Rorschach time! In the comments please give your first reaction to this picture.

Putin-rides-a-bear 500

Did you feel slightly concerned for the old man? Did you chortle? Congratulations! You are a normal person. If you were a conservative you might feel a passionate urge to start a religion.

Why do authoritarians worship strong daddy figures? Don’t know. I’m not that kind of scientist. No doubt it happens for all kinds of reasons; regardless you sure seem to see it a lot. Take Putin’s base voters, a charming group of gay-bashers who have a Hitler thing that might surprise you if you recall how much Russia sacrificed to get rid of the guy. I think in their case you need to see how hard it would be to resist what Hitler represents: national pride, racial pride, purity, strength, the warm feeling of a crusading purpose. Russia has been a confusing place (to put it nicely) at least since the Soviet Union went sideways in ’89. Every year the Bear loses a little population, status and economic influence to the West and to China. You cannot deny that even taking into account its Georgian prize Russia has fought a constant battle against territorial decay while Europe, NATO and even China eat away at its sphere of influence. In an atmosphere of things falling apart a little clarity and violent purpose can have an awfully seductive appeal.

When Obama won re-election Republicans contemplated a related but different sort of inexorable decline. Nits like Derb can rage against the dying of the light but smarter folk like Rove know full well what will happen if the GOP cannot lure more than a token share of hispanics back in the tent. That air of loss and desperation makes a person awfully receptive to the sorts of restoring force that would seem excessively violent or disruptive in better times.

Of course you have the average run of conservatives and then you have ultras. The latter includes folks like The Family, a secretive leadership cult that has met in DC almost as long as the Freemasons. Even in good times Familials never stop with the worship of Adolf and other daddy figures.

When I was working on that story, I remember debating how much Hitler we should put in the piece. That is, we wondered how fair it was to dwell on The Family’s invocations of Hitler as a model of “total commitment.” As it turns out, it was quite fair. After I left Ivanwald, a team of researchers and I spent years combing through hundreds of thousands of documents in archives around the country. We discovered that as far back as the 1940s, when The Family began organizing congressmen, the group’s founder, Abraham Vereide, was praising Hitler’s “youth work” as a model to be adopted by Americans. He denounced Hitler himself, but he admired fascism’s cultivation of elites, crucial to what he saw as a God-ordained coming “age of minority control.”

The Family has put that concept, which they call “Jesus plus nothing,” into action for decades, from their early successes fighting the New Deal in the 1930s and 40s to their recruitment of war criminals such as Herman J. Abs, known as “Hitler’s banker,” into postwar European leadership, to their facilitation of U.S. support for dictators ranging from Papa Doc Duvalier of Haiti to Suharto of Indonesia to Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, now their “key man” for Africa. The fetish for strongman leadership has continued with Vereide’s successor, Doug Coe, who leads the group today. Throughout his letters in the Billy Graham Center Archive at Wheaton College, I found references to the leadership model of Hitler. In one sermon, variations of which he’s given many times, Coe says: “Jesus said ‘You got to put Him before mother-father-brother-sister.’ Hitler, Lenin, Mao, that’s what they taught the kids. Mao even had the kids killing their own mother and father. But it wasn’t murder. It was for building the new nation. The new kingdom.”

To be fair it makes some sense to idolize these guys if power is your single and only goal. Otherwise it might seem a little disturbing.

Hey, speaking of authoritarians, I wonder what happened to those kids from Jesus camp.

Like those kids in early Communist China, you always have the risk that grownups will tell you to worship a guy in summer and then tell you to pretend he never was before the harvest is due. Much easier to just teach the little ‘uns to hate Emmanuel Goldstein. That guy never changes.

159 replies
  1. 1
    cathyx says:

    Ick. Man boobs.

  2. 2
    spudvol says:

    They both have bare/bear chests?

  3. 3
    jl says:

    @cathyx: No no, those are Propaganda Pecs. Don’t make provocative statements about dignified world leaders! There will be stipulations and repercussions!

  4. 4
    The Dangerman says:

    If you’re blue and you don’t know
    Where to go to, why don’t you go
    Where fashion shits? Putin on the Grizz.

  5. 5
    Steeplejack says:


  6. 6
    Tim F. says:

    @Steeplejack: Thanks. Just spotted that.

  7. 7
    scav says:

    Clever Bear! He’s carrying a packed lunch on his back. If Mama Bear really loved him though, he’d be carrying it in a paper bag and not all naked like that.

  8. 8
    the Conster says:

    Chekhov said it best – Russians adore the past, detest the present and fear the future. So do wingnuts. They all want the good old days of Cold War white men dick measuring. Things were so black and white then.

  9. 9
    cathyx says:

    @jl: I just calls them as I sees them. And them are man boobs. Ick.

  10. 10
    Violet says:

    Bear watch.

  11. 11
    IowaOldLady says:

    I giggled.

    To a rational person, the enthusiasm of the wingnuts for this guy would seem hard to reconcile with their panic that Obama is a “communist.” But then, we’re talking Sarah Palin-land here, so rationality is not an issue.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    Anticipating a wave of nutballs rushing to Oklahoma for their ‘jesus shot.’

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I felt sorry for the bear.

  14. 14
    Roger Moore says:

    It reminds me of this picture, and has approximately as much connection to reality.

  15. 15
    MobiusKlein says:

    Photoshop, and looks like bear’s feet are facing backwards.

    Correction: Bad photoshop, and….

  16. 16
    cckids says:

    I watched Jesus Camp with my kids right after it came out. We were the left-wing, rational homeschool types, and we all just sat there, slack-jawed in horror.

    The lady whose response to 9/11 was “why don’t our Christian kids have that kind of commitment to their religion? Lets train some so they will” is the scariest wingnut I’ve ever seen.

  17. 17
    kindness says:

    Putin & the bear is a good job. Reichtwingnutz will have their way with the pic later when no one is around if you know what I mean.

    @the Conster:

    Things were so black and white then.

    things are black & white now. That’s one reason the TeaVangelicals fear Obama so.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    I see the next Marvel’s superhero movie.

  19. 19
    jl says:

    Saw an article on decision making process in Moscow on the Crimean move. Paper copy in coffee shop this morning, so I don’t have a link.

    Putin may have a lot in common with paranoid neocons, so maybe there are subtle vibes and signs of like minded psychic solidarity, in addition to other U.S. neocon issues.

    Said issues include serious unresolved Mommy and Daddy issues, cynical calculation by neocon and reactionary pols, and serious and very sad gullibility by the base. I remember reading a story where Moscow essentially fessed up to much of this well marbled beefcake being propaganda and many of the exploits being staged after being called out on it, I think the gullibility of the GOP base can be termed very sad.

    Anyway, the article said decisions are being made a a very small inner circle of Putin kitchen cabinet; national security, military and diplomats got cut out of crucial decisions. Reported Putin extremely risk averse, and skeered that the U.S. west will take him to the cleaners if Russia has to negotiate its way through legitimate Russian security issues re Crimean bases. Lots of angst and fear about nationalist backlash in Russia if Crimea was not domestically perceived to have been kept in Russian sphere of influence after the occupation, so went ahead with reinforcements so no chance of losing grip on place while they figure out what to do. Putin supposedly has no long term plan.

    Now if I were a neocon, I would immediately assume that this is all carefully calculated misinformation planted by a dozen or so informant for the article, and that whatever Putin does follows the infantile neocon logic and psychology.

    But, I think, given that it is a good idea to understand one’s opponent, it is food for thought, though needs to be taken with some grains of salt.

    Edit: I tend to believe that there is some truth to the NYT story, since a lot of what Putin said is such transparent dishonest BS, and it must have bad consequences for Russia, including economic and business and investment climate as well as sanctions and official diplomatic shaming activities.

  20. 20
    Tim F. says:

    @Roger Moore: The funny thing that wingers never seem to get: if you are holding a rifle then you are not all that powerful. You give a rifle to front liners you can afford to replace. If the President is holding a rifle then literally every other person in his command is dead.

  21. 21
    mclaren says:

    First reaction?

    Hilariously bad Photoshopping.

  22. 22
    Tim F. says:

    @MobiusKlein: No, bears run like that. However, I do call photoshop about the stirrups.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    Putin really should be wearing a bike helmet.

  24. 24
    Cassidy says:

    Oh my.

  25. 25
    jl says:

    @Baud: And have a can of bear spray at the ready.

  26. 26
    StringOnAStick says:

    @cckids: My oldest sister was an Xtian fundy of almost that level of commitment, who could find a reason (read: sin) why anything bad ever befell anyone else. Now that her oldest son has brain cancer that he won’t survive, that worldview has been tested and found wanting. She’s still a fundy, but a sadder and much less judgmental one.

  27. 27
    smith says:

    The Family has always sent chills down my spine. They are the sponsors of the National Prayer Breakfast but otherwise operate like a shadowy radical movement. Did you know that Hillary is/was a member? I put it right up there with her vote for the Iraq war as a reason to be wary.

  28. 28
    shelly says:

    Hmm, I can imagine the imge of Putin sitting on a trained bear could have happened. But all the galloping thru the water and the rainbow of dashing water was added in later.
    So after this photo-op, the bear goes back to the local circus, where he juggles balls and pretends to drink vodka from a bottle.

  29. 29
    PurpleGirl says:

    He’s not in prime physical shape — I wouldn’t go shirtless if I were him.

    Riding the bear — the wet dream of the neo-cons and rightwingers, thinking he can control a wild beast.

  30. 30
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @The Dangerman:


  31. 31
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I am sorry for your sister and her family, fundy or no fundy. I can’t imagine the agony she must be going through.

  32. 32
    Roger Moore says:

    @Tim F.:
    Ask Indira Gandhi whether the president is more powerful than the guys with guns. Leaders are only powerful when and to the extent that their followers are committed and willing to put the chain of command ahead of their personal safety. If that willingness breaks down, the shit hits the fan and the guys with guns have the real power. I think that’s a big reason the wingnuts have fantasies about social breakdown; it eliminates the whole system that’s designed to keep random guys with guns from being the biggest badasses around.

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Roger Moore: No, it’s that the guys with the actual guns in their hands aren’t the powerful ones. Generals seldom pull a trigger. Mob bosses don’t carry out their own hits.

  34. 34
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Saw a tweet (in Russian) this morning that the Crimeans don’t want to join Russia, they want to join the Soviet Union.

  35. 35
    jl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: In annals of PR and propaganda fail, McTurtle won’t say whether he even owns a gun.

    My hunch is that he doesn’t and he’s afraid of getting called out on lying about it in a close race.

    Go Grimes!

    Edit: You would think guys like McTurble would tell a flunky to go buy at least one damn gun and set up a quicky gun safety and shooting lesson. Shouldn’t take that long. You’d have your flunkies do most of the work and you can go wave your own damn gun for the base come election time.

  36. 36
    Mike in NC says:

    As the expression goes, “Putin on the Ritz”.

  37. 37

    @Roger Moore: I don’t condone assassination, but Indira Gandhi was hardly a saint. Both she and the General behind Operation Bluestar met their ends at the hands of an assassin. The ruling Congress Party thugs lead an ethnic cleansing of the Sikhs in the city afterwards, the perpetrators went unpunished too.

  38. 38
    p.a. says:

    Why do authoritarians worship strong daddy figures?

    Because they’re very very bad and deserve to be dominated and controlled. And everyone else too.

  39. 39

    WP eated my comment, please delete if the original reappears.
    @Roger Moore: I don’t condone assassination, but Indira Gandhi was hardly a saint. Both she and the General behind Operation Bluestar met their ends at the hands of an assassin. The ruling Congress Party thugs lead an ethnic cleansing of the Sikhs in the city afterwards, the perpetrators went unpunished too.

  40. 40
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mike in NC:

    There have been some great visual memes about this on FB, and even Garrison Keillor on tonight’s Prairie Home Companion had a parody song. I didn’t pay much attention, but the refrain was something like “Putin’s on the fritz.”

    ETA: Will pay more attention tomorrow morning during the encore broadcast.

  41. 41
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @jl: I posted this in the earlier thread, but at least some Ukrainian military intelligence officers believe this was all well-planned, just for next year. Events caused them to accelerate the schedule.

  42. 42
  43. 43

    @Gin & Tonic: What do you Putin’s endgame is? What he is doing seems destructive and tremendously counterproductive for Russia’s interests.

  44. 44
    Culture of Truth says:

    Republicans love foreign stength; are terrified of stong liberals, worship weak Republicans.

    Trade for arms to Iran? Love ya. Send message of weakness so Iraq invades Kuwait? Check. Send message of weakness so bin Laden attacks U.S.? Check. Send message of weakness on Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, and Georgia? Check, check, check, check, check. If Bush and Cheney were any weaker stiff breezes would blow them over.

  45. 45
    Culture of Truth says:


  46. 46
  47. 47
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    The bear can barely bear the bare guy.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    Violet says:

    Just a couple of bears having fun.

  50. 50
    WereBear says:

    Something, somewhere, should be on fire, but otherwise it’s Macho Bingo.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    I suddenly want to see that picture of Jesus riding the dinosaur.

  52. 52
    Culture of Truth says:

    He denounced Hitler himself, but he admired fascism’s

    stop right there

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Violet: I am not an expert on this, but I don’t think Putin is hairy enough to be a bear.

  54. 54
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:


    But then, we’re talking Sarah Palin-land here, so rationality is not an issue.

    As in “Mama Grizzly”?

  55. 55

    It distresses me how much recent politics can be understood as an expression of threatened masculinity.

    Hilary in ’16!

  56. 56
    PaulW says:

    I’m thinking “poor bear”.

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    Macho Bingo.

    Why bring Peru into it? Chile, sure, the whole Pinochet thing on the right. But Peru?

  58. 58
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I wish I knew. I am not as sanguine as you or as Chrystia Freeland about the costs, as there do not appear to have been many so far. Time will tell on that. Clearly he wants to take back Crimea for his imperial ambitions, but can he maintain operational control of the southeastern oblasts that he’d need to maintain overland access? That’s a lot harder problem, logistically, and, where I do agree with Chrystia is that his assumption that most of the people in, say, Donetsk oblast who speak Russian at home would rather be part of Russia than Ukraine is really mistaken. Maintaining military control of a large swath of the country will really drain his resources and will unite Ukrainians more.

    But with no western European government willing to impose any sort of sanctions, the costs do not seem significant yet.

  59. 59
    Richard says:

    They bash gays, yet conservatives clearly harbor homo-erotic fantasies about Putin. There’s no doubt that he gives folks like Limbaugh and Huckabee woodies. I’ll bet they have Putin pictures stashed under their pillows.

  60. 60
    Woodrowfan says:

    my first thought? “put on a shirt”

  61. 61
    Culture of Truth says:

    Is this a scene from The Shining?

  62. 62
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You’re probably right, but the middle-aged body shape and the moobs have to take him out of twink status.

    I once worked with a guy who made into some Bear magazine. He was so proud of that!

  63. 63
    Culture of Truth says:

    Fake Hockey Mom is good. Mom Jeans are bad.

  64. 64
    Culture of Truth says:

    First thought?

    “In Russia, bear ride you!”

  65. 65
  66. 66

    @Culture of Truth: Bear to his mom, who is off camera. Look Ma, I caught my first dinner.

  67. 67
    Anne Laurie says:


    Something, somewhere, should be on fire, but otherwise it’s Macho Bingo.

    Or photoshop a rifle into the bear’s jaws.

    I’d say ‘a bandolier across Putin’s chest’, but that would hide the conservo-pleasing manboobs.

  68. 68

    @Gin & Tonic: He will overreach, this is not going to end well. And I am not sanguine, at all.

  69. 69
    Comrade Mary says:

    Swap out manboobs for some poutine and everybody will be happy.

  70. 70

    @Comrade Mary: Eating Poutine is a recipe for manboobs!

  71. 71
    MomSense says:

    I don’t get the attraction right wingers seem to have with Putin but then I didn’t get the Reagan love either.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Not if you snowshoe enough, eh.

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    They’re all deeply closeted. Scratch a rabid homophobe, and you’ll find a self-hating queer, every time.

  74. 74

    @MomSense: It’s his manly manliness.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MomSense: He is a strong man. An authoritarian. A man of the right who knows what to do with those pesky liberals, noisy kids with their saggy pants and skinny jeans and modern music, and bitches who talk back.

  76. 76
    Ben says:

    Nice b cup, Vlad!

    On a more serious note, I think the end game for the Ukraine should be its Finlandization. Russia gets out if it promises never to join the EU or NATO, and becomes a permanently neutral country, non-threatening to Russia but still allowed to go down its own path.

  77. 77

    @Omnes Omnibus: I wrote you reply but WP eated it.

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: WP does that. I shall just presume that the reply was a paean to my brilliance and I shall mourn its loss.

  79. 79
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: What isn’t clear is where the oligarchs are lining up, either in Ukraine or in Russia. In Ukraine, Akhmetov is, as always, trying to play both sides. But I read this morning (can’t find the reference now) that Firtash is a strong supporter of the Crimean separatists. I used to have a source who was good with the political aspects of all those opaque gas deals, but don’t any more. It also seems clear to a lot of people in Ukraine that Tymoshenko is trying to play both sides in order to ride in on her white horse and claim victory in May.

    What hasn’t been played up that much in the coverage is the demographics of the revolutionary movement since November — it closely parallels the demographics of liberal vs conservative in the US, and Putin (and Yulia) represent “old.” EU integration is “young.” So even if Putin wins for now, in the long term he loses.

  80. 80
    MomSense says:

    @Raven on the Hill:

    Isn’t he kind of a puny man? I think I have a good four or five inches on him.

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    and bitches who talk back.

    Guess he wouldn’t like me either.

  81. 81
    MomSense says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    They’re all deeply closeted.

    I figured this was the real reason for the double crapper design at Sochi.

  82. 82
    Dolly Llama says:

    @smith: I know this thread is dead, but I call bullshit. If you’d accused Hillary of atheism, I’d have believed it – and she’d have probably gotten my vote because of it (or at least made me lean a lot more toward her, which right now honestly isn’t a lot.) But accusing Hillary of being in some fundie cult? Ain’t buying it.

  83. 83
    🍀 Martin says:

    Why do authoritarians worship strong daddy figures?

    My theory, which extends to quite a few different areas, is that humans are really insecure about their ordinariness. Its something we simply cannot accept across the board. We demand to be exceptional as individuals or family or group or culture or race, etc. If we can’t find our exceptionalness in ourself, we move up a layer or two and demand it there. My dad can beat up your dad. My god can beat up your god. My race is better than your race.

    Authoritarians, above all else, secure their power by reinforcing the exceptionalness of their followers (by also persecuting the groups they contrast against). Aryans are better than Jews. Communists better than capitalists. Heterosexuals better than gays. Only authoritarians have the ‘moral character’ to put those lesser groups into boxcars for the sake of our exceptionalness.

    They like Putin because they believe he’s the only white guy strong enough to really put the Muslim usurper in his place.

  84. 84
    Dolly Llama says:

    Also, I know the “Jesus Camp” clip is so old that one would have to knock dinosaur turds off it, but that speaking-in-tongues part of it on the part of the old, bleached-blonde emcee’s part … I would have thought it would have brought more mockery and ridicule from this crowd.

  85. 85
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Tara the Antisocial Social Worker:

    Exit, pursued by a bare.

  86. 86
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Dolly Llama:

    But accusing Hillary of being in some fundie cult? Ain’t buying it.

    She’s not allowed in that particular fundy cult — no gurls for ‘the Family’ — but she does show up at the National Prayer Breakfast, as does every other politician in DC, including President Obama and probably Bernie Sanders.

  87. 87
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am not an expert on this, but I don’t think Putin is hairy enough to be a bear.

    Fuzzy-Wuzzy was a bear.
    Fuzzy-Wuzzy had no hair.
    Fuzzy-Wuzzy wuzn’t fuzzy, wuz he?

  88. 88
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Dolly Llama: Mocking what disturbs you doesn’t actually make it less frightening in the end. At least that’s my excuse.

    As for Hillary Clinton, I believe there is some pretty solid historical evidence of her connection to very conservative religious types from early on.

  89. 89
    Dolly Llama says:

    @Anne Laurie: Well, you’re reinforcing my point, then. She — like God knows how many other politicians — has paid lip service to all that fundie crapshit because she’s felt like she’s had to. But I think that if you could truly know her (and many other thoroughly Republican) hearts when it came to true, personal faith, the lot of them would be condemned as atheists. Or at least agnostics, which in many religious folks’ minds would be worse than atheist.

  90. 90
  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I keep thinking that this should get outsourced to Andrew Sullivan.

  92. 92
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @🍀 Martin:

    My theory, which extends to quite a few different areas, and it is mine, and what it is too

    Fixed for better Pythonism.

  93. 93

    @Omnes Omnibus: What color is his blog now?

  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Fuck if I know.

  95. 95
    Ben says:

    Authoritarians want daddy figures because they desire to be slaves.

  96. 96
    Dolly Llama says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    As for Hillary Clinton, I believe there is some pretty solid historical evidence of her connection to very conservative religious types from early on.

    I’m saying it’s more craven than sincere. I know that doesn’t speak well of HRC, but that’s what I believe. As for whether that would make each person more or less likely to vote for her, I guess that would depend on the individual voter.

  97. 97
    kc says:

    “Heil Titler!” – Jon Stewart

  98. 98
    smith says:

    @Dolly Llama: From the link I gave you:

    When Clinton first came to Washington in 1993, one of her first steps was to join a Bible study group. For the next eight years, she regularly met with a Christian “cell” whose members included Susan Baker, wife of Bush consigliere James Baker; Joanne Kemp, wife of conservative icon Jack Kemp; Eileen Bakke, wife of Dennis Bakke, a leader in the anti-union Christian management movement; and Grace Nelson, the wife of Senator Bill Nelson, a conservative Florida Democrat.

    Clinton’s prayer group was part of the Fellowship (or “the Family”), a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to “spiritual war” on behalf of Christ, many of them recruited at the Fellowship’s only public event, the annual National Prayer Breakfast. (Aside from the breakfast, the group has “made a fetish of being invisible,” former Republican Senator William Armstrong has said.) The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God’s plan.

    The whole article is about Hillary’s history as a believer. You can choose to believe it’s opportunism, which could be true given what we know of her political history, but it’s hard to see how allying herself with the Family would be more advantageous to a Democrat than just continuing as a respectable Methodist.

  99. 99

    @Omnes Omnibus: I used to read his blog daily and now I haven’t visited in months.

    OT: Douthat thinks that GOP is going to have an excellent election year in 2014, based on what I don’t know.

    THIS is a season of possibility for Republican politicians. Their party is poised to do well in November. Their Democratic opponents are stuck in neutral — waiting for Hillary, praying for Obamacare.

  100. 100
    NotMax says:


    Men on the shorter side of the scale prevalent in leadership since the revolution.

    Putin: 5′ 7″

    Lenin & Stalin, both 5′ 5″
    Khruschev: 5′ 3′
    Brezhnev: 5′ 8″
    Gorbachev: 5′ 9″

    Yeltsin was a standout at 6′ 1″

  101. 101
    chrome agnomen says:

    is that cole and steve? i’m confused.

  102. 102
    raven says:

    @NotMax: Tunnel Rat syndrome.

  103. 103
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Is that a Straine Coon?

  104. 104
    Culture of Truth says:

    @NotMax: You do those measurements yourself?

  105. 105
    Dolly Llama says:


    You can choose to believe it’s opportunism, which could be true given what we know of her political history,

    That about sums it up. I’ll vote for her if she’s the Democratic candidate for POTUS in 2016. But I’ll do so knowing that when it comes to the various constituencies she’s pandered to to get there, this is one she spent an outsized amount of time with.

  106. 106
    NotMax says:


    Rasputin (6′ 4″) didn’t exactly inspire putting political confidence in the tall, too.

  107. 107
    currants says:

    @the Conster: …so to speak. Well said.

  108. 108
    MomSense says:


    I thought he was 5’5″ but I’ve seen both heights listed.

  109. 109
    seaboogie says:

    You know, I’ve admitted it to friends before (one just this week), that if I have one ethnic prejudice, it is regarding Russians. Sort of a combination of seeing the ethnic residents of the SF Bay area arrayed in all manner of gaudy garb, and a generally rather coarse nature. I’m from the midwest, so this just naturally grates on my sensibilities. Same with the ladies from Palm Springs (not Russian, but they do sport an assload of sparkly stuff). But also, the nature with which they dispatch reporters and those deemed as enemies, with poison and such. It just seems so brutish and vulgar and – like they are still living in the days of Rasputin. It’s like if the Mafia was the actual government, and not even operating behind the scenes.

    That being said, one of my most favorite people in the whole world is Russian. She works in the international electronics trade in her own business, has been detained by whatever passes for the KGB these days, and deems Russia absolutely corrupt.

    Russia is a country with a long, sad history that his given birth to so many great artists of literature, music, dance and art. The latest iteration seems to be the burgeoning of the embrace of captialism and corruption, boosted by petro-dollars and soaked in vodka. FSM bless Pussy Riot and the intertubes for giving a window on this to the world.

  110. 110
    g says:

    Sarah looks so excited!

  111. 111
    raven says:

    @NotMax: Illinois could use him down low right now!

  112. 112
    NotMax says:

    @Cultuure of Truth

    By any measure, they’re not state secrets.

    Truman was a touch over 5′ 8″. HST next to Stalin

  113. 113
    Culture of Truth says:

    @MomSense: Thanks for the correction. For a moment there I thought we were going have to pretend short people deserved to be treated like they were normal humans.

  114. 114
    Culture of Truth says:

    @NotMax: That’s a great picture! They must all be fascists!
    or something. I better get my ruler.

  115. 115
    NotMax says:


    Putin next to ‘W,’ who is slightly under six foot even.

    Putin next to Hu Jintao, who is about 5′ 8″.

  116. 116
    siciliandish says:

    We’re off to $#!T in the woods.

  117. 117
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @siciliandish: I thought it was the pope who shits in the woods. The bear is Catholic.

  118. 118
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The bear is Catholic.

    Leave Andrew Sullivan out of this!

  119. 119
    Roger Moore says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Douthat thinks that GOP is going to have an excellent election year in 2014, based on what I don’t know.

    Based on “it’s always good news for Republicans”. Absent some extremely strong reason to think the Democrats will win, people like Douthat always assume the Republicans will do well. And there is a long-term historical trend of the President’s party doing badly in midterm elections, especially in the middle of the second term. Oh, and the Senate elections this year have an unusual number of very vulnerable Democrats.

  120. 120
    Culture of Truth says:

    @NotMax: This is great stuff! Can you do melanin counts next?

  121. 121
    Felonius Monk says:

    First thought —– Wow. Look at the ass on that bear.

  122. 122
    David Koch says:

    Obama, leaning over, still towers over the puny putin.

  123. 123
    NotMax says:

    @schrodinger’s cat

    Douthat thinks

    Glitch diagnosed.

  124. 124
    NotMax says:

    @Culture of Truth

    You do realize it is idle musing on factoids to pass some time and not meant to be deeply interpretive, yes?

  125. 125
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: Napoleon was actually about average height for a Frenchman of his day. Leaving aside that Corsica was really at least as Italian as French in 1769.

  126. 126
    seaboogie says:

    I guess the mods are overwhelmed…what do you suppose it is like to be a WP moderator for so many sites, and read all of our stuff, sifting what is and is not acceptable? What are the credentials you need for such a job? English/Fine Arts Major, no better current job prospects? Trying to pay off a college loan and doing what you can do to get by. I think that we should be kinder to them. But they do get to read our awesome stuff. Hopefully they get a free caffeine beverage of their choice to wade through all of this. First time in moderation, but kind of thinking what it must be like to be one of them.

  127. 127
    Diana says:

    @Roger Moore: I’m sure this is true.

  128. 128
    slag says:

    I’m with Jon Stewart: that image deserves to be airbrushed on the side of a van. Also, yeah, “poor bear” was my first thought.

  129. 129

    My first thought was that the guy in the Dr. Pepper commercial lets his bear ride in his canoe.

  130. 130
    mdblanche says:

    I’m no theologian, but that what they’re doing in that video really looks like a violation of the second commandment to me.

  131. 131

    The people in Maidan Square love Hitler more.

  132. 132
    Ian says:

    Hey you, … uhh… bearfucker… do you need assistance?

  133. 133
    The Bobs says:

    Doesn’t the real Putin have goat legs? Maybe that was too hard to photoshop in.

  134. 134
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Bobs:

    Doesn’t the real Putin have goat legs?

    No, that is Torgo. It is an easy mistake for someone who is not a scientist to make.

  135. 135
    Carol Ryan says:

    First reaction: What an idiot!

  136. 136
    Keith P says:

    This is Vlad. Vlad has bitch tits.

  137. 137
    Joseph Nobles says:

    The most informative CPAC panel yet: Southern White Male Outreach with Red State Update.

  138. 138
    Culture of Truth says:

    @NotMax: Exactly! You should totally post more idle musings on height! and idle musings on how body type defines geopolitics and how certain people are inferior ! It’s funny because it’s true! LOL

  139. 139
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Culture of Truth: Jesus. Do you have something to say or are you just going to hint around it?

  140. 140
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Omnes Omnibus: “Napoleon was actually about average height for a Frenchman of his day.”

    No he was not. He was short and inferior to normal humans. Thankfully today he rightfully scorned by normals today.

  141. 141
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Culture of Truth: I was being historically accurate. He was average height. If you have issues about your own height, it is not my problem.

    ETA: I am just under 5’10”. My dad was 5’11” in his prime and my younger brother is about 6′.

  142. 142
    Ian says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Those are merely lies made up by Napoleon’s friends in the liberal media.

    Quick fact- Napoleon was actually a crab person, bent on turning God Fearing Muricans into metrosexuals.

  143. 143
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ian: The fucking French, man, the fucking French. Or something. Mon dieu.

  144. 144
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think that’s a big reason the wingnuts have fantasies about social breakdown; it eliminates the whole system that’s designed to keep random guys with guns from being the biggest badasses around.

    One wingnut I know is positively obsessed with the notion of civil war (that will most likely a race war as well). He’s been convinced it’s right around the corner for, oh, about 6 years now, and he’s constantly throwing out non-sequiturs about if liberals are ready to “lay down their lives for their beliefs” and whatnot.

  145. 145
    PIGL says:

    @smith: I’d put it up as a reason to disqualify her from office, but I’m particular that way.

  146. 146

    My first reaction to that picture is that somewhere wingnuts are furiously masturbating to it.

  147. 147
    Ian says:

    Here’s a funny to lighten up the thread
    Its a crappy defense of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, but here is the real money shot.

    Really independent countries don’t have 11,000 foreign troops stationed on their soil.

    This is on a Japanese website. Published for English readers in Japan.

  148. 148
    xenos says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    But with no western European government willing to impose any sort of sanctions, the costs do not seem significant yet.

    Not the case. We are talking about the EU as the level of action, so the response has to filter through the diplomatic corps of 27 countries.

    The EU often acts most decisively via inaction – like when they let Cyprus twist in the wind. There will be no pressure directly against Russia, but the Russian bankers in the UK are very exposed if the EU decides to get tougher about enforcing money-laundering rules. There is an astonishing amount of money involved, and the long-term viability of the Russian government is very much at stake.

  149. 149
    JGabriel says:

    Tim F:

    In the comments please give your first reaction to this picture.

    K-Lo finally learned photoshop.

  150. 150
    Petorado says:

    Why do authoritarians worship strong daddy figures?

    For the same reason people claiming UFO encounters talk about rectal probes.

  151. 151
    Joel says:

    I thought bears were the ones on top?

  152. 152
    Joel says:

    I thought bears were the ones on top?

  153. 153
    MomSense says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I should probably explain that I don’t care about height at all. I think this started because I was saying I personally didn’t understand the attraction to Putin or Reagan and that led to a comment about American conservatives liking manly manliness and all the stereotypical macho crap. There is definitely a tendency among Americans to choose the candidate who is taller because of height stereotypes and weird strict father issues. I was even using Schwarzenegger character terms–since his characters seem to be the kind of stereotypical manly men doing manly things. Sorry I wasn’t being clear.

  154. 154
    Barney says:

    From the link to ‘The Authoritarians‘:

    “Once our government leaders and the authorities condemn the dangerous elements in our society, it will be the duty of every patriotic citizen to help stomp out the rot that is poisoning our country from within.” Sounds like something Hitler would say, right? Want to guess how many politicians, how many lawmakers in the United States agreed with it?

    The answer, in 1982, was 26%. Which is basically the 27% Crazification Factor.

  155. 155
    D58826 says:

    where is Sarah mama grizzly Pallen?

  156. 156
    aretino says:


  157. 157
    sparrow says:

    “ew, wtf, man-boobs”

  158. 158
    Paul in KY says:

    Sorta compact bear there.

  159. 159
    Arachnae says:

    Pffft – ARMORED bears are available from the dealer in Dalaran.

Comments are closed.