Tuesday, December 10, 2013

COURTESY IS TREASON.

At Nelson Mandela's memorial service, Obama shook the hand of Raul Castro instead of (as William Wolfrum suggested) punching Castro in the mouth, screaming "Capitalism!!" and then eating a Big Mac. Early reaction from idiots:
When I read yesterday that both President Obama and Cuba's murderous dictator Raul Castro were both going to be speaking at Nelson Mandela's memorial service in South Africa, I knew the odds were Obama would end up greeting and shaking the blood-stained hand of the Cuban despot. I had hoped against hope (no pun intended) that Obama would somehow find the courage to fend off his proclivity to act submissive before other world leaders, especially the most despotic ones, but apparently, he simply could not resist. Once again, Obama lends credence and recognition to a vile and bloody dictatorial regime responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of innocent people.
Obama Bows To With Cuba’s Raul Castro
It’s not just a handshake, notice the tip of the head and bend of the back, it’s a bow. Notice also Castro did not bow back.
Bowing to dictators again: Did Obama just bow to Cuba’s Raul Castro?
The bowing thing is ancient wingnut catechism. Obama's about a head taller than Castro, which might explain his actions this morning if you're not too busy using Occam's Razor to carve OBAMA LOVES CASTRO into a tree.

I wonder if any of these guys has ever been to a funeral, not counting field trips with the Westboro Baptist Church.

UPDATE. For the Breitbarglers, John Nolte:
For those who believe in human rights and liberty, the sight of our president bounding up some stairs to energetically shake hands with Raul Castro, dictator of Cuba, was more than a little unsettling -- regardless of the circumstance.
But for those who believe in blahde blah and blahdeblah, the sight of Rupert Murdoch bounding off to China for his extensive dealings with the dictatorship is no big deal. In the words of Lucie Cabrol: Money can make the dirty clean! Same to Mona "shameful day to be an American" Charen at National Review, and to her colleague Otto "The Damage of a Handshake" Reich, who claims "the Castro brothers have been vying for the world to see a handshake with a U.S. president for over 50 years," which makes them sound like they're collecting bubble-gum cards  -- only bubble-gum cards that could destroy our nation!
Until now, every American president had studiously avoided this mistake: At U.N. and other gatherings U.S. Secret Service and diplomats were under orders to make sure such a “photo op” so highly desired by the Castros did not happen. 
With his action President Obama has squandered U.S. prestige and honor.
Now when the U.S. drops multi-megatons of bombs on some country, the natives will cry "Big deal, he shook Castro's hand" as they're blown to smithereens.

UPDATE 2. Now there's reams and reams of this stuff, including the obligatory Rush Limbaugh treatment and bow-truthers ("Funny, now that I think about it, I can’t recall ever seeing Obama 'bend down' to shake hands with the obviously shorter Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu"), but for our final yuks let us turn to Scott Shackford at Reason: "Oddly, though, I’m not seeing the actual faux outrage from the right." One is always least likely to notice faults in one's friends.

179 comments:

  1. The_Kenosha_Kid10:30 AM

    Are these guys aware that Fidel Castro and Raul Castro are two different people?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps10:33 AM

    BREAKING NEWS: OBAMA HAS NECK, USES IT

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ellis_Weiner10:34 AM

    "...if you're not too busy using Occam's Razor to carve OBAMA LOVES CASTRO into a tree."


    You mean the Tree of Liberty? Very "funny."

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had hoped against hope (no pun intended) that Obama would somehow find the courage to fend off his proclivity to act submissive before other world leaders, especially the most despotic ones

    At least he hasn't spent his entire presidency kissing and holding hands with Saudi Arabia both literally and figuratively.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am more interested in Bush pere's decision not to attend the funeral. I wonder how much of addlepated Reagan's support for apartheid was actually Bush's idea.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Derelict10:54 AM

    For the same reason they voiced no concern when Bush apologized to China for our Navy recon airplane violating their airspace.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Their buddies are making fucktons of profits by dealing with China, and they can get Cuban cigars on the black market whenever they want, so keeping an embargo in place gives their smuggled goods cache.

    ReplyDelete
  8. kaydenpat11:00 AM

    Ted Cruz attended the memorial so perhaps he can punch Castro in the face for a photo op so that Conservatives can get some satisfaction. That should clinch him for the Republican Presidential candidacy in 2016.

    ReplyDelete
  9. tigrismus11:03 AM

    Christ almighty, maybe it's because Obama is a big boy and knows how to act civil with the neighbors AT A FUNERAL.

    Also: Cuba's murderous dictator Raul Castro

    Who what now? Got any evidence for this murder spree since 2008? I suppose he meant Fidel, who was not at all like that nice Batista.

    Also too

    ReplyDelete
  10. "I wonder if any of these guys has ever been to a funeral."



    Are you saying funerals aren't the perfect time and place to hash out old resentments and rivalries? Reagan would have punched all the other countries' "leaders" in the throats.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps11:03 AM

    Mr. Obama and Mr. Castro were in the closet making babies and I saw one of the babies and the baby looked at me.

    ReplyDelete
  12. glennisw11:12 AM

    Because if Obama behaved with anything less than courtesy to another guest at a funeral, what would the wingnuts have to say? He was making it "all about him"?

    ReplyDelete
  13. glennisw11:12 AM

    I think Bush pere is too frail to travel.

    ReplyDelete
  14. glennisw11:14 AM

    "most despotic ones?" Seriously? Raul Castro hasn't even been in power long enough to spell "despot."

    ReplyDelete
  15. glennisw11:15 AM

    They're the same guys who confused Cesar Chavez and Hugo Chavez.

    ReplyDelete
  16. tigrismus11:15 AM

    Seriously. US citizens aren't allowed to buy Cuban goods in a 3rd country to consume there, and non-US citizens can't legally connect two overseas flights via a US airport with Cuban goods. Tell me again how the right is against government overreach?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Clearly, he absorbed some of the despoticness . . . despiticism . . . some of the bad guy particles from Fidel. That's what Obama was trying to get.

    ReplyDelete
  18. There goes Obama, lording his superior height over everyone. What a snob.

    ReplyDelete
  19. BigHank5311:26 AM

    Shrieking about Cuba has become part of the right-wing catechism by now, and like most parts of a catechism, no thought is applied to it. It's nearly a reflex by now, and I'm sure we could find some Republicans capable of denouncing Castro in their sleep.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ellis_Weiner11:38 AM

    ...but light sweet crude is a girl's best friend.

    ReplyDelete
  21. coozledad11:43 AM

    I've been to Southern funerals where a lot of old grudges were on full display: handshakes denied, cut directs made, backs turned, etc. You'd think a period of mourning would be enough to put the kibosh on all the acting out, but no.


    Aimai's right. That southern ball grabbing tactlessness has leached into the Republican cortex like a brain devouring amoeba.

    ReplyDelete
  22. They probably don't know what a Castro Convertible is.
    ~

    ReplyDelete
  23. Chairman Pao11:48 AM

    Obama choo-choo-choosed Raul.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Derelict11:48 AM

    . . . making fucktons of money . . .


    And I'll bet those are socialistic metric fucktons instead of good ol' American fucktons.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume11:52 AM

    that Obama would somehow find the courage to fend off his proclivity to act submissive before other world leaders, especially the most despotic ones

    But...Obama is the most despotic world leader! Right? He's a submissive despot. Always bowing and lording. Don't confuuuuuuuuuuuuse me. You lie! Alinsky!



    var _giphy = _giphy || []; _giphy.push({id: '13BRRQA3ZaAZLa',w: 460, h: 274});var g = document.createElement('script'); g.type = 'text/javascript'; g.async = true;g.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + 'giphy.com/static/js/widgets/embed.js';var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(g, s);

    ReplyDelete
  26. BG, finally feck free11:53 AM

    I also wonder how many of these people get Raul and Fidel confused. Next up: Bernadette Castro!

    ReplyDelete
  27. MBouffant11:54 AM

    Is that a representation of the wingnut mind just before it explodes from cognitive dissonance?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hey, yeah, where was Ted Cruz? Raul Castro was eager to tell him, "Be sure to thank your dad for his support."

    ReplyDelete
  29. Cameron no doubt chose the gracious route, so that a solemn ceremony wouldn't be constantly disrupted by heckling about the "Hang Mandela" campaign he took part in as a Thatcherite youth. That man is always thinking of others.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps12:01 PM

    Remember when Google was called a bunch of pro-Venezuelan socialists for recognizing Cesar Chavez' birthday?

    ReplyDelete
  31. It’s not just a handshake, notice the tip of the head and bend of the back, it’s a bow.


    Dude, when you have to break out the protractor and the wireframe models in order to tape the relevant arrows to your monitor, maybe you should pause a moment to consider what a goddamned idiot you're being.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Okay, so wingnuts got the "pro-Venezuelan" part wrong ... as far as we know. That is actually essential to their point.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Please, it's tonnes de baiser. Did Schoolhouse Rock teach you nothing?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume12:12 PM

    wingnut mind


    My head just exploded from cognitive dissonance.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oh, come on, it's the merely the transitive property. Obama lords it over Americans like he's some sort of lordly American leader or something, then he goes overseas and bows submissively before the wrong sorts of evildoers. Therefore, he's arrogantly choosing submission to dusky Islamist Communist foreigners for all Americans, with the exception of the patriotic rump that refuses to recognize his authority at all.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Gromet12:29 PM

    Yes, and this GOP disorder has pulled our whole culture toward a cliff. On NPR this morning -- NPR! -- they played exactly one sentence of what sounded like a startlingly good Obama speech... and then spent triple that time talking about how all of Twitter was abuzz over the handshake. Reagan hugged Gorbachev for pete's sake, Nixon shook Mao's hand, FDR and Truman shook Stalin's... And yet when I heard the report, I didn't think: Of course. I thought: Well, that's the sound of 50 million heads exploding across the US...

    You'd think rightwingers would want to go back to the days when the US was so respected that foreign nations named streets after our presidents... They're so demented they can't see that possibly we're living in those days right now. Jebus, just pause for one moment to note the president gets standing ovations and that is objectively a good thing we can all be proud of.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Gromet12:32 PM

    They said that before he even flew there -- as soon as he announced plans to go. "Let's count how many times he says 'I' in his speech," was the line. Because, you know, if he tells a story about being personally influenced by Mandela, that proves he's a narcissist.

    ReplyDelete
  38. BigHank5312:33 PM

    You ever start poking around in the jungles of 9/11 conspiracy nuts? These are the people who look at the zoomed-in video of the South Tower plane strike, see a flash of light off the airplane just as it's striking the building, and start theorizing about missile launches and laser weapons. These weren't well people to start off with, and we should be profoundly thankful they're sticking to paranoid comments in the sewers of the internet.

    ReplyDelete
  39. whetstone12:33 PM

    Well, Cuba does have universal health care (and it's reasonably good, given the country's poverty, from what I understand), which makes it extra-communist.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Gromet12:34 PM

    Shoot, I had no idea that went on.

    ReplyDelete
  41. BigHank5312:35 PM

    Look at that crowd. Ted Cruz is going to be like the seven thousandth most important mourner. He's probably going to be seated next to Mandela's gardener.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Gromet12:37 PM

    Yes, I think he's in a wheelchair now. Or at least he was in the last photo I saw of him. I believe he came close to death earlier this year -- wasn't he in a hospital, and the various sons and daughters were coming to say goodbye? He was remarkably strong right through his early 80s but the last couple years have taken a toll.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Midwest_Product12:42 PM

    This is old news, the Corner has already moved on because OMG YOU GUYS did you hear Obama took a *selfie* at Mandela's funeral?!

    ReplyDelete
  44. catclub12:45 PM

    Then what about the LGM frontpager who puts laser eyes on pictures? Him, too?

    ReplyDelete
  45. Derelict12:46 PM

    . . . objectively a good thing we can all be proud of.


    No. Not if you're a wingnut. Three factors make it a very bad thing: A Democrat president is being lauded; a black man is being lauded; Obama is being lauded.


    You will note that, for conservatives, all of those factors mean that the person being lauded is not their president.

    ReplyDelete
  46. tigrismus12:55 PM

    Did he do duck-face?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Are you sure they were ever any different?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Jay B.1:01 PM

    God, he probably hugged the French President.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Rand Careaga1:11 PM

    I can't vouch for the authenticity of this anecdote, but I'll pass it along anyway. Back when Alexander Haig was Reagan's Secretary of State, he was observed lighting up a fine Cuban cigar at a Georgetown party. His hostess teased him: "Secretary Haig! A man in your position supporting the Cuban economy!" Haig removed the stogie, regarded it. "I'm not supporting their economy," he growled, and took another drag. "I'm burning their crops!"

    ReplyDelete
  50. Mark_Bzzzz1:25 PM

    They are also very concerned about the Castro twins in Texas, one of whom is the mayor of San Antonio and the other one who is in the U.S. Congress.

    ReplyDelete
  51. For those who believe in human rights and liberty,...


    ... turn back now. Because this is Breitbart.

    ReplyDelete
  52. It's all a matter of whether one's reach exceeds one's grasp. "Taller guy leans down a bit" == "Obama kowtowing to bad dictators"? Bzzt. "Light reflects off of metal surfaces" == "Laser guns on 9/11"? Bzzt. "Sight lines in Game of Thrones" == "Director making it clear that Tyrion Lannister is being fucking awesome"? Ding!

    ReplyDelete
  53. rick perlestein has been writing and writing over the last few months that this is no different from the last ten years which was no different from the last 10 years before that and the last decade before that. as somebody who's done a little writin and researchin on ye olde righte wingge, i'd have to say he's largely right - from the wanted for treason poster below (distributed by )to the efforts in the twenties and thirties via the family to young movement conservative's open support for south african apartheid and the taliban - gang, roy's gonna have plenty to write about from here until the day we're all wearing google glasses and downloading itunes straight into our forebrains.

    ReplyDelete
  54. kennyg1:39 PM

    to shaking your head (John Roberts) during a formal speech by the President
    I think it was Alito but wev. Sorry (not really) to be picky.

    ReplyDelete
  55. JennOfArk1:44 PM

    But for those who believe in blahde blah and blahdeblah, the sight of Rupert Murdoch bounding off to China for his extensive dealings with the dictatorship is no big deal.



    Yeah but that's different. For one thing, the Chinese dictators didn't steal any rich Americans' stuff by nationalizing it 50 years ago like Castro did. For another, our ties with China have allowed a lot of rich Americans to get a whole lot richer, while at the same time letting them stick it to their uppity fellow citizens AND indulge their fantasies of slave-owning at the same time.


    Cuba = not only do they not allow us to exploit their poor people so we can debase our own, they stole our stuff.


    China = we got lots more money in return for cutting the legs out from under all those NOBODY fellow citizens when we got Chinese slaves to do their jobs.


    No contest there for a winger.

    ReplyDelete
  56. uppity neckro.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Wait a minute ... what if this isn't a bowing handshake of respect and subservience to Raul Castro? What if it's a magnanimous, even condescending, gesture from the undisputed victor to one of the few remaining despotic relics of the Cold War (that wingnuts don't like), and he's bending down to the little guy in a patronizing manner? Wouldn't U.S. prestige and honor be maintained? Because the alternative is that Obama is thinking, "I'm merely the twice-elected President of the United States, but this guy is the despot of a small impoverished Caribbean island who got the job from his older brother. WOW!!!" And that would be so self-evidently fucking stupid that ... I withdraw the rest of my analysis.

    ReplyDelete
  58. If everyone magically forgot that "Bless your heart" really means "Fuck you," its use would plummet overnight.

    ReplyDelete
  59. JennOfArk1:56 PM

    There's no "I" in team, but there is a "You" in fuck you.

    ReplyDelete
  60. M. Krebs1:56 PM

    Poor bastard. He'll probably die before Barbara.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I'm sure you are right. I just remember the headshake and simply put the face of a scowling, right wing judge in its place.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Remember, Mitt Romney thinks that the barbed wire outside the walls at his Chinese factories are to keep workers from showing up and invading and working for free.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Helmut Monotreme2:04 PM

    Mostly because they think the support from Cuban emigres and sugar producers in Florida is worth more to them than the extra trade dollars. It's reactionary defense of a politically advantageous status quo.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Wait, they let a black president have a gardener? My mind, it is blown.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Gromet2:06 PM

    I hate that phrase with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns. It started on a Thanksgiving I was invited to in the South. I was asked what I would like to drink with dinner, and thinking I was being very low-maintenance I said red wine was perfect. Record-scratch, silence... and the woman said, "Well. Bless your heart." It was very clear in that "bless your heart" that I was some real degenerate to want wine. The woman had meant did I want sweetened or unsweetened tea -- the only choices available to the two dozen adults present (and all of them fine with it, in some inscrutable Baptist habit). None of this went down well with NJ-raised, CA-dwelling, lapsed Catholic me, and that was a very long goddamn dinner. Bless THEIR hearts Fuck em.

    ReplyDelete
  66. redoubt2:09 PM

    GOP sounds like the SEC. Same single-mindedness in pursuit of one activity (football), Same rivalry-minded hatred. Same creating enemies where none previously existed. Same gerrymandering. Same neglect of other activities. Same contempt for reflection or intellectualism. (To live in its heartland is to observe the beast within.)

    ReplyDelete
  67. At U.N. and other gatherings U.S. Secret Service and diplomats were
    under orders to make sure such a “photo op” so highly desired by the
    Castros did not happen.

    Hang on ... Not that I don't believe it, but how do the NRO'ers think this worked? Did the Trilateral Commission instruct the Secret Service and the State Department to make sure of this, lest presidents try to go rogue? Did presidents give the order themselves, because otherwise they might not recognize Fidel Castro before shaking his hand by accident? Was the government way ahead of the curve on photobombing? Or was it simply that at events where the US could dictate terms, Castro and the president were kept apart so that the president wouldn't be caught out looking like a jackass by openly refusing to shake hands? Because you put someone in a situation where handshaking is the polite thing to do, and any normal, remotely decent person ... I withdraw the rest of my analysis.

    ReplyDelete
  68. ohsopolite2:14 PM

    You do reallize that there are penalties for early withdrawal (especially two of them), right?

    ReplyDelete
  69. ohsopolite2:15 PM

    You do realize that there are penalties for early withdrawal (especially two of them), right?

    ReplyDelete
  70. Now imagine attending a funeral with them.


    I believe Miss Manners (amongst others) would remind her gentle readers that although she gives advice about correct behavior, and encourages its use, one of the true tests of manners is in how a host responds to an apparent gaffe by a guest. Hint: The people in your story fail.

    ReplyDelete
  71. merl12:23 PM

    and gwb kissed!! the king of saudi arabia on the lips. I don't remember any outrage over that clearly homosex act.

    ReplyDelete
  72. merl12:24 PM

    that's the one I tried to post. Where is the outrage??

    ReplyDelete
  73. Ellis_Weiner2:25 PM

    And what I wonder is: What do they get out of it? It can't be much different from what we get from cheering for a sports team, which brings zero practical results. It's all emotional. So is politics (whether they know it or not, and believe me, they don't) all sport-and-theater to them?



    Every week, here and in the Voice, Roy presents us with these wingnut analyses, opinions, and polemics that are so obviously hypocritical, stupid, juvenile, irrational, and silly, that I wonder: What do these writers think they're doing? Winning converts? Making telling points? Speaking truth to power? Calling malefactors to account?



    Here is Obama, in the most formally circumscribed event short of a coronation (the funeral of a state leader), "bowing" to greet another head of state because of the disparity in their heights. What kind of pathology or idiocy prompts someone to seriously assert that he's kowtowwing to tyrants? Is it just stupidity? Pathology? Or just mere sport?

    ReplyDelete
  74. Jay B.2:27 PM

    One way Obama could rescue the honor of this country is by putting Otto Reich on trial for his role in Iran-Contra and his various other criminal misdeeds in Central and South America.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Derelict2:35 PM

    Ah! I see President McCain is calling Obama on this: He's noted that Chamberlain shook Hitler's hand.


    This is the kind of insightful analysis of America's foreign relations that made McCain such a formidable opponent.

    ReplyDelete
  76. mortimer20002:43 PM

    I hate to shock the Breitbart kiddies, but Reagan also shook hands with one of history's biggest monsters*.

    *(Not to mention one James Earl Carter)

    ReplyDelete
  77. And McCain shook Muammer al-Gaddafi's hand. You say "murderous desPOAT," I say "murderous desPAHT." Let's call the whole thing "Shut the fuck up forever, John."

    ReplyDelete
  78. Gromet2:56 PM

    Obviously, it was partly my gaffe too -- I did not size up the room to notice that no one had a pre-dinner cocktail of any kind, which could have saved me from offending local mores. And I do remember most people there being inordinately kind -- I could tell by the looks on some faces that they were working very hard to decipher my Yankee accent and fully engage. But I did occasionally use the wrong cultural signifiers (i.e., no sitcom was safe to mention) and wine was the biggest. On the other hand, I can't believe I met 20+ adults who did not consider wine to be a normal part of a nice dinner. I asked one of the adults who I knew well-ish (and who I'd seen drink wine on other occasions) and she explained "Oh, but not at a family gathering!" In a tone of "We keep our degenerate behavior away from this sacrosanct domain!"



    As a PS let me add that I threw a little Politeness Jujitsu of my own: when the lady said she meant tea, I said "Oh, of course -- please don't open a bottle of wine just for me. You've already been so generous, that would be too much! So I'll have tea also, and thank you very much." I said this immediately and with such sincerity that I feel I must have embarrassed her right back (if she was capable of being embarrassed). I'm pretty proud of that! So, arguably, I am just as horrible a person.

    ReplyDelete
  79. mortimer20003:00 PM

    They turn everything into stupid cartoons for their microcephalic mob. So Uppity Obama is snooty and arrogant to all decent, god-fearing white people, while Sniveling Obama bows and scrapes to mooslims, commie dictators and mud people. The worst nightmare for one of these clowns would be for an editor to say "here, dumb this down" because it's simply not possible.

    ReplyDelete
  80. In re China its time to haul out the Latin Tags. I believe the phrase Lucie Cabrol is looking for is "pecunia non olet."

    Vespasian imposed a Urine Tax (Latin: vectigal urinae) on the distribution of urine from public urinals in Rome's Cloaca Maxima (great sewer) system. (The Roman lower classes urinated into pots which were emptied into cesspools.) The urine collected from public urinals was sold as an ingredient for several chemical processes. It was used in tanning, and also by launderers as a source of ammonia to clean and whiten woollen togas. The buyers of the urine paid the tax.

    The Roman historian Suetonius reports that when Vespasian's son Titus complained about the disgusting nature of the tax, his father held up a gold coin and asked whether he felt offended by its smell (sciscitans num odore offenderetur). When Titus said "No," he replied, "Yet it comes from urine" („Atqui ex lotio est“).[2]

    The phrase Pecunia non olet is still used today to say that the value of money is not tainted by its origins. Vespasian's name still attaches to public urinals in France (vespasiennes), Italy (vespasiani), and Romania (vespasiene)

    ReplyDelete
  81. Hell, if you are reading your Gun Fail diaries over at DailyKos you'd see that refusing to shake someone's hand at a funeral is the benign end of things in this meth and nra fueled hell hole we call America. As far as I can see some funerals should be sold in baker's dozens given how much bad blood they create.

    ReplyDelete
  82. fraser3:10 PM

    Agreed. It seems to fit the worldview where treaties are no longer mutual agreements for international gain but conspiracies by lesser nations to tie the US down and cripple it.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Oh, very well done on the comeback.


    Styles do change and are regional and age related. I was hosting a birthday party for my father when he was about 75, so his old science friends, and it was brunch for christ's sake, for about 40 people. One old guy asked me for a scotch and soda. We just don't have that kind of liquor around because we don't drink that stuff. We had champagne, mimosas, that sort of thing.

    ReplyDelete
  84. MikeJ3:16 PM

    He's pretty old at this point. He was crashing airplanes while John McCain was still in short pants.

    ReplyDelete
  85. MikeJ3:23 PM

    Actually the Danish PM did, and asked Obama to be in it.
    http://imgur.com/gallery/rggzcaQ



    Funny that many of the comments on that post are about why it's improper at a memorial service

    ReplyDelete
  86. Gromet3:34 PM

    Thanks. And yeah, I posted this-all because regional and age-related differences fascinate me. I enjoy hearing about them, even when they frustrate.



    But I do plain dislike "bless your heart" because it seems weirdly dishonest -- seems to require the recipient to pretend he doesn't know he just got called out? Not sure. Maybe passive-aggressive is a better description of it -- and I don't like passive-aggressiveness, which strikes me as the habit of individuals with a certain self-satisfied but ultimately fragile pathology.


    I'll have a mimosa.

    ReplyDelete
  87. redoubt4:05 PM

    Speaking of "inappropriate" photo ops. . .

    ReplyDelete
  88. West_of_the_Cascades4:10 PM

    There is also no such thing as diplomacy.

    ReplyDelete
  89. philadelphialawyer4:10 PM

    I think part of it is careerism. There are folks who buy this stuff, figuratively, but also literally. This is what the readership wants, in the nuttiest sections of Wingnutia. Some folks who know that what they are doing is BS do it anyway. Cuz they got bills to pay.
    Others believe it themselves. With the new media, there really is no gate to keep, much less gate keeper. Any idiot, (literally, this time!) can set up a website, write a self published book, whatever.
    Then, perhaps, there is a middle ground. Folks who know, at some level, that to make a fuss about a handshake is stupid, but, they see it not so much as "sport" as kinda like wingnutty performance art.
    Making a fuss about a handshake personalizes and brings home to a broad audience what might be lost in a more nuanced examination of a real issue. Wingnut pundit thinks Obama is "too soft" on our "enemies" (Iran, Cuba, Russia, China, etc). Well, that is a hard case to make, even if it were true (an even harder because it is not true!). The average wingnut reader is not going to want to wade through a subtle, historically grounded account of President Obama's foreign policy. And such an account is difficult to write, too. Much easier, and more likely to be popular, to lambaste him for shaking hands with a "bad guy." It gets the point across, which the writer actually does believe in, but in a shorthand, simplified dramatic way.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Mr. Aimai has a business acquaintance who is like bizarro world the opposite of us. I've never met the guy but he prays over us and is a military guy, probably a top gun type. Mr. Aimai is a nice jewish intellectual with a beard. Regional and cultural differences are always in play because we have teenage daughters the same age--ours is going to become an academic and is writing a thesis on John Dewey and his is planning on joining the cia and spends her afternoons building trebuchets and flinging around her bowie knife in the back yard. He once asked us if we gave our daughter a gun to help her commute into boston.

    ReplyDelete
  91. BigHank534:13 PM

    And, of course, Nixon did shake Castro's hand:

    http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e230/MeteorBlades/FIDEL-CASTRO.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  92. He once asked us if we gave our daughter a gun to help her commute into boston.

    "Nah, guns are too random. We just give her a couple of throwing knives, so she can spare innocent bystanders on the commuter train."

    ReplyDelete
  93. Whoa. He really was a liberal in disguise.

    ReplyDelete
  94. smut clyde4:31 PM

    Ah, Nixon was only vice-presidenting then, so totes doesn't count.

    ReplyDelete
  95. smut clyde4:38 PM

    Well next time you'll know better and ask for whisky. A full glass. Ahfugget just give me the bottle.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Halloween_Jack4:40 PM

    You want presidential Dick? We got presidential Dick.

    ReplyDelete
  97. smut clyde4:46 PM

    such a “photo op” so highly desired by the Castros


    Is there some universe in which the Castros would want such a photograph? How in the name of feck is it supposed to bolster their position, whether used internally or overseas? What kind of a nimrod puts quotes around 'photo op' as if it is an esoteric term known only to the cognoscenti?

    ReplyDelete
  98. synykyl4:47 PM

    Hmm. I wonder if any assholes in Cuba are wailing about Castro shaking the blood-stained hand of the U.S. Despot?

    ReplyDelete
  99. smut clyde4:49 PM

    Shirley you mean "Lasciate ogne speranza".

    ReplyDelete
  100. His daughter sounds like she'd be down with it. I wasn't kidding abou tthe trebuchets and the knife. Apparently they live a little too close to their neighbors for this kind of weaponry and they had to move her trebuchet to an Uncle's farm.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Sorry, HJ, but we've already pretty conclusively determined above that Chinese leaders aren't on the bad despot list. Only murderous communist whomever Obama has shaken hands with.

    ReplyDelete
  102. And its not infallible in preventing the full formation of ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  103. My god, I think his nose actually did get longer between the first picture and the last.

    ReplyDelete
  104. No, but probably quite a few fake leftists here are.

    ReplyDelete
  105. ohsopolite4:56 PM

    Big accomplishment of the day: I confused Disqus. It's all downhill from here.

    ReplyDelete
  106. whetstone5:28 PM

    I mean, maybe Obama shook his hand, leaned down, and said "Hey, Fidel, how's it going! [dramatic pause] Oh, damn, I'm sorry" then smirked and high-fived David Cameron. It would be irresponsible not to speculate that the president is not the petty dickhead his opponents desire him to be.

    ReplyDelete
  107. whetstone5:30 PM

    John Adams is already working on a new opera, Obama in South Africa [Briefly Says 'Hi' to Raul Castro].

    ReplyDelete
  108. whetstone5:32 PM

    In fairness to the brethren, I was hoping Obama, upon being greeted by David Cameron, would whip out his iPhone, say "hang on, this is important," and then walk off muttering about how Jamaal Charles knocked him out of his fantasy football playoffs.

    ReplyDelete
  109. synykyl5:38 PM

    Damned LINOs! They ought to be brought before the House Un-Un-American Activities Committee.

    ReplyDelete
  110. I copied the file to a high-resolution jpeg, then used enhancement software to clean up the image before enlargin...


    OMG!! EYES DOWNCAST FOR EXTRA-DEFERENTIALITY!!!

    ReplyDelete
  111. coozledad5:42 PM

    Or: "Guns, hell! That girl gets a couple of mimosas in her you don't even want her near a butter knife!"


    My folks did the teetotal thing in front of the matriarch, but my uncles were always sneak drinking something vile while they were out cooking the pig over a repurposed oil drum. George Dickel-, Seagram's maybe, if they were flush.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Yeah, what did Cuba ever do for Walmart?

    ReplyDelete
  113. nomoremister6:08 PM

    "Until now, every American president had studiously avoided this mistake."


    Um, Clinton shook Fidel's hand in 2000.


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/915415.stm

    ReplyDelete
  114. Oy. As soon as I saw the NBC News feed on Google News with the headline "Obama Shakes Hands With Castro" I knew what was coming. I just wish it were Fidel and not Raul.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Why doesn't this have more likes?

    ReplyDelete
  116. Corydon6:11 PM

    Hell, I'm a secular Jewish academic, about as pointy-headed as they come, and if my daughter decides to start building a trebuchet, I'll count it as a MASSIVE win.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Islamist-atheist, sharia-imposing libertines, the lot of 'em!

    ReplyDelete
  118. mommadillo6:15 PM

    "Once again, Obama lends credence and recognition to a vile and bloody dictatorial regime responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of innocent people."



    Hey, we all wish he wouldn't have let the Bushies off the hook so easily, but what's done is done.

    ReplyDelete
  119. synykyl6:21 PM

    Hugged shmugged. At least he didn't massage anyone ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  120. tigrismus6:42 PM

    And Nixon, as shown below. So every American president had studiously avoided this mistake except for those who hadn't.

    ReplyDelete
  121. brandonrg6:46 PM

    the guy who's a professor of visual rhetoric or something like that? doesn't seem to be exactly the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  122. tigrismus6:48 PM

    It’s not just a handshake, notice the tip of the head and bend of the back, it’s a bow.


    So he's haughty, but it's a servile kind of haughty?

    ReplyDelete
  123. M. Krebs7:13 PM

    Ahem.

    ReplyDelete
  124. redoubt7:15 PM

    Heck, Raul Castro may have to face his country's comité de actividades anti-cubanos for shaking the bloodstained hand of the US despot.

    ReplyDelete
  125. M. Krebs7:19 PM

    And here's that traitorous bastard Hebert Hoover.

    ReplyDelete
  126. M. Krebs7:23 PM

    But let us not forget the classics. (OK, I'm done.)

    ReplyDelete
  127. M. Krebs7:25 PM

    Fucking discus. I tried to delete that after seeing that HJ beat me to it downthread.

    ReplyDelete
  128. LookWhosInTheFreezer7:31 PM

    In fairness, if somebody offers to give you a 40-year blow job, shaking their hand is the least you can do to thank them.

    ReplyDelete
  129. woodrowfan7:32 PM

    Ironically the CIA would probably be more interested in hiring your daughter than his...

    ReplyDelete
  130. woodrowfan7:35 PM

    no.

    ReplyDelete
  131. AGoodQuestion7:40 PM

    I guess in the next GOP presidential primaries we can expect those candidates aimed at the true believers to go through a lengthy list of which foreign leaders they will never shake hands with.

    ReplyDelete
  132. AGoodQuestion7:48 PM

    He was making it "all about him"?
    That's a given regardless of what he does. They won't give up their conviction that he's the most uppity arrogant prez in US history.

    ReplyDelete
  133. JennOfArk7:50 PM

    The only surprise here is Reagan wasn't reaching around to shake his hand.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Ellis_Weiner7:52 PM

    That's the worst kind. God, the national humiliation. Thanks, Obama!

    ReplyDelete
  135. M. Krebs8:10 PM

    In the photo I saw, poor Raul looked kinda freaked out.

    ReplyDelete
  136. montag29:05 PM

    Yes, indeed. Little Boots showed them a good example in establishing American creepy dominance by massaging Angela Merkel's shoulders.

    ReplyDelete
  137. KatWillow9:21 PM

    Remember, extremely rich people are paying the pundits to make these deranged statements. The same people who tried to "overthrow" FDR.


    I'm betting these people have purchased a lot of land in the high northern latitudes, thinking they'll be A-OK when the rest of the world hots up.

    ReplyDelete
  138. KatWillow9:23 PM

    They remind me of the members of my HOA. Petty, vindictive, puffed up with power; able to employ power only for the purpose of obstruction of others and enrichment of themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  139. There's a world of wingnut difference between "Looking, hotty." and looking haughty.

    ReplyDelete
  140. montag29:28 PM

    If one follows the money, the modern tea party-influenced Republican party is funded in no small measure by sons of one of the early board members of the John Birch Society, Fred Koch. It should come as no surprise that Bircherite philosophies would tag along for ride. Nor should it come as any surprise that Fred Koch made his fortune in the Stalinist Soviet Union.



    The Birchers have lots of made-up or inflated excuses for hating Castro, but the biggest ones, the unspoken ones, are that he cost the mafia (American free enterprise at its most elemental) loads of money and deposed one of the most corrupt friends American business ever had.


    Ultimately, the Birchers' ethical judgments revolve around predatory capitalism. Robert Welch hated Castro because Castro cost him money. His candy company had become wealthy on extraordinarily cheap Cuban sugar.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Yeah. I agree. I think the trebuchet thing is cool. The CIA thing and the knife are a little creepier.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Innerstin'. Didn't W's old man say, in the aftermath of the USS Vincennes blowing that Iranian airliner out of the sky and killing more than 200 people, words to the effect that "America never apologizes" for things like that? Ah, here it is: "I will never apologize for the United States--I don't care what the facts are." http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush. Apparently, we never did apologize for that one, so fuck you, Poppy.

    ReplyDelete
  143. The cruder, more ruthless offensiveness from the right-wingers, I think, yields them a momentary feeling of larger, more brassy balls than they carry.

    ReplyDelete
  144. The way I see it, these people have always been with us, but didn't have 24 hour cable news networks to trumpet their mimeographed rantings.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Another Kiwi12:00 AM

    A southern state person told me about visiting long lost relatives and having the man say "Don't go yet, stay for dinner" He asked three times and the guy I knew said no because he knew that you do NOT accept and that three times is the correct amount of times for relations.
    I asked what would happen if he had accepted and he said he did not know because it had never happened.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Another Kiwi12:01 AM

    Yeah, what's different is the reach

    ReplyDelete
  147. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:12 AM

    It’s not just a handshake, notice the tip of the head and bend of the back, it’s a bow.

    I can just see this dipshite leaning in close to his monitor with an inch-ruler (not metric!) and protractor. I'm 65, retired, and even I can't get that bored.

    Also too:
    Obama Bows To With Cuba’s Raul Castro

    "to with"? Did he type "bows to Mecca", then clumsily change it? IWBINTS...

    ReplyDelete
  148. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:13 AM

    "uphaughty", I think is the word...

    ReplyDelete
  149. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:16 AM

    I think a moan swept the globe within moments of the original story, as non-wingnuts realized what was coming.

    ReplyDelete
  150. BigHank5312:19 AM

    Oh, I think the Onion already has a good feel for those primary voters:
    http://www.theonion.com/video/after-obama-victory-shrieking-whitehot-sphere-of-p,30284/

    ReplyDelete
  151. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:24 AM

    Vespasian's name still attaches to public urinals

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
    Talk about a *place* in history...

    ReplyDelete
  152. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:35 AM

    What kind of nincompoop doesn't get that Preznits, Kings, Queens, Premiers, Prime Ministers, etc, bow and scrape to eachother in piblic, and always have, yea though they be on the eve of war, and they always fucking wil. I swear, sometimes the childish, willfully ignorant, outright sillyness of the Rightbloggers flat amazes me. "I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused". No, I'm still disgusted, too...

    ReplyDelete
  153. sigyn2:20 AM

    Well, he is older in the second pic. And it's true that some parts of your body keep growing as you get older. I took a good, close look at my ears the other day...

    ReplyDelete
  154. JoyfulA2:57 AM

    Roberts was the one who couldn't manage to swear in President Obama.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Teresa8:52 AM

    Conservatives these days are just rabid savages.

    ReplyDelete
  156. glennisw9:00 AM

    I get your point, but they don't "bow and scrape," they simply behave with ordinary good manners. And that's what it was. Ordinary good manners.

    ReplyDelete
  157. but for our final yuks let us turn to Scott Shackford at Reason: "Oddly, though, I’m not seeing the actual faux outrage from the right."


    I'd explain this by comparing him to the "See no evil" monkey, but monkeys are more careful when flinging their feces.

    ReplyDelete
  158. Chocolate Covered Cotton10:18 AM

    Yeah, one of the many culture-shock experiences of watching Mad Men's first season was seeing whiskey, scotch and vodka treated as office supplies. Is there any profession today where drinking hard liquor all day in the office is considered not just acceptable but expected?

    ReplyDelete
  159. Well, it seems pretty popular among Canada's Succubi and Werewolf populations, but they seem to have very hard heads.

    ReplyDelete
  160. Chocolate Covered Cotton10:38 AM

    When I still lived in Miami 20 years ago, everybody there knew who Raul was: Fidel's younger brother who commanded the military and secret police. It was widely understood even back then that Raul was the real power behind the throne, secretly running things while Fidel was increasingly an aging figurehead and the eventual successor to the presidency.. And as the chief government enforcer, "Murderous" is a fair descriptor or the guy.


    Not that the rightwing freakout over a handshake at a state funeral isn't hilarious, but does anyone here actually know who this guy is? People here are acting like he's some untested newcomer. He's not.

    ReplyDelete
  161. Chocolate Covered Cotton12:51 PM

    Sorry to be all cantankerous, it's early and I'm out of coffee. I don't really mean "people here" or even the handful that have made such comments. Just meant to say, I don't get any idea that the brethren don't know who Raul is. Clearly they do. Just as clearly, they don't know how our president should act or what diplomacy is or a lot of other things, but on whether Raul Castro is an asshole dictator they're not wrong. For some reason this "Do they know Raul from Fidel" thing is rubbing me the wrong way; maybe it's implying a major difference between the two as leaders that bugs me for some reason. Raul's been the de facto dictator for a lot longer than 2006 or 2008; it's perfectly reasonable to treat his presidency the same as Fidel's since Fidel's *was* his.

    ReplyDelete
  162. Chocolate Covered Cotton12:57 PM

    And it's funny how "pals around with terrorists" never applied to Reagan, Bush, and Orlando Bosch.

    ReplyDelete
  163. Halloween_Jack1:49 PM

    So Pinocchio is all about aging? Kind of makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
  164. StringOnAStick2:02 PM

    From what I've read today, this handshake wasn't even reported on the official Cuban news.

    ReplyDelete
  165. Scott Shackford @ reason.com, meanwhile, went with an odd "Right wing madness? What right wing madness?" sort of take.


    "But I don't know anyone who voted for Nixon."

    ReplyDelete
  166. Jon Hendry2:26 PM

    They probably also have some vague notion in their head of Fidel going around wearing nothing but leather chaps.

    ReplyDelete
  167. Or how about we all just admit nobody gives a flying fuck who's a dictator, and only idiots expect the president to act out their personal feelings?

    ReplyDelete
  168. Or JFK, or Nixon, or....

    ReplyDelete
  169. Jon Hendry2:47 PM

    And wingnuts cried out "Honey, where's my viagra?"

    ReplyDelete
  170. smut clyde3:09 PM

    Is there any profession today where drinking hard liquor all day in the office is considered not just acceptable but expected?
    Speaker of the House.

    ReplyDelete
  171. May I ask who this is? Pic is tiny.

    ReplyDelete
  172. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person4:44 PM

    OGM in some cultures requires a bow. Even Shrub got that.

    ReplyDelete
  173. Howlin Wolfe4:55 PM

    Sorry, but "living in MIami and I'm taking the work of virulent anti-Castroites doesn't equal the truth for me.

    ReplyDelete
  174. M. Krebs10:14 PM

    I really have no idea. The fucked up thing is that almost no one in this country has much of an idea what goes on in Cuba, except that it has to bad because Commies.

    ReplyDelete
  175. I built a small trebuchet for my son when he was young. We used to bring it out to birthday picnics and hurl candies for the guest to catch.

    ReplyDelete
  176. bilejones5:43 PM

    How soon they forget

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=bush+saudi+holding+hands&id=F7ED540A0E3D2A8BB6C66037A18C91BA04623BD9&FORM=IQFRBA

    ReplyDelete
  177. bilejones5:57 PM

    Inappropriate dress arguably cost Michael Foot the Prime ministership of the YUK

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/47407000/jpg/_47407710_008880849-1.jpg

    ReplyDelete