Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

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Healthcare vs

Healthcare vs
Torture

Monday, November 29, 2010

FEARING FEAR ITSELF AND HOW IT MAKES SOME PEOPLE PROPOSE UNHINGED SOLUTIONS




UPDATE I BELOW

UPDATE II BELOW

As most of us know, undercover FBI agents arrested a naturalized Somali teen who believed he was involved with like-minded terrorists to set off a bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon. In fact, the FBI set the teen up and arrested him for his complicit actions in what he thought was a terrorist plot. He's been taken care of; no one was ever in danger, since the FBI set this up to ensnare those whom they believe would eagerly plot to do damage to America. Well done.



However, there are always those who, instead of congratulating FBI on their work in catching this potential killer, want law enforcement to break the laws, defile our Constitution, and act like outlaws themselves. How else to understand what was posted on a blog in reaction to the arrest of Mohamed Osman Mohamud.

"The parents of that little Somali bastard need to be deported. He needs to be put up against a wall and shot. The parents of Little Johnnie Jihad and Adam Gadahn should be banished as well. It makes me sick to my stomach that we call these people Americans. They are not Americans, they are a scabrous plague on the civilized world.


We put up with way too much in this country and it's time we stop before there is no more United States of America. Jihad against this country is treason and should be punished by death of the perp and deportation of the family.


We also need to stop all Muslim immigration. I know, the vast majority are good people, and it's a religion of peace, bla bla bla. President Bush told us so. The problem is, we're obviously incapable of sorting out the good from the bad. For the sake of our nation, we need to stop all Muslims at the border. All other civilized countries should do the same. There's trouble in Umma-Land, and only the followers of Muhammad can sort it out. Until then, we need to pull up the drawbridges and leave them to stew in their own fetid toilet."



Here's what really happened:

(CBS/AP) Last Updated 2:17 p.m. ET


"An Oregon student accused of attempting to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland was acting on his own initiative and not at the direction of any foreign terrorist organization, a law enforcement official said Saturday.


Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, hatched the plan on his own to use a cell phone to detonate what he believed was an explosive-filled van at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony Friday, according to the official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on a condition of anonymity.


The official said Mohamud was very committed to the plot and alone planned the details, including where to park the van for the maximum number of casualties.


Authorities say Mohamud sent bomb components to undercover FBI agents who he believed were assembling the explosive device, but the agents supplied a fake that Mohamud tried to detonate twice via his phone.

The public was never in danger, authorities said."

(For more details of this arrest and more information on how it impacted the Muslim community, go here for the NYTimes report.)


The blogger quoted above asserts that the only way to handle this crime is for the United States to take the teen out and shoot him--you know, like communist countries and dictatorships mete out punishment--and then throw his parents out of the country. (Funny, I don't remember any similar drastic punishment being suggested for Timothy McVeigh's parents after McVeigh's terrorist bombings, or even any such punishment suggested for the parents or relatives of recent individual terrorist actions by other natural born or naturalized American citizens.)

Of course the reaction of the blogger is knee-jerk and outrageous, an insult to people who value due process and other protections provided by the US Constitution--provided even to naturalized citizens.  How quickly the blogger leaped from wanting to shoot the arrested teen without affording him his rights under the Constitution to stopping all Muslims from immigrating to this country because some radical Muslims plot against us.  This blogger apparently has no faith in the intelligence and ability of America to deal with terrorist threats, and so the first reaction the blogger suggests is for America to become an outlaw nation when dealing with these threats, real or imagined.  And worse, to bar every Muslim, guilty or not, from ever entering this country--until when?  When there are no more terrorist threats?

Seriously.  The blogger expects the United States of America to punish all Muslims by refusing them entry into this country because a small percentage of them want to hurt us.

The ultimate irony is that the blogger who posted the above-mentioned item has, just below that post, one titled "Liberty."  I've read that this type of thinking is called cognitive dissonance, and I think that is what is in play with this particular blogger, since I think he believes in the US Constitution, and he actually wrote a blog post titled "Spying on Terrorists Works, Spying on American Citizens Doesn't."

In this case, spying on this particular American did work.  And I believe this country, although facing difficult and dangerous problems, will handle those problems by being true to that document so beloved by conservatives and libertarians--when it suits their purposes.

UPDATE:

I very often read on certain blogs that the Muslim community never speaks out on terrorist plots and attacks.  Of course, that is not true, certain people repeat that lie so as to feel comfortable in their prejudices against all Muslims.  Mohamud Osam Mohamud's family has this to say about the teen:


"Mohamud's mother and father and his two sisters have remained silent since his arrest. (The Oregonian identified the parents as Mariam and Osman Barre; they reportedly split up a few years ago.) However, a prominent member of the Somali community in Portland (estimated to number 8,000) says a relative played some role in helping to put the FBI on the young man's trail — though that relative was almost certainly unaware of the scale it would assume. "Before this happened, the father informed Homeland Security and the FBI that something was going on with his son," claims Isgow Mohamed, executive director of the Northwest Somali Community Organization, who says he knows Mohamud's family well and had been in touch with them. "This a good family. The father is an engineer at Intel. This is not somebody who is on public assistance. He is a family man, a businessman, a religious man, a soccer player."



Mohamed said emphatically that Mohamud's alleged plot should not be seen as representative of Somali Americans. "First of all, we're really sorry, we do not support terror," he tells TIME. "We came to live here and not bother anyone. We left a civil war." Mohamed says he believes that Mohamud was influenced by things on the Internet and that the Somali community in Portland will continue to do its part: "We are not going to hide them. We are also Americans."


This is the family that the hysterical, knee-jerk blogger quoted above wants to deport.  Apparently he believe the US government  should deport first and gather the facts about an innocent family later.  After all, these are just brown-skinned folks--why should they enjoy the same rights as "real" Americans--y'know the kind of Americans who would throw the Constitution out the window at the first sign of danger.

I believe the term is "pant-wetter"

THE ENTIRE STORY IS HERE.

UPDATE II:

"Following his [Mohamud Osman Mohamud] arrest, the mosque he attended — the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center — released a statement saying it was “outraged” by news of the alleged plot and condemned the Mohamud’s plans. “Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center and the entire Muslim Community of Corvallis are outraged by the news of a teenage individual being involved in a plot to bomb the tree lighting event in Portland, Oregon,” the statement said. “Such conduct does not in any way represent Islam or Muslims, rather it goes against it.”



Nevertheless, the day after the mosque released the statement unequivocally condemning terrorism, it fell victim to terrorism itself. On Sunday, an apparent arsonist set fire to the mosque, burning 80 percent of the Islamic center’s office before it was put out.


As Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said at an event earlier this year sponsored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, “about a third of all foiled al-Qaida-related plots in the U.S. relied on support or information provided by members of the Muslim community.” A recent MPAC report details numerous plots stopped thanks to the help of Muslim Americans, including the recent attempted car bombing of Times Square, which was foiled in part by the help of Senegalese Muslim immigrant Alioune Niass."


SOURCE

Saturday, November 27, 2010

LIMBAUGH, PIGS, SNOUT, SQUEAL

Yawn.  Saying Rush Limbaugh is a liar is like saying pigs have a snout and squeal.  

The Carbuncle on the Ass of America was outraged by President Obama's Thanksgiving Day speech in which he acknowledged our Native Americans and thanked them for helping the newly arrived immigrant Pilgrims.

We expect this sort of puerile inanity from the Hindenburg of Gasbags, but this time he really embarrassed himself and secured forever a place in America's "History of Famous Asshats and Other Idiots."

Here's the passage from Mr. Obama's speech that set the Irritable Ignoramus off:


"This Thanksgiving Day, we reflect on the compassion and contributions of Native Americans, whose skill in agriculture helped the early colonists survive, and whose rich culture continues to add to our Nation's heritage...This spirit brought together the newly arrived Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe — who had been living and thriving around Plymouth for thousands of years."

All of which is historically accurate.

But wait, there's this.  Ronald Wilson Reagan's 1981 Thanksgiving Day speech:

"""The Pilgrims planted and harvested a bountiful crop. After the harvest they gathered their families together and joined in celebration and prayer with the Native Americans who had taught them so much. Clearly our forefathers were thankful not only for the material well-being of their harvest but for this abundance of goodwill as well."
Limbaugh is so transparent.  No matter what President Obama said on Thanksgiving Day, Limbaugh would have burst his spleen over it.  President Ronald W. Reagan praised our Native Americans and acknowledged them in a Thanksgiving Day speech, but when Mr. Obama did the same thing, Limbaugh would have none of it and erupted with a particularly green bile over the historic truth and then proceeded to accuse the president of killing puppies and kittens, stuffing them with fried caterpillars and serving them to our veterans. (Well, I made that last part up, but it is essentially the truth.)

What Limbaugh said on his show is a consequence of his rancid racism and not to be taken seriously.  Ever.  After all, would anyone pay attention to what a squealing pig, slopping around in his little mudhole, had to say about anything?

Friday, November 26, 2010

REPUBLICANS LEADERS PLAYING POLITICS WITH AMERICA'S SECURITY, BLOCKING VOTE ON BILATERAL ARMS REDUCTION TREATY

GOP COMMITTED TO DEFEATING PRESIDENT OBAMA IN 2012 AND IS WILLING TO ENDANGER NATIONAL SECURITY FOR POLITICAL GOALS.

Let me remember.  When the GOP sniffed anything other than complete and unquestioning support of George W. Bush's foreign policies, they bellowed TRAITORS!!!!! 

So what's going on here?  The GOP is against securing America's safety for the purpose of denying Mr. Obama any major accomplishments? 

That's the GOP:  The party of HELL NO!  Even when it involves America's security.


"The (old) Start Treaty, which allowed the US and Russia to inspect each other’s nuclear arsenals, had been in place since the end of the Cold War until President Bush let it expire beginning in 2009. As soon as he assumed office, President Obama made significant moves to reestablish friendly relations with Russia, culminating in the signing of the New Start Treaty in April.
"Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen appeared on the Sunday morning public affairs shows to urge the Senate to stop obstructing the New START Treaty, a bilateral arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russia, underscoring the importance of the issue for the Obama administration.


" 'I think this is -- more than anything else, it's a national security issue,' said Mullen on ABC's 'This Week.' 'I was involved extensively in the negotiations with my counterpart in Russia. We have for decades have had treaties with them to be able to verify aspects of the nuclear weapons capabilities that we both have. And from a national security perspective, this is absolutely critical.' "

The treaty has the overwhelming support of the military and national security professionals (from both Democratic and Republican administrations), including former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Henry Kissinger and former Defense Secretaries William Cohen and James Schlesinger, among others.


The treaty passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with strong bipartisan support in a 14-4 vote. It now, however, is being held up by GOP senators. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the committee's ranking member, said his colleagues are deliberately delaying a vote because they don't want to have to take a definitive position on it.


'At the moment, the Republican caucus is tied up in a situation where people don't want to make choices,' Lugar told reporters recently. 'No one wants to be counted. No one wants to talk about it.'


When 'This Week' host Christiane Amanpour asked Mullen whether the Senate is playing politics with the treaty, he replied, 'Well, you'd have to ask the Senate about that.'


Pressed further, Mullen added, 'Well, certainly, what I think is that there is a sense of urgency with respect to ratifying this treaty that needs to be both recognized. Historically this has been bipartisan. This is a national security issue of great significance. And the sooner we get it done, the better.' He added that it should be done as soon as possible in the lame duck session."


Seven months later, Kyl is trying to postpone — for the third time — a vote to ratify the treaty. At first Kyl claimed that Democrats were rushing through the process by wanting to ratify the treaty before the August recess, then he argued Democrats were politicizing the vote by trying to hold it right before the election, and now Kyl’s saying the lame-duck session of Congress isn’t enough time to finish negotiations.


The 'negotiations' in question are between the White House and Republicans. In exchange for ratification, the White granted the GOP requests for $80 billion over the next 10 years plus $4.1 billion extra over the next 5 years to spend on modernizing the nuclear weapon complex, but Kyl isn’t satisfied even after garnering those concessions."
NYULOCAL








 h/t huffpost

David Wood of  Politics Daily has more

Thursday, November 25, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND PEACE TO ALL


 

 

 

The Gift Outright

by Robert Frost


The land was ours before we were the land’s.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were England’s, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.
 



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

WHO SAID THAT (h/t Infidel753)

The redoubtable blogger, Infidel753 posted this list the other day, and I think it should be given exposure to counter Glenn Beck's stupidity, FAUX NOOZ lies, Rush Limbaugh's distortions, Sarah Palin's nincompoopery, and Michele Bachmann's insane statements:

Take it away Infidel753:



"WHO SAID IT?
See if you can guess who said each of the following quotes:

"Property monopolized or in possession of a few is a curse to mankind."



"I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies."



"[in Europe] economic power became concentrated in a few hands, then political power flowed to those possessors and away from the citizens, ultimately resulting in an oligarchy or tyranny."



"No man ought to own more property than needed for his liveli- hood; the rest, by right, belonged to the state."



If you guessed Karl Marx or Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (or Barack Obama), you are in understandable error.

The quotes are from, respectively, Sam Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.

I found them at Politicus USA, except for the third one which I found at Sustainable Democracy; as best I can tell by checking up, they're genuine."

Here's the LINK to further discussion of the above Founding Fathers' quotes.


The Tea Baggers love to prance around in colonial America costumes pretending they're real patriots and wanting America to go back to what the Founding Fathers intended.  Obviously they skipped these ideas and beliefs of these FFs so as not to interfere with their silly fantasies and self-delusions.

Thank you Infidel753 for showing us that the Tea Baggers don't know what they're talking about.

Please go HERE to read what our fellow blogger, TAO, has to say about our economic disparity. 

And don't miss this excellent post by Green Eagle!

Monday, November 22, 2010

THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963



Saturday, November 20, 2010

QUITTER, SARAH PALIN, HAS ANOTHER WRETCHED BOOK GHOST WRITTEN FOR HER


UPDATE BELOW.

And she's whining about the leaked excerpts, asking "is that legal?'

Ms. Palin, we know you don't write your own books, so we're not surprised you know nothing about Fair Use, so, no, it's not illegal.  

Perhaps you could hire a ghost-googler? 

But the passage from her newest ghost-written fluff that was especially revealing, so excruciatingly non-self-aware, was the one about American Idol where Palin describes the talentless competitors as deluded victims of  the cult of self-esteem (does this remind us of anything?).  Palin goes on to say these self-esteem enhanced, but talent-deprived people eventually learn the truth after they've embarrassed themselves (and their families, eh, Sarah?); and in the wider world, these instances of hard truths are increasingly rare. (Oh, yes, we know.)

Sarah, perhaps you need to remove your myopic glasses and look in your own Mama Grizzly backyard for elucidation on this theme?

Later in the book, Mama Grizzly goes after Michelle Obama, who has never said an unkind word about Palin. 


"...when the First Lady was asked about Palin, she did not take the bait, but instead, had only nice things to say about the former Governor of Alaska. It seems that Palin did not feel like returning the gesture of civility." 
The Pitbull with Lipstick apparently believes Mrs. Obama is a threat to her plan for being the next president of the United States, so she dredges up a half-quote that the FLOTUS said during the 2008 campaign, takes it out of context, and inexplicably attacks Mrs. Obama over it.  If I weren't such a nice person, I'd call that low-class, bitchiness in the extreme and unbecoming of a decent human being, but I won't.

This is the actual quote spoken by Michelle Obama:

"What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback. And let me tell you something–for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction, and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. I’ve seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues, and it’s made me proud."

And this is how Palin distorts and takes the quote out of contents, suggesting that Mrs. Obama, who has more class in her gorgeously toned arms than Palin has in her entire body, including her hair extensions, does not love her country:
 

"Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband started winning elections. In retrospect, I guess this shouldn’t surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church listening to his rants against America and white people."

Palin's the first to cry foul and stamp her foot when anyone criticizes her or her family, but is not shy about attacking and calling into question the patriotism of a woman she's never met, never spoken to, and who has never attacked her.

Palin's idiotic and childish label "lamestream media" applies to the media only when they speak critically of her or members of her family, whom she encourages and supports in their pursuit of meaningless trophies for their talentless performances in teevee dance contests.  In that instance, she has no problem with media coverage of her family so long as it brings her publicity and money.

Her complaints about media intrusion in her life are absurd when she willingly invites that intrusion by way of starring in a reality teevee program about Alaska and her family.

Spare us your indignation, lady.  We're on to you and your misguided ambitions.


UPDATE:  The long knives are out for you, Palin.  In addition to the former First Lady, Barbara Bush, and prominent conservative pundits (Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, David Frum, etc.), Mona Charen has stated her opinion that you're too stupid to be president.  Oh, my!

"A conservative columnist whose bonafides include a stint at the National Review and a speechwriting gig for former first lady Nancy Reagan has slammed Sarah Palin, calling the former half-term governor "consumed and obsessed by the media."



Writing on the self-described "conservative" Townhall.com, columnist Mona Charen blasted Palin for her lack of experience:


Palin was advised by those who admire her natural gifts to bone up on policy and devote herself to governing Alaska successfully. Instead, she quit her job as governor after two and a half years, published a book (another is due next week), and seemed to chase money and empty celebrity.


Charen questioned the would-be candidate's eagerness to engage in even the smallest of spats:

She should be presiding over meetings on oil and gas leases in the North Slope, or devising alternatives to Obamacare. Every public spat with Dave Letterman or Politico, or the "lamestream media," or God help us, Levi Johnston, diminishes her.


Charen's doubts about Palin include her judgment and possibly her parenting:


Perhaps the former governor should not be blamed for the decisions of her adult daughter. Yet there in the audience we see Sarah and Todd Palin, mugging for the camera and cheering on their unwed-mother daughter as she bumps and grinds to the tune of "Mamma Told Me (Not to Come)." Her parents had advised her, the 20-year-old Bristol told an interviewer, that she had to stay "in character" if she expected to win. Being "in character" apparently meant descending to the vulgarity that "DWTS" peddles on a weekly basis. The momma grizzly was apparently unfazed by -- or, equally disturbing, unaware of -- the indignity. And this is supposed to be a conservative culture warrior?"


Hello, Mona?  You're just waking up to this blatantly evident truth about Sarah?  Oh, we get it.  Now that Sarah has come within an inch of declaring her run for the presidency, you pundits on the Right are going all wobbly over the cataclysmic embarrassment this absurdity will bring to the GOP.  And you've figured this out about Palin just now?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tax cuts for the super wealthy do not create jobs. Where are the jobs from the Bush Tax-Cuts-For-The-Wealthy Era?

Greg Dworkin explains:

"Does anyone actually have data showing that giving millionaires tax breaks creates jobs? How many jobs would that be? For all those who claim that it is so, please provide the data so we can have an honest discussion about it.



A table would be nice: in the left hand column, the income bracket and the tax breaks based on the current rates; in the right hand column, the number of jobs created. You know, what we in the old days used to call 'facts' to back up the argument that we need to bail out the rich because they need to get richer because 'everyone knows' that what follows is jobs (aka 'trickle-down theory' or Reaganomics). Really? If it worked so well, where are the jobs now? And did you know who said 'money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy'? That was Will Rogers during the Great Depression. Some ideas never die, no matter how many times they fail.


The justification for DC's refusal to fix a problem caused by tax cuts on the rich by restoring taxes on the rich is that you can't raise taxes on the rich during a recession. The oft-repeated idea that taxes "take money out of the economy" has become so ingrained that there is no discussion at all, it is just accepted as a given. It is "conventional wisdom." It certainly is a convenient conventional wisdom for the wealthy, but it is a fact?"




Dave Johnson at Campaign for America's Future says: 

Let's look at some counter-arguments:


1) Tax cuts for the rich means borrowing. This is the root of the "taxes take money out of the economy" argument because the resulting borrowing pumps into the economy, which is stimulative. If you stop the borrowing the resulting stimulus is withdrawn. Of course, tax cuts are the least-effective stimulus, especially when it is top tax rates we are talking about, but still... Unfortunately we have been borrowing a lot for a long time to pay for tax cuts at the top, so massive debt has accumulated and the interest paid (guess who it is paid to) on the borrowing is significant and anti-stimulative. (Don't interest payments "take money out of the economy?")


2) Taxes bring in revenue to pay for improvements in infrastructure that cause the economy to grow. Investing in modern transit systems, smart grid, energy efficiency, fast internet and other improvements leads to a huge payoff. Infrastructure improvement and maintenance is the “seed corn” of economic growth. We have been eating that seed corn since Reagan’s tax cuts. Some might argue that we can just borrow to invest in infrastructure -- but we don't. One result of the Reagan tax cuts was a cutback in infrastructure investment, which is dissed as "government spending." (For some reason the same borrowing to spend on tax cuts is not dissed.) After 30 years of Reaganomics our infrastructure has fallen behind and we are not competitive in the world economy.



Taxes also bring in revenue for improving our schools, colleges and universities. Not only does this help our economic competitiveness, education improves each of our lives and our level of happiness. (And more education helps people who end up on deficit commissions to understand that tax cuts for the rich cause deficits which can be fixed by putting top tax rates back where they were before the deficits that they caused.)


Jon Ponder of Pensito Review:

"A Republican plan to extend tax cuts for the rich would add more than $36 billion to the federal deficit next year — and transfer the bulk of that cash into the pockets of the nation’s millionaires, according to a congressional analysis released Wednesday."



NYTimes' David Leonhardt:

"Those tax cuts passed in 2001 amid big promises about what they would do for the economy. What followed? The decade with the slowest average annual growth since World War II. Amazingly, that statement is true even if you forget about the Great Recession and simply look at 2001-7.


The competition for slowest growth is not even close, either. Growth from 2001 to 2007 averaged 2.39 percent a year (and growth from 2001 through the third quarter of 2010 averaged 1.66 percent). The decade with the second-worst showing for growth was 1971 to 1980 — the dreaded 1970s — but it still had 3.21 percent average growth.


The picture does not change if you instead look at five-year periods. Here’s a chart ranking five-year periods over the past 50 years, in descending order of average annual growth:






Nevertheless, every Republican in Congress and many of the Democrats are clamoring to extend the Bush tax cuts because they will create jobs.



Really, if I have to hear a fairy tale, I’ll just stick with my toddler’s library."


I hope the Obama administration sticks to their resolve to end tax cuts for the super wealthy.  History shows those tax cuts do not create jobs, but in fact, increase the deficit.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

GOP LIES, AND THE LYING LIARS WHO TELL THEM

Hello America!   (Well 6 or 10 of you.)


Why do you believe the lies of the lying liars? 


Here is incontrovertible proof of GOP mendacity. 


Question:  Why do you believe easily disprovable lies?  Why do you accept this sort of  dishonest spin planted by dishonest GOP staffers?


Whom will you believe after watching this?  The GOP lying "staffers?" Or your eyes and ears?


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:

UPDATE:  Lisa Murkowski Defeats Joe Miller In 2010 Alaska Senate Race! 


Palin's own network "pals" make fun of her. 

Oh Sarah, what tweets will you deliver over this embarrassing mockery of your newest teevee show? 




Here's a review of Palin's new "reality" show on TLC:


"TLC’s programming is all about babies, weddings, and families in extremis, and yet there’s something inhumane at the center of it all. It panders to our curiosity, allowing us to gawk at its subjects for as long as they are willing to be gawked at—which may be longer than is good for them. When it comes to Palin specifically, there is the fundamental problem that some of us don’t want to see or hear any more of her than we have to. And there are those whose objections have a physiological basis as well as an ideological one: the pitch and timbre of her voice, the rhythms of her speech, her syntax, and the way she coats acid and incoherence with cheery musical inflections join together in a sickening synergy that distresses the listener, triggering a fight-or-flight reaction. When Palin talks, my whole being wails, like Nancy Kerrigan after Tonya Harding’s ex-husband kneecapped her: “Why? Why? Why?”



And it appears that Palin's vendetta against Lisa Murkowski failed.  Murkowski has taken the lead over Miller in the vote count (with more to go). 


Finally:

Sarah Palin as Unpopular as Ever



"A recent Gallup Poll shows that Americans view Palin more unfavorably than they ever have. A full 52 percent of those surveyed by the Gallup organization have unfavorable views of the half-term governor of Alaska. At the same time, her 40 percent favorable rating ties her with the lowest rating of favorability that she has shown.



Numbers taken from a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll conducted before the midterm elections were comparable: 49 percent unfavorable, 40 percent favorable."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS CONDEMN GLENN BECK'S SLANDER AND SMEARING OF GEORGE SOROS!

UPDATE:  Top Palin aide is on Soros' payroll



Revealed: the surprisingly close link between the liberal billionaire and the Republican superstar.  LINK HERE.


Found on a rightwing blog:

“I am looking forward to this:

Tomorrow on Glenn Beck's Fox News program, he is going to start telling the untold story about George Soros. If you aren't home at 5:00 EST, then may I recommend you DVR it (or old fashioned me still tapes it on my VCR).


George Soros Part 1 on Glenn Beck


Glenn Beck told of Soros' early years and how he helped collapse currencies and governments, but how did this guy make so much money in the first place? He became a US citizen in 1956 I believe they reported, could (gasp!) a capitalistic economy be what gave Mr. Soros much of the money that he has amassed? So then why is he so against capitalism and the USA?


He wants a One World government, and is funneling money into all sorts of 501(3)c organizations to create shadow governments and such to make that happen. When I think of the huge amounts of money he has poured into these organizations, now I know it is his money to spend as he sees fit, but couldn't he actually help a lot of people in the world who could use some charity instead of using all that money to push for the One World Government? How is that going to help people in need? Why not be like Bill Gates and actually help people? I'll tell you why, there is no POWER in charity, that is why.”


Mr. George Soros is evil, and thank God for Glenn Beck exposing him!

This is why Glenn Beck is dangerous. He fills weak minds with misrepresentations and lies, and those minds accept, without any critical thinking or fact-checking, the rot he serves them up in service to his fantasy of being some sick sort of an American hero. The unfortunate person who wrote that praise for Beck has no idea what she’s talking about, it is clear, nor did she know anything factual about Soros before Beck distorted Soros's history for his ratings.


As a result of using his show to spread calumny, slander, lies, and misrepresentations about George Soros, the Jewish community has responded. And the response has been unequivocally negative toward Beck.

What is so insidious about what Beck does is the slimey way in which he accuses his victims without actually having the balls to be up front about it. Here’s an example of the cowardly worm’s methods:

“And George Soros used to go around with this anti-Semite and deliver papers to the Jews and confiscate their property and then ship them off … Here’s a Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps. And I am certainly not saying that George Soros enjoyed that, even had a choice. I mean, he’s 14 years old. He was surviving. So I’m not making a judgment. That’s between him and God. As a 14-year-old boy, I don’t know what you would do.”


“Here’s a Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps.” --Glenn Beck




Mark Paredes, a Mormon, writing for The Jewish Journal.com had this to say about that remarkable sentence uttered by Beck:

"Glenn Beck’s description of George Soros’ actions during the Holocaust is completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top. For a political commentator or entertainer to have the audacity to say – inaccurately – that there’s a Jewish boy sending Jews to death camps, as part of a broader assault on Mr. Soros, that’s horrific. – ADL statement
——-
I don’t know how well Glenn Beck knows the organized Jewish community, but he definitely has a Jewish problem. This week he gratuitously slandered a prominent Jewish philanthropist in probably the worst way that you can slander a Holocaust survivor, and many Jewish leaders are justifiably outraged. The ADL and the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants have denounced Beck’s comments, which are presented in a negative light in every Jewish news source that has run the story. As a Mormon who has worked for years to promote LDS-Jewish relations worldwide, I have a few words of advice for my coreligionist.




First of all, know your limits vis-à-vis Jews. It’s almost always a bad idea for a Gentile to call a Jew an anti-Semite. You can criticize Soros’s politics and organizations all you want, but lay off the references to his ethnicity. Believe me, every Jewish reader sees through your “they-say-he’s-an-anti-Semite-but-I’m-not-sure” nonsense. If I were to write something like “They say Glenn still drinks and does drugs and may even beat his wife, but I don’t know enough about his home life to judge,” I don’t think too many of your fans would give me a pass. By the way, many Jews are atheists, and their unbelief doesn’t affect their membership in the tribe.


It’s an even worse idea to invoke the Holocaust inappropriately, which you continue to do (and have apologized for doing in the past). Accusing a Jewish Holocaust survivor of having been a teenage Nazi is simply inexcusable. To make matters even worse, your facts are wrong in this case. According to Ron Kampeas of the JTA (who has slightly more credibility on Jewish reporting than you), a young Soros on one occasion accompanied his non-Jewish protector (a necessity in a country where 2/3 of Jews were killed) when the Nazis ordered the man to inventory the estate of a Hungarian Jew who had fled. On another occasion, the local Jewish council ordered Soros to deliver letters to local Jewish lawyers. Soros’ father immediately realized that the letters were meant to inform them of their deportation, and he told his son to warn the targets to flee. He also ended the boy’s work with the council. No reasonable person could possibly think that the young Soros’s actions rose to the level of “helping send the Jews to the death camps.” This outrageous accusation clearly violates LDS moral teaching, which prohibits lying and slandering others. You should be ashamed of yourself.


Finally, traveling to Israel and making occasional pro-Israel remarks, while welcome, won’t protect you from Jewish outrage when you cross red lines. You simply don’t have enough bona fides in the Jewish community to get away with Holocaust exploitation and ad hominem attacks on prominent Jews. Your remarks were universally condemned in the Jewish press, and there is every reason to expect that your future statements on Jewish issues will receive heightened scrutiny (as they should). Everyone in the Jewish community knows that Soros is a completely secular Jew who does not identify himself closely with Israel or with most Jewish causes. However, he is still a Jew and a Holocaust survivor, and deserves better than to be labeled a former Nazi by a non-Jewish pundit who has never lived abroad, has never lived in a country that has been invaded, has never been the target of a genocidal campaign, and has minimal contact with the organized Jewish community. You can make all of the pro-Israel statements you like, but Jews also pay attention to how you treat individual Jews.


The Jewish leaders’ reactions say to me that they’re not convinced that Beck really loves Jews, which should be a cause of great concern to him if he cares at all how he is perceived by the Jewish community. I think Jews have reason to be skeptical of Beck, and I hope they keep his feet to the fire. In the spirit of Glenn, let’s just say that while some people might say he’s an anti-Semite, I’m not saying that. I’m just saying that sometimes he acts like one."
I’ve read several articles condemning Beck’s malicious smearing of George Soros on his program, which is supported and encouraged by FOX News, but this one by Mr. Paredes was the most incisive and exposes Beck for the soulless and degenerate villian that he is.

“For a political commentator or entertainer to have the audacity to say – inaccurately – that there's a Jewish boy sending Jews to death camps, as part of a broader assault on Mr. Soros, that's horrific,” said Abraham Foxman, director of Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a Holocaust survivor.


“While I, too, may disagree with many of Soros' views and analysis on the issues, to bring in this kind of innuendo about his past is unacceptable. To hold a young boy responsible for what was going on around him during the Holocaust as part of a larger effort to denigrate the man is repugnant. "This is the height of ignorance or insensitivity, or both," said Foxman, who noted that as a child, he was protected by non-Jews who had not revealed his background to him.


"As a kid, at 6, I spit at Jews -- does that make me part of the Nazi machine?" Foxman said. "There's an arrogance here for Glenn Beck, a non-Jew, to set the standards of what makes a good Jew."--Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, and Holocaust survivor

Commentary magazine, the neoconservative publication founded in 1945 by the American Jewish Committee, had its executive editor, Jonathan Tobin, writes:

“Beck is in no position to pontificate about the conduct of Holocaust survivors and should refrain from even commenting about this subject…. Such topics really must be off-limits, even in the take-no-prisoners world of contemporary punditry.”


Tobin continues: “There is much to criticize about George Soros’s career, and his current political activities are troubling. But Beck’s denunciation of him is marred by ignorance and offensive innuendo. Instead of providing sharp insight into a shady character, all Beck has done is further muddy the waters and undermine his own credibility as a commentator.”


Glenn Beck represents the absolute worst in American pundity. He deserves nothing but contempt and shunning by every decent American for the smear campaigns he has conducted in the past and for this particularly ugly, fascistic piece of filth he has promoted on his program.


And a pox on those who admire this self-identified “recovering dirt bag.”

Apparently, Beck is still a long, long way from recovery.


Friday, November 12, 2010

A VETERANS' DAY ESSAY--ONE DAY LATE--BY MARK S.

This was supposed to be a post for Veterans' Day, but I misplaced it and had to ask its author to resend it to me.  I met Mark on the internet years ago when I first started blogging.  I had a food blog, and so did he.  I've come to know Mark as a big hearted bear of a man who is a true liberal.  But what I also admire about him is his love of the outdoors--canoeing, fishing, camping.  He does it all and does it all well.  When you read this piece by him, you'll understand why I admire this man:

"I have a very diverse group of FB friends. Usually, this is fun. Sometimes, it is irritating. Occasionally it is just bizarre. And at times, the conversations can get personal and ugly. These are the conversations that frustrate me the most.



Yesterday, it was stated that only one political party has ever done any good for the people, and it was strongly insinuated that members of the other party were less than patriotic. A dear, close friend of mine who has spent his entire adult life in service to his country was rightfully offended. And even though I was not responsible in any way for those comments, I feel badly about them.


My father was a genuine war hero. His battalion received a Presidential Unit Citation. The 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion spearheaded the counter attack at the Battle of the Bulge, took 7 towns without benefit of artillery or air cover, cut off the retreat of the German Army, and took 80% casualties doing so. All in the dead of one of the worst winters in Belgiun history, while wearing clothing designed for jungle fighting. 13 men froze to death. My dad's frostbite was so severe they almost amputated his feet.


I am extremely proud of his service to this country. I am also very proud that he never considered himself a hero, he just thought he was doing something that needed to be done. He was just an American doing what Americans do. So I want everyone to know I would NEVER negate the value of anyone's service to America. More on my Dad and the other heroes in our neighborhood in a couple of paragraphs.


The conversation started because I lamented the fact that the country has lurched so far to the right and so little resembles the country the "greatest generation" built. Someone made a comment that JFK would have been a Republican today, insinuating the country has actually moved left. That's when the shit hit the fan.


I do lament what my generation has done to the America my hero father and the other heroes in the neighborhood built. A country where working men and women had an equal footing with their employers, could make a good living with a fair wage, and afford to take their kids to the doctor. Where we took fighting poverty seriously. An America where the bottom 70% of wage earners controlled 50% of the nations wealth. In just one generation, we have destroyed that. To my children and grandchildren, I apologize. My generation has failed you miserably.


That we have moved far right from our parent's America (and that Kennedy could never have been a Republican, especially a modern one), is easily demonstrable. Just consider:


Lyndon Johnson, the man who would bring us The Civil Rights Act and The Great Society, was nominated by Kennedy as VP to appease THE CONSERVATIVE wing of his party. Much of the legislation that brought the Civil Rights Act and Great Society programs into being were authored by and shepherded through Congress by the Kennedy considered most moderate at the time, Edward.


Consider that Barry Goldwater, a man thought so radically right wing that he was certain to get our asses blown off the face of the earth, and whom nearly 2/3 of the country voted against in 1964, retired from the senate despising Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey, and openly castigating them on moving the Republican Party so far to the right.


Consider that the most prominent moderate Republicans of the 1960's (Richard Nixon, Nelson Rockefeller, John Lindsey, and Jacob Javits) were all politically left of that evil liberal Bill Clinton. And Rockefeller, Lindsey and Javits were politically left of Hillary. Most people don't realize that had Nixon survived Watergate, the first piece of major legislation he planned to introduce was welfare reform, highlighted by a plan to pay every single American a minimum salary equal to the poverty line wage. The plan was written by Nixon consultant and speech writer Dr. Daniel Patrick Moynahan. The same Moynahan who would later become the "arch liberal" Democratic Senator from New York. Nixon's "moderate Republican" sounds a helluva a lot left of Clinton's "liberal" or Obama's "socialist".


I am truly saddened about what America has become. A place where the wealthiest one percent of citizens control over 60% the country's wealth. Where 40 million people do without proper health care. Where the average wage earner's salary has lost over 20% of it's value since the inauguration of Ronald Reagan.


And a place that would tolerate, and even reward someone for wearing a weapon to a Presidential appearance, or spit on Congressmen as they walk into the halls of Congress.


My father was not the only war hero in our neighborhood. Dave M. fought at Iwo Jima and Guadacanal. Cal G. survived the Bataan death march. I am glad none of them lived to see the spectacle that was the 2008 primary. Men wearing weapons openly trying to intimidate the followers of candidates they didn't like. Spitting on legislators while being egged on by candidates. More like the Weimar Republic and Hitler's Brown Shirts than anything that should take place in America. And a damned insult to those of us who lived through the assasinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, and the attempted assasinations of Ford and Reagan. The heroes in my neighborhood would have been more than offended. They would have been angry, and felt insulted and betrayed. Because, in fact, they were.


So yes, this country has lurched right, far to the right. And if you have read some of the rants that have taken place on FB recently, you might conclude dangerously right.


As for my politics, I guess I am liberal by today's standards, but certainly not by the standard of my parent's generation. I would be considered moderate by the standards of the "greatest generation". Somewhat right of those moderate Republicans Rockefeller and Javits, pretty close to Nixon. Bit left of Billary.


And in spite what people assume, JFK is not one of my political heroes. My two political heroes are Teddy Roosevelt and Bobby Kennedy. Because they were tough, principled, and understood the role of government was to protect it's citizens. Not only from outside aggressors, but from the wealthy, powerful, and greedy within who would prey upon the defenseless.


Rambled enough, but now it's off my chest."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

DECISION POINTS By GEORGE W. BUSH


"More than five years after the fact, former President George W. Bush is admitting that having a photograph taken of him peering out the window of Air Force One at the Katrina-caused wreckage of New Orleans was a 'huge mistake.' "

***********************************************************************************

" 'Damn right.'



That's what former president George W. Bush told CIA officials when they came to ask him for permission to waterboard alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, according to a Washington Post report on the 43rd president's forthcoming book, "Decision Points."

President Obama and the current Justice Department have tightened their view on waterboarding, characterizing it as an act of torture that is prohibited by international stricture, and, while the Post reports that there may someday be legal repercussions for those who directly authorized torture, the Obama administration has shown little interest in pursuing action against Bush and others, such as Dick Cheney, who have openly supported and admitted using the interrogation tactic."

************************************************************

"When Crown Publishing inked a deal with George W. Bush for his memoirs, the publisher knew it wasn't getting Faulkner. But the book, at least, promises "gripping, never-before-heard detail" about the former president's key decisions, offering to bring readers "aboard Air Force One on 9/11, in the hours after America's most devastating attack since Pearl Harbor; at the head of the table in the Situation Room in the moments before launching the war in Iraq," and other undisclosed and weighty locations.



Crown also got a mash-up of worn-out anecdotes from previously published memoirs written by his subordinates, from which Bush lifts quotes word for word, passing them off as his own recollections. He took equal license in lifting from nonfiction books about his presidency or newspaper or magazine articles from the time. Far from shedding light on how the president approached the crucial "decision points" of his presidency, the clip jobs illuminate something shallower and less surprising about Bush's character: He's too lazy to write his own memoir."

UPDATE (h/t Dave Miller):

Interesting to read this today.  It must be a conservative value--stealing other people's work and passing it off as one's own.  We've seen this done on certain rightwing blogs, (our friend, The Sleuth, has uncovered these cheaters and frauds)  When called on it, the bloggers say it's not plagiarizing it's FLATTERY! 

Apparently former President Bush believes in this sort of "flattery," as well.  That or he's not smart enough to come up with his own text--like the conservative bloggers we caught doing the same thing.

h/t HuffPost

UPDATE II:  Read Digby and more about Bush's plagiarizing for his memoire.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Democrats didn't lose the battle of 2010. They won it." By William Saletan

UPDATE:  Please visit Citizen K's blog for further discussion on how the GOP will tackle the country's pressing problems now that it has gained the House.

This is another way at looking at the results of the past election.   The Democrats lost the House and seats in the Senate.  But Mr. Obama did what no president had been able to do for over 60 years--he passed health care reform, and that will be around long after the newly elected House Reps lose their seats to Dems in another election.

Read what Saletan observes and remember it:

"Democrats have lost the House, and health care is getting the blame. Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, a retiring Democrat, says his party "overreached by focusing on health care rather than job creation" and by spending $1 trillion on "a major entitlement expansion." Sen. John McCain's economic adviser agrees. Pundits say the health care bill killed President Obama's approval ratings, cost congressional Democrats their jobs, and snuffed out the legacy of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "Virtually every House Democrat from a swing district who took a gamble by voting for the health law made a bad political bet," says the New York Times. The Los Angeles Times laments that "the measure of a leader in Washington isn't how much gets done, it's who holds power in the end. On that scale, Pelosi failed."



I'm not buying the autopsy or the obituary. In the national exit poll, voters were split on health care. Unemployment is at nearly 10 percent. Democrats lost a lot of seats that were never really theirs, and those who voted against the bill lost at a higher rate than did those who voted for it. But if health care did cost the party its majority, so what? The bill was more important than the election.



I realize that sounds crazy. We've become so obsessed with who wins or loses in politics that we've forgotten what the winning and losing are about. Partisans fixate on punishing their enemies in the next campaign. Reporters, in the name of objectivity, refuse to judge anything but the Election Day score card. Politicians rationalize their self-preservation by imagining themselves as dynasty builders. They think this is the big picture.



They're wrong. The big picture isn't about winning or keeping power. It's about using it. I've made this argument before, but David Frum, the former speechwriter to President Bush, has made it better. In March, when Democrats secured enough votes to pass the bill, he castigated fellow conservatives who looked forward to punishing Pelosi and President Obama "with a big win in the November 2010 elections." Frum observed:

"Legislative majorities come and go. This healthcare bill is forever. A win in November is very poor compensation for this debacle now. … No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the "doughnut hole" and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents' insurance coverage?"


Exactly. A party that loses a House seat can win it back two years later, as Republicans just proved. But a party that loses a legislative fight against a middle-class health care entitlement never restores the old order. Pretty soon, Republicans will be claiming the program as their own. Indeed, one of their favorite arguments against this year's health care bill was that it would cut funding for Medicare. Now they're pledging to rescind those cuts. In 30 years, they'll be accusing Democrats of defunding Obamacare.



Most bills aren't more important than elections. This one was. Take it from Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader. Yesterday, in his election victory speech at the Heritage Foundation, he declared, "Health care was the worst piece of legislation that's passed during my time in the Senate." McConnell has been in the Senate for 26 years. He understands the bill's significance: It's a huge structural change in the relationship between the public, the economy, and the government.


Politicians have tried and failed for decades to enact universal health care. This time, they succeeded. In 2008, Democrats won the presidency and both houses of Congress, and by the thinnest of margins, they rammed a bill through. They weren't going to get another opportunity for a very long time. It cost them their majority, and it was worth it.


And that's not counting financial regulation, economic stimulus, college lending reform, and all the other bills that became law under Pelosi. So spare me the tears and gloating about her so-called failure. If John Boehner is speaker of the House for the next 20 years, he'll be lucky to match her achievements.


Will Republicans revisit health care? Sure. Will they enact some changes to the program? Yes, and Democrats will help them. Every program needs revisions. Republicans will get other things, too: business tax breaks, education reform, more nuclear power, and a crackdown on earmarks. These are issues on which both parties can agree. Which is why, if you're a Democrat, you deal with them after you've lost your majority—not before.


It's funny, in a twisted way, to read all the post-election complaints that Democrats lost because they thought only of themselves. Even the chief operating officer of the party's leading think tank, the Center for American Progress, says Obama failed to convince Americans "that he knows their jobs are as important as his." That's too bad, because Obama, Pelosi, and their congressional allies proved just the opposite. They risked their jobs—and in many cases lost them—to pass the health care bill. The elections were a painful defeat, and you can argue that the bill was misguided. But Democrats didn't lose the most important battle of 2010. They won it."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

MENTAL HEALTH BREAK

"Some years ago--never mind how long precisely-- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me."



"Now small fowls flew screaming
over the yet yawning gulf;
a sullen white surf beat
against its steep sides;
then all collapsed,
and the great shroud of the sea rolled on
as it rolled five thousand years ago."



--Herman Melville, Moby Dick