Mission Statements Of The Damned

The Crossdresser and The King

“Actors who played F.B.I. employees were required by Hoover to undergo a background check.”

J. Edgar Hoover, who was smashing gender norms before it was cool, had his panties in a bunch about Martin Luther King Jr. MLK had a suspicious proclivity to exercise his First Amendment rights, which, if allowed to spread, might undermine the Republic by forcing it to live up to its ideals.

So Hoover did what Americans expect an FBI chief to do: He drove a Ford spied on a United States citizen:

Under the FBI’s domestic counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) King was subjected to various kinds of FBI surveillance that produced alleged evidence of extramarital affairs, though no evidence of Communist influence.

What kinds of surveillance? Well, for starters, how about this:

Hoover deployed agents to find subversive material on King, and Robert Kennedy authorized wiretaps on King’s home and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) offices in October 1963.

(Readers of a Certain Age may only remember Bobby Kennedy as a Sainted Martyr. But he was also Brother Jack’s attack dog as attorney general, and before that, a rabid anti-Communist working for Joe McCarthy. History is fun!)

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Holy Quagmire, Batman!

This is new to us. We feel compelled to express this fact, since Adam West remains our Batman, where by our we mean Wednesdays and Thursdays same-bat-time-same-bat-channel, and we would presume that our inner seven-year-old wouldn’t forget something like that nearly a half-century on.

Unless it came out during the third season, which we’ve mostly sublimated because (a) no cliffhangers, and (b) the Batgirl theme is really stupid. In that context, a pro-Vietnam message would have been the least of our concerns.

[via Comics Alliance]

Community Service

Anybody proposing a Draft should first see their reflection.

The first thing we did upon learning that WaPo’s Dana Milbank had written a column advocating the Draft was look up (a) his age, and (b) his military service.

Having grown up during That Decade, you can understand why. Our babysitter had a Vietnam map on her livingroom wall, tracking the Last Known Locations of her son, the draftee Army cook. We checked our Number every year, even though we weren’t even a teenager. We gave Serious Thought to Canada, at least as serious as a twelve-year-old could muster.

And then it all went away, and Our Generation gave the world Toga Parties.

But despite the fact we dodged the Draft — even dodged Registration, since Jimmy didn’t dare piss off young voters with it in 1980 — we’ve never forgotten that sword hanging over our head growing up, our status as a potential pawn in Somebody Else’s War. Whatever the Draft’s justification in earlier eras, it didn’t apply to ours.

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Please Note (a) They Have to Be Told, and (b) They Don’t Listen

“It’s way past time: House Republicans need to stop talking about rape. That’s the message GOP lawmakers got here Wednesday evening from Kellyanne Conway, a top GOP pollster.” [Politico, via Political Wire]

Hurricane? But What About My Campaign?…

Stay classy, Mitt: “We’re counting on Ohio. I know the people of the Atlantic Coast are counting on Ohio and the rest of our states [for disaster-relief donations]. But I also think the people of the entire nation are counting on Ohio. Because my guess is — my guess is that if Ohio votes me in as president, I’ll be the next president of the United States.” [LAT]

Happy Owner Day from Eric Cantor!

Greetings from Kolob

It seemed a good idea at the time: Launch a satellite into the vast universe, include a recording of the people of Earth saying Hello. And when Voyager finally landed on a distant unknown planet, the inhabitants were happy to send back a mechanical ambassador — biological travel being too dangerous — who would speak to us in our own language. Only there was a scratch on the Golden Record, the words were lost in retranslation, and now we’re on the verge of interstellar war because that fucking lying robot pisses the hell out of us.

In other words: Mitt Romney is Carl Sagan’s fault.

And with that fabulously tortured metaphor out of the way, we welcome you to our GOP Convention Open Thread/ConfabulationCon. Hey, have you heard about the Mormon drinking game? Take a swill every time Mitt tells the truth!