Saturday, March 26, 2011

President Obama's Weekly Address - March 25, 2011

The Military Mission in Libya

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why We Need Employee Protections, Regulations and Unions we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire on March 25, it’s sobering to realize many of the lessons we thought had been absorbed must be re-learned again. And again. The Triangle fire, a symbol of unfettered Gilded Age greed, still stands burning before us—from lack of job safety and health protections, to neglect of the conditions endured by immigrant workers to the fundamental ability of workers to form unions and bargain for a better life.

Quality of life, job safety, health, a 40-hour work week, sick pay, medical leave, healthcare benefits and vacation are just some of the reasons unions were fundamental in establishing workers rights in the United States, and despite a misinformed populace brainwashed for decades against them, unions are vital for the continued safety of the American workforce.

Point to the Triangle Shirtwaist factory tragedy 100 years ago today and you'd think things have changed drastically, and they have. But it doesn't mean that events like that are no longer possible. Less than one year ago, 29 coal miners were killed in an explosion at a mine owned by Massey Energy in West Virginia. That tragedy could have been avoided had regulations been enforced. And to a lesser extent, look at all the hoopla surrounding the Broadway show Spiderman. Would we be hearing about their injury record if it weren't for safety regulations required by unions, OSHA and the NLRB?

At the height of American union membership in the 1950's, 34% of the non-agricultural workforce in the private sector were represented by unions. Today, that number hovers at around 7% with that decline starting in the 1980's. That the disparity of wealth continues to accumulate toward the top one percent of the country while middle class wages remains stagnant during that same time period is no coincidence. But wages are never the only issue.

Left unchecked, free market advocates will always look at the bottom line when taking the health and welfare of its workforce into consideration. In this new century that is unacceptable. And one party over another will side with the corporations over the country's citizens every time. And that too is unacceptable.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tweet of the Day

Someone's getting a little hot under the collar, his dander's up, his grissle is burning!

Actually it's a 140 character limit, so Chk Grasly's free 2 tweet @ least 8 mre wrds.

(H/T @CptRobespierre)

Dumbass Quote of the Day

Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam. Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy. While there certainly ought to be a presumption of religious liberty for non-Christian religious traditions in America, the Founders were not writing a suicide pact when they wrote the First Amendment.
~Bryan Fischer, the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the American Family Association
I was tempted to make a "Dumbass Quote of the Year" category for this one, but it's still early yet.

Newt Was For It Before He Was Against It PART 2

Rachel Maddow explains my previous post in 2 minutes. That's why she gets paid the big bucks while I... do not. I ♥ Rachel Maddow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Short on Reasonableness


Just a quick post to say that Robert Reich and smart Democrats like this can kiss my fat (although, getting skinnier) ass.

Tonight on Hardball, Reich moaned pathetic about Obama being in South America instead of at home creating jobs.

A) I would expect an economics expert to understand the significance of Obama's trip to our economy and job creation.

B) It's not a Spring Break as Fox News wants viewers to believe (oh, I get it, Reich is a Fox watcher).

C) Does Reich realize Reich is doing his very own job (giving astute analysis) via ... wait for it ... satellite? Yep, a job can be done from a different place than the magic place. Jobs are not created from one chair, behind one desk, in one oval-shaped room, in one house painted white, on some street named after a state, in some country with 50 states and a shitload of towns and cities.

C.2) Does Reich think Obama needs to be in Texas to create jobs in Texas? In Oregon to create jobs in Oregon?

D) Reich titled one of his books, "I'll Be Short". Well, I think Reich is being short-minded and short on rational thought or integrity. I lean toward the latter. I think Reich SHOULD know better and chooses to add to the value-less, pathetic and unproductive crap that is a waste of valuable air time. Hey, Reich, use your on-air opportunity this way: Ask not what your President can do for you. Ask what you can do for your President. For starters, you can stop acting like a right-wing wanker and start applying some of the logic I am sure you must possess and talk about things that are relevant and not petty.

By the way, I took my copy of "I'll Be Short" back to the used book store where I bought it from the clearance section. The font was big, the spacing was large and I didn't get a thing out of it. Perhaps I am giving Reich too much credit.

In other words, and I'll be short, "Grow up, Reich".

Elizabeth Taylor Dies at 79

NY Times: Elizabeth Taylor, the actress who dazzled generations of moviegoers with her stunning beauty and whose name was synonymous with Hollywood glamour, died Wednesday in Los Angeles. She was 79.
...Her publicist, Sally Morrison, said the cause was complications of congestive heart failure. Ms. Taylor had had a series of medical setbacks over the years and was hospitalized six weeks ago with heart problems.

Newt Was For It Before He Was Against It... - UPDATED

...and it was only a matter of days before Gingrich decided to switch policy positions for the sole purpose of criticizing President Obama on Libya... whatever the stance happened to be at the time, consistency be damned.

Gingrich on Van Susteren's show, March 7th:
VAN SUSTEREN: What would you do about Libya?
GINGRICH: Exercise a no-fly zone this evening. … It’s also an ideological problem. The United States doesn’t need anybody’s permission. We don’t need to have NATO, who frankly, won’t bring much to the fight. We don’t need to have the United Nations. All we have to say is that we think that slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable and that we’re intervening. And we don’t have to send troops. All we have to do is suppress his air force, which we could do in minutes.
March 20th from Politico:
It is impossible to make sense of the standard for intervention in Libya except opportunism and news media publicity,” Gingrich said in a statement to POLITICO, his first public comments since President Barack Obama gave the go-ahead order on Saturday.
March 23rd on The Today Show:
GINGRICH: The standard [Obama] has fallen back to, of humanitarian intervention could apply to Sudan, to North Korea, to Zimbabwe, to Syria this week, to Yemen, to Bahrain. This isn't a serious standard, this is a public relations conversation. The Arab League wanted us to do something. The minute we did something, the Arab League began criticizing us doing it. I think that two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is a lot. I think that the problems we have in Pakistan, Egypt — go around the region. We could get engaged by this standard in all sorts of places. I would not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Qaddafi. I think there are a lot of other allies in the region we could have worked with. I would not have used American and European forces.
Does your neck hurt from the whiplash yet? Within a matter of 13 days, Gingrich went from "exercise a no-fly zone now" to "intervention makes no sense"; from "intervene because slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable" to "I would not have intervened."

In less than two weeks, Gingrich went from "The United States doesn't need anybody's permission" to "I would not have used American and European forces." Apparently Matt Lauer didn't challenge him on his previous statement supporting a no-fly zone led by the U.S. Good job, Matt. Do your homework next time.

And this lying, hypocritical rat bastard wants to run for president. This fickle fuck wants to be the leader of the free world. But what else can you expect from a jackass who used hard work and patriotism as an excuse to reason away philandering on two of his three wives? I'd watch my back if I were you, Callista.

(H/T Think Progress)

UPDATE (3:30pm): Pathetic backtracking begins.

This is such a sorry attempt to redefine his stance, but the timeline still doesn't add up. If Newt thought allies should have been used and not American forces, why did he initially say that we didn't need permission from the UN and didn't need NATO "who frankly wouldn't bring much to the fight"? If not NATO, what allies is he talking about? The French? The British?

And trying to blame is flip-flopping mind on Obama's statement of March 3rd doesn't make sense when Newt made his statement on March 7th. Of course, since every right wing nut has to oppose everything Obama says and does, we know the real reason he flip-flopped was because Obama actually did commit to a no-fly zone, something Newt was on board with... until Obama agreed. He can never be seen concurring with the President, so just say the opposite. No one will notice, right?

UPDATE II (3/24/11, 11:15am): Newt goes the Sarah Palin route. Enough with the lamestream gotcha media, I'll just post on Facebook!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Buchanan the Contrarian

What exactly is Pat Buchanan's job description as one of the main conservative talking heads on MSNBC? Is he there to give his honest opinion? Or is he there to automatically counterpoint any opinion from the left? Is he there for an historical perspective? Or is he there to disagree with practically every policy decision made by a Democratic administration?

It seems to be the latter and every once in a while, he appropriately gets his ass kicked in public, as happened in tonight's appearance on Hardball. Enjoy.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Cartoon of the Day

Well, He's Got MY Vote!

At the time of this posting, this video had 30,195 views and voting for the video was at 156 "likes" and 130 "dislikes." Heh. How's that for exploring? Also, I couldn't go without quoting the very first comment I read:

"Yeah, he limited government - and refused on multiple occasions to allow modest increases on gas taxes that would have paid for road and bridge maintenance - well the whole country saw I-35W crash into the Mississippi River. Here in MN, we've seen our property taxed [sic] rocket upward as he refused to help cities - all the while crowing that HE didn't raise taxes - guess what? My total tax bill is up. Timmy just passed the buck to the communities. He's just another flim-flam artist. Good riddance."
Explore away, Tim. Explore away!

Oh, I also counted 31 U.S. flags in the 155 second video. Patriotism! RRRWOAR!!!

(H/T Bob Cesca)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fair and Balanced: Fox Gets Outfoxed

Via TPM:

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't - UPDATED

Is it me, or had the majority of the media and opposition political leaders been critical of President Obama for not leading in Libya for the last month?

Of course, I expected nothing but negative comments from the usual suspects. After all, they must oppose all things Obama to appease their radical base, therefore, no matter how the situation was handled, they had to express their disapproval ("Obama is weak, why is he waffling on Libya?"). But we also heard the same thing from the mainstream media which I found a little odd. I mean, aren't they all in Obama's pocket?

Then there's a UN resolution for a no fly zone and France takes military action first and we hear idiotic criticisms like "We are no longer leading in the world, even France beat us to the punch!" Well, you know what? I'm glad someone else took the lead for once. Why does it fall to the U.S. to police the world every time? At least now it looks like there's a coalition backed by the U.N., the Arab League and led by the French and British. Good for them!

And finally, the U.S. launches missiles taking out pro-Gaddafi communications and air defense in support of the U.N. resolution and to protect French and British allies, and now the criticism is how we're in a third war and everyone is acting as if it's unilateral (See MSNBC "How dare he go to Latin America looking to create jobs via exports during this time. Libya! Japan! IEEEE!"). Rep. Dennis Kucinich wanted Obama to approach Congress for permission when A) war was not declared and B) is he talking about the same Congress that can't get together on a budget? And Ralph "Uncle Tom" Nader crawled out from under his rock to say the President should be impeached for his action. Kucinich wondered about that action as well.

Does the cognitive dissonance not compute in these peoples' addled brains, or are they purposely looking for cooked up controversy to boost ratings and/or satisfy their ideological bases? This is obviously a rhetorical question.

And there's Obama thinking, "Damned if you do, damned if you don't."

UPDATE (3/22/11 11:45am): I've posted this as a comment but would like to add it here with a little embellishment.

Look, I'm not happy about using force in Libya. I don't think anyone should be happy about it. The U.S. military is already spread thin and spending billions in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the budget balancing Republican hacks who are in favor of our involvement in Libya don't bat an eye at those costs while attempting to cut education and medical assistance at home in the name of fiscal responsibility.

Yes, there are critical questions to be asked. If we're there in a humanitarian capacity then why didn't we engage in Darfur or Sudan? Or why don't we use force in Yemen now? I get that going into Libya may be an excuse because of strategic interests rather than humanitarian ones, and those are fair questions and thoughts.

But spare me the Obama bashing about whether he went in too soon, or too late, or didn't lead or that we're taking a back seat to France. Stop interviewing John McCain and Lindsey Graham for bashing from the right, and Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader for bashing from the left just to get a soundbite outside the norm to play on a loop. It just makes it seem all the more partisan and therefore completely disengaging.

UPDATE II (3/22/11 3:15pm): Here's Rachel Maddow's analysis on "Obama's war."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dumbass Quote of the Day

“I do agree that there are other groups that pose a terroristic threat to this country... I would say that the threat from radicalized Muslims is a unique and greater threat. It is the greatest threat... [Islam] comes from a hate-filled holy book, the Quran, which is taken very literally by its people.”
~Bill Maher on Real Time while speaking to Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim
I was shocked and disappointed, waiting for the punchline, when Bill said this especially after starting the interview bringing the question posed by Glenn Beck when he interviewed Ellison, "Sir, tell me why I should think you're not with the enemy." He goes on to quote an author who disparages the Quran, but doesn't bother to go to the source itself? Or to at least follow up with a Quran scholar? I don't understand how he can criticize Rep. Peter King and Glenn Beck for their views in one breath and in the next, agree with the generalized nonsensical right wing meme that Islam is a radical religion that wants to destroy the United States.

If Maher truly believes that the Quran is taken literally by it's followers, then he must think Beck was on to something.