Quibbling Over the Script

In addition to enforcing Jim Crow, I bet that Nashville restaurant pictured at left also paid its female employees less than the men. It was the 1960s, after all, and women still aren’t being paid equitably 50 years later.

Was John Lewis tacitly endorsing the oppression of women by signifying a desire to eat at that lunch counter? Fuck no. I bet he didn’t even have a hankering for that joint’s particular pot of stale coffee and congealed, lumpy grits. Lewis was doing something much more important than trying to order food: He was dramatizing the unfairness of segregated public accommodations.

John Lewis, genuine American hero, has famously been getting in “good trouble” for longer than most of us have been alive. And now he and the Democrats in Congress are engaging in “good demagoguery.” They are exposing their Republican colleagues as the NRA lickspittles they are.

Mass shooting after bloody, appalling, inexcusable mass shooting have rendered so many of us numb to yet another round of “thoughts and prayers” and inaction on basic gun safety laws that the vast majority of Americans support. If Newtown couldn’t change things, there’s no hope, many of us thought — and still think.

Well, the Democrats are doing something courageous and amazing right now. They are hanging the Republicans’ intransigence on guns around their necks in a simple, visceral way that can be understood even by the people of the land, the common clay of the new West — you know, morons!

The script for this bit of political theater includes the chant, “No fly, no buy.” Should this be understood as a Democratic embrace of the unfair “no fly list”? Nope. No legislation will come out of this protest. The sit-in is political theater that is meant to “dramatize” — as John Lewis carefully put it — Republicans’ refusal to do their jobs.

You’re watching a drama, and a damn good one, with a cast of Democrats who are displaying spine and fire on an important issue as we’ve been demanding for fucking years. You can choose this moment to nitpick the script. But if so, you’ve lost the damn plot, IMO.

Of Course It Is, You Fucking Asshole

These sanctimonious pricks:

Paul Ryan called the Democratic lawmakers’ sit-in Wednesday to protest inaction on gun laws a “publicity stunt,” saying that House liberals were more interested in headlines than solving the problem.

The speaker of the House also told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” that he was not planning on actively fundraising for Donald Trump’s cash-strapped campaign, and that he saw possible agreement between his pro-trade message and Trump’s protectionist sympathies.

But the sit-in that began earlier in Ryan’s chamber earned his scorn.

“This is nothing more than a publicity stunt,” Ryan said, saying House Democrats would infringe on Second Amendment rights and do nothing to prevent terrorist attacks. “This is not about a solution to a problem. This is about trying to get attention.”

Of course it’s a fucking publicity stunt. They are trying to publicize the fact that the house won’t even vote on stuff that 85% of the god damned country wants to happen. They’re trying, in vain, most likely, to shame you shameless sociopathic motherfuckers into doing something.

Not to mention, the Republicans have been sitting on their asses in the house for how many years now? Where’s that fucking jobs bill?

Call Your Damn Senators


The Senate will vote on a couple of gun safety amendments today that were offered by Democratic senators. The Feinstein amendment is to close the so-called “terror gap,” i.e., to make sure people who are suspected of being terrorists or having ties to terrorism can’t go buy assault rifles. The Murphy amendment expands mandatory background checks to all gun sales and improves information in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

If you support these commonsense gun safety measures, please call your US senator and let him or her know that. If you think suspected terrorists should be able to buy assault rifles and believe it’s okay to exempt gun shows, etc., from background checks, please don’t call anyone, and don’t leave your home until your mom or caregiver pins a note to your shirt with your address and phone number so you can be returned if you wander into traffic.

Friday Staycation Open Thread: Ammosexuals Afloat

The Trickster God is a lousy novelist — he doesn’t even try for verisimilitude. Because their most fervent followers are the target market for such endeavors (old people with money, who want ‘luxury vacations’ involving rich food, gentle entertainment, and as little contact as possible with not-Americans who aren’t liveried servants), every year the NRA, Newt Gingrich, Ollie North and a fistful of fellow miscreants get together for a “Freedom Cruise.” So this year, as the rise of angry far-right revanchist movements on both sides of the Atlantic have led to an increasingly nervous skirting of Godwin’s Law… Per Bloomberg, back in April:

The National Rifle Association annually invites donors on a luxury cruise where they can mingle with conservative notables. The 2016 Freedom Cruise in June will take participants along the Danube through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Aboard for policy discussions and private receptions will be the NRA’s top official, Wayne LaPierre; Oliver North of Iran-Contra notoriety; former Republican House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista; Reagan administration Attorney General Edwin Meese III; and Dr. Ben Carson, who until recently was seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination…

The NRA has invited members of its Ring of Freedom — “freedom-loving individuals, families or companies who make gifts of $1,000 or more per year to the NRA”. Staterooms for the weeklong excursion run from $4,895 per person for double occupancy to $8,795 for single occupancy. The cruise is co-sponsored by Freedom Alliance, a nonprofit founded by North in 1990 to promote military service and a strong national defense. North promises: “Your tour will be special from start to finish.”

But not as special as it might be. Strict European gun laws would, under almost all circumstances, prevent guests from carrying firearms.

Would I be committing a social solecism if I quipped, “Poland just breathed a sigh of relief”?

And apart from mockery, what’s on the agenda as we start the weekend?

Two Clips…Or Magazines, If You Prefer, and a Reminder

For non-wingnut Floridians, one irritant at the edge of the shock and grief we feel after the massacre in Orlando has been watching our state’s wingnut politicians try to reconcile their past efforts in service of a similar brand of the bigotry that animated the killer with newfound public concern and sympathy for the slain. The pols have approached it in a variety of ways.

Florida’s incomparably vile governor, Rick Scott, who has spent millions of taxpayer dollars promoting and maintaining anti-gay laws, stole a page from Ronald Reagan’s “How to Ignore the AIDS Crisis” handbook, refusing to even utter the words “gay” or “LGBT” during his many post-massacre statements and TV appearances, as if the victims were targeted at random.

Slimy opportunist Marco Rubio, who opposes marriage equality, LGBT employment protections and adoption rights for gay couples, acknowledged that gay people were targeted in the attack but crassly used the massacre as an excuse to reconsider his decision not to run for reelection to his senate seat, now that he’s washed out of the presidential race and will soon have to find a real job.

And then there’s Florida AG Pam Bondi, who campaigned on a full-metal wingnut platform, vigorously opposed marriage equality with taxpayer dollars and is now trying to paint herself as a champion for LGBT Floridians. Anderson Cooper was having none of her bullshit:

Way to grill some Pammycakes, Mr. Cooper!

Next up, Samantha Bee expresses what many of us have been thinking in the wake of the latest mass shooting, including President Obama and Hillary Clinton, i.e., that it’s pretty fucking stupid to allow stores to sell a weapon capable of mowing down a room full of people in under a minute as if it were a common garden implement:

In the clip above, Bee refers to the assault weapon used in Orlando as an AR-15 because that’s what the early reports said the killer used. We now know it was actually a Sig Sauer MCX. The Washington Post issued a correction on that, no doubt in part to address the rage of the gun-humper community, which becomes weirdly disturbed when someone misidentifies a weapon…almost as if a personal body part were being slighted in some way.

I’m going to outsource my response to that annoying phenomenon to valued commenter Mnemosyne:

I don’t give a shit what the exact model of the gun was. I really don’t. IMO, getting into gun nerd discussions about the exact make and model is a deliberate attempt to get off into the weeds and pull the discussion away from the fact that 49 people were murdered. Forty. Nine. The exact type of gun used doesn’t fucking matter.

I don’t need to speak the gun hobbyists’ language. If they’re more concerned with the exact make and model than the fact that 49 people are dead, then we need to be discussing their lack of fucking empathy and human feeling, not gun models.

If hobbyists want to have that discussion among themselves, fine, but the whole the news didn’t have the exact make and model right! is misdirection, and we all know it.

Amen, sister. Amen.

And finally, a comment from Served, which was posted in that same thread linked above:

Just a note to everyone to reach out to any LGBT friends and family and tell them you love them. They need it more than ever.

Amen, Served. Amen.