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The Hopscotch Of Freedom

By Jesse Taylor
Friday, June 6, 2008 2:08 EDT

You know what? We were proved fucking right. That’s what happened. People who disagreed with us were saying, ‘There they go again.’ But we were proved fucking right.

The thing that always bothered me about the overall idea of being lied to repeatedly by the leader of the free world in a manner so blatant that only the American press corps could overlook it was that they never really tried to obscure the lie in a way that actually reflected the magnitude of the enterprise.

Whenever a private company tries to repair or promote their image, they’ll generally do a variety of charitable activities (a 5K here, a day of litter pickup there) that create the impression, if not the reality, of them being a vitally beneficial part of the community. It can be better from a PR perspective to have fifty kids receiving fifty small scholarships than it is to have five kids receiving five large scholarships, because the generosity, although exactly the same financially, is spread out among many more people who in turn spread word of your generosity to an exponential number of others.

With Iraq, the Bush Administration decided that they’d give one kid one giant fucking scholarship, and that kid was going to be a Nobel winner when they were done with him. If you questioned them, it was because you didn’t believe the kid was smart enough to tie his own shoes, let alone finish college. If you pointed out that the scholarship was only good at Crazy Pete’s House of Mufflers and Molecular Biology, it was because you were against alternative forms of education. And if you dared – dared – point out that the case for giving the kid the scholarship was based on forged paperwork and a plagiarized essay, it was probably because you were secretly a pedophile who was sad the kid was going to be spirited away from the local NAMBLA meeting.

From the time we went into Iraq, and seeing the resulting mess five years later, I’ve always wondered – how much better would it have been had the Bush administration had made at least some token serious steps towards promoting freedom and democracy anywhere else, even if it was only as a mask for the Iraq debacle?

What comes chiefly to mind is Zimbabwe – a country that, for years, has been in a hideous downward spiral of blatant oppression. It’s gotten so bad that Mugabe simply can’t (and won’t) hide it anymore:

The American ambassador to Zimbabwe, James D. McGee, said the police tried to run the American diplomats off the road during a six-mile chase, then slashed the tires of their SUV at a roadblock. War veterans, the often-violent agents of the state, subsequently threatened to set fire to their vehicle with them inside, and tried to bash in the windows with their rifle butts. A Zimbabwean driver who brought the embassy’s security officer to the scene was hauled from the car, beaten and tossed in a ditch, Mr. McGee said.

This isn’t to say that a military invasion of Zimbabwe should have been tossed on the pile – exactly the opposite. But it is to say that the gross abuse of the world’s trust might have been ameliorated, ever so slightly, had Bush actually attempted to obscure the massive fuckup he was about to embark on by engaging other spots around the world where the direct intervention of an American president with what was, at that time, large-scale support and sympathy could have truly done some good.

Instead, he wasted that opportunity. And now, it just gets worse.

The list of targets for state-sponsored intimidation in Zimbabwe just keeps getting longer. First and foremost, it includes opposition officials and supporters, but also takes aim at civic leaders, trade unionists, election monitors, journalists, human rights lawyers, teachers, churchgoers — and now aid workers and diplomats.


Opposition officials have voiced deep disappointment that regional intervention to halt the violence before the runoff, now only three weeks away, has been weak and tardy.

Why the backlash against “Sex and the City” is political

By Amanda Marcotte
Thursday, June 5, 2008 23:32 EDT

Argh, I’m done hiding my head and will be brave enough to talk about it, having been inspired by Sarah Seltzer. All these attacks on “Sex and the City” in light of the movie that has come out—mostly from people who probably never watched a minute of the show—are sexist. And they’re a particularly insidious form of sexism, one that feminists are prone to falling for, which suggests that women don’t deserve respect unless they…


Hankies, indeed

By auguste

Cara at Feministe links to a series of comic strips telling stories of the rescue work in Sichuan. Don’t go to the site expecting to escape without tears. Then head over here.…


What To Look Forward To

By Jesse Taylor

McCain is using Obama’s website. McCain is looking to put Fauxbama on his ticket. Word’s coming down that he’s trying to pay off his minister to put up a YouTube video of him saying “Fuck Jesus” to the beat of the Notorioius B.I.G.’s “Get Money”. We’ll let you know how…


Feminists: Not really stupid

By Amanda Marcotte

Once again, I have to exercise skepticism that there’s huge numbers of “angry white women” out there who will vote McCain instead of Obama out of spite. Spite feelings are running high right now, which is why Joan Walsh makes me cringe 15 separate times in her piece today. Threats…


The Shocking Truth

By Jesse Taylor

I’m going to give Larry Johnson a bone before he soils any more pants over the secret video jihad of Michelle Obama that he hasn’t seen but has it on good advice that other people have seen their cousins watch. Here, for the first time ever, top secret video footage…


Because It’s Race Day

By Jesse Taylor

Tom Maguire, commenting on this article: “We as black people now have hope that we have never, ever had,” Mr. Sam-Brew said. “I have new goals for my little girl. She can’t give me any excuses because she’s black.” What a wonderful country, and I can almost hear Mr. Sam-Brew…


Mike Signorile tries to bore into the ‘if not Hillary, I’m voting McCain’ logic

By pams

It was a difficult day on The Michelangelo Signorile Show yesterday, as Mike spoke with several angry callers who are ready to vote for John McCain before casting a ballot for Barack Obama. In the clip below, the caller cites a few reasons I’ve seen out there, including: 1) we…


Hit The Blocks, Baby

By Jesse Taylor

I’ll admit – for a while, I even bought into the “Obama can’t win because he’s black” idea. It was disturbingly easy to believe, if for no other reason than what I call the Mike Alstott theorem. Mike Alstott, for those of you who are unfamiliar with NFL fullbacks (and…


Why’d he have to go and call her the c-word?

By auguste

Ann Althouse pulls a Larry Johnson (or, as one of her commenters calls it, a Michelle Malkin) on Chris Matthews: With complete clarity, he says the famous 4-letter c-word. Except that, if you watch the video, he totally fucking doesn’t. Advance work for the Michelle Obama non-video? Chris Matthews has…