Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

~~~

~~~

BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!

Don't expect any remorse or apology from the partisans who kept pushing the lie that there was a cover-up. The House, conveniently after elections, has found there was no cover-up nor was there an intelligence failure in the Benghazi tragedy. The only intelligence failure was the lie pushed by conservative bloggers and FAUX NOOZ.

Click on the headline below to read the story.

Friday, April 30, 2010

REMEMBER WHEN THE GOP AND ITS QUEEN, SARAH PALIN, BELLOWED "DRILL, BABY, DRILL!?"

SARAH PALIN:  "The chant is "drill, baby, drill." And that's what we hear all across this country in our rallies because people are so hungry for those domestic sources of energy to be tapped into. They know that even in my own energy-producing state we have billions of barrels of oil and hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of clean, green natural gas. And we're building a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline which is North America's largest and most you expensive infrastructure project ever to flow those sources of energy into hungry markets.



Barack Obama and Senator O'Biden, you've said no to everything in trying to find a domestic solution to the energy crisis that we're in. You even called drilling -- safe, environmentally-friendly drilling offshore -- as raping the outer continental shelf."





Officials are now reporting that this spill will be worse than then Exxon-Valdez.

Monday, April 26, 2010

IMAGINE

just imagine as Tim Wise does in this blog post:


Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters - the black protesters - spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protesters — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.


Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.

[skip]


Imagine that a black radio host were to suggest that the only way to get promoted in the administration of a white president is by “hating black people,” or that a prominent white person had only endorsed a white presidential candidate as an act of racial bonding, or blamed a white president for a fight on a school bus in which a black kid was jumped by two white kids, or said that he wouldn’t want to kill all conservatives, but rather, would like to leave just enough—“living fossils” as he called them—“so we will never forget what these people stood for.” After all, these are things that Rush Limbaugh has said, about Barack Obama’s administration, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois in which two black kids beat up a white kid, and about liberals, generally.
 
[skip]

Imagine that a popular black liberal website posted comments about the daughter of a white president, calling her “typical redneck trash,” or a “whore” whose mother entertains her by “making monkey sounds.” After all that’s comparable to what conservatives posted about Malia Obama on freerepublic.com last year, when they referred to her as “ghetto trash.”

Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.



In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?

To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.

And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the shit we do, on a daily basis.


Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S. Wise has spoken in 48 states, on over 400 college campuses, and to community groups around the nation. Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and has trained physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. His latest book is called Between Barack and a Hard Place.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS KEVIN CALLAHAN!

I'm so proud of my nephew, Kevin:

After more than forty years of musical symbiosis and of stage shared with his brother Sergio, Odair Assad records his first solo album! 

And one of my nephew's original composition for guitar, Red Fantasy, is featured on Odair Assad's solo album!




New compositions follow one another, written by Leo Brouwer, Egberto Gismonti, Sergio Assad, Kevin Callahan and Roland Dyens. Discover them now on GHA’s web site www.gharecords.com

A big step for the soloist; a big step for the guitar!

Here's a link to a YouTube site where you can listen to Kevin play another one of his compositions, "The Riverbed" from his suite, "Three River Moments."

h/t Boomer Bob

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

THE COMMIES ARE COMING! THE COMMIES ARE COMING!

And they're in Arizona!  The REPUBLICANS in the Arizona state legislature have passed a bill that would allow law enforcement agents to institute something the Communist and Nazi regimes of the past would be proud of.  The bill is awaiting the Republican governor's signature.

The bill would allow law enforcement agents to stop ANYONE (without probable cause) on the streets of Arizona who LOOKS like an illegal immigrant and ask him/her to show his/her papers to the officer.  Sound familiar?

"Vere are your papers!  And ve know vere you sister iz!

Imagine if President Obama had proposed this anti-American, unConstitutional piece of vile legislation (he never would have since he's a Constitutional scholar and would know better--unlike the fools in the Arizona legislature).

Just imagine the exploding heads all over FOX News, imagine Limbaugh erupting with the wrath of a thousand dittoheads, imagine Palin squealing about President Dictator. Michelle Bachmann?  She'd call for armed insurrection.  Glenn Beck would cry because he didn't think of it first.

Victoria Jackson?  She's too foolish to understand it at all.

The Tea Partiers would be calling for the Marxist, Commuinist, Socialists, Nazi, Kenyan's head on a pike.

Irony died a long time ago in this country. 

The Republicans, who relentlessly characterized our president as Commie-Nazi-Marxist, are the ones who came up with a piece of legislation that embodies all that those evil regimes stood for.

But  where are the aggrieved Tea Baggers on this antiAmerican, shameful tactic worthy of the Communists and Nazis?  Where were their signs last week protesting this REAL Commie push to intimidate and abrogate Arizonan's "freedoms?"


*crickets*

The Tea Partiers were too busy chasing after lies and misrepresentation about Mr. Obama to see the evil under their own noses.

"Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony compared aspects of the legislation, approved Monday (April 19) by the Arizona Senate, to "reverting to German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques whereby people are required to turn one another in to the authorities."

The Rev. Jim Wallis, founder and president of the anti-poverty group Sojourners, was among faith leaders calling for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the legislation.

"This law is a social sin, and would make it illegal for the faith community of Arizona to extend God's love and charity to some of our most vulnerable neighbors," he said.


A dozen leaders from across Arizona, representing Catholic, Protestant and Jewish faiths, wrote Brewer, seeking her veto."

The Arizona bill will likely face an immediate Constitutional challenge because immigration law is the purview of the federal government and also because the Constitution protects people from search and seizure without probable cause.

UPDATE:

Dave Miller kindly left a link to a Republican blogsite that takes this law apart.

And Capt. Fogg over at The Swash Zone does a beautiful job of explaining the insanity of it all.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SOCIALISTS! SOCIALISTS! EVERYWHERE, SOCIALISTS!

Day after day, day after day,
They're stuck on a meme, not truth, but devotion
As dumb as a misspelled sign
Upon a misguided notion.
Socialists! Socialists! Everywhere!
And all who speak--forsooth--
Yell Socialists! Socialists! Everywhere!
But not any drop of truth.*

*The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner

Digby over at Hullabaloo has some interesting quotes relating to the "Socialist/Socialism" meme that has infected the Tea Party movement and that has been used by the propaganda arm of the GOP, FOX News. 

Chris Matthews asks:

"Chris Matthews: ... These are sort of middle of the road solutions. Why is everybody calling it socialism?

Richard Wolfe: It has nothing to do with socialism. Any basic study of socialism will tell you this is way far away from that. This idea that the governments taking over everything is kind of a mushball of the auto situation and the banks and the recovery act. And as the president says, a third of that money went in to taxes which these folks ought to be supporting. This had been a very effective caricature, it's been spread, as you know through the right wing echo chamber. But I don't know that this has got anything with what this administration's doing."


But does this paranoia have anything to do with reality? Digby digs out this nugget from the 2008 campaign:

“This campaign in the next couple of weeks is about one thing,” Todd Akin, a Republican congressman from Missouri, told a McCain rally outside St. Louis. “It’s a referendum on socialism.” “With all due respect,” Senator George Voinovich, Republican of Ohio, said, “the man is a socialist.” At an airport rally in Roswell, New Mexico, a well-known landing spot for space aliens, Governor Palin warned against Obama’s tax proposals. “Friends,” she said, “now is no time to experiment with socialism.” And McCain, discussing those proposals, agreed that they sounded “a lot like socialism.”

Digby shares this 'mavericky" quote from John McCain as he siddles up to [GASP!] Socialism!

"During the 2000 campaign, on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” a young woman asked him why her father, a doctor, should be “penalized” by being “in a huge tax bracket.” McCain replied that “wealthy people can afford more” and that “the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don’t pay nearly as much as you think they do.” The exchange continued:


Young woman: Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff?

McCain explained that he thought people had a obligation to give back a little if they did well, but that was in his "maverick" incarnation. He'd be drawn and quartered by the baggers for saying that today. But the question was asked. In fact, they've been throwing around the "s" word on the right for over a century and I would guess not 5% of them have ever had a clue about what it really means."
 
Digby didn't include this, but it fits in nicely with the McCain quote on "redistribution of wealth/socialism" that both McCain and Palin supported in their political rhetoric and in practice while Palin was governor of Alaska:
 
Sarah Palin's Alaska is about as close to socialism as America gets. As Yglesias recently noted, "You have collective ownership of valuable natural resources that generates lots of revenue for the state, and then the government makes 'spreading the wealth around' through the Permanent Fund, etc. its main priority."


The point isn't that there's anything especially wrong with Palin-style socialism; there isn't. The point is, if McCain and Palin want to whine incessantly about socialism, redistribution of wealth, and "welfare," they ought to a) learn what they're talking about; and b) take a good look in the mirror.

And from September 2008:

"KBYR talk radio host Eddie Burke admits he is a conservative and a "Palinista."

But on Wednesday Burke resorted to name calling when he found out Alaska Women Reject Palin planned to host a Saturday rally.

"They're a bunch of socialist maggots, that's what I'm going to call them -- socialist maggots, that's what they are, a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots," said Burke."
 
And this from the 2004 presidential campaign:
 
"Senator Trent Lott, Governor Haley Barbour and State Treasurer Tate Reeves all delighted in slinging barbs at Kerry. Lott, who has served in the Senate with Kerry since his election in 1998, called Kerry a 'French-speaking socialist.'"
 
 
And finally, this link to a real Socialist who actually knows what he's talking about--unlike the dupes who show up at the Tea Parties with their signs calling Mr. Obama a Socialist.  Those fools wouldn't know one if they met him/her at their local "socialst" public school, or police and fire departments.
 
While many of his conservative critics call Barack Obama a socialist, true socialist have a different opinion. Billy Wharton, co-chair of the Socialist Party USA disputes the socialist label on Obama.


“It makes no rational sense. It clearly means that people don’t understand what socialism is,” said Wharton.

Wharton said that the health care bill is not socialized medicine. It simply added 32 million customers for the insurance industry. Socialism would have had a single-payer system, and a government takeover of key medical industries.

According to a recent poll taken by the NYTimes and CBS, a majority of the Tea Party people are better educated than the average American citizen.

Really?  You wouldn't know it after listening to them scream "SOCIALIST!" while holding up their silly signs.  They need to go back to school to educate themselves on who and what a socialist really is.

HINT:  It isn't Barack Hussein Obama.

Monday, April 19, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS ON RUNNING AND FINISHING THE BOSTON MARATHON, KATE!

Kate and her daughter, Elida.

PATRIOTS' DAY, APRIL 19, 2010, BOSTON, MASS.

Reenactment of Paul Revere's ride.

Marching bands



Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino

Off he goes to Arlington.



Paul Revere Mall, North End, Boston, Mass.

Now I'm off to the finish line of the Boston Marathon and to cheer my niece as she runs her firsst marathon.

Go Katie!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

One if by land, two if by sea--APRIL 18, 2010, OLD NORTH CHURCH, BOSTON, MASS.


Lanterns lit in the steeple of the Old North Church.  9 PM















Fife and drum marching band from Michigan.






Bostonians in colonial costumes leaving the services held Sunday night at Old North Church


Members of the Ancient and Honorable Artillary Company of Massachusetts























Saturday, April 17, 2010

TEA PARTIERS, ALIENS, AND GNOCCHI

That ball of fire that was seen over the midwest last week was not part of a meteor shower. 

It was an Alien spacecraft come to Earth from somewhere in the constellation Coma Berenices , and I had the pleasure of talking to one of their Commanders (she is very intelligent and was able to convert her Alien language, which sounded like this "x#&werf 0110110" to English!)  And as far as I could determine, her name sounded something like this:  "Haitch Commander Cube Ere En En Qi," but please don't quote me on it.

Haitch Commander Cube Ere En En Qi stopped by the Boston Common on Wednesday (we're approaching Patriots' Day here in Beantown, so she wanted to know more about our history) and then went on to Washington DC and back to Boston on Friday, hoping to return to Deep Space on Sunday, volcano permitting.  (I'm taking her out for some gnocchi con succo di pomodoro and melanzana parmigiano [she's a vegan] tonight and later to listen to some fabulous Cole Porter played by the talented  pianist, Jon Jarvis appearing at Ristorante Fiore. ) But I digress.

H.C. CEEEQi had a lot of questions for me after having witnessed the demonstrations on Boston Common and in Washington DC over this past week.  She wanted to know why those particular Americans were carrying signs and making loud, angry speeches. She was especially curious about the woman wearing a bright red leather jacket whose high pitched voice caused H.C. CEEEQi to momentarily lose consciousness.  A small adjustment to her iTransponder allowed the Haitch Commander to endure the rest of the lady in the red leather jacket's speech.

I told her the Tea Party movement started up last year, basing its name on the famous Boston Tea Party, where Boston colonists protested England's tax on tea, because Bostonians had no representation in the English Parliament.  Today's Tea Party people enjoy representation in the US government and have the option of voting out those people whom they feel do not properly represent their values.

The first large Tea Party demonstrations were on Tax Day 2009, three months into the term of our first bi-racial president, who had inherited one of the worst economies in US history, as well as two unfinished wars.  The Tea Partiers, I told H.C. CEEEQi, were very angry after having had to endure three whole months of Mr. Obama's infant presidency, and they were going to make their anger known to the rest of the country with the help of something that's called a cable news station, but really isn't, a Dick Armey (here the Haitch Commander sniggered--as I noted, she is quite intelligent, and immediately understood the double entendre).  The Tea Party movement, I told her, is also backed by Freedom Works, and Dick Armey is the chairman of the group.  I also told the Haitch Commander that the lady in the red leather jacket, who caused her sensitive Berenicean ears to shut down and for her to momentarily lose consciousness, is also part of the Tea Party movement.  I explained how she makes tons of money flying around the country in private jets telling the people she talks to that they're the "real Americans, just like her!"

H.C. CEEEQi:  Why are all those people with tea bags dangling from their hats so angry?  Did your president increase their taxes?

SK:  No.  Unless they made over $250,000, their taxes actually went down.  Our president, Barack Hussein Obama, gave 95% of the American people tax cuts.

H.C. CEEEQi:  But didn't I hear that you Americans had to work until April 9 this year to pay your Federal Government taxes?

SK:  That's true, but it is also true that that date is the earliest it has been in EIGHT years!  (Last year, 2009, it was April 8.) And we are just about the lowest worldwide!

H.C. CEEEQi:  How often did the Tea Party demonstrate when they had to work longer to pay the federal government taxes?

SK:  They didn't.  They're angry with this president for lowering their taxes, for instituting 25 separate tax cuts, and for shortening the time that they have to work to pay the federal government taxes.

H.C. CEEEQi:  "@#%uHQxx 010101010!" (*loosely translates as "a shtuken nisht in hartz!")

SK:  :-(

H.C. CEEEQi:  Sorry.  What do the Tea Party people think about the taxes they pay?

SK 62% of the American people believe the taxes they pay are fair, and 52% of the people in the Tea Party movement believe the taxes they pay are fair.  The Tea Party people are also angry over the fact that 47% of the American people don't pay any federal taxes (but they do pay taxes through payroll taxes, state and local.) And probably the same percentage of Tea Party people don't pay taxes, since they self-identified in a recent poll as making undeer $50,000 a year, the same as the 47% of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes.

H.C. CEEEQi:  The Tea Party Earthlings are angry over high taxes but also angry that some of them don't qualify to pay federal taxes at all?

SK:  Yes.

H.C. CEEEQi:  None of this makes sense.

SK:  But it does make good teevee for that entity that calls itself a cable news station but really isn't, and it is very profitable for that lady in the red leather jacket who quit her job as a governor to spend more time with her money.

H.C. CEEEQi:  So let me try to understand.  This Tea Party movement, which was, in your Colonial history, about taxation without representation, actually has representation.  A majority of the people in the Tea Party movement believe their taxes are fair.  The president of your country gave a tax cut to 95% of the people.  A majority of Americans believe their taxes are fair.  The people of your country have worked fewer days for the federal government taxes than they have over the last eight years under a different president.  Why is everyone demonstrating?

SK:  Beats me.

H.C. CEEEQi:  Don't the people who are invloved in this tax demonstration business like their president?

SK:  No.  They believe he's a Marxist, Socialist, Communist, Muslim, Kenyan, Nazi with big ears.

H.C. CEEEQi:  That's not logical.  Well maybe the big ears--I've seen his photograph.  In our culture, that is a sign of great wisdom and intelligence. But as for the Tea Party people, it appears that they are confused and angry over being angry. And maybe uncomfortable with the fact that this new president of yours doesn't look like one of them.  I understand that the majority of Tea Party people are white, male Republicans.  And your president is not.  

SK:  True.

H.C. CEEEQi:  Well this has been quite informative.  I'm not sure I fully understand the Tea Party movement except as a group of discontented people who don't like their president and resent the fact that he lowered their taxes, that he rescued the economy from total collapse, that they worked fewer days for the federal govenment taxes, and that his wife is trying to get children to eat healthier and exercise more.

Just one more thing, Ms. Kenawe, I notice on your notepad that you refer to me as "Haitch" Commander.  That's not correct.  The "Haitch" means the letter "H."  I should have made that clearer to you when we met.

SK:  Thanks for the correction.  So.  What does the "H" stand for--in Berenicean, I mean.

H.C. CEEEQi:  Oh yes. Forgive me.  The "H" stands for "hussein."  In our Berenicean language, the word/sound "hussein" means "Supreme Patriot."  So my title, Hussein Commander" actually means "Supreme Patriot Commander" Cube Ere En En Qi.    I very much look forward to trying those gnocchi!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR TAXES ON TAX DAY--They went DOWN under President Obama!

"On Thursday, a wave of protesters, upset with overly-burdensome taxation by the federal government, are set to descend on the nation's capital to express their displeasure.



But does their anger reflect the truth about today's tax rates?


After all, neutral economists insist that, under the Obama administration, the overwhelming likelihood is that your tax burden has gone down, not up. Even conservative economic analysts acknowledge that there really is no basis for middle- and working-class Americans to believe that they're suddenly paying more."



"The only tax I think that has been put in place so far is an increase in the federal cigarette tax. I can't think of another Obama tax that has gone in place so far," said Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies at the conservative Cato Institute. "I would say that people are angry because big taxes are coming down the road because of the gigantic deficit built up under Bush and continued under Obama."


And yet, Thursday is expected to bring a range of hotly-charged rhetoric over the damage this 'tax-and-spend' president has done to the general public's bottom line.


A look at the numbers tells a different story. For starters: the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities reported on Wednesday that "Middle-income Americans are now paying federal taxes at or near historically low levels." How low? The average family of four right now is paying 4.6 percent of its income in federal income taxes -- the second lowest percentage in 50 years."



[The Tea Partiers don't let facts get in the way of their group discontent.] 
 
"A report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers, meanwhile, asserts that the president's economic stimulus package has sent more than $200 billion in tax relief and other benefits to mainly middle- and lower-income families since its passage.
 
Citizens for Tax Justice, a self-described non-partisan organization, released a report on Tuesday that read: "The 2009 economic stimulus bill actually reduced federal income taxes for tax year 2009 for 98 percent of all working families and individuals." This total includes the 95 percent of working families that will or have received tax credits in the range of $400 to $800.



The health care bill passed by the administration, meanwhile, includes a tax credit that could cover up to 35 percent of the premiums a small business pays to insure its workers. The Recovery Act, meanwhile, included such tax breaks as a $1,500 credit for home energy improvements, and an $8,000 credit for first-time home buyers. "

From Sam Stein

Yesterday, on Boston Common, the Tea Partiers held signs depicting the Hammer and Sickle and President Obama.  IOW, he's a Commie because he gave the people holding those signs a tax cut.


TEA PARTIERS:   THEY'RE ANGRY; THEY'RE LOUD; BUT MOST OF ALL, THEY'RE CONFUSED.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

TEA PARTIERS ON BOSTON COMMON, April 14, 2010

The Boston Common has been the site of many a protest.  I remember witnessing them during the Iraq War protests.  The Common has also been the site of the famous Boston Freedom Rally every September.  Today, April 14, 2010, it was the Tea Party's turn to show up and show us their slogans. 

The crowd was not as large as the one that assembled for the Iraq War protest--sizable, yes, but not huge. In fact, I would say it wasn't very large at all, considering that this was a beautiful spring day in Beantown.

I spoke to a few of the Tea Partiers and asked them very politely why they were there.  The common answer was "to send a message to Washington," and "to take back our country."  When I asked a few of the TPs why they felt they had to "take back their country," their answers were not very clear or specific.  The answers were rather vague and, not surprisingly, very Beckish.  A lot of them proudly admitted to being fans of Beck and Fox News.  No surprise there

When I asked them if they were as upset with Mr. Bush when he mortgaged their children's future to fight the Iraqi war of choice, they didn't answer me, instead, they changed the subject and said Mr. Obama doubled the debt in one year.  They all agreed that the passage of health care reform was part of Mr. Obama's plan to turn the US into a socialistic country.  Plan?  When I asked them if they or any of their relatives were on Social Security or Medicare and if that made us a socialistic country, they  had no answer for me.

I met a number of college students--Suffolk University is just down the block from the Common, and Emerson is nearby.  The students all were carrying anti-Palin signs, and were very supportive of the president.  This seems to be the norm nationally--young people are still one of Mr. Obama's strongest demographic supporters.  I saw very few carrying signs for Palin.

I spent most of my time mingling with the crowd and talking to people.  I heard Sarah Palin speak, but I can't remember a thing she said. 

My camera ran out of charge before I could capture some really clever signs, but a delightful man standing in the crowd had his camera with him and offered to email me those that I missed (he's an amateur photographer).  We had a very pleasant chat and discovered that we grew up in the same neighborhoods around greater Boston.  I hope he sends me the photos he took soon so I can post them.

My take on this whole phenomenon is that there is real anger out there, but it is selective, and IMHO, directed at a man who had nothing to do with the difficulties we faced in the beginning of 2009.  Bush, as you'll recall, inherited a $128 billion budget surplus from Bill Clinton when he took office in 2001. Bush quickly squandered that and then proceeded to rack up gigantic budget deficits every year of his two terms in office.


Under Bush, the national debt grew by more than $4 trillion: the biggest debt increase of any president in U.S. history.
 
Where were the angry tea partiers then? 
 
When Bush took office in 2001, the national debt stood at $5.7 trillion. At the end of Bush's two terms, the debt had skyrocketed to more than $9.849 trillion. And remember: Bush enjoyed a Republican Senate and House of Representatives during most of his time in office.
 
This movement is all so puzzling to me and to many others who wonder why people are so angry now, and not when George W. Bush oversaw the collapse of our economy.
 
I have my own suspicions, but right now, this movement has gathered momentum, and it is based on a lot of misinformation and confusion, abetted by people like Palin who stand to make a lot of money encouraging that confusion and fear.
"Get Off Our Socialist Commons!"  Ha!


Emerson College students as Sarah Palin spoke.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

SCOTT BROWN WILL NOT ATTEND TEA PARTY RALLY IN BOSTON

The Republican party's three leading lights here in Massachusetts were invited to the Tea Party demonstration and to appear with Sarah Palin on Boston Common this comingWednesday, and all three declined.

Senator Scott Brown,  (R-Mass.)who was seen by the GOPers as the Second Coming of Reagan, again turned down the opportunity to associate himself with Palin.  She had offered to campaign with him when he was running for US Senate last January, and he  said "thanks, but no thanks."  And now again he refuses to be seen with her as she takes her "Just Vote Them Outapalooza Traveling Show and Palm-Writing Extravaganza to Boston Common.

The other GOP hopefuls, gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker, and conservative congressional candidate Jeffrey Perry say they will not be seen with Palin either.

Palin's schtick may play well in other parts of the country, but here, where the original tea party was given,  the Republican politicians understand that her crude rhetoric and vast ignorance isn't all that thrilling to a majority of Massachusetts voters; and if they hope to be re-elected or elected, they have to keep their distance from curiosities like Palin and not be associated with her farcical brand of politics.

"[Gubernatorial candidate] Charles Baker has walked a fine line in his comments about the tea party.  In an online forum with readers of Boston.com last week, he praised the movement as 'another example [of] civic engagement, which is always a good thing,' but pointedly avoided offering an opinion on Palin." --Boston Globe, 4/13/10, pg. A8.

I'll be there to see the show.

NOTE:  Sarah Palin Has Earned an Estimated $12 Million Since July

To all the Tea Partiers who love Palin because "she's just like one of us," I've got some news for you:  Unless you're making $12 million or more a year, she ain't nuthin' like you.  Sarah Palin is like David Letterman!  And Alec Baldwin and Sean Penn and Barbra Streisand!  She is EXACTLY like them.  Cashing in on her star quality for the big bucks.  If the tea baggers believe Palin's just like them, then they believe Letterman, Baldwin, Penn, and Streisand are all just like them, too. 

From Andrew Sullivan's blog, the Daily Dish:

Why Sarah Palin Quit

13 Apr 2010 10:55 am


"$12 million since July. In today's conservative world, being a well-oiled media celebrity* gets so much more respect than knowing how to govern a state."
 
*(Like David Letterman!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

This video is not a parody of a nincompoop, it is an actual nincompoop, Victoria Jackson, a Tea Partier. And they just love her!

No this is not a joke.  She's real, and she's stupid, but in a very funny way.  I  mean who else could say with sincere ignorance and determined imbecility that even if Mr. Obama were born in the United States, he's still not American?"  But that is just one part of her clownish performance, and the Tea Partiers lap up everything this unfortunate has-been pronounces from her confused and crude little brain.

h/t Crooks and Liars


Saturday, April 10, 2010

MORE IDIOCY FROM PALIN

Sarah Palin is good at mocking things she knows nothing about, and she has a loyal following that admires her pitiful lack of self-awareness.

She appeals to the GOP's base and its inability to do the hard work of checking the truth of the foamy blather that solecistically falls from her tongue.  She has turned into a mere taunting know-nothing--self-satisfied with her ignorance and encouraged and lionized by the people who know less about foreign and domestic policy than she does.

When President Obama correctly noted that Palin is not an expert in nuclear issues, instead of understanding that truth and changing the subject to where she is an expert [shooting wolves from helicopters, for example], she dug her hole even deeper by instead shooting her mouth off again:

Palin mocks the "vast nuclear experience" Obama gained "as a community organizer and as a part-time senator." During her April 9 speech at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Palin said: "Now, the president, with all the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer and as a part-time senator, and as a full-time candidate, all that experience, still no accomplishment to date with North Korea and Iran."

In Senate, Obama worked on non-proliferation policy, co-authored "next critical step" on issue:



Obama took fact-finding trip to former USSR to examine WMD stockpiles. In 2005, in his first foreign trip as a U.S. senator, Obama traveled to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), then-chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. The purpose of the trip was to examine facilities for the storage and destruction of conventional, biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. Obama and Lugar subsequently co-wrote a December 2005 Washington Post op-ed on the issue and appeared together in a discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations on "Challenges Ahead For Cooperative Threat Reduction," in which Obama detailed ways to improve the U.S. program to control, secure, and dismantle weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union.

With Lugar, Obama co-authored non-proliferation initiative signed into law by President Bush. Obama and Lugar co-authored the "Lugar-Obama non-proliferation initiative," which "enhances U.S. efforts to destroy conventional weapons stockpiles and to detect and interdict weapons and materials of mass destruction throughout the world." The legislation was signed into law by President Bush in January 2007. According to a June 28, 2007, press release from Lugar, he and Obama subsequently secured "$36 million for programs to destroy heavy conventional weapons, $10 million for efforts to intercept weapons and materials of mass destruction, and $2 million for rapid response to proliferation detection and interdiction emergencies."

Obama introduced Nuclear Weapons Threat Reduction Act of 2007: Obama introduced the Nuclear Weapons Threat Reduction Act of 2007 (S.1977), with then-Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as an original co-sponsor, which would "provide for sustained United States leadership in a cooperative global effort to prevent nuclear terrorism, reduce global nuclear arsenals, stop the spread of nuclear weapons and related material and technology, and support the responsible and peaceful use of nuclear technology."



Obama"s interest in nuclear policy predates his Senate career: Obama reportedly authored his college thesis on "Soviet nuclear disarmament." Moreover, Washington Monthly reported in September 2006: "On the campaign trail in 2004, Obama spoke passionately about the dangers of loose nukes and the legacy of the Nunn-Lugar nonproliferation program, a framework created by a 1991 law to provide the former Soviet republics assistance in securing and deactivating nuclear weapons. Lugar took note, as 'nonproliferation' is about as common a campaign sound-bite for aspiring senators as 'exchange-rate policy' or 'export-import bank oversight.'"


But let's not confuse Sarah's little mind with facts and evidence when she can get a rise out of her followers by pretending she knows what she's talking about.  That there are people in this country who listen to this chalatan who has contributed nothing to our discourse but lies, mockery, self-promotion, and self-pity since she helped lose the presidency for John McCain, illustrates how little those who admire her care about this country.

I have an idea, why doesn't Sarah appear on a thoughtful discussion panel where she and experts, besides the president, can talk about this important issue.  If there's anything factual behind her mocking the president's nuclear expertise, let's hear her speak to it and what she believes America's nuclear policies should be.

Not once in her ridicule of Mr. Obama does she discuss anything about nuclear disarmament--there's a reason for that, as the president truthfully said, she doesn't know anything about it.  She's not a serious person and, therefore, does not deserve to be taken seriously.  She's joined the ranks of the other GOP clowns and cynics [Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter] who incite their aggrieved followers by demagoguing lies and false doomsday scenarious to keep them fearful and loyal. To them, truth is nothing more than a commodity that can be subverted to enrich their bankrolls.

Those who can, get elected president, those who can't mock other people smarter than they are.

UPDATE:

From Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish:

And so you return to the Palin conundrum. The sheer crudeness of her rhetoric, the vast ignorance it champions, and the charisma of a beautiful white woman rallying heartland male voters against commie evil is a combination it's simply impossible to grapple with effectively.

FOX NEWS' LIES ABOUT PRESIDENT OBAMA'S NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY.  HINT:  IT IS THE SAME AS PRESIDENT REAGAN'S IN THAT IT WOULD REDUCE THEM BY 1/3 THE EXISTING MISSLES.

MadMikesAmerica has the video here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

CONSERVATIVE PUNDIT FRUM AND REPUBLICAN SENATOR COBURN WARN AMERICANS ABOUT LISTENING TO FOX NEWS--THEY LIE!

David Frumm and Senator Tom Coburn tell the truth about FAUX News and the lies and disinformation they broadcast to their gullible listeners:

Frum: Fox News Has an Interest in Making People Angry

"On CNN's "Reliable Sources," WaPo's Howie Kurtz asked David Frum about his comment that "Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us and now we're discovering we work for Fox."


The former George W. Bush speechwriter told Kurtz:

"What that means is that Fox, like Limbaugh, has an interest in pushing the Republicans to the margins, making people angry. When people are angry and alienated, they don't vote. They succumb to feelings of helplessness. What people need right now are feelings of power, that they can make a difference by participating in politics."
And Senator Tom Coburn  (R-OK) cautioned a constituent to not believe everything she hears on FOX as well. 

Both of these statements come from Conservatives:

Senator Coburn in response to a woman telling him that Americans would be put in jail if they didn't purchase health care (a blatant lie perpetrated by FOX and other propagandist).

"COBURN: I want everybody else to get answer a question, ask a question, so let me. The intention is not to put anybody in jail. That makes for good TV news on Fox, but that isn’t the intention. There is the intention, though, to use the Internal Revenue Service to hold you accountable and you have to prove that you have bought health insurance."

Later in the town hall meeting he said:

"And what we have to have is make sure we have a debate in this country so that you can see what’s going on and make the determination yourself. So, don’t catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody’s no good. The people in Washington are good. They just don’t know what they don’t know."

"At the end of the town hall, Coburn implored the audience to stay “informed on the issues.” “Don’t just watch Fox News or CNN. Watch them both,” said Coburn. He then seemed to refer back to the woman who asked about health care reform putting people in jail, saying that he was “disturbed that we get things like this lady said and others have said on other issues that are so disconnected to what” he knows “to be the facts.” “That comes from somebody who has an agenda that’s other than the best interest of our country,” said Coburn. “So, please balance and be careful as you take in. Make sure you get a balance.”

h/t Think Progress


This isn't news to me or other liberals.  FOX News is a propaganda machine and has been caught in many instances giving out wrong or deliberately false information, and for promoting the fake grass roots tea parties.

It is encouraging to see people like Frum and Coburn speak out publicly and tell the truth about FOX News, warning those who get all their information from that one source that they're being duped, played for suckers, and being fed lies and disinformation.

Here's a site that documents, with FOX videos, all the errors and deliberate lies that keep certain members of the right enthralled with this faux news cable show.

Here's a link to evidence where FOX News photoshopped pictures of people they don't like and then aired the touched up photos on their morning show.  I expect this behavior from mean-spirited children and idiots.  From a cable "news" station?  Not so much.
Below is summary of a result of a survey taken in 2007 that tested the news savvy of cable news audiences.  FOX News' audience were the least informed--and since it hasn't changed its programming, this is probably as true today, 3 years later, as it was then:
 
The results about Fox News echo findings of previous surveys. In 2003, University of Maryland researchers studied the public’s belief in three false claims — that Iraq possessed WMD, that Iraq was involved in 9/11, and that there was international support for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.


The researchers stated, “The extent of Americans’ misperceptions vary significantly depending on their source of news. Those who receive most of their news from Fox News are more likely than average to have misperceptions.” Fox News viewers were “three times more likely than the next nearest network to hold all three misperceptions.”

Monday, April 5, 2010

RUSH LIMBAUGH: NO HE CAN'T


Hey Rush!  You've failed in every single effort you've put forth with your demagoguery since the 2006 elections.  Every one! 

You. Are. A. Failure. 

And you will not succeed in repealing the health care reform.

But go ahead and lure your listeners into believing this will happen. We know what motivates you. 

MONEY.

The more you keep the Tea Partiers/Baggers stirred up and angry, the more they listen and the more money you make.

You are a cynic.  Nothing more.  And you'll fail at this as you have in everything you've pushed your listeners to support since 2006.

MAJOR FAIL.

It is right in front of everyone's eyes to see.

But you do have a purty mouth.

OPENING NITE: RED SOX 9, YANKEES 7

FROM THE BOSTON GLOBE:

"The Red Sox were all things to all people when they opened their 110th season with a 9-7 victory against the Yankees at Fenway Park last night.


The Sox trotted out 2004 icon Pedro Martinez for the ceremonial first pitch. With no cornfield handy, Pedro emerged from a makeshift white tent in the left field corner, wearing his old No. 45. He milked the moment, then threw one last pitch to his old catcher, Jason Varitek.



There was more, much more.


[SKIP]

For good measure, Neil Diamond himself (wearing a Sox cap and a “Keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn’’ jacket) appeared in person to sing “Sweet Caroline’’ before the home half of the eighth.


Yeesh. What a circus. Thank goodness Tiger Woods and the Octomom declined their invitations.

Oh, there was baseball, too. The Sox came back from deficits of 5-1 and 7-5, scoring the winning run on a passed ball in the seventh to beat the world champs in front of 37,440 — the 551st consecutive Fenway sellout. The game featured 24 hits and nine pitching changes in a tidy 3:46.

There. After one day of baseball, the Red Sox are in first place and the Yankees are in the cellar with the worst record in the majors (OK, nobody else has played yet — it still sounds good)."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

AN EASTER OPERA, TWO MUSICALS, A SONG FOR SEDER, AND EVEN SOUTH PARK

 From Mascagni's Cavalaria Rusticana (a traditional Easter opera):





Judy Garland and Fred Astaire singing "Easter Parade" from the 1948 film of the same name:



Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice musical Jesus Christ Superstar:



And for my father's side of the family:





And last but not least:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Memo to the Catholic Hierarchy: LEAVE THE JEWS OUT OF THIS.

As more sickening details of the Catholic Church's shameful cover-up of child abuse unfolds, the usual apologists have come forward to try to deflect the well-deserved attention this enormous scandal has attracted worldwide.

The Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the papal household, delivered remarks in the traditional Good Friday prayer service in St. Peter's Basilica with Pope Benedict in attendance.


According to the New York Times account of the event, Father Cantalamessa noted that Easter and Passover were falling during the same week this year. "They (the Jews) know from experience what it means to be victims of collective violence and also because of this they are quick to recognize the recurring symptoms," he said.

Father Cantalamessa quoted from what he said was a letter from an unnamed Jewish friend. "I am following the violent and concentric attacks against the church, the pope and all the faithful by the whole world," he said the friend wrote. "The use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt, remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism."

Really?  Who was this "friend" who compared anti-Semitism with the criticism the Church is dealing with?  I'd like to know who he or she is.  I'd remind this person that anti-Semitism was instituted, encouraged, and promoted by the Catholic Church through millennia and was the basis for Hitler's "Final Solution." 

The scandal and resulting worldwide outrage over it was brought down upon the Catholic Church, not by outsiders who are anti-Catholic, but by the policies, cynicism, and cowardice of the men who lead and run the organization.

What the Church is experiencing is not at all close to the anti-Semitism that Jews have suffered through hundreds of years under Catholic Hierachry--a hierachry that actually encouraged this hatred. 

Pedophilia has been a rot on the Catholic Church for decades--maybe centuries--we'll never know the extent of it.  But we do know that the Church's leadership--up to and including the current Pope covered it up in order to protect the Church's reputation.

The Church cared more about protecting its reputation and standing in the world than it did the lives of innocent, helpless children.  And then when those children became adults and sought justice for those crimes, the Church, with its considerable power, tried to thwart those efforts and blamed the victims. 

And now some spokesman is comparing what the Church is going through to what the Jews suffered AS A RESULT OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH'S history of anti-Semitism? 

If there is anything more evil than that, I don't know what it is.

DISCLAIMER:  Yes.  I and others know that individual priests and nuns and Catholics are good, caring people and not all Catholics should carry the blame for these monsterous crimes (contrary to what the Church's position was on the Jews' carrying the blame through generation after generation for being Christ killers.) 

A fish stinks from the head down.  There's a terrible smell coming from the Catholic Church.

Friday, April 2, 2010

RACHEL MADDOW TAKES ON MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR SCOTT BROWN: STOP LYING!

MSNBC political analyst and host of The Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel Maddow, has been asking Republican Senator Scott Brown to stop using her for fund raising purposes.  In letters to his constituents, Brown has lied about Maddow's intentions to run against him in the next senatorial election. 

Maddow has emphatically stated that she has no intention of running against him, that the DNC has NOT asked her to run against him, and that he is raising money on a lie.

That didn't take long, did it.  Republican Scott Brown, Massachusetts Senator for 7 whole weeks, already lying so that he'll be re-elected.  That's change we can believe in.

Personally, I wish Maddow would run against Brown.  She'd clean his little mendacious clock.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

PRESIDENT OBAMA ADMITS TO BEING A MUSLIN

backdrop user when, as a student, he dabbled in photography.  The shocking news confirmed what many on the Radical Right already knew. 

Sarah Palin immediately condemned the president's disturbing admission and told FOX News' Chris Wallace that "This is much more of a threat to our freedoms than his Death Panels.  Youbetcha! The president's admitted use of muzzles, while a student at Columbia, should make every American question this man's ability to lead this country, which I can see from Chris Wallace's lap."

Radio hate-talker, Rush Limbaugh told his audience that he hoped Mr. Obama's  mizzens failed and that President Obama's outrageous encroachment on our liberties will not go unpunished. "Do I know this guy or do I know this guy?"  El Rushbo continued.   "I am living rent free in this guy's head. It is just amazing, not only can I live in the failed mizzenhead's thoughts, but I can bellow like a rutting bull while doing so.  I love myself, I really do, and I'm rich.  And absolutely nothing that I've ordered my listeners to defeat has succeeded.  Obama the Magic Mizzen is going down in 2012, just like I predicted in 2008!"

Glenn Beck was prostrate on the floor of his teevee studio, sobbing uncontrollably:  "I fear for my country, I do, I really dooooo! "  After which, he bit his lip violently and bled to death. 

RNC Chairman, Michael Steele, ridiculed Mr. Obama's purchase of a foreign-made automobile--a Maserati--for his personal use.  "The American people won't tolerate this gross abuse of their tax dollars," Mr. Steele said as he ducked into Betty's Bondage and Crochet Club in downtown Los Angeles.

Bibi Netanytahu, during a hastily called press conference in Tel Aviv, offered an enthusiatic "Mazel Tov!"on hearing the news that Mr. Obama has named the blue mussel as America's official food.