Hoggle: This is an oubliette, labyrinth’s full of ’em. Sarah: Really. I didn’t know that. Hoggle: Oh don’t act so smart. You don’t even know what an oubliette is. Sarah: Do you? Hoggle: Yes. It’s a place you put people… to forget about ’em! ~ From the movie Labyrinth
“You be careful. People in masks cannot be trusted.” ~ William Goldman, The Princess Bride
If it’s Friday, it must mean leftovers . . .
Where do I begin? There is so much fodder to sift through and disseminate that I really don’t know who to lambast first. Perhaps I’ll just start with one of my favorites: Rush Limbaugh
On Wednesday (6/16), Limbaugh once again attacked the poor by suggesting that those school children who might go hungry this summer could resort to dumpster diving for nutrition. Opening with a comment about “these people,” Rush had this to say: “A summer off from government eating might be just the ticket” to curbing childhood obesity. He later characterized children “starving to death out there because there’s no school meal being provided” as “one of the benefits of school being out.” But did he stop there? Of course not, Limbaugh suggested adding a spot to his program called “Where to Find Food”:
“It’s a thing called the refrigerator. You probably already know about it. Try looking there. There are also things in what’s called the kitchen of your house called cupboards. And in those cupboards, most likely you’re going to find Ding-Dongs, Twinkies, Lays ridgy potato chips, all kinds of dip and maybe a can of corn that you don’t want, but it will be there. If that doesn’t work, try a Happy Meal at McDonald’s. You know where McDonald’s is. There’s the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s and if they don’t have Chicken McNuggets, dial 911 and ask for Obama.
There’s another place if none of these options work to find food; there’s always the neighborhood dumpster.”
Why don’t you try skipping a few meals, you boorish blowhard of a buffoon.
“Would you consider me as an alternative to suicide?” ~ William Goldman, The Princess Bride
Republican Representative Steve King of Iowa thinks that racial profiling is all right as long as it isn’t being used in a discriminatory fashion . . . Huh? Does this guy even know what racial profiling is? He further claims that police offers can use common sense indicators to determine illegal immigrants, indicators like clothing, footwear, and grooming. And oh yes, how people speak. You know, their accidents (his word, not mine)? And ESP:
“It’s just a common sense thing. Law enforcement needs to use common sense indicators. Those common sense indicators are all kinds of things, from what kind of clothes people wear—my suit in my case—what kind of shoes people wear, what kind of accident [sic] they have, um, the, the type of grooming they might have, there’re, there’re all kinds of indicators there and sometimes it’s just a sixth sense and they can’t put their finger on it.”
“I do not accept excuses. I’m just going to have to find myself a new giant, that’s all.” ~ William Goldman, The Princess Bride
I must not forget Sharron Angle, Republican Senate candidate (Nevada). Angle is big on the Second Amendment. In a January radio interview with Lars Larson, Angle said, ” . . . if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.” Lest anyone not think that Angle was serious, she reiterated her stance last month when she told the Reno Gazette-Journal that “it’s almost an imperative” that conservatives win. “The nation is arming,” she told the newspaper. “What are they arming for if it isn’t that they are so distrustful of their government? They’re afraid they’ll have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways.” Scary, scary woman.
On Wednesday, Texas Representative Joe Barton (R) called President Obama’s agreement with BP to set aside of $20 billion in escrow funds a “shakedown.” Now let me get this straight: Obama is wrong for not making BP more accountable. Obama is wrong for not being tougher and not acting outraged over the oil spill. But Obama is wrong to accept BP’s pledge of money in escrow for spill reparations? You can’t have it both ways. But of course, you can. What was I thinking? And I’m certain that the $1.4 million Barton received from oil interests had nothing to do with his declaration . . . Right.
“Am I going mad, or did the word ‘think’ just escape your lips?” ~ William Goldman, The Princess Bride
Continuing with the oil spill . . . BP COO Doug Suttles gave an interview to NBC’s Tom Costello in which he declared that oil spill clean-up technology hasn’t really progressed because there just haven’t been any big spills in the last 40 years to warrant a need for progress on that front. “The events haven’t driven the technology change that’s out there,” Suttles told Costello. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC revealed just how erroneous that statement was when she mapped U.S. spills just since 2000. It was classic Maddow.
Do I even both to mention Sarah Palin and the Dutch, dykes and a Norwegian?
“A speech is poetry: cadence, rhythm, imagery, sweep! A speech reminds us that words, like children, have the power to make dance the dullest beanbag of a heart.” ~ Peggy Noonan
On Wednesday night’s broadcast of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Maddow delivered a mock presidential speech about the oil spill, the kind of speech that she wishes President Obama had delivered, the kind of speech I wish he had delivered. Obama’s speech was tepid. It lacked passion. It lacked decisiveness. It lacked, well it lacked the power of the person sitting in the Oval Office.
Aside from the fact that I am a liberal Democrat, I believe Barack Obama to be an extremely gifted orator. He possesses the ability to move audiences in a way that this country has not seen in many years. The two Bush presidencies left me aching for an articulate, erudite president, one who could take the presidential platform and elevate it, exploit it, invigorate it.
I mean, “Bring it on” just does not a “Four Score” speech make. So I could appreciate what Maddow and other pundits were saying about Obama’s speech, how it did not reflect the true abilities of the man or the power of the office.
As Maddow said,
“You know how sometimes you get into an argument or confrontation with somebody, you can’t help afterwards thinking of all the things you wished you’d said?” Maddow said. “Well, last night after the President’s big Oval Office speech on the BP oil disaster, I had a version of that experience. I hadn’t, of course, been in an argument with the President or anything. I just couldn’t stop running tape in my head of what I wish that speech had been like, what I wish he’d said. An Oval Office address is a priceless chance to get the nation to stop what it’s doing, to stop every other TV show in the country, to get us all to pay attention all at once to this crisis and to what the President has to say about it.”
So here is Rachel Maddow’s mock presidential speech. I wonder if Obama’s invitation to Maddow to visit the White House on Thursday had anything to do with her impassioned version . . .