Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Fear Mongering, Profiling, Flight 297 Viral E-Mail

I received a forwarded e-mail (the worst kind) today from a friend's mother who usually sends me these kinds of e-mails in order to debunk them. Being as she's a reasonably liberal older person in a conservative town, she's more often than not a target for such fear mongering, smear e-mails. This one was a great read, complete with heroic feats and amazing courage. It's almost a shame it wasn't true.

It seems that a man named Theodore Petruna took it upon himself to tell the real tale of the reason Air Tran Flight 297 from Atlanta to Houston was delayed on November 17th, 2009; the full story that the media wouldn't tell (that "media" being Fox News).  And the proof is in the brown-skin hating pudding because Mr. Petruna says he was on the flight.

The real reason the flight was delayed? Muslim terrorists on a dry run!

►Continue reading The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Fear Mongering, Profiling, Flight 297 Viral E-Mail

Must Reads

Nathan Newman: Progressives (and Obama) are Doing Better Than We Think -- and We Won't Know What We've Got 'Til It's Gone

Elvis Dingeldein: Guns, Butter and Suck

Brian Katulis: A Surge of a Different Sort for Afghanistan

The Rude Pundit: Glenn Beck's Christmas Sweater Live Broadcast: A Rude Review

Elizabeth Warren: America Without a Middle Class

Jason Linkins: HuffPost, TPM In White House Pool: Newspaper Reporters Gripe

Eric Burns: If I Still Worked at Fox News...

William K. Wolfrum: America: Land of the Free, home of the Penis-Gazers

Peter Baker: How Obama Came to Plan for ‘Surge’ in Afghanistan

What's the Difference Between Tiger Woods and Max Baucus?

Tiger Woods is great at his job.

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus’ office confirmed late Friday night that the Montana Democrat was carrying on an affair with his state office director, Melodee Hanes, when he nominated her to be U.S. attorney in Montana.

According to a source familiar with their relationship, Hanes and Baucus began their relationship in the summer of 2008 – nearly a year before Baucus and his wife, Wanda, formally separated in April. The Senator has since divorced his wife.

Hanes ended her employment with Baucus in the spring of this year.

(H/T Cesca)

President Obama's Weekly Address - December 5, 2009

Pushing Forward on Jobs

Read the transcript here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cartoon of the Day

Oh, The Humanity!

From the "Too Crazy To Be True" archives, a Tennessee Mayor named Russell Wiseman was outraged at the pre-emption of A Charlie Brown Christmas on Monday night due to President Obama's West Point speech on Afghanistan. Not only was he upset at the programming bump but felt that our "muslim president" did it on purpose because he hates Jeebus, ranted about it on Facebook and then continued his outrage when it was made public.
"Ok, so, this is total crap, we sit the kids down to watch 'The Charlie Brown Christmas Special' and our muslim president is there, what a load.....try to convince me that wasn't done on purpose. Ask the man if he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he will give you a 10 minute disertation (sic) about it....w...hen the answer should simply be 'yes'...."

...In Wiseman's extensive thread that attacked the president, his supporters and Muslims, he stated " obama people need to move to a muslim country...oh wait, that's America....pitiful."

At another point he said, "you know, our forefathers had it written in the original Constitution that ONLY property owners could vote, if that has stayed in there, things would be different........"
Yep, an elected official in this country is more interested in a 44 year old cartoon Christmas special that he could've bought on DVD than in one of the most important decisions the nation's president happens to be making on the same night. He thinks President Obama looked through the programming schedules of every local outlet in the United States and picked a night where he could deny Charles M. Schulz the opportunity to spread the Gospel through a two-dimensional drawing of a six-year old, blanky toter named Linus. And most of all, Obama did it to fuck up his family's night in front of the television.

These are the people we choose to represent us. Oh, the humanity!

(H/T Linkins, HuffPo)

Birther Palin Suppressing The Media

She's getting nuttier by the day, as if that were possible. Sarah Palin was interviewed by conservative radio show host Rusty Humphries (that's a porn star name if I ever heard one) and said she has no problem with freakizoid birthers doubting the citizenship of Presdient Obama.

The comments came [when asked] whether she planned to “make the birth certificate an issue” if she runs for president in 2012.

“I think the public rightfully is still making it an issue,” Palin said. “I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t know if I would have to bother to make it an issue, because I think that members of the electorate still want answers.”

So she's a birther at heart but given the chance is too cowardly to make it an issue herself. And as Bob Cesca points out, this from the same woman who moans about the "loony conspiracy theory" that Trig was not her son in the book that she didn't write. So, Palin not Trig's mom? Lunacy! But the President a Manchurian candidate born in Kenya? Feasible and worth a look.

And now comes word that the traveling freak show that is Palin's book tour has a set of media regulations should anyone decide they'd like to cover her magical book signing events.

Via Wonkette:
For Palin’s appearance at the Mall of America next week [WCCO of Minneapolis] received a list of seven media guidelines, including one stating there can be no foreign press — only English-speaking press and another that said media must address Palin as “Governor.”

The other rules include no interviews — but if the media want one, a request must be submitted to her publicist — plus no microphones, only background sound and pictures and only the first 10 minutes of her appearance can be taped.
No foreign press? Fool me once, or twice, can't get fooled again. Only addressed as "Governor?" Don't you have to actually be a governor to be called governor? No interviews? Well after the Katie Couric gotcha interviews, Sarah's a little leery of getting questions on whether or not she's read her own book. And no microphones, because she doesn't want to get caught saying anything stupid, and when a mic is on near Palin, you're bound to catch a doozy.

And you want to be my latex salesman...

Good News

NY Times: U.S. Economy Lost Only 11,000 Jobs in November

The Labor Department reported that the United States economy lost 11,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 10 percent, down from 10.2 percent in October.

The government also significantly revised its September and October job loss estimates. September’s data was adjusted to show a loss of 139,000 jobs instead of 219,000, and in October 111,000 jobs were lost, instead of 190,000. Even allowing for the November loss, the revisions added 148,000 people to the list of those employed in the United States in November.

How soon before Fixed News declares that the stimulus had nothing to do with it and that this is just the natural upturn in any recession? You know, just like climate change is in a natural cycle and 150 years of industrial revolution CO2 has nothing to do with it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No Nuance

I've been doing a little more reading than writing on the blogs today, when my internet and cable wasn't out (DAMN YOU, TIME WARNER!!!) and it's pretty interesting, the blackness and whiteness of it all. No, I'm not comparing President Obama to the Senate. I'm reading the left ripping their hair out over the fact that they were duped by Mr. Hope and Change and this Afghanistan decision proves it. I'm reading the right throwing their feces at the arrogance of the Manchurian Candidate's timeline that includes a withdrawal date, because the enemy will just wait us out, even though since they live there, there can always wait us out.

Nuance has never been a forte of the far left or right. I had a conversation with someone regarding the President's speech and ultimate decision after almost three months of planning and thought. I expressed how I didn't like the idea, hated that we'd have to stay, how we've done nothing substantial there for eight years but that leaving now would be like the early 80s all over again, when we funded the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in their fight against the Soviets and then cut and ran when we needed to help them rebuild. I thought that a timetable for withdrawal was a good thing, making sure Pakistan's nukes didn't fall into Taliban hands was a good thing, how it's really no surprise as Obama has characterized Afghanistan as "the good war" as opposed to Iraq and how he voiced his opinion while still Senator to expand there.

And the response I got?: "So you're for the expansion of the war then?"

Fuck! No, I'm not for war expansion, who is? But what other choice does President Obama have? Are others privy to information behind closed doors at the White House that I am not, and can make a better decision than the President? I wasn't happy about President Bush's escalation when he decided to surge troops into Iraq either, but it seems to have worked out there and I was wrong. Obviously they know more than we do. And yet I see the left calling Obama a sellout and caving to the Pentagon. The same Obama that rejected every initial plan from the Joint Chiefs and told them to come back when they included an exit strategy.

Were they not paying attention when the President, then Senator, said he would escalate in Afghanistan during his campaign run? Or were they "duped" then too? And anyone supporting the President on this most difficult of decisions is now an Obama apologist, or has drank the Obama Kool-Aid. That seems to me to be the old Bush, "you're either with us or against us" black and white ideology. Has anyone been happy with the policies of a politician they voted for 100% of the time? Can't it be possible to still support a president for the things he's doing right and take a "wait and see" attitude with things on which you disagree?

I read things like, "This is not what I voted for" or "He's supposed to please his base." Well he's not supposed to please anyone, he's supposed to do what he thinks is right and what's best for the nation. It wasn't his base that won him the nomination, it was the independents. His base, who is now calling him worse than Bush and a sellout, were whining back them about how he was blowing the campaign by not addressing Rev. Wright immediately or letting the "pallin' around with terrorists" fester. And he kept showing us that he was smarter than any of us.

The title of David Sirota's column today made me wince. "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a president's political image?" Pretty clever, rephrasing John Kerry's question in front of a Congressional hearing during Vietnam, and in my opinion, pretty shallow to suggest that this decision was made based on Obama's image. But I would submit to Mr. Sirota that the same question could be asked had the President ordered an immediate withdrawal.

Now, if the President backs off on the withdrawal date, whether the situation on the ground dictates it or not, then I believe he may be in trouble. We might then see a one term President and I'm sure that Obama knows this. The real thorn in Obama's side isn't Afghanistan, but slow job recovery and the economic downturn. If those factors don't turn around by mid to late 2011, it might be one and done.

But there is one thing I can believe: this decision from this President was not made lightly. And I believe he made it because he thinks it's the best decision for the country.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

President Obama on the Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Here's the video of last night's speech, in case you missed it (like I did).

BREAKING NEWS! Man Cheats on Woman

Woods says he lets family down: THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Tiger Woods said he let his family down with transgressions he regrets “with all of my heart,” and that he will deal with his personal life behind closed doors.
His statement Wednesday follows a cover story in Us Weekly magazine that reports a Los Angeles cocktail waitress claims she had a 31-month affair with the world’s No. 1 golfer.
I am so happy this is out in the open now. I don't know how I could have gone on with my life had I not known all the sordid details. (Here endeth the snark.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Problem With Afghanistan

I haven't blogged about this subject because there's really not much to say about it. I can't imagine that anyone is happy that the United States is committing another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. Anyone sane, that is. I'm not speaking about chickenhawks like Dick Cheney or war profiteers like Halliburton. And it's easy to say "withdraw" when you're not the President of the United States. I personally would like to see a withdrawal from Afghanistan as soon as possible but we know that that isn't going to happen.

And think about the situation the Obama administration finds itself in. Put yourself in the President's place and really think about not just the ideological stance but the political ramifications of this decision. It's damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Either A) Commit more troops and anger the liberal Democrats, although this shouldn't come as a surprise since President Obama did say during his campaign that we took our eye off Afghanistan and that he would finish the job.

B) Decide to withdraw and you're labeled as soft on national security. That combined with the terrorist trials being held in New York City and the "Obama love terrorists" meme continues.

C) Commit less troops than the request of the generals and be ridiculed for not listening to the commanders on the ground; not that former President Bush listened to his commanders when they asked for more troops in Afghanistan as he was playing Stratego™ in Iraq and Osama bin Laden was reenacting The Great Escape in Tora Bora.

But whether we stay in Afghanistan, escalate or withdraw, the real problem is that it only legitimizes Hamid Karzai's tainted election, and a corrupt, drug profiteering government. So no matter what the President announces tonight, and from all indications it looks like an escalation of 30-35,000 troops, there is no upside except for the possibility of outlining a definite exit strategy with a specific timetable. Of course, there will be talk of benchmarks, but with the new administration, I'm expecting said benchmarks to be specific and attainable, as opposed to nebulous and fishy. You can move the goal posts only so many times.

At this point, there really is nothing to do except to hope that the new strategy works, and give President Obama the benefit of the doubt and the time to make it work. Otherwise, we should take to the streets in protest with the same vigor as the wingnut teabag contingent, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

We'll find out tonight.

Haven't We Heard This Excuse Before?

AP: Afghan officials hope President Barack Obama's address on Afghanistan won't be weighted too heavily on an exit strategy – even though that's the message many Americans and Democrats in Congress want to hear.
If he talks extensively in his speech Tuesday night about winding down the war, Afghans fear the Taliban will simply bide their time until the Americans abandon the country...

1 - The whole point of an exit "strategy" is to leave the country in a favorable position for them to defend themselves. It's the complete opposite of abandonment.

2 - Do they think we live in a fish bowl and have no short term memory? This is the same fucking excuse we heard from the chickenhawks about leaving Iraq before we won something or other. Al-Qaeda would just wait it out.

3 - Afghan "officials" (yeah, I'm talking to you, Hamid Karzai) might want to worry a little more about their country not supplying the world with 95% of its heroin and a little less about our exit strategy and what President Obama might say in his address tomorrow.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting pretty tired of everyone looking for the United States to be the policeman of the world, especially when  don't see anyone too eager to dig into their pockets and pony up the dough to do it. I think those guys in the light blue helmets should step in and make with the peacekeeping while we should step out and get our shit together.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Sarah Screw Up

I know, I know. Like shooting dead fish in a barrel. Sarah Palin is the gift that keeps on giving. The Moose that lays the golden egg. But just as she runs her publicity (on Facebook) and her book signing tour (leaving before the job is done) and her half term governorship of Alaska (like her 5K race) it seems that Sarah's minions are taking stock and probably quit fact checking the book that she didn't write before the task was done.

Here's a doozy from Geoffrey Dunn:

There have been so many lies and distortions pointed out in Sarah Palin's Going Rogue since it was released last week that her memoir has already become something of a gag line.

But perhaps the most embarrassing gaffe so far is her mis-attributed quote to UCLA basketball legend John Wooden.

As the epigram to Chapter Three, "Drill, Baby, Drill," Palin assigns the following remarks to the Hall of Fame hoops coach:

Our land is everything to us... I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it--with their lives.
Only the quote wasn't by John Wooden. It was written by a Native American activist named John Wooden Legs in an essay entitled "Back on the War Ponies," which appeared in a left-wing anthology, "We Are the People: Voices from the Other Side of American History," edited by Nathaniel May, Clint Willis, and James W. Loewen.
Now misquoting something is bad enough, not checking it for accuracy is even worse, especially when you're publishing a book. But misquoting a Native American and attributing it to a college basketball coach (you know, because you're such a down to earth, one of us, hockey mom) who probably wasn't advocating land redistribution is even beyond the pale for the normal wingnut activity we've gotten used to seeing around here.

Here's John Wooden Legs' full quote:
Our land is everything to us. It is the only place in the world where Cheyennes talk the Cheyenne language to each other. It is the only place where Cheyennes remember the same things together. I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it--with their life. My people and the Sioux defeated General Custer at the Little Big Horn.
Man, is she stupid. Read the rest of the Dunn post for his lesson to Ms. Wasilla.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Music Break! John Pizzarelli