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Crying Wolf


I previously posted about Digby equating referring to Obama as “presumptuous” to calling him an “uppity negro.” Well, she seems to be seeing racists under her bed again in Affirmative Fool:

I know this isn’t news to anyone, but Rush Limbaugh is a sexist pig and proud of it. If he didn’t have 250 million dollars there’s no doubt he’d be a very lonely guy.

But this racist statement is a doozy:

“This is the first time in his life there is not a professor who can turn his C into an A, or to write the law review article for him he can’t write. He is totally exposed. There is nobody to make it better,” Limbaugh said.

I think he’s probably speaking for a considerable number of people out there who truly believe that black people are inferior. But most of them are smart enough not to say so in public.

I loathe Rush Limbaugh and think he is a disgusting human being, so it pains me to be in the position of defending something he said. But there is nothing inherently racist in that statement.

I’m not saying Limbaugh isn’t a racist, nor am I addressing anything else he has said or done. I fully agree with Digby that he is a sexist pig. But suggesting that Barack Obama isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer isn’t racist, nor does it translate into a racist allegation about the intelligence of black people in general.

This isn’t racist either:

Sign at the NBC cafeteria

It’s a racial stereotype. Left Blogistan really needs to learn the difference between race, racism, racial stereotypes and things that aren’t racial at all.

Criticism of Obama is not racist.

Opposition to Obama is not racist.

Belittling Obama is not racist.

Mocking, jeering and/or making fun of Obama is not racist.

Racism is racist.

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Thursday – Just the Same Old News

120 Miles an hour!!

I bet a lot of people wish they could have their “clunker” back — Am I the only one who didn’t know that car accelerators are remote controlled now? ::

Prius brakes questioned; Toyota probe expands

Americans should park their recalled Toyotas unless driving to dealers for accelerator repairs, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned Wednesday — then quickly took it back — as skepticism of company fixes grew and the government’s probe expanded to other models in the U.S. and Japan. Questions now are being raised about the brakes on Toyota’s marquee Prius hybrid.
. . .

Many consumer groups have questioned whether Toyota’s fix will work and have asserted it could be connected to problems with the electronic throttle control systems.

Joan Claybrook, who formerly lead Public Citizen, a watchdog group, noted that Toyota told owners during last year’s recall to remove floor mats to keep the accelerator pedal from becoming jammed. “I don’t think that’s what the issue is. I think it has to be electronic when it slam dunks and takes off and goes 120 miles an hour,” Claybrook said.

One quick question: Can we really drive these recalled vehicles just because Secretary LaHood says, “What I said in there was obviously a misstatement. What I meant to say … was if you own one of these cars or if you’re in doubt, take it to the dealer and they’re going to fix it.” — Maybe people should check with their insurance agents before driving them. . . . .
U.S. Widens Toyota Probe to Electronics

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday his agency is widening its probe of sudden acceleration complaints in Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles to look at the possibility of electromagnetic interference with electronic throttle systems, and said he wants to talk directly with company Chief Executive Akio Toyoda.

. . .

Toyota has blamed sudden acceleration on just two causes: out-of-position floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals.

Electronic throttles replace mechanical links between the gas pedal and the throttle with electronic relays. The systems, used widely in the industry, reduce vehicle weight and fuel waste.

NHTSA said it had begun a “fresh look” at both electronic throttle control systems and the possible effects of electromagnetic interference on them. The agency said it has no reason at this point to believe there are safety defects in the systems or in their ability to function when exposed to electromagnetic interference.

Apple Co-Founder: My Prius Has a Problem, Too

“Toyota has this accelerator problem we’ve all heard about,” Mr. Wozniak said last week at Discover Forum 2010 in San Francisco, reported CNET.com (via Autoblog). “Well, I have many models of Prius that got recalled, but I have a new model that didn’t get recalled. This new model has an accelerator that goes wild, but only under certain conditions of cruise control. And I can repeat it over and over and over again — safely.”

He added: “This is software. It’s not a bad accelerator pedal. It’s very scary, but luckily for me, I can hit the brakes.”


I’m a devoted Amazon customer but, the Amazon/Macmillan story (background here) has shaken my loyalty. Here’s one of the best explanations of just how cruelly stupid it was for Amazon to delist the Macmillan books (1/6th of Amazon’s inventory!!) — I didn’t really feel it until I realized the impact on the authors ::

All The Many Ways Amazon So Very Failed the Weekend

Instead, we got the Foot-Stompingly Petulant Friday Night Massacre: One minute the books were there, the next they weren’t. And everyone was left going “huh?” Was it a hardware glitch? Was it a software bug? Was it a terrorist act in which renegade Amish attacked Amazon’s server farm and poured jugs of hard cider into the machines, shorting out the ones holding Macmillan’s vasty inventory? No! It was one corporate entity having a big fat hissy fit at another corporate entity, and everyone had to figure out what the hell was going on the weekend from bits and pieces that they found on the Internet, which was not easy to do. Which may have been Amazon’s plan all along: Kill every sixth book on your site, hope no one notices! Well played, Amazon, well played indeed.
. . .
6. Amazon Destroyed Its Own Consumer Experience, Without Explanation, For Several Days.

Note to Amazon: Real people do not give a shit about your fight with Macmillan. Real people want to buy things. When your store takes them to a product page on which they cannot buy the thing on the page, they will not say to themselves, “Hmm, I wonder if Amazon is having a behind-the-scenes struggle with the publisher of this title, of which this is the fallout. I shall sympathize with them in this byzantine struggle of corporate titans.” What they will say is “why can’t I buy this fucking book?” Because, you know, they are there to buy that fucking book. And when you don’t let them buy that fucking book, they aren’t going to blame Macmillan. They are going to blame you.


What’s the point of stories like this?

White House Privately Signaling Support For House Passing Senate Bill With Fix, Aides Say

White House aides have privately told Dem Congressional aides that the White House supports the House passing the Senate health reform bill with a reconciliation fix, something that could give a bit more momentum to that approach, according to two Congressional staffers familiar with the discussions.
. . .
A White House spokesman said he wasn’t aware of any such signals being sent.


U.S. May Lose 824,000 Jobs as Employment Data Revised: Analysis

The U.S. may lose 824,000 jobs when the government releases its annual revision to employment data on Feb. 5, showing the labor market was in worse shape during the recession than known at the time.

These are stories I’ve been watching.  What’s in YOUR newspaper this morning?


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