Saturday, June 30, 2012

Must Reads

Katherine Eban: The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal

EJ Dionne: Justice Scalia must resign

PHPGator: I am Republican, prepared to vote for Obama

Friday, June 29, 2012

Definition of Batshit Crazy Wingnuts

What you are about to see is a video of Congressional Rep. Jean Schmidt, Republican from Ohio, when she (as Fox News and CNN did) initially thought that the individual mandate on the Affordable Care Act was struck down by the Supreme Court. Hold on to your seats.


This is an elected representative acting like a spoiled child with Tourette Syndrome in public based on what she thought was a decision in favor of her ideology. I wish (and I hope someone has video out there) that we could have seen her reaction when she found out she was wrong. Did she run down the street tearing her hair out? Did she repeatedly slam her head against a wall? Did she self-immolate?

And she wasn't the only one. It seems that other Republican and conservative politicians, talking heads, pundits, bloggers and tweeters were apoplectic and hyperbole doesn't even begin to describe their reaction.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has vowed to "repeal Obamacare on Day One" of his presidency, as has Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Radio host Michael Savage blamed Chief Justice Roberts' decision on his epilepsy medication.

Rush Limbaugh claimed "a giant, total fraud was perpetrated on this country." I don't remember such a reaction to Citizens United.

Indiana  Congressman Mike Pence compared the expansion of health care coverage to millions of Americans to the biggest terrorist attack on American soil. Yes, 9/11. Seriously.

Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro likened the ruling to the Dred Scott decision. You know, the 1850s ruling that stated people of African descent were property whether or not they were slaves. And he ended his tweet (yes, he tweeted that) with "This is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration." Nope. No exaggeration there!

And you have your usual, standard fare racist tweets; a self avowed Christian asking why they should pay for some "dumb nigger['s]" insurance, and one gem blaming "that nigger Coonance Thomas" for the Supreme Court's decision, even though Thomas was one of four who dissented. Classy.

This is what we find not only from fringe wingnuts, but actual mainstream and in some cases duly elected wingnuts. Is mental health covered under Obamacare?

Donate -- YOU

Posted by JHW22

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You can register at and go to "volunteer" and make phone calls from your own home. You will have a simple script and they don't make you ask for money and they don't want you to try to convince anyone to vote for the man. They just want you to reach out and remind people of some of his accomplishments and maybe give some people who are on the fence a chance to talk to someone who is willing to make the time to call. I've done it and it's less intimidating after the first couple of calls. The people are nice or quick to dismiss you. I've never been yelled at and if I were to be, I can just end the call. You can pace yourself and probably find that the more calls you make, the less nervous you feel.

So, if you want to play a part but in a way that's less intimidating, consider this option. It's really easy and makes you feel like you did something productive. And it's free. So if you can't afford a donation, it's perfect!

Middle Ground


Studies have shown that Dems/Libs have pretty much been even on their views for the last decades -- in some cases even moving more conservative. Based on policies, votes, etc, we really haven't moved further left or gone extreme.

On the other hand, the GOP/Cons have gone drastically farther right in that time frame.

So, when Dems are consistently representing their views, we appear as extreme as the right just because the debate itself has become so divided. So, when we say that it's hard to find middle ground, or that both parties yadda yadda, it's not always true. In most cases, the left is stating what they've always stated. The right has moved so far away that they changed where the middle is. In some ways it's created a framing problem that implies the left hasn't been cooperative, either.

But we have been and going anymore toward the middle would be us going off the consistent path we've been on.

I will always admit there are times when Dems (whom I know personally and whom I see on the teevee) do or say things that make me cringe and think tit-for-tat or hypocrisy is as unbecoming of us as it is of the right. I refuse to pretend we never do stupid shit that blows our credibility. To ignore when we do stupid shit makes us lose even more credibility.

But overall, the level of extreme stupidity and hypocrisy and dangerous rhetoric and stunting of progress falls wholly on the right.

So my frustration always rests on the passive or the folks who just don't like all the conflict. They pretend it's as much the left's fault as it is the right's. And it's not about sharing blame or properly placing blame or running to mommy and saying, "but they did it, too". What it's about is acceptance of reality. We can't get anywhere if even the sideliners don't accept that the left isn't being extreme. We are being consistent. The left isn't being difficult. We are being fair. The left isn't being combative. We are defending what we have always defended. The right has changed the rules even on those within their own party. The right has forged a new path that changes where the middle is. Just because Dems aren't moving to the new middle does NOT mean we're extreme. We're right where we've been for a long time. People need to stop pretending we are playing a role in divisiveness simply so they can play a responsible role in society.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dewey Beats Truman!

What happened at Fox News and CNN?!

In what appears to be a case of premature ejaculation on the part of the networks for the intense need to come out with the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act first, they both got it wrong.


Now, while I understand the need to put out information as they get it, maybe they could get past the first page of a 50+ page ruling before jumping to conclusions. They were so intent on putting out the news that the individual mandate was not necessarily covered under the Commerce Clause, it is permissible as a tax, and in their haste, they assumed the mandate was struck down and got the story completely wrong. In the case of Fox News, I'm sure it was also a bit of wishful thinking on their part.

As for CNN, they have apologized for the mishap. No so at Fox.

Fox issued a combative statement in which the network claimed they "gave our viewers the news as it happened," and went on to say that CNN's reporting had been worse. CNN issued a statement hours earlier that included a full-throated apology for their misstep.


Posted by JHW22

YES, I saved my Obama mug all week just for today and YES you bet your ass I'm drinking my coffee out of it. :)


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Journalism in this country has always prided itself on being fearless, independent, willing to push back on government. Now we’re not even willing to push back on our own critics.” 
~Suspended Politico journalist Joseph Williams on the Daily Caller's and Brietbart's Big Journalism bully tactics.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nora Ephron Dies at 71

People Magazine: Nora Ephron, one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood as the creative force behind such blockbusters as You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally, died on Tuesday at age 71.
The three-time Oscar nominee died in New York of pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia, her son Jacob Bernstein tells The New York Times.

Must. See. TV.

If you haven't caught the season premiere of HBO's The Newsroom, you're doing yourself a disservice. Here's part of the opening scene:

Set your DVRs.

UPDATE: For those who don't have HBO, you can view the first episode here.