Wednesday, April 30, 2014

We built...........oops NO. You didn't.

Breaking news - and this should be no surprise - Donald Sterling, the for-now-owner of the Clippers basketball team is apparently a registered Republican voter in L.A. county. Of course, the radical right has tried to pretend otherwise, but we know they are not a factual bunch. (That claim appears to be based on only two political donations, small ones at that, one for $2,000, twelve years ago, and one 25 years ago for $5k. The radical right extremist propaganda machine was working overtime trying to tar Sterling as a racist Democrat - not true! His politics are right wing to the core!

From the Daily Beast:

Donald Sterling and the Neverending Fantasy of ‘Democrat’ Racism

Oh, how eager the conservative press is to call Donald Sterling a Democrat! It’s all part of their larger fantasy narrative about conservatism and race.

Update: Now comes the utterly shocking news that despite his campaign donations to the contrary, Sterling is—sit down—a registered Republican. The Los Angeles Times's Michael Hiltzik tweeted as much this morning, and I confirmed through a source that a Donald T. Sterling who lives in Beverly Hills and was born on April 26, 1934 is indeed a registered Republican voter in L.A. County.
And here we have his own words, echoing the 2012 GOP national convention theme:

Donald Sterling repeated the same false claims made by the supporters of loser Mitt Romney at the Republican convention in 2012 with the theme "We built that".
“I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? … Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?”
Apparently 'this Donald', as distinct from the other right wing lunatic with the same first name who makes prominent gaffes like 'the blacks love me' (they don't) thinks that when he makes money, he earns it, he 'makes it', but when the players do so, he is giving them a gift, there is no 'earning[' involved, only 'taking'. Nothing about that thought process is consistent or rational or fair or honest. Here's the thing -- simply starting a league does not make money; if we are to believe that Donald Sterling rather than his players made the team, and by extension, the players as an aggregate did not make the league a success, then we have to embrace that sports movie mantra 'follow the money'. Donald Sterling has not been much of a success.  It has been the relatively recent performance by mostly black players, coaches and managers who have made that difference.  The most Donald Sterling can claim is dumb luck.  He did not do the overwhelming majority of the hard work.  He was not some brilliant executive owner.  He has in fact been something of an epic failure, in some cases an actual obstruction to the success of his own team. As noted in 2012 coverage by NPR:
This summer, the controversy over "you didn't build that" has been a far more sustained phenomenon, even before this convention. While primarily limited to the conservative media, it has taken on a life of its own. The refusal of more mainstream media to take it as seriously has only made it catnip for those who do. And at the Tampa convention, this line of attack, legitimate or not, all but took over the proceedings.
And it is no surprise that the team plays basketball in a facility with the name Staples on it, who also can't admit that - as the Bible puts it - the laborer is worthy of their hire, or that other people's efforts EARN their compensation, it is not a 'gift' (same source).  (The Staples arena is privately owned, but it got a special deal from the city of Los Angeles in order for it to be built and benefits from the services of the city of L.A.):
Tom Stemberg, founder of the office supply store Staples, gave one of several testimonials for Romney on the final night. But he spent much of his time raking the White House for its supposed attitude toward business: "They just don't get it. They don't get it because they don't believe in the spirit of the entrepreneur. They don't understand what it means to risk money to create something new. They don't understand the hard work it takes to get a business off the ground."
It is reminiscent of the rhetoric heard about socialism and the New Deal in the 1930s and 1940s and reprised a generation later in reaction to the Great Society. In those days, the phrase was "running government more like a business." Such talk had faded in recent years, at least temporarily, after the meltdown that began in late 2007 shook many people's faith in the wisdom of markets.
But here in Tampa, the centrality of business and its needs and wants were front and center. Foreign policy was an afterthought in most of the presentations, including Romney's acceptance speech. Social issues were scarcely mentioned, rating a passing reference of less than a minute's duration in the nominee's finale. Yet Romney used the word business 17 times in that same speech. One of them was a reference to the "freedom to build a business." One more use of the most reliable applause line of this convention. If the economy is the top issue and jobs are the key measurement of the economy, the Romney Republicans believe they can win by convincing the public that the current president simply doesn't understand where jobs come from. The central theme of this week in Tampa is about to become the party's mantra for the fall."
To make a play on words, it was the mantra in the fall for the fall - for the fall and fail of Mitt Romney, and now for the fall from grace and power, the epic fail, of Donald Sterling.

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