WaPo: Ledger's Makeup Was More "Urban" Than Nicholson's, So Obama-Joker Posters Are Racist
Seriously. Get a grip.
So why the anonymity? Perhaps because the poster is ultimately a racially charged image. By using the "urban" makeup of the Heath Ledger Joker, instead of the urbane makeup of the Jack Nicholson character, the poster connects Obama to something many of his detractors fear but can't openly discuss. He is black and he is identified with the inner city, a source of political instability in the 1960s and '70s, and a lingering bogeyman in political consciousness despite falling crime rates.
The Joker's makeup in "Dark Knight" -- the latest film in a long franchise that dramatizes fear of the urban world -- emphasized the wounded nature of the villain, the sense that he was both a product and source of violence. Although Ledger was white, and the Joker is white, this equation of the wounded and the wounding mirrors basic racial typology in America. Urban blacks -- the thinking goes -- don't just live in dangerous neighborhoods, they carry that danger with them like a virus. Scientific studies, which demonstrate the social consequences of living in neighborhoods with high rates of crime, get processed and misinterpreted in the popular unconscious, underscoring the idea. Violence breeds violence.
It is an ugly idea, operating covertly in that gray area that is always supposed to be opened up to honest examination whenever America has one of its "we need to talk this through" episodes. But it lingers, unspoken but powerful, leaving all too many people with the sense that exposure to crime creates an ineluctable propensity to crime.
Superimpose that idea, through the Joker's makeup, onto Obama's face, and you have subtly coded, highly effective racial and political argument. Forget socialism, this poster is another attempt to accomplish an association between Obama and the unpredictable, seeming danger of urban life. It is another effort to establish what failed to jell in the debate about Obama's association with Chicago radical William Ayers and the controversy over the racially charged sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Obama, like the Joker and like the racial stereotype of the black man, carries within him an unknowable, volatile and dangerous marker of urban violence, which could erupt at any time. The charge of socialism is secondary to the basic message that Obama can't be trusted, not because he is a politician, but because he's black.
I didn't watch The Dark Knight nearly closely enough. I admit - I totally missed the fact that Ledger's Joker was a subtly coded "bogeyman" representing the dangerous urban black man (expertly shrouded in pancake makeup over a caucasian face) who we all quietly fear and loathe. I confess that I still don't totally understand why, but the author does use words like "typology" and [unspecified] "scientific studies" so I defer to his hysteria.
Former Rep. William "Dollar Bill" "Cold Cash" Jefferson (D-LA) Is 11x Guilty
Enjoy your time in the cooler.
Former Democratic Congressman William Jefferson was found guilty of 11 of 16 corruption charges today by a federal jury.
The jury of eight women and four men returned a guilty verdict following five days of deliberation.
In the 16-count indictment, Jefferson was charged with soliciting bribes and other crimes for a series of schemes in which he helped American businesses broker deals in West African in exchange for payments or financial considerations to companies controlled by members of his family, including his brother Mose, his wife, Andrea, their five daughters and a son-in-law.
Jefferson, who represented the New Orleans-based 2nd Congressional District for nine terms, will now face sentencing by Judge T.S. Ellis III, who earlier meted out stiff sentences for lesser figures in the case. According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Jefferson faced 235 years in prison if convicted on all counts, and will still face substantial prison time.
The verdict comes four years after the Aug. 3, 2005 raids of Jefferson’s homes in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., in which the FBI found $90,000 in cash hidden in the freezer of his D.C. home, money the government said Jefferson was going to deliver as a bribe to Atiku Abubakar, then vice president of Nigeria, to gain his help with a telecommunications deal in Nigeria being pursued by Lori Mody, a Northern Virginia businesswoman.
The money was the lion’s share of $100,000 in FBI cash that the congressman was videotaped receiving packed in a briefcase days earlier in a suburban Virginia parking lot from Mody, who, beginning in March of 2005, had become a cooperating witness for the FBI, secretly taping her conversations with Jefferson.
The jury did not find him guilty on the Foreign Corruptions Practices Act, which was the count linked to the money in the freezer.
Another ObamaCare Bonus: Your Very Own British-Style Dentition
The problem, as usual, is perverse incentives which arise out of the difficulty of developing sensible formulas for reimbursement.
Amidst her description of how and why the incentives for dentists are distorted in the United Kingdom, Delia recounts her own experience with a root canal:
I witnessed this dilemma personally when I was in need of a root canal myself. My dentist told me that I had the choice of pulling the (otherwise healthy) tooth for the flat NHS rate of $76 or going private and paying 650 pounds (roughly $1,070) to do a root canal. He wasn’t willing to run the risk of doing the root canal himself for the NHS fee. As he put it starkly, why risk a lawsuit doing a root canal that takes several hours to do properly when you could just pull the tooth and be done with it? I went private.
Fundamental For Squares
Legislatin' is hard enough, without saddling our esteemed Congresspersons with the burden of acquainting themselves with their own legislation.
American Health Care System Suddenly a Bit More Popular
The grass is always greener only in the abstract. Once you take a closer look at the neighbors' dry, patchy, socialized lawn, things at home have a way of looking somewhat better.
Forty-eight percent (48%) of U.S. voters now rate the U.S. health care system as good or excellent. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 19% rate it as poor.
These figures reflect a significant increase in support for the health care system over the past few months. In May, just 35% of adults nationwide rated the system as good or excellent. A year ago, just 29% of Likely Voters rated the system in such positive terms.