Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to Wingnuts, Moonbats, and everyone in between.

Just a quick post to say Merry Christmas to all.

Hope that everyone reading this gets all they wish for but (and?) gets even more pleasure from the giving.

Perhaps I'll actually do more posting here, in the new year... 8>)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"But it's obviously terrorism!! Hasan is a MUSLIM!!!: Wingnut bigotry

(Disclaimer: I started working on this a few days ago, but got "distracted" by my wife being admitted into the hospital with breathing problems. My mind just hasn't been on it, since... But I figured I'd post what I had, before it got too stale. Maybe after things get back to normal 'round here, I'll whip up a new post containing the rest of this one, as I envisioned it. - repsac3, 11/14/09)

A meme is emerging among many on the Con right, that the extreme left (comprising everyone except them, natch) refuse to accept any possibility that the Ft. Hood shooting could have anything to do with his being a radical Muslim, and deny all facts to the contrary. Many blame the political correctness of everyone in our society --except themselves, who're "brave" enough to call Muslim's what they are; ticking terrorist timebombs, waiting to go off-- for allowing Hasan to commit these murders.

Of course, it's 99% bullshit, fueled mostly by partisanship (I hope), and in a few cases (though more than I'd like to believe exists), bigotry.

The meme goes like this:

"So far, so good. Let’s see if the self-deluded liberal scribes intent on ignoring the obvious have the nerve then to lump Robinson in with the “bigots” in the right blogosphere who’ve been saying this for a few days now." - Commentary - It’s Good for Diversity! - JENNIFER RUBIN - 11.10.2009 - 8:23 AM

"The tide of pronouncements and ruminations pointing to every cause for this event other than the one obvious to everyone in the rational world continues apace. Commentators, reporters, psychologists and, indeed, army spokesmen continue to warn portentously, "We don't yet know the motive for the shootings."

What a puzzle this piece of vacuity must be to audiences hearing it, some, no doubt, with outrage. To those not terrorized by fear of offending Muslim sensitivities, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's motive was instantly clear: It was an act of terrorism by a man with a record of expressing virulent, anti-American, pro-jihadist sentiments."
- Dorothy Rabinowitz: Dr. Phil and the Fort Hood Killer - - NOVEMBER 9, 2009, 11:36 P.M. ET

"A consensus seems to have formed here at The Atlantic that the Ft. Hood massacre means not very much at all. >>SNIP<<

It seems, though, that when an American military officer who is a practicing Muslim allegedly shoots forty of his fellow soldiers who are about to deploy to the two wars the United States is currently fighting in Muslim countries, some broader meaning might, over time, be discerned, especially if the officer did, in fact, yell "Allahu Akbar" while murdering his fellow soldiers, as some soldiers say he did."
- The - When Muslims Commit Violence - Jeffrey Goldberg - 08 Nov 2009 09:37 am

And that's to say nothing of the myriad of lower level Con bloggers echoing posts like these.

The thing is, many of these kinda posts are reacting yesterday or today to posts cautioning folks not to jump to conclusions on Thursday or Friday, when most of the information about Hasan --aside that he was a Muslim--was not yet known. In some cases, the con bloggers trying to smear those bloggers, politicians, and media heads who urged caution are the same ones who saw his name & posted JIHAD!!! on Thursday afternoon or evening.

American Power: Twelve Killed in Fort Hood Shootings‎: President Obama, "A Horrific Outburst of Violence" - UPDATED!! Muslim Jihad in America!

MUSLIM TERROR ATTACK:'TWELVE shot dead' 12 30 Wounded, Mass Shooting at Fort Hood, US Army Base - Atlas Shrugs

American Power: Jihadist Attack at Fort Hood! - Nidal Malik Hasan Said 'Muslims Should Rise Up' - U.S. Islamists, Leftists in Damage Control! (Notice that Donald Douglas was already starting to attack anyone who dared say it might not be terrorism, by this point. He saw the guy's muslim-sounding name. He knew.)

The fact that further information released in the days since has bolstered the likelihood that Hasan's understanding of his faith did play a large role in the motivation for the killings --I refuse to play the terrorism/war crime game so many are playing. To me it was likely all of the above, and a tragedy, too. --in no way justifies bigots like Dr. Douglas & Pamela Geller who saw his name on Thursday and immediately "knew" what happened. Don't let people like this justify what they essentially said about all muslims because further information has bolstered their initial, uninformed bigotry about this one muslim.

The same people that are pissed off that General Casey was concerned about a backlash against American muslims serving honorably in the military, and claim there has been no backlash, are often the ones who support screening all muslims for extremist views (FoxNews), or tossing them out of the military altogether (Bryan Fischer - American Family Association). They fail to see that they ARE the backlash. While I’m relatively certain that the sentiments of people like Donald Douglas, Pamela Geller, that ass Brian Kilmede on FoxNews, and Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association do not represent the thinking of most Americans--or even most conservatives (indeed, there is a rebuttal & repudiation of Fisher’s bigotry linked right there on the AFA website:Fairness for All, Including Muslims)—the ideas they express about muslims and about America are harmful to the ideals for which this country stands.

(That's as far as I got... But here are more of the links I was lookin' at for possible inclusion in this post --most of 'em are the BAD examples to which I'd find--or write--the rebuttals later. If nothin' else, it'll give you an idea of where I was going with this.)
Ft. Hood Victim's Family Speaks Out Against Anti-Muslim Sentiment (VIDEO)
memeorandum: Army Chief Concerned for Muslim Troops (Joseph Berger/New York Times)
memeorandum: When Muslims Commit Violence (Jeffrey Goldberg)

memeorandum: Fort Hood Gunman Gave Signals Before His Rampage (New York Times)
Fort Hood Gunman Gave Signals Before His Rampage -
American Power: Nidal Malik Hasan Gave Signals Before His Rampage

“That’s not a crime to call up al Qaeda, is it?”
Gateway Pundit
MUSLIMS IN AMERICA ‘cheering’ Fort Hood Massacre - Bare Naked Islam's Weblog
“Acted Alone”?: Hasan Attack Was 3rd Planned Islamic Domestic Attack on U.S. Military Tied to Yemen; Fort Dix 6 & Hasan’s Imam

Dorothy Rabinowitz: Dr. Phil and the Fort Hood Killer -

Commentary - Blog Archive - It’s Good for Diversity!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Stupak "Coathanger Amendment" Democrats

Final Vote Results for Roll Call 884
Baca, Barrow, Berry, Bishop (GA), Boccieri, Boren, Bright
Cardoza, Carney, Chandler, Childers, Cooper, Costa, Costello, Cuellar
Dahlkemper, Davis (AL), Davis (TN), Donnelly (IN), Doyle, Driehaus
Ellsworth, Etheridge
Gordon (TN), Griffith,
Hill, Holden,
Kanjorski, Kaptur, Kildee,
Langevin, Lipinski, Lynch,
Marshall, Matheson, McIntyre, Melancon, Michaud, Mollohan, Murtha,
Neal (MA),
Oberstar, Obey, Ortiz,
Perriello, Peterson, Pomeroy,
Rahall, Reyes, Rodriguez, Ross, Ryan (OH),
Salazar, Shuler, Skelton, Snyder, Space, Spratt, Stupak,
Tanner, Taylor, Teague,
Wilson (OH)

There you have 'em... Your coathanger amendment Democrats for 2009. I look forward to donating to as many of their pro-choice Democratic (or Green, or Libertarian, or...) challengers as possible, when these folks next come up for reelection.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Could it be more simple?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

This Modern World - Then and Now

(Click to further embiggen)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Obama As Hitler": Anybody But Conservatives, apparently...

TheBlogProf sez the poster was a Democrat/Union Plant (memeorandum). Rightwing media site Newsbusters assigns the posters to Communist and perpetual Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche (memeorandum). It seems the only people they won't blame is themselves. And the only thing they won't do is take responsibility for the real nuts in their midst.

I mean, sure, the LaRouche people are distributing that poster on their website. From what I've read, they've been doing so for several months now. But the site and the download are open to anyone, to copy or otherwise use and abuse as they see fit. And the person holding this sign was protesting with the folks on the right, against the health care bill. (Which is kind of odd, for a commie to not be in favor of "socialist" health care reforms, where the government is in control of every aspect of the lives of it's citizens, right?)

The "plant" meme is even more ridiculous, and even less believable. One Freeper claims that the guy in the picture was handing out Dingell (D-Mich.) leaflets after the town hall. That's the sum total of the "proof." No photo, no unbiased account. Just one biased Obama/Dem hater making a specious claim (& (the beginnings of) the wingnut echo chamber spreading it like pollen).

I believe that many folks against the health care bill would not stoop this low themselves. I even believe that many are acting in good faith. But there are rude, dishonest, racist nutjobs in their midst. And the good people should do what they can to disassociate themselves from these folks. While I'm certain that most baggers wouldn't carry such a sign, there's no report anywhere of anyone who was there disavowing this guy and/or his sign before it became a news story. Like it or not this guy (as well as the baby mama who gave her kid the swastika sign to hold, and the one with the SS sign, and...) are pissing in your pool, and fouling your tea.

Take some responsibility, and do something about it. Pointing fingers outward and going into ABC mode isn't going to cut it.

Democrat and daughter attend Obama Town Hall

Film at 11.

Michelle Malkin - Little girl at Obama town hall has not-so-random political connections

Malkintent & her posse must be gettin' a little desperate, when the story is that the daughter of a prominent MA Democrat asked Obama a question at his most recent town hall in NH. (I mean, if anyone has anything more than speculation and "we all know..." to support the notion that she wasn't picked as randomly as any other questioner at any other town hall, I'm all ears. But if that's all she has, the post linked above is a pitiful waste of perfectly good electrons.)

Amazingly, it isn't the first time Democrats have attended events held by President Obama, or the first time Malkintent has noticed. Michelle Malkin - The illustrated guide to Obamacare human props. Next she'll post informing her readers that her parents were not WASPS, that she didn't vote for Obama, and that water is wet.

I'm just shocked!!

(It must be a sad little world this woman and her worshipers live in...)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Re: Mr "Insta-" Reynolds: Protest is still patriotic, and rudeness is still rude.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds: Remember when protest was patriotic?

No, Insty... Protest is still patriotic, and hooliganism is still hooliganism. To whatever extent the same people and media organizations who cheered disruptions of congressional hearings and Republic party member events are decrying the same behavior now--or decried that behavior then, but are applauding it now--you have a point about hypocrisy. I agree. Anyone who's using one standard to judge friends and another to judge foes is a hypocrite. Like my statements above about protest & hooliganism, that hypocrisy standard remains the same, left or right.

To the extent you're trying to make some kinda point about this monolith you call the left, though--kind of a "if one does it, they all support it" kinda thing--your piece here falls flat. Judging these "citizens" one way or the other while being a member of one party or another isn't enough to make one a hypocrite.

Good try, but no dice.

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls the "Tea Party" protesters Nazis..."

Not so much, actually... She said some of them were carrying signs with swastikas or other Nazi symbols, which some were (& continue to do). I can post the pictures, if you really need to see 'em again.

As far as the rest, people know bad behavior when they see it. Anyone who feels it's justified to shout down and shut down town hall meetings should keep on doing it, and if at all possible, videotaping it, too. Because while many on the right are slapping each other on the back and gloating over having heckled this or that Democrat into closing the meeting early or saying something foolish, I'm not so sure it's playing as well outside of your little circle. People know rudeness and hooliganism when they see it.

Updates, revisions, and extensions:
8/9/09: memeorandum link to Reynolds' post

Friday, August 7, 2009

Steven Pearlstein: Republicans Propagating Falsehoods in Attacks on Health-Care Reform

Forgive the cutnpaste, but chances are slim that I could improve on this piece by stickin' my two cents in, or alternatively, cutting too much out of what Steven Pearlstein wrote. (I'm not entirely without keyboard, including the "delete" key, but the whole of the substance remains.)

Republicans Propagating Falsehoods in Attacks on Health-Care Reform - Steven Pearlstein - (memeorandum):

There are lots of valid criticisms that can be made against the health reform plans moving through Congress -- I've made a few myself. But there is no credible way to look at what has been proposed by the president or any congressional committee and conclude that these will result in a government takeover of the health-care system. That is a flat-out lie whose only purpose is to scare the public and stop political conversation.

Under any plan likely to emerge from Congress, the vast majority of Americans who are not old or poor will continue to buy health insurance from private companies, continue to get their health care from doctors in private practice and continue to be treated at privately owned hospitals.

The centerpiece of all the plans is a new health insurance exchange set up by the government where individuals, small businesses and eventually larger businesses will be able to purchase insurance from private insurers at lower rates than are now generally available under rules that require insurers to offer coverage to anyone regardless of health condition. Low-income workers buying insurance through the exchange -- along with their employers -- would be eligible for government subsidies. While the government will take a more active role in regulating the insurance market and increase its spending for health care, that hardly amounts to the kind of government-run system that critics conjure up when they trot out that oh-so-clever line about the Department of Motor Vehicles being in charge of your colonoscopy.

There is still a vigorous debate as to whether one of the insurance options offered through those exchanges would be a government-run insurance company of some sort. There are now less-than-even odds that such a public option will survive in the Senate, while even House leaders have agreed that the public plan won't be able to piggy-back on Medicare. So the probability that a public-run insurance plan is about to drive every private insurer out of business -- the Republican nightmare scenario -- is approximately zero.

By now, you've probably also heard that health reform will cost taxpayers at least a trillion dollars. Another lie.

First of all, that's not a trillion every year, as most people assume -- it's a trillion over 10 years, which is the silly way that people in Washington talk about federal budgets. On an annual basis, that translates to about $140 billion, when things are up and running.

Even that, however, grossly overstates the net cost to the government of providing universal coverage. Other parts of the reform plan would result in offsetting savings for Medicare: reductions in unnecessary subsidies to private insurers, in annual increases in payments rates for doctors and in payments to hospitals for providing free care to the uninsured. The net increase in government spending for health care would likely be about $100 billion a year, a one-time increase equal to less than 1 percent of a national income that grows at an average rate of 2.5 percent every year.

The Republican lies about the economics of health reform are also heavily laced with hypocrisy.

While holding themselves out as paragons of fiscal rectitude, Republicans grandstand against just about every idea to reduce the amount of health care people consume or the prices paid to health-care providers -- the only two ways I can think of to credibly bring health spending under control.

When Democrats, for example, propose to fund research to give doctors, patients and health plans better information on what works and what doesn't, Republicans sense a sinister plot to have the government decide what treatments you will get. By the same wacko-logic, a proposal that Medicare pay for counseling on end-of-life care is transformed into a secret plan for mass euthanasia of the elderly.

Government negotiation on drug prices? The end of medical innovation as we know it, according to the GOP's Dr. No. Reduce Medicare payments to overpriced specialists and inefficient hospitals? The first step on the slippery slope toward rationing.

Can there be anyone more two-faced than the Republican leaders who in one breath rail against the evils of government-run health care and in another propose a government-subsidized high-risk pool for people with chronic illness, government-subsidized community health centers for the uninsured, and opening up Medicare to people at age 55?

Health reform is a test of whether this country can function once again as a civil society -- whether we can trust ourselves to embrace the big, important changes that require everyone to give up something in order to make everyone better off. Republican leaders are eager to see us fail that test. We need to show them that no matter how many lies they tell or how many scare tactics they concoct, Americans will come together and get this done.

One thing I did cut from my cutnpaste was Mr Pearlstein's unfortunate use of the phrase "political terrorists" in the column to refer to the wingnuts and hooligans opposing healthcare reform. As Zandar notes, "...the usual suspects are already using those two words to negate the other thousand."

Sadly, that doesn't surprise me, either.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Right-Wing Astroturf Harassment Strategy Against Dems Detailed In Memo: ‘Yell,’ ‘Stand Up And Shout Out,’ ‘Rattle Him’

Think Progress - Right-Wing Harassment Strategy Against Dems Detailed In Memo: ‘Yell,’ ‘Stand Up And Shout Out,’ ‘Rattle Him’

Missing from the reporting of these stories is the fact that much of these protests are coordinated by public relations firms and lobbyists who have a stake in opposing President Obama’s reforms.

The lobbyist-run groups Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, which orchestrated the anti-Obama tea parties earlier this year, are now pursuing an aggressive strategy to create an image of mass public opposition to health care and clean energy reform. A leaked memo from Bob MacGuffie, a volunteer with the FreedomWorks website Tea Party Patriots, details how members should be infiltrating town halls and harassing Democratic members of Congress:

– Artificially Inflate Your Numbers: “Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up. The Rep should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington.”

– Be Disruptive Early And Often: “You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep’s presentation, Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early.”

– Try To “Rattle Him,” Not Have An Intelligent Debate: “The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda. If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right back down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions.”

The memo above also resembles the talking points being distributed by FreedomWorks for pushing an anti-health reform assault all summer. Patients United, a front group maintained by Americans for Prosperity, is currently busing people all over the country for more protests against Democratic members. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), chairman of the NRCC, has endorsed the strategy, telling the Politico the days of civil town halls are now “over.”

Read the rest here.

And to be sure, these astroturfers, along with a few legit wingers, are following the playbook. [Teabaggers Try To Shout Down Health Care Reform At Town Halls | TPMDC] Congress folks have been shouted down, had chanting mobs follow them to their cars, and been forced to cancel town hall meetings or call security in locations all across the US. And our fellow citizens on the right are gloating about "shouting down" and "heckling" their representatives, besides, when they should be ashamed of such disrespectful behavior. They're largely a self-interested, corporate controlled mob, and they're getting ugly.

Updates as I find 'em:
More examples and folks proud of the hooliganism:
American Power: Dogging Lloyd Doggett: 'Just Say No"; to Obamacare!
Gateway Pundit: Lib "Blue Dog' Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH) Booed, Mocked & Laughed At During Town Hall (Video)
Delegitimizing Obama by any means at hand - docweaselblog

More folks saying astroturfing & acting like an unruly mob is no way for American citizens to treat each other:
Rachel Maddow on GOP Thugishness at Town Halls: This is Called Hooliganism | Video Cafe
The danger in the right's anger - Ben Smith -
Is Obama’s Vaunted Political Operation Getting Outworked By Tea-Baggers? | The Plum Line

Monday, August 3, 2009

World Net Daily Sez, Not Only Isn’t Obama A Citizen….He’s The Antichrist

Somewhere, a woman named Grace is having an "Explosion."

Below The Beltway: World Net Daily Sez, Not Only Isn’t Obama A Citizen….He’s The Antichrist

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Post- Beerestroika Caption Contest

It's from Hot Air, so the whole thing leans pretty far wingnut, but even so, the winning entry is awful funny. (You can look for yourself, but in my opinion, there was no competition for the funny, and entirely too much downright mean--as is much of the commentary regarding this pic in Right Wingnuttia.) Hot Air - Caption Contest: After Beerestroika

And the winning entry is..."Just A Cop, Skip, and A Chump From the White House" - Christien on July 31, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Friday, July 31, 2009

What I Saw at the Beer Summit - (The Daily Beast)

Courtesy of The Daily Beast (by way of memeorandum), What I Saw at the Beer Summit - Elizabeth Gates:

In a world in which the conversation on race has traditionally taken a back seat to both logic and reason, it’s no wonder that yesterday’s so-called “Beer Summit” at the White House seemed to make little sense at all. It wasn’t because the president was wrong in offering up a few cold ones to my father, Henry Louis Gates, and the now infamous Sgt. James Crowley in an attempt to tame the media blitz around my father’s arrest—it was because like most issues that make their way to TMZ, the reference point had shifted. The debate over Red Stripe and Blue Moon had somehow overshadowed the fact that this story began with a black Harvard professor and a white cop from Natick, Mass.—and as CNN’s countdown clock to the event taunted viewers like a time bomb, it was clear that this day wasn’t going to be the beginning of a serious discussion on human relations but rather a circus-like ending of a misunderstanding between a couple of very decent men.

I can’t say that I was shocked.

As our family rounded the corner to the White House library and I first caught sight of Sgt. Crowley’s lovely daughter; she was wearing an appropriately heavy and charmingly untrained amount of green eyeliner on her lower lashes, and I saw my former self in her. We were instantly transported from the post-racial myth of America in 2008 to the reality of 2009. There they stood, a pleasant family of five, listening patiently to the overzealous tour guide boast about the fully functioning fireplace to the left of the doorframe.

A down to earth first person account, worthy of a full read.

Interesting spin from some on the right, however... Apparently, Elizabeth Gates, like her father, is a "racist," because she "cattily" made fun of how Crowley's 15 year old daughter applied her eyeliner. (Check the HA comments for descriptions of how "racist" & "catty" this was.) Started at Hot Air from what I can tell, (but repeated at Donald Douglas' American Power blog, and The New Republic's The Plank--without attribution in both cases, I note), and perhaps others, the meme is... well, let's let them tell it, via their "Hot Air Headline":

Hot Air Headlines - Gates’s daughter: Crowley’s daughter wears too much eyeliner:
As our family rounded the corner to the White House library and I first caught sight of Sergeant Crowley’s lovely 14-year old daughter—who was wearing an appropriately heavy and charmingly untrained amount of green eyeliner on her lower lashes—we were instantly transported from the post-racial myth of America in 2008 to the reality of 2009. There they stood, a pleasant family of five, listening patiently to the overzealous tour guide boast about the fully functioning fireplace to the left of the doorframe.

Any sharp eyes notice what's wrong with that picture?

Yes, they edited the line, taking out "...and I saw my former self in her." after "...charmingly untrained amount of green eyeliner on her lower lashes...", making it appear Ms. Gates was saying something she wasn't... Way to go there Malkin, Douglas, & "New Republic"... Good reporting of those "facts."

Updated, as more inevitably join the hot air fictional meme...
Wingnut @ Fire Andrea Mitchell! cuts the quote even shorter, Hot Air repeats the lie in a second post, hours later, fucks it up (Why don't any of these asses read the original posts before mindlessly cutting & pasting from a third party source?!?), Um no, Alan... But thanks for playing...Literature R Us—Alan Vanneman’s website, And finally, commenters at The Plank start questioning the omission... // Althouse quotes it correctly, at least... ...but still thinks it's catty.
Gawker though, gets it right (finally...):
"(Also she has already been accused of "taking the low road" by The New Republic for mentioning that Crowley's 14-year-old daughter applied her eyeliner inexpertly, which Gates found "charming," which is apparently evidence of condescension from someone uppity enough to have graduated from The New School. No, seriously, we're not seeing it, TNR, and this just looks like Corner-style shit-stirring for the hell of it.)"

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Ricci riddle and the law's limits - Kermit Roosevelt

"That means that the way people think about Ricci – and this includes the justices – is in large part shaped not by logic or law but by their attitudes about the world. In particular, it depends on whether they think it is more likely that minority candidates were simply not as good as the whites, or more likely that there was some unintended bias skewing the results. What drives these attitudes, as Holmes knew, is experience. The facts of Ricci are an inkblot in which we all see the pictures life has drawn for us."

Read the rest: Kermit Roosevelt - The Ricci riddle and the law's limits -

Other posts on the subject worth reading (added as I find 'em):
The history behind Ricci v. DeStefano, the Supreme Court case that will decide who gets the good jobs in cities across America. (3) - By Nicole Allan and Emily Bazelon - Slate Magazine

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Iran Elections: Quit Turning Your Twitter Avatars Green And Do Something

Iran Elections: Quit Turning Your Twitter Avatars Green And Do Something - Air America Media - Kase Wickman

(The whole article is damned good and well worth reading, but I'm only reposting the "here's what you can do" paragraphs (the meat) below. I'm also leaving my twitter avatar green because, while it's usefulness pales in comparison to the suggestions in the post, I do think that little green tag makes a psychological difference. YMMV...)
So instead of empty gestures and hashtags, why don't we actually engage in some activism and help, instead of whispering about this like some kind of neighborhood scandal that will never catch up to us because it's an ocean away?

There's always the option of an online donation to a relief agency like Red Crescent, for something immediate and helpful. The world runs on money and blood (as the events in Iran over the last week and a half have so morosely reminded us), and America is too far away to donate the blood that the wounded in Iran so desperately need.

You can also make donations to those covering the ongoing protests and violence, like Tehran Bureau, which is run by an Iranian-emigre out of a house in Newton, Massachusetts and is in need of financial support to keep the site live and bandwidth plentiful. Reliable information is harder and harder to come by, already 24 journalists have been arrested in Iran, and the majority of the rest have been forced out of the country by expired visas and government intimidation.

Don't have cash? There are ways you can help for free without ever leaving your computer. You can create a proxy or Twitter relay to help keep those ever-important Iranian Twitterers connected and informing the world about the situation in Iran. Or change your location and time zone to match Iran, in hopes of tripping up government censors looking for active sources.

If you're more diplomatically-inclined, and looking toward the long term, write a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council and urge them to take action on international election standards and protection for citizens.

Above all, the thing you must do before any difference can be made is to inform yourself. The term "knowledge is power" wouldn't be repeated so much if it wasn't true. So spend some time reading the news, know what the hell you're talking about, and go out and tell someone else about it, and how they can help.

If anyone has any further suggestions or links to sites & or other things worth doing, please add them in the comments. I'd prefer that this post stay as non-partisan as possible. We all know that "that" side sucks, but wingnuts, moonbats, partisans of all other stripes... ...this isn't about us here in the US.

h/t Twitter / @DivadNhoj1981

Wingnut Scum Blames America for Violence in Iran

Atlas Shrugs: IRAN: DAY 12 OF THE REVOLUTION - How could Obama do nothing? "Blood everywhere" "militia with axe chopping ppl like meat" "militia beating one woman with baton on ground - she had no defense nothing - sure that she is dead"

Pamela Gellar (and all your mindless, neocon cohorts who can't help but turn a tyrannical Iranian crackdown on their own people into a nakedly partisan referendum on a US administration for whom you did not vote),

Fuck you.


Sane America


"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents." - Robert F. Kennedy

Maybe Something About Foreign Policy, Too...

"Whether you golf or not, go to a driving range and hit a bucket of golf balls. Begin by hitting everything as hard as you can; gradually decrease your power until near the end, you're barely swinging. Notice that as you decrease the power of your swing, your accuracy improves. There's a lesson about life, here." - The Check Book - Nicholaus & Lowrie


Friday, June 19, 2009

Olive Garden Says It Did Not Cancel Ads on Letterman Show

Olive Garden Says It Did Not Cancel Ads on Letterman Show - Media Decoder Blog -
Olive Garden Says It Did Not Cancel Ads on Letterman Show

The Olive Garden restaurant chain may not have been happy with David Letterman’s jokes about Gov. Sarah Palin and her family, but no order was issued to pull commercials from Mr. Letterman’s show, a spokesman for the company said Thursday.

Whoops! Looks like Politico (the source of yesterday's post) screwed up, and I screwed up for believing them... (of course to hear them tell it: Olive Garden backtracks on David Letterman ads - Andy Barr -

Yeah... Right...

Think I'll wait until I actually see an Olive Garden ad during a Letterman broadcast though, just to be sure... 8>)

I actually discovered all this via this post on Liberal Values: Revenge of the PUMAs, which goes into the whole PUMA (Party Unity, My Ass) angle of the Letterman/Palin story...

The PUMAs are group of mostly "women of a certain age" one time Hillary supporters, that for the life of me, I have never understood... If you read their sites, the vast majority is anti-Obama, anti-Democratic party screeds. The minute I saw that woman in yellow in the Fire Dave rally post below, the first thing I thought of was Harriet Christian, captured so eloquently below:

Ms. Christian was as good as her word, campaigning & voting for McCain/ Palin...

I can understand not being happy with one's party or nominee, of course, but I can't wrap my head around party activists and delegates--the people who're supposed to be the most loyal and dedicated of the party faithful--having ideas and ideals that allow them to go from supporting Hillary Clinton to voting for John McCain. Are there really such a thing as moderate party activists?

(So much for not doing any more Letterman/Palin posts... Sorry, Jennifer...)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Olive Garden pulls Letterman ads - They obviously don't want my business, anymore

UPDATE 6/19/09: Politico screwed up (or "The Olive Garden backtracked") Take your pick.

Either way: Olive Garden Says It Did Not Cancel Ads on Letterman Show

In an e-mail to a Letterman critic obtained by POLITICO, a spokeswoman for the Italian restaurant chain wrote that “there will be no more Olive Garden ads scheduled for ‘The Late Show’ with David Letterman in this year's broadcast schedule,” citing the talk show host’s “inappropriate comments.”

“We apologize that Mr. Letterman’s mistake, which was not consistent with our standards and values, left you with a bad impression of Olive Garden,” wrote Sherri Bruen, the company’s guest relations manager.


Conservative radio host John Ziegler, who previously interviewed Palin for his film “Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted,” organized a lightly attended protest Tuesday outside the “Late Show” studio.

Ziegler has listed contact information for 14 advertisers on Letterman’s show, including Olive Garden, on his website dedicated to the comedian’s firing. He called the news an “obvious victory” but vowed to continue “our quest for some sense of accountability for Letterman in this matter.”

Read more: Olive Garden pulls Letterman ads

As I said in a comment elsewhere, "Maybe it made sense once, but now that the aggrieved parties accepted [Letterman's] apology, it's just lookin' vindictive. I never did eat at an Olive Garden, before but I never had a reason not to. Allowing one's company to be bullied into submission to the point that they do something vindictive is reason enough for me..."

Guess I'll be makin' my own darn breadsticks...

Others talking about it: memeorandum

Remember when I was talking about chickenhawks?

THIS is an example of a potentially chickenhawk statement:

Fortunately, there's been a response:
Twitter Users Heckle Hoekstra En Masse | TPMDC:
Earlier today, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) put up [an] astonishing post on Twitter, likening the oppression of the Iranian people to the plight of House Republicans.

In the hours since, the Twitter community has responded -- with massive heckling.

Also, this:
Pete Hoekstra Is A Meme

Blog posts making fun of him. Pete must feel like Nancy Bellicec, at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

(To be fair however, it's also an example of an analogy, which I was just discussing --that is, getting on professor Douglas' case about-- here. So... Am I being a little bit of a hypocrite in celebrating these folks willful misunderstanding Hoekstra's analogy, after jumping on Donald when he willfully misunderstood one? Yes, I am. But at least I'm aware of it, and I'm willing to cop to it, too, (as soon as I realized it, anyway...) Besides... Some of these "hoekstraisms" are kinda funny, and that's reason enough to post about 'em.)

Previous "chickenhawk" discussions:
Sidebar, between the "Diggs I Dugg" list and the "Follow Me" gadget (as of this posting... I tend to rearrange the furniture, here.) - Donald Douglas, who serves and sacrifices for his country on the battlefields of Long Beach City College, CA
Wingnuts & Moonbats: La la lala, la la lala, Elmo's Song - Mitt Romney's sons, all serving their country on electoral battlefields throughout the country, like the 5 young men in Saving Private Ryan. (in comments... Up till then, I couldn't think of any other chickenhawks.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Video from the Fire Dave rally

I thought I was done with this story, but the woman in yellow so offended me with her ugly, vicious mind, I couldn't let it pass unchallenged... A person like that ought not to be seen or heard in public (& I really hope that wherever she works, she isn't.)...


Among the more alarming lines of attack -- particularly given that the rally was held because Letterman supposedly made a joke about Sarah Palin's teenage daughter Willow -- was that Letterman's son Harry was born out of wedlock (he recently wed Regina Lasko after dating for over a decade).

"Should we talk about his son?" one protester asked Green. "I believe his son was born out of wedlock. I believe there's a term for that."

"Is someone making jokes about his child?" asked another. "Especially, you know, when he had a daughter out of wedlock himself" (he didn't; 5-year-old Harry is his only child).

"How dare he?" asked yet a third, the most offensive of all. "When he has a bastard son, and a slut for a wife" (Letterman's wife Lasko has kept a notoriously low profile).

It should be noted that Sarah Palin's teenage daughter Bristol gave birth to baby Tripp (out-of-wedlock) in December and broke up with the baby's father, Levi Johnston, in March.
-- "Fire David Letterman" Protest Becomes Hatefest, Draws More Media Than Protesters

"I Hate Arabs More Than Anybody": Desperate Army Recruits Neo-Nazis

I believe the vast majority of American soldiers are fine upstanding patriotic citizens. But even so--even if only a tiny percentage of the military is made up of race extremists, white or otherwise--this article is chilling, because these people are getting training in how best to kill with precision, by our government.

"I Hate Arabs More Than Anybody": Desperate Army Recruits Neo-Nazis
By Matt Kennard, Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. Posted June 17, 2009.

Why the U.S. military is ignoring its own regulations and permitting white supremacists to join.

Since the launch of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. military has struggled to recruit and reenlist troops. As the conflicts have dragged on, the military has loosened regulations, issuing "moral waivers" in many cases, allowing even those with criminal records to join up. Veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder have been ordered back to the Middle East for second and third tours of duty.

The lax regulations have also opened the military's doors to neo-Nazis, white supremacists and gang members -- with drastic consequences. Some neo-Nazis have been charged with crimes inside the military, and others have been linked to recruitment efforts for the white right. A recent Department of Homeland Security report, "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," stated: "The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today." Many white supremacists join the Army to secure training for, as they see it, a future domestic race war. Others claim to be shooting Iraqis not to pursue the military's strategic goals but because killing "hajjis" is their duty as white militants.

Soldiers' associations with extremist groups, and their racist actions, contravene a host of military statutes instituted in the past three decades. But during the "war on terror," U.S. armed forces have turned a blind eye on their own regulations. A 2005 Department of Defense report states, "Effectively, the military has a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy pertaining to extremism. If individuals can perform satisfactorily, without making their extremist opinions overt they are likely to be able to complete their contracts."

About the title: The article opens with a profile of an Iraq War veteran named Forrest Fogarty. There's seven paragraphs discussing his teen and early adult years in the white power movement and his experience with army recruitment, and then:

In 2003, Fogarty was sent to Iraq. For two years he served in the military police, escorting officers, including generals, around the hostile country. He says he was granted top-secret clearance and access to battle plans. Fogarty speaks with regret that he "never had any kill counts." But he says his time in Iraq increased his racist resolve.

"I hate Arabs more than anybody, for the simple fact I've served over there and seen how they live," he tells me. "They're just a backward people. Them and the Jews are just disgusting people as far as I'm concerned. Their customs, everything to do with the Middle East, is just repugnant to me."

Read the whole article here

(I'd've just done a "Digg" post, but I kept getting an invalid url message, no matter what I did. Maybe I'll Digg this post instead, just to get the story the wide attention it deserves... But if anyone from Digg happens to be reading this, or anyone at all knows how to work around whatever the issue was (I suspect it had something to do with the quote marks in the title--& thus in the url--myself), please let me know...)

UPDATE: Looks like it was a Salon News article first: Neo-Nazis are in the Army now. I "dugg" that one instead, but I'll stick with this post, anyway...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sarah Palin Accepts David Letterman's Apology for 'Coarse' Jokes - (Is it finally over?)

Sarah Palin has accepted comedian David Letterman’s apology made during Monday night’s broadcast of “The Late Show” for crude jokes made about her and her teen daughters last week.

Read the rest of the article HERE, and what others are saying about it at Memorandum

I'm as sympathetic as the next guy. The jokes were crude, rude, and unnecessary. But once he said he was sorry... the first time... that should've been the end of it.

No one was, say, tortured. It wasn't like anyone used a picture depicting the imminent death of a whole lot of innocent Americans to deliver a punchline.

Dave (& really, some writer, more'n'likely) was just foolishly insensitive. It happens, especially when someone is trying to be funny. It wasn't done maliciously, with the intent of hurting anyone or achieving some further political or social end. And, contrary to the rightwing spin, there is nothing to suggest that it was intentionally or knowingly aimed at a 14 year old. (Yep... along with telling a bad Joke, Dave got the facts wrong, and thought the person about whom he was telling the joke was of age. Is it better that the joke was aimed at an 18 year old? Well, only if it's worse that the joke aimed it at a 14 year old, I guess... These things swing both ways...)

The fact is, it was just a really bad, really insensitive, rude, crude, vaguely lewd joke. I hope everyone understands where I'm coming from, and that I'm in no way defending the joke, or the people responsible for it being told.


Is it finally over? Is our long national nightmare, with every reporter & right wing blogger following Sarah & Dave's every bloody word on the subject, finally ended? Is the campaign of intimidation, which caused one company, Embassy Suites, to buckle under and pull advertising from never were Letterman Show sponsors in the first place, making their quick fall to their knees even stranger--(& I know where I'm never staying, anymore...) going to end--perhaps with Embassy Suites reversing their decision, after realizing how foolish they now look?

Or are we going to keep milking it for all it's worth, trying to squeeze every last drop of publicity for one's own side, and scorn for the other side out of this silly, stupid story? Palin's gonna need a new reason for people to keep talkin' about her, ya'know... Besides, Letterman still hasn't been fired, yet... ...and I bet he has one more big ol' apology in him, if he really strains for it...

Let us pray that if they must prey, they at least find new victims...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Where was FoxNews?

"According to, Fox News last night during primetime (8-11 p.m.) mentioned the words "Holocaust" and "van Brunn" a grand total of three times. For the entire night."

"Falafel" O'Reilly managed to find more to say about gay penguins and duck sex than this shooting...

While both CNN & MSNBC led with the story at 8:01 pm, FoxNews pretended it didn't happen. It was like their own little holocaust (museum) denial, right before the eyes of their numerous elderly viewers...

Either they just didn't care, or they intentionally downplayed the story for reasons that are unclear...

Pretty friggin' odd, though, especially given all that baseless whining about how CNN supposedly didn't cover the recruiter shooting (which they did, of course.)

Anyway... I'm just putting it out there. Speculate at will.

Others talking:
Fox News Boycott: Fox News Limits Reporting on Holocaust Museum Shooting
Fox News downplays the Holocaust Museum killing | Media Matters for America

Maybe we ought to read that Homeland Security report again...

Rightwing Extremism:
Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment

And just to be clear... This is what they said about veterans:

Disgruntled Military Veterans

DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

— After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans—including Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.

— A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”

— The FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups.

It doesn't say that veterans are terrorists. It says that right wing extremist groups target returning vets, and that a small number of those vets do become extremists. It is the military training that makes the small number of extremist vets more of an issue to DHS than the small number of extremist accountants or extremist small business owners, not their service.

The wingnut paranoia about this report--and the spineless reaction to it by those career security people, and moreso their political counterparts--was nonsense the first time, but would be unforgivable now, given recent events. If the mainstream right cannot admit that there are extremists and nutjobs lingering at the edges of their ideology, so be it. But that does not mean that those political and career security personnel who take oaths and pay to keep we Americans safe should cover their eyes and ears to rightwing extremism because some of our friends on the right are sensitive to the implications of rightwing violence. Their issues of identity and place should not deter us from defending this country from domestic terrorists, right or left.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Right wing nut Kathy Shaidle tries to link holocaust museum shooter to left wing

See UPDATE, below

Holocaust Museum shooter von Brunn a 9/11 "truther" who hated "neo-cons", Bush, McCain

Of course, Kathy & those citing her conveniently ignore his "creepy freeper" posts on the conservative site Free Republic, espousing the same "Obama is not a US citizen" birther nonsense as more than a few Republican/conservative loudmouths, talking heads, bloggers, and other assorted nutballs.

Does being a Freeper (or a birther, or a truther, or a hater of Bush, & Obama, & neocons, &/or all folks "not like you") make one a domestic terrorist? of course not. Crazy, perhaps, but not a terrorist. Anyone, right or left, who tries to tell you that a whole political/social/ethnic/religious/??? group is responsible for the actions of one of their nuttiest members is a lying weasel with snake oil to sell. Don't buy into their crap.

Like it or not, James W. von Brunn considered himself a part of the right wing, which is why he posted to Free Republic. From what I can tell, he was far from the typical freeper, but Freeperland is one of the places he supported, whether or not they supported him. (& until I see otherwise, I believe that his fellow freepers did not support anything more than his "birtherisms," & probably knew nothing of the rest...) Kathy Shaidle and those on the far right selling her "von Brunn as left winger nonsense" are just trying to protect themselves from the same guilt by association they so readily offer others. As so often happens with these types, there is nothing behind their baseless accusations, wild speculation, and childish name calling but more of the same empty words...

UPDATE: 6/11/09

So, I was rereading Shaidle's piece just now, and actually followed some of her links.

At one point she says
"As even some "progressives" such as the influential Adbusters magazine publically admit, "neoconservative" is often used as a derogatory code word for "Jews"."
My question is WHERE?

Follow the link for yourself, and see if you can quote the line(s) where Adbuster admits that neoconservative" is often used as a derogatory code word for "Jews". Good luck.

Kathy Shaidle. Not just a rightwing nutjob, but a lying rightwing nutjob.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Proclamation

Mother's Day Proclamation
by Julia Ward Howe

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

(Yes, I did post this last year too, but it remains just as important today as it was a year ago, and as it was when Julia Ward Howe first penned it. For lighter fare, check out my other retread from Mother's days past, Mother’s Day: 5 Things (still) Worth Knowing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Is it just me...

...or is holding a politically partisan and divisive protest in DC on the the weekend of 9/11 a really bad idea?

09.12.09 National Taxpayer Protest | The Tea Party Movement Goes to Capitol Hill

Those involved in planning and promoting this--and everyone who attends--should be ashamed of themselves for exploiting the memories of those who were affected by the 9/11 attacks for partisan gain.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Joan of Arc, and/or Joe the Plumber of the Anti-Gay Marriage Movement

Ruthlessly stolen from Donald Douglas' friend Andrew Sullivan. I too, love that cat.

Conservatives Live in a Different Moral Universe than Liberals-- And Here's Why It Matters

Liberals and conservatives have highly different moral priorities. And we have to understand them both if we want to accomplish anything. This article is a good first step. A few excerpts:

In a creative attempt to move beyond red-state/blue-state clichés, Haidt has created a framework that codifies mankind's multiplicity of moralities. His outline is simultaneously startling and reassuring -- startling in its stark depiction of our differences, and reassuring in that it brings welcome clarity to an arena where murkiness of motivation often breeds contention.

He views the demonization that has marred American political debate in recent decades as a massive failure in moral imagination. We assume everyone's ethical compass points in the same direction and label those whose views don't align with our sense of right and wrong as either misguided or evil. In fact, he argues, there are multiple due norths.

Last September, in a widely circulated Internet essay titled Why People Vote Republican, Haidt chastised Democrats who believe blue-collar workers have been duped into voting against their economic interests. In fact, he asserted forcefully, traditionalists are driven to the GOP by moral impulses liberals don't share (which is fine) or understand (which is not).

Four years ago, he recalls, "I wanted to help Democrats press the right buttons because the Republicans were out-messaging them.

"I no longer want to be a part of that effort. What I want to do now is help both sides understand the other, so that policies can be made based on something more than misguided fear of what the other side is up to."

Haidt's framework of political morality can be traced back to a dispute between two important thinkers: Shweder, who would go on to become his mentor, and legendary Harvard psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg. In his 1981 volume The Philosophy of Moral Development: Moral Stages and the Idea of Justice (Essays on Moral Development, Volume 1), Kohlberg essentially argued that other moral systems are mere stepping-stones on a path that will eventually lead the entire world to embrace Western humanist values. Reviewing the book for the journal Contemporary Psychology, Shweder politely but effectively tore that notion apart.

Citing his extensive research on traditional Indian culture, Shweder pointed out the inconsistencies and lack of convincing evidence behind Kohlberg's arguments. Agreeing with philosopher Isaiah Berlin, Shweder asserted -- and continues to assert -- that a range of ethical systems have always coexisted and most likely always will. In a 1997 paper co-written with three colleagues, he broke down primal moral impulses into a "big three": autonomy, community and divinity.

"Morality is not just about how we treat each other, as most liberals think," he argues. "It is also about binding groups together and supporting essential institutions."

With all that in mind, Haidt identified five foundational moral impulses. As succinctly defined by Northwestern University's McAdams, they are:

• Harm/care. It is wrong to hurt people; it is good to relieve suffering.

• Fairness/reciprocity. Justice and fairness are good; people have certain rights that need to be upheld in social interactions.

• In-group loyalty. People should be true to their group and be wary of threats from the outside. Allegiance, loyalty and patriotism are virtues; betrayal is bad.

• Authority/respect. People should respect social hierarchy; social order is necessary for human life.

• Purity/sanctity. The body and certain aspects of life are sacred. Cleanliness and health, as well as their derivatives of chastity and piety, are all good. Pollution, contamination and the associated character traits of lust and greed are all bad.

Haidt's research reveals that liberals feel strongly about the first two dimensions -- preventing harm and ensuring fairness -- but often feel little, or even feel negatively, about the other three. Conservatives, on the other hand, are drawn to loyalty, authority and purity, which liberals tend to think of as backward or outdated. People on the right acknowledge the importance of harm prevention and fairness but not with quite the same energy or passion as those on the left.

"I see liberalism and conservatism as opposing principles that work well when in balance," he says, noting that authority needs to be both upheld (as conservatives insist) and challenged (as liberals maintain). "It's a basic design principle: You get better responsiveness if you have two systems pushing against each other. As individuals, we are very bad at finding the flaws in our own arguments. We all have a distorted perception of reality."

In his quest to "help people overcome morally motivated misunderstandings," Haidt has set up a couple of Web sites, and At the latter, you can take a quiz that will locate you on his moral map. For fun, you can also answer the questions you think the way your political opposite would respond. Haidt had both liberals and conservatives do just that in the laboratory, and the results are sobering for those on the left: Conservatives understood them a lot better than they understood conservatives.

I suggest reading the whole article, as well as following the links and reading them. It's facinating stuff...

Took that morality quiz, too...
Here are my results:

read more | digg story

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Gathering Storm: Get out the waders, because it's getting deep

Posted in reply to the recent "National Organization for Marriage" ad opposing same sex marriage (available for view here), this video exposes some of the lies and distortions contained in the original ad.

More info: HRC | Human Rights Campaign Exposes National Organization for Marriage’s Fake Ad for Fake Problems falsely linked to gay marriage

Friday, April 3, 2009

Runnin' Scared: Rightbloggers Angry Iowa is Making Them Get Gay-Married

Roy Edroso @ Runnin' Scared, New York, Daily News, Village Voice provides roundup and commentary of the early reactions from the wingnut blogs to the Iowa Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. Some of my "favorite bloggers" are included.

The Iowa Supreme Court has unanimously said a ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. New York and California have not done so much for the cause of marriage equality.

Let's see how rightbloggers are celebrating -- ooh, they're all gathered in a corner, somberly nursing their drinks.

"One might think Iowa's leadership would let voters decide the issue at the polls," sniffs American Power; adds, "Gird your loins, conservatives!" -- whether for battle or because he's afraid they're get erections, we can't say.

Robert Stacy McCain grouses about "an elite that is about to impose its will on the reluctant masses... Notice how the rainbow armband accentuates their brown shirts. Splendid!" The reason they're Nazis, says McCain, is that people used to think being gay is sick -- and if Robert Stacy McCain has anything to say about it, they will again! -- and surely Iowa's founding fathers never "intended to make sodomy... a 'right' of a citizen." He's especially mad at libertarians who, for reasons he can't fathom, support gay marriage: "This entire way of thinking is contrary to the Anglo-American tradition that Hayek praised... The captives in the gulag did not spend their time arguing about gay rights, eh?" Finally, having exhausted his intellectual armament, he quotes Revelations and raves about "infamous anti-Christ, whose name is the mystery number '666.'" The man makes a powerful argument -- for involuntary commitment.

read more | digg story

Lots more reaction from memeorandum

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The latest on the Biden hoax: It's the "Whitey Tape" all over again

The truth is coming out, and just like some previous political hoaxes, it's biting folks in the ass.

Tommy Christopher at Political Machine gets to the heart of the matter, saying: There is No "Ashley Biden Cocaine Tape":

"There are glaringly obvious reasons to believe this thing is a fake. There are clear reasons why this story should never have been reported, and once it had been, why the only appropriate response would be to point that out.

But the fact that has been buried in all of these stories is that the tape, or at least an authenticatable original, does not exist. What does exist cannot be described as an "Ashley Biden" tape of any kind. That should have been the end of it, at least for the New York Post, the only one of the 3 bidders pretending to have journalistic standards"

Of course, that isn't what's happening... Those initially pushing it are either sticking by their guns, or pretending their evil twin, Skippy was the one who made that blog post excoriating Ashley, the VP, and/or all Dems with this story over the weekend.

Meanwhile, here are the facts about this story, from Tommy Christopher's blog post linked above:
* The video shooter's (hereafter referred to as "Deuche Bagilow") attorney told the NY Post that he destroyed the original. He didn't just tape over it with a Jerry Springer episode, he drilled a hole in the camera's hard drive and threw it into a lake. This claim defies credibility. Why would you destroy the original of something you had made a copy of? Well, you might claim to have done that if you didn't want anyone to ask to see the original.
That fact alone ends this. There is absolutely no way to authenticate the tape, so there was no point in having these outlets watch it. Still, let's look at the rest of it.

* Deuche Bagilow also claims he tried to sell another Ashley Biden tape in August, during the heat of the Presidential race, but could find no takers. Either that tape was as convincing as "Nailin' Paylin," or this was a lie designed to give the sellers a fallback reason to accept a lower bid.

* Deuche's lawyers claimed to have turned down a $250,000 offer. Given the preceding claim, this seems unlikely.

* Deuche's lawyers lied to the Post, telling them the subject of the video was aware of the camera. Deuche's former lawyer now cites this as one of the reasons he quit.

* All 3 "firsthand" accounts of viewing the tape bizarrely contradict each other. The Radar reporter said the subject used a rolled-up dollar bill to snort the white powder, while the Post claimed it was a "red straw." The Enquirer reported being there, but then only quoted Radar's reporter, giving no account of their own.

Radar reported the tape as being from a hidden camera, while the Post reported that Deuche's lawyers told them that the subject acknowleges the camera on a different part of the tape.

Radar reported the subject as "clearly resembling" Biden, while the Post said she "appeared to resemble" Biden. The Enquirer wouldn't make any characterization.

* None of the outlets that saw the tape were willing to bid on it, yet happily exploited it despite this.

* Deuche's lawyers claimed that Ashley Biden was under Secret Service protection, but had her dad call them off because they were blocking her driveway.

* Finally, here's a fun fact: Deuche's lawyer was once involved in a lawsuit over the rules of kickball. Seriously.

But this is my favorite part. As I hoped for yesterday, the ass who started this could face jail time himself, because he bought the cocaine, placed the hidden camera, and tried to entrap his "friend." It was all a set-up. Fuck him. Fuck his spiritual sister, Ashley Todd, and fuck Larry Johnson, "No Quarter," and those Republicans and "PUMA"s, all of whom lied, lied, lied in the name of political partisanship. May they all get what they deserve.

Angie Harmon plays the race card

Who the hell called Angie Harmon a racist for disagreeing with President Obama?

While she intimates that this is some kinda trend in her life, several people have searched high and low, and no one has found a single reference to Angie Harmon and racism--except for the ones she created herself by making this baseless public statement, and of course all of the right wing bloggers (google for many more) who've picked it up and run with it.

I'm not saying there are no Con/Republican or liberal racists. Of course there are, and it is legitimate to say the folks who spread the Obama as monkey meme, or the Watermelon White House gag behave like racists. (For the record, I think the NY Post cartoon was racially insensitive, but not intentionally so... That cartoonist just didn't think it through...) I'm certain there are those on the right who can point to libs saying racist things, or being racially insensitive. And, I'm certain there are some on the opposing team who allege racism where none exists, as well as some who allege racism where little to none is present or intended.

Every criticism of Obama is not racist, and every reply to that criticism isn't an accusation of racism, either... I fear that Angie and her friends on the right are somewhere between being the Cons who cried wolf and the ladies who doth protest too much. Don't allege that it happens; give examples of it happening, and let people judge for themselves where the racism is... ...and isn't.

(And, don't forget about my earlier post suggesting that we not generalize about groups of people based on the acts of a few of 'em. Whether or not Angie Harmon is a racist, it says nothing about all actresses, pretty women, brunettes, or Republicans. And whether or not Al Sharpton calls one/some/any Republicans racists, it says nothing about all reverends, older black guys, black-to-grey-haired folks, or Democrats.)

Also blogging: The Silent Cries Of Racism! Huh? I Can’t Hear Anything., Actress Angie Harmon Claims On Fox News She Is Tired Of Being Called A “Racist” When She Disagrees With President Obama? | THE GUN TOTING LIBERAL™, Shakesville: Quote of The Day, memeorandum

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dirtbag Media, Dirtbag Bloggers

Anyone who uses the child of a politician to attack that politician is a dirtbag.

There are no excuses.

Those who are dirtbags know who they are (and we do, too).

If muttering unproven allegations and rumors that may or not ever prove true is all you have, you're just not needed. (And kids, it's a question of class, not of political persuasion. There are dirtbags of this sort all along the political spectrum.)

So instead of talking about the dirtbags, let's highlight the folks showing a little class.

Hot Air - Just leave it alone: Ed Morrissey has the right idea, but predictably, most of those commenting on his post do not.

Politicians kids SHOULD be left off limits, even in this case | Fire Andrea Mitchell!: As unpleasant as this person appears to be, s/he's right, this time.

Is Ashley Biden's alleged cocaine video a smear or scam? | The Dish Rag | Los Angeles Times: This gossip reporter is asking the right questions, both about privacy in general, and about this tape in particular, which has quickly risen on wingnut blogs, and is now unravelling faster than another recent story pushed by the wingnut media/blogesphere. Anybody remember our friend Ashley Todd, the "backward B girl"? Same rush to sell it to the gullible minions, same growing inconsistencies coming to light... I hope that the clown promoting this can and will be prosecuted, should it turn out to be another right-wing hoax with intent to do harm. (Anybody else think he may have a McCain bumper-sticker on his car, just like miss Todd?)

Much as I hate to have to admit it, Rupert Murdoch deserves credit for not purchasing and running with the increasingly bogus looking story.

Joe Biden's Daughter Isn't Fair Game - Political Machine - Politics Blog, Opinion and Analysis - AOL News: Article good, comments bad. (Nothin' like situational ethics... Either it's ok when it happens to Palin's kids and Biden's kids, or it's wrong when it happens to Palin's kids and Biden's kids. If you bitched before, you shouldn't be applauding now... ...but many are...)

((And yes, I suppose I could've been a better person and spoken up for Palin's kids, rather than just ignoring those stories, but there is a difference between doing harm and doing nothing. I have nothing against those on the right ignoring this story, either. My saying nothing about the Bristol, Trig, Bush twins, or Nicole stories doesn't mean I cannot offer kudos to those who speak up against such behavior toward the kids of politicians, or disappointment and disgust for those who choose to propagate stories that do little but hurt people who never asked to be in the partisan spotlight. Perhaps next time, I will be among those who speaks up when it is a Republican wife or kid being slimed by leftwing dirtbags. Contrary to what the commenters to some of these sites seem to think, ethics are not made of rubber. You cannot bend them to fit the situation.))

I'll update as more facts (or reporters / blogs deserving of praise) come to my attention.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tired of the stupidity

Is it too much to ask that we (and they, themselves) give our representatives--and the American people--enough time to read all the bills that come before them in final form before the votes, and then to hold them accountable for having done so?

Every representative who votes on a bill they haven't read is a moron, and if there's one thing we need, it's fewer damned morons in elected office.

Read The Bill from Sunlight Foundation on Vimeo.

Is 72 hours enough? I don't know, but it is better than nothing... Imagine if every bill had to be given to the House/Senate clerk in final form, and posted online for the American people and the news media to read for at least 72 hours before voting could begin on them, and that every change restarted the 72 hour clock... Think of all the foolish bullshit that we might've avoided over the years...

This thing Dodd snuck out of the bailout bill is (or should be) a friggin' crime, but while I'm pissed at Dodd, I have no sympathy for all the people from both parties claiming they had no idea it was changed... They are assholes all, and if they can't be bothered to read the friggin' laws before passing them, they have no business being in congress... (Perhaps we need to raise the taxes on their salaries to 90% or so, until they actually do their jobs.)

We need more sunshine all over the legislative process. I'd ultimately like to see bills posted online, with names attached to every earmark or other change to every bill, updated within 24 hours of every change (on 3/15/09 @ 7:45 AM Senator Dodd struck the following line from S:177 "... ..." and replaced it with "... ...". The following 6 senators/conferees agreed to the change "... ..."; the following 4 were opposed "... ..."). I realize that may be a pipe dream since, no matter which party is in charge, secrecy and "It wasn't me" is the name of the game... ...but at the very least, we should never again hear the words "I didn't know that was in the bill I voted for/against. I didn't read the bill." That cannot be too much to ask...

Bracket of Evil

This should be interesting...

Have you ever wondered who would win in a face-off between Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh? Sarah Palin and Joe Lieberman? Ann Coulter and Blackwater?

Now, you can do more than wonder. You can help decide who wins - in a Bracket of Evil.

CREDO is trying to figure out who's the most evil person (or organization) in American politics. I just voted for my picks in categories like Media, Government, and Maverick, and you should too! Just head to:

Bracket of Evil

Happy bracketing!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer: The Extended Interview

Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart went toe-to-toe last night. But you didn't see everything. Much of the interview had to be cut for time. But this is the internet, where all we have is time. So, here now, is the complete interview.

Follow the links and watch the whole thing. Perhaps it's his outsider "non-reporter" status, but Jon Stewart gets to the heart of issues more thoroughly than most "real" news reporters. He's not Tim Russert, but sometimes I wonder whether, in terms of confronting hypocrisy anyway, he isn't the closest thing we have we have right now. "Roll the tape."

Memeorandum has links to the 3 part series of videos, and to many other posted reports and opinions.

read more | digg story

Beck: People ‘Pushed To The Wall’ By ‘Political Correctness’ Launch Spree Killings

Matthew Yglesias on Glenn Beck

There was a remarkable segment on Glen Beck’s show yesterday, thankfully captured by Matt Corley in which Beck was basically outlining his view that the reason you see spree killings like the one in Alabama is that conservatives are so deranged, and so racist, that when people point out that they’re being racist they can’t help but fly into a psychotic rage and commit multiple murders. Really:

BECK: But as I’m listening to him. I’m thinking about the American people that feel disenfranchised right now. That feel like nobody’s hearing their voice. The government isn’t hearing their voice. Even if you call, they don’t listen to you on both sides. If you’re a conservative, you’re called a racist. You want to starve children.


BECK: Yada yada yada. And every time they do speak out, they’re shut down by political correctness. How do you not have those people turn into that guy?

O’REILLY: Well, look, nobody, even if they’re frustrated, is going to hurt another human being unless they’re mentally ill. I think.

BECK: I think pushed to the wall, you don’t think people get pushed to the wall?

See it here:

Combine this with Beck's earlier thoughts on the looming apocalypse and the worst case scenarios that may result--like anarchy in America, for which many Beck type crazies are already planning, apparently--and we have a pretty good case that Beck himself is calling out--& perhaps begging--for help and intervention.

How long before Mr. Beck himself feels "pushed to the wall," and creates his own self-prophesied tragedy, incites someone else to do so with these nutty lowbrow rantings, like fellow wingnut Bernie Goldberg did in TN, or starts his own little right-wing terrorist militia compound deep in the woods, readying he and his followers for the coming anarchic (if not post-apocalyptic) America?

Related discussions on Beck's unique understanding of spree killers and killing here.
More on Beck's Worst Case Scenarios here.