Saturday, June 30, 2007

The straw that broke the camel's back for the GOP base

Brown people speaking Meskin.

Here in South Carolina the far-right Republican base was already ticked at Lindsey Graham for helping engineer the "Gang of 14" compromise on Bush's judicial nominations, among other things, but his support of the now-dead immigration bill has driven them into a blind, frothing rage. Just check out the comments at Brad Warthen's blog here.

I think these remarks by President Bush, posted June 3, 2007 on the official White House website, pretty much sum it up:

President Bush Rigorously Defends Immigration Bill to His Rapidly Imploding Base of Xenophobic Crackers

Folks, we've been together through a lot. And you've stood by me through it all. Through the illegitimate election of 2000. Through the double-dip recession. Through the terror attacks of 9/11TM. Through Enron. Through the botched war in Afghanistan and failed hunt for Osama bin Laden. Through the clusterfuck kickoff to the Iraq war in 2003. Through the Patriot Act and illegal wiretapping of innocent Americans. Through "Mission Accomplished." Through Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and a policy of torture. Through Katrina. Through failed Social Security reform. Through Armstrong Williams & Jeff Gannon. Through Terri Schaivo. Through Tom Delay. Through Mark Foley. Through Scooter Libby. Through $3.00 gas. Through Walter Reed. Through "the Surge". Through Alberto Gonzales. And now even through 3500 US troops killed in Vietraq.

And after all that, the thing it takes to get you folks pissed at me is letting a few million Mexi-Ricans pour over our borders and steal your jobs so you can't afford to put Ramen on the table? Well, I think I understand your problem. On one hand, you correctly accept that I'm practically Jesus. But on the other hand, you can't help but feel a surge of simple-minded, paranoid racist hatred every time you hear one of those dirty Spics yammering away in that nonsense gibberish of theirs

Sure enough:

GAINESVILLE, GA -- Stephanie Usrey strode up to her local Wal-Mart store the other morning with the steely look of a boxer about to step into the ring.

A stay-at-home mother of two, Usrey has dreaded shopping at this particular branch ever since a Friday afternoon about five years ago, when she said she suddenly noticed she was the only non-Latino customer.

“That was the first time I looked around and said, ‘Man, I didn’t realize how many Mexicans there were here,’ ” Usrey, 39, recalled. “And they don’t seem to feel any discomfort when they’re, like, six inches from your face and talking to each other in their language, either. I just felt very encroached upon. . . . It was like an instant feeling of ‘I’m in the minority, and if we don’t get control over this, pretty soon all of America will be outnumbered.’”

Yep. Lindsey Graham may well be facing defeat in the next election due to his failure to apprehend the desire of Americans in elastic-waist stretch pants not to hear any funny languages.

I myself was in the local Wal-Mart Superstore recently (I know, I know. Sorry). When I got to the checkout line, I looked around and realized that every other person in every checkout line, not just mine, was hispanic. And yes, they were speaking in Spanish. I didn't have time to become irate at all those people speaking not-American around me, because I was too busy enjoying the realization that I was the tallest person in the whole front of the store. At five feet three inches tall, I don't get to experience that sensation very often. So I'm all for more immigration, for people of smaller stature than me.

However, there is a progressive, non-xenophobic case to be made against the immigration bill, and here it is.

(WaPo article via Sadly, No! )

Thad Viers, victim

Thad the Impaler's supporters, all three of them, write The Sun News.

The first letter comes from Ms. D__ M_________ of Socastee:

Viers is 'big enough person' in situation

I was very happy to read the article on Rep. Thad Viers and to know it is over. The testimony given by Viers speaks of what a gentleman he is and how he took full responsible [sic] of the charges against him.

Well, no. Mr. Viers continued to blame unnamed "friends" for making some of the calls. The accounts I've read of the tapes from reporters who have heard them mention only one caller, so I think Mr. Viers is full of baloney when he blames others. But whatever.

James Zeigler was not man enough to say whether or not he is still seeing [Viers' estranged wife, Natalie] McKelvey.

Not sure how that is relevant to Mr. Viers' criminal charges.

Viers is a big enough person to offer to take the paternity test, as the story stated now McKelvey is pregnant.

No news accounts have said anything about Viers offering to take a paternity test, and he and Ms. M have been separated for some time. This statement is just a bizarre non sequitur, and I can't imagine why The Sun News didn't edit it out of the letter. Then again, they'll print anything in their letters section.

This is more than I read in your paper about Zeigler. I think it is time the people of Horry County understand the type of a man Viers is.

Oh, I think they do.

We should all be praying for him now. It is time for him to be able to go on with his life.

Yes, let us all stop holding the criminal actions of this elected official up to public scrutiny.

The second letter comes from Mr. J___ W__________ of Myrtle Beach:

Viers' complainant should expect calls

Re Rep. Thad Viers' threatening phone calls:
Enough is enough. It's not like this isn't happening at an alarming rate in our communities and our nation.

What, there's an epidemic of elected officials calling their estranged wives' paramours and making threats against the paramours' mothers? I had no idea.

Yes, Thad was wrong, and I don't condone his actions. But let's be realistic. Any man who dates another man's wife opens himself up to the cards that are dealt. How many times have we read about jealous husbands shooting their wife's lover? I think this guy played it to the hilt.

Yeah, the guy's just lucky Thad didn't shoot him with his new AK-47.

Then there's this from Ms. B______ C_________ of Myrtle Beach:

Shame on Mark Sanford [note from kc: Sanford wanted to censure Viers]. I am sure if someone researched back his or his employees' lives, they would find some bad behavior.

Thad Viers is a fine young representative. My husband and I have met him and his ex-wife. He tries to do what's right but he is human, so who can cast the first stone?
He should never have gone to trial. People say things before they think, especially when it comes to exes. Do not hurt this man's career because of a lapse. We'd like to see him run for governor one day. How would Sanford like that? If Sanford wants to do something, how about stopping these rising gas prices?

Also, there are always two sides to every story. What about this ex-wife?

"What about this ex-wife?" Geez.

Classy supporters for a classy politician.

UPDATE - or maybe I should call it a "CORRECTION": In comments, Silence Dogood (who blogs here) says he attended the hearing and that the prosecution noted that not all of the phone calls were from Viers, "but that the worst ones did seem to be his voice." Thanks for the info, Mr. Dogood!

Shorter Douglas Kendall

"I was 100 percent wrong about Justice Roberts and I'm damn proud of it!"

Context here.


Saturday catblogging

Romeo. He's looking good these days, fat and frisky.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Growing up in Hell

This is a great post by JuBlu, nka The Nvisible Wmn. I love it. I command you to read it now.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Happy cat blogging!

OK, time for a success story: The orange cat is named Romeo. He and the gray kitty both came to my house on the same day back in January. After that first day, the gray kitty went back to his original home, I guess, and I didn't see him again for a while. He reappeared in late February or early March and graced me with his sweet presence until yesterday.

Anyway, back in January, I was inside one Saturday morning and heard Rocky yowling his little head off. Rocky was sitting at the door that opens onto the deck and staring intently outside. I went over to look and there was a beautiful little gray kitten out there. I went outside to pet it; it ran off a short distance, but then stopped and rolled over and let me come up and rub its tummy while it purred like mad. It was the gray kitty in the post below. It was, I guessed, about 3 or 4 months old then.

When I stood up from playing with this kitten, I saw a big orange cat squeezing under the fence that separates my place from the crab man's house. The big orange cat strolled confidently right over to me and started rubbing on my legs. I petted it for few minutes, then went back inside.

An hour or so later I looked out the front door and the big orange cat was sitting on the front porch, staring in the house. I went outside and tried to gently shoo it away.

The cat hissed at me! "Hey, who do you think you are?" I said. "This is MY house."

The cat stayed on the porch all evening. When I opened the door Sunday morning, there it was. Staring at me with big green eyes. It was there all day Sunday, and Monday morning when I went to work, the cat was still on the porch.

"Look, I am not going to feed you," I told it. "You can just forget about that. What kind of sucker do you take me for?"

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, the cat was on my front porch. It was there when I went to work and there when I got home.

"I am telling you, I am not going to feed you," I said. "Go home! Go to your own house and eat! Don't your own people have food? Stop looking at me like that!"

The cat's fur was coming out in great tufts. After a couple of days my welcome mat was coated with orange fur. Most of the fur was coming off the cat's hind end. The cat had longish hair, with a ruff around the neck, and a rather large head. Its skin was lumpy, and it had little sores and scabs here and there on the bare parts. A very bedraggled creature. Still, it carried itself with dignity. With the skinny, hairless back end and the big furry head and chest it looked kind of like a little lion.

The following Saturday, the cat was still there. It seemed to have gotten skinnier since it had started hanging around my house. As far as I could tell, it had been camping on my front porch or under my bushes day and night; it hadn't been going anywhere else to eat. I wimped out and fed it. It gobbled the food up as if it had been starving for, like, a week.

So I started feeding it morning and evening, and putting water out for it.

The cat looked like a male, but it didn't have any . . . well, you know . . . so I wasn't sure. One day I saw the crab man's daughter outside and asked her if the big orange cat belonged to them.

"Oh, that's Romeo," she said. "He's the one that started it all. That's why we have all these cats. I hope he's not bothering you."

"No, no, he's fine," I said. "I like him."

I wasn't sure if she meant that Romeo was the daddy of the dozen or so cats that hung around the crab man's place or if he was just the first cat they owned. Anyway, I started looking at him as sort of a feline patriarch after that, albeit one who had his . . . well, you know . . . cut off.

I took Romeo to the vet to get vaccinated and to have his skin condition checked out. I didn't ask the crab man first. I figured that the cat probably hadn't had his shots, even though someone had taken the trouble to get him fixed. The vet told me it wouldn't hurt him to be vaccinated more than once, on the off chance that someone had already taken care of that.

Romeo tested positive for FIV. When the vet told me that I blurted, "Well, I'm not gonna have him put down!" That wouldn't be necessary, the vet said, cats with FIV can live long lives. But the virus could be transmitted to other cats via a deep bite, so there would be some risk to other cats. The vet said it was fairly common in strays, ferals, and cats who live outdoors.

The vet estimated Romeo's age to be 11 or 12. His skin condition was probably from flea allergies. Otherwise, he seemed to be in pretty good shape.

Early in March I put my hand on his right flank when I was putting his food down and noticed that it felt slightly hardened in the area of his right rear leg. It didn't seem to bother him, though, and I didn't think much of it.

A week or so later, I noticed that he had a lump under the skin near the right rear leg. Still, he gave no sign that he was in any discomfort, and he was just an outside cat, not even technically mine, and I had already spent well $100.00 on him so I figured the lump had better just go away because what did I look like, some kind of cat rescue mission?

A few days later the lump was the size of a golf ball, and so I loaded him up and took him back to the vet. A different vet saw him, and she thought maybe it was cancer. So there I was wondering if I was going to have to finance chemofreakintherapy, for a stray cat! That was not my cat!

A few days later, the test came back negative for cancer. Phew. I went to the vet to pick up the antibiotics they'd prescribed. This was a Saturday morning, again.

When I got home, I went to pick Romeo up to put him on my lap and give him the first pill, and felt a big wet spot on his fur. When I inspected him I saw that the lump was now oozing reddish fluid. Ick. I called the vet to see what I should do, and they said bring him in. So I did.

A few hours and hundred dollars later the vet told me Romeo had a very deep and messy abcess that they'd misdiagnosed the first time. Romeo wasn't running a fever and didn't seem overtly sickly, which I thought was a good thing, but the vet said that was actually a bad sign - his immune system was compromised because of the FIV, and it wasn't fighting off the infection.

The vet prescribed an intensive regimen of antibiotics, and I installed the cat in a spare bedroom for the next couple of weeks in hopes of keeping the abcess from getting worse and so that I could medicate him and keep an eye on him. After two weeks, the swelling was down and the wound was healed. And Romeo's skin was smooth and his fur was coming back in . . . he looked downright glossy. The vet gave him a clean bill of health.

At that point I would have been happy to let him live inside, but Romeo clearly was ready to go back outside and be Lord of the Porch. So I let him, and he's out there now. He looks good and seems content, and I just hope he stays that way for a long time.

Now, my friend Anntichrist is trying to raise money for a spay/neuter organization in Louisiana. All you have to do is take a poll (and Annti's raising money too, if you're so inclined). If you like cats, go check it out. Go check it out even if you can't stand cats . . . if you don't like them, you ought to give double to a spay/neuter group!


More sad kitty blogging

I might as well bum y'all out some more. This is one of a trio of cats that has been mooching off me this year. Him, the gray kitty below, and the orange cat above. Black Cat wasn't the prettiest cat I've ever seen, and he wasn't the most charming, but he did have a certain feisty appeal. He stopped coming around a few weeks ago. I went around the neighborhood looking for him, with no luck. I assume the worst. There are speeding cars, raccoons, dogs, cat-hating humans, probably a gator or too. It's tough out there for a kitty.

I wish I could take them all in the house and make indoor cats of them, but I already have three shelter rescues


Monday, June 25, 2007

Sad kitty blogging

This little kitty has been hanging around my house for a few months, and of course I've been feeding him. He's a little sweetheart; if I'm sitting on the deck, he'll come and jump in my lap. He's lounging in a beach chair in the pic above. With a martini.

Anyhoo, he's been lethargic for the last few days and he stopped eating almost entirely this weekend, so I took him to the vet this a.m. Long story short, he's very sick and might not make it through the night (he's at the vet. hospital now). So please keep your fingers crossed for the little guy.

UPDATE: He didn't make it. The poor little thing. I feel silly being so bummed about about the death of a neighborhood stray. But he was a special little kitty.


Friday, June 22, 2007


Fellow South Carolina blogger Notverybright has de-blogrolled me for the thought crime of not blogging. Fools! Don't you know that my not-blogging is actually an advanced form of blogging? That by posting nothing, I am speaking volumes? Obviously the left blogosphere is intimidated by the sophistication of my not-blogging, as evidenced by Notverybright's attempt to assassinate my character by de-blogrolling me.

Actually Notverybright has fallen into the clever trap I have set by not-blogging for many months. I just knew that if I not-blogged long enough, someone would de-blogroll me, thus drawing even more attention to Rogue Planet. The joke is on you, my friend!



Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thad the Impaler

'Member Thad Viers? Socastee, SC's Republican representative to the South Carolina House of Representatives? Mr. Viers was accused of using his cell phone to make threatening phone calls to his estranged wife's paramour. Mr. Viers claimed his buddies used his cell phone to make the calls. With friends like that, eh?

When yours truly last blogged about Mr. Viers I was expressing puzzlement that he was being allowed to enter pretrial intervention. As it turns out, a judge revoked the PTI and ordered Mr. Viers to stand trial; he pleaded no contest last week and was fined $500.00. His attorney said he was a victim of luv. Love makes people do funny things:

In copies of the recordings obtained by McClatchy Newspapers, a caller tells Ziegler to expect to be attacked and beaten. The caller repeats profanities in describing various sex acts that he claims to have performed with Ziegler's girlfriend, as well as with Ziegler's mother.

Ah yes. In the Spring a young man's fancy turns lightly to thoughts of having sex with his estranged wife's new lover's mother.

The GOP leadership of the SC House has declined to discipline Mr. Viers. The Sun News editorial board is not happy with that decision.

I don't really have much new to say about Mr. Viers . . . I just wanted to use "Thad the Impaler" before I forgot.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Free T-Rav!

I have mixed feelings about Thomas Ravenel's being charged with possession with intent to distribute a bucketfull of cocaine.

On the one hand, I think cocaine possession should not be a criminal offense, and it's a damn shame that a man is facing 20 years in federal prison for a non-violent, victimless offense.


A-HEM. Excuse me while I compose myself.

Ravenel is - was - the Republican treasurer of South Carolina. He's the millionaire son of longtime SC politician Arthur Ravenel (who wanted to have the military shoot down planes merely suspected of drug smuggling and, uh . . . HAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Er, sorry.). Ravenel's name was being bandied about South Carolina as a potential ultra-right-wing GOP challenger to Senator Lindsey Graham, the dread TRAITOR to the GOP ideal of no-more-brown people and one of the scurrilous Gang of 14. I guess that's out now, and we will, alas, be deprived of the fun of watching two swingin' single bachelors (NTTAWWT!) compete for the GOP nomination for Senator from South Carolina. Ah, well.

According to The State newspaper, the Ravenel investigation originated with the Charleston Police Department, which asked the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to get involved; when SLED learned of the involvement of a government official who "administers the use of vast public funds," IT asked the feds to come in. Hence the federal indictment. Fun item of trivia: Attorney Reginald Lloyd signed the indictment. Mr. Lloyd became the US Attorney for SC just last year. In March of this year, Senator Graham recommended Mr. Lloyd for a seat on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster will surely punish me for the unseemly glee I felt when I first read the news. In fact, the FSM has already shown His displeasure: Governor Sanford has appointed would-be book-banner Ken Wingate to replace party-boy Ravenel. Let that be a lesson to me.

Update: Soaring and roaring.


The greatest blogger in the universe, revealed.

Turns out she's a she. I don't care . . . I still have a crush on her.

Transcript of her remarks here.

She speaks for me:

Democracy suffers when not being held accountable by a vigorous press. During the last decade, there have been three catalyzing events that drove people like me to the Internet, to research, investigate, and write about assaults on democracy itself. In 1998, the political media lost all perspective, and aggressively helped the Republicans pursue a partisan witch-hunt against a democratically-elected president and against the will of the people. The coverage of the presidential election of 2000 was legendary for its bias and sophomoric personality journalism. The press actually joined the Republicans in telling the majority who had voted for Al Gore to get over it. I don’t know about you, but I never got over it. And the third event (I don’t need to tell anyone in this room) was the almost gleeful support of the invasion of Iraq, a journalistic failure of epic proportions. If you had not been sufficiently aroused from your complacency by this time, you never would be.

Blogroll stuff

The illustrious Rogue Planet blogroll is being updated to reflect the new home of the talented and highly readable JuBlu. Here it is.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Steve Gilliard

I was truly sad to learn that Steve Gilliard died. He was only 42.

Some of the things he wrote infuriated me (though I don't recall what they were right now). But he was a lively, entertaining writer and he was against the war before everyone and his brother was, and he was a strong liberal voice in the blogosphere before there were many of those. He also, at least in my experience, was way more tolerant of dissent in his comments than lots of other bloggers. I don't remember ever seeing him use some of the bullying tactics bloggers can use on disagreeable commenters; Mr. Gilliard and his co-blogger Jen would just get down there and duke it out with gusto, giving his comment section an entertaining barroom brawl quality.

Plus he knew how to make a mean potato salad.

Anyway, I am really sorry that he is gone.


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