Saturday, July 2, 2011

Music Break! Michael Brecker

I'm in one of those moods, so I always go to the source that snaps me out of it. My favorite saxophonist, Michael Brecker, who left this world too soon.

Delta City Blues

Must Reads

FactCheck.Org: Bachmann’s Waterloo - The GOP lawmaker's presidential campaign starts with a slew of off-base claims.

Deaniac83: Gay Marriage, Wall Street and How the Teabaggers Got Taken for a Ride and The Base

Steve Benen: Dems Hit Romney for Comical Flip-Flop

The Rude Pundit: Dave: A Lonely Glenn Beck Fan Contemplates the Future

Tanya Somanader: Judge Rejects Sarah Palin On Global Warming, Keeps Polar Bears On Threatened List

Paul Krugman: To The Limit

Ryan J. Reilly: Colbert's Super PAC Not Actually Called Colbert Super PAC

President Obama's Weekly Address - July 2, 2011

Cutting the Deficit and Creating Jobs

Friday, July 1, 2011

Marcus Bachmann on Gays: "Barbarians." Where's Dan Choi?

This is a particularly heinous thing to say:

"We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps…"
That's GOP nominee contender Michele Bachmann's husband, Marcus Bachmann's position on homosexuality. He thinks they're "barbarians who need to be educated." I'm not going to blame Michele for her husband's words, although her statements obviously put her in the anti-gay faction.

But where's intrepid Lt. Dan Choi? Surely he would have the wherewithal to come out and condemn this atrocious statement. Marcus Bachmann is calling Dan Choi a barbarian that can be cured of the gay, so what does Choi have to say to that?

...*cricket*... ...*cricket*...

I haven't heard any of the news outlets mentioning any statement Choi might have and can't find anything relevant on the Internet. So I thought I'd take a look at his Twitterfeed to see his comments on being called a barbarian.

Hmmm... nothing. Just some more Obama bashing with a rehash of his snarky "What-I-think-Obama-means" tweet. What a leader for the LGBT community, huh? How very disappointing.

Quite Possibly The Dumbest Tweet Ever

Very serious Republicans.

Honorable mention to a poor soul who engaged me in a Twitter debate last night.

You can read the entire Twitter thread here for a bowl full of stupid.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cars 2 -- The Indoctrination Begins


My husband and I took our son to see Cars 2 the other day. And the first thing I told my husband was, "Get ready for the cries of 'INDOCTRINATION!!!!" If you haven't seen it yet, and you should, I won't spoil it other than to say there's a definite perspective against big oil. Honestly, it was pretty glaring and I giggled AND I worried about all the kids whose right-wing parents will deny them the sequel to an entire generation's classic tale of friendship, determination and teamwork.

So a friend, who is a quiet Conservative Republican, posted on Facebook asking if Cars 2 is any good. I jumped right in with high praise. Another Republican friend of ours agreed. Two more people gave it a thumbs-up (but I don't know them or their political leanings).

Then comes this comment:

I heard it's pretty PC- big oil companies are bad, gas guzzling cars are bad, green energy rocks and everyone needs super-fuel efficiient [sic] cars.
I had four thoughts rush at me in a split-second: 1) Hahahaha, I knew it, 2) I wonder where she "heard" it, 3) When did talking about gas and fuel-efficient cars become "PC" and not good for the wallet, 4) Now I'm fucking pissed that people will defend the shit that comes out of our cars rather than give the likes of Al Gore a win.

Because thought four made me so angry, and because my friend is so quiet and NOT confrontational AT ALL, I am holding my keys over there. So, I blogged it here.

Mark my tire treads, we will hear this more an more. And it will get ugly. Kids will be crying and Mater the Cable Guy will be in a heap of trouble with the same people who still think Toby Keith is a Republican.

EDIT: Duh, I didn't think to Google "Cars 2" and "Indoctrination" before posting. And look what came up first.

Mark Halperin Is A Dick

Look, you can disagree with the President. You can bitch and moan about how he doesn't lead because he doesn't use the bully pulpit, and then when he actually asserts himself and his opinion on that pulpit, complain that he's too harsh. I makes absolutely no sense, but you can do it if you're mentally deficient. But to call the President of the United States "kind of a dick" when you claim to be a journalist (even though we know you're a hack) is just over the top. And yet supposed journalist Mark Halperin did exactly that. He premeditated calling President Obama a dick on national television. Why else would he ask if there were a seven second delay? What made him think calling Obama a dick was a good idea?

What the hell happened to everyone after January 20th, 2009? Was there some kind of unwritten rule that I didn't hear about that all bets are off when it comes to respecting the office of the Presidency? Or for that matter, that you can disrespect anyone that you invite for an interview? (Yes, I'm referring to the Chris Wallace "flake" question.) Does the mainstream media feel they no longer need to show respect to whomever they are covering or interviewing?

I understand asking a tough question. I understand challenging your guest to speak the truth and call them out on it when they don't. I understand getting into a heated argument with your guest on policy and issues. But to question if they are a flake? To call the Commander-in-Chief a dick? Where do these motherfuckers get off?! Can you imagine Walter Cronkite or Edward R. Murrow or even Dan Rather calling the President of the United States a dick on the air?! Can you imagine anyone on the air four years ago calling President Bush a dick? Neither can I, yet for some reason, it seems perfectly acceptable now for talking heads and pundits and opinion hosts to do just that.

Halperin has apologized for his asinine comment, but that hasn't stopped MSNBC from suspending him indefinitely and for Time Magazine to issue Halperin a warning, and I completely agree with both. Enough is enough.

ADDING... I have been guilty of being far from respecful to plenty of politicians on this blog, but I'm also not on a national television program a few times a week pretending to know what I'm talking about.

ALSO... Steve Benen nails it.

Forget Halperin’s choice of words, and instead consider the argument he and his “Morning Joe” colleagues were pressing. They were annoyed, apparently, because President Obama wasn’t docile and conciliatory during his press conference. He showed some backbone, and this seems to have troubled the political establishment to no end.
If the president stays cool, he’s an emotionless Mr. Spock. If the president shows some fire in the belly, he’s “a dick.”
What passes for mainstream political punditry in 2011 is too often a national embarrassment.
Exactly right. Obama lets Congress do it's thing and is criticized for being indifferent, or weak, or not using his influence. Obama pushes back and is villified for being too mean to the thin-skinned GOP.

Thaddeus McCotter Jumps In

Politico: Thaddeus McCotter will file paperwork to enter the 2012 presidential race on Friday, a McCotter adviser told POLITICO, allowing the Michigan congressman to kick off his long-shot bid on the first day of the new fundraising quarter.
What makes someone like McCotter think he even has a chance at getting close to the nomination? My prediction is that McCotter will have as much of a chance of winning the GOP nomination as I do.

And didn't he star in Poltergeist 2?

Misinterpreting or Underestimating Obama

Posted by Desert Crone

I have been mulling over an idea that’s been rattling around in my head for a while, and that idea grew to fruition with two tweets by Lt. Dan Choi: “. . . .sad that Barack Obama would have voted no" and "Obama: ‘I have plenty of gay friends. Some of them work for me. I just feel they are inferior to me, and they don't deserve marriage.’" That set me off in an ugly old cranky rant on “Tweeter.” I called Lt. Choi a self-made martyr and a media whore. However, this wasn’t a spontaneous tweet; it was an opinion I’ve held about him since he came out. We drunks have a saying in AA, “Principles over personalities,” and Lt. Choi’s behavior and comments flew in the face of that belief.

His crusade became about himself and his rising star on MSNBC, not the greater good. In my opinion, President Obama became the target of “his” movement, and he lost sight of the LGBT movement. Of course, my criticism of Lt. Choi generated much support and criticism, some very harsh, which was of no surprise to me. However, I digress. In my mind Lt. Choi is hardly a martyr (which to my knowledge he has not claimed to be but acts like) because martyrs don’t throw others under the bus. Martyrs help people get on the bus and up on stools at Woolworth and into voting booths and into segregated public schools and universities. But my epiphany and the point of this post aren’t about Choi’s motive; they revolve around his criticism of President Obama.

As you know, Lt. Choi, Rachel Maddow, and Michael Moore all have the opinion that Obama would have voted against the gay marriage bill in NY. This is simply, unequivocally false. I am truly befuddled by this statement because I have read much of what Pres. Obama has said and written about gay marriage. Others are tweeting “evolve already” to the president, presumably assuming that Obama is struggling with moral or political issues around his view on gay marriage. I also disagree with that assumption.

I believe President Obama’s conundrum is whether or not gay marriage is a vehicle to achieving civil rights for LGBT’S, or whether gay marriage will come with the passing of more sweeping civil rights legislation and court rulings. If my observation does, in fact, define his conflicted feelings (or evolution), then his statements about gay marriage revolve around his search for the most pragmatic path to ensuring civil rights for LGBT’s.

 In this quote from Dec. 2008, Obama says:

‘Look, when my parents got married in 1961, it would have been illegal for them to be married in a number of states in the South. So obviously, this is something that I understand intimately, it’s something that I care about. But if I were advising the civil rights movement back in 1961 about its approach to civil rights, I would have probably said it’s less important that we focus on an anti-miscegenation law than we focus on a voting rights law and a non-discrimination and employment law and all the legal rights that are conferred by the state. Now, it’s not for me to suggest that you shouldn’t be troubled by these issues. But my job as president is going to be to make sure that the legal rights that have consequences on a day to day basis for loving same sex couples all across the country.’
Basically, but not wholly, I base my premise on the part of the quotation that is in bold. Also, I would like to reference articles by Greg Sargent and Andrew Sullivan. I reference these articles, not necessarily because they support my opinion, but because both “get” that this President understands nuance. The lack of understanding this about President Obama has created much of the Left’s vitriolic, unreasonable criticism.

I find it incredulous that many of Obama’s liberal/progressive critics appear to forget that Obama is a brilliant Constitutional lawyer with a powerful intellect. Even a frequent critic of the President, Keith Olbermann admits “it was really one of those moments where you thought, well, maybe we do have one of say the 1,000 smartest people in the country is [sic] the President of the United States. Maybe he`s 999. Maybe number 83 - we don`t know.” 

Yet, still Olbermann and other critics frequently go to great lengths to give President Obama advice on how to do this or that. The fact that Obama is a pragmatist and a Constitutional scholar with a brilliant mind leads me to believe that his positions on issues are not based on his religious beliefs or political scheming but the most pragmatic, quickest way to do the right thing for people of the United States. Thus, he has used and is using his executive powers to make it easier for unions to organize, to implement parts of the DREAM Act, and to obtain civil rights for LGBT’s. If Congress won’t get the job done, then Obama looks for other avenues.

My point is that the criticism that Obama would have voted no on gay marriage or that he doesn’t support gay marriage is so simplistic to be laughable if it weren’t so tragically absurd. It might be true if he were a black and white thinker (no pun so don’t even go there), but he is not. He is a complex man. And don’t you ever forget it.

Equal Opportunity Offender

Fox News has put a bullseye on the back of Jon Stewart, ever since he exposed the FNC hackery in the Chris Wallace interview, by calling Stewart racist for making fun on Herman Cain's idea of not having bills larger than three pages long... you know, so they're... readable? Yes. Racist. The same company that hosts Eric Bolling on a daily basis is calling Stewart racist. So Stewart did what any comedian with a brain would do. He "mocked" himself while proving the point that he goes after everyone, not just black pizza franchise owners running for president who think reading 2,700 pages is too hard.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gay Marriage, The States, and Pitchforks


I am staying as far from the fray as I can in regards to the post-victory letdown of the passage of gay marriage in New York. From what I gather, a certain self-made martyr and an intelligent, if not emotional and often too myopic, journalist, have decided to dampen celebrations with hyperbole that suggests, in a roundabout way, that Obama hates gay people. They haven't come out (pun intended?) and said he does, as far as I know, but the implications gushing forth from a certain faction of the Angry Left is that Obama doesn't ever want gay people to get married.

Now, he has said he doesn't support gay marriage from a personal perspective (totally paraphrasing but pretty spot-on) but has never taken actions as President to prevent it. Many articles have illustrated how he has actually done MORE than any other President to advance the rights of the LGBT community so I am not going to try to reinvent that wheel.

What I want to focus on is an angle many people miss on many issues. This is just the latest example of the issue I call the "I want unrealistic perfection" syndrome. And this syndrome usually manifests itself in a form of rewriting 2008 campaign history. It results in the Angry Left misrememberstanding (yep, I made up a word) who was running and what our choices were. It results in some la la land delusion of "we could have had someone better" or "(insert candidate) wouldn't have betrayed us".

Here's what Obama said last week that got panties in a bunch:

And since I taught constitutional law for a while, I felt like I was in a pretty good position to agree with courts that have ruled that Section 3 of DOMA violates the Constitution. And that’s why we decided, with my attorney general, that we could no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA in the courts.

Now, part of the reason that DOMA doesn’t make sense is that traditionally marriage has been decided by the states. And right now I understand there’s a little debate going on here in New York — (laughter) — about whether to join five other states and D.C. in allowing civil marriage for gay couples. And I want to — I want to say that under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, with the support of Democrats and Republicans, New York is doing exactly what democracies are supposed to do. There’s a debate; there’s deliberation about what it means here in New York to treat people fairly in the eyes of the law.
That has been debated as hypocrisy because that's the argument used against his bi-racial parents, yadda, yadda, yadda.

But this isn't only Obama's rationale. Nope, someone else said almost the same thing:
Well, I prefer to think of it as being very positive about civil unions. You know, it's a personal position. How we get to full equality is the debate we're having, and I am absolutely in favor of civil unions with full equality of benefits, rights, and privileges. I want to proceed with equalizing federal benefits.
And I've also been a very strong supporter of letting the states maintain their jurisdiction over marriage. I want to repeal Section 3 of DOMA, which stands in the way of the extension of benefits to people in committed, same-sex relationships. I will be very strongly in favor of doing that as president.
That's what Hillary Clinton said while running for the job we elected Obama to do.

So, be grumpy that Obama has issues with gay marriage that don't sound liberal enough to you. Fine. But let's not pretend someone else in the Oval Office, and I mean a real person and not some imaginary one, would be handling this differently.

My friends here at Broadway Carl have a perspective on this. Some consider us irrelevant or gay-bashing for disagreeing with SOME people who happen to be gay (while at the same time agreeing with many people who happen to be gay -- go figure). But when the facts are clear and when Obama has shown, repeatedly, to be progressive on gay rights, then the hyperbole and exaggeration and speculation are what I consider irrelevant.

And frankly, Obama has acted in the most honestly separation-of-church-and-state way possible. If his personal beliefs on gay marriage are based on his religious studies and thought, and yet he is moving toward more and more rights for gay couples, then he is demonstrating, repeatedly, that he knows how to keep his personal beliefs separate from his professional responsibilities. He has created two silos -- one with a man's views and one with a President's views.

What should matter is what he puts in the Presidential silo. What should matter is that he doesn't allow personal beliefs to affect how he governs. And that is precisely what I think he is doing.

Evangelical Girl

(Sung to the tune of Tom Petty's "American Girl")

Well she's an Evangelical girl
Raised in Waterloo
She couldn't stop talkin' 'bout
The fact that John Wayne (Gacy) was born there too

After all it is a great big world
With lots of people to lie to
Yeah, and if she had to keep lyin', she
Was gonna go for the top and not the V.P.

Bachmann, so uptight
She's a flake, baby
Chris Wallace was right
She's an Evangelical girl

The lies she tells are out of sight
Like she denies getting farm subsidies
But she could hear the Tea Party cry
At the DC rallies, and they needed a leading queen

And with Palin imploding
She just co-opted the new party
God it's so painful, the sound of that crazy voice
She's still so far out of touch

Bachmann, please don't lie
John Quincy Adams
Was not a founding guy
But she's an Evangelical girl

© Broadway Carl, 2011

This Happens Every Election Season

When will politicians who roll out their campaigns have the courtesy and respect to ask permission from a songwriter to use their creations legally?
Renowned rocker Tom Petty hit Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann with a cease-and-desist letter Monday following the congresswoman's decision to close out her campaign announcement to the tune of "American Girl," Rolling Stone reports.
And it always seems to happen to the Republican candidates, doesn't it? Don't they understand the implications of copyright infringement? Why are they not supporting the rule of law?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Scarborough's Cognitive Dissonance

This morning I was fortunate enough to witness Joe Scarborough and the entire Morning Joe crew make fun of Michele Bachmann's John Wayne Gacy gaffe for a good four straight minutes and then immediately turn on a dime and mock bloggers for doing the very same thing.

It was mind numbingly astounding.

So, Joe, I won't make fun of yet another of Bachmann's gaffes, but I'll point out your hypocrisy for making fun of bloggers daring to write about a little trivial thing like Bachmann confusing one of America's movie icons with one of the most notorious serial killers in US history, while you went on taking little jabs forever with your Al Bundy/Ted Bundy comparisons.

ADDING... Bachmann should know that full names count. John Wayne is not the same as John Wayne Gacy, just as founding father John Adams is not the same as not founding father John Quincy Adams.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Like a drunk swearing off hooch for the hundredth time, Republicans are now trying to show they are serious about controlling the deficit by saying they won't raise the debt ceiling...
Raising the debt ceiling isn't, as the GOP tries to say, Congress giving itself permission to continue excessive spending: It's something that's necessary to pay for past congressional decisions on taxes and spending, and those decisions were made primarily when Republicans were in charge."
~Retired Republican Congressional Staffer Mike Lofgren

(H/T GottaLaff)