Saturday, August 14, 2010


President Obama: "As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure."
Greg Sargent: Obama's speech transcends the politics of the moment, and will go down as a defining and perhaps even a breakthrough performance. Obama recognized that this dispute is a seminal one that goes to the core of our running argument about pluralism and minority rights and to the core of who we are. He understood that the gravity of the moment required an equally large and momentous response. And he delivered.
Of course, those who say they are trying to help elect politicians that "know the Constitution" have a different take. Sometimes I wish that those who say they support the Constitution and want to protect it, actually read the damned thing once in a while.

Abbey Lincoln Dies at 80

NYTimes: Abbey Lincoln, a singer whose dramatic vocal command and tersely poetic songs made her a singular figure in jazz, died on Saturday in Manhattan. She was 80 and lived on the Upper West Side...
...Ms. Lincoln’s career encompassed outspoken civil rights advocacy in the 1960s and fearless introspection in more recent years, and for a time in the 1960s she acted in films with Sidney Poitier.

Must Reads

Electablog: BREAKING! Gibbs Attacks "Professional Right"

Joe Gandelman: No, Virginia, There Is No Liberal Media Conspiracy

Josh Kraushaar: Senate In Play, With Or Without Reid

Elvis Dingeldein: First Amendment to Newt Gingrich: SUCK IT

Peter Schuck: Birthright of a Nation

Sheryl Gay Stolberg: Obama Says Mosque Upholds Principle of Equal Treatment

President Obama's Weekly Address - August 14, 2010

Honoring Social Security, Not Privatizing It

Friday, August 13, 2010

Terror Babies... Shazzam!

The House of Representatvies' own Gomer Pyle is freaking out over terror babies. TERROR BABIES! Republican Rep. Louis Gohmert (Texas... where else?) is convinced, CONVINCED I TELL YOU!, that illegal terrorist Muslim immigrants are having babies in this country as sleeper cells who will commit heinous acts of terrorism in 15 to 20 years. And Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!, he has no actual proof.


Oh, and just to make us all feel a little better, Louis Gohmert was a judge.  ...Oy...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tancredo AGAINST Repealing 14th Amendment?!

Tom Tancredo is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma surrounded by a douchebag.

Via TPM:
It turns out that Tom Tancredo... actually opposes changing the Constitution in order to end birthright citizenship.
...Instead of changing the Constitution to put a stop to so-called "anchor babies," Tancredo says he would instigate a good old-fashioned court battle.
Reports CNN:
Tancredo also said he would force the issue "through the mechanism we use to fund education. We could say for instance that we are not going to provide support for people, the children of people who are here illegally."*
Snapping his fingers for emphasis, he explained, "That would immediately start a lawsuit just like that and hopefully it would get to the Supreme Court right away."
* That's the douchebag part.

Stewart and the Ground Zero Mosque

Funny that I would comment on the compromisers and nutbags of the sort-of-near-Ground-Zero-Mosque-but-not really-at-Ground-Zero ridiculousness and the Daily Show would cover it just minutes later. I've got my finger on the pulse, people!

Anyway, they do it a lot better.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stop Catering to the Crazies

I knew New York Governor David Paterson was blind, but I didn't know he was dumb too.

Paterson agreed that there is "no reason" why the Cordoba House shouldn't be built at the site known as Park51. But in light of political response from conservatives, the governor is open to state intervention to help explore alternatives. "Frankly, if the sponsors were looking for property anywhere at a distance that would be such that it would accommodate a better feeling among the people who are frustrated," Paterson said, "I would look into trying to provide them with the state property they would need."
What the fuck, Dave? I know you're having a "can't we all get along" moment, but for fuck's sake, the argument against building Cordoba House is based on rage, bigotry, religious intolerance and irrational fear.

And where is this proposed property you'd look to provide? North of 14th Street? The Upper East Side? The Bronx? ...Buffalo? How far away from Ground Zero is far enough? Because the fact of the matter is that those you are trying to appease with your good intentioned idea will never be satisfied. They range from the politically opportunistic to the irrational to the just plain crazy. They will never agree to any cultural center or any mosque, anywhere. And to think that the overall problem of their intolerance will go away if only the site for the proposed center were further away from where hundreds of American Muslims tragically died at the World Trade Center along with the rest of the 9/11 victims is astonishingly naive.

Palin's Facebook Scrub Continued

Just for the fun of it.

17 minutes later...

...but shit like this remains.

Just sayin'.

More Like This, Please

"...Would you like Fox’s right to free press put up to a vote and say well, if five states approved it, let’s wait till the other 45 states do? These are fundament constitutional rights. The Bill of Rights guarantees Fox News and you, Chris Wallace, the right to speak. It’s in the constitution. And the Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the denial of our citizens of the equal rights to equal access to justice under the law, is a violation of our fundamental rights."

(H/T Think Progress)

Dumbass Quote of the Day

Do as I say, not as I do. ‎

"It doesn't matter what I do, people need to hear what I have to say. There's no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn't matter what I live."

~ Newt Gingrich in an Esquire profile regarding his less than moral personal life

BREAKING NEWS: Plane Down in Alaska


10:38am: A plane has gone down in Alaska killing some of its nine passengers. Among the passengers on the plane are former Senator Ted Stevens and former Navy Secretary and NASA Chief Sean O'Keefe.  No word as to who specifically has been killed as bad weather has prevented rescue workers to get to the wreckage.

More details to follow.

UPDATE (2:41pm): Former Senator Ted Stevens comfirmed killed in the plane crash.

Repeal Schmepeal

Rachel Maddow puts in great perspective the prospects of any politician running on or voicing support for the repeal of the 14th Amendment. Hint: It ain't gonna happen.

Rangel Kicks Ass On The Floor - UPDATED VIDEO

I just caught part of Charlie Rangel on the House floor using a personal point of privilege to make his case and insist on a trail date from the House Ethics Committee, something that has not been done to date after two years of allegations of corruption.

He said there were definite violations and that he takes responsibility for not more closely looking at his books and those working the books for him, but vehemently denied corruption.  He also basically dared his  Democratic colleagues to expel him if they thought he was a liability in the upcoming elections, but also reminded them that they didn't mind him raising and accepting money from Rangel when they were running and needed it.

He may or may not be guilty, but it was pretty ballsy and a joy to watch - I hope to find the video and post it here.

UPDATE: Here's the C-SPAN link to Rangel's speech.

The Palin Eye Roll and a Facebook Scrub Test

While reading co-blogger JHW22's post about Palin's celebrity status, I came across her update about Palin's Facebook post blaming the "lamestream" media for taking her disrespectful eye roll out of context after finding out the constituent she was speaking with was a teacher.

There is absolutely no way "the eye roll" can be spun any other way. Just look at the video.  Who are you going to believe, Sarah Palin or your lyin' eyes?

I decided to click on the link to read Palin's pathetic attempt to try and spin this as an out of context, media gotcha moment and lo and behold! I came across a negative comment and decided to take a screen shot of it and see how long it would last.

Here's what I saw (comment highlighted in shadow box):

Poor David Jones. Besides thinking that Palin has any good ideas, doesn't he know that he will now be forever banned from commenting on Sarah's page?  Oh, the agony of being shunned by your political crush!  Here's the same page refreshed four minutes later:

I see Warren Sims' comment... I see Charlotte A. Branham Hall's comment... David Jones' comment was between those two.  Where is it? Comment gone.  DE-FRIENDED!  It's really no surprise.  I was actually shocked it lasted for the 15 or so minutes it was up.

The best part of this whole back and forth with teacher Kathleen Gustafson is Sarah Palin's own words in that video:

"...And, no we both agree on the freedom of speech and the - you know - the protection of that. So, um, no I and, you know… best of everything to you too and Yeah."
She's soooo articulate. Sarah agrees on freedom of speech until some negative comment is written about her on her own Facebook page. Then it's no freedom of speech for them and um, yeah - banned!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Anatomy of Blind Outrage


In a Facebook post about Obama wanting to promote jobs for "Made in America", someone commented that instead he's creating jobs abroad and linked to two articles. The first article linked cited the second article linked so the commenter was kind enough to provide both. My problem was the lack of either article or the commenter to provide a link to the appropriate federal agency's website or any press release, statement, document or anything else to back up the article's claim.

For the sake of argument, say that the US is funding jobs in Asia. I am pretty sure they do. But I refuse to get upset until I have a chance to read the strategy, the purpose, the expected results or benefits. But if an article isn't going to share a link to the source with a broader explanation, they are essentially telling me to feel blind outrage.

The main reason I started following Broadway Carl regularly is because he is the king of links. He backs up his posts with resources and allows the reader to decide whether the links support the outrage or not.

So thanks, Broadway Carl. Thanks for providing information for your readers to develop their own thoughts.

To Celebrity or Not To Celebrity, That is the Question, Also, Too - UPDATED


I think Shannyn Moore rocks. She is a sensible, fair and calm journalist who may be one of the people who actually gets through to Americans who are enamored by Sarah Palin. This week, she shares a little diddy in the Huffington Post and at her blog about my new hero, Kathleen Gustafson. Kathleen had the cojones to show up where Sarah Palin was filming her TLC teevee show about Alaska and call her out on her poor governing. She had a chance to say, to Palin's face,

"You're not a leader, you're a climber!"
She also accused Palin of being a celebrity, to which both Sarah and her daughter took great mocking offense. Sarah Palin a celebirty? In what respect, Kathleen? Oh, yeah, the respect that she's FILMING A TV SHOW! And perhaps because she HAS A TV STUDIO IN HER HOUSE (the house that's next door to her regular, non-celebrity house).

But I guess my favorite part of the whole exchange is when Palin says she's helping America by helping to elect good people who understand the Constitution. See, I do that, also, too. And I don't need to be a celebrity to do it. She is lazy and opportunistic and pretends she is working for America as she rakes in the cash. Thanks to people like Shannyn Moore and Kathleen Gustafson, perhaps more people will start to see that.

Oh, and my least favorite part of the exchange was when she showed complete disdain for Ms. Gustafson when Ms. Gustafson said she was a teacher. Yes, we know Sarah hates learning. But to despise a teacher just for being a teacher? Really? That's just stupid.

UPDATE: Sarah has since posted a Facebook defense blaming the lamestream media for misinterpreting her reaction to the teacher as an eye roll. My husband posted a comment to her post telling her what he saw (disrespect) and it was deleted.

Grain of Salt


I take great pride in posting comments at politics blogs and sites. I try to be honest and thoughtful. I sign my name to all my comments to hold myself accountable -- well just my first name because I don't want any stalkers. But I respect the premise of the comment.

But after years of commenting at all kinds of sites, I've learned that not all comments are written by people with integrity and/or facts. There are an abundance of comments that make declarative statements without any quotes or links (not that I would follow links in a comment anyway). And it seems the more definitive -- yet lacking in support -- the comment, the more people adopt that comment as fact. I see this happen mostly on right-wing sites and or places that like to stir the pot rather than have a true discussion.

So over time, I've started limiting my reading to a few select sites and if I am in a grouchy mood I avoid the comments altogether. For the most part, however, I tend to read the comments only at sites I am familiar with and feel confident that the comments are written by people who know what they are talking about, or when the comments can be easily cross-referenced.

Perhaps that is why I was shocked and awed when I saw several job postings at a freelance website for commenters. Yes, some people get paid to comment.

And others get paid to re-write articles: have you ever noticed how right-wing blogs will have all of the same "information" but written differently and rarely with any links? It appears that several people get the scoop which gives the effect that it must be right.

Washington Examiner Needs Editors' Heads Examined

Today's Washington Examiner's editorial, "Time to admit Obamanomics has failed" is a doozy. Whipping their readers up in a frenzy, they claim that President Obama is going to "raise everybody's taxes by allowing the Bush [tax] cuts ... to expire" and that the stimulus bill "has failed to create jobs." It also criticizes the Wall Street reform bill because of its regulation. Really? We all know that deregulating the markets is what got us into this mess in the first place.  The whole piece reads like a nutball teabagger screed.

I'm reposting my response here, as I doubt it'll get past the moderators at their site.
Do the editors of the Washington Examiner bother to fact check what they write or are they purposely misleading their readers?
President Obama's FY 2011 budget calls for the expiration of the Bush tax cuts only for those making UNDER $250,000. Not "raising everybody's taxes" as the editors claim. Making the Bush tax cuts permanent would add $3.1 TRILLION to the deficit. So much for fiscal conservative hawks.
And claiming that the stimulus has not created jobs is laughable on its face. The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) stated: "The CEA estimates that as of the second quarter of 2010, the ARRA has raised employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by between 2.5 and 3.6 million. These estimates are broadly consistent with the direct recipient reporting data available for 2010:Q1."
Even the conservative Wall Street Journal has reported that 70% of economists surveyed said the stimulus helped.
If I can look this stuff up in ten minutes, I would hope that your readers could as well, instead of blindly taking these "editors'" words as fact.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Blame Game


As proud as I am of President Obama, I tend to find myself falling in the rut of hating the right more than celebrating our accomplishments on the left. I guess it has something to do with the idea that if you hear ten compliments but one criticism, you're likely to focus on that one criticism.

But what Obama and his team have been doing is attempting to highlight their accomplishments by reminding people where he started from on January 20, 2009. In doing so he's accused of still blaming Bush as if poor W didn't do anything wrong and all the messes are Obama's. Fine. Whatever. But the point remains that Obama MUST highlight the past to spotlight the present. And all presidents have done it.

Let's take a look at what W was saying in his radio address about his predecessor this far into his own administration -- well, a little further actually. Let's look at December 2002 which was four months further into his own administration than Obama is now:

Good Morning. 2002 Brought Great Challenges to America, and we had many successes at home and abroad. In 2002, our economy was still recovering from the attacks of September the 11th, 2001, and it was pulling out of a recession that began before I took office.
Many will argue that we were NOT in a recession at the end of Clinton's administration and that the actual recession began a month or so after Bush took office. But you can see where he'd want to give some of the blame to Clinton. Sure. I'll give him that. But geez, Obama can't criticize the worst recession since the Great Depression without getting in trouble for blaming Bush.

Well, surely Bush stopped blaming Clinton by the election... right?
But a senior administration official says the budgetary problems stem from what he called inadequate defense, intelligence and homeland security resources that were handed down from Clinton.
I should probably add that by "election" I meant the 2008 election. Did I forget to mention that? Yes, the Bush administration was still blaming Clinton for its financial problems in July of 2008.

We could argue forever about the nuances of who is to blame and who is just making excuses. But the point stands: all presidents put blame on previous presidents and they do it for as long as they are seeking to pass bills, get elected or keep their party in power.

As a regular ol' citizen, I plan on blaming Bush for the wars and the economy until I die or until dementia sets in. But that's just me.

Beyond Crazy


Give me the "Sarah Palin isn't Trig's Mom" conspiracy any day over the "Obama and Soros are emailing each other and want Glenn Beck dead" conspiracy. Glenn Beck hasn't exactly said that there's a plot to kill him (well, maybe he has but I'm not going to listen to him enough to find out) but he has sprinkled enough seeds about some relationship between Soros and Obama and has planted the seed that Soros would possibly try to kill him. Water those seeds a bit with references to Obama as Lucifer (when we ALL know that Cheney is Lucifer), Obama wants to take your guns, religion, money (do I really need to provide links for any of that?) and all of a sudden, you have people who think that Obama AND Soros want to kill Glenn Beck.

Now, as a former X-Files fanatic, I can say that some conspiracies do exist. I have some serious doubts about a few things that if I asked questions about would have me tagged as crazy. But I'll tell you what, when Democrats cling to conspiracies, we tend to have a few more facts that raise more questions than answers. When right-wing freaks cling to conspiracies, they make even Fox Mulder roll his eyes.

The only conspiracy going on with Glenn Beck is his own. He is a charlatan manipulating viewers into not thinking. He doesn't want them to think because he makes money off zombies. Now, even zombies are more believable than anything Glenn Beck can come up with -- just LOOK at his viewers.

(Now, Mr. Soros, I will be looking for that check that I have heard you'll be sending me.)

h/t to Desert Crone for the heads-up on the latest crazy.