Saturday, December 15, 2012

Must Reads

Imani Gandy: Orange County Judge Denies That Rape is Even Possible; Blames Rape Victim for Not Fighting Her Rapist

Jim Wright: Welcome To the Party, Bob Dole

Ezra Klein: Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States

J.M. Ashby: Fiscal Responsibility

N.C. Aizenman: GOP state leaders fumble by ceding control of health exchanges to federal officials, critics say

Michael McAuliff: Republicans Say There's No Budget, And Use That To Stall Senate

Steve Benen: 'They have only moved backwards'

Dave Brockington: There’s a Reason We No Longer Live in the Fucking Medieval Age.

Tim Wise: Of Heroes and Hype: Mass Murder and the Absurdity of the ‘More Guns’ Crowd

Charles Pierce: The Bell Tolls For All Of Us

Nicholas Kristof: Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?

President Obama's Weekly Address - December 15, 2012

Nation Grieves for Those Killed in Tragic Shooting in Newtown, CT

Friday, December 14, 2012

What President Obama Should Say About The Latest School Shooting

There was yet another mass shooting today in Newtown, Connecticut. At a school. An elementary school. Maybe as many as 26 dead including 18 children. And what we are bound to hear is that today is not the day to talk about gun control. Today is not the day to be so callous as to politicize this tragedy.

But this isn't about politicization for political gain. This is about bringing to the forefront something that is brushed aside all too often under the misguided pretense that the time for mourning is now and the time for solutions is later. But later never comes. And then we go on our merry way completely or conveniently disregarding the tragedy as the act of a crazy person. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Yeah... people WITH GUNS kill people. People with automatic weapons kill people a lot faster.

This is the type of moment that Obama should seize to talk about the lax gun laws in this country, but he won't. No politician will say what needs to be said. Something like this:
Let's take a moment to think about the victims of this horrific tragedy, and those whose lives have been permanently affected by this senseless violent act.  
Now, what are we going to do about this? I know I've been vilified by the NRA and the right wing. Their fear-mongering ways have led many to believe that I'm going to take away your guns. If you look at the actual record, it couldn't be further from the truth. But now enough is enough. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to have the ability to attain semi automatic weapons or large capacity pistol clips. Show me a hunter that says he uses automatic weapons to hunt and I'll show you a liar.  
This is not about taking away your Second Amendment rights. This is about making sure that people who would do someone else harm doesn't have easy access to purchase a weapon. And if they do fall through the cracks, hopefully the lack of available automatic weapons will curtail the amount of damage done the next time something like this happens.  
If now is not the time to address the growing concern of the easy access to guns, when is the right time? Someone can walk into a gun shop and walk out with a gun, even if he or she doesn't know how to use it. It's harder to obtain a driver's license in this country. You have to take a written exam and then you have to take a driver's test with an instructor to make sure you're ready to operate a vehicle. None of this applies to owning a gun. How does that make any sense? 
I am calling upon Congress to immediately take up assault weapons ban legislation similar to what was already in place during the Clinton years which was stupidly allowed to sunset under the previous administration. I am also asking for sensible federal gun legislation that will put in place a list of rules and guidelines, applications and mandatory background checks for anyone wanting to legally purchase a firearm. And I don't want to hear any excuses. None. 
If you cannot find it in your heart to do what you know is right, you will be held to account by everyone who has been touched by gun violence, not just today, not just in Portland, Oregon a few days ago, not just in Aurora, Colorado, but everyone who has had a loved one die needlessly - something that possibly could have been prevented. You'll have to look them in the eye and explain why you think their loss is less valuable than campaign contributions from the NRA and their gun lobbyists. 
If you don't have the guts to do what is right, if you cannot step up and pass legislation that will surely save lives in your district or state, that can possibly save the lives of some of your constituents in the future, I will make it my life's mission to see that you are not re-elected to such a vital and important position as a place in Congress. Lets get to work.
Wouldn't it be great if he said something like that?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

John McCain, Go F*ck Yourself

It's too bad he's not following his friend, Holy Joe out the door.

UN Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from consideration as a nominee to replace Hillary Clinton as the next Secretary of State, after a constant barrage of criticism leveed at her from Republicans following her intelligence community sanctioned statements on the Sunday talk shows a few weeks back, with Senate curmudgeon John McCain leading the charge.
“If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly - to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities,” she wrote in a letter to Obama that was released to the public on Thursday afternoon.

 ...Rice said in November that she “relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community” in delivering her assessment. Intelligence officials said that they approved her talking points, having decided ties to organized terrorism, and specifically al Qaeda, were still unclear at that point just five days removed from the attack.
The knives were out from the very beginning, and McCain certainly knows this as I'm sure he got the same intelligence reports that Rice used to make her comments. But it wasn't very long ago when John McCain defended another Rice, Condoleezza, in her nomination for the same position after "mushroom clouding" us into a war. But that Rice was a Republican, wasn't she...

Fuck you, John McCain. You can't retire fast enough.

Goodbye and Good Riddance, Joe Lieberman

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman made his farewell speech yesterday to a mostly empty Senate chamber. And for good reason: nobody gives a shit about him.

Whenever I hear the name Joe Lieberman my reaction is "fuck that guy."

Lieberman droned about the need for bipartisanship in the Senate. He recalled the days when things got done by working with friends on the other side of the aisle. But Lieberman lost Democratic support not because he sided with Republicans on occasion, but because not only was he was an opportunistic scumbag who would stab you in the back, but more importantly because he was so goddamn consistently wrong.

He almost blew the 2000 Election (before the Supreme Court actually blew it) when he gnashed his yellow teeth on the Sunday talk shows and couldn't stick to what he knew to be the truth, what he was told by his own advisers. I remember that day well, as I was watching with bleary eyes and suddenly my hair caught fire. Here's the dramatized scene from HBO's fantastic movie, Recount.

The Democratic Party didn't leave Joe Lieberman. Joe Lieberman left the Democratic Party.

He left it when he supported the Iraq War even after we found out the truth. Joe Lieberman left the Democratic Party when he lost his 2006 Democratic primary against Ned Lamont and decided to run as an "independent." After he won the election in a three way race, he then he held his vote hostage to keep leadership positions on certain committees.

Joe Lieberman left the Democratic Party when he endorsed John McCain for president and speechified his mind-numbing patented drone that only Lieberman can drone at the Republican National Convention in 2008.

And don't fool yourself about why he's quitting. If he thought he had a chance to win he would have run in a second. He lost his support because he's become completely untrustworthy. He supported lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 55 until then Rep. Anthony Weiner and other liberals touted it as a great idea and included a Medicare buy-in in the Affordable Care Act. Then Lieberman completely backed off the idea. Was it because of fiscal reasons as he states, or was it payback for feeling rejected by the party he walked away from? So much for that bipartisanship he was mumbling about on the floor yesterday.

Whenever I hear idiots on the right whine on and on that President Obama had majorities* in both the House and the Senate, including that the Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate, where Republicans have engaged in record filibusters to stymie every bill that comes their way, all I can think of is three words: Joe. Fucking. Lieberman. He was consistently a thorn in the side of the Democratic party and leadership when his vote really counted. Sort of like McCain was after 2000. The only difference between McCain and Lieberman is that you know McCain is just prison fucking you in the ass out of spite, while Lieberman smiles that yellow toothy smile as he reaches for the Vaseline. Both are nasty, old, bitter warmongers who legislate out of spite while the latter tries to do it in sheep's clothing.

So goodbye and good riddance, Holy Joe. I'd say, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out" but actually, I don't give a fuck.

* And don't get me started about waiting for Al Franken for six fucking months and then Ted Kennedy dying less than two months later. The fact is that Democrats NEVER HAD 60 fucking votes.