Monday, October 12, 2015

At least someone is doing it right

This is great news. California has EXTENDED access to voting.
After a record low turnout in last year’s election, Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed legislation on Saturday designed to increase electoral participation by automatically registering eligible state voters when they obtain a driver’s license.
The law, which allows Californians to opt out of registering at the Department of Motor Vehicles, was the most prominent of more than a dozen bills relating to elections that Mr. Brown signed on Saturday. It puts California at the forefront of efforts across the country to increase electoral participation at a time when many states have added new hurdles, like voter identification laws.
This is a great idea and what every state should be doing; extending voting rights to all eligible Americans. But while Democrats are making it easier to vote, Republicans are enacting voting restrictions, cutting polling places in minority areas, eliminating early voting, gerrymandering districts, and enacting voter ID laws to make it more difficult for people to vote. In short, if they can abuse the process to make Republicans win, they will.

If you're an American and you believe in American ideals, then making voting available to all Americans, regardless of party, is the right thing to do. I'd like to say it's the American thing to do, but I'm no longer sure that's the case.

Way to go California.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Lunchtime Haunts - American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial

We've been at our new building on 7th and D streets for a year and a half now, and I had never explored eastward towards the Capitol. Last week I did that.

This is what I found. (Click to embiggen)

This is the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. It's bordered on the east by the Rayburn House Office Building (where I worked for three months in 1986 when I interned in a Congressional Office) and the US Department of Health and Human Services to the West. It's basically a big open area with a pool and some nice seating with a few panels describing the sacrifice of our disabled veterans. It's a nice spot.

I especially liked the tiny little parking lot for the Memorial that's set to the south.  There are spaces for seven vehicles, and five of them are handicapped only, a nice accommodation for those the Memorial is intended to honor.

It was a bit overcast that day with no one about, so I'll have to return on a sunny day to fully appreciate it.

Edited to add: Apparently I visited the Memorial a few days before its one year birthday. It was dedicated on Oct. 5, 2014.

Remember that golden age of five months?

Boy am I sick of this crap.

I have heard, time after time, even from my own family, the conservative excuse for not doing something that obviously needs doing. It's a magic phrase that somehow absolves the Republicans in Congress from doing a goddamn thing. John Boehner used it as an excuse just today for not passing meaningful gun control measures.

If the Democrats really care about [important issue] then why didn't they do something when they controlled both houses of Congress in 2009-2010?

First of all, it's a pathetic excuse. The fact that someone in the past didn't take action doesn't release you from having to take action. What are you, seven years old?

But deeper than that, it's bullshit because of, well, reality.

The 111th Congress was sworn in on January 3, 2009. To accomplish anything against a united, filibustering, obstructionist Republican minority in the Senate, the Democrats had to have 60 votes for everything. But when Congress was seated, the Democrats only had 59 votes. Remember Norm Coleman?

Norm Coleman was the incumbent Republican asshat from Minnesota who contested Al Franken's victory, causing a delay in seating Franken. The Democrats didn't gain their sixtieth seat until June 30. So there's at least six months when the Democrats literally couldn't pass anything they wanted.

Then, two months later, in August, 2009, Senator Teddy Kennedy died and was replaced temporarily, another month later, by Paul Kirk who did not run in the special election for the seat. Inexplicably and to their eternal shame, Massachusetts voters selected Scott Brown (R) to replace Kennedy in early 2010, ending the Democrats super-majority of sixty votes.

So at best, the Democrats had five months of a 60 seat majority. And legislation takes TIME. Much of that time was used to try and compromise with the uncompromising Republicans to pass healthcare reform, the President's second priority after the stimulus was passed. So it's completely understandable that the Democrats didn't have time to solve every single f'ing problem plaguing America. Still, the stimulus did lift us out of the recession and healthcare reform, though it passed after Scott Brown took office, has worked out really well for tens of millions of Americans.

And I'm not even going into the conservative Blue Dog Democrats who made getting 60 votes even more difficult during that entire two year period.

So conservatives, stop trotting out this ridiculous, inaccurate excuse. It's stupid, childish and doesn't reflect what actually happened.

If you really want to see what Democrats can do for the country, throw these idiot Republicans out next year and elect super-majorities of Democrats. We'll all be much better off.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

This is kind of like seeing a unicorn

Of course you remember Benghazi?  The tragic killing of four Americans in Libya that the Republicans have cynically turned into the BIGGEST SCANDAL IN AMERICAN HISTORY? So much so that they've had numerous Congressional investigations and spent literally millions of taxpayer dollars pursuing the "truth"?

Yeah, in a shocking twist, it turns out it's not really about Benghazi.
"What you’re going to see is a conservative speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win.
And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?
But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”
That's Kevin McCarthy, the guy first in line to take over the House Speakership from John Boehner in a few weeks. He's admitting (to Sean Hannity no less) what anyone with a brain already knows, that the Benghazi investigations are all about hurting Hillary Clinton.

The Benghazi BS is a blatant misuse of public funds, a political witch hunt, an unethical, immoral lie, and the guy who will be the next Speaker of the House just admitted it. Out loud. On television.

It's the most honest a Republican congressman has been in some time.

Tell me again why ANYONE votes Republican?

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Oregon Shooting

I was going to make a long post about guns in America. About how mass shootings have become routine. How we feel helpless before a minority of Americans who are more pro-gun that pro-people. About how this minority controls the Republican party who will not let Congress or the state legislatures pass any meaningful, common sense regulations on guns; regulations that a large majority of Americans want. Regulations that would save lives.

But then the President said it all. If you haven't seen this, it's worth your time.

Damn straight.

Thursday, October 01, 2015


Last night I finished switching the last of our house light bulbs to LEDs.  

Years ago I got rid of (most of) our incandescent bulbs and switched over to CFL (compact fluorescents). CFLs are much cheaper to operate and have two or three times the lifespan of incandescents. But LED bulbs, new to the market over the past couple of years, are superior to CFLs in every way except price. So I've just been waiting for the prices to drop.

I've been experimenting with different brands and found that I really like the TCP and Philips 60W equivalent bulbs. (The Utilitech bulbs I bought from Lowes don't seem to be "instant-on". I was disappointed.) A couple of months ago Home Depot had the TCP bulbs on sale for $2.88 but they no longer carry them. However, a two-pack of Philips bulbs are on sale for $5 and I've found that $2.50 per bulb is economical given the electricity savings. So I finally pulled the trigger and picked up a bunch last weekend and then again last night.

I also bought two eight packs of the GE 60W equivalent light stik bulbs for desk lamps and such.

The great thing about LED bulbs is that they come on instantly, are crazy cheap to operate, and give off a bright, soft light indistinguishable from incandescents. I love them. And I'm sure our electricity use is going to drop significantly.

I do still have some incandescents in the basement where there are a bunch of track lights. Those specialty bulbs do come in LED, but they're still really expensive.  As the existing bulbs burn out, I'll slowly replace those with LEDs. Hopefully the prices will start dropping soon.

But considering the 10-20 year lifespan of LED bulbs, they may be the last bulbs I have to change for a long time.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Same Old, Same Old Shutdown

Last week I spent a decent amount of time at my job preparing for a possible government shutdown to occur this Thursday. My division is statutorily required to be open during regular hours, so we don't get furloughed when the government gets closed. We operate with a skeleton crew and I rotate everyone in and out, but during the 2013 shutdown, we were open a full forty two and a half hours every week. With the current shutdown looming in an attempt to defund healthcare for women, last week I had to use time not to do my regular job, but to prepare for Congressional Republicans not doing their jobs.

Fortunately (?), House Speaker John Boehner's surprise resignation last week has removed the threat of an imminent shutdown (his Speakership was worth about two months of reprieve) but we'll revisit the threat in December, a couple of weeks before Christmas. The Teahadist wing of the party will have even fewer reasons to cooperate with anyone, so a shutdown then is probably more likely.

This is what happens when you elect crazy people to run the government, who don't actually believe in the purpose and value of government.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Huckabee demonstrates what a wonderful man he is

Warning: Harsh Language Ahead.

Believe it or not, given the constant Bible quoting, but only one of the Republican candidates for President is an honest to goodness Minister! Bet you can't guess which one of the lying, racist misogynists it is!

Oh, right, Mike Huckabee. You can tell he's a Minister because he says loving, Christian things like this tweet about President Obama's welcome of the Pope.

Oh, snap!

In fact, here is the POTUS, preparing to spit on the Pope as he coldly greets him at the airport.

It's a wonder the Pope survived.

But lest you think Huckabee is getting soft by that lukewarm insult, he pulled out all the stops in criticizing the idea that the United States, the shining beacon on the hill, the "give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses" country would give sanctuary to even a few of the desperate, tired, poor middle eastern refugees fleeing war and death in their home countries.
"Are they really escaping tyranny, are they escaping poverty, or are they really just coming because we've got cable TV?" the former governor of Arkansas asked. "I don't mean to be trite. I'm just saying: We don't know."  Link

Three-year-old Aylan Kurdi trying to get cable TV.

There's only one thing you can say to that. 

Fuck you, you asshole, Huckabee. Fuck. You.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Na na na na #2 -- Don't let the door hit you, Scott Walker

This week we lost the guy who hates American workers, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Seriously, this guy hates American workers so much that he cited his fight against Wisconsin unions as evidence that he could lead America's fight against terror group ISIS. Plus, he tanked Wisconsin's economy, costing thousands of jobs, and he wants to do the same for the U.S.!

Sadly, his terribleness in the first two Presidential debates, his drop-off in fundraising, and his similarity to every other Republican candidate in terms of their horrific policy positions, doomed him. After the second debate, polls showed him at 0%.  That is not a typo. He got zero support.

So the favorite candidate of the Koch brothers leaves his campaign $700,000 in debt. I'm pretty sure he won't pay that off, since he's a member of the Party of "personal responsibility".

Let's all raise a glass and give a big, hearty DERP! to Scott Walker.


You may have heard the news that Pope Francis was in DC over the past couple of days. Out of concern for the massive transit backups likely to be caused by visiting Catholics come to see the Pope, most of the federal government was encouraged to telework or take liberal leave. (If you're unaware, "liberal leave" means you use your own annual leave and don't come in to work.) Unfortunately, my staff can't telework because our work is confidential and can't be taken from the building, so we've been almost fully staffed yesterday and today.

So how was the commute, you ask? Wonderful. Enough federal workers stayed home that the influx in tourists didn't make up the difference, resulting in better commutes than usual. Trains were plentiful and half empty, so commuting was a great treat for those of us who do it every day. And my building, occupied by six federal agencies, was also half empty, which meant shorter lines in the cafeteria and a generally more relaxed atmosphere.

Thanks, Pope! Come back any time.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

This week in douchebaggery - If it looks like a clock . . .

I'm getting a bit overwhelmed with the sheer number of idiots making stupid remarks or engaging in asinine behavior lately (hey, it's primary season!). So, here's a brief sample of this week's biggest douchebags.

First up, the idiot Texas school administrators and police who arrested 14 year old Ahmed Mohammed for bringing a clock to school. It's a terrible situation but, in a neat twist, lots of people showed support for the young man and he was even invited to the White House by President Obama.

And that made even more people lose their crap.

"I can't follow my own abstinence advice", Bristol Palin chimed in with:
In case you missed it. The President invited Ahmed Mohamed to visit the White House to show the President his homemade clock. The fourteen year old was arrested after someone reported that he was building a bomb.
This is the kind of stuff Obama needs to STAY out of. This encourages more racial strife that is already going on with the “Black Lives Matter” crowd and encourages victimhood.
The police made a mistake, clearly.
But why put more people against them? Why egg it on? Childish games like this from our president have divided our country… even more today than when he was elected.
Because there's literally NOTHING that the President can do that this nitwit won't disagree with. And remember, blatant racism by the Republican party candidates during the recent primary debates doesn't cause a divided country, it's the President inviting a kid to the White House that causes a divided country.

And of course her mother, Sarah Palin (R-Quitter) had to top that, saying, that Ahmed was "asking for it" by bringing his clock to school.
Whereas Ahmed Muhammad, an evidently obstinate-answering student bringing in a homemade 'clock' that obviously could be seen by conscientious teachers as a dangerous wired-up bomb-looking contraption (teachers who are told 'if you see something, say something!') gets invited to the White House."  Link
Obviously, Sarah is just jealous that SHE didn't get invited to the White House.

But lest you think douchebag reactions were limited to Right Wing Nutjobs, here's (sorta) left-wing atheist Bill Maher expressing his racism.
“People at the school thought it might be a bomb … because it looks exactly like a f*cking bomb,” he said during a panel discussion with Mark Cuban, Jorge Ramos, George Pataki, and Chris Matthews. “It’s not the color of his skin. Somebody look me in the eye right now and tell me. Over the last 30 years, if so many young Muslim men … and he’s young, 14, but that’s not like it’s never happened before, hasn’t blown up a lot of sh*t around the world. And this kid deserves an apology, because he wasn’t one of them… Over the last 30 years, it’s been one culture that has been been blowing sh*t up over and over again.”
And finally, I'm done with famed atheist, and former inspiration, Richard Dawkins.
“If the reassembled components did something more than the original clock, that’s creative. If not, it looks like hoax,” he tweeted. “Disassembling & reassembling is great. But you shouldn’t then claim it was your “invention.”  Link
Yes, that's what's important you pedantic asshole.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Profile in Courage

Watch the first thirty seconds of this video. That's all you need to see.

This is shameful. It's hateful. I'd really like to say it's unbelievable, but it's not.

Trump doesn't correct this guy. He doesn't disagree with this guy. He seems to appreciate what they guy is saying.

If you are still planning on voting for this terrible human being after this, you should really reexamine your character.

And this is the Republican frontrunner.

Well, they *are* no longer in any danger

At last night's debate, Jeb! Bush said this about his brother, President George W. Bush:

"As it relates to my brother, there is one thing I know for sure, he kept us safe."

Of course Jeb! is right. 

Oh, except for the nearly 3,000 killed on 9/11. Oops. And the 6,700 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the 50,000 wounded. And those who died in the bungled response to hurricane Katrina.

But other than those thousands, President Bush totally kept us safe.

Touché, Jeb!. Touché.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Second Clown Car "debate" part two

An hour in and I think I'm done.

These guys are so full of crap, it's disheartening and infuriating. The number of blatant lies told by these jerks is stunning (especially Ted Cruz). And everything out of Mike Huckabee's mouth is just awful. What a horrible person he is. I really wish there was a Hell because he sure would end up there.

These are terrible, terrible people and I hope none ever gets within a mile of the White House.

Second Clown Car "debate"

Okay, I'm only up to Tes Cruz's opening statement and I'm already questioning my decision to watch the second Republican debate. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Na na na na #1 -- Goodbye, Rick Perry

This week, former Texas Governor Rick Perry withdrew from the clown car group of Republicans seeking their party's nomination for President. He was unable to break out of the asshole convention pack, and no one has an appetite for another wannabe George W. Bush when they'll eventually settle for an actual George W. Bush, Jeb!. This was Perry's second attempt, and he did even worse this time. Oops.

Perry said:
We have a tremendous field – the best in a generation – so I step aside knowing our party is in good hands, and as long as we listen to the grassroots, the cause of conservatism will be too.
If this field of hateful misogynistic douchenozzles is the best in a generation, the Republican party is doomed.  (Oh, who are we kidding. We know they're doomed.)

Sadly, a pair of glasses to make you look smart will only take you so far.

So long, Rick Perry. You won't be missed.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Binge-watching Update

I finished watching Archer a few weeks ago and loved it all the way through the end of Season 6. Now I'm left waiting for the new season to start in early 2016.

After Archer, I watched all thirteen episodes of Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix. While firmly set in Marvel's cinematic universe (MCU), much like Agent Carter, Daredevil has its own distinct feel and style. The violence is occasionally too graphic, but the fight choreography is absolutely outstanding. And it easily has the most developed in MCU history with Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin. I can't wait for the second season.

Palin infects Trump

On August 28, Sarah Palin (R-Quitter) interviewed Donald Trump on One America News. Palin wants the position of Secretary of Energy in a Trump Administration (hahahahahahahahaha) in order to kill the Department (not kidding), presumably because she's a "job creator".

Apparently she is so charismatic and influential, her word salad verbal stylings infected Trump backwards in time.

On July 21, Trump said this:
Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I'm one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you're a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what's going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it's all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don't, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.
I would wager every single penny I own, that if you went through ALL of President Obama's public utterings, seven years of public speaking pretty much every single day, you wouldn't find a single sentence, or paragraph or whatever this is, as incoherent as that mess above uttered by Trump.

But, as he says, he is one of the smartest people anywhere in the world. Which is presumably why he would hire Sarah Palin.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

The face of hatred

Look closely.

This woman is NOT a hero.

She is NOT a selfless martyr going to jail to honor her faith.

She is NOT being persecuted for being a Christian.

She is NOT taking a moral stand against injustice.

She does NOT speak for any god.

She is a bigot.

She is a public employee, paid by taxpayer dollars, who is refusing to serve the very people who pay her salary.

She is violating the Constitution of the United States and the civil authority of the courts.

She is a grifter, who is looking towards a bright financial future of being crowd-sourced by other religious bigots. (Just ask the pizza parlor owners who made nearly a million dollars for refusing to serve gays.)

She is an agent of injustice, the face of hatred, ignorance personified.

I have no doubt that she believes she is a holy saint for defying a law she personally doesn't agree with and if she wasn't a county clerk, there wouldn't be an issue.

I have no doubt that conservatives will continue to rally behind her because she is in jail for hurting gays in her community. They like that kind of thing.

Isn't it funny how the "law and order" party so often support those who break the law like this woman and Cliven Bundy?

Kim Davis is in jail, not for her beliefs, but because hurting gays is more important to her than being a kind human being.

Because that's what fanatical religious belief does to you.

Kim Davis deserves to be in jail right now. I have no hope she'll learn from the experience and become a better person.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

It would have been great as a gay cheating site

Here's a very interesting footnote from the whole Ashley Madison hack debacle.

If you're going to run a website to hook up cheating men with cheating women, ideally you'd have a bunch of both. According to Ashley Madison management, there are approximately 37 million registered users, of which 5.5 million are women. That's a terrible ratio, but still 5.5 million women is a lot. It turns out, not so much.
Those millions of Ashley Madison men were paying to hook up with women who appeared to have created profiles and then simply disappeared. Were they cobbled together by bots and bored admins, or just user debris? Whatever the answer, the more I examined those 5.5 million female profiles, the more obvious it became that none of them had ever talked to men on the site, or even used the site at all after creating a profile. Actually, scratch that. As I’ll explain below, there’s a good chance that about 12,000 of the profiles out of millions belonged to actual, real women who were active users of Ashley Madison.
Check out the article by Annalee Newitz for the detective work involved in figuring this out.

The idea behind the Ashley Madison site is sad on many levels. The fact that, at its lying best, it had six males for every one female is a brutal comment on men. The fact that there may have only really been 12,000 women to 31 million men is pathetic on a whole new level.

The Deep Bench

Not to be outdone by The Donald, putative (but not really) Republican front-runner Jeb! Bush used the offensive term "Anchor Babies" last week when talking about immigration from Mexico.
“But if there’s abuse, if pregnant women are coming in to have babies just because they can do it, there ought to be greater enforcement. That’s the legitimate side of it. Greater enforcement, so that you don’t have these ‘anchor babies,’ as they’re described, coming into the country.”
The next day, Bush defended his words and suggested that he was referencing terminology used by others. “Do you have a better term?” he snapped at a reporter in Keene, N.H., adding: “You give me a better term and I’ll use it.”  Link
Jeb! rightly drew a lot of fire for using the offensive term, even after people pointed out that "baby" and "American citizen" were both better terms than the one he used.

But it's all good now. On Monday, Jeb! fixed it.
“What I was talking about was the specific case of fraud being committed, where there’s organized efforts, and frankly it’s more related to Asian people coming into our country having children in that organized effort, taking advantage of a noble concept, which is birthright citizenship,” he said.  Link
Nailed it! That's much better.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We're #1 (with racists)!!

To win a 21st century Presidential election in the United States, you have to do reasonably well with the Hispanic/Latino vote. Huge losses in that demographic were part of the reason Mitt Romney lost so badly.

So the Republican party has known since 2012 that they have a Latino problem and have actually looked into doing something about it. Needless to say, they suck at improving their image. And then Donald Trump became the front runner.

Yesterday, Trump ejected the most famous Latino newscaster in North America out of his press conference for having the temerity to ::gasp:: ask questions!
The lasting image will be that of Ramos -- who serves as Univision's lead anchor and is effectively one of the (if not the) most powerful newsmen on Spanish-language TV -- being hustled out of the room after trying to ask Trump a question. Ramos, whose nightly newscast has been known to post ratings that top those of all three major English-language network news programs, has a history of holding presidential candidates very close to fire on issues he believes to be of deep concern to Latinos, such as immigration. Link

Yeah, throwing out the Spanish-speaking Walter Cronkite will play well with the Latino population. So how's that going?

That's a -51 point spread between favorable and unfavorable views. Nice job, The Donald.

But that's okay, Trump is just misunderstood. He's not really catering to racists.
David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and self-described “racial realist,” says Donald Trump is the best Republican candidate for president because he “understands the real sentiment of America.” Link
Ouch. Not really an endorsement you want. But let's hear from some of the people at Trump's Alabama rally last week.
“Hopefully, he’s going to sit there and say, ‘When I become elected president, what we’re going to do is we’re going to make the border a vacation spot, it’s going to cost you $25 for a permit, and then you get $50 for every confirmed kill,’ ” said Jim Sherota, 53, who works for a landscaping company. “That’d be one nice thing.Link
Get it? It's funny because they want to shoot Mexicans!

But lest you worry about the future of America under President Trump, everything will be all right according to one of his supporters in a Republican focus group.
We know his goal is to make America great again,” a woman said. “It’s on his hat. And we see it every time it’s on TV. Everything that he’s doing, there’s no doubt why he’s doing it: it’s to make America great again.” Link
It's. On. His. Hat.

Well I guess it is! Election over then. Welcome, President Trump.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

So do you love babies or not?

According to Conservatives and nearly every single Republican Presidential
candidate . . .

This blastocyst has the full Constitutional rights of every American:

This baby, born in America to foreign parents, does not:

There are no "anchor babies". They're just babies. They're also American citizens according to the Constitution of the United States. You've heard of that, right?

I thought conservatives were supposed to love babies so much they're willing to make American women carry them and give birth against their will?

Friday, August 21, 2015

John Oliver is a treasure

Jon Stewart may no longer be hosting The Daily Show, but his legacy lives on in John Oliver's awesomeness.

Both of these videos are intelligent, hilarious, infuriating, and worth your time.

Jon Stewart and his progeny, Stephen Colbert, and John Oliver, have each, in his own way, performed vital public service in a time fraught with misinformation and ignorance.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Political Correctness

Conservatives often complain about "political correctness". If you watch Republican politicians in the news, you'll know that they say it often. I remember when it started in the 1980s, but it's become very popular lately.

For example,
Donald Trump drew cheers from the crowd in Cleveland with this assessment of the direction of the country:
“I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.”
But just what does it mean? It's actually pretty simple.

Political correctness is what you blame when you want to say something stupid/offensive/nasty/racist/misogynistic/homophobic but don't want to be criticized for it. Or, what you blame when you are criticized for actually saying something stupid/offensive/nasty/racist/misogynistic/homophobic.

In other words, you want to use the N-word, but you know you'll be pilloried, so you blame "political correctness" for your having to muzzle yourself and not "speak the plain truth".

Here's the real plain truth. Anyone who uses the buzz term "political correctness" to excuse their own hatred is an asshole. And no, I'm not being politically correct when I say that.

I'm just being correct.