1st and Ten - The Weekly Tendown July 18-24 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dear Internet:

Here's a tip.  When Chase Bank leaves you a message about suspicious activity on your account, make sure you're able to speak to them. 

My first rent check was in the middle of July; as you may know, I've been going through the process of losing my house, my south Florida condominium complex is Ground Zero in the great housing collapse of 2008 (the condo board of directors was just dissolved after a lawsuit, currently is the..third, maybe 4th election of the past calendar year; the complex is now below both water and fire codes and had its hurricane insurance canceled) and that's resulted in my combining households with my Lady Type Friend in the most expensive move since Al Davis took the Raiders to LA. 

Simultaneously, I had to close/open a checking account, as I was unable to stop one of my no longer authorized automatic withdrawals from taking place - and that meant a new slate of checks.

Brand new checks + unusually large check written to out of state party = Chase Bank doesn't allow my check to clear.

Which, you know, isn't ideal.  On the same day, they debited my account, permitting the unauthorized transaction from the previous account to go through.

So -

1. When I wanted to pay for something - Chase wouldn't let me.
2. When I didn't want to pay for something - Chase gave them my money anyway.

My job attempted to deposit my checks (as I've been teaching extra courses for about a year and a half now, I get two checks a pay period) in my old account, which meant I also hadn't gotten paid - oh, and now in Florida, you need a certified copy of your birth certificate to get a driver's license renewal.  And it's my turn to do that, as I turn 40 2 months from today. 

That's been my week.  Here's Tendown 36.

First: In Obama's America
In the way the money quote from the Bush era was the official who told Ron Suskind that you guys still live in the "reality based community" the defining right wing oppositional comments since the election of Obama both came from the smear machine - and both were race based. 

Limbaugh: in Obama's America the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering
Beck: This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people

The right wing has attempted to build a simple narrative around Obama, that his election is a War on White People.  Van Jones, ACORN, The New Black Panther Party, and this week Shirley Sherrod have been part of a calculated strategy on the part of the right to feed the racial anxieties of their base - they exaggerate, manipulate, and this week, wholly fabricate this shadow world where Obama leads an effort to destroy white America.  That's why health care reform was framed in some quarters as "reparations."  The right is tapping into a deep vein of reverse racism/when are you going to stop talking about slavery/why is it okay to have an NAACP but not an organization of white people/why does Martin Luther King get his own holiday/why is there a black history month white resentment that I've been hearing from otherwise seemingly middle of the road people since the day I moved to Ohio when I was 11. 

This is a direct transcript from Limbaugh.  Yes, I went to his site to get it.  Yes, I feel slimy.  It's from early July:

We have plenty of external threats, enemies across oceans, but we have a threat inside as well. This is something that I've never felt. I never feel that we had a president actually governing against the country, against the will of the people. I know we've had liberals. Clinton and Hillary were, and are. They're pedal-to-the-metal liberals. But they didn't want to destroy things. This bunch does, and they make no bones about it -- and when destruction does happen, they don't lift a finger to fix it. So in this interview with J. Christian Adams yesterday talking about (he's a whistleblower who said the charges were demanded to be dropped, that he and his line attorneys were told to just drop the case against the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation in Philadelphia) he said that there were people in the office, DOJ, who said, "Well, you know, those people suffered the indignity of slavery, discrimination, segregation and so forth."

He said somebody else said, "This is payback," meaning, "All right, look. We don't care if it's the New Black Panthers or whoever it is. Black people in this country have never, ever had a fair shake. This is payback. O.J. Simpson was payback. How does it feel?" That word "payback" is not mine. It was J. Christian Adams quoting some people in the Department of Justice. It is exactly how I think Obama looks at the country: It's payback time. I think that he's been raised, educated, and believes on his own that this country has been (as you know) immoral and unjust. It has stolen. It's unfairly large; it's an unjustifiable superpower. We have become as large as we are not because of any uniqueness or exceptionalism or greatness but because we've simply discriminated against the real people that made the country work, all the minorities. People around the world, we've stolen their resources, and now it's payback time. That's what we're getting. J. Christian Adams had somebody in Obama's DOJ who said that regarding the dropping of charges against the New Black Panther Party in the voter intimidation case in Philadelphia. So don't doubt me. There's no question that payback is what this administration is all about, presiding over the decline of the United States of America, and doing so happily.

And that's the right wing argument.  Right there.  Obama's trying to get even.  When right wing blogs and Fox News uncritically present an edited tape this week to portray a speech where Shirley Sherrod openly discussed transcending racially motivated impules a quarter century ago - instead as Sherrod saying she used her position to discriminate against whites - they are constructing this Limbaugh narrative:

There's no question that payback is what this administration is all about, presiding over the decline of the United States of America, and doing so happily.

Glenn Beck, about Sherrod, said this week that the US had:

                           transported into 1956 except it's the other way around

And sure, with their lie exposed, you would assume we'd leave this week better understanding how much sleaze covers right wing media - but that's not the result - as former Bush speechwriter David Frum wrote this week, the response of the right has been to say it's really Obama's fault.  A decade ago, Frum coined the phrase "axis of evil" - this week, he wrote:

                                   conservatives have a unique capacity to ignore unwelcome fact

Because some will leave this week not hearing the retraction - just the initial videotape, and take away that they now have video proof that Obama officials are looking for "payback".  And some will just tune out the controversy altogether, falling back on the lazy "both sides are dirty, you can't believe anyone" type of equivalence that permits our failure to make any type of critical distinguishing. 

The Obama Administration gets health care legislation passed that leaves entirely intact the private health insurance apparatus - but the right labels it socialist.

The Obama Administration got financial reform passed, but so tepidly that Russ Feingold refused to vote for it - and Glenn Beck called it

"an unprecedented assault on our economy, our ability to do business, and quite honestly the republic as we know it."

Some believe them.  They see terrorist, Nazi, communist, racist Obama - others just label "both sides" as equally wrong.  The result's the same.  I see the US in 2010, particularly in our failure to pass even the barest climate change bill, as a 300 million strong suicide cult.  Castrated, with our new Nike Windrunners, slurping our phenobarbital laced applesauce and waiting for the Hale-Bopp comet to come and wipe us all out. 

Fox News shouts socialist while Rome burns. 

After the jump, the rest of the Tendown

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