Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

~~~

~~~

Healthcare vs

Healthcare vs
Torture

Monday, May 31, 2010

THE LUNATIC FRINGE IS AT IT AGAIN

The inimitable blogger, Green Eagle, has a great post on the continuing RWDS [right wing derangement syndrome]. 

"This extremely even-handed and insightful piece of serious reporting, from Floyd and Mary Beth Brown (aren't they relatives of Bonnie and Clyde?) at Town Hall:"


The only thing I would disagree with in GE's post is the wording: "all of a sudden, everyon is talking about the possibility of impeaching Barack Obama."

 Actually, the lunatic right has been planning this since 12:20 pm, January 20, 2009.

"Is the Impeachment of Barack Obama Moving Forward?


All of a sudden, everyone is talking about the possibility of impeaching Barack Obama.

Drudge is writing about it. Sean Hannity is talking about it. Dick Morris is saying that the potential scandal is "enormous.". Karl Rove called it an "extraordinary charge." WorldNetDaily.com wrote that "it could be grounds for impeachment."

Everyone! Karl Rove, Matt Drudge, Sean Hannity and Dick Morris. That's everyone! Four pathological, criminal right wing liars! And World Net Daily, which has been campaigning to get rid of Obama since before he took office! That's everybody!

Aren't you glad you know that now.

These people are nothing but human scum. We are never going to be able to look at the right wing noise machine for one single day, as long as Obama is in office, without violent screams to throw him out of office, on any bogus pretext they can think of. And after years of yelling treason at anyone who dared criticize the abominable George W. Bush while he was in the process of destroying our country and murdering a million innocent Iraqi civilians, they have entitled themselves to this behavior.


There is no reasoning or dealing with these people. They are out to destroy our country. It very well may come to the point where they have to be put down like mad dogs.

PRESIDENT OBAMA TO HONOR OUR VETERANS ON MEMORIAL DAY AT ABRAHAM LINCOLN NATIONAL CEMETARY



From Media Matters:

"Glenn Beck stated, "Obama is skipping out on a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington Cemetery because he'll be in Chicago on vacation. I'm sorry, I don't ever, ever question the president's vacation. I didn't under Bush, I didn't under Clinton, I don't under Obama." He later stated: "I have no problem with the man taking a vacation. But I am sick and tired -- sick and tired -- of people believing the lie that this administration has respect for the police or has respect for the soldiers of our country. I'm tired of it." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 5/25/10]

Malkin guest blogger: "Boy, I'm starting to think that West Point speech wasn't from the heart." On MichelleMalkin.com, guest blogger Doug Powers wrote: "President Obama went to Arlington Cemetery to lay the wreath last year, but this year Obama's handing the wreath to Plugs and heading off to the more welcoming political climes of Chicago." Powers later added: "Obama will however make it back to Washington in time to honor Paul McCartney next week. Boy, I'm starting to think that West Point speech wasn't from the heart."


OTHER PRESIDENTS WHO HAVE SKIPPED ARLINGTON MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONIES:

Posted at The Conservative Media blogspot:

"In 1983 Deputy Secretary of Defense W. Paul Thayer laid a wreath at Arlington Cemetery during the Memorial Day ceremony, according to a May 31, 1983, Washington Post article. The AP reported that President Reagan attended a "summit meeting in Williamsburg, Va., with leaders of the industrialized democracies.

Vice President Dan Quayle laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, according to a May 26, 1992, Boston Globe article. The Globe reported that President George H.W. Bush attended a wreath-laying ceremony and made brief remarks at an American Legion hall in Kennebunkport, Maine, where he also played a round of golf."


"I guarantee this; Soldiers, Sailors and Marines killed in battle are not just buried at Arlington, and their ultimate sacrifice is just as great as those buried at Arlington."  --Blogger Kevin Shopshire at The Conservative Media

THE FACTS:

Obama to honor troops in Chicago ceremony while Biden attends Arlington ceremony

AP: Obama "scheduled to participate in a Memorial Day ceremony" in Illinois; Biden to lay wreath in Arlington National Cemetery.

A May 24 Associated Press article reported that during a "long holiday weekend in Chicago," Obama "is scheduled to participate in a Memorial Day ceremony at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill."

The article further reported, "Vice President Joe Biden will participate in the customary wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington."






 
MR. OBAMA WILL PARTICIPATE IN MEMORIAL DAY SERVICES HONORING OUR MILITARY DEAD BY ATTENDING A WREATH-LAYING CEREMONY AT THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN NATIONAL CEMETARY FOR VETERANS.

President George HW Bush attended NO ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetary on Memorial Day during his four years as president.

During his 8 years as president, President Ronald Reagan MISSED FOUR SERVICES at Arlington National Cemetary because he was not in Washington DC on Memorial Day.

President Bill Clinton in 8 years never missed a Memorial Day service at Arlington National Cemetary.

Source:  Snopes.com

Friday, May 28, 2010

JOE SESTAK IN HIS OWN WORDS:

Certain rightwing blogs and bloggers are salivating over the nonstory about Joe Sestak and the offer to join a presidential board.  Every knowledgeable lawyer has said nothing scandalous happened and no laws were broken.

But that didn't stop the rightwing bloggers from going into insane mode over the story that wasn't there.

And here's Sestak's response


Posted: Friday, May 28, 2010 12:57 PM by Mark Murray
From NBC's Mark Murray

Sestak just issued a statement confirming what the White House had released.

"Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background. He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no. I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer. The former President said he knew I'd say that, and the conversation moved on to other subjects.

There are many important challenges facing Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. I intend to remain focused on those issues and continue my fight on behalf of working families."


It's called political horse trading and has happened many times in the past:



My advice to the bloggers hoping to make something out of nothing:  Go help the people in the Gulf clean up the mess that a private corporation made.

William Wordsworth 1770-1850

THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

THE ANTI-GAY GOP






As usual, the GOP is on the wrong side of history on the repeal of DADT.  An overwhelming majority of Americans believe gay men and women should not lie about who they are and should be able to serve their country, die for their country as any other soldier does. 

A Washington Post/ABC News poll showed that 75 percent of Americans support ending DADT. A New York Times survey indicated 70 percent support for gay men and lesbians serving openly.

Give it up GOP.  You're not going to win this one--not even you, you shameless hypocrite, John McCain.

“I’ll do everything in my power,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said. “I’m going to do everything I can to support the men and women of the military and to fight what is clearly a political agenda.”

From Think Progress:

"In an orchestrated manner, almost every single House Republican took to the floor to condemn the proposal, misrepresenting it as an immediate repeal that does not allow the Defense Department to complete its study. In the midst of considering other amendments, Republicans turned the discussion into an opportunity to condemn gays in the military:

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): “If someone has to be overt about their sexuality, whether it’s in a bunker where they’re confined under fire, then it’s a problem. And that’s what repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell does. It says, ‘I have to be overt, I don’t care. I want this to be a social experiment.”

REP: TODD AKIN (R-MI): “So are we then going to then protect and condone homosexuality in the military?…Is this the sort of thing that George Washington or our founders would be proud of, that we are doing today in this quick flash before Memorial Day?

REP. TRENT FRANKS (R-AZ): “We’re going to say, ‘No. We don’t care what you say. You can die for us on the battlefield, but you have no input into this process.’ That’s a disgrace to this institution and it’s an insult to the men and women who pour out their blood on foreign battlefields for the country that we all love so much.”

MORE FROM THINK PROGRESS:

Far Right Christian Group Warns That ‘Gay Blood’ Will Destroy Our Military If DADT Is Repealed


"The right has been girding for a fight to defend the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy after the White House and some members of Congress reached an agreement this week that will likely repeal it. House Republicans are “preparing to mount a vigorous defense” of the policy, Sen. John McCain is threatening a filibuster, and right-wing Christian groups are pressuring conservative lawmakers to toe the party line.

Today, right-wing hate-monger Cliff Kincaid’s group America’s Survival launched a repulsive fear campaign against repeal, warning that “disease-tainted gay blood threatens our troops.” The group’s abhorrent video — and the 60 page report that accompanies it — present ludicrous stereotypes of gay men and women, going so far as to claim that “open and active homosexuals into the U.S. military could very well result in the spreading of deadly HIV-tainted blood throughout the ranks

Those of you who identify with the GOP but are not gay haters, call your representatives and tell them you support the repeal of DADT.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SCOTT BROWN WILL NOT SUPPORT VOTE ON "DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL"

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown does not support the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Scott Brown will vote against repealing 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' when it comes up for a vote Thursday in the Senate Armed Services Committee, dealing a blow to gay rights advocates who were hoping the freshman Republican would support efforts to permit gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, The Globe's Political Intelligence blog has learned.


Brown's highly anticipated decision comes after President Obama and Democratic leaders struck a deal Monday night to overcome Pentagon resistance to changing the law before a top level review of how to implement a new policy is completed by Dec. 1.

The deal, outlined in a letter to Congress from the White House Office of Management and Budget, stipulates that any congressional repeal would not go into effect until the Pentagon review is completed.

But Brown says that while he is keeping "an open mind" on future efforts, he believes any vote for repeal should be put off until the Pentagon has time to formulate a plan for implementing any new policy.

[skip]

But it appears to buck the vast majority of Massachusetts voters, according to a poll released today. The poll of 500 registered voters, conducted by Brown's pollster, Neil Newhouse, for the Human Rights Campaign, found that 77 percent of Bay State voters supports repeal. Meanwhile, it found that 62 percent of voters who backed Brown in the January special election support overturning the current law, as do 67 percent of registered independents who voted for him.

Criticism from some gay rights groups was swift and unsparing. "The notion that the senator from Massachusetts -- the first state in the nation to have marriage equality and one of the first states to have an anti-discrimination law -- would oppose ending discrimination against gays military personnel is reprehensible," said Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus.

She said she was particularly surprised at Brown's explanation because the proposals for repeal in Congress stipulate that the Pentagon review would have to be completed before a new policy would take effect.

"What possible excuse could he have other than brazen prejudice?" Isaacson declared.


The Commander in Chief, the Republican Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and and former Secretary of State General Colin Powell all support the repeal of this policy that is detrimental to our Armed Services.
 
But most important, Brown's constituents, by a wide majority, want DADT repealed.
 
Who is Brown representing?  The GOP or the people of Massachusetts who voted for him?


It appears that this is the word that is out from the "Just Say NO!" GOP:  "Block that legislation! Don't undo DADT.  We don't want any more legislative victories for Obama.  It's more important to screw the country and our gay military men and women than to cooperate with the Kenyan-born Muslim Socialist!"


David Boaz of the Cato Institute
"Get Over Gay Fear, US Allies Advise"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

THE CONTINUING DISHONESTY OF FOX NEWS

UPDATE: CORRECTION: It was a technical error, and nothing more, that led to the applause being omitted from FoxNews.com video of President Obama's speech to West Point cadets. The network says that a video editing error was to blame for the missing applause. A video editor took two separate clips that were meant to be used as sound bites that included what's known as "padding" at the end of them. Padding allows producers to fade in and out of segments without sound. h/t HuffPost

It took a while for FOX to respond to this technical error that happened almost a week ago.  Okay.  It was a glitch, but when we review FOX's past behaviors in editing videos, it was a logical conclusion that the omission of the applause was deliberate.  Past behaviors are usually a good indication of present and future behaviors.


ORIGINAL POST:

We've caught this fake news station many times altering video, broadcasting misleading or stupidly wrong information, and indulging in blatant lies.  Yet people continue to watch this disgrace of a teevee cable station--in fact it is the most watched in cable news.  That fact alone should make us all dispair for America.

Here's FOX News, once again, presenting an altered video of President Obama giving a speech to the graduation class at West Point.  You'll notice a moment of silence after Mr. Obama praised America's military and their accomplishments--and you'll see Mr. Obama looking back and forth over the crowd as it remained silent.

Fox News apparently couldn't stand the reality of hearing those in the audience applaud and cheer Mr. Obama, so they edited out their approving gesture to make this look like an embarrassing moment for the president.  [You can see it @ :48 in the video.]






Those who continue to watch and support this cable "news" program that promotes lies and distortions and idiots like Glenn Beck deserve all the miasmic slop it serves up each and every day for their noncritical consumption.

More from ThinkProgress:

"He [President Obama] also praised American troops for their performance in Iraq. “A lesser Army might have seen its spirit broken,” he said, adding that “through their competence and creativity and courage, we are poised to end our combat mission in Iraq this summer.” At that point, cadets and the audience applauded for at least 12 seconds (starting at roughly the 10:24 mark here). However, as Michael Moore observed, video from the speech on FoxNews.com edits out that applause entirely, making it appear as if Obama is bizarrely staring silently for a long period of time."

Media Matters’ Jamison Foser asks, “Now, maybe Fox didn’t intentionally remove the audience applause. Maybe Fox’s video used a direct feed from Obama’s microphone, and it simply didn’t pick up audience noise. But if Fox didn’t intentionally try to make Obama look silly, why did it choose a 2-minute clip — out of a 32-minute speech — that portrayed Obama looking silently around the room, seemingly for no reason?”


 
Fox News apologizes for dishonest splicing of Joe Biden clip

After misleading Palin footage, FOX institutes zero tolerance on-screen errors

FOX fudges poll numbers

FOX edits Joe Biden clip to distort what he actually said


More on FOX News:  A call out from a Republican Congressman:

"This morning, Fox and Friends characterized Sen. Bob Casey’s (D-PA) Create Jobs & Save Benefits Act as a “$165 billion bailout” of union pensions. “It has been decades since you’ve seen an administration so prone to the influence of unions as this one is. I’m not going to say this is owned by the unions, but their influence on this administration is simply enormous,” Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney claimed of the legislation, which is actually designed to partition “specific types of union pensions that are deemed to be insolvent.” Later in the day, the network went after House Republicans for co-sponsoring similar legislation in the House. On America Live with Megyn Kelly, the network showed a chart of the nine Republicans supporting the measure and questioned their sanity.

This didn’t go over well with Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH), a co-sponsor of the House measure, who took to the floor this afternoon to criticize Fox for its coverage. “I think as a Republican, I’m supposed to love Fox News and hate MSNBC,” he began. “Now, I’m going to tell you, I do hate MSNBC, but something just happened on Fox News that compelled me to come to the floor”:

LATOURETTE: They’ve run this diagram and it really is a, I think, blaspheming my good friend Pat Tiberi from Ohio and indicating that there are nine Republicans supporting a bill that will bail out unions. Well, that’s nonsense and I don’t know who the pin head and weenie is at Fox News that decided to put that story together. But the true facts of this piece of legislation are as follows. This bill will save the taxpayers by saying to those corporations that have union pension plans, if you find yourselves in a bind, rather than thrusting that upon the taxpayer, it spreads out over five years the ability to bring those pension plans up to speed. That’s good government, it’s a good bill. It’s a good Tiberi bill and I don’t know what they’re doing at Fox News, but they should stop smoking it and get back to reporting the facts."

Again, I ask:  Why does anyone with even half a brain watch FAUX cable news?  People!  FAUX is not a news organization, it's the propaganda arm of the GOP--and they can't even get that right!


"All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”

Monday, May 24, 2010

WHO IS VAUGHN WARD?

And why did he plagiarize President Obama?  Really.  This Idaho Republican is running for Congress, and none other than Sarah Palin endorsed him.  The question is why did this REPUBLICAN use President Obama's speech in this rally? 

Did he or his handlers not think people would recognize that speech.  Bigger question.  Why is he using President Obama's words? Was there no Republican he could steal from?  Like, say, Sarah Palin?

Remember Sarah's gorgeous rhetoric?  Here are samples:

Here resignation speech: 

"Together we do stand with gratitude for our troops who protect all of our cherished freedoms, including our freedom of speech which, par for the course, I'm going to exercise."

"And first, some straight talk for some, just some in the media because another right protected for all of us is freedom of the press, and you all have such important jobs reporting facts and informing the electorate, and exerting power to influence. You represent what could and should be a respected honest profession that could and should be the cornerstone of our democracy. Democracy depends on you, and that is why, that's why our troops are willing to die for you. So, how 'bout in honor of the American soldier, ya quite makin' things up."

"Life is too short to compromise time and resources. And though it may be tempting and more comfortable to just kind of keep your head down and plod along and appease those who are demanding, hey, just sit down and shut up, but that's a worthless, easy path. That's a quitters way out."

Heroic!  Homeric!

Or is Ward really a secret admirer of Barack Obama?  This is bizarre.

Republicans:   Still Showing America How Bat-Poop Crazy They Are!

BTW,  This is on his website:  Honor, Respect, Courage, Conviction, and Dedication


HONOR?  Seriously.  Respect?  Courage, Conviction and Dedication.  He forgot to include "USING THE OPPOSITION PARTY'S BIG GUY'S SPEECH TO PROMOTE MY CANDIDACY, HOPING NO ONE WILL FIND OUT."

h/t Wonkette

More on Ward here.
 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

FUNDAMENTALS OF THE SOCIAL CONTRACT: WHY RAND PAUL IS WRONG

Fellow blogger over at The Swash Zone, Sheria, has an excellent post up on Rand Paul's misguided, loopy position on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The entire piece is here at The Swash Zone and at her blog, The Examined Life.

Here is where Sheria illustrates how wrong Paul is on this particular subject:

"Society is the whole, individuals are the parts. Societies were formed by the individuals to create a system in which the individuals could agree to live governed by rules to protect the common good. Locke, Rousseau, Hobbes, Jefferson and many others have defined this concept as it relates to the purposes of goverment. Those who do not wish to agree to the social contract are free to live outside of it but cannot then also benefit from it. (i.e. you don't have to own a business) This is the basic flaw of Rand Paul's argument that a private business has the right to engage in discrimination. Businesses are by definition public enterprises. Its goods and services are sold to the public and as such the business is part of our system of commerce. The regulation of commerce is constitutionally assigned to Congress. If the businessman wishes to engage in discrimination, he may do so but not via his public enterprise. It's up to him to figure out how to run a profitable business enterprise without engaging in public commerce, if he wishes to engage in discrimination as to whom may partake of his goods and/or servces. 

The most extreme example of those who place individual liberties tantamount to the society as a whole are those who commit crimes. The thief believes that his/her needs are superior to the needs of all others thereby justifying their right to take what they need. Indeed, if we follow the argument of the superiority of individual rights to its logical conclusion, then those who commit criminal acts are merely choosing to place their individual needs above the needs of the whole. Under this logic, our prisons are populated by true libertarians.


However, in a society, we all agree to subvert our individual liberties to the benefit of the function of the whole. To not do so results in anarchy and a society in which no one has any security. Whatever property that I may have secured would constantly be at risk of being taken by someone who had the strength to do so in a world governed by the supreme right of the individual. Instead, we have laws, enforcers, and systems of punishment to maintain order so that property rights, mine and yours, are not subject to the arbitrary will of might makes right. Which brings me to the final element of the social contract, governments are not instituted to protect the rights of the strong but rather to ensure that even the weak have protections. Otherwise, in the words of Hobbes,we would be in a constant state of war, and man would be a solitary being living an existence that is nasty, brutish and short."


 
Blue Gal wrote on this as well.

 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

RON PAUL / RAND PAUL: LIKE FATHER; LIKE SON




Justin Elliot of TALKING POINTS MEMO explains:

"In light of Rand Paul's decision today to back out of his scheduled appearance on Meet the Press, it's worth looking back to his father Rep. Ron Paul's appearance on the show in 2007 -- in which Ron Paul came out against the 1964 Civil Rights Act on the very same grounds that have gotten Rand Paul into such a mess this week.
 
Asked by then-host Tim Russert if he would have voted for the landmark legislation, Paul said he would have opposed it "If it were written the same way, where the federal government's taken over property--has nothing to do with race relations." He continued: "it has nothing to do with racism, it has to do with the Constitution and private property rights."

That's the same libertarian position articulated by Rand Paul on Rachel Maddow this week: that the section of the legislation that allowed the government to bar racial discrimination by private institutions like businesses was wrong.

Russert had asked Paul, then a Republican presidential candidate: "I read a speech you gave in 2004, the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. And you said this: 'Contrary to the claims of' 'supporters of the Civil Rights Act of' '64, 'the act did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of' '64 'increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.' That act gave equal rights to African-Americans to vote, to live, to go to lunch counters, and you seem to be criticizing it."

Paul responded: "But when it comes, Tim, you're, you're, you're not compelled in your house to invade strangers that you don't like. So it's a property rights issue. And this idea that all private property is under the domain of the federal government I think is wrong. So this--I think even Barry Goldwater opposed that bill on the same property rights position, and that--and now this thing is totally out of control. If you happen to like to smoke a cigar, you know, the federal government's going to come down and say you're not allowed to do this."

I thought this person at the TPM site posted a great comment answering someone who said the government can't legislate what's in the human heart, i.e., racism:



"By refusing to serve blacks, restaurant owners and other business owners weren't just exercising their rights, they were also curtailing the rights of African-Americans. Before the civil rights era, blacks in the south were treated as second-class citizens not only by the state and local governments, but also by private citizens. Of course the federal government was justified in curtailing the rights of bigoted business owners to choose the skin color of their patrons, so as to ensure the right of African-Americans to be treated as equal to whites.

Finally, while you are right in pointing out that you can't legislate people's hearts, it is also equally true that by outlawing certain racist practices, you are making it easier for the next generation to grow up in a country where such blatant acts of racism are less common, which does affect how they view race. If younger generations are on average more tolerant and less racist today than those who grew up before the civil rights struggle is, to a significant extent, precisely due to the successful passage and enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

RAND PAUL'S LIBERTARIAN TAKE ON THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT

UPDATE BELOW ON HOW OUT ON THE FRINGE OF EXTREMISM RAND PAUL TRULY IS!

He dug himself into a hole and exposed himself to be naive.  Our redoubtable Capt. Fogg of  The Swamp Zone does a smashing job of exposing Paul for the confused and misdirected candidate that he is:

Capt. Fogg writes:

"Rand Paul is not Ron Paul and I'm not flattering him by saying it. There is a difference between principle and bull-headed intransigence and Paul the younger seems as unclear about that as he is not quite up to the task of successfully debating Rachel Maddow about his distaste for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Asked whether he thought a restaurant had the right to refuse service to black customers, Paul commenced a rather evasive dance around the subject by trying to describe regulation as ownership.
"What about freedom of speech?" asked the less than candid Candidate. "Well what it gets into then is if you decide that restaurants are publicly owned and not privately owned, then do you say that you should have the right to bring your gun into a restaurant even though the owner of the restaurant says 'well no, we don't want to have guns in here' the bar says 'we don't want to have guns in here because people might drink and start fighting and shoot each-other?'" Paul replied. "Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant? Or does the government own his restaurant? These are important philosophical debates but not a very practical discussion."
Unfortunately, more than just being grammatically confused, he's wrong. He's equivocating and the debate is, of course, entirely about practical matters. Can we agree, for instance, that being black in a restaurant is fundamentally different than carrying a gun in a bar and if so, his analogy is defective and a fallacy of distraction? Certainly a speed limit is not Government ownership of my car, health regulations imposed on food producers aren't the equivalent of owning the family farm nor is forcing Woolworth to stop creating two Americas with their policies isn't Marxism."

The rest of tCapt. Fogg's excellent post as well as another incisive one by bloggingdino is here.

And this:

Questions For Rand Paul

Ezra Klein has a few:
Can the federal government set the private sector's minimum wage? Can it tell private businesses not to hire illegal immigrants? Can it tell oil companies what safety systems to build into an offshore drilling platform? Can it tell toy companies to test for lead? Can it tell liquor stores not to sell to minors? These are the sort of questions that Paul needs to be asked now, because the issue is not "area politician believes kooky but harmless thing." It's "area politician espouses extremist philosophy on issue he will be voting on constantly."

UPDATE:

"Amidst the hullaballoo over Republican Rand Paul's upset victory in the Kentucky GOP primary for US Senate, one of the few journalists to raise the issue of Paul's somewhat uncomfortable proximity to Christian Reconstructionism has been Alternet's Adele Stan, who observes that Rand Paul's father Ron Paul is personal friends with one of the bigger names in the Christian Reconstructionist movement, Howard Phillips, founder of the US Taxpayers Party -- now re-branded as The Constitution Party. But there's much more direct evidence tying Ran Paul to the Constitution Party, whose national platform declares,




"The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations... The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law"

[SKIP]


As it's said, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. In a May 21, 2009 appearance on the Alex Jones Show, Rand Paul affirmed that his political beliefs were extremely close to those of his father Ron:


Alex Jones: "You're basically what I would call a chip off the old block. Your policies are basically identical to your father, correct?"

Rand Paul: "I'd say we'd be very very similar. We might present the message sometimes differently.. I think in some ways the message has to be broadened and made more appealing to the entire Republican electorate because you have to win a primary." [Rand Paul on Alex Jones, 5/21/09]
So it isn't altogether surprising that Rand Paul could be found, in April 2009, at a rally held by a political party that's been heavily influenced by a movement whose founder, Rousas Rushdoony, advocated executing homosexuals by stoning, wanted to reimpose the institution of slavery, and maintained that the Sun rotated around the Earth."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

SCIENCE IS ALWAYS MORE INTERESTING THAN POLITICS, ESPECIALLY

when it discovers a floating city of gonads: 



Tasmanian scientists have discovered a new species of jellyfish in Hobart's River Derwent and given it a sexy name.

The species is only a few millimetres wide and scientists say it looks like a flying saucer with a cluster of gonads, or sex organs, on top.

Scientists discovered the jellyfish while surveying the waters outside the CSIRO in Hobart.

The new species has been named Csiromedusa medeopolis, meaning "jellyfish from CSIRO" and "city of gonads".

Launceston jellyfish expert Lisa-Ann Gershwin says it is an astounding discovery.

"It's absolutely different from every other jellyfish that's ever been known," Dr Gershwin said.

"So we not only put it into its own new species and its own new genus, but it's actually a brand new family."

Dr Gershwin says the find is also tremendously exciting.

Behold the medeopolis!

with sex organs worn like a crown
as it swims ‘round and ‘round.
A veritable gonad metropolis!

--SK

In other equally astounding news, National Geographic reports that a huge collaboration of scientist from around the globe has revealed a spectacular abundance of oceanic microbial life that has never been seen before.  These microbial "aliens" form mats on the sea floor off the west coast of  South America. "These mats rank among Earth’s largest masses of life, and cover a surface comparable in size to Greece."


 Our planet depends on these creatures.

According to the NatGeo article:

"...the microbes actually play a really key role in the way that nutrients move through the ocean. And if they weren’t there the ocean would shut down very quickly, the planet would shut down very quickly.  [skip] Amazingly, Census of Marine Life estimates that all microbes in the global ocean collectively weigh the equivalent of 240 billion African elephants!"

This brings the disaster in the Gulf painfully into focus and illustrates how easily we humans, in our ignorance and greed, could truly destroy our precious environment--and ourselves.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

ALABAMA TEACHER GIVES GEOMETRY LESSON USING ASSASSINATING PRESIDENT OBAMA AS AN EXAMPLE

The GOP has encouraged extremists in its party by promoting and tolerating hate mongers and near-seditionists like Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann, Ann CoulterRush LimbaughSarah Palin and and any other jackboot who will join them in stirring up the mobs in order to nullify the election of 2008.

How many times have we heard not just nutjobs like those mentioned above but even GOP Congressmen and women refer to the government, which they are part of, as a criminal organization--a "gangster government?"

And that is why a weak-minded moron, like this teacher in Alabama, felt comfortable in casually talkiing about murdering President Barack Obama as a way of explaining cosines. When stupid people like this teacher constantly hear his cynical leaders call the leaders of the opposition party, leaders of our government criminals, it follows that they deservc to be murdered, doesn't it?  And if you're a teacher, what better way to introduce this idea than in math class?

Sara Robinson at Orcinus has written an excellent piece on where this tolerance for radical insurrectionist talk can lead.  She discusses the Hutaree conspirators and the group, Guardians of the Free Republic:

"These two events are a wake-up call for progressives. They're telling us that it's time to openly confront the fact that conservatives have spent the past 40 years systematically delegitimizing the very idea of constitutional democracy in America. When they're in power, they mismanage it and defund it. When they're out of power, they refuse to participate in running the country at all -- indeed, they throw all their energy into thwarting the democratic process any way they can. When they need to win an election, they use violent, polarizing, eliminationist language against their opponents to motivate their base. This is sedition in slow motion, a gradual corrosive undermining of the government's authority and capacity to run the country. And it's been at the core of their politics going all the way back to Goldwater.


This long assault has gone into overdrive since Obama's inauguration, as the rhetoric has ratcheted up from overheated to perfervid. We've reached the point where you can't go a week without hearing some prominent right wing leader calling for outright sedition -- an immediate and defiant populist uprising against some legitimate form of government authority.

Moderates and liberals are responding to this rising threat with feckless calls for "a return to civility," as if all that's needed to put things right again is a stern talking-to from Miss Manners. Though that couldn't hurt, the sad fact is that we're well past the point where it's just a matter of conservatives behaving like tantrum-throwing spoiled brats (which they are). When a mob is surrounding your house with torches and telling you they intend to burn it down, "civility" really isn't the issue any more.

At that point -- and we're there -- criminal intent and action become the real issues. Progressives need to realize that the right began defiantly dancing back and forth over the legal line, daring us to do something about it, quite some time ago. And it's high time we called it out -- and, where appropriate, start prosecuting it -- for exactly what it is."

Southern Beale posted on the Alabama teacher as well.

Other links to this story:
Salon
OpEdNews
USAToday
Outside the Beltway

Monday, May 17, 2010

IT IS DIFFICULT FOR ME TO DECIDE WHICH IS THE BIGGER IDIOT:

Liberty University, for giving a self-identified rodeo clown an honarary degree and allowing him to slobber while mouthing meaningless platitudes and stupid disjointed one-liners, or Glenn Beck himself, who outdid himself again in his galumphing nincompoopery. 



It is especially hilarious to hear the clown say this:  "Anyone who wants to take your choice away is evil."


So anti-choice people are evil, Glenn?  Of course we don't expect a dimwit to actually think about what he's saying.  But thanks Glenn for telling the LU audience you think anti-choice is evil.

"Labels are meaningless."  says Beck, who called the President a racist.



And finally, his last bit of advice to the LU graduates: 

"Someone you meet today is afraid or suffering. Find them. Find them everyday and comfort them.   Shoot to kill!" 

This is Beck's idea of cutting wit and incisive wisdom. 

Glenn never disappoints those who expect him to always act like a braying jackass on acid.


Oh and apparently Liberty U.'s Seminary President, Ergun Caner, is a fraud.

More here on Caner.


Glenn.  It's Time for You to Stop All of Your Sobbing!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

President Obama said NO! to the GOP. You CAN'T have the keys to the car. David Mixner explains why CONSERVATIVES ARE CONSTANTLY ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY




David Mixner wrote on March 29, 2010:

"The time has come for the American right wing to pack it up, stop its hatred and end its disruption of American society. They have proven time and time again that they are almost always on the wrong side of history. Let's give them some expensive luggage with RNC monogrammed on it and send them into the sunset. Time to end the 'lock and load' mentality, lawmakers who have 'targets' semi-imposed over their faces and the new code word for racism and homophobia of 'We want our country back.' Back to where and to whom?

The extreme right record of utter and total failure to stop the march to progress is the reason we should not have to bear their craziness anymore. The record is numbingly clear: They were wrong about Social Security. They were wrong on integrating the military forces under President Truman. They were wrong about McCarthyism in the early 1950's. They were wrong about passing civil rights legislation in the 1960's. They were wrong on Medicare. They were wrong about women rights. They were wrong about 'trickle down economics.' They were wrong about tax breaks for the rich. They were wrong about the war in Iraq. They were wrong about climate change. They were wrong about LGBT rights and they are wrong about healthcare reform.


Can you imagine our world if they had been successful in stopping any of the forces for change above? We would have a world with our seniors poor and unable to have healthcare. We would have African-Americans unable to vote. We would see women relegated to being housewives and not leading our nation. All homosexuals would still be in the closet with many having lobotomies, committing suicide and being arrested. The world has become and is still becoming a better place because of progressive legislation and ignoring the calls, shouts and anger to protect the narrow-minded status quo.

Fact is, they can't have their country back. Their country is moving forward into a greatness with a richly diverse and exciting population. Their country is still a place that still believes individual freedom and equality for all its people no matter if they are popular or not. As Frank Rich pointed out in his column this week in the New York Times, their country now has an African-American President, a woman as Speaker of the House, a Hispanic on the Supreme Court and a gay man as head of the Banking Committee in the House. Those who seek to end this march into the 21st century simply can't turn back the tides of time.


All they can do is make us more divided, pay a higher price to protect the people of this nation, fill the air with anger and make the march of progress a heavier burden. Time for them to realize that for the last 100 years they have been on the wrong side of history. I say to them: Give it up and enjoy your new healthcare and make sure your children are at last getting adequate care. I am willing to bet that in five years every single mindlessly angry voice will be using this new healthcare system and many of them will be saved economically by it. Progress is good. Generosity is appreciated. Intelligence is revered. Get used to it."
 
David Mixner

Saturday, May 15, 2010

THE BP GULF OF MEXICO OIL SPILL? The half-term governor of Alaska had this to say a few weeks before the disaster:



"Many Americans fear that President Obama’s new energy proposal is once again “all talk and no real action,” this time in an effort to shore up fading support for the Democrats’ job-killing cap-and-trade (a.k.a. cap-and-tax) proposals. Behind the rhetoric lie new drilling bans and leasing delays; soon to follow are burdensome new environmental regulations. Instead of “drill, baby, drill,” the more you look into this the more you realize it’s “stall, baby, stall... Next week I’m headed to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, where I look forward to discussing what “Drill, baby, drill” really means.”

and...

Today the president said he’ll “consider potential areas for development in the mid and south Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, while studying and protecting sensitive areas in the Arctic.” As the former governor of one of America’s largest energy-producing states, a state oil and gas commissioner, and chair of the nation’s Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, I’ve seen plenty of such studies. What we need is action — action that results in the job growth and revenue that a robust drilling policy could provide. And let’s not forget that while Interior Department bureaucrats continue to hold up actual offshore drilling from taking place, Russia is moving full steam ahead on Arctic drilling, and China, Russia, and Venezuela are buying leases off the coast of Cuba.

As an Alaskan, I’m especially disheartened by the new ban on drilling in parts of the 49th state and the cancellation of lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. These areas contain rich oil and gas reserves whose development is key to our country’s energy security. As I told Secretary Salazar last April, “Arctic exploration and development is a slow, demanding process. Delays or major restrictions in accessing these resources for environmentally responsible development are not in the national interest or the interests of the State of Alaska.”


I’ve got to call it like I see it: The administration’s sudden interest in offshore drilling is little more than political posturing designed to gain support for job-killing energy legislation soon to come down the pike. I’m confident that GOP senators will not take the bait.






Friday, May 14, 2010

ARIZONA IS THE NEW BALDONIA!




In addition to it's "Show Me Your Papers" law, where anyone in Arizona who is brown and/or brownish can be stopped and asked to identify him/herself to prove they are in the state legally, and in addition to Arizona's new ban on ethnic studies, we now have the trifecta of bigotry:  

No teachers with accents allowed in the classroom!

Do we see a pattern here, and is it a pattern that targets certain ethnic groups?

Jonathan Zimmerman of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution asks the reasonable question:  "But why should the state police accents?   ...most immigrant teachers today have full command of the English language. They just pronounce it differently."

Nice job, Arizona.  In your state, if Albert Einstein were alive, you would bar him from teaching science; Luciano Pavarotti, were he still living, could not give a lecture on Italian opera;  Arnold Schwartzeneggeer cannot teach a civics class; and Henry Kissenger would not be able to expound on international relations [well maybe that's not so bad].

Zimmerman continues:

"After World War II, similarly, black teacher applicants were often turned down because of their accents. As historian Christina Collins has found, examiners rarely made explicit reference to race in their decisions. Instead, they downgraded African-Americans for using so-called “regional” speech. In one notorious case, two rejected black applicants were told that they “speak with a Southern accent” — although neither had ever been to the South!


To be fair, there were — and are — distinctive African-American language patterns. But if a state today tried to keep out teachers with “black” accents — or ordered schools to keep those teachers away from students who shared the same speech habits — we’d call the effort what it is: bigoted."

I propose that Arizona complete its determination to rid itself of everything ethnic and of color.  That would mean changing its name, since the root of the name Arizona is from the Spanish interpretation of "arizuma," an Aztec Indian word that means "silver-bearing." It's also based on the Pima Indian word arizonac, meaning "little spring place." Many state names trace their origin to native American Indian languages.


"Arizona" seems a bit too colorful a name for a state that appears to want to scrub itself clean of any tinge of ethnicity and brownishness.

May I suggest this as a name more representative of what Arizona wants to be:

NEW BALDONIA*

*"balde" is the old English word for "white."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

SEPARATED AT BIRTH: SEAN HANNITY and NATHAN LANE













.

Does Tony know?!





But this is really not funny.  An environmental disaster of incredible proportions.  Thank you, Big Dick Cheney:




IS THIS BARACK OBAMA'S JON STEWART MOMENT?

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-may-11-2010/release-the-kagan



Stewart nails the silliness of the Right in its determination to find a "Bush Moment" for anything that happens.  What Stewart rightly points out, and what the brainless rightwing FOX pundits are too dumb to understand, is that the very things they are "Bush Momenting" Mr. Obama with are the incidents that they ALL thought Bush handled well!  But now, by asking if these various issues are Obama's "Bush Moment," they are admitting that Bush was an incompetent eff-up.  How utterly hilarious.  And the funniest part is they don't realize they're rebuking their guy's record. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

SARAH PALIN SAYS OUR FOUNDING DOCUMENTS ARE BASED ON THE BIBLE AND THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

Seriously.  She actually embarrassed herself by uttering absolute idiocy as though it were true.  Obviously the poor dear knows bupkis about American history.  This joke of a politician was selected to be the vice president of the United States of America, and she hasn't a clue about basic American history.

Of course she is thoroughly wrong, incorrect, misguided, and ignorant. 

This is what she said--or rather, what the voices in her head told her to say:

"Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant -- they're quite clear -- that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the ten commandments.


"What in hell scares people about talking about America's foundation of faith?" Palin continued. "It is that world view that involves some people being afraid of being able to discuss our foundation, being able to discuss God in the public square, that's the only thing I can attribute it to."

If Sarah ever studied American history, she would have read this:
 
Founding Father Thomas Jefferson when he was asked to call for a national day of fasting and prayer:


"But it is only proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe a day of fasting & prayer. That is, that I should indirectly assume to the US an authority over religious exercises which the Constitution has directly precluded them from.... I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct it's exercises, it's discipline, or it's doctrines; nor of the religious societies that the general government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting & prayer are religious exercises. The enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, & the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands, where the constitution has deposited it."
 
 
Unlike most governments of the past, the American Founding Fathers set up a government divorced from any religion. Their establishment of a secular government did not require a reflection to themselves of its origin; they knew this as a ubiquitous unspoken given. However, as the United States delved into international affairs, few foreign nations knew about the intentions of the U.S. For this reason, an insight from at a little known but legal document written in the late 1700s explicitly reveals the secular nature of the U.S. goverenment to a foreign nation. Officially called the "Treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary," most refer to it as simply the Treaty of Tripoli. In Article 11, it states:


"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

James Madison--one of the principal architects of the US Constitution:

"Madison contended "Because if Religion be exempt from the authority of the Society at large, still less can it be subject to that of the Legislative Body."[29] Several years later he wrote of "total separation of the church from the state."[30] "Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States," Madison wrote,[31] and he declared, "practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government is essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States."[32] In a letter to Edward Livingston Madison further expanded, "We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts. do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Govt." [33] This attitude is further reflected in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, originally authored by Thomas Jefferson, but championed by Madison, and guaranteeing that no one may be compelled to finance any religion or denomination.



... no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."


None of this easily researched American history will stop Palin from shooting her mouth off.  She doesn't know what she's talking about, has no knowledge of American history; but in her self-satisfied ignorance she believes her stupidity is shared by all Americans.

When will her defenders stop defending her indefensible stupidity?  How can her supporters explain her mush-headed nonsense?

Just think, this uninformed light weight was nominated by the reckless John McCain to be vice president of this country--a heart beat away from the presidency.  She doesn't know basic American history.  But she's absolutely convinced she's a leader, and incomprehensibly, many people agree with her.


Ms. Palin, please point out the law in our Constitution that prohibits Americans from working on "the Lord's Day." And tell us about the law that prohibits Americans from "taking the Lord's name in vain."  Also show us which law tells us to "honor our mothers and fathers," and how that is punishable under US law if we don't.  And after you find that, please tell us what the punishment is in US law--Constitutional Law--for not worshipping the god of the Old or New Testament, or for worshipping other gods--or no god.  If our laws are based on the Bible and the 10 Commandments,  Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons, or persons of non Biblical faith  or no faith at all would be outlaws.  But you wouldn't let that obvious fact get in the way of the giddy fatuity that you so eagerly pass on to your fellow ignoramuses.

Keep talking, Sarah.  Each time you open your mouth, we discover more of your boundless stupidity.  And for those who believe the Left is "afraid" of Palin, the truth is that, of course, we're not.  We actually want the woman to continue to broadcast her amazing ignorance so everyone can observe, with horror, the joke she truly is.

Hegemoron

Sarah Palin's ignorant imperialism.
By William Saletan

"Sarah Palin thinks Barack Obama is a wimp. She's been going around to Tea Party rallies, invoking the spirit of revolutionary Boston and castigating Obama for failing to exalt American power and punish our adversaries. She seems blissfully unaware that the imperial arrogance she's preaching isn't how the American founders behaved. It's how the British behaved, and why they lost. Palin represents everything the original Tea Party was against."

LENA HORNE June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

WARNING: To Those Who Continue to Hope for Mr. Obama's Failure, Don't Look at This Chart...

it will make your heads explode.  For the rest of us, it is definitely good news.  We still have to do better, but we need to acknowledge the encouraging trend. 

The highest increase in manufacturing jobs since 1998!

290,000 jobs added!  The biggest growth in 4 years!

John Boehner was not happy with the new jobs numbers.  He, along with other GOPers, is po'd because Americans are finding jobs, which will make it harder for the Republicans to run against Democrats.  It's all about winning elections for them, and screw the working people.  Boehner and his compatriots would rather see more Americans out of work than in jobs--that would be much better for them.

Sue covers this story as well over at her blog, Hellooooooo.....Mr. President, Are You Listening?




"In the early 1980s, the national unemployment rate actually rose to 10.8% -- higher than the max of 10.1% this recession hit in October. Yet, during the early-80s recession the percentage of unemployed who remained jobless for at least 27 weeks topped off at just 26% -- far lower than the 46% in April.


The reason for this high duration is likely due to the structural unemployment caused by some industries undergoing significant changes during this recession. Construction and anything else real estate related, in particular, stand out. The unemployment in most recessions is largely cyclical in nature. "

This long duration for the unemployed is a serious problem on many levels. It's obviously a huge problem for those jobless. As Derek noted earlier, it can hurt your job path, skills, and prospects to be unemployed for an extended period. Psychological harm can also result, as people may become more discouraged.