Friday, December 30, 2011

GOP = The Know Nothing Party?

 Today's right-wing, for the most part resemble the "Know Nothing Party" of the 1850's. Don't believe it? Well, let's look at what motivated the Know Nothing Party, and see if it looks familiar. The Know Nothings particulary were against immigrants coming from Europe, specifically Irish Catholics, and it sometimes resulted in riots, protests and fights. As their fearmongering got louder, some within already established political factions espoused Know Nothing/American Nativist ideology. The Republican Party had members who took part in that. Part of that ideology was a promise to keep immigrants out of the country. Sound familiar yet? In fact, President Abraham Lincoln wrote this about the Know Nothing Party,


"I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.”except negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be take pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy."


 Today's "Know Nothings" have not limited their fears to "immigrants"which can be seen on right-wing blogs or on talk radio shows such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck or Michael Savage, and it can even be heard from some of the current Republican candidates for President. The hate and fear of "others" has extended to today's American Muslims, African Americans, the LBGT community, free thinking liberals, atheists and non-Christians and any government oversight of the country. Rememebr the chants of "Love it or Leave it!" when opposing views were discussed? Or how about the fight over the "Ground Zero Mosque"? Or gay marriage? Or health care reform, after all it is "socialism" In fact, it was so "socialist", that President Obama was pictured as a "African Witch Doctor" with a bone through his nose. I mean, he was born in Kenya, right?

  The list goes on and on. So, I am suggesting that as we pay attention to the GOP primaries, we now refer to the as the "Know Nothing Primaries".Now, there are some rational Republicans that are still out there, and we can offer them "waivers". But until the time comes when they come forward, they will be "Know Nothings".

Positive Progressive!

  Think Progress has reported on a Pew Research poll that "Progressive is the most positively viewed political label in America" Now, before we begin hearing conservative heads exploding around the country, let's be honest. Many of us who are generally considered "progressive" still embrace our liberalism. As the country staggers out the recession, many of us clearly see the benefits of  progressive policies. It was progressive policies that got us out of the Great Depression with the New Deal. It was progressive policies that pulled the country away from prejudicial ways that harmed women and minorities. And it was progressive tax policies that kept us afloat for years. Read it and weep righties!

GOP Loyalty Oaths

 The Republican Party apparently has decided it's own fate, and it is evident that it is a deathwish. With the current field of 2012 Presidential candidates being incredibly weak, they have taken the next step of "loyalty oaths". This demonstrates a lack of confidence and a certain fear. 19 states have open primaries, in which no party affiliation is required. However, in the GOP primary this March in Virginia, voters are being required to sign on to support whoever the GOP nominee is. This was ruled unconstitutional as recent as 2000 by the Supreme Court.

  Each candidate has their base. Mitt Romney's base is that which states "We hate Obama so much, we need this guy to beat him, but he clearly stands for nothing", then there is the Ron Paul crowd who seem to think we live on an island of 50 people, Newt Gingrich has a limited base. His is that which clearly have fallen for a huckster, a man so bitter in his latter days that he let's his temper, arrogance and bravado get the best of him. I heard it said that "Newt Gingrich is what stupid people think smart people sound like". Then of course there is the God crowd, who blindly follow the likes of Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum (don't google his last name). The RNC must believe all of these candidates so awful that requiring voters to sign off on a loyalty oath would at least give them a chance against an incumbent. I am reminded of an Husker Du song, "Dead Set on Destruction"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque?? Or Right-Wing Bigotry??

The latest outrage from the right and some moderates is the proposed building of the Muslim Community Center in Lower Manhattan. The wedge is being driven by using words like “Ground Zero Mosque”, which the Center is not at Ground Zero, but nearly 3 blocks away. Republican politicians have weighed in heavily, which is not surprising during an election year. Sarah Palin, via Twitter told Muslim Americans to “refudiate” the Community Center. Newt Gingrich, shamed former Speaker of House chimed in as well. “Meanwhile, there are no churches or synagogues in all of Saudi Arabia. In fact no Christian or Jew can even enter Mecca.” Far too many people are falling for this.Newt’s argument and Palin’s word salad are completely flawed. In America, we have religious freedom, which is why we are a better country. The freedoms we enjoy is what defines us.
Following the the attacks on 9/11, we saw no outrage of a Mosque built post 9/11 at the Pentagon. This is hypocrisy. By protesting Feisal Abdul Rauf and Daisy Khan’s plans of a Community Center is un-American, and it’s basically telling terrorists “Okay, you win, we’ll concede some of the freedoms we take such pride in.” Mayor Bloomberg, President Obama, numerous Jewish activists, Russell Simmons and others have all spoken on the Center’s approval.
We are in silly season when it comes to politics, so little stories matter. Let’s review what has been making the headlines. “Ground Zero Mosque”, “Immigration” “New Black Panther Party” and “Gay Marriage”…see a trend here? All minority issues and all have been right-wing talking points. Playing off the fear, intolerance and bigotry of some Americans tends to win elections, please don’t fall for it. In America, we are better than that.
I have friends who have vigorously spoken against the “Ground Zero Mosque” . Some with harsh words for those who approve of the building and some calling it “insensitive.”  John Fugelsang said “Some Muslims hate all Americans. Some Americans hate all Muslims. Both conditions are neatly filed under ‘douchebaggery.” He is correct. We were attacked on 9/11 by Muslim terrorists, that does not represent all Muslims, however some Americans are protesting Mosques in Tennessee and California as well as Lower Manhattan, yet it is not all Americans. I am not a religious person, however, I do respect this country’s religious freedom. Many of the antiquated beliefs of all religions have been sources of tension and bigotry throughout history. In this country, we have made great strides in overcoming them, but we have a long way to go.
I urge people to see through the fear and bigotry being played regarding this issue. Other religions may not be tolerated in some countries, yet as President Obama said “I think it’s very important as difficult as some of these issues are that we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about,” And Mayor Bloomberg’s statement “Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question: Should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here.”

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Clarification

So, I feel compelled to address this after a brief, yet disturbing conversation with a dear friend. Let's clarify something...liberals are not against the troops, we are against war! In the midst of discussing with her meeting of an old friend of mine, she stated, I paraphrase "Well Kyle, sometimes you do come off as though you are against the troops, you've pissed me off at times". That said, I was bewildered as I have never spoken against the troops. I have shared my disgust at the over 4,400 U.S. casualties in the Iraq war, the nearly 1,200 in Afghanistan. I shared my disgust at the 100,000 + dead Iraqis and the unknown number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan.  I share my disgust that the war in Afghanistan is the longest in our country's history. I share my disgust that the deficit hawks are willing to spend to kill and be killed while spending over a trillion dollars.

This misconception from the right-wing and moderates is baffling, when alot what is seen as support is nothing more than a bumper sticker or flag waving. In 2006, a young liberal minister and a older conservative started "Homes for Vets", which they helped find and finance homes for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. I had the great opportunity to sit down with these gentleman and share my ideas, They did run out of funds in early 2008. However, some vets are still in these homes due to our efforts, no matter how big or small. Walter Reed and the Dingell VA Medical Center received contributions from Street Corner Music, my old employer, of DVD's ,books, and music from us to help occupy time and provide entertainment while our soldiers heal. I was often in the the right place at the right time for an ex-girlfriends son who fought in Iraq and faced numerous challenges upon returning home. It took him over a year to gather himself after war and often finding himself falling down drunk, and it was often myself picking him up and getting him home.

  Further, fiery liberal dog rescuers at Metro Detroit Shelters are putting their efforts forward to help veterans and active duty service members pets, not to mention the work vets like Luis Carlos Montalvan's does for and with  service dogs. There is also the fantastic efforts of IVAW and IAVA do, not to mention VoteVets.org, all of whom I was happy to  march with members in D.C. to protest war. Many who share my political views.

 So, for those who wish to present "opposition" to war, I urge you to recognize it is not opposition to our brave men and women who were sent off to war by President Bush and continued by President Obama. So, the clarification is many people can blindly say they support out troops by waving a flag and simply stating "I support the troops", I say do the little things, do the big things, do what you can

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fox News Nazi Problem

  Nazi Germany comparisons have long been used when discussing the opposition and persons of power you disagree with. I disagree with it from both the left and right. However, at Fox News it is trend when speaking of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Particularly with paranoid host Glenn Beck. Many other hosts, and guests have joined the choir, including former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

This rhetoric, sparks bigotry and fear in gullible Americans. Whether it be the right-wing talk about health care and "death panels" or bailing out General Motors, Chrysler and banks, the right used veiled  fearmongering to say it was a "takeover" and "Hitler did this!". However, it was not a takeover of any of these industries. It was a tax payer loan that saved alot of jobs in tough economic times. As these companies continue to repay those loans, we will see the private sector grow again.

Newt Gingrich, who was shamed into resignation by his own party years back, has a new book. In this newly published book, says "Obama poses a Hitler like threat", really Newt? That is the best you have? Resorting to this level just to scare people and gain political points shows you hate America and American workers whose jobs were saved from the stimulus and bailouts. Appearing on Fox News Sunday, and again with Meridith Veira,  Newt tried to defend the quote.



Newt, the President, the Democratic Leadership in the House and Senate, and my own ilk are just as American and patriotic as you and the Tea Party, so move on, and don't pretend to be so offended when some made the ill advised comparison to Arizona's immigration law.


 

Senate candidate wishes to do away with Americans with Disability Act??

  Kentucky candidate Rand Paul, who has garnered great support from the Tea Party crowd, stated in an interiew 

" like for example if you have a three story building and you have someone apply for a job, you get them a job on the first floor if they’re in a wheelchair as supposed to making the person who owns the business put an elevator in, you know what I mean? So things like that aren’t fair to the business owner. [...]"

  Paul, son of Republican/Libertarian Congressman Ron Paul is sure to today's Kentucky primary against Trey Greyson. However, for his wish to support business over the individual shows a deep disregard for the work of Richard Pimentel. Pimentel, a public speaker and Vietnam war vet who lost his hearing and crusaded to train businesses and Government agencies in employing and training Americans with disabilites. The Americans with Disabilities Act is great achievement of his.





Terrorist in a Bikini??

 With the crowning of Rima Fakih in the Miss USA pageant, the right-wing has used her Lebanese-American heritage to smear her. While I don't watch pageants, and normally could care a less, but the attack on my fellow Michigander has pushed my hot buttons. The worst smear comes from Conservative blogger, and psycho talker Debbie Schlussel, who is making claims Fakih has ties to Hezbollah. Debbie, Rima's hometown of Dearborn is 4 miles from from, it is a great area to shop in, eat at, and even talk with the large population of Arab-Americans. There is a chance that one or more may have known or is related to someone in Lebanon who supports Hezbollah. Even of Metro Detroit's favorite Arab  American Restaurants, La Shish had ties with Hezbollah. Guess what Debbie, when my grandmother was a kid, her and her best friend found KKK hoods in her friend's attic, which apparently belonged to her friend's Dad. This does not mean my family has ties to the KKK.

While the terrorist accusation was not enough, the right wing then sought retribution for Carrie Prejean and "pole dancing" contest photos began to emerge . The event sponsored by local radio personality Mojo in the Morning, has sparked controversy. Instead of seeing a gorgeous Arab-American woman win this pageant, the conservative machine chooses to show their bigotry and hatred of people unlike themselves. They like to pretend to stand up for Arab women in the Middle East, saying they are oppressed, yet do not seem to notice that Ms. Fakih certainly is not. They choose to ignore what pride Arab-Americans feel with her victory. If you follow the links in this post, you may no longer ask why the right-wing are considered bigots.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Documentos, Por Favor

  With the passage of Arizona's immigration law, the news has been saturated with common sense and compassion from moderates and liberals. While the far right has displayed greater bigotry than usual.

  The argument has been made that targeting undocumented immigrants will lead to "racial profiling" and it will. Ask those in favor of the new immigration law what an "illegal immigrant" looks like. American citizens abroad recognize that America has a poor immigration system, yet targeting individuals is "un-American".

  We are witnessing one of our states transform into a police state. In the year 2010, at a time when more and more American citizens attempt to reach out to one another, some people are more and more isolated. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to some that entered our country illegally. The Simpson-Mazzoli Act also targeted employers who hired undocumented workers. While the enforcement of this act was lax, it was on target. Thom Hartmann routinely says "we do not have an illegal immigrant problem, we have a illegal employer problem", I agree. Employers favor cheap labor, and most American citizens demand more, that argument is never going away. However, citizens are "legally" allowed to work here. If we crack down on the employers, the undocumented workers will stop coming here to work "illegally". If fines are increased and the chance of serious jail time is initiated, we would likely see a decrease of border crossing.

  In addition to this "misguided" law, there are other factors people are not taking into account. The United States is staggering out of a couple rough economic years. Rounding people up and deporting or jaillng them is removing revenue from our economy. Estimates state there are 20 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. These people send some money home to their families, and the rest goes into the economy. You really want to remove 20 million people from spending on daily needs?

  Arizona has also passed a conceal and carry weapons law, which begins this summer, it does not require a permit. So, while this law already put law enforcement officials in danger, it now puts every Arizonan in danger. Criminals are already carrying without a permit, yet what will become of anti-immigrant gun nuts? Will they just begin opening fire on those seeking  better life? Will they open fire those who are helping immigrants achieve legal status? The scenarios are endless.

  People around the country are opposed to Arizona's new law because we thought about the consequences and possibilities. Humans Rights organizations, ordinary citizens and the federal government are making the case to repeal it, and with possible success, we demonstrate what it is to truly be an American.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

While many in our country have differences on the wars our soldiers are asked to serve in, we can all say we support our troops. We want the best for your families, your health, and your safe return . Our men and women are asked to sacrifice to great lengths, and should be thanked on this day.

Progressive Voices


While the media has long been dominated by conservatives ownerships and conservative voices, the last ten years we have witnessed a rise in progressive voices. Talk radio is still associated with the popularity and ratings of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, however, the rise of Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann and Stephanie Miller could not have been more timely. Talkers Magazine, the Bible of the industry, show more and more progressives hosts in their "250 Most Important " list. It includes all of the aforementioned. That said, , Alan Colmes, Lionel, Rachel Maddow, Randi Rhodes and Mike Malloy round off the rise that Talkers included.

Progressive talk has long been the "David v Goliath" of the airwaves, many times it has simply been a big idea up against bigger money. Air America was savaged by the right-wing, and suffered poor business decisions with poor hiring decisions. Now, I will clarify, their poor hiring decisions were not the on-air personalities. Being on the road to recovering the vision the Drobny's shared when it began, the revolving schedule seems to be settled for now. The praise that Nicole Sandler is getting amongst my circle of friends is great news for an 11pm est show, that demonstrates passion and a calm demeanor deliver the voice of liberalism. This cannot go further, without giving huge credit to fellow Detroit native Peter Werbe, who's Night Call on WRIF on Sunday nights is in it's 39th year. Along with co-host Juline Jordan, the award winning show is proof that smart peoples radio can succeed with in- depth analysis and fact checking, something the neo-con radio ignores.

It should also be noted, the rise of the syndicated and independent voices that are getting traction. The efforts put forth by folks like Jeff Farias, Len Clark, Sarge Phelps, and David Link show that know how, a commitment and technology can produce an effective product. Their global efforts was aided by the smarts of Democracy Interactive creator Darryl Daniels and the chatroom's encouragement. So, what this teaches us is that while the "Teabaggers" like to chant "we surround you!" is ringing awfully hollow while progressives and liberals are popping up on the air, the internet, and in our communities. It is no longer a bad word or an insult...it is a badge of honor.

Head On Radio Network, home to Bob Kincaid and Guy James among others give us their impressive take from the south. Yes, we have progressives there too. We also have the multi-talented Ana Marie Cox, we have David Sirota's voice in Colorado filling in for Jay Marvin on 760am. None of this is suggesting we still don't have more work to do, it is to show while we hear the criticisms of failure about progressive talk, we have plenty of options scattered around our wonderful country.

Add all of that to MSNBC's victory in being the number one news channel among the 18-34 age group, compliments of Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Ed Schultz. For the progressive voices, we concede we are not number one in many markets, but we are hardly surrounded, and still represent a big tent. As we do not follow Democratic policies lock step and are more than eager to take the elected officials we supported to task. We are eager to address our country's social issues that have ailed us for decades while the right-wing's bigotry and fearmongering have stoked them. Follow some of the links, support these programs/sites, and as Thom Hartmann states "it's where smart people get their news."

On a side note, if you are a Facebook user, there is now a page dedicated to "Being Liberal." Join us, many of the folks mentioned in this post are with us. 1300+ have joined this page in the 6 days it has existed, let's keep it going.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"All Aboard!" Fox promtes Tea Party Express...again

While Fox News' tag line is "Fair and Balanced", they continue their right-wing slant. Since January, they have promoted their fight with President Obama , and continue to promote active protests against the government. Yet, while they have been called out by the White House as "not a news organization" they continue to isolate their coverage. This morning on Fox and Friends the promoted "Tea Party Express 2"

RNC racism on Facebook


While the Republican party has long faced criticisms of bigotry, they continue to deflect it with racist imagery. On the RNC's Facebook page ran for one week images of President Obama eating fried chicken with the caption reading "Miscegenation is a CRIME against American Values. Repeal Loving v. Virginia." As Raw Story points out, this on the heels of the controversial Louisiana Justice of the Peace denying an interracial couple seeking a marriage licence .

Also on their page was a picutre of Senator John Kerry in which he appears to have gun pointed at his head, This on the heels of Rep. Debbie Wassrman (D-Fl) Schultz had her initials used as the target a gun range where her opponents met for a fundraiser. Conservatives wonder why they are labeled as racists and fearmongers, yet do not take acts like this seriously. Raw Story has the photos in their article.

Further,there are no African American Republicans in Congress at this time, and have only been 123 since 1870. They also adore perceived racist Rush Limbaugh. This is where they are, and I believe part of the reason they are on the losing end of progress in America.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ron Reagan on MSNBC

Chris Matthews played host to Air America's Ron Reagan and Frank Gaffney of The Center for Security Policy. Matthews challenged Gaffney on his decision to honor both Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby for their service, a black tie event nonetheless. Libby, who is a felon and as Ron points out, Cheney an 'un-indicted war criminal were honored for protecting America. The right seems to forget that we were actually attacked under the Bush/Cheney watch.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Right-Wing cheers failed Olympic bid


After grand criticism for his trip to Copenhagen for the 2016 Olympics, President Obama's rejection is the right-wing's victory. Fox Nation, the unfair and unbalanced blog of Fox News, has readers cheering "I guess he should have sent ACORN and SEIU over to soften them up. Followed by Pelosi and Reid. OH NO FAILURE! What will he do now? HA HA HA HA HA such a waste of tax payer money."

This irrational behavior of the unhinged right-wing is beyond the left's opposition to President Bush. No matter what the current administration attempts, the Republican Party, it's base, the conservative media, immediately say "NO!!!" Is this healthy for America? I think not.

Under President Bush, the left saw a man aloof, who had trouble finishing sentences, yet are anger stemmed from the war in Iraq, to the Patriot Act, and no-bid contracts for his staff's former employers. We took a few cheap shots, I won't argue that. That said, under President Obama, we see a man who inherited a two wars, an economic collapse, Wall St. and Insurance Company baron robbers, a health care system allowing people to die over typos,etc. I stated before he was elected "who the hell would want this job now? It has reached a point where he could find a cure for cancer, and the neo-cons would say no!

It is a fact, the Olympics are a costly event to host. However, the boost to jobs, infrastructure, and revenue are immeasurable. For instance, the 1976 Olympics in Montreal still garner revenue in practice facilities, which still house hundreds of jobs. In Vancouver, who will host the 2010 Winter Olympics, now has a Skytrain, which finished construction this past July. It shuttles workers to their jobs, serves as transportation for many. There are numerous conclusions one can draw on the cost. There are also many conclusions one can draw by allowing the status-quo to continue. The United States needs a boost. Whether it garnering revenue from the Olympics in 2016, saving on health care with a "public option" or actually bailing out the people. Screaming and shouting at every move the Democratic Party makes no sense. The right complains the President is not accomplishing enough, well, no! Not if you keep standing in his way.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Compassionism?"


Near the end of a "nerd Monday" of Heroes on NBC, Bill Maher on Jay Leno, Michael J. Fox on The Hour w/ George Stroumboulopoulos , I then tuned into Nicole Sandler. Nicole was spot on in a rant on "compassionism." She also noted filmmaker's John Waters' quote on Real Time w/Bill Maher, "I expect a hint of socialism, an ugly word for a beautiful thought"... a moment of brilliance from John Waters. Now this rhetoric is not new to me, as I have been on this quite some time. Like Nicole, I beleive we are no longer the "land of the free and home of the brave", we have become "land of the greed, and acting brave while we lose our homes". So, at what point do we recognize that the status quo is not working?

We all either know someone or ourselves have filed bankruptcy for health care or over extending ourselves. That said, we are quick to ridicule the 11.3% of welfare recipients, the homeless, the poor, and the ignorant, yet we hardly recognize these are our fellow citizens. Why? The cost. Yet we never queston the cost of war(s). For clarification, it's ok to spend $914,855,665,297.00 to blow up other countries, but not get our own country in order. What have we become?

We have become a nation of liberals who don't make the message clear and teabagging idiots who continually oppose our own best interests. We get caught up with television with robust enthusiasism, sports, or whether Tom Delay survives "Dancing with the Stars", yet hardly recognize we have alot wrong with America these days. 11.3% of welfare recipients, a national average of 9.7% unemployment rate, a 17.3% rate of veteran suicides, and on and on. We have been dumbed down to worries of "welfare Cadillacs" and "socialism" and "death panels". The best place to start is health care, then education, then spending responsibly and try a little "compassionism".

Friday, September 25, 2009

World's Worst

Keith Olbermann slams Glenn Beck over Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Leaderless GOP turns to dolls

Jason Linkins at Huffington Post blogs "OH, SWEET. Look who got an action figure! South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson, that's who!" He is correct. While Republicans search aimlessly for leadership besides Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, they are now turning to dolls. Now this is not in the least bit a surprise, as it was just in July that Glenn Beck played with dolls as journalism. Tea Parties, rowdy town hall meetings, death threats to journalists and talk show hosts, and racism has left the conservative movement leaderless. A time out may be in order in the form of reconciliation.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Our women are hot!"

Jason Mattera of the Young America's Foundation appeared at this past week's Values Voters Summit, and refreshed a defense of conservatism..."our women are hot!" Now this defense is not new, as right wing blogs have taken to this nonsense before. After the right-wing's year long ogling of Sarah Palin and the Fox News cheerleader squad, Mattera takes it further, and makes a reference to David vs. Goliath.

"“You know his daughter must have been beautiful because there’s no guy whose gonna die for an ugly girl,” Mattera chortled. “Our women are hot. We have Michelle Malkin. Who does the left have, Rachel Maddow? Sorry, I prefer that my women not look like dudes.”

This shallow adulation of right-wing women is not surprising. Mattera offers props to Michelle Malkin, who in her book "In Defense of Internment" had to issue errata, and who factually gets it wrong on Fox News. He takes a cheap shot at Rachel Maddow, who gets it right the first time and generally referred to in the news media business as the "smartest there is". Further, the Value Voters Summit also featured former Miss California Carrie Prejean, who became a household name after her display of intolerance to gay marriage and loss of her crown for breach of contract. So, her speech...promoting tolerance. I am not sure if there is a "contradiction crown". Further, Sarah Palin was also scheduled to appear, but was a no show.

All of this really is fodder, however, when we here Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson declare "we want to go back to the good ol' days ", translation; segregated schools and women in the kitchen. We can likely expect more of this as rumors swirl that eventually Carrie Prejean will land as a host at Fox, along with Sarah Palin as soon as she arrives at political irrelevance.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"YOU LIE!" outburst a stolen idea?

Last week's outburst by Rep. Joe Wilson during President Obama's joint session speech to Congress garnered plenty of press, however, it was hardly original. As Megan Carpentier blogs at Air America, a disgruntled Toledo man heckled mayoral candidate Ben Konop. During a press conference, the Toledo resident named "Maxwell" booed and shouted "Liar!" at the candidate before they moved down the street. The clip, something out of a SNL or Mad TV skit.

Teabaggers get testy

Well, 9/12 came and went, and the teabaggers descended on the National Mall. Initially , the predominately white crowd inflated the numbers, claiming there 1.5 to 2 million people. However, historically if a D.C. protest of that proportion it reaches 3rd street it is about 60,000-70,000. Armed with only signs indicating the President is a Socialist,Commie,Muslim,Monkey,Marxist,Nazi", this not so well thought out message only shows many people cannot come terms they lost.
More photos can be seen here and here.

Since at least the late 50's the conservative talking point has been a hatred of bias in the media, insert "it's the liberal media! They won't cover us!" However, during the eight years of President Bush, numerous war protesters gathered around the world to little coverage. The Washington Post gave the teabaggers front page coverage this past weekend, and in 2005 100,000+ war protesters were pushed to the metro section. The 9/12 protesters also saw sponsorship from the Freedomworks, CPR, Fox News, and received television coverage from Fox, ABC, MSNBC, and CNN.
With all said and done, it should be pointed out how the protests were organized and funded. The 9/12 Project, initially started by Fox's circus clown Glenn Beck. Quite possibly a good idea at first. Encourage Americans to stand as one like we had after 9/11, ok, a nice thought. However, it was the 9/12 Project that encouraged mobs of angry conservatives to town halls throughout August. Their mission....to disrupt. So, Glenn Beck really had no desire to bring folks together, he chose to capitalize on an American tragedy. Keep in mind too, that Glenn Beck once stated he "hated the victims of 9/11 families". Also on the carousel of conservatives, Dick Armey, former House Majority Leader, and now chairs Freedom Works, a conservative advocacy group with ties to big business like AT&T, Verizon, and helps lobby for insurance companies. So, I will admit, a portion of the protesters were grassroots, encouraged from watching Fox , or an e-mail from their libertarian brother's, friend's ,sister's neighbor. Other than that, it was "astroturfing". Here is Dick Armey denying that notion.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We're Number 37

Republicans mistake Presidential address for town hall meeting

President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress last night to discuss fact and fiction regarding health care reform. However, Republicans grimaced, booed, shouted out, waved their own bill in the air and held signs in protest. We are not Parliament, this was not a town hall, and it was disrespectful to the office of the President to say the least. It should be noted, that over the years the opposition has shown, well opposition, but not in this fashion.

President Obama laid out his plans for health care, debunked the lies that were going viral last month and explaining his expectations from members of both parties. None of this was clear to Rep. Joseph Wilson (R-SC), who in a weird turrets moment shouted out "YOU LIE!" He was booed by both Democrats and Republicans for his behavior, with one shouting "Throw him out!" . Internal House rules dictate that any outbursts or verbal assaults of contempt at another official is grounds for censure. Rep. Wilson also served in the National Guard until 2003, and that behavior would have led to a court martial.

"Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct."



Note: Following the Presidential address Senator John McCain and Rep. Jeff Flake both issued statements suggesting Mr. Wilson apologize.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blacklist Flashback

Open ended challenge to Congressman McCotter


When it comes to Michigan's 11th Dis., discussing policy with your Congressman is an arduous task. Green Party candidate in 2008, Erik Shelley has attempted this for over one year. By their own admission, the congressman does not notify the district office of appearances, making it difficult for constituents to challenge his policies or giving him a chance to defend them. In his numerous calls to Thaddeus McCotter's office, Mr. Shelley was somewhat threatened with a "cease and desist" order by his Chief of Staff Andrew Anuzis. As Mlive.com points out, this is in the "blackmail strike zone", as Mr. Anuzis stated "we can meet with you after the youtube videos are taken down."



Monday, August 31, 2009

Phoenix Pastor and Gun Toter wish President Obama dead

Chris Broughton gained national attention after attending a Presidential rally in Phoenix with a AR-15 strapped to his shoulder. He is also a parishioner of Faithful Word Baptist Church. The pastor of the church, Steve Andersen garnered his own national attention when his sermon was titled "Why I hate Barack Obama!" In his sermon he stated he wishes the President would die. Sarge Phelps has invited the Pastor for a debate on his statements, and Christianity, the pastor has not responded.

This has now gone a bit further, ABC 15 of Phoenix has caught with both the pastor and gun toter. Andersen had this to say "If you want to know how I'd like to see Obama die, I'd like him to die of natural causes," said Anderson. "I don't want him to be a martyr, we don't need another holiday. I'd like to see him die, like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer." Chris Broughton, added after a reporter asked him about the sermon "you're not advocating violence against the president?" Broughton states "I'm not going to answer that question directly."

According to reports, the secret service has been in contact with both men, but have yet to elaborate on details. Video of the interviews can be seen here. Now this is no longer about health care reform. In many cases similar to this, it is about a black man in the white house, in Broughton's case it is about ideology. The idiocy here is Pastor Andersen's endangerment of the President, of innocent civilians, the secret service, and his own parishioners.




The Rude Pundit on Ted Kennedy

This is from the Rude Pundit, and quite possibly one of the best pieces I have read.

Ted Kennedy:There went a man

Finally, we must take a measure of the man. Not the person, or the legislator, or the family member. No, the man. Ted Kennedy was more of a man's man than any of the brush-clearing, hick-talking, pick-up driving politicians who overcompensate again and again by faking it. No, Kennedy demonstrated, through all the ups and downs, again and again what a real man is. It is a type of masculinity that we rarely see anymore because it is a fearlessness that few are allowed to embrace.

Put aside the money for a moment. Wealth makes life easier but it does not make one happy and it is not a measure of character. Don't you think that Kennedy would have given away his whole fortune to have his brothers back?

For a man does not shy away from the tragedies of his life. When John was assassinated, Kennedy took up the cause of the civil rights movement as his first major action in the Senate. When Bobby was killed, he began to push even harder against the Vietnam War. When his 12 year-old son, Ted, Jr., had to have a leg amputated to prevent the cancer there from spreading in 1973, Kennedy threw himself into the cause of rights for people with disabilities as much as his sister, Eunice, had, a crusade that would last the rest of his life.

A man fucks up again and again, but he owns his mistakes and learns from them. Ted Kennedy wore his flaws openly in his personal life. Some of it was the price of juvenile overindulgence (even as an adult) and some of it was just stupidity. The question is less about fucking up, but how a man reacts to it. He was kicked out of Harvard for cheating on an exam, so he joined the military (although he would achieve none of the glory of John and Joe, Jr.). When the Chappaquiddick incident happened, he nutted up and told the voters to decide on his fate. He was a hard-drinking son of a bitch who screwed around on his first wife, a Dean Martin-like punchline to jokes about alcoholism and a tabloid laughingstock. During that period, among other things, he was getting funding cut off to Chile because of Pinochet's barbarism, pushing legislation to help political refugees, getting sanctions imposed on apartheid-era South Africa, negotiating with Gorbachev on nuclear missiles, stopping Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination, and strengthening the Civil Rights Act. What did you do on your years-long bender? He paid, too, with his presidential ambitions dashed. And when he was slugging 'em back like a frat boy with his nephews on a night that ended with William Kennedy Smith arrested on an accusation of rape, Kennedy made another public reckoning about who he was as a man in a speech in October 1991. And despite all he had accomplished before, he grew up, finally, understanding that to be a man one must become a man.

A man works to help those who need help. A real man is a liberal because a real man is unafraid of change and progress and difference. Let us come back to the money. The Kennedy family has always seen wealth as a privilege, a burden, and an opportunity to do good for others. Yes, it is easier to support charities and to have the time to work for various causes. But Kennedy made it his role in government to level the playing field. Where do you wanna go with this? Other than his work that climaxed with the Americans With Disabilities Act, other than his support for civil rights legislation going back to the 1964 act, we could talk about the Ryan White CARE Act, which gave funds to cities hardest hit by the AIDS crisis; we could talk about his intense support for the rights of workers through raising the minimum wage and supporting union goals; we could talk about his work for housing, for education, for women and children, for the Family and Medical Leave Act. We could talk about how he opposed the Iraq War, how he was working to provide educational opportunities to kids in Muslim countries, how he helped end the war in Northern Ireland. We could talk about how he believed, his entire career, that health care for everyone was a right, not a privilege, with COBRA and S-CHIP having been accomplished because of him. He was an unabashed, proud liberal whose full-throated speeches roared in defense of the whole ideology against the ignorance of those who would keep progress from being achieved.

A man is willing to embrace his enemies. Yesterday, Ron Reagan, Jr. had his mother on his radio show to talk about how much the Reagans loved Ted Kennedy. Kennedy and Nancy Reagan were allies on stem cell research funding, but the former first lady talked about how she and her husband were dear friends with Kennedy. Kennedy worked with Orrin Hatch, Richard Lugar, both George Bushes, and anyone he could to accomplish his goals. That's called politics. Compromise was a willingness for both sides to move. When George W. Bush dicked him over on No Child Left Behind funding, Kennedy had to know that a tide had shifted in a way that was going to make the entire process of legislating more rancorous and difficult. The political nature of the nation was moving into entrenchment, which was not how Ted Kennedy functioned.

A man knows how to die. A man understands that the end comes and doesn't desperately cling to every millisecond of life that medical science can squeeze out of him. No, a man dies with his family, in a place he loves, having done much, knowing that there was much still to be done, but accepting that there's only so much one can live.

Richard Greene spars with an anti-government fullmooner

Hollywood Clout's Richard Greene takes on Mr. anti-tax from Chicago. The issue we are facing in the midst of the health care debate is taxes. Gullible people are easy to scare, and it is being demonstrated daily from Fox and right-wingers. Many people fail to recognize that taxes are the price for having a civil society. The talking points are as follows "tort reform", "Government takeover", "it will kill grandma", "Obamacare will be a disaster","death panels",
"death books" and "it will put insurance companies out of business!" Spot the contradions? It is a "I got mine" mentality that took charge of the debate long ago. Fifty years ago Ronald Reagan was recruited by the AMA to object Medicare, and the right-wingers still dangle the psa around like gospel, however, he was wrong. A civilized country provides safety nets for it's citizens, and provides for the "general welfare".

Lionel rants on Obama's "bipartisanship"

Lionel of Air America questions where the President's "balls, er... backbone is" . Like many progressive Americans Lionel echoes Bill Maher, Thom Hartmann, and Stephanie Miller, where in the world is the Democratic backbone? The Democrats continue to behave like they are in the minority, and "change" is there for the taking. As someone who is very liberal, and watched my ilk kicked around for shits and giggles for eight years, I am tired. Liberal partisans got President Obama elected, now we want what we want. We have the majority, act like it Mr. President!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Huricane Katrina...4 years later

It has been four years since the disaster of Hurricane Katrina, and the wounds have yet to heal. The reaction to those who battled the rising waters still haunt those who survived. Sarge Phelps, who hosts Sunday Morning Coffee with Sarge still describes the horror that is continued to be inflicted by the right-wing. The politicization of Katrina needlessly demonized those left behind... the poor, the sick, the elderly.

So, I must ask, at what cost do we put our political affiliation before the American people? The price tag, $89.6 billion and folks are still displaced. Between WQRZ ,Sarge, and random reporters we hear little on the progress in Waveland, Mississippi and New Oreleans. The right-wing fringe would rather criticize those stranded than be critical of those in power at the time. Within the $89+ billion, were contracts that were handed out to the likes of Halliburton and Blackwater among others. There is little news on how doctors sped up patients deaths to prevent inevitable drownings and eventual deaths. Dr. Anna Pau has described the horror of being abandoned, and the decisions doctors made on "who goes first?".



Update: more coverage from Amy Goodman at Democracy Now

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nancy Reagan to Ron regarding Senator Kennedy; "I will miss him"

In a touching exchange between mother and son.

Open Thread

TedStrong wrist bands

Interest building for "TedStrong" wristbands. Many friends and others are garnering interest in wrist bands to continue the late Senator's "life cause" for universal health care. Move On and Credo are also interested in having a hand in this. Share this info to show your support. Keep checking back for updates on fighting for Uncle Ted's cause.

Mean Girls of Conservatism


I have got to go with Stephanie Miller on this, Laura Ingraham was the guest host on O'Reilly's show. In typical Fox fashion, Laura, with Republican strategist Andrea Tantaros gang up on Democratic strategist Tara Dowdell. As Stephanie suggested, like a scene from the movie Mean Girls, Andrea even brought her own lockers. Ingraham's argument that the Democratic Party is using Senator Kennedy's death to politicize or exploit it. Oddly, it seems that Senator Kennedy stated that universal health care was the "cause of his life".

In more distasteful fashion, following Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh's lead, Ingraham invoked the memorial of the late Paul Wellstone. Senator Wellstone's may not have been what many wanted, but it was a rallying cry for his achievements and causes. Senator Al Franken had this to say of Wellstone's memorial "It was the Republicans that tried to cheapen Paul Wellstone's life by dishonoring his death. It was the right-wing media, not the friends and family who spoke at the memorial or the people who came to it, that seized an opportunity to use a tragedy for political gain."

The point is, while Democrats around the country mourn the loss of Ted Kennedy, the right wing chooses to mock it, continues to politicize it, and continues to use analogies to agitate. Invoking Paul Wellstone's tragic death as comparison does nothing but open wounds that liberals will always nurse. So, why Fox and Neo-Con talk show hosts display their degenerate tactics, liberals and Democrats will carry on and honor our own by continuing their fight.



Mike Malloy on Ted Kennedy