The whiners

Gin and Tacos:

The iconic political image of the post-Reagan era, for my money, is the 2003 Schwarzenegger campaign (in the California gubernatorial recall election) using “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister as its theme song. To see Arnold and his fellow Orange County millionaires on stage stiffly pumping their fists to a dated song about the terrible unfairness of it all was…rich. It requires the kind of total lack of self-awareness usually found only in ancillary characters in slasher movies.

If there’s one thing I honestly, legitimately do not understand about politics, it’s how so many well-off conservatives have managed to convince themselves that they are the victims of an unfair society. They are the luxuriously oppressed, the forgotten, long-suffering minority that has everything that money can buy. The urge to grab these people, shake them, and scream “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR LIFE? WHAT DO YOU NOT HAVE? HOW ARE YOUR NEEDS GOING UNFULFILLED?” is overwhelming. With right-wingers I know well, I have actually done this on more than one occasion. The amount of delusion necessary to allow someone to sit in front of a 70″ TV in a giant house with two luxury cars in the garage and complain about the unfairness of it all is incomprehensible.

Go read the rest.

Quote of the day

Atrios:

We are ruled by people who think $250,000 annual income means you’re poor, but the minimum wage is too high and the olds have it too good.

This is the best thing you’ll see today

What a wonderful story. Just watch:

Mitchell Marcus, the basketball team manager for Coronado High School in El Paso, Texas, is developmentally disabled. He loves the game, but isn’t able to play competitively. Nonetheless, Coach Peter Morales decided to put him in a game against Franklin High School.

His teammates wanted to give Mitchell a chance to sink a basket. But even after several attempts, Mitchell was unsuccessful. Franklin High School gained possession of the ball. That’s when Franklin High player Jonathan Montanez passed the ball to Mitchell for one more shot. Watch the video to see what happened next.

(h/t Ron.)

St. Ronnie

Robert Parry on how Reagan promoted genocide in Central America:
stronnie

Soon after taking office in 1981, President Ronald Reagan’s national security team agreed to supply military aid to the brutal right-wing regime in Guatemala to pursue the goal of exterminating not only “Marxist guerrillas” but their “civilian support mechanisms,” according to a newly disclosed document from the National Archives.

Over the next several years, the military assistance from the Reagan administration helped the Guatemalan army do just that, engaging in the slaughter of some 100,000 people, including what a truth commission deemed genocide against the Mayan Indians in the northern highlands.

Recently discovered documents at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, also reveal that Reagan’s White House was reaching out to Israel in a scheme to circumvent congressional restrictions on military equipment for the Guatemalan military.

In 1983, national security aide Oliver North (who later became a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal) reported in a memo that Reagan’s Deputy National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane (another key Iran-Contra figure) was approaching Israel over how to deliver 10 UH-1H helicopters to Guatemala to give the army greater mobility in its counterinsurgency war.

According to these documents that I found at the Reagan library – and other records declassified in the late 1990s – it’s also clear that Reagan and his administration were well aware of the butchery underway in Guatemala and elsewhere in Central America.

The relaxed attitude toward the Guatemalan regime’s brutality took shape in spring 1981 as Reagan’s State Department “advised our Central American embassies that it has been studying ways to restore a closer, cooperative relationship with Guatemala,” according to a White House “Situation Room Checklist” dated April 8, 1981.

The document added: “State believes a number of changes have occurred which could make Guatemalan leaders more receptive to a new U.S. initiative: the Guatemalans view the new administration as more sympathetic to their problems [and] they are less suspect of the U.S. role in El Salvador,” where the Reagan administration was expanding support for another right-wing regime infamous for slaughtering its political opponents, including Catholic clergy.

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