Friday, August 24, 2012

Friendship Friday with Jimmy Olsen: The Boy Who Killed Superman!

Who better to teach us about the true meaning of friendship than Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen?

Friends DON'T kill friends. (Some of these lessons are pretty basic.)

Romney Goes Birther

Now I realize that Mitt Romney's official position up until now of not distancing himself from Birthers because he "needs to get to 50.1% or more" is pretty disgusting, but this is a whole other level of appealing to the racist vote:

"I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born. Ann was born at Henry Ford hospital, I was born at Harper hospital. No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."
 Personally my favorite part is the 4 second pause just before Romney says the birth certificate line, as if some small part of him questions this decision before being overruled by his blind ambition.  It's also especially classy given that he's spent the last week and a half attacking Vice President Joe Biden of using racist "code words."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Published as a Public Service Announcement: The Dodo and the Frog Ask "How Are Your Manners Out-Of-Doors?"

In the 40s and 50s, DC Comics published a series of PSAs in all of their titles. Some of them are still valuable lessons we can learn from today.....others are not.

I'm just going to skip right over the fact that Dodo's are extinct and the fact that the plan is apparently to have bears maul the children because I can't get past the fact that the frog is bigger than the bears and wearing a top hat.

FDR Warned Us Not to Trust Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan

Which is pretty impressive when you think about it, since he died before either of them were even born:

Let me warn you and let me warn the nation against the smooth evasion that says “Of course we believe these things. We believe in Social Security. We believe in work for the unemployed. We believe in saving homes. Cross our hearts and hope to die, we believe in all these things. But we do not like the way the present administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them. We will do more of them. We will do them better. And most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything.”
-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

An iPhone App (Possibly) More Fun than Angry Birds

Ok, this is actually pretty cool (even if it makes me a nerd). The Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit that tracks SuperPAC spending, has released a free iPhone app called AdHawk that will identify who is behind a political ad, the groups history/where they get their funding, and how much money they're spending to get it out there by sampling 15 seconds of audio. I've spent a couple minutes playing with it and it actually works pretty well:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"VOTE!!!: The Game" Trailer

No words.  Should have sent a poet:

Wit of the Web Slinger Wednesday: Penguin

Spider-Man is supposed to be funny, so this is kind of an abomination:

No, I have absolutely no idea why Spider-Man is an animal wrangler for a movie.  Or for that matter why the director has placed her chair directly in front of the camera.

Republican Racism Review: Birther SEALs, Dog Whistles, and the American Dream

Real button handed out at the 2008
Texas Republican State Convention
If you start keeping your eyes open for them, there are a terrifying number of news stories about Republicans being racist:
  • Oh, the other former Navy SEAL organization attacking the President for killing Osama Bin Laden is also lead by a Birther.  You know, for symmetry.
  • The Romney campaign is accusing Vice President Joe Biden of using racist "code words" in his comments about how Republican economic policies would unchain Wall Street and put the rest of us in chains.  Now I could go off on a tangent about how maybe when no prominent African American individuals or organizations have come forward saying the comments were inappropriate or asking for an apology and in fact the only people who seem to be upset are conservative white people, that maybe, just maybe, those comments weren't actually racist but just an uncomfortable truth.  But instead I want to congratulate the Romney campaign on figuring out the concept of dog whistle racism.  Maybe now they'll stop using it themselves.  For example not saying things like President Obama doesn't appreciate our special "Anglo-Saxon heritage."  Stuff like that.
  • Meanwhile, Danny Tarkanian, a Republican congressional candidate in Nevada, defended himself of accusations of using broad racial stereotypes by accusing his African American opponent of pretending to be black.  Presumably he believes that the best defense against accusations of racism is doubling down on the racism?  Closet racists really must hate the prevalence of camera phones.
  • RNC Chairman Reince Preibus believes that the "Mitt Romney Story" best represents "the American Dream."  I mean sure the child of an interracial marriage, raised by a single mother, coming from humble beginnings to become a constitutional law professor and later President of the United States SOUNDS good, but its no born to a multi-millionaire CEO and Governor who went on to be a corporate raider and then try to buy the Presidency multiple times.  Come on, this is the American Dream we're talking about.

West Wing Wednesday

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Voting Rights Violators: A Fun Theory, Some Depressing Stuff, and Why It Matters

In 11 weeks we go to the polls again to reelect President Obama. Republicans know that they aren't going to gain the support of the American people, so instead they're going to strip them of the right to vote:
  • The Guardian has my new favorite theory for why Mitt Romney is refusing to release his tax returns: they could prove he committed voter fraud.  The article is worth a read, but the gist of it is that during the 2010 special election to replace Ted Kennedy, Mitt and Ann Romney did not own any property in Massachusetts and registered to vote out of their son's Belmont, MA basement.  Now just because Mitt's worth a quarter of a billion dollar and owns three mansions in other states, it doesn't prove that he wasn't living in his son's basement.  But his 2009 tax returns, which were filed shortly after the special election, could.  In fact, in cases of voter fraud by disputed residence, where someone lists their residence on their tax returns is considered the gold standard.  For extra fun, this type of voter fraud would not be prevented by Republican Voter ID laws.
  • Why do I make such a big deal out of all of this stuff?  Because Obama (and Democrats in general) beat Republicans 2 to 1 among "unlikely voters.  Those are the people most likely to get disenfranchised by voter suppression tactics.  If you want to say that makes this a partisan issue, that's fine.  But it also means that Democrats are on the side of more people legally voting while Republicans are on the side of preventing people from exercising their right to vote.  And in a democracy, that makes us the good guys.

The DNC Helps Romney Paint a Word Picture on his Tax Returns

And it's beautiful:

Hostess Snack Break: Daredevil in "McBrain's Brain Drain."

Everyone needs a break sometimes, so why don't you enjoy this one with one of your favorite superheroes and one of your favorite Hostess snack treats:

Sure we could focus on the fact that it's lucky the guy with mind powers is named McBrain instead of like Steve or the fact that being the smartest man alive doesn't stop him from being distracted by junk food you can buy at the gas station, and maybe it's just that I've looked at so many of these ads now, but is anyone else freaked out that there isn't a single exclamation mark anywhere on here?  Not even in the title?

Terrific Tuesday Tidings: Voting Rights, Lesbians, and Todd Akin

It's Tuesday and that means it's time for my ongoing quest to become a more positive person. Here are the news stories that made me happy this week:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Frontline of the Class War: Ryan Plans, Tax Returns, and Olympic Hypocrisy

The Republicans are right, there is a class war going on in this country. And they're the ones waging it against the middle and working class:
"What we're trying to accomplish today with the passage of this third stimulus package is to create jobs and help the unemployed," Ryan said, in comments unearthed by MSNBC's "Up with Chris Hayes" and provided to HuffPost. "What we're trying to accomplish is to pass the kinds of legislation that when they've passed in the past have grown the economy and gotten people back to work...We have a lot of laid off workers, and more layoffs are occurring," the congressman continued. "And we know, as a historical fact, that even if our economy begins to slowly recover, unemployment is going to linger on and on well after that recovery takes place. What we have been trying to do starting in October and into December and now is to try and get people back to work. The things we're trying to pass in this bill are the time-tested, proven, bipartisan solutions to get businesses to stop laying off people, to hire people back, and to help those people who have lost their jobs."

Welcome to the working week!

More and More I Think The Onion is Prophecy Not Satire

This aired on the Onion News Network last year:

It's a year later and Republicans have chosen a "Mystery Candidate."  We can't see Romney's tax returns, and if we want to find out what his budget plan, tax plan, or foreign policy are going to be, well we'll just have to elect him to find out.  Oh and Biden is still the original Mystery Man, "no one knows what he'll do next."

Weekly Weekend Caption Contest: Time to Vote

Alright, our captioners have done their job, now it's time for you to do yours! Here are this week's submissions:

Submitted by Reader "Joe Pesci" who has apparently not moved past Casino:

Facebook Fan Geoffrey also has a film fetish:

Facebook Fan Geoffrey comes back a second time with shades of George HW Bush:

Twitter Fan @DemageControl also likes movies more than Mitt Romney:

Reader "Anonymous" wonders if maybe the whole tax returns thing has just been a big misunderstanding:

Facebook Friend Stanley makes an introduction:

Facebook Friend Beth wonders if Romney envisions a world where servants have servants:

Facebook Friend Leslie might not understand exactly what a tax haven is:

So who's going to be this week's Weekly Weekend Caption Contest King or Queen?

Joe Pesci
Geoffrey 1
Geoffrey 2

Vote for your favorite in the comments by midnight tonight!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Love Lessons with Lois Lane: Lana Lang's Romance with Superman III!

In much of the civilized world, Saturday night is date night. And everything I know about dating I learned from Lois Lane. So before heading out for the night, let's see what advice she has for us this week:

You might think that if you can't be with the one you love hooking up with one of their relatives is a good conciliation prize.  It's not, it's creepy.  Also "Mrs. Lois Superman" might be the best argument in existence against women taking their husband's name.

Weekly Weekend Caption Contest

It's the weekend and you know what that means: The Entertained Organizer's Weekly Weekend Caption Contest! The rules are simple: You have until midnight Sunday to submit your caption to the photo either in the comments here or on Facebook. Then on Monday we'll vote to see who is this week's Entertained Organizer Caption King or Queen:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wit of the Web Slinger Wednesday: Wet Coat

Spider-Man is supposed to be funny, so this is kind of an abomination:

Putting aside the fact the guy in the trench coat is just kind of phasing through the wall in that first panel, why does he look so sad?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Voting Rights Violators: Voter Suppression, Early Voting, and the 17th Amendment?

In 12 weeks we go to the polls again to reelect President Obama. Republicans know that they aren't going to gain the support of the American people, so instead they're going to strip them of the right to vote:
  • Finally, while everything above might sound crazy, really it's just evil.  Crazy is Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin calling for the repeal of the 17th Amendment because people shouldn't be allowed to vote for US Senators.

Hostess Snack Break: The Incredible Hulk and "Friends!"

Everyone needs a break sometimes, so why don't you enjoy this one with one of your favorite superheroes and one of your favorite Hostess snack treats:

It occurs to me that pretending to be the Hulk's friend is probably a great way to take over the world, at least till he figures it out and smashes you.  Also "King Torkon and the Toad World" would be an awesome band name.

Weekly Weekend Caption Contest: Winner!

And this week's Weekly Weekend Caption Contest King or Queen is......"Anonymous"!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Why I Love Comics: Batman's Adventures in Babysitting

If you've spent more than a day reading the Entertained Organizer, you know I love comic books. This is one of the many reasons why:

In 2000's Batman Gotham Adventures #26, for reasons too bizarre to get into, every criminal organization in the world is after a baby.  So of course, Batman takes it upon himself to protect the child:

Weekly Weekend Caption Contest: Time to Vote

Alright, our captioners have done their job, now it's time for you to do yours!  Here are this week's submissions:

"Scrooge McDuck" suggests a possible slogan for the Republican ticket:

"Anonymous" feels that this pick doesn't inspire confidence in the Republican ticket:

So who's going to be this week's Weekly Weekend Caption Contest King or Queen?  "Scrooge McDuck" or "Anonymous"?  Vote for your favorite in the comments by midnight tonight!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Love Lessons with Lois Lane: The Amazing Brain Machine!

In much of the civilized world, Saturday night is date night. And everything I know about dating I learned from Lois Lane. So before heading out for the night, let's see what advice she has for us this week:

Relationships are not a video game.  There is no secret code that will make anyone love you.  And if there was it would be Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start.

First Responses to the Paul Ryan Pick

A lot is going to be said about the Romney picking Rep. Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate (a lot of it probably by me).  Polling indicates that about half the country has never heard of him, and of those who have heard of him it's split pretty evenly between love and hate (actually leaning a little bit towards hate).  So it's going to be a race to define him for both campaigns over the next few weeks.  And Romney's going to lose.  Not because the Obama campaign already has this ad up:

But because when they hear about the Ryan Plan Budget, 58% of Americans (and 74% of senior citizens) are opposed to it.  And those numbers may actually be on the low side since because many people simply refuse to believe that anyone would actually advocate for the destruction of Medicare to pay for tax cuts for millionaires.  It's been 8 hours since the pick was officially announced and already the Romney campaign is trying to distance themselves from the Ryan Budget.  And that's simply not going to work.  There's not a way to separate Ryan and his budget.  He is possibly the clearest distillation of Republican economic thought, and people aren't going to like it when they see it:
And, in the Congress, there is Congressman Paul Ryan, who is angling right now to make a career out of political sadism. 
Make no mistake: Ryan is a thoroughgoing nutball, as bug-house crazy on economics as Peter King is on Muslims and Steve King is on anyone swarthier than himself. He is a lifelong adherent to the doctrines of Ayn Rand, which ought to disqualify anyone from ever being taken seriously enough to park cars by anyone over the age of fifteen. In terms of their connection to actual human reality, the difference between the doctrines of Ayn Rand and the doctrines of L. Ron Hubbard is not substantial, and the fervor of their acolytes is almost exactly the same. Picking Paul Ryan to handle your political economy is tantamount to electing Tom Cruise to be pope. 
Paul Ryan is a thoroughgoing fraud. He went through high school and most of college on Social Security survivor benefits after his father's death. He voted for almost all the Bush programs — including both off-the-books wars — that ballooned the deficit he so piously condemns now. And this week, as he rolled out his lunatic conception of a federal budget, Paul Ryan produced the definitive statement of his political philosophy: There are those Americans who deserve to live and those Americans who don't. Period. All of the former are very, very wealthy. All of the latter are poor, or struggling, or old. Paul Ryan believes the true mission of government is to bring as much pain to the parasites as it can because, by doing so, it can liberate the genius of those people who deserve to live. When Paul Ryan dreams of a free nation, it is one in which the seventy-two-year-old spouses of seventy-five-year-old patients are free to go out and shop in a rigged insurance market for the $100,000-plus they're going to need over a lifetime of tending to that patient. If they insisted on feeding themselves, and even risking the odd vacation, over the course of their working lives and they failed to anticipate what might befall them, then the spouse is going to have to starve and the patient is just going to have to sit there in his own filth, until market forces determine that they should die.

Weekly Weekend Caption Contest: VP Edition

It's been a while but you still know the rules. Submit your caption to this picture in the comments by midnight Sunday and we'll vote on whose is the best on Monday:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friendship Friday with Jimmy Olsen: The Outlaw Jimmy Olsen!

Who better to teach us about the true meaning of friendship than Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen?

Friends DO notice when their friends aren't acting like themselves.

Let the Witch Hunt Begin!

Koch Brothers' Solution to Romney's Unlikeability Problem

It's difficult to try to sell a candidate that even the people who support him don't actually like.  And so the Koch Brothers' SuperPAC (Americans for Prosperity) has come up with a novel solution, pretend Ronald Reagan is the Republican nominee instead:

Admittedly Zombie Reagan would almost certainly be more electable than Mitt Romney, but I'm not sure what their plan is when he's not actually on the ballot.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Published as a Public Service Announcement: Superman Says "Lend a Friendly Hand!"

In the 40s and 50s, DC Comics published a series of PSAs in all of their titles. Some of them are still valuable lessons we can learn from today.....others are not.

If only Superman had abducted more children and taken them to war torn countries in the 50s, the world might be a better place today.

Romney Girl by Miss Swiss Bank Account

I should probably be more mature than to find this funny but all I can think is that this is what happens when you demonize artists and creative people.  Compare "Romney Girl" to the only pro-Romney music video I could find:

Now behold the magic of "Mitt Romney, A Hero in My Mind":

Finally, be sure to check out the Romney Girl website.  They've got a copy of the lyrics with hyperlinks to the news stories they were drawn from and more pink sparkles than you've seen on a website since the 90s.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wit of the Web Slinger Wednesday: Milk

Spider-Man is supposed to be funny, so this is kind of an abomination:

I know I should probably be wondering why Spider-Man is at a dairy farm with a guy in a trench coat, but for some reason I'm fixating on the fact that white cows don't actually have horns.  These are going to break my brain.

Businesses Need Government OR Three Strikes and You're Out

Mostly because the economy continues to improve and Romney looks more and more each day like an elitist gaffe machine with something to hide, he's been trying to milk President Obama's "you didn't build that" speech for everything it's worth.  Now I've already covered how those remarks are being taken out of context, so today I want to focus on what a poor job Romney has been doing to capitalize on them. Namely he's created a series of ads conveniently titled "These Hands" that show business owners being indignant at the idea they're not Randian Supermen.

This is the first of those ads, featuring Jack Gilchrist and the Gilchrist Metal Fabricating Company:

So okay, the flagship ad in this series about how the government never helps businesses happens to star a businessman who is a government contractor whose business was started with a government loan and expanded with a government bond.  While that certainly contradicts the entire point that Romney is trying to make, I'm sure the next ad will do a much better job.  Meet Dennis Sollmann of the Sollmann Electric Company:

Mr. Sollmann is very upset about President Obama's (heavily edited) remarks, "He was trying to say 'hey, you didn't build that business on your own, the government helped you build it.'  And that's what ticked me off more than anything."  So it should surprise exactly no one that the Sollmann Electric Company is a government contractor with millions of dollars in contracts from local school districts.

Surely though, Melissa Ball of Ball Office Products will break this trend for Romney:

To start, Ms. Ball's assertion that the guys she makes drive trucks in triple digit heat for 14 hours a day built the company as much as she did is a little off message (it's almost as if labor is as, if not more important than, management).  Sounds pretty socialist to me, but that's not really what we're here for.  Nope that'd be the fact that Ball Office Products is the exclusive provider of office products to the Virginia Commonwealth University and the General Services Administration.  Now I have no problem with government contractors, but if you're trying to make the argument that businesses don't need government at all, using businesses that regularly cash checks from the government is about the stupidest thing you can do.

Which is why I'm going to stop here.  As far as I can tell Romney's made at least two more of these "These Hands" ads and I'm sure that some time spent on google would uncover that those businesses too benefitted from the existence of government.  Because as Obama said, it's simply a fact that all businesses benefit from operating in a civil society with roads, bridges, electricity, and education. All these ads really do is show that Romney's campaign is terrible if the first three businesses they picked to refute reality not only benefit in those intangible ways, but literally rely on the government for their bottom line.

So three strikes and I'm out (at least until they mess up hilariously again).

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hostess Snack Break: Captain America and the Time Warp!

Everyone needs a break sometimes, so why don't you enjoy this one with one of your favorite superheroes and one of your favorite Hostess snack treats:

I'm just going to completely sidestep how Caesar and the Roman legion know how to speak English because this is where it all starts.  Twinkies (the ultimate mind control drug) are used to send them back in time with Twinkies, which they will reverse engineer and build an immortal, mind controlled, Roman Empire.  Expect to wake up wearing a toga any day now.

This is Pretty Brutal

I don't think I've ever seen a political ad where a man claims a Presidential candidate murdered his wife before.  The fact that it's convincing is even more troubling:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friendship Friday with Jimmy Olsen: The Bird Boy of Metropolis

Who better to teach us about the true meaning of friendship than Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen?

Friends DO stand by their friends, even when they look foolish.

Reid to Romney: "Whatever You Do, Don't Throw Me In That Briar Patch"

Anyone who has ever watched (the incredibly racist) Song of the South or been on Splash Mountain knows the story of Br'er Rabbit and the Briar Patch: Br'er Fox catches Br'er Rabbit and plans to kill him, Br'er Rabbit says he doesn't care what Br'er Fox does to him as long as he doesn't throw him in the briar patch, Br'er Fox has a cruel streak so he does just that, and then Br'er Rabbit reveals that that's what he wanted all along since he grew up in the briar patch and was safe there.  Now, what exactly does this have to do with Mitt Romney?

For the last few weeks Democrats have been playing a game called "Keep Mitt Romney's Tax Returns In The News."  The game is pretty simple:

  1. Mitt Romney clearly has no intention of releasing his tax returns.
  2. Mitt Romney looks guilty every time he refuses to release his tax returns.
  3. Therefore we should make Mitt Romney refuse to release his tax returns as often as possible.
It's a pretty fun game and it's very good politics.  And in honor of the Olympics, earlier this week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to take it to a whole new level.  In an interview with the Huffington Post, Reid claimed that an anonymous Bain Capital investor told him that Romney didn't pay any taxes for 10 years.  On its face it's an outrageous claim.  Barring actual evidence that he committed tax fraud, the accusation that he paid zero taxes for a decade is certainly the worst thing that could possibly be in Romney's tax returns.  And adding insult to injury, Reid's "source" is ANONYMOUS (and quite likely made up) investor (and why would an investor at Bain Capital know anything about Romney's tax returns anyway).  Why it's almost as if Reid was trying to goad Romney into doing something stupid.

I want to reiterate that it's bad for Romney every time he has to talk about his tax returns.  At this point even releasing them likely wouldn't help him.  His best bet is just to ignore comments like Reid's.  Or he could do this:
"It's time for Harry to put up or shut up. Harry's gonna have to describe who it is he spoke with because of course that's totally and completely wrong. It's untrue, dishonest and inaccurate. It's wrong. So I'm looking forward to have Harry reveal his sources and we'll probably find out that it's the White House."
 When you're desperately trying to avoid releasing documents and are being accused of hiding things, it's probably best to avoid being tricked into saying "it's time to put up or shut up."  Because otherwise, you're going to find out that Br'er Rabbit calls the briar patch "home":
“When it comes to answering the legitimate questions the American people have about whether he avoided paying his fair share in taxes or why he opened a Swiss bank account, Romney has shut up. But as a presidential candidate, it’s his obligation to put up, and release several years’ worth of tax returns just like nominees of both parties have donefor decades." -Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid