Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Apparently, the heartland loves him

Last I looked, Cheney's approval ratings were in the teens (is anyone still publishing his numbers?). So, why the gushy bit about his warm reception in the Heartland? I've never seen a less realistic fluff piece, as if there's nothing else going on in the world. Here are the first two, fun-filled paragraphs:
Grace Mosier lives with her mom and dad, goes to birthday parties, takes ballet classes and is just like a lot of other 6-year-old girls. Except that she happens to be obsessed with Dick Cheney.

“I really, really like him,” says Grace, who can tell you what state the vice president was born in (Nebraska), where he went to grade school (College View, in Lincoln) and the names of his dogs (Dave and Jackson). She gets her fix of Cheney fun-facts by visiting the White House Web site for children. It says there that his favorite teacher was Miss Duffield and that he used to run a company called Halliburton.
So, his approval rating is in the teens, but his real base is among the children. That sounds about right.

Anyone else wanna barf?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Tolerance not dead in Nigeria?

From the Weekly Trust out of northern Nigeria (Kaduna, October 15):

In a bid to provide an intellectual platform for ventilation of ideas on specific cultural topics, the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) recently held a roundtable conference in Jos to review the significance of tolerance in promoting cultural orientation.

Participants in the two-day conference on 'Culture, Tolerance and Nation Building' have identified lack of dialogue and proper education as some of the leading factors responsible for the culture of intolerance in Nigeria.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the conference, the conferees also noted the need for rule of law to help appreciate the tolerance of alternative views.

The NICO conference is clearly meant to address the rising tide of ethnic violence that threatens Nigeria as the April 2007 presidential elections approach. As they say, the "rule of law" is needed to help Nigerians "appreciate the tolerance of alternative views."

But according to Archbishop Akinola of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican), homosexuality is sufficiently "unAfrican" that those Nigerian homosexuals who simply speak out on their own behalf deserve 5 years in jail (pdf).

Is there a contradiction here? Is "tolerance" unAfrican, too? Or must the Church of Nigeria (along with all Nigerians) accept that, while they may oppose homosexuality, silencing the voices of gay and lesbian Nigerians with a prison term would be a gravely intolerant, uncivil, and deeply counterproductive gesture?

(For skeptics out there, the proper point of comparison here is not between homosexuality and pedophilia, both of which are "Western" values according to the Communications Director of the Church of Nigeria, but between the abrogation of civil rights and the internecine violence and intimidation that has plagued Nigeria since independence. Banning "gay" speech is just another slip along the seemingly inevitable slipperly slope of Nigerian institutional corruption, anti-democracy, and violence. Without a blanket understanding of what tolerance is and what it means for healthy civil society, the country may be doomed.)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


From the inimitable Digby:
They can look over any given transcript of the Chris Matthews show during the Lewinsky scandal and see how the Democrats who were forced to do this handled the situation. They were required to make this disclaimer, in ever more florid terms as the scandal unfolded, each time they appeared on television.

... They will also find in those transcripts the approved Republican talking points of the period which repeatedly claimed how repulsive and nauseating it was for a middle aged man to become involved with a 22 year old who worked in his office. That might give them some clues about what's about to happen to them. This time, of course, you have the specter of multiple 16 year old victims, the perpetrator being a closeted, gay Catholic Republican and the House leadership pretty much giving the guy a thumbs up and an "attaboy" --- so there's a lot more for their opponents to work with.
Digby's on a roll.