Saturday, January 22, 2011

Must Reads

Digby: Another Isolated Incident

Dave Weigel: Nothing Is Repealed - Republicans fulfill a Tea Party promise, and get their first taste of irrelevance.

Angry Black Lady: Firedoglake: With All Due Civility, Go F**k Yourself

Gail Collins: Goodbye to a Guy Named Joe

Jonathan Chait: Charles Krauthammer Laughs At Arithmetic

JHW22 recommends...
Josh Marshall: The Deal with Palin

Rick Ungar: Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance -In 1798

President Obama's Weekly Address - January 22, 2011

"We Can Out-Compete Any Other Nation"

Friday, January 21, 2011

Olbermann Signs Off!

With no pomp and circumstance, Keith Olbermann revealed that Friday's Countdown telecast would be the last.

After eight years, Countdown is done. TPM's Josh Marshall was a guest on the show and was shocked to discover that he was on the final broadcast - the professionalism of the staff and crew didn't give it away.

According to the New York Times...
MSNBC announced that “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell would replace “Countdown” at 8 p.m., with “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz taking Mr. O’Donnell’s slot at 10 p.m. Mr. Olbermann did not discuss any future plans, but NBC executives said one term of his settlement will keep him from moving to another network for an extended period of time.
And thus begins Comcast's demise of the liberal media.

ADDING... After letting it sink in for a few minutes, this was definitely personal. Lawrence O'Donnell can be just as bombastic as KO was. And Ed Schultz and his beady, red eyes can come across as a loon sometimes. Maybe even a firebagger. This was definitely a personal matter - there was always friction between Olbermann and his bosses.

April Fools' Day in January, maybe?


So, this was Keith Olbermann's final Countdown. No warning. Wow. Speculation is all a Twitter.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"The Base"


Jane Hamsher and Adam Green are NOT "The Base". Nor are they "The Far Left".

No, when Obama does something and some people in the Democratic party get mad, "THE Base" is not mad at him. No, when Obama does something and some people in the Democratic party get mad, "THE Far Left" is not mad at him.

As Desert Crone (a regular reader here at Broadway Carl's) and I have discussed many times, Jane Hamsher and Adam Green are NOT the base. Let me say it one more time because I really mean it: they are NOT the base.

How do I know they are not the base? Because they fall in the 15 to 20% of Democrats that consistently find something to be mad about. That is not a base. If it were, we'd be an inverted pyramid and we'd topple over in a hiccup. A base is a large number of supporters who consistently see the policies and leadership as progressive -- meaning forward-moving -- and accept that sometimes a seemingly weak play is necessary in order to get a larger accomplishment secured. A real base pays more attention to the overall and long-term needs rather than the microcosm of creating anger and fear. In fact, the numbers in the Jane Hamsher/Adam Green faction of the Democratic party are even smaller than the number of people who think Sarah Palin didn't go FUBAR in her Tucson video. Also, they are in the same 15% of Democrats who are NOT enthusiastic about voting in 2012 (h/t Desert Crone) -- so tell me how THEY are "THE Base"...

I feel the need to state this bluntly because Lawrence O'Donnell seems to think that these two characters somehow represent "The Base" [note: I am not going to provide any links to back this up for two reasons. One is there are too many. Two, I think my head would explode if I had to listen to or even look at either JH or AG. But you can find any damn episode of The Last Word and probably see one or both of them presented as "The Base"] although I think Lawrence knows better. Lawrence also knows a great deal about creating great television.

I also feel the need to declare this fact about them NOT being "The Far Left" because Chris Matthews referred to the 15% of Democrats who think Obama is "too quick to give in" as "the FAR left". No, Chris. I am the far left. There isn't a political ideology test I could take that wouldn't consider me far left and I am not in that 15% that thinks he is too quick to give in.

So to Lawrence I say, you DO know how to make good television and you also know how to present the truth in a better way than by having those two on your show as much as you do. They represent the 15-percenters yet you give them 50 or 75% of the space in their segments. That's a gross misrepresentation of their role, affect and relevance in the Democratic party. Sure, you need opposition, but dole it out in proportion, will ya? And PLEASE don't associate the word "base" with them when they are on your show.

And Chris, for someone who takes umbrage with people saying the "Democrat party" and pronouncing Cheney incorrectly (yes, we all know you say it the right way but because you keep telling us that, I stubbornly refuse to do it) then you should understand that a label, an identifier, matters. Get it straight: 15% is NOT the far left. They are the "angry left". They are the "whiny left". They are the "never-get-an-orgasm-and-by-god-they're-gonna-take-out-their-blue-balls-out-on-the-world left".

Hell, I'd even add Arianna Huffington to the list of "not the base".

I am far left. I am the base. I am not Jane Hamsher or Adam Green.

Oh, yeah, our President knows stuff


I do not need to be reminded how smart President Obama is. I am one of those bots who thinks he can do no wrong (well, sometimes I have serious doubts until I hear his rationale and there are a few things he and I will never agree on like belief in God and the death penalty) but essentially I am always 100% aware of how smart he is. But even then I realize he's even smarter than I give him credit for.

Remember that it was Hillary Clinton who wanted the mandatory purchase of insurance for ALL Americans (something the firebagging PUMAs forget when they call Obama a corporate sell-out on this point) during the campaign. Obama just wanted the mandatory for kids. As I watched him compromise during the health reform debates, I always wondered if there was something more to the individual mandate aside from the cost savings that made Obama decide to change his position from just kids to all. Something about it never seemed fully fleshed out.

Well today I read this article and it proves that the Founding Fathers would support a mandate for insurance -- because they did in 1798.

The law was not only the first time the United States created a socialized medical program (The Marine Hospital Service) but was also the first to mandate that privately employed citizens be legally required to make payments to pay for health care services.
Now, I am not saying Obama was made aware of this law and changed his mind. But something tells me that he made his switch on something more than just the cost issue. The fact that he understands the history of our country better than many who ACT as if they do, I truly suspect he knew this law existed and chose to move forward knowing that precedence was on his side. And, in fairness to Hillary, she is smart enough and knowledgeable enough to have been aware of this historic law as well.

Oh, yeah, this is also reinforcement that the Republican party is ignorant of history and not really as in love with the Founding Fathers as they'd have us believe. Not that I am surprised. And I am sure you're not either.

Pedestrian Deaths? Michelle Obama's Fault!

No, really. Some idiot is trying to link an uptick in pedestrian deaths to Michelle Obama's "Get Moving" program.

Governors Highway Safety Administration spokesman Jonathan Adkins told 630 WMAL that Michelle Obama is "trying to get us to walk to work and exercise a little bit more. While that's good, it also increases our exposure to risk."
After four straight years of steady declines, pedestrian deaths were up during the first six months of 2010, the latest figures available to be studied.
The article goes on to mention that other factors include distracted pedestrians, distracted drivers, "aggressive pedestrians," and alcohol. But hey, why take a look at real causes like walking/driving while texting when you can just blame the uppity black woman in the White House?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Very Serious Pundit

Here's Rush Limbaugh doing his best stereotypical Chinese language in reference to Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Very serious Republican leader, that Rush Limbaugh.

White House White Boards are so cool


Stewart & Colbert Weigh In On Palin

Golden Globe Vapors

Can people please stop feigning outrage over the Ricky Gervais performance as host of this year's Golden Globes? Have these people not seen Gervais' act? Are these the same people that booked Stephen Colbert for the White House Correspondents Dinner a few years back?
"Ricky will not be invited back to host the show next year, for sure," the HFPA member said. "For sure any movie he makes he can forget about getting nominated. He humiliated the organization last night and went too far with several celebrities whose representatives have already called to complain."
That's very courageous of you to say, anonymous Hollywood Foreign Press Agent member.  Good going in sabotaging your award by your pettiness in pre-emptively judging future Gervais projects that don't exist. If you're such an amazing judge of talent, what the hell were you expecting from Gervais? You had him host last year as well and HE WARNED YOU that this year he would go over the top, even harsher than last time. Did you not believe him?

And guess what? People love that shit. The love Gervais and his deprecating humor. They eat it up. So think about your ratings next year when you decide to have Jay Leno or some other hack host your event.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sarah Still Clueless

Sarah Palin's in trouble. And when she gets into trouble there's always an "exclusive" interview with Sean Hannity to lob the softballs (or just outright make excuses for her) and bail her out. But this latest interview showed that Sarah still didn't get it. She's still talking about being attacked in the "lamestream media" while using said media to try and wriggle off a hook of her own making, and still misconstruing the First Amendment while she's at it.

First she tries to backtrack on her use of the phrase "blood libel" even though she admits she knew what it meant historically.

"Blood libel obviously means being falsely accused, or having blood on your hands. And in this case that's exactly what was going on. And yes, the historical knowledge that people have of the term blood libel, it goes back to the Jews who were falsely accused back in medieval European times of using the blood of children. And you know, the criticism of even the timing of this statement is being used as another diversion, because I believe that there are many on the left, many critics, who don't want, for instance, Congress, to buckle down, get back to work."
No, Sarah, maybe the criticism was that either A) you really didn't know what the term implied historically or B) if you did know, it was just an insensitive statement that you should have apologized for, which still hasn't happened yet. Because Sarah's never wrong so why should she apologize for anything? And what does any of the criticism leveled at your idiocy have to do with Congress going back to work? Maybe you'd like to think that the people's business has something to do with you, but it doesn't. I think Congress will get along fine even with criticisms being leveled against you.

But what really shows her to be the thin-skinned, feeble minded person she is, is once again deciding that criticism against Sarah Palin is somehow akin to censorship.
“I will continue to speak out,” she said. “They are not going to shut me up, they are not going to shut you up, or Rush or Mark Levin or the Tea Party Patriots or those who respectfully and patriotically petition their government for change. They can’t make us sit down and shut up, and if thy were ever to succeed in doing that, then our republic would be destroyed.”
Who said anything about shutting her up? As has been explained over and over again, Sarah Palin is free to spout whatever ridiculously stupid thing she wants. That doesn't mean she's immune to criticism. Just as she's free to speak her mind, everyone else is free to respond to her moronic diatribes. And if we're at the point that our "republic would be destroyed" if we didn't hear the o, so glorious words of Palin, Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin, then we're already to late to save it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jets Back in AFC Championship Game

In a game few expected them to win, in the same stadium where the Patriots humiliated them by 42 points last month, the Jets bullied New England, battered Tom Brady and advanced to the A.F.C. championship game with a 28-21 triumph.
...With a second-year coach in Ryan and a second-year quarterback in Mark Sanchez, the Jets advanced to their second straight conference title game. They travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers next Sunday, on the same field where they narrowly beat the Steelers last month.
Being a lifelong Jets fan but only three years old when they last made a Super Bowl appearance, this was one of the sweetest victories I can remember.

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