Breitbart plays the race card in Carson vs. Pelosi

The homepage of around noon eastern

The homepage of around noon eastern

I was astonished to see the Breitbart headline in the screenshot above, but it changed when I clicked on it. The story-page headline reads Nancy Pelosi Calls Ben Carson “Disturbingly Unqualified,” which is probably a more precise way to describe her than “white Democrat leader.” Beware autoplay video with sound, should you click on that link yourself. The story is short enough to quote entirely here:

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is calling the decision to tap Ben Carson as head of Housing and Urban Development a “disconcerting and disturbingly unqualified choice.” Pelosi says the country deserves someone with “relevant experience” to protect the rights of homeowners and renters.

In her statement released Monday, she says “there is no evidence that Dr. Carson brings the necessary credentials to hold a position with such immense responsibilities and impact on families and communities across America.”

Trump says, “Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a presidency representing all Americans.”

There’s a lot missing from this report, including what Carson’s qualifications might actually be. If you want those kinds of nuances, you’re better off with the Times. It’s kind of weird that Breitbart would just reprint a statement from the House Minority Leader with none of its own commentary or counterpoint, save that quote from Donald Trump. But all the commentary they need is in that homepage headline: White Democrat Leader Calls…

Continue reading

Pelosi prepares for amazing thought experiment

Here’s one for those ready to play the Feud: between Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich, whom do you think Americans dislike more? Both are future former heads of the most reviled body in the United States government. Both are perceived as dishonest hacks—Pelosi in service to an increasingly demonized Democratic establishment and Gingrich in service to, well, Gingrich. Both appeared in a global warming commercial that each frankly acknowledges was bad for Gingrich, for the strangely agreed-upon reason that people hate Nancy Pelosi. Perhaps most importantly, both know what Newt Gingrich did in 1996. Her tenure on the House ethics committee that investigated him has left Pelosi with privileged information, which she is now promising/threatening to reveal “when the time is right.” From a PR standpoint, this is like Saddam Hussein inviting everybody to watch him hit Osama Bin Laden with nerve gas.

Continue reading

Now everything is fine

Both kinds of white dudes

Remember on Friday when we declared American politics too selfishly broken to address the basic management of the United States? It turns out we were wrong, because the President and congressional leaders reached a deal on the national debt ceiling last night. The package still needs the support of both houses—including several notoriously intransigent members—but tentatively, maybe even presumably, the lights are going to stay on. “Sausage making is not pretty,” Diane Feinstein told the Times. “But the sausage we have, I think, is a very different sausage from when we started.” And in the end, isn’t that what we all what from our food? Different?

Continue reading

Symbolic: GOP returns styrofoam to House cafeteria

A cup I drank out of in 1983

American conservatism has always placed a high premium on the past, but it was not until its victories in the last election that the Republican party made good on its promise to actually reverse the flow of time. In the spirit of fiscal responsibility fuck you, the GOP has reintroduced Styrofoam to the House cafeteria. In theory, this measure will save the American taxpayer half a million dollars per year.* That it also undoes one of Nancy Pelosi’s pet projects and magically transports all diners to the year Back To the Future came out is just a fun bonus. The more you think about it, the more the switch back to Styrofoam is an incredibly versatile signifier. I submit that the Styrofoam cup is the best symbol yet for the Republican party: it’s white, it seemed like a great idea in the eighties, it’s made of oil, and even though you’re done with it, it’s going to be around for 500 years.

Continue reading

Anatomy of a rumor: health care bill won’t protect our troops

Sarah Palin, who loves babies and soldiers and America so gosh darn much

Yesterday we mentioned the warning that Sarah Palin issued, via Twitter, on the eve of the House health care vote: “Shocking new questions re:whether military healthcare plans r protected under Obamacare. How will underpaid troops afford their own purchase?” First of all, never was a medium so suited to an author as Twitter is to Sarah Palin. With its forced mangling of syntax, its elision of subjects and verbs, and the impossibility of backing statements with evidence built into its form, Twitter is to Palin was the aphorism was to Friederich Nietzsche. Second, the “shocking new question” to which Palin was referring was whether the TRICARE health benefits program for members of the military and their dependents would satisfy the insurance mandate that passed as part of Sunday night’s vote. The answer is: yes, obviously. TRICARE is health insurance—really good health care insurance, issued by the federal government as part of a single-payer system that stands as an argument for the public option Palin so vehemently opposes. The House bill specifically states that TRICARE will satisfy the mandate, and the White House issued a statement in August assuring us that TRICARE benefits would not be affected in any way by proposed legislation. The Senate version of the health care bill, however, does not specifically exempt TRICARE recipients from the mandate—just as it does not specifically exempt congressmen—and that’s what Sarah Palin is so terrified about. Won’t you allow her to terrify you?

Continue reading