Saturday, October 10, 2009

Alan Grayson Rocks!

You can contribute to Grayson here.

Must Reads

Bob Cesca: Know Hope

The Rude Pundit: The Necessity of Michael Moore, Part 3

Bill Moyers & Michael Winship: In Washington, Revolving Doors are Bad for Your Health

Paul Krugman: The Uneducated American

Nicholas Kristof: Let Congress Go Without Insurance

**Note: My apologies for the lack of posting this week. My work schedule was such that I didn't have time to read a paper or watch the news, let alone compose a blog post.

Quote of the Day

"The question we have to ask is who has done the most in the previous year to enhance peace in the world. And who has done more than Barack Obama?"

-THORBJOERN JAGLAND, chairman of the Nobel Committee

President Obama's Weekly Address - October 10, 2009

New Momentum for Health Reform

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama Wins Nobel Prize, Wingnuts Crap Cages

Anti-Obama all the time. America loses 2016 Olympics and "WOOHOO!" Obama sucks! He couldn't seal the deal! This only proves that the world really hates him. Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize and "WHAAAA?!?!!" Political fallout! What will the right say? What will Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity and *gasp!* Rush Limbaugh say about it?

And I say, "Who gives a shit what the nutballs have to say?" They are preaching to their ever shrinking choir. They will tell their audience of 30 percenters what they want to hear. So why is this any different than any other day, other than the fact that the rest of the reasonable, sane population should feel a sense of pride that their country's leader, only the third sitting President in the history of the nation, should receive such an honor?

When Limbaugh gets himself into such a lather to the point of agreeing with the Taliban, and lumps his audience in with that assertion while calling President Barack "Nobel Peace Prize" Obama a "worldwide joke," and saying it's "a greater embarrassment that losing the Olympics bid," then you know you're on the right track. Really? Winning the Nobel Peace Prize is an embarrassment? How does he rate getting busted with illegal Viagra prescriptions at the airport?

So let them fling their feces. They do it every day. It only proves their simian intellect. What difference does another reason make when every day we sit in a front row seat at the viewing of Glenn Beck dirtying his underpants? Just another a day in the life of the disinformers and the misinformed.

ADDING... Rachel Maddow dissects this situation perfectly.

Obama Derangement Syndrome

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sotomayor Has Surpassed Thomas Already

When I read the Huffington Post title, "Sotomayor Asks More Questions In An Hour Than Thomas Has In Years," I surely thought it was an exaggeration. Wouldn't you? HA! WRONG!

Does Clarence Thomas really ask so few questions that Sotomayor could beat his total in an hour, you may wonder. Indeed, he does. As the AP reported in February 2008, Thomas had gone 2 years and 144 cases without speaking up during oral arguments. "It is a period of unbroken silence that contrasts with the rest of the court's unceasing inquiries," the AP wrote at the time.
What a wise latina!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cartoon of the Day

Other People's Sex Lives

Posted by Fraulein

Ever since then-President Clinton was practically burned at the stake by our highly-principled news media for his affair with Monica Lewinsky, I've been fascinated by the pull that this type of adultery story seems to exhibit. I totally understand the concern that a person in a position of power could abuse that position to demand sexual favors from staff members. If that had been the case with Clinton, then yes, my journalistic instincts tell me that would have been a story. But with a willing, adult-age partner, where is the story? A guy cheated on his wife? These things do happen. Dog bites man. Not a story.

I've been reminded of all this in reading the tons of ink spilled on the David Letterman adultery story. Unless I’ve missed something, it doesn’t seem that any of the women Letterman apparently slept with have accused him of demanding sex in return for job perks or promotions or continued employment. Nobody is saying he preyed on underage staffers. So why the hell does anyone care? Did the guy break any laws? If not, why does the media feel inclined to beat this story to death? I guess in this case the answer is the same as it usually is: this story is being over-covered because it’s an easy story to cover. (Our media is nothing if not lazy.) There’s ready-made video with Dave’s noteworthy on-air discussion of the events, in an effort to take control of the narrative from the guy trying to blackmail him. And as much as we love our celebrities in America, we love seeing them beaten down even more. A humiliated celebrity is far better news fodder than a famous person on top of the world.

That said, I find the Associated Press’ hand-wringing in the above-linked story quite interesting. What must Dave do to keep women viewers, the AP wonders? Speaking as a (sigh) middle-aged married woman, I have to say that nothing about this whole thing bothers me, aside from the media’s over-reaction to it. Letterman’s sex life concerns me precisely as much as Bill Clinton’s sex life concerned me back in the 1990s: not one goddamn bit. Why shouldn’t I keep watching Letterman’s show? Don’t I have more pressing things to worry about? How immature am I supposed to be, exactly?

The last thing I want to waste time worrying about is other people’s legal, consensual sexual activities. Period. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. But the media will never admit that most people simply don’t care about this stuff.

Cross-posted at Purple Ink

A Huge SNL Disappointment - UPDATED

I was so looking forward to SNL when I got home from work and it was probably the worst show I'd seen in years. Hell, Ryan Reynolds is hysterical in his movies and he was hosting. And Lady GaGa performing is always going to intrigue me.

So imagine my surprise when I sat there in complete silence with the opening Obama skit. There is Fred Armisen going through a list of non accomplishments.

Yeah, just watched it again. Still not funny. At first I thought maybe I've become so partisan and jaded that it's gotten to the point of laughing hysterically at skits slamming Republicans (the Joe Wilson "You Lie" skit made me chuckle) and being completely unable to laugh at myself when Democrats are attacked. The difference I'm realizing is that they really have to stretch the truth when trying to razz Democrats, but can almost take the GOP verbatim. "It's funny because it's true" isn't just an empty phrase.

The whole point of satire is in the truth behind it. Last week's skit on Thursday's Weekend Update with Obama appearing on every network including MTV and The Food Network was humorous after he'd done the Full Ginsburg for obvious reasons. This one was just completely off base. When you can complete every sentence with an obvious qualifier to discredit the point, it becomes unfunny. For example, "Close Gitmo... in one year." "Get out of Iraq... in 18 months." It just went on and on.

Unfortunately, the "we can attack Democrats too and we will so as not to be called in the bag for Obama" meme was shining right through with that most recent sketch. And as impressions go, Fred Armisen wasn't even trying this time. Maybe his heart wasn't in it because he knew it was bullshit and a crap ass skit.

When the funniest sketch of the evening comes at the end of the show with Lady GaGa and Adam Samberg in identical "bubble dresses" trying to kiss, it's time for the writers to take stock and get back at it.

Adding... Here is a list of accomplishments in President Obama's first eight months provided by Bob Cesca.

UPDATE (7:20pm): Here's PolitiFact's review of the SNL skit.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane

With all the talk of Iran and its newly found nuclear facility, President Obama's announcement at the G-20 in Pittsburgh and Iran's agreement to allow inspectors in the country in two weeks, Jon Perr at Crook and Liars takes a stroll down memory lane as a reminder of the last fiasco in Iran and the leadership provided by the greatest of all GOP administrations (as averred by Republicans), the Reagan Administration.

The Iran-Contra scandal, as you'll recall, almost laid waste to the Reagan presidency. Desperate to free U.S. hostages held by Iranian proxies in Lebanon, President Reagan provided weapons Tehran badly needed in its long war with Saddam Hussein (who, of course, was backed by the United States). In a clumsy and illegal attempt to skirt U.S. law, the proceeds of those sales were then funneled to the contras fighting the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. And as the New York Times recalled, Reagan's fiasco started with an emissary bearing gifts from the Gipper himself:

A retired Central Intelligence Agency official has confirmed to the Senate Intelligence Committee that on the secret mission to Teheran last May, Robert C. McFarlane and his party carried a Bible with a handwritten verse from President Reagan for Iranian leaders.
According to a person who has read the committee's draft report, the retired C.I.A. official, George W. Cave, an Iran expert who was part of the mission, said the group had 10 falsified passports, believed to be Irish, and a key-shaped cake to symbolize the anticipated ''opening'' to Iran.
The rest, as they say, is history. After the revelations regarding his trip to Tehran and the Iran-Contra scheme, a disgraced McFarlane attempted suicide. After his initial denials, President Reagan was forced to address the nation on March 4, 1987 and acknowledge he indeed swapped arms for hostages:
"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. As the Tower board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages."
Of course, the sad saga didn't end there.

Read the whole, fascinating post.