. Kaiser (Kennedy Center President) and economist John Roberts.
While I completely understand why this made news, personally I think the reason she did it was not to be cutting edge, but rather as a ridiculing dig at Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts....
Yesterday, former crazy congressman Allen West (R-Mars) blasted President Obama when he said...oh, who cares? I didn't care what lunatic things Mr. West ranted about when he was an elected official, I can't understand why anyone on Earth or back on his home planet would care what he says now that he no longer has the authority of a Congressman.
Sports reporters have been working overtime for the past several weeks, writing about Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, who last year became the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy. The controversy over Manziel has been over whether or not he took any money for signing football paraphernalia, which is against NCAA rules. The NCAA has been investigating if any money changed hands, and the best they can determine is that he may have broken the spirit of the rule about money payment, and so suspended him with a slap on the wrist, prohibiting him from playing in the first half of Texas A&M's first game.
I'm really not sure what all the dispute and concern is about, and most especially the shock if such a thing actually happened, that money might have changed hands.
I mean, seriously. Look at the school's logo. It's freaking "ATM"!
And people are actually wondering if money changed hands??!!
Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) said on Thursday he has a "gut feeling" that Syria possesses chemical weapons which it got from Iraq. It should be noted that in 2003, Mr. Terry supported the invasion of Iraq, no doubt based on his "gut feeling" at the time that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction. It's impressive how someone with such hyper-active gut feelings can be so gutless.
Liz Cheney, running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator in Wyoming; daughter of former VP Dick Cheney, and whose sister is very famously gay, commented yesterday that "I am not pro-gay marriage." I was going to say, "Hey, now that's a family dinner table I don't want to be at for Thanksgiving..." when I realized that that's a family dinner table I don't want to be at for any meal.
For decades, the gun manufacturer-owned fringe outlier group, the NRA has helped build up its membership by ginning their fears of a massive database of gun owners kept by the government. In fact, as Buzzfeed reports here, "the sort of vast, secret database the NRA often warns of already exists, despite having been assembled largely without the knowledge or consent of gun owners."
In a twist of whimsy worthy of George Orwell, if George Orwell had any whimsy, it's turned out that that database is collected and kept by the NRA itself. It's the country’s "largest privately held database of current, former, and prospective gun owners."
I don't know if this falls under the Law of Unintended Consequences, or "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it," or -- "Geez, what did you expect from a far-right wing, radical, paramilitary, vigilante, hate organization"?
So, you remember that fake, supposed-scandal about the IRS "targeting" far right political groups? Not only has that already be debunked with reports of liberal groups being scrutinized, as well -- as the IRS should, for both sides -- but documents were released today by members of the House Ways and Means Committee that the Internal Revenue Service encouraged investigators to single-out groups that had the left-leaning word "emerge" in their names, as well as groups that could be seen as successors to the now-defunct, GOP-hated ACORN.
In fact, the only thing that Republicans seemingly hate more than the non-existent ACORN is that the clearly aren't being persecuted for being Republicans. Just ridiculed.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that the NSA has developed a surveillance network that can reach 75% of Internet traffic.
While most Americans responded with outrage, officials at the service provider AT&T have sent a team to the NSA to inquire "So, what's your trick?" They called the home office with updates, but couldn't get a signal.
One of the funniest hypocritical arguments in many decades has been the far right defense that Tea Party corporation love child Ted Cruz (R-TX) is eligible to run for president as a natural-born American because his mother was a U.S. citizen, even though his father was Cuban and he was born in Canada and lived there for four years. Given that almost exactly overlaps the "birther" charges against Barack Obama (were they remotely true), it is literally impossible for them to argue that Ted Cruz is an American Citizen but the president is not.
But the funniest part of the story is that it now turns out that the one aspect of all this that is indisputable is that Ted Cruz is eligible to be Prime Minister of Canada. Under Canada's Citizenship Act of 1947, anyone born on Canadian soil is Canadian. “He’s a Canadian,” said Stephen Green, past chairman of the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section.
The big problem for the fiery Cruz though, now that it turns out he is Canadian, is not whether he's eligible to run for president, it's whether or not he can now suddenly become incredibly polite.
Supreme Court Justie Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave a rare interview. Among the topics she touched on was the Court's decision to gut part of the Voting Rights Act. She had some pointed thoughts. "The notion that because the Voting Rights Act had been so tremendously effective we had to stop it didn't make any sense to me. And one really could have predicted what was going to happen."
My favorite comment, though, was when discussing her dissent in the 5-4 decision on the voting law. In writing her dissent, she said that getting rid of that part of the law was "like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet."
She also noted that, even just a mere month from the law being overturned, having seen all the newly proposed laws in Southern states about voter ID cards, "I didn't want to be right, but sadly I am."
The good news about all this is that there are aspects of the law that remain unchanged which allow the Justic Department to challenge some of the laws, and apparently they are looking into doing that.
The brother of acquitted killer George Zimmerman was quoted as saying that any civil lawsuit against his brother "Might Not Be Very Flattering' To Trayvon Martin's Family"
Right. Because up to now the news has been really great for them...
Let's see: their son was killed. He was dragged through the mud as supposed a drug-dealing gang member thug. And his killer was acquitted.
Sarah Palin, the former half-term governor of Alaska, returned to her whining mode, and claimed that "I was banned from talking about Jeremiah Wright" when running as John McCain's VP candidate.
Personally, I think that rather than complaining about that, she should be upset that they hadn't also banned her from talking about foreign policy.
Or newspapers, the economy, science, the environment, and pretty much anything.
There is a report that the Reuters' news service climate change coverage fell by nearly 50% not long after hiring a climate skeptic as their senior editor.
I'm not sure that it's fair to blame the drop in climate change coverage on this hiring. I could be that their climate change coverage dropped because their staff was too physically drained from the excessive heat wave.
Yesterday, maniacally out-of-control, former semi-popular rock singer Ted Nugent said...oh, honestly, who cares?
Wired magazine announced a new Apple rumor. They then rate Apple rumors from Dumbest to Most Plausible.
I should mention that I myself heard a rumor today that there is a rumor there might be an Apple rumor next week.
And if it was up to me, I would rate Apple rumors from Dumbest to Least Dumb. You see, Apple Rumors are not actual news. They're...rumors. They're meaningless. When something becomes factual, they will at that point be news.
Mark Sanford, the disgraced former governor of South Carolina for egregious marriage infidelity, going AWOL while on the job and lying about, won his race for the 1st Congressional District against Elizabeth Colbert Busch.
It's nice to see that the very Red, family values state has shown how important family values actually are to them. At least when the other person is a liberal.
Also, after being down 9 point in a PPP poll just two weeks ago, he was up by one point in a Sunday poll, and won the election two days later by nine points. PPP is a very good polling outfit. Not here. Gots to work on those metrics, folks.
The stock market closed over 15,000 for the first time in history. Just imagine how high it would be if there was a real president in office who supported big business.
To be clear, the stock market is not an indication of the economic conditions in the country. But it is an indication of importance to the finances of big big business. What wonders when corporations will begin to realize that Republicans are not inherently good for them, and Democrats bad. And when the public grasps that, as well. History has shown this time and again.
The Huffington Post just announced that they are opening a bureau in Japan. No word yet if the Japanese are aware that they won't get be getting paid.
In related news, the dollar hit a four-year high against the yen last month. So, with the conversation rate, Japanese bloggers won't be hurt as much as if they were actually receiving income.
Yesterday, Texas lawmakers spent their first full day debating House Bill 650. The bill would require that all presidential candidates prove that they are natural born citizens before being allowed on the Texas ballot. Not surprisingly, it has drawn great support from "birthers" who still think that President Obama was born in Kenyan.
The bill was first introduced in January, which as whimsy would have it, is when Ted Cruz was elected to the senate to represent Texas, long before the far right has decided he is already their beloved choice (after just four months in office) to be president in 2016. Given that Barack Obama is not eligible to ever run for president again -- and that Ted Cruz was born in Canada and lived there for the first four years of his life -- I'm going to guess that this is a really good example of the Law of Unintended Consequences. Sometimes when you're really screwed up, you end up screwing yourself.
The swami Mike Huckabee predicted on his "Fox News" show that President Obama would be impeached over Benghazi. Forgetting for a moment all his non-existence reasons, other than that havng something to do with lying to the American public -- because, y'know, no president has ever done that -- his faux-outrage culminated in declaring Benghazi as worse than Watergate (which, let's be clear, was about subverting the Constitution and abuse of power) because, "as bad as Watergate was, because it broke the trust between the president and the people, no one died. This is more serious because four Americans did in fact die.”
I believe the polite response is, "Spare me."
George Bush lied not only to the American public but also Congress -- and as a result of the latter got the United States into war with Iraq, where 4,500 Americans did, in fact, die. And he additionally ignored a Presidential Daily Briefing that resulted in the Twin Towers being destroyed on 9/11 and 3,000 deaths.
So, we've got 7,500 deaths and not a single peep of a hiccup of criticism from one of the most gut-wrenchingly hypocritical people in America.
And Mike Huckabee says...the Black guy is worse. Worse than them all. Well...to the Mike Huckabees of the world, he probably is. But then, that's why they're the Mike Huckabees of the world.
Reuters reported that the Wall Street analysts have separately released studies each of which suggest that if the biggest investment banks broke themselves up in to smaller entities, it would make them more profitable. Part of the reason is that new regulations makes the big banks "un-investable," according to Kian Abouhossein, an analyst for JPMorgan. An analyst for Wells Fargo, Matthew Burnell, the value of the smaller companies "would likely be greater than the current whole."
Apparently, breaking up isn't hard to do.
Democrats in the House put a motion forward that would have allowed the House to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is an equal pay for women piece of legislation. However Republicans voted the motion down, 226 to 192.
This is the part where I absolutely love watching all the Republicans get sooo pissed off when Democrats claim that the GOP has a War on Women and insist that it's just not, not, not true. It's more like a crusade.
In her column, Ann Coulter wrote, "MSNBC's Martin Bashir suggested that Republican senators need to have a member of their families killed for them to support the Democrats' gun proposals. (Let's start with Meghan McCain!)"
This is a standard mantra of Ms. Coulter, who loves to suggest that people she doesn't like should get killed. (Among others, she said that Rep. John Murtha should be "fragged", which is when soldiers kill one of their own. She also suggested that someone should put rat poison in Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens's creme brulee.) And then she tries to dismiss it as a joke. [Note: in an earlier version, I mistyped "fragged" as "fracked," the problematic process for extracting gas from shale. Thanks to David Rich for catching it.]
And once again, on cue, this time she says it's all okay because -- "I was making a joke," she told Sean Hannity on Fox, saying it was just "hyperbole" -- before she then slammed Martin Bashir's "heinous" comment. Now, either she thinks Martin Bashir was actually suggesting people be actually killed, which would make her an idiot, or she's suggesting that her hyperbole is okay, but his is heinous. Which would make her an idiot. It's a win-win.
The reality is that it will not come as a shock that Ms. Coulter twisted what Martin Bashir said -- which was, in fact, not a suggestion at all, but a question, in response to a guest. Along with a follow-up statement to make his feelings clear. Bashir had been talking with Rep. Elijah Cummings (R-MD) who told a heartbreaking story of his nephew being killed. Bashir then said, "But Congressman, is that what needs to happen to move these senators to stop threatening a filibuster? Is that really what needs to happen? That you need to have a member of your family killed in order for you to do what the American people want you to do?”
Rep. Cummings replied, “I hope not. I don’t wish this pain on anybody.” To which Bashir answered, “None of us does."
"None of us does." Gee, who would have guessed that he said that after reading Ms. Coulter's "joke."
Mind you, the very best part of her whining "defense" came later. That was when she said, "I think the exclamation point made it clear. And the fact that everyone laughed when they read it."
Okay, speaking as someone who actually does write comedy professionally, a few tips for Ms. Coulter. 1) Putting an exclamation point at the end of a sentence doesn't make it a joke. What it does is give what you just wrote more emphasis. 2) When you write something in a column, you really, honestly don't have any idea whether or not "everyone laughed" at it. Or if anyone did. 3) Sometimes people make a joke about things that they believe. 4) It's generally not good to keep repeating the same joke. 5) If you're going to dance on the line of bad taste when you make a joke, you'd better do everything to make it incredibly well-crafted so that everyone actually knows it's a really great joke. And 4) most importantly, just because you tell a joke doesn't mean it's funny.
By the way, to be clear, I don't think Ann Coulter wants all these people "dead." What I do think, though, is that in today's culture it's seriously dangerous and in horrific taste to joke about killing people, and keep joking about killing people, because as we've too often seen, there are sick human beings who can't tell what a joke is or isn't. And what I also think is that Ann Coulter is an idiot.
Sorry, I mean, what I also think is that Ann Coulter is an idiot!
There. The exclamation point made it clear. And everyone laughed when they read it.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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