Thursday, May 30, 2013

Because Gun Nuts Are Such Level-Headed Folks

Hm. Maybe we should start profiling gun owners, too.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the latest high-profile target of poison-tainted letters sent though the mail, police revealed yesterday.The leader of the nation's largest city was threatened anonymously in two letters sent to Bloomberg's offices in Manhattan and Washington, D.C., NYPD spokesperson Paul Browne said. An undisclosed number of New York cops who responded to one of the letters now "are being examined for minor symptoms of ricin exposure," but the potentially dangerous substance never reached the mayor.

"The writer, in the letters, threatened Mayor Bloomberg, with references to the debate on gun laws," Browne said.

Saying he has a "constitutional and God-given right and I will exercise that right 'til I die," the author warned that the government would have to kill him before he would relinquish his weapons, a source told ABC News.

If this had been an arm of Al Qaeda, we’d have raised the terrorist threat level one notch up whatever rainbow we’re using now, and have started locking down mail deliveries.

But because, you know, Christian and likely white, well, we can’t abrogate the freedoms of our citizenry!

Just ask the next swarthy kid you see with a backpack about that.

What is it with gun nuts and the urge to kill people? Why do they think their rights trump the rest of society’s privilege to live in peace and quiet, pursuing what little happiness life provides them in this miserable muck we call “America”? And do they realize that they ARE the muck, and that the rest of society is the boot trying to extricate itself and move forward?

Probably not. That was a self-answering question.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ding! Dong! The Witch Is Dead!

Michele Bachmann. We won’t have her to kick around anymore.

Obviously, she is spinning this along the lines of a…well, she never really says why she won’t run, only that it has nothing to do with the various criminal investigations she is about to undergo or with the early polling for 2014 which shows her in yet another dead heat with Democratic challenger Jim Graves, who she barely beat last November. It should also be noted that her district has been jiggered after the 2010 census, which would have forced her to pander to a new, less angry and spitefilled electorate.

Of course, that she featured these so prominently in her announcement is a sure sign that, indeed, she knew she was in deep, deep trouble and would likely be elected out of office in 2014, if in fact she made it that far after the ethics investigation.

Oddly, it was just two weeks ago that she began releasing re-election ads. Campaign ads this far ahead of an election is a move unheard of at, well, any level of politicking.

This development is really just one more nail in the Teabagger coffin, I suspect. After failing miserably in the 2012 elections – nevermind that Obama won re-election, Republicans, Inc. lost the Senate and only by dint of gerrymandering at the state level managed to hold the House – and the subsequent backbiting (remember the dueling responses to the State of the Union address by Rand Paul and Marco Rubio’s water bottle?), the unraveling of the Teabagger moment has arrived, announced not with a bang, but with a YouTube video.

The fap-darling of the Tea Party is on her way off the national stage. One can only hope it’s for good and that her future is filled with grandchildren and family. I suspect that might be all she can handle for now.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I Wonder Who They Meant?

In scanning the news this morning, I found this headline:

Russia says it will help Syria deter "hot heads"

Now who could they possibly mean, I wonder…

All kidding (on the square) aside, this is a bit troubling, although part of the problem could be in translation (or not). “Hotheads” is a pretty demeaning term, and about the only action apart from McCain’s apparently unreported and foolish venture into Syria taken this weekend was taken, or rather not taken, by the European Union when they allowed the arms embargo with Syria to expire, thus allowing weapons manufacturers in the EU to openly sell to the rebels.

Already, there’s been some backlash against Russia swiping its paws at the EU.

I’ve discussed in the past some of the background between Syria and Russia, but let me sum it up quickly: Syria buys Russian arms, maintains the sole Russian naval base in the Mediterranean (at Tartus), has energy development deals with Russia in both oil and natural gas, and is closely allied with Iran, also a major Russian arms customer, but also a big customer for Russian natural gas.

There. Not too painful, right?

So there’s a definite threat from Russia in the area, unlike China and the African continent which has a negotiable position as it is strictly economic/energy. This, above everything else, is why I suspect President Obama has tiptoed carefully in Syria whereas in Libya he felt free to commit resources to the region.

Of course, all bets are off if the French find what they think they’ll find out of Syria. It will be interesting to see what Russia’s response will be if there is definitive proof that the Assad regime used chemical weapons on its own people (supplied by Russia?).

This is turning into a bigger mess than I think anyone imagined it would be. Still, if Russia is willing to back down and twist Assad’s arm a little, this could all end quietly.