27 thoughts on “R.I.P. Tom Lantos 1928 – 2008

  1. Rest in Peace, Mr. Lantos, and thank you for your service to our country.

    A story is told about how gracious Tom Lantros could be, even in the face of overwhelming stupidity.

    During a 2002 conference to discuss how peace could be maintained between Israel and the Palestinians, Lantos suggested that the Swedish Army could be useful. Bush disagreed. From the link:

    ”I don’t know why you’re talking about Sweden,” Bush said. ”They’re the neutral one. They don’t have an army.”

    Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ”Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They’re the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.” Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.

    Bush held to his view. ”No, no, it’s Sweden that has no army.”

    The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.

    A few weeks later, members of Congress and their spouses gathered with administration officials and other dignitaries for the White House Christmas party. The president saw Lantos and grabbed him by the shoulder. ”You were right,” he said, with bonhomie. ”Sweden does have an army.”

    It also showed how Bush’s people were so cowed and intimidated by him, that they couldn’t even bring themselves to correct an obvious mistake. At least Mr. Lantos found a way to correct the erroneous Bush without making him look like an idiot (”…you may have thought that I said Switzerland…”). But Bush “decided” to forge ahead and prove his ignorance.

    My thoughts and condolences are with the Lantos family.

    [If this comment looks familar, I posted it at TP just before the story got posted here.]

  2. Rest in Peace, Mr. Santos.

    and Wayne, it is just flat out embarassing to have this moronic chymp, stupid to the nth degree leading this nation.
    For fuck’s sake, most third graders know that Switzerland is the ‘neutral country with no army’.
    Goober H. Jebbutz!

  3. For fuck’s sake, most third graders know that Switzerland is the ‘neutral country with no army’.

    I was reminded of the movie “Support Your Local Sheriff”, a great movie starring the always enjoyable James Garner. Famed character actor Walter Brennan plays the father of a family of ne-er-do-wells, trying to figure out how to get one of his sons (Bruce Dern) out of jail. He suggested to his other sons that they didn’t want to go making a martyr out of the sheriff.

    “What’s a martyr?”, asks one of his dumber sons.

    “Oh, I forgot,” answers Pappy, “they didn’t use words like that in the third grade.”

    “I wouldn’t know,” his idiot son sheepishly says, “I never made it that far.”

    As his father gets up in a huff to walk away, the son looks to his older (probably equally stupid brother) and says, “Well you remember all them years I was stuck in the second grade.”

    Maybe that was Bush’s problem – all them years he was stuck in the second grade. 🙂

  4. Ah a little specialized knowledge comes handy here. The Swiss have an army, which is more or less based on a militia model. You serve (mandatory unless mentally challenged – at least the Swiss think you are mentally challenged if you don’t want to) and then you get your assault rifle and take it home. Then you come back to training every other year or so, until you are too old or declared unfit for service (oh those damned knees, hurt soo bad).

    The taking home of the rifle will be stopped eventually, because domestic disputes (occasionally) tend to be settled by using it.

    Actually the whole army is at risk, because there is a movement that wants to abolish it (hey it costs money and the Swiss are even more stingy than patriotic) and they will vote on that again eventually.

  5. In the interests of the full disclosure I was accused of not providing when I posted this comment at TP, I will say now that Exley is an asshole. (He chided me for not pointing out that Lantos has not confirmed this story – maybe he was too much of a gentleman? – and that “anti-Bush” Susskind’s only source was Joe Biden, to which I would ask, “And Joe Biden didn’t credit himself with making Bush look bad if he was making it up?”)

  6. I just saw that, Wayne. What a fucking ass. I was going to tell him to shut the fuck up, but I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of taking me to task for being rude on an obit thread — although he was rude to you first.

    People like Exley count on other people’s manners, in order to get away with being complete fuckheads.

  7. Thanks, Zooey. The only thing Exley and I share is a love for the New York Mets. Unlike me, he doesn’t have compassion for his fellow human beings, a desire to see government work for the public’s interests over the corporate world’s interests, and an IQ in the three-digit range. So I’m going to ignore him when he acts like a dick. I’ll let the other posters give me recommends over his comments to show who they agree with more.

  8. Exley reminds me of an abusive husband who smiles at the world, extolling his wife’s many gifts and virtues — while squeezing her arm hard enough to leave big black bruises.

  9. I missed what Lefty Patriot posted there that (apparently) got his comment removed within minutes. And I really wish TP would put in a replacement comment explaining the deletion. Because they just removed it, the next comment (katy’s) said that comment number six should be removed, and hers ending up being number six after the deletion. It made it look like she was suggesting her own comment be removed.

    Look, it’s not hard for them to do and I wonder why they don’t. After all, we know how easy it is to edit a comment, so all they have to do is go in and type “Comment deleted by Admin” in its place. Then the people who refer only to the number of a comment (as opposed to the more clarifying time stamp), won’t have their comments turn out confusing.

  10. I had the “honor” of having the “San Diego Hag” herself visit my blog and pull the same shit. She had to to compare Fox News Channel to NPR and Democracy Now, and make the inference that there was something wrong with the two latter ones because they weren’t “fair and balanced”. For now I’ve been ignoring her though I have considered just deleting her comments and asking her to stay away. (It’s my blog, and I can do that if I want. Unlike her and Exley, I understand that private citizens can suppress speech all they want; it’s the government that cannot do it.) And, as usual, she ended her snide and derisive comments with a “regards to Jane” at the end, as if I’m supposed to just treat this as “we’re all friends here”-style debate.

  11. What the hell is that about? Fair and balanced? That’s not news — that’s the playground!

    Was this recently? I thought she’d been gone for a long time.

    “Regards to Jane.” It would have been more honest to just flip the bird.

  12. Zooey,

    Have y ou ever read David Brock’s great book “The Republican Noise Machine”? If you haven’t, you should. It explains so much about the right wing and their media takeover. They used to complain that the news was “liberally biased” because the views of conservatives were not being represented. What they could not get their tiny minds around was that the goal was to get at the truth, not to hear what both sides of a story have to say (especially when one side, usually the conservative side, was not using facts and the truth to persuade people that they were right).

    They have managed to convince the less intelligent among us that if you’re not hearing both sides of a story, then you aren’t getting “the full truth”. To them, “the full truth” includes the lies. They feel that it is the job of journalists to simply report what people say, not report on whether or not what those people are saying is true. That, apparently, where the “liberal bias” for truth comes in. And it’s true that Liberals value the Truth and want to hear it no matter who gets hurt. Conservatives do not value the Truth and often see it as an obstacle to achieving their goals (which tend to be self-serving.)

    I finally had to respond to dickhead directly even though I was trying to avoid that. He really does not know how to debate honestly. Now, after explaining that I didn’t think Biden would make up a story and credit someone else for helping Bush make himself look bad, Exley tried to say that I didn’t think Biden would make up a story. Just that, without the caveat that it was a story that made someone else look better.

  13. Exley is a true manipulator. Can you imagine what his family feels like after Thanksgiving dinner? Assuming they invite him, of course.

  14. Can you imagine what his family feels like after Thanksgiving dinner? Assuming they invite him, of course.

    I can imagine his wife taking the kids out to dinner some place without telling him where. 🙂

  15. I can’t imagine that Exley has a wife. His parents probably go out to dinner so they don’t have to invite him over

  16. Actually, I can imagine that Exley has ex-wives. I’m sure he comes on in a very charming way, then he gets his hooks into them, and he starts chipping away at them. Very insidious….

  17. Lantos was a fine man. I just never understood why he didn’t advise his son in law to just go by Richard

  18. Can’t imagine anyone being married at the present time to Exley, my guess his folk’s sent him to the grocery store with a list and sold the house and dissapeared before he got back home….He and Roger 2 fer are a pain in the ass, skip over their post’s because they remind me of my x and make me want to start divorce proceeding’s..Or send them to the store and sell the house and move before they get back….Blessings…

  19. Thank you so much Lady nwmuse for all your help and Thank’s to Lady Z as well….Having problem’s now with all but RU’s avatar showing up….

    It’s been a busy day, laundry, propane change over, house work and Bear run’s along with the net stuff…I’m tired….Blessings all

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