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May 20, 2005
Compiled by Delilah Boyd, A Scrivener's Lament

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Easy Targets

Do you ever feel like you've got a big red bullseye painted on your back? If you demonstrate any sympathy for those less fortunate than you, those whose professions pay "women's wages," or those whose artistic sensibilities grate the delicate skin (peel) of corporate megalomaniacs and their June Cleaver wives, chances are you should step into the nearest clothing store changing room and check your backside in the rearview mirror.

Liberals have always been considered easy targets for corporate Republican types. When campaigning for election, Republicans avoid issues like the plague and go straight for the slings and arrows. After all, attacking the character and hypothetical motives of an opponent is infinitely easier than addressing the complex nature of society. Republicans weep and wail about how liberals have corrupted the very fiber of our moral society, how this or that needs reforming immediately, and how much better they can make your lives on Wednesday if you'll just vote for them on Tuesday. Yes, Virginia; Wimpy lives - and he's aiming directly at the big red target on your back. Once elected/selected/programmed to win, the real Republican scam begins.

Don't expect the corporate-owned media to expose the scam, either. Jebbypal, in a post about Paul Krugman, writes, "It's sad when you have to depend on editorials for facts." Speaking of editorials, Kevin Drum plans to cancel his subscription to the New York Times this week, to protest their planned "by subscription only" web policy (anyone else thinking of New Coke right now?) One of Drum's readers comments, "I guess the Times publisher really does not understand the Internet, blogging, interactivity, or the concept of feedback, let alone how to price his product. Business schools will be teaching this as an example of arrogant boneheadedness for a long time."

We now return you to your previously-scheduled Republican scam, already in progress...

Once in office, Republican officials never stop dangling the "some day soon" carrot. Trust them, and they'll take care of those gawd-less (and unionized) public school teachers, who mistakenly believe that little Ang Tshe-ring and his classmates, Vortigern and Lakota, shouldn't have to pray to Jesus while attendance is being taken. Trust them, and they'll return today's smutty TV shows and movies to the glorious days of yesteryear, when the demure housewife wore pearls while fighting wax build up, and Leave It To Bachelor Father Knows Best donned his slippers and enjoyed a doctor-approved pipe in his study before dinner. Trust them, and they'll stop all of those nasty U.S. Constitution-loving victims' rights lawyers, medical malpractice haters, and equal opportunity loony toons. Trust them, and they'll even fight the crusade (yes, it's a crusade, damn it!) against the infidels of your choice while you participate in fascism Might-Makes-Right democracy by supporting FOX News' advertising sponsors.

Here's the catch: Republican officials never really have to make good on any of their campaign promises. For example, DU blogger Dave Sund notes "A Small Victory For Civil Rights," which must have stunned Republicans in Nebraska. You'd think Capitol Hill Republicans would be pulling at their panty-wadded crotch areas over this gay victory, but nooooooo. Beyond the Nebraska borders, all we hear is the sound of crickets chirping. Sigh.

Yep, all Republicans have to do is keep aiming at liberal targets and their pig-ignorant supporters are satisfied. Rationalizing a lack of progress in their endless War On The Open Minded seems to be the favorite pastime of Republican voters: gawd-approved Congressman X can't possibly be expected to fulfill campaign promise Y if he's constantly distracted by those gawd-less liberals spreading commie pinko Bill & Hillary-lovin' lies all over the liberal media.

Cue those pesky liberal bloggers, who keep capitalizing their fancy French words, like J'ACCUSE!

Republican Logic Lesson #1: Wait Till Your Father Gets Home!

According to most (See how I use Bob Novak's crap qualifier?) Republicans, Mom is either a replica of Eve or a - gasp - "Girlie Man," both of which are defined as "distinctly inferior" in The Republican White Power/Sacred Sperm Handbook (published by The Republican White Power/Sacred Sperm Handbook Press, of course).

Pesky liberal blogger Resonance cites right-wing shill Sarah Faith Schlissel of The Chalcedon Foundation, who claims that women's "problems" begin when they refuse to bow to the wisdom of their fathers:

Any man seeking to beg, borrow or steal a daughter's hand without her father's endorsement is seeking to gain, in unlawful ways, "property" not his own. Daughters are Daddy's girls in the objective sense, and this particular daughter rejoices in that truth. I am owned by my father. If someone is interested in me, he should see him.

Not a real stretch from "Father Knows Best" attitude to Republican voter, is it?

Safely outside June Cleaver's TV zipcode, Jay Allen at BloggingBaby, posts some interesting facts about the woman in Virginia who's being prosecuted for her child's alleged truancy:

Kim Cherry says that her son missed those days due to a combination of factors, including mono and the death of his dad. Neither the prosecutor's office nor the school system seem to have made their reasoning for prosecution public.

Hmm. Sounds to me like "Our school loses funding every damned day that this seriously ill/Dead Dad kid isn't sitting at a desk when the bell rings" wouldn't go over very well with a judge and jury. So what do they do? Prosecute the mother, of course. Easy target.

Liberal women and gays have been oppressed and persecuted so long that taking yet another cheap shot is just too easy for Republican officials to pass up. Here's the rationale: Every woman has jugs. Every mother's jugs were once admired, groped, or coveted long before they became free meals (for legitimately born infants) and Song Of Solomon pillows for Ned Flanders husbands. Some of those jugs were even - gasp - bared for movie cameras or Mardi Gras bead danglers. Somewhere a Republican is salivating shuddering.

As for gays, Republicans know that "the gays" aren't real people. They're not macho men or demure women because they can't marry and reproduce. Since gays go forth but don't multiply in a gawd-endorsed way, all gays must be whores. The result: women and gays are whores, and who tantalizes real gawd-fearing men and innocent children who can't help lusting after whores? Hollywood! Therefore, all of Hollywood is eeeviiil! (Which is why Hollywood supports Democrats!)

But whores were merely the catalyst for right-wing attacks on Hollywood. Today, card-carrying members of SCORCH, Save the Children Or Rot in Church-inspired Hell (OK, I made that up) are actually editing films for TV without the creative teams' permission. The Sheedy Matrix rants:

They hacked Blazing Saddles to bloody ribbons even going so far as to cut out most of the fart scene. Daft humor I agree but still PART OF THE FREAKIN FILM. A scene important enough to the writers, the director, and cast who acted in it for the expense to include it in the film. Does the FCC think we need to be protected from fart jokes... Well here is something for the networks and the FCC to censor: FUCK OFF! We'll see if that turns to "FORGET YOU!" when I post it... Here is a clue folks if you have to cut a film up to show it on TV... DON'T! JUST FUGGIN' DON'T! "But omnipotent one", you say, "think of the kiddies". FUG THAT here is something to think of... parenting. Try that one on for size.

Be sure to read the rest of SM's post, especially the frame-by-frame description of editing Mel Gibson's The Patriot, where corn syrup and red food coloring (stage blood) miraculously turn into G-Rated mud. Censorship. It's what's for TV Dinner today, tomorrow, and the day after... unless we all stand up and fight.

If Hollywood is the big bad Whore Of Babylon, then its bastard child, Tee Vee, must be even worse. Radical Republicans have pitched a hissy fit since Archie Bunker first plopped his liberal-evolving ass down in that (Britcom-inspired) armchair. The result: more TV single women, blacks, hispanics, and gays! Gays! Gays! And more Gays! Did I mention gays?

Unfortunately, our Boob Tube victory comes with a price: corporate-owned TV networks almost always find a way to turn an interesting concept into a pandering-for-ad dollars, neatly packaged pile of crap... watered down to appeal to demure housewives who brag about their gay hairdressers. Everything Skip posts the 411 on next year's new TV shows, which scream, "Pandering!":

"Crumbs," starring Fred Savage in a comedy about two brothers, one gay and one straight, who run the family business...

"Emily's Reasons Why Not," a comedy starring Heather Graham as a self-help author who can't take her own advice - If she's not wearing rollerskates and nothing else, I'm not interested...

"American Crime," a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama about a prosecutor who juggles work and a new baby - BORING...

"Don't Ask," a comedy about a dad (Spin City's Alan Ruck) who tells his family he's gay - CAMERON from Ferris Bueller as a gay dad? I'm so there....

Wait! There's more! While Republican macho (by definition and constantly looped media talking points) men are busy promise-keeping, Mom, by inference, is of course, just too damned stupid to control what her hairy-headed little Bible study scholars angels are watching. SpeakSpeak News sums it all up nicely in a post titled, "Right-Wing Groups Critical of Groups That Criticize Them":

PTC (Parents Television Council) flack Melissa Caldwell goes on to imply that parents are too stupid to figure out controls already available to them: "It could take months for a parent to figure out how to set the parental controls," Caldwell said. And the article concludes with MIM's Peters finally saying what the Right always implies, but will never state explicitly: "Not every kid has a perfect parent. So society has to step into the gap at some point." In other words, it takes a politically motivated, censorship-happy, evangelical Christian village to raise a child.

Republican Logic Lesson #2: Teachers Are No Damned Good!

Translation: the NEA always supports Democrats. Are you seeing a pattern here, folks?

Kids are acting up in Kindergarten, they're bringing guns to white suburban schools, and they're not doing so well on BushCo's standardized tests from hell. Hmm. Must be the teacher's fault.

Republicans will do anything and say anything to destroy public education (and teachers' unions) in this country. Have you ever heard of the Education-Industrial Complex? Neither had I until I read Nerd Spot's post, exposing the radical right-wing Citizens for Limited Taxation (I dare you not to make a dirty word from the acronym!):

CLT is an anti-tax advocacy group in Massachusetts. Motto: Every tax is a pay cut... A tax cut is a pay raise. My favorite this week are the titles they chose for their updates. Hit a pothole, thank a teacher is a fair and balanced look at public pensions for teachers (Massachusetts public employees don't pay into Social Security). It's filled with your usual conservative-type language manipulations like...

• "over half of that $1.2 BILLION extracted from us taxpayers annually for public employees' platinum parachutes -- $682 million of it every year -- goes directly just to "retired" teachers, much of it to cover this newest scam." (emphasis in original)

• A reference to the "Education-Industrial Complex" (I admit I laughed at that one).

• "[R]apacious teachers unions"

• Poor roadway maintenance inspired the author to suggest 'that we need a bumper-sticker of our own that reads: 'Hit a pothole, thank a teacher!'

Let's face it. Making everyone's lives easier, more secure, and rewarding is not the basis for the Republican Party platform. They are the party of "Some of the right kind of people." So why aren't they happy? They control all three branches of government. They've bulldozed our national, state and local infrastructures, and they've lined their pockets with our tax dollars, investments (Enron), and retirement pensions (which are actually deferred salary, asswipes!).

This week, bloggers fought back Dick Cheney Big Time. Mr. Power wonders why Rumsfeld is attacking Newsweek when he should be apologizing for his own blunders, Granola Gay has the best post on Frist vs. The Filibuster I've read so far, and DU blogger crispini explains Wes Clark's Virtual March to Stop Global Warming.

(Defying) Republican Logic Lesson #3: Whatever You Do, Don't Be Happy!

Bloggers continued to fight for the right to laugh about crazy stuff. Rempelia Prime writes, "Unfortunately for the humans of Houston, Texas, birds (grackles, specifically) have become dissatisfied with their company and gone on the attack." This is no joke, folks. Houston has been Hitchcocked big time. And the birds are going after lawyers. Hmm. I suspect a Sugarland-grackle connection. Rempelia Prime links to Extra Strength Boredom Relief for the latest in scientific grackle facts, where I also found this:

For "Sideways" lovers, Jujitsui Generis celebrates the Supreme Court's recent ruling with a case of out-of-state wine (could it be... Merlot?). Dvorak Uncensored wants to know why Wal-Mart is opening 15 new stores in China: "Uh, ok. And what is the point of this? Isn't this kind of like the Chinese coming over here to sell us Ford cars?"

This week, I learned an extremely useful fact from DU blogger and medical professional Heddi: "RECTAL IS RED. Meaning, if someone wants to take your temp orally, and they start to put a red thermometer in your mouth, politely decline." Good to know. Heddi also taught me that sometimes vaginas are... er, not always, um, the same. You'll have to read Heddi's adventures in figuring out where to insert the catheter for yourself.

Finally, I searched and searched this week for some of those dangerous kid blogs I've heard so much about, but all I found was a zillion charming blog posts, like the one at Keeping Track Of Everything, about a kid's "Star Wars" obsessed Social Studies teacher. Who says that diaries, virtual or tangible, are sooo dangerous? Hmm. Could it be... fascist fundie rightwing radicals, who want to suck the last bit of joy out of (and control every waking moment of) their children's lives and the lives of everyone else? I'll answer that question, myself: all signs point to yes.

Definitive Democratic Logic Lesson: There Is No Such Thing As Republican Logic

Blaming women, children, and minorities for your Lott lot in life is cheap and sleazy. Hey! Look in our eyes when you attack, and stop aiming at our backs, you cowards. Take your radical Republican agenda and shove it where the catheter doesn't shine! We're not your easy targets anymore!

Know a hot blog that needs some coverage? Send your recommendations to Delilah.

 

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