Vox Tries To Figure Out Why The GOP Hates Eric Holder So Much

The website Vox tries to answer the question: “Why does the GOP hate Holder so much?”

This website, OK Fine, would simply answer the question with “because they hate him, that’s why,” but Vox actually tries to figure it out.

The answers have something to do with policy — Holder is the face behind the “Fast and Furious” scandal, and his Justice Department’s been slammed over its resistance to transparency and prosecution of leakers.

However, it is also because Holder has taken on the responsibility of going where the president can’t — talking about race bluntly where Obama is conciliatory, expressing contempt for Republicans where Obama has to be polite.

Holder is the perfect target for GOP opposition. The man is responsible for carrying out some of the Obama policies they hate most and is also a personal proxy for the president — partly just because they’re both bi-racial men who identify as black.

“The attorney general nomination hearings starting Wednesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee are ostensibly about nominee Loretta Lynch. But they’re really about outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder,” according to Vox.

For Loretta Lynch, one of her strongest assets in her path to confirmation is that she’s not Holder — and he’ll stay in place until someone else is confirmed. The question is whether Republicans will welcome Lynch as a chance to turn the page, or condemn her automatically for Holder’s sins.

Vox article:


Vox: American Sniper Rewrites History

According to Vox, American Sniper has a problem. It’s a movie about a black-and-white distinction between good and evil, but it is set almost entirely in the Iraq War, which can only be honestly portrayed in shades of gray.

Faced with a choice between altering its narrative to account for that gray versus altering the facts of history, the film chose the latter.

Vox states the movie doesn’t care about honesty: in its retelling, Iraq was a fight of Good Americans against Bad Terrorists, led by Chris Kyle, the “Good-est” American of them all.

The result is a sort of “Hezbollah martyr video” for those who watch Fox News; recruitment propaganda for culture-war extremists. In the world of this movie, the Iraq war is an extension of the war on terror; heroes with guns are our only hope of salvation; and anyone who doubts that is part of the problem. And the propaganda is frighteningly effective.

Warning: This article discusses the plot of American Sniper.

american sniper promo 1

The movie’s central metaphor is this:

There are three types of people in the world – wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs. The evil wolves threaten the sheep. The sheep are good people, but vulnerable to harm because they’re too naive to understand that evil exists. That means that it’s up to the sheepdogs to protect them from harm.

In that metaphor, Kyle is America’s border collie, shepherding the weak and vulnerable away from harm. The movie’s Big Bad Wolves are al-Qaeda terrorists.

The sheep would be the other Americans who lack Chris Kyle’s vision and fortitude, and fail to understand that you’re either with us or against us.

That includes fellow US troops who lack Kyle’s skill, or who dare to question the war. Iraqis, by contrast, are not sheep: in this movie they’re either wolves themselves, or nameless collateral damage. Mostly wolves, though.

Vox states that American Sniper stacks its deck, and is using imaginary history and characters to give Kyle a suitably evil foe to fight.

It’s never good to see a movie falsify a true story, and American Sniper‘s disdainful attitude towards the truth is especially disingenuous in light of its broader narrative: “you’re either with us, or you’re a naive sheep.”

To maximize the bigness and badness the enemy, American Sniper rewrites history, turning the Iraq War into a legitimate response to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The film finds time for entire scenes of Kyle viewing TV news reports about al-Qaeda’s 1998 bombings of US embassies, and the planes hitting the Twin Towers on 9/11.  When Kyle gets to Iraq, his commander explains that they are hunting the leaders of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The inference we’re supposed to gather is clear: that Kyle is fighting the same people who attacked America in 1998 and 2001.

By contrast, the actual reasons for the Iraq war go unmentioned. The words “weapons of mass destruction” are never uttered in the movie. Nor are “Saddam Hussein,” “George Bush,” “Sunni,” or “Shia.”

The movie also makes no mention of the lawsuit brought by former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura against Kyle, and the film also makes no mention of Kyle’s killer, former Marine Eddie Ray Routh.

American Sniper Chris Kyle's Murder: Eddie Ray Routh on Trial

On an episode of his podcast We the People with Jesse Ventura, Ventura explained there were still many “misconceptions” about his recent lawsuit.

According to People Magazine, Ventura claimed Kyle falsely accused him of saying he hates America and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” in the war. Ventura was awarded $1.8 million in damages: $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment.

According to Vox, in real life, Chris Kyle argued that America owed its troops support because those troops did not get to choose the wars they fought, or the strategy they followed: they wrote the government a blank check for their lives and waited to see if it would get cashed.

Vox:  “There’s a very interesting movie to be made about that idea, and what it means to be heroic during a misguided war.  American Sniper isn’t it.”

Vox: Obama Is Unpopular. He’s Also Accomplished An Incredible Amount.

According to Vox, since November 26, the Obama administration put forward new anti-smog regulations that should prevent thousands of premature deaths and heart attacks every year.   Also, Obama’s appointees at the Federal Reserve implemented new rules curbing reckless borrowing by giant banks that will reduce profits and shareholder earnings but increase the safety of the financial system.   He also normalized relations with Cuba after decades and created a plan to protect millions of unauthorized immigrants from deportation.  Also, on Saturday, Democrats broke a congressional logjam and got many nominees confirmed.

Vox:  “It has been, in short, a very busy and extremely consequential lame-duck session. One whose significance is made all the more striking by the fact that it follows an electoral catastrophe for Obama’s party. And that is the Obama era in a microcosm.

“Democrats’ overwhelming electoral win in 2008 did not prove to be a ‘realigning’ election that handed the party enduring political dominance. Quite the opposite. But it did touch off a wave of domestic policymaking whose scale makes Obama a major historical figure in the way his two predecessors won’t be.”

Vox continues:  “It’s old hat at this point, but given the mixture of conservative rage and liberal disappointment that Obama generally inspires, it’s worth emphasizing that his first term offered legislation on a truly historic scale. The Affordable Care Act and related measures an expansion of the welfare state rivaled by only the New Deal and the Great Society.

“The tendency of today’s slow-as-molasses Congress to work via megabills means that consequential measures like new rules mandating calorie labeling at chain restaurants stand as mere provisions of Obamacare rather than counting as substantial measures on their own.”