The Watering Hole: August 26 — How to brew a controversy, Norman Rockwell edition

The Problem We All Live With, by Norman Rockwell


Politico seems to be trying stir up the rabid racists in this country, while pretending they’re doing no such thing.  President Obama has hung this painting outside his office, OMG!  Naturally, Politico doesn’t come right out and say it, but rather than discuss the ugly history behind the painting — actual history — they make it about the President’s motivations regarding race.

What do you think?  Is Politico just doing some reporting about the painting, or are they blowing on a dog whistle?

This is our daily open thread — discuss!

106 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: August 26 — How to brew a controversy, Norman Rockwell edition

    • How’s the weather this morning Vinyl? I notice the east Florida coast is getting some outer band activity, but it doesn’t look any worse than a typical strong thunderstorm.

      • We had a storm squall from an outer band at 7 this morning. Lasted 10 minutes. Winds looked to be 40-50 MPH. I can hear the ocean from inside.the house. It’s about 1200 feet away.

        • It turned out to be just a rain storm with a little wind.
          I’m okay with that.
          I would have liked more rain for the plants and such.
          It also doesn’t hurt to be stocked up on stuff.

        • Walt, I’m especially glad for you that’s the worst you had to deal with. Now, if we can get Outstanding, the Schneiders, Cats and 5th past the danger, we can all relax.

          • Thanks, House. We are inland by about 50 or 60 miles, so at least we don’t have to worry about the ocean affecting us. But it will get windy and rainy. And I can’t keep putting off mowing my lawn, so i’ll have to do that today, too.

            My doctor thinks I might be feeling eh effects of acid reflux on my vocal cords, so she gave me a Rx for Prilosec. She said I shouldn’t bother going to an ENT doctor and paying $250 without first trying this for a few weeks first (since the ENT MD will recommend the Prilosec, and charge me $250.) If it hasn’t improved by then, then I should make the appointment. Until then,. I’m going to sound raspy.And since i want my singing to sound closer to Don McLean than to Rod Stewart, I’ll have to put off the recording for a bit. There’s still time before the 2012 elections.

            • .
              Your physician sounds like a people person (yes that sounds strange to say about a healer).

              You’ll be singing soon!

            • She’s great, Ebb. She’s about five months older than me, so we relate to the same things. She told me I didn’t have to wear my “Liberal” t-shirt for her, since she knew I was one, too. She became a doctor to help people, not to make a fortune. She’s my kind of doctor. Not only is she smart, she’s attractive, too, which just makes the doctor visits all the more pleasant.

              I hope to be singing soon. I really do want to record that one song. If things go well, I may do some others, too, or maybe I’ll wait until I write some more new ones. Thanks.

          • Thank you for your concern, HoR. Our biggest worry is being without power. We live in the country on the side of a hill so I’m not worried about flooding. There are a few trees on our property that may lose some limbs. Fortunately, these trees are not close to the house. Our generator is ready to supply power to a few kitchen outlets and the range. We have several 5 gallon jugs which I will fill with water. Glad that Walt and Vinyl are safely out of the hurricane zone. PA expects the storm to hit late Sunday.

  1. I agree, Zooey – dog whistle. I was a little taken aback by something the gentleman from the New York Civil Rights Coalition, Michael Meyers, said, “… and the schools are more segregated than they’ve ever been.” Really, Mr. Meyers? “Than they’ve ever been”? because, as I’m sure you are aware, there was a time when they were TOTALLY segregated. You mean it’s worse than that now?

    I have to go now. I have a doctor’s appointment that was supposed to be a follow-up on my annual physical (no, I didn’t lose the weight I was supposed to), but I need to find out why I’m losing my voice. And just as I was working up the nerve to start singing my song parodies. Well, one of them, anyway. I was planning to record “Republicans Lie” in the hopes that it might get noticed and make people think twice about voting for Republicans.

    Yes, I’m a dreamer. I’m also a Liberal. 🙂

  2. Along side that painting should be a montage of the racist Tea Party signs they used at rallies. Would Obama be the one stoking race issues by doing so, or would it actually be the people WHO MADE THE SIGNS?

    There are two ways to look at the day when Ruby Bridges was escorted into that school. Sadness that it was a day that dealt a huge blow to segregation; that would be the racist/white supremacist view. Or happiness that it was a day that dealt a huge blow to segregation; that would the humanist view.

    Those who take offense to the painting being displayed show their true colors.

  3. Art is SUPPOSED to provoke deep thought and emotions.

    The morans with signs just have tiny thoughts and bitter emotions.

  4. You know your country is in deep trouble when the major accomplishment of a previously unimaginable event — the near landslide election to the presidency of a person with both African and American roots — becomes what is: in effect, a call to arms for embedded racism. Which. Is. Everywhere.

    The rub, of course, is that white people ARE superior and everybody knows it, and that people who are not white have never had but one goal in all of otherwise miserable existence: to destroy god’s work here in Amurka by forcing white anointed ones to pretend to accept that stupid-assed premise that “All men are created equal.” I forget who said that, but they were goddamn traitors to this grand nation designed by god, that much is certain.

    Personally, I’ve about given up. I once considered myself fortunate to be an American, not so much today. If I were thirty years younger, in fact, I’d get the hell out of here and never look back. I’m too old and too poor to consider that option anymore, so instead I have to sit back and anticipate the consequences of the gathering storm of ignorance, of focused hatred, of vicious irrationality. What’s most difficult for me to deal with is the deeply embedded attitude, now surfacing, that because Obama is part African it’s obvious that he’s also evil and anti American in every way possible, that he’s a socialist-communist-Marxist-fascist-Muslim-Nazi who hates and detests decent white folks, whom he wants to destroy. Typical nigger.

    America, your days are numbered and worst of all, you’ve crested the ridge atop that hill, the place at which lies the point of no return, and you’re too damn dumb to realize that the pleasant breeze in your face is not a breeze at all, it’s simply the impression of a breeze granted by your headfirst plunge into the stagnant air of irrational ignorance, the dark depths of hatred and depravity: that same pit from which your forebears attempted an escape, but failed the moment they didn’t banish irrational racial hatreds once and for all — assuming such might even possible, given the low level intellect which obviously continues to define the vast bulk of the entire species.

    America, you’ve earned your impending collapse and all the joys that it will bring to so many. My only sadness is that not all of us signed up for the trip to oblivion but appears we’re invited along for the ride anyway. You’ll pardon me if I don’t play along, right? Right.

    I need some coffee.

  5. There may be rays of hope, if you believe polls (and I know some of us don’t…).
    Poll finds disapproval of Congress at all-time high
    Here are some heartening excerpts…
    “The poll finds the tea party has lost support, Republican House Speaker John Boehner is increasingly unpopular and people are warming to the idea of not just cutting spending but also raising taxes — anathema to the GOP — just as both parties prepare for another struggle with deficit reduction.”

    “I guess I long for the day back in the ’70s and ’80s when we could disagree but we could get a compromise worked out,” said Republican Scott MacGregor, 45, a Windsor, Conn., police detective. “I don’t think there’s any compromise anymore.”

    They suggest that politicians, regardless of party, have little to gain by prolonging the nation’s most consequential policy debate. And they highlight the gap between the wider public’s wishes now and the tea party’s cut-it-or-shut-it philosophy that helped propel Republicans into the House majority last year.

    The survey, conducted Aug. 18-22, found that approval of Congress has dropped to its lowest level in AP-GfK polling — 12 percent. That’s down from 21 percent in June, before the debt deal reached fever pitch.

    …One can always hope the electorate wakes up to the bullshit Rick Perry is peddling…
    Oh, and HAPPY FRIDAY! 🙂

  6. Irene is downgraded to Cat 2, and appears to have veered slightly into the Atlantic. Anyone know how warm those waters are right now? It could be gathering strength over warm water.

    • I heard on the Weather Channel that the water is 85 degrees, and it is supposed to be Cat 3 when it hits North Carolina.

      • At least Irene doesn’t have a huge hot body of water to go over like Katrina did. I hope the people are able to get out of there, they really should take this seriously.

    • It is starting to look like NYC will be spared a direct hit. The waters along the northern coast are cool. If Irene veers into the Gulf Stream, things could get dicey for Scotland or northern Europe but it looks like that should not happen.

    • It will be a Cat 1 by the time it hits PA and NY late Saturday night. The problem with this storm is that it is slow moving, like a typical Nor’easter. It is predicted to hang around for 21 hours. Yikes! 21 hours of rain will be a lot. Then again, I remember removing 24 hours of snow. It wasn’t fun. We live on the western side of the ridge so we don’t get hit quite as hard as the other side. Still, I expect trees to fall and to be without electricity for a few days.

    • I don’t always get it on one try. Fortunately BBC America repeats the show later the same evening, and directly before the next episode each week. Plus, as a last resort, I have On Demand.

      The Rebel Flesh/ The Almost People was the hardest one yet for me. I almost couldn’t figure out who was real and who were the clones on that one.

      The BBCA Doctor Who marathon starts today at 2pm Pacific time through 3am Sunday.

            • It’s on Starz. I’m getting it on TVPC, and watching it here on the computer.
              If they start repeating the series, you could catch up, sooner or later. The website has the episode names, so you could get them in sequence.

    • Cheney is SUCH A SICK FUK I cannot stand all the publicity he is getting. Sick bastard. Now who gives a rats ass about Gaddafy and his adoration for Ms. Rice.

    • I looked in the SS death list and he was not there. I think that list is accurate through last Saturday. It covers all of the United States.

            • I start with the last name only and then fill in the date of death. Since Pachy was alive in July (last comment posted), I used 2011. There is an official .gov list online, but the one is a mirror of that. Back when I was in the defined benefits industry, we ran the list every Friday night in order to freshen things up for the following week.

              The name in the records represents the name printed on the SS benefit check.

            • I’m not on it either even though both my cousin and my brother seem to think (and have said as much) that I died the day I first explained to them why W. Bush was the most dangerous asshole that ever ran for president of the US. For all practical purposes, they buried me the day I voted for Obama. Don’t tell the S.S. Admin, though. I still need the money!

              I hope Pachy is ok. Could he be hospitalized, perchance? I remember he kept mentioning various maladies that were bugging him. Meanwhile, for both Pachy and for Fifth we hope for the best. The world is crappy enough, no need for any of its remaining bright lights to burn our.

  7. Any of you BBCA regulars see “The Hour” yet? Looks intriguing to me. I’ve recorded the first couple of episodes but haven’t gotten to watch them yet.

    • Zxbe, I haven’t seen it, and haven’t watched BBCA much since the current season for Doctor Who suspended. I hadn’t even seen a promo for it.

      • I saw a promo for it the other day when I was watching something else.

        It takes place in 1956. A description of the pilot episode:

        “1956. At Alexandra Palace reporters and best friends Bel Rowley and Freddie Lyon are finishing another long day working on the BBC newsreels. Fed up with constantly overlooking the issues of the day in favour of royal engagements and sporting triumphs both yearn for bigger, bolder stories and a freedom to dictate their own agenda. But on this particular occasion both are hopeful. Clarence Fendley is assembling a team for new weekly current affairs programme The Hour at Lime Grove and there’s a sense that Bel and Freddie may just be about to get the break they need…”

    • A stimulated economy would make Obama look good, and Congress will NEVER allow that to happen no matter the consequences. What’s the matter with the Fed? They may be the nation’s last resort, and they choose to lie down in front of the train? Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t escape the impression that somewhere out there in the political darkness stands the American version of Hitler, or perhaps Stalin — gun duly pointed at the heads of those who could do something positive and right, but won’t because of … of … fear? What the hell is going on?

      • Why should the Fed stimulate the economy? All the top 2% has to do is wring the last few dollars out of us, get enough repigs into congress to eliminate SS and Medicare/Medicaid, raid those accounts, and they can pull up stakes and move somewhere else.

        • And apparently anyone in the position of standing up to them understands full well the consequences of doing so.

          I’ve always wondered if JFK knew and understood the potential consequences of standing up to those folks. Wouldn’t surprise me if he did indeed know, but did it anyway. Courage.

          Lessee: who was it wrote the book titled Profiles in Courage? No one that’s alive today, that’s for sure.

        • There’s an old proverb that goes something like: “why would you slaughter a cow after milking it? But, I can’t remember the whole thing.

  8. Any reports of my demise are wrong.

    Its crazy that a hurricane forced me to return to Florida after a hasty exit 3 or 4 weeks ago (I don’t remember the date)!

    Having a drivers license brought the opportunity to be a go-for, for a couple of guys who don’t have licenses. The job was in southeast Georgia, north of Macclenny, Florida in an area where no ones’s cell phone worked and no internet was available. I was wavering about doing this but the 122 degree temperatures inside my building and my half dead cat made the decision to leave easier.

    We are both doing much better in the now cooler weather.

    I didn’t care that my license expired on the 14th. With birth certificate, SS card, and two pieces of official mail along with $76.25 I’m back to being legal. I passed the eye test without glasses and had the restriction to drive with glasses removed.

    This license is good for 8 years and makes me wonder whether I’ll expire before it does!

    The clerk at the County Office informed me that my name triggered a notice form an Unclaimed Property office in Tallahassee. My next project is to send back the info to receive $126 from previous employment in 1982 in Jacksonville! That will go towards a new monitor. My current monitor has no red and the greenish blue tint it now has gives me headaches.

    There is something to be said to be out of the loop about what’s happening in the political world and that something is “Blissfull Ignorance”. Unfortunately, I met too many blissfully ignorant people who vote against things they don’t understand while basing their knowledge on the lies of Fox.

    So Zooey where are you? Have you found a new residence or founded a Zoo commune yet?

    Did I say I missed you all? I did.

  9. Zooey my dear, I was sending you my thoughts frequently. I been wondering if you’ve seen anyone walking a pig?

    You really don’t know how much getting out of Florida has been on my mind. I’m very disgusted with the natives.

    If anyone hears of the need for a driver from Florida to the West Coast, let me know.

    My cat must be able to travel with me, however!

  10. David Frum points to Perry’s weak spots:

    “Do Republicans really want to run a candidate who has put in writing his opposition to Social Security and Medicare? Do they really want to volunteer to reverse this election from a referendum on President Obama’s record to a referendum on Rick Perry’s intentions? Is “don’t believe my book” really going to impress frightened older voters as much of a talking point? Remember, House Republicans have already voted to end the Medicare guarantee for future generations. So deniability is getting to be a problem here. Or is the plan to follow Rumsfeld’s rule: If you can’t solve a problem, make it bigger?”

  11. Troops photograph every Arlington grave

    ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Night after night this summer, troops from the Army’s historic Old Guard have left their immaculately pressed dress blues, white gloves and shiny black boots at home to slip into Arlington National Cemetery in T-shirts and flip-flops to photograph each and every grave with an iPhone.
    The sometimes eerie task to photograph more than 219,000 grave markers and the front of more than 43,000 sets of cremated remains in the columbarium is part of the Army’s effort to account for every grave and to update and fully digitize the cemetery’s maps. The Old Guard performs its work at night to escape the summer heat and to avoid interrupting funerals.

      • .
        That was my jaw dropping WTF, as well.

        A CPAP machine or even the surgery would be much less expensive.
        oh, and he could be re-trained far cheaper. Seems he was a pilot or some such thing with an airlines – the dx of sleep apnea precluded him from that position.

        Arrogance and hypocrisy thy name is teapottiers.

  12. Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney disappeared and was whisked off to a “secure, undisclosed location” to protect his safety.
    Cheney confirms…one of his “undisclosed locations” was his residence in Northwest Washington, D.C., the Washington Post reports.

    Which, in turn, means Joe Biden was right.

    He’s complete loon, no doubt it!

    After undergoing heart surgery in 2010, Cheney was unconscious for weeks, the New York Times reports. During that time, Cheney experienced a “prolonged, vivid dream that he was living in an Italian villa, pacing the stone paths to get coffee and newspapers,” according to the Times.

    (the only thing I want to know: who was in the secret energy meeting. My guess is that’s not revealed in this reviled, evil, despicable man’s ‘memoir’)

    • The energy meeting in 2001 – that’s one I’d like to know for sure too. They are those who would be our masters….

        • AquaNet was a marvelously versatile product. We used it as our propellant of choice in our tennis ball cannons and my eldest daughter accidentally learned that spraying a mouse with it caused them to roll over and die almost immediately. Needless to say she quit using it and eventually convinced her mom of the same.

    • I have a hunch that Obama spent a whole lot less on hair and makeup than anyone else in the history of presidential elections. I doubt anyone in the MainScream Media will ever bring that up, though.

      I have no idea why hairstyle and makeup so in re the intrinsic quality of the person involved, although I do suspect cost is very likely inversely proportional both to intellect and to implicit human quality, i.e. the more they spend the more likely they’re little more than a bum at heart. Right John? Right Michelle? Sarah? et al.?

      • The heart of a good con is the right front. The closer you can come to matching the mark’s level of appearance and behavior, the better the odds the con will work. America has spent decades teaching people to maintain a facade to keep up with the Jones’ and now that the reality is coming out, many are desperate to follow a con that says they haven’t been total dumbshits.

        In America, form trumps function, every time.

      • What happens when someone knocks on the door during the editing process:

        **why hairstyle and makeup so in re**

        Blew that one bigtime. What I meant to say was that I have no idea
        why hairstyle and makeup are so often viewed as evidence of the intrinsic quality of the person involved …

        Oh well, at least the door knocker wasn’t the gummint comin’ after me guns.

        • Hmm, is blogging like riding a moped? Its loads of fun, but you’d better not let your friends catch you doing it? 🙂 Or is that something else?

  13. I’m having a friendly disagreement on the Twitter with the actor Adam Baldwin. I enjoy his work in films and TV, but I disagree with his politics. he’s one of those “individual freedom” conservatives who seems to believe corporations are people, too. Wait, I think he just replied to me. BBL.

      • Dunno about that. Wayne seems to be more comfortable with expressions greater than 140 characters. That he is having fun in that venue speaks to his versatility. And patience.

        • Thank you. I do enjoy being verbose, and one reason I like Twitter is that it forces me to be more concise. Or maybe I should say, “It forces me 2 B more concise.” And it;s a challenge for me to do that, and I enjoy mental challenges.

            • I got the front lawn mowed, the one that non-nosy neighbors can see. I’ll have to take my chances that I can do more in the morning. If not, it;s not that big a deal.

              Adam Baldwin thinks I’ve contradicted myself and lost our debate. I disagree. he wanted me to tell him what definition of “corporation” I used, and didn’t like that I was being “anecdotal.” He also refused to provide me with his definition, and I will insist that he provide the one he was using before I gave him a link to mine (which I found after we started talking.)

  14. Don’t miss this one:

    Texas lawmakers fighting to insert Christian language in funerals for non-Christian soldiers

    A Texas lawmaker is calling for a congressional investigation of the Houston National Cemetery after he went undercover and determined that cemetery officials are still preventing Christian prayers at the funerals of military veterans.

    “The Obama administration continues to try to prevent the word ‘God’ from being used at the funerals of our heroes,” said. Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas). […]

    “It makes my skin crawl that liberals are attempting to drive prayer out of a funeral ceremony for our heroes,” Culberson said. “We’re going to fix this so that no Obama liberal bureaucrat will interfere with the funeral of a hero.”

    Is there any known way for people not yet dead from the neck up to FORCE Texas to secede?

    • I wonder why he equates mentioning the word “God” with only Christianity? BTW, if he thinks of “God” as only a word, then he has lost strictly on First Amendment Free Speech issues, and he thinks of “God” as a religious entity, then he has lost on First Amendment Freedom of Religion issues. Either way, he has lost to the First Amendment.

      • Yeah but this here’s a Christian nation. Our founders done it that way because they wuz all believers. I know they wuz cuz my sixth grade teacher done tole me it’s wrote down right there before the part that says Obama cain’t take my guns away neither.

        It’s not easy to sound really dumb, but if/when the moment comes when sounding dumb is a virtue, then finding a way to sound like a Texan will get you home free.

  15. New WikiLeaks Cables Show US Diplomats Promote Genetically Engineered Crops Worldwide

    Mike Ludwig, Truthout: “Dozens of United States diplomatic cables released in the latest WikiLeaks dump on Wednesday reveal new details of the US effort to push foreign governments to approve genetically engineered (GE) crops and promote the worldwide interests of agribusiness giants like Monsanto and DuPont. The cables further confirm previous Truthout reports on the diplomatic pressure the US has put on Spain and France, two countries with powerful anti-GE crop movements, to speed up their biotech approval process and quell anti-GE sentiment within the European Union (EU).”

    Full article:

  16. I’ve long tried to figure out why the wingnuts so despise health care for all. Now I know. Thanks, Batshit.

    Bachmann admits doing things to help people is popular, so it has to stop

    At a South Carolina town meeting with Gov. Nikki Haley yesterday, Rep. Michele Bachmann let the cat out of the bag about why Republicans fight social progress tooth and nail.

    The Minnesota congresswoman struck an urgent tone, issuing dire warnings to voters of the consequences of not electing a Republican who will repeal Obama’s health care law in 2012.

    “I have wept in Washington, D.C., watching what’s happening to our country,” Bachmann said.

    Speaking in hushed and sometimes pleading tones, she warned that the implementation of Obama’s health care law would be a death knell to conservatism in America. “You can’t put socialized medicine into a country and think that ever again you can elect as president a Republican or conservative or even a tea partier and think somehow we’re going to get back to limited government. It won’t happen because socialized medicine is the definition of big government,” she said.

    “That’s why this is it—2012 is it,” she added, calling it a “last-chance election” for the country.

    • It seems like Perry is quickly making Crazy Shelly irrelevant. It sounds like he’s drawing away all the Psychochristians while the somewhat more sane GOoPers are sticking with Mittens.

      • I hate this world. Read your first line, the one that said I’m quickly making Crazy Shelly irrelevant, and then I realized it wasn’t me doing it, it was the bum from Tejas.

        Live is so goddamn unfair sometimes!

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