Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

~~~

~~~

It's not a problem when GOP presidents continue their vacations when Americans are killed.

It's not a problem when GOP presidents continue their vacations when Americans are killed.
Reagan continued to ride at his ranch when 62 Americans were killed by USSR. No one trashed Reagan at the time. Because IOKIYAR! (Click on image.)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

AL GORE COMPLETELY VINDICATED ON MASSEUSE ACCUSATION -- RIGHT WING BLOGGERS REMAIN SILENT -- NO APOLOGIES FOR THEIR SLANDEROUS POSTS



Rightwing bloggers, you gotta read them then wash your eyes with bleach.  They reported, passed judgement, and convicted Al Gore on the nonstory based on a discredited masseuse who didn't bother to press charges when the alleged incident happend 4 years ago. 


The winner of the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election as well as the Nobel Peace Prize and Oscar for his massively popular film, "An Inconvenient Truth," has been vindicated by the Portland, Oregon, police.  They've reported there is no there there.  But Holy Slander, Batman!  Did the absence of any proof stop the scandal mongering hyenas on the right?  No it didn't.  Here are some choice excepts from what passes as punditry on some rightwing blogs:

"he's a f***ing pig,

BUT it's like that Juanita Broaddrick woman who once accused Bill Clinton of raping her. The years go by -- "if I could save time in a bottle the first thing that I'd like to do" -- it's an arm of the VRWC, it'll amount to nada, certainly not anything a prosecutor could do anything with but the whole aim is to tarnish. Hatched up at Hannity's house with the aid of Mike Walker. Geez, you'd think with all he's done for the Planet can somebody please finish the guy off already? (memo to Napolitano, that's a sex'chal term). Ah the Chakras, the conservation of sexual energy, the Big O ain't the goal. If you want to put the best spin on it I'm into the Tantra."

Do we think this blogger will apologize for calling an innocent man a "f***ing pig?"   Don't hold your breath.  They attack like jackals first and when the facts come out to show they are wrong?


 ***crickets***

And this commenter implies, without a shred of evidence, that Mr. Gore is an adulterer:

"Isn't it strange that the Liberals who are so fast to attack the republicans when they misbehave are so quite on this Al Gore thing!!  Why haven’t usual progressive suspects mounted an attack on Al Gore?Why are so many liberal voices muted?  Republicans are attacked almost immediately for their adultery.. Why do I sense a bit of hypocrisy here?  If there were an Academy Award for Hypocrisy the Democrats would win every category."

Pardon me while I make an observation, but it seems to me that the right wingers are the ones who belong in the swine category, not Al Gore.  They took a story without all the facts being known and accused the former vice president of vile behavior and implied worse.  These minature Breitbarts show no shame or remorse for savaging an innocent man's reputation and spreading vicious lies about him.  There's a special place in hell, the Eighth Circle to be exact, for people who think it's sport to defame and besmirch other people's reputations.

Al Gore cleared of sex assault allegations in Portland

"Portland Police and the Multnomah County District Attorney's office have cleared Al Gore of criminal wrongdoing in the sex assault case filed by masseuse Molly Hagerty.


"After evaluating the materials submitted by PPB I have concluded that I agree with the assessment that a sustainable criminal case does not exist," said District Attorney Michael D. Schrunk, in a statement.


The case was submitted on July 27 for a review of possible criminal charges against Gore stemming from an incident alleged to have occurred during Gore's visit to Portland in October of 2006.


The complaining witness, Molly Hagerty, stated that she was sexually abused during a massage session at the Hotel Lucia when Gore was in Portland.

Gore was interviewed in July in San Francisco. He was adamant he did nothing wrong.

Hagerty failed a polygraph test during the course of the investigation, and there was no DNA evidence on the pants she claimed she wore during the alleged incident, according to investigators. "

Friday, July 30, 2010

HOPE AND CHANGE COME GRADUALLY



I'll be doing light posting over the next few days since I'm moving to a new apartment on Monday and don't know when Comcast will come to install my internet connection. 


I read Andrew Sullivan's blog almost every day, and he has another post with a reasoned and thoughtful perspective on the progress President Obama has made--against what I deem is spiteful resistance by the opposition party, while at the same time sustaining racial and religious insults and questions on his very citizenship.


Fortunately, history will shame those who seek to defame him and his family, and Mr. Obama will be just fine.  No one denies that passionate criticism is part of the American political culture, but the mud slinging and calumny--the nuttiness  is breath-taking.  The Iowa GOP, for example, wants to rewrite the 13th Amendment to what was rejected by the states in 1812 so that Mr. Obama will have his citizenship stripped from him for having accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.  That's just one example of the galloping insanity that has gripped the GOP--but never mind those loons.  Here are Sullivan's thoughts on what this remarkable man has accomplished so far.

Andrew Sullivan:

"I was never one who believed that Barack Obama could - in a mere two years - repair the enormous damage of decades of unfunded entitlement and defense spending, two disastrously conceived, off-budget and negligently prosecuted wars, a financial market collapse, the worst recession since the 1930s, two burst bubbles in tech and housing, and the importation of torture into the American way of war. Maybe I over-estimated how much the GOP might learn from their appalling record in the new millennium - but that would require an admission of failure that they seem incapable of.


Nonetheless, the sheer difficulties and resistance that Obama has met with - from the FNC propaganda channel to the balls-free liberal press to the utopian activist left and deranged radical right - is remarkable. But, as P.M. Carpenter notes, this is not an inherently bad thing. We need opposition - if a more intelligent and less cynical opposition than we now confront. And no real change has come to America without slowness and resistance and division - as its constitution requires. The filibuster has become, it seems to me, a promiscuously wielded impediment, but in real context, the huge shift Obama has already achieved is quite remarkable:"

"I direct your attention to American history, from early 19th-century social reforms to the decades-long battle for emancipation to the century's later political-bureaucratic reforms to TR and Wilson's Progressive Era to FDR's New Dealism and to the Great(er) Society envisioned by LBJ. Each level of sociopolitical progress was grinding and grueling and packed with half-measures -- because remember, the other side gets its say, too; plus the other side, notwithstanding our oft-proper ridicule, is not always without its own version of idealism, possessed just as passionately.
 
And now, Barack Obama's correction of a dreadful, 30-year pseudoconservative misadventure. Step by step. Piece by piece. Half-measures by half-measures, which in time will become 60-percent measures, then 80-percent measures ...
 
That, quite simply, is the way it is. Indeed, that's the way it's supposed to be. If genuine conservative genius there ever was, it came in the Founders' Burkean inspiration that true and lasting progress must pass the tests of peaceful struggle and tireless debate. Achieving a national consensus is hard, but it's necessary to progress' durability; vast and overanxious progress in a consensual void only insures its unraveling."


The rest is here...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Alan Turing

Fellow blogger Infidel753 has this video on Alan Turing up on his blog.  It needs to be seen by as many people as possible:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

AN OPEN LETTER TO SHIRLEY SHERROD

From Bill in Portland, Maine, via The daily kos:

Dear Mrs. Sherrod,

We were pleased to hear that the inflammatory and factually inaccurate charges of racism that were recently leveled against you via a selectively-edited video have been debunked as ludicrous. We agree that the person who posted the video is a cad, a fraud, a scalawag, a pillock, a roustabout, a ne'er-do-well, a nosey-parker and---if we may be so bold---a chaufferless canvas-sneaker-wearing nose picker. All apologies that have, or should, come your way on this matter are richly deserved.

As is the apology you owe us, Mrs. Sherrod.

Having listened to the entirety of your speech of 27 March, 2010, we find your comments against an entire class of Americans appalling. Specifically, you said, "[I]t's really about those who have versus those who don't. ... [T]he folks with money want to stay in power and, whether it's health care or whatever it is, they'll do what they need to do to keep that power, you know. It's always about money."

I might remind you, madam, that without such funds, we would have no Bentleys, no private jets, no solid-gold commodes, no summer mansions in the Hamptons, and no senators at our beck and call. No private academies for our children, no beluga caviar, no opening-night private-box seats, and certainly no Manolo Blahnik alligator-skin boots. It would be positively dull.

Furthermore, I wonder if you understand just how difficult it is to keep track of what you refer to as "money." The interest alone keeps our accountants working many more hours than we'd like, which, of course, means we have less to spend on the essentials listed above. "Having" is not as easy as it looks, I assure you.

The rest of the country may have let you off the hook, Mrs. Sherrod. But we have not and will not until you apologize for sullying our good name. To put it as bluntly as we can: you have burned our Gucci chaps.

Good day, madam.
I said...good day, madam!

Sincerely,
Mortimer Edward Excelsior "Lou" Winthorp IV, President
The National Society of Haves with Power


P.S. Raffle tickets now on sale for the NSHP's 5,000th anniversary gala. $100,000 each or five for $400,000. Fabulous prizes include a Tuscany villa, a free hidden offshore tax haven, and $1 million donated to the candidate of your choice. The more you buy the better your chances. Good luck!

Monday, July 26, 2010

GOPer: Tea Partiers Who Question President Obama's birth "DUMBASSES"

Well you got that one right Ken Buck!  You stated privately what all rational people already know.  Now grow some courage and say it publicly, then, perhaps, you can get the wackos in the Tea Party movement to see themselves for what you've labeled them:"Dumbasses"

"" Tea Party-backed Senate candidate in Colorado was caught on tape Friday referring to 'birthers' who question President Obama's citizenship as "dumbasses." Republican Ken Buck, who has harnessed Tea Party support to become the front-runner for the GOP Senate nomination, made the comment unsolicited to a Democratic staffer after an event in Pueblo, Colorado.

He was unaware that the conversation was being recorded.

"Will you tell those dumbasses at the Tea Party to stop asking questions about birth certificates while I'm on the camera," Buck said to the staffer. "God, what am I supposed to do?" 


Buck told the Denver Post he regretted the language he used, but maintained that he has become frustrated by so-called 'birthers' who question the validity of Obama's birth certificate.
Buck said he considers 'birthers' to be a distraction.
"After 16 months of being on the campaign trail, I was tired and frustrated that I can't get that message through that we are going to go off a cliff if we don't start dealing with this debt," Buck said.

[skip]

"He's a self-proclaimed Tea Partier who trashes tea partiers when he thinks no one is looking," a Norton spokesman said in a statement.

This is the second time in a week that Buck has been caught on camera making controversial statements. Last week, video surfaced of Buck jokingly telling a questioner at an event that they should vote for him because "he doesn't wear high heels."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"SHIRLEY SHERROD AND THE MYTH OF REVERSE RACISM" a post by Sheria

The Swash Zone contributor, Sheria, has written a thoughtful post about the Sherrod debacle.  Sheria exposes Breitbart and FAUX New for what they truly are:  purveyors of crass sensationalism and lies.



Shirley Sherrod and the Myth of Reverse Racism


As shameful as the firing of Shirley Sherrod based on false allegations was, it is also shameful how quick folks are to blame the Obama administration. Black folks who play in the white arena have always had to bend over backwards to combat accusations of reverse racism. The NAACP and the Obama administration acted quickly to refute any support of what appeared to be blatantly discriminatory statements by a federal employee; if it had turned out to be an accurate assessment and the NAACP and the administration had not swiftly condemned what much of white America is quick to call "reverse racism," then the condemnation of Obama and the NAACP would have been loudly proclaimed. Like it or not, it boils down to race. Being black in this society is a constant balancing act.

The Obama administration and the NAACP have publicly apologized to Ms. Sherrod. The Agricultural Department has offered Sherrod a new job. However, Andrew Breitbart, the imitation Glenn Beck, and the poster of the heavily edited video that made it appear that Sherrod was a supporter of racial discrimination, hasn't apolgized. In his appearance on Nightline Wednesday night, Breitbart relished the tempest that he stirred up with the selective clip of Sherrod's speech, a speech that rather than promoting racism was about racial reconciliation. Sherrod used her initial reaction to a white farmer's request for assistance 24 years ago when she worked for a nonprofit that assisted farmers to make her point that race should not be the issue and that the significant divide was haves and have nots, regardless of race. The white farmer and his wife, Roger and Eloise Spooner, were among the first to speak in defense of Sherrod, crediting her efforts 24 years ago with saving their farm.

However, Andrew Breitbart is not interested in truth but sensationalism and controversey. Appearing on Good Morning America after the entire video speech had been widely released, Breitbart appeared delighted with the hornet's nest that he intentionally stirred up, particularly the discomfort that it caused the Obama administration and the NAACP. Of course, he may have cause for delight. Instead of widely condemning Breitbart and later Fox News for choosing to release the highly edited clip, the attention has been on chastising the Obama administration for reacting too quickly to the video clip.

I wish that the administration had waited and gathered more facts. I wish that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack had given Sherrod the opportunity to explain. It appears that CNN the Atlanta-Journal Constitution used good old fashioned journalism and interviewed Sherrod and the Spooners. Evidently, Breitbart knows about as much about real journalism as I do about building a space shuttle.

I don't believe that the Obama administration is above reproach in all of this. I want this administration to stop letting Beck, Breitbart, and the Tea Party play the tune and call the steps and I think that it is important that we send a clear message that we actively support soundly kicking purveyors of lies and half-truths in their yellow journalism keyboards. However, at the same time, we must stop allowing these rabid, lying, rabble rousing wingnut lunatics to perpetrate their faux news, then sit back and laugh while progressives eat their young.

The Obama administration acted rashly based on intentionally misleading information and the apology offered to Ms. Sherrod was absolutely necessary. However, progressives need to turn our attention to the real culprits, Andrew Breitbart and Fox News. Divide and conquer is an old adage but it still applies unless we refuse to be distracted by lies and distortions from the real issues.

A recap of the story by newsy.com:

pp


Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by Newsy.com

Friday, July 23, 2010

SARAH THE QUITTER WHINES ABOUT THE MEANIE MEDIA AND THEIR REFUSAL TO KISS HER ASS



Complaining and whining and bitching about how unfair the media that have reported her brain farts and every twisted, mangled sentence she throws together to make an English speaking American weep--braying about how unfair the media are as they incessantly write about this beauty contest runner-up who quit her job to spend more time with her money and has given the word grifter a bad name, Sarah Palin is pissymoaning again.  She says her family is off limits for the media until she drags Trig and Piper around with her for every cynical political photo-op and uses her unwed pregnant daughter as a political prop to show the country what a good mother she's been, giving the media every opportunity to photograph her family when it suits her political aims.


Yes, that Sarah Palin who has never sat down for a serious interview with a serious interviewer to give her views on domestic and foreign policies, the only vice presidential candidate in recent American history to have been too dumb to be able to do so. 


Yes, that Sarah Palin who maintains her fame through a facebook page and tweeting her "ideas" written for her by a staffer, and who had a ghost writter crank out a "book" in 4 months.  What a wonder woman.  Yes.  That Sarah Palin whose followers say "She's one of us!"  That Sarah Palin who makes millions of dollars a year now--just like Barbra Streisand, Sean Penn, and all the rest of those Hollywood types who fly around in private jets with entourages following them to clean up after their messes.  Sarah is one of them now.  She is not a hockey mom, or a pitbull with lipstick.  She's an over paid celebrity--a grown up Brittany Spears without the charm or talent.


"Sarah Palin tells the Daily Caller that she's intentionally avoiding media outlets she says burned her as a vice presidential candidate in 2008.


No, Sarah.  Wrong again.  You burned yourself with your witless, confused answers to simple questions a fifth grader would have been able to answer.  But we've come to understand that certain members of your party--Breitbart comes to mind--blame other people for their flaws and their withering stupidity.

Said Palin: "With the shackles off, I relish my freedom to call it like I see it, while starving the media beast that was devouring the false reports about me, my staff and my loved ones."

Starving the media, Sarah?  As I noted, they print every brain fart you emit.  And frankly, my dear, it is getting noxious around here.  False reports about you and your loved ones?  Were these reports written while you were carrying your special needs child around like a rag doll prop so that the media could photograph you with him?  Or when you paraded your unwed pregnant daughter in front of America?  Which false report do you speak of?

She added: "The lamestream media is no longer a cornerstone of democracy in America. They need help. They need to regain their credibility and some respect. There are some pretty sick puppies in the industry today. They really need help."
 
Credibility?  You mean like telling America that the Health Care bill included death panels?  That you were against the bridge to nowhere, when in fact you were for it?  When you took an oath of office to carry out your duties as the elected Governor of Alaska, then arbitrarily left to enrich yourself?  Are you kidding us lady? 
 
In addition to being an overpaid millionair celeb, she's a crafty liar.  Not unusual for prominent people in American culture.  She's really, really good at her lying:
 
FROM ANDREW SULLIVAN'S "THE ODD LIES OF SARAH PALIN:"
Palin lied when she said the dismissal of her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, had nothing to do with his refusal to fire state trooper Mike Wooten; in fact, the Branchflower Report concluded that she repeatedly abused her power when dealing with both men.
 
Palin lied when she claimed that Alaska has spent "millions of dollars" on litigation related to her ethics complaints; in fact, that figure is much, much lower, and she had initiated the most expensive inquiry.
She lied when she denied that the Alaska Independence Party supports secession and denied that her husband had been a member; in fact, even the McCain campaign noted that the party's very existence is based on secession and that Todd was a member for seven years.
Poor pitiful Sarah.  The media have been such meanies to her, so mean that they've published every contorted, idiotic piece of drivel that falls from those pitbull lipsticked lips and have made her a Fat Cat celeb, who demands to be treated as though she were an important American icon instead of the pathetic joke that she most assuredly is.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ANDREW SULLIVAN WEIGHS IN ON THE BREITBART/FAUX NEWS RACISM SCANDAL


From Andrew Sullivan's blog:

"I have not been immune to feeling frustrated and depressed by the sheer power and energy of the Fox News/Drudge/Breitbart media onslaught against anything to do with Obama. As in the campaign, I've longed in my gut for the administration to lash back with as much vehemence as Fox lashes forward. I've also winced when the Obamaites have appeared totally craven in responding to the context-free narrative many on the denialist, angry right have been pushing. (But at least Vilsack apologized which makes him much more of a man than Breitbart.)


But I've learned over time to respect the canniness of this president's restraint. His gift is patience and perseverance and allowing his enemies to destroy themselves. And I suspect this Breitbart racial smear may be a moment when, once again, you see how Obama outsmarts his opponents. I mean: when you examine it, you see that a woman who actually exemplifies honesty about race and overcomes prejudice was cynically and recklessly used to create a false notion that this administration is racist toward whites, an old and disgusting canard devised by the Becks and Hannitys and Limbaughs in the tradition of Wallace and Atwater and McCarthy.

But - and here's the thing - to the credit of many on the right (and, of course, good old Shep Smith of Fox News), this episode has led to the first real rift in the lock-step of the right-wing noise machine. I know this was so egregious a smear it was indefensible. And I know, as David Frum has noted, that many conservatives tried to deflect blame onto Obama, and the media - led by the cynic Lloyd Grove - has joined the pack. But nonetheless, many on the right took Breitbart on, from NRO outward. This great injustice has, to anyone with a fair mind, deeply damaged Fox News, deeply discredited the Breitbart noise machine, and will render every new soundbite and video issued by FNC more suspect.

It was, in other words, an over-reach from hubris. And I suspect that this over-reach is not just in the rightwing media but in what's left of conservative political activism. I do not believe, for example, that the blatant religious bigotry shown by Palin and Gingrich on the Cordoba complex near Ground Zero will wear well with Americans. George W. Bush rightly insisted in distinguishing all Muslims from the Jihadist mass murderers who claim to represent them. That distinction - a core element of basic fairness - is vital not just for domestic peace but for success in defanging Jihadist nihilism. And respecting the overwhelming majority of American Muslims who seek only to worship their God in a land dedicated to religious liberty is something, I believe, that will outlast the cheap demagoguery of the current far right that has captured the GOP.

The public may be frustrated by the lack of progress in the economy, and who can blame them? But they are still looking for solutions more than someone to blame. And most are fair enough to understand that Obama has no magic wand, that these problems are bone-deep, and that he has passed actual, substantive legislation that fulfilled clear campaign pledges in an election he won handily. Yes, they are queasy about government growth. So am I. But only government can rescue a free-market capitalist system that destroyed itself - and millions of jobs; deep recessions require short-term fiscal boosts; the health insurance reform was moderate and centrist and you have to have a heart of stone to sit back and watch so many suffer with such waste and cruelty; and there is a steadiness in Obama that no one should under-estimate. Here we have a black president presiding over 10 percent unemployment and his ratings, in a deeply polarized polity, are still above Reagan's at this juncture in a similar long-term economic crisis.

He avoided a second Great Depression. The bank bailout, however noxious, worked. GM may soon be returning a profit to the government. Health insurance reform will stick and, with careful oversight, could begin to curtail runaway healthcare costs. Financial re-regulation just passed. Two new Supreme Court Justices are in place after failed attempts at culture war demagoguery. Crime - amazingly - has not jumped with the recession. America is no longer despised abroad the way it was; torture has been ended; relations with Russia have improved immensely; Iran's regime is more diplomatically and economically isolated than in its entire history; even the Greater Israel chorus has been challenged. Moreover, if the House goes Republican this fall, it renders a second Obama term as likely as Clinton's became (how many Independents would want to hand over the government to Palin and the current GOP in Congress?). On the economy, the employment outlook remains bleak - but not desperate if you look at the long run:"
The Fed expects the economy to grow this year by 3 to 3.5 percent, picking up only slightly, to 3.5 to 4.5 percent, in 2011 and 2012. The unemployment rate is projected to drop to 7 to 7.5 percent by the end of 2012 — still far higher than the 5 to 5.3 percent that the Fed now considers to be full employment.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SHIRLEY SHERROD, AMERICAN HERO; ANDREW BREITBART: RACIST; FOX NEWS LIARS

Andrew Breitbart is a despicable human being.  He took part of a speech Shirley Sherrod gave over 20 years ago, and edited it to make it appear that she is a racist.*

None of it is true. Nothing.  Breitbart is a dirty rotten scoundrel and should be shunned by every decent human being.

*UPDATE: Like all cowards, the dirty trickster, Breitbart claims a "source" edited the video--he didn't do it. 

Breitbart employs dirty politics alla Lee Atwood and attacked, with the help of the hyenas at FAUX News, a great American, an innocent American.

What is wrong with the GOP that they tolerate a scumbag like Breitbart?  He was involved in the fake ACORN pimp/prostitute video, and again he used his slanderous dirty tricks to attack an innocent woman.

Ms. Sheerrod will be vindicated. 

There's a special place in hell for vermin like Breitbart and the fascists who run FAUX News.

FROM THINK PROGRESS: 

"As it becomes increasingly clear that the video that brought down former USDA official Shirley Sherrod’s career was deceptively edited to make her appear racist, the two white farmers she allegedly discriminated against vigorously defended her. The video shows how Sherrod “racially discriminates against a white farmer,” BigGovernment.com owner Andrew Breitbart claimed. But that farmer, Roger Spooner, and his wife Eloise, flatly denied that this afternoon on CNN, telling host Rick Sanchez, there is “[n]o way in the world” Sherrod is a racist:


SANCHEZ: In all your time knowing Shirley Sherrod, has there ever been anything about her, either through her attitude, her words, her opinions or behaviors that would lead you to believe that she is in any way a racist?

ROGER SPOONER: No way in the world. No way. No way. I don’t even want to talk about it. It don’t make sense. She was just so nice to us as — she didn’t — there wasn’t no — there wasn’t no racism attitude at all in it. Heck no. … They don’t know what they’re talking about. Let me say. They don’t know what they’re talking about, if you want to know my opinion.

ELOISE SPOONER: She always treated us really good. She was nice mannered, thoughtful, friendly. Good person.

CNN also reported that Sherrod’s father had been murdered by a white farmer in an apparently racially-motivated crime, which a grand jury refused to pursue. Asked how she dealt with that, Sherrod said, “what I had to do was turn that into a positive. And I did it by devoting my life to working for change.” “I made a commitment the night my father died that I would not leave the South and that I would stay here and work to make a difference,” she added. Watch a compilation:"





Breitbart’s New Conspiracy Theory: The ‘Purported’ Farmer’s Wife Is A Plant


Two white farmers who were supposedly discriminated against by former USDA official Shirley Sherrod spoke out on her behalf yesterday, saying “no way in the world” is she racist.

But last night, the right-wing blogger who instigated this faux controversy questioned the white farmers’ honesty and repeated his false racist charges. In interviews with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and CNN, the Iron City, GA couple Roger and Eloise Spooner described Sherrod as a “friend for life” and a “good person” who helped save their farm. Speaking with CNN’s John King, right-wing provocateur Andrew Breitbart challenged Eloise Spooner’s “purported” story, accusing King of trusting Sherrod “that the ‘farmer’s wife’ is the farmer’s wife”:

You tell me as a reporter how CNN put on a person today who purported to be the farmer’s wife? What did you do to find out whether or not that was the actual farmer’s wife? I mean, if you’re going to accuse me of a falsehood, tell me where you’ve confirmed that had this incident happened 24 years ago. [...]

You’re going off of her word that the farmer’s wife is the farmer’s wife?

Of course, CNN wasn’t just going off Shirley Sherrod’s word, but also the word of Eloise and Roger Spooner themselves. Just for the record, if the “purported” Spooners are a hoax, they’re a quite involved one:


– Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Marcus Garner confirmed to ThinkProgress that the paper independently found Eloise Spooner for her interview.

– Eloise and Roger H. Spooner are listed in the Iron City, GA phone book.

– The Spooners’ 62nd wedding anniversary, according to a blog post of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, was celebrated at the 2009 Tennessee Truck Show.

– Roger Spooner has been cited in “mainstream” news reports, including a 2002 Associated Press story in the Lexis-Nexis database, claiming to be a “survivor” of the USS Yorktown at anniversaries of the Battle of Midway, which purportedly happened in 1942.

– In a 2009 article, USS Yorktown survivor Roger Spooner claimed to have “discharge papers” from the Navy in his “wallet.”


In his desperation to defend his ugly tactics, Breitbart is resorting to dragging an innocent family’s name through the mud


We can only hope that this scandal will ruin Breitbart. He makes Goebbels look like an amateur.

(O)CT(O)PUS over at The Swash Zone reports on this story as well.  Please read.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

CONSERVATIVE SCHOLAR BLASTS TEA BAGGER GOPers ON THE NEW BLACK PANTHERS/A.G. HOLDER CONTROVERSY--THERE IS NONE.

Lots of rabid rightwing blogs are still honking mad over this issue.  They won't let it go, because they believe it will damage the Obama administration.  Let's read what someone who knows a bit more than those on the Right who keep blogging about this has to say:


"A scholar whom President George W. Bush appointed as vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Abigail Thernstrom has a reputation as a tough conservative critic of affirmative action and politically correct positions on race.


But when it comes to the investigation that the Republican-dominated commission is now conducting into the Justice Department’s handling of an alleged incident of voter intimidation involving the New Black Panther Party — a controversy that has consumed conservative media in recent months — Thernstrom has made a dramatic break from her usual allies.


“This doesn’t have to do with the Black Panthers; this has to do with their fantasies about how they could use this issue to topple the [Obama] administration,” said Thernstrom, who said members of the commission voiced their political aims “in the initial discussions” of the Panther case last year.

“My fellow conservatives on the commission had this wild notion they could bring Eric Holder down and really damage the president,” Thernstrom said in an interview with POLITICO.

The criticism has focused attention not just on Thernstrom, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, but on the partisan nature of the Civil Rights Commission and on a story that, like the controversy over the anti-poverty group ACORN, has raged almost completely outside the mainstream media.


The facts of the case are relatively simple. Two men were captured on a video standing outside a polling place in a black Philadelphia neighborhood on Election Day in 2008. One of the men had a nightstick, if an unclear agenda — though a member of the black nationalist New Black Panther Party, he had earlier professed loathing for the Democratic "puppet" candidate, Barack Obama, who went on to overwhelmingly carry that precinct. 

Three Republican poll monitors filed complaints of intimidation — itself a federal crime — but no voters attested to being turned away. The Justice Department, while Bush was still president, investigated the incident and later, after Obama took office, decided that "the facts and the law did not support pursuing" the claims against the party and against a second, unarmed man, Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said.
But the issue galvanized long-running conservative complaints — including by former Bush administration lawyers — that the government doesn’t take black racism seriously, and the incident has become a huge source of controversy among conservatives.

Fox News and other conservative media outlets have turned the Justice Department’s handling of the case into the subject of the sort of intense, contained interest that’s becoming increasingly common in an age of polarized and ideological media.


The liberal group Media Matters has counted 95 segments on Fox at least partially devoted to the story, much of it driven by “America Live” host Megyn Kelly, who focused on it during 45 segments, including one that discussed whether Fox’s own coverage had been racist.


Fox News did not return calls asking for comment on its coverage."

[skip]

Thernstrom, who had openly mocked the commission’s hearing on the case, put her dissent in writing last week in National Review, where she said the incident was “racial theater of very minor importance” and “small potatoes.”

And other conservatives have weighed in on her side.

“There are more important issues to go after Attorney General Holder on even in terms of the voting rights section itself,” said Linda Chavez, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, who was staff director of the Civil Rights Commission in the Reagan years and called the video “damning” but relatively minor.

 
You won't read any of this on the conservative blogs, since it is contrary to their narrative that Mr. Obama is ruining the country.  And besides that, it would take away another dry bone they love to chew on--believing minorities who have been discriminated against since the founding of this nation are reverse racists.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

HOW RONALD REAGAN SOWED THE SEEDS OF AMERICA'S DECLINE


No, we're not going to blame Bush here, although he deserves a lot of blame for the wretched problems we face now.  No.  Let's look at where the decline actually started--it started one "Morning in America," and has, except for Clinton's 8 years, been a slow descent into Debtor Nation status.  We don't know if Mr. Obama's policies can  undo the damage done by what Mr. Reagan started, because it's still too early in his presidency.  We DO know that the Obama administration has added jobs and we are in a babystep recovery of sorts, that is not as strong as I had hoped it would be.  A 9.5% unemployment is not good, but it is better than what it was under Reagan in the second year of his first term, when he was still blaming President Carter for the deep recession the US was in.

One other thing.  Mr. Reagan's approval ratings were in the low 40s.  And yet he went on to a second term.

"Ronald Reagan's approval rating was at 42 percent heading into his first midterm. In October 1982, the jobless rate moved from 9.8 to 10.1 percent. It was the highest rate since 1940. Reagan's recession, like today, was the worst downturn since the Great Depression. And this is a key reason comparisons between the two cycles have proven irresistible for many analysts.


That October 1982, the Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 57 percent of the voters said the country was on the "wrong track" (roughly equivalent to today's RCP "wrong track" average). Democrats began predicting 30 to 40-seat gains in the House. But Republican losses in the House were limited to 28 seats and the GOP retained its Senate majority."--SOURCE

 It's a bit early for the GOP to be crowing about anything, because Mr. Reagan proved that bad economic times can turn around.  Mr. Reagan also saw gains in Congress by the Democrats, which is normal, and will probably happen in November--the Republicans will gain seats in the House and Senate. 

But the polls continue to show that even though Mr. Obama's numbers are down a bit [latest 48% approval  +/- 3%--so he's about at 50% approval], he is head and shoulders above the public's opinion of the Congressional Democrats and far above Congressional Republicans, who are almosts at rock bottom in the opinion polls.

Now on to this piece I read on how President Reagan got us to where we are today:

"It has been over a year now since "The Great Recession" officially began, and yet even a basic understanding of the real causes of America's economic problems has still not emerged in the public. Indeed new movements have emerged touting as solutions to our current economic problems many of the very policy ideas that are actually the causes of our current economic problems. The rallying cry of conservatives across America has been a "return to the policies of Reagan!" The claim of many American conservatives has been that Ronald Reagan faced similar economic conditions when he was elected, and he was able to turn the economy around, so we need to return to the principles he used to reinvigorate the American economy.


The reality is that the economic policies of the "Reagan Revolution" have been in effect for the past three decades, and it is these very policies that have caused the economic situation that America finds itself in today.

During his first presidential campaign Ronald Reagan campaigned against government spending, he campaigned on reducing the national debt, he campaigned for individual responsibility, and he campaigned for broader American capital ownership.

The effects of his policies, however, had all of the exact opposite effects, and yet amazingly even today the vast majority of all Americans, especially conservatives, still believe Reagan's rhetoric and not the real effects of his policies.

In 1980 Reagan campaigned against what he called "out of control" deficit spending by the federal government. He identified the source of this "out of control" spending largely as social welfare programs. Shortly after taking office in 1981 Reagan gave a televised speech to the country in which he stated:

'By 1960 our national debt stood at $284 billion. Congress in 1971 decided to put a ceiling of 400 billion on our ability to borrow. Today the debt is 934 billion. ...

Here you see two trend lines. The bottom line shows the increase in tax revenues. The red line on top is the increase in government spending. Both lines turn upward, reflecting the giant tax increase already built into the system for this year 1981, and the increases in spending built into the '81 and '82 budgets and on into the future. As you can see, the spending line rises at a steeper slant than the revenue line. And that gap between those lines illustrates the increasing deficits we've been running, including this year's $80 billion deficit. Now, in the second chart, the lines represent the positive effects when Congress accepts our economic program. Both lines continue to rise, allowing for necessary growth, but the gap narrows as spending cuts continue over the next few years until finally the two lines come together, meaning a balanced budget. I am confident that my administration can achieve that. At that point tax revenues, in spite of rate reductions, will be increasing faster than spending, which means we can look forward to further reductions in the tax rates....

Our aim is to increase our national wealth so all will have more, not just redistribute what we already have which is just a sharing of scarcity. We can begin to reward hard work and risk-taking, by forcing this Government to live within its means. Over the years we've let negative economic forces run out of control. We stalled the judgment day, but we no longer have that luxury. We're out of time. ...

We can leave our children with an unrepayable massive debt and a shattered economy, or we can leave them liberty in a land where every individual has the opportunity to be whatever God intended us to be. All it takes is a little common sense and recognition of our own ability. Together we can forge a new beginning for America.'--Ronald Reagan: Address to the Nation on the Economy, Feb. 5, 1981

The irony of this speech is that the national debt was not out of control at all in 1981, in fact the national debt was at the lowest point it has ever been since World War II in 1980. In the speech Reagan cited national debt figures in raw dollar amounts, unadjusted for inflation and not tied to GDP. Those figures are essentially worthless and no economist would ever use them as a measure of the national debt. But presenting the national debt as a problem was a means of justifying significant cuts in domestic spending, which he framed as "redistribution".

CONTINUE READING HERE.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

GLENN BECK FOR PREZNIT?

WARNING:  Do not let small children see this video.  It will scar their tender psyches for life, and they will never want to look at our American flag evah, evah, again!

The Beckerhead has his very own Tammy Faye look-alike to shill for him and to convince us all that he should run for president.  Why is he qualified?  Because he dosn't want to be president--just like George Washington didn't want to be president!  So Glenn Beck is just like Geroge Washington, therefore that makes him qualified to be president!






But we really want the Twitter from Wasilla to get the GOP nomination and choose the brilliant Glenn, as her running mate.  Mamma Grizzley is way more qualified than Beckerhead to run this country, since she has the answer to all our nation's problems and is happy to meet, unscripted with any journalist or interviewer who will ask her probing, complex questions on foreign and domestic issues.

Except she won't because she can't.  And why should she when her adoring fans think she's the bestest tweeter in America, and really, that's what we need in a preznit.  

A Mamma Grizzley Tweeter.  You go Sarah, and take Glenn with you. 


Monday, July 12, 2010

THE NEW BLACK PANTHER CASE DROPPED BY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

One can find any number of rightwing bloggers spittle-flecking over this non-issue, and reporting it without knowing the facts.  That's not news.  Most of these blogs rant about issues that have no basis in fact, and when facts are produced, they delete them and call them B.S., because for rightwingers, the truth is B.S. LOL!

If you're getting your information from rightwing blogs or FOX News, you're not getting the facts.

Here's what ACTUALLY happened in the Black Panther "intimidation" case:

Bush DOJ decided New Black Panthers no major case


5:12 pm July 12, 2010, by ctucker

"Several of you have clamored for me to say something about the alleged voter intimidation case in Philadelphia, which involves a thuggish group who call themselves the “New Black Panthers.” (While I was no fan of the original Black Panthers, they don’t deserve to have their reputation further befouled by this group. The two groups are in no way related.)


I was loathe to comment since I know that no rational discussion will follow. How could it? It was clear from the beginning that this was not a case of voter intimidation against anyone who might vote for John McCain. As many observers noted on that day, no matter how badly those two New Black Panters were behaving (and the police were called and responded), it’s a HEAVILY DEMOCRATIC PRECINCT. As blogger Ben Smith noted way back then, “You don’t typically intimidate your own voters.”

But solid reporting from Media Matters and Adam Serwer of The American Prospect ought to put this nonsense to rest (it won’t, but it should). The charges against the New Black Panthers were downgraded by the Bush Department of Justice:

The decision not to file a criminal case occurred before Obama was even in office.

This means that the case was downgraded to a civil case 11 days before Obama was inaugurated, 26 days before Eric Holder became attorney general, and about nine months before Thomas Perez was confirmed as head of the Civil Rights Division."

Do we need to repeat this?  Let me say this really, really slowly so that the hysterical bloggers on the right who spread slander and lies about Mr. Obama on this issue can understand:

"...the case was downgraded to a civil case 11 days before Obama was inaugurated, 26 days before Eric Holder became attorney general, and about nine months before Thomas Perez was confirmed as head of the Civil Rights Division."


Keep reading those idiotic rightwing blogs and keep yourself uninformed.



From Media Matters:

# Adams has admitted that he does not have first-hand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions that he is citing to advance his accusations;


# The Bush administration’s Justice Department — not the Obama administration — made the decision not to pursue criminal charges against members of the New Black Panther Party for alleged voter intimidation at a polling center in Philadelphia in 2008;


# The Obama administration successfully obtained default judgment against Samir Shabazz, a member of the New Black Panther Party carrying a nightstick outside the Philadelphia polling center on Election Day 2008;


# The Bush administration DOJ chose not to pursue similar charges against members of the Minutemen, one of whom allegedly carried a weapon while harassing Hispanic voters in Arizona in 2006;


# No voters have come forward to claim that they were intimidated from voting on account of the New Black Panthers standing outside the polling center in 2008;

So, no matter how many times J. Christian Adams declares that the Obama administration refuses to protect the rights of white people — and no matter how many times Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh repeat it — it’s not true."

Friday, July 9, 2010

GOOD FOR MASSACHUSETTS. LET'S HOPE OTHER STATES FOLLOW OUR LEAD



Federal Judge In Boston Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

BOSTON — The federal law banning gay marriage is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define the institution and therefore denies married gay couples some federal benefits, a federal judge ruled Thursday in Boston.


U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro ruled in favor of gay couples’ rights in two separate challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, a 1996 law that the Obama administration has argued for repealing. The rulings apply to Massachusetts but could have broader implications if they’re upheld on appeal.


The state had argued the law denied benefits such as Medicaid to gay married couples in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions have been legal since 2004.


Tauro agreed and said the act forces Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens in order to be eligible for federal funding in federal-state partnerships.


The act “plainly encroaches” upon the right of the state to determine marriage, Tauro said in his ruling on a lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Martha Coakley. In a ruling in a separate case filed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Tauro ruled the act violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.


“Congress undertook this classification for the one purpose that lies entirely outside of legislative bounds, to disadvantage a group of which it disapproves. And such a classification the Constitution clearly will not permit,” Tauro wrote.

[skip]

The Justice Department had argued the federal government had the right to set eligibility requirements for federal benefits — including requiring that those benefits go only to couples in marriages between a man and a woman.

Opponents of gay marriage said they were certain the rulings would be overturned on appeal.

Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, called Tauro’s ruling “judicial activism” and said Tauro was a “rogue judge.” Gay marriage advocates will keep pushing their agenda in the courts, she said, but noted voters consistently have rejected gay marriage at the ballot box, including in a recent California vote.

“We can’t allow the lowest common denominator states, like Massachusetts, to set standards for the country,” Lafferty said.

Lowest common denominator states like Massachusetts?  Well Massachusetts does have the lowest divorce rate, but after Washington DC, it has the highest number of graduate degree holders in the country.
 
"Andrea Sheldon Lafferty is the Executive Director of the Traditional Values Coalition, working from the group's offices in Washington, D.C. She is also the daughter of the organization's chairman, Lou Sheldon.



Like her father and the TVC, she is opposed to LGBT rights. She has argued that, among other things, the majority of Americans oppose the "inappropriate, immoral, and invalid" legalization of same-sex marriage.

A majority of Americans DO NOT OPPOSE gay marriaages. 
She's a liar.

TVC is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.


Her father, Lou Sheldon, was an associate of Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist jailed for influence peddling. Sheldon worked with Abramoff to lobby members of the US Congress to kill the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. Abramoff directed his client, eLottery, to direct $25,000 in payments to Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition.


The TVC has also been linked to the Mariana Islands worker abuse scandal. The organization was used by Abramoff to pay for the trip of at least one member of Congress to visit the island, then-Congressman Bob Schaffer. The Denver Post reported that the TVC paid the $13,000 travel bill for the trip, organized by Abramoff's lobbying firm.[1]

Abramoff's lobbying team would prepare questions and "factual backup" for friendly lawmakers. Trips to the island for congressmen and staff would be a key tool to "build permanent friends," the memo said.

The congressional junkets to the Mariana Islands were designed to build support in Congress among Republican lawmakers to block labor and immigration reforms at the islands, which had been found to harbor worker abuse and forced abortions among immigrant workers. The trips involved hotel stays and parasailing trips."

 It appears that Lafferty needs to look in her own backyard for a "low common denominator."  Incredible hypocrite and hate-monger.  She will fail in her miserable crusade to deny Americans their equal rights.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

GOD, GUNS, AND BOBBY


In his rush to out-Heston Heston and establish his bona fides as a 2nd Amendment Keeper of the Purity Flame of Gun Oath Keepers [and as a potential Republican candidate for President of the USofA], the governor of Louisiana, Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, has signed into law a measure that will allow god-fearin', Jesus-lovin' church men and women to become pistol packin' Presbyterians


Yep.

After communal prayers, readings from the Holy Bible, and heavenly hymns, if Brother Huck and Sister Sarah want to shoot a round for Jesus, Piyush has said it is their God-given 2nd Amendment right to do so! Praise Jaysus!

What better place than the House of God is there to introduce a weapon, a handgun for Chrissake! whose only purpose is to allow a steel object to rip into flesh and bone, Oh wait, people own guns TO PRACTICE TARGET SHOOTING! and to protect themselves from trrrrrrists, and to feel that cold hard steel in their soft fleshy palms. Yeah Baby! And God knows there are passels of trrrrists to be found in a House of Worship where Hallelujah! will be heard between choruses of "REACH FOR THE SKIES!"

It's the Wild West in the Crazy South, bruthas and sistahs. Just gimme that ole time religion with the bread, the wine, the guns, and Bible thumping all mixed in with the Rapture and the Lake of Fire.


There'll be a hot time in God's House tonight!

YeeeeeeeeHAW!

And a big h/t to exDLB for Beat Farmers' "The Gun Sale at the Church."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

RUSH LIMBAUGH IS STILL A RACIST PIG



And the dittoheads who listen to this splatter of vomitous discharge are no better.  This is racism at its worst, and yet Americans keep this pig in business and have made him a wealthy, oily smear on American politics.

Limbaugh, apparently gone mad with envy and his richly deserved feelings of inadequacies, has only his racism and lies to counter what must eat at his maggot infested brain.

Mr. Obama is the President of the United States of America, the most powerful man in the world.

And Rush Limbaugh has a radio talk show.  He's rich, but so are people who deal in porn.

Do we see a pattern here in his remarks?  There's no doubt, this pig is a modern-day Lester Maddox.  The only difference is that Maddox used a hatchet as a menacing tool to underscore his racism; Limbaugh uses his tongue.


Limbaugh: Obama "wouldn't have been voted president if he weren't black"

Limbaugh: "If Obama weren't black he'd be a tour guide in Honolulu"

Limbaugh: Why was Michelle Obama not at Byrd's funeral? Because of her "authentic slave blood"? "We can only speculate"

"The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is little hope invested in [Donovan] McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve."

"We are being told that we have to hope [Obama] succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles ... because his father was black."

"I do believe" Obama is an "angry black guy."

"[I]n Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering."

"Obama's entire economic program is reparations."

Obama is "more African in his roots than he is American" and is "behaving like an African colonial despot."

"Obama has disowned his white half ... he's decided he's got to go all in on the black side."

Sotomayor "a reverse racist" appointed by Obama, "the greatest living example of a reverse racist."

Obama "wants us to have the same health care and plan that he had in Kenya" and "wants to be the black FDR."

100 degrees in Boston today



"What dreadful Hot weather we have!—It keeps one in a continual state of Inelegance." --Jane Austen ...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS ACHIEVED MORE IN 17 MONTHS THAN PRESIDENTS CARTER AND CLINTON DID IN 12 YEARS

So says Peter Beinart at the Daily Beast.  Despite the irrational spittle-flecked, lie-filled, moronic rants found on certain radical rightwing blogs, the facts are that Mr. Obama has been, and is, one of our most successful presidents, even at this early point in his presidency.  History scholars have already designated him in the top 20 of our best presidents, in 15th place, three notches ahead of Ronald Reagan.  And he's only 17 months into his first term. 

If one reads only rightwing blogs and their interminable whining and egregious lying, one would never learn the facts.  As we approach the holiday that celebrates America's independence, let us never forget the tyranny the colonists fought against. There is nothing more tyrannical than promoting vicious lies, distortions, and calumny against our American president.  One can disagree with Mr. Obama's policies and his style of governing, and one can be forceful and passionate in doing so.  But what I've seen on these execrable blogs is the deliberate use of lies and false accusations--essentially made-up merda; and then when confronted with facts, the bloggers  react with a seething fury and a refusal to acknowledge facts when presented with them.

Luckily for Mr. Obama, these jerks cause him no harm and their blogs serve only as vehicles for venting their well-deserved frustrations and fears.  Yawn.

Here's Peter Beinart's analysis of Mr. Obama's achievements [h/t to Infidel]:

"So he hasn’t plugged the leak, and his poll numbers are sagging. Truth is, Obama has exceeded in 17 months what Clinton and Carter achieved in a combined 12 years.


I know this is supposed to be Barack Obama’s summer of discontent. The oil spill is still gushing; the economy is still floundering; the Afghan war is deteriorating; Americans don’t find him so charming anymore. But have you noticed that when it comes to actual policy, he keeps racking up the wins? This week it was financial-regulatory reform. One can argue about whether the bill the Senate passed will truly change the way Wall Street operates, but off the top of your head, can you name a more significant piece of progressive legislation signed by either of the last two Democratic presidents? Neither can I. And that goes for Obama’s stimulus package and his health-care reform as well. All of which means that, legislatively at least, Obama has exceeded in 18 months what Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter achieved in a combined 12 years. By summer’s end, he’ll also have shepherded two young liberal justices on to the Supreme Court.

Even as Republicans claim political momentum, the country is in the midst of a major shift leftward when it comes to the role of government.

Even on the foreign-policy front, Obama has been meeting with success. He’s gotten Beijing to revalue its currency, which has been a goal of America’s China policy hands for several administrations now. He’s gotten China and Russia to back new United Nations sanctions against Iran, and he’s dramatically improved relations between Washington and Moscow, drawing Russia closer to the West and further from China, which once looked like its emerging strategic partner.

To be sure, the summer of 2010 could go down as the moment Obama doubled down on his dubious Afghan war strategy, bringing in David Petraeus and thus tipping the bureaucratic balance against a significant troop withdrawal next year. And it could go down as the moment when the oil spill and the recession lost him his majority in Congress. But even if Obama never manages another legislative victory, he’ll already have pulled off one of the most impressive opening acts in American political history. The question is why we’re paying so little attention.

The answer is that the media views policy through the lens of politics. Unless a policy victory brings political benefits—rising poll numbers, better prospects for the next elections—it is not treated as a big win. Thus, the Tea Party movement is considered an ominous sign for Obama, evidence that the country is turning against him. But the reason that the Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin crowd is so angry is that Obama has expanded the federal government’s relationship with the private sector in fundamental ways. In political terms, the Tea Party movement may be a sign of Obama’s weakened position, but in policy terms, it is a testament to his success. As shrewd conservatives like David Frum recognize, the current mood of Republican optimism is wildly misplaced. When Republicans refused to compromise with Obama on health care, they gambled that he wouldn’t, or couldn’t, push through reform with only Democratic support. Then, when he did, they insisted that he was destroying his chances of passing future legislation. Now he’s proved them wrong again. So what if Obama’s legislative success prompts a backlash that buys the GOP a few more seats this fall? As Frum has asked pointedly, was it a win for the Republicans because after Lyndon Johnson passed Medicare they picked up seats in the midterm elections of 1966?


The larger truth is this: Even as Republicans claim political momentum, the country is in the midst of a major shift leftward when it comes to the role of government. That shift is playing itself out from infrastructure to health care to finance and perhaps eventually to the environment. No one knows whether these shifts will revive the U.S. economy and lay the foundation for stable, broad-based growth, just as no one could predict the impact of the rightward turn in American policy in the early 1980s. Decades later, liberals and conservatives still disagree about whether Reagan’s reforms changed America for good or ill. What they don’t disagree about is the fact that they fundamentally changed America. Those changes made Reagan one of the most consequential presidents in American history. Eighteen months in, it’s a good bet that historians will say the same about Barack Obama."




Peter Beinart, senior political writer for The Daily Beast, is associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. His new book is The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, July 2, 2010

ROCK CRUSHES COULTER





Ann Coulter's been around for a long time.  A very long time.  She's famous for her mean-spirited and hateful rhetoric.  The conservatives adore this worn-out, stale demagogue for reasons known only to them.  I imagine they like her because they believe she "gets to liberals."  In fact she "gets" to us the way swine flue does:  It's a rotten nuisance we have to deal with from time to time, but some day it will go away forever. 

Coulter's wasted her education and squandered her reputation for fame and fortune.  The good news is that she's rarely seen on the teevee anymore, so we don't have to listen to her splenetic gum wagging; the bad news is that people still invite her to speak at colleges and universities.  Here's what one university president said about her:

"Coulter gets a lesson in hurling invective

Ann Coulter has a reputation for being a smart mouth with a thorough contempt for civil discourse - and a bewildering disinterest in actual evidence. For example, this is what she says about climate change:


"There are more reputable scientists defending astrology than defending 'global warming'."

As if she would know ....

But for pure smartness of mouth, you gotta love Allan Rock, the former Liberal cabinet minister who now sits as the President of the University of Ottawa. Rock, in commenting on his concerns that Coulter was going to speak at his university, offered this, just-released assessment:

"Ann Coulter is a mean-spirited, small-minded, foul-mouthed poltroon. She is ‘the loud mouth that bespeaks the vacant mind.'

“She is an ill-informed and deeply offensive shill for a profoundly shallow and ignorant view of the world. She is a malignancy on the body politic. She is a disgrace to the broadcasting industry and a leading example of the dramatic decline in the quality of public discourse in recent times."

h/t Desmogblog