“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison,” – Nelson Mandela, proof that the final form of love is forgiveness.
It is rare that one soul can impact all of ours – and make us more patient, more powerful and more human. Mandela was such a soul. And he will never leave us.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
"Obama...blah....blah....blah...indoctrination...blah...blah...blah...only doing it to get elected...blah...blah...blah...doesn't really care...blah...blah...blah...whine...whine...whine...destroying the Constitution...blah...blah...blah...pandering...blah..."
President and Mrs. Obama have received the highest praise and honor for the work they've done to address the problem of homeless veterans from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV).
I can't wait to hear how FAUX NOOZ and Karl Rove will spin this into a negative to prove that Mr. Obama and his wife are America-hating, Ivy League elitist, election stealers. And then I'll wait to read all of the negative anti-Obama talking points on the rightwing blogs.
Meanwhile I'm happy to spread the good news about their worthy efforts to solve this problem and to bring it to America's attention. Kudos to both of them for the encouraging results.
"President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will receive the highest honor given to homeless advocates.
The Obamas were chosen to get this year’s Jerald Washington Memorial Founders' Award, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV), and Barack Obama is the first person -- in history -- to receive the award more than once.
Barack Obama is tackling the issue with his 'Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness,' an initiative that aims to end chronic and veteran homelessness by 2015. He's working to meet this goal by mainstreaming housing, health, education and human service programs.
On any given night last January, 67,495 homeless veterans were sleeping on the streets, a 56 percent decline since the president took office, according to the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress.
'Under the leadership of President Obama, we are witnessing unprecedented national unity in the campaign to end and prevent veteran homelessness,' Patrick Ryan, Chairman of the NCHV Board of Directors, said in a press release. "The progress we have seen from the federal agencies, the Congress, the community partners NCHV represents, and the American people in just the last three years give rise to the expectation that this campaign will succeed."
Michelle Obama has been doing her part to address the range of issues veteran face, including homelessness, with the one-year-old initiative, Joining Forces, which she founded with Jill Biden."
This, of course, will cause no end of cognitive dissonance to those on the right who detest President and Mrs. Obama, because they won't be able to reconcile the fact that he and his wife can't possibly be America haters and at the same time work so earnestly to restore dignity to our veterans. This will disturb their narrative and make them extremely uncomfortable--truths can do that to people who practice avoiding them. But don't worry. They'll come up with some way to prove to themselves that this is NOT reality, that the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, in honoring President and Mrs. Obama, was bribed or forced into acknowledging the "fake" support the president and his wife have given them, and somehow this is all election year nonsense.
It's all so predictable and all such a farce--something we'd see on a SNL skit and laugh at. This is what many wingers have become in their knee-jerk reaction to anything related to Mr. and Mrs. Obama--buffoons. The only intelligent reaction to such buffonery is to shake one's head and donate to Mr. Obama's re-election campaign. Each time I read or hear a nasty swipe at PBO, I donate to his campaign, and I encourage my family and friends to do the same.
Think of it this way, every time you or I counter a contemptible and scurrilous accusation thrown at POTUS and FLOTUS, a little right-wing devil loses its horns.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
h/t Talking Points Memo
I had a troll come by the other day to explain that the reason President Obama's college student audiences are so wildly receptive to him is because he speaks only at "indoctrinated universities" to get applause.
That troll would watch these two speeches and not understand a thing.
Friday, April 27, 2012
The Guttmacher Institute has documented 916 measures related to reproductive health and rights in the 49 legislatures that have convened their regular sessions. (Louisiana’s legislature will not convene until late April.) By the end of March, seven states had enacted 15 new laws on these issues, including provisions that:
•expand the pre-abortion waiting period requirement in South Dakota to make it more onerous than that in any other state, by extending the time from 24 hours to 72 hours and requiring women to obtain counseling from a crisis pregnancy center in the interim;
•expand the abortion counseling requirement in South Dakota to mandate that counseling be provided in-person by the physician who will perform the abortion and that counseling include information published after 1972 on all the risk factors related to abortion complications, even if the data are scientifically flawed;
•require the health departments in Utah and Virginia to develop new regulations governing abortion clinics; •revise the Utah abortion refusal clause to allow any hospital employee to refuse to “participate in any way” in an abortion;
•limit abortion coverage in all private health plans in Utah, including plans that will be offered in the state’s health exchange; and
•revise the Mississippi sex education law to require all school districts to provide abstinence-only sex education while permitting discussion of contraception only with prior approval from the state.
Moreover, the legislative proposals in Kentucky and Texas blurred the line between two previously separate issues: requiring an ultrasound prior to an abortion and imposing a waiting period on a woman seeking an abortion (see Requirements for Ultrasound).
Although the 2010 Oklahoma law had a waiting period, it required that only two hours elapse between the ultrasound and the abortion. The measure that was approved by the Senate in Kentucky would have required 24 hours between the two procedures; the House adjourned for the year before considering the measure. Two measures in Texas include waiting periods: one would mandate a 24-hour wait and the other would require that between 24 and 72 hours elapse; each of the bills has been passed by one house of the legislature, and conferees are working to resolve the differences between the two measures.
This doesn't cover the disgusting attack on Sandra Fluke by the GOP's most respected and adored radio shock jock, Rush Limbaugh, when he labeled her a "slut" and "prostitute" for advocating for contraceptive coverage by insurance companies.
It's laughable for the GOP to complain about the labeling--"war on women" when it is that party's determination to make a legal medical procedure more and more difficult for women, and for the presumptive nominee, Willard Romney, to say that one of the first things he would do as president is withdraw all government funding from Planned Parenthood, an organization that serves the health needs of poor women who are under insured or who have no insurance at all.
If the GOP hates being labeled as the political party carrying out a war on women, they should stop proposing and passing laws that make women's lives more difficult, and, in particular, poor and disadvantaged women more miserable.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
"Newt Gingrich leaves this presidential race in any number of roles: conservative conscience, eager Romney surrogate, most-wanted congressional campaign guest, or possibly persona non-grata on the 2012 trail. Whatever the case, almost all Republicans agree on one thing: the former House speaker stayed in the race too long, and his unwillingness to give up the fight will make it harder to win back his political prestige. "
He was never going to be the nominee. And what a good thing that is. But he and his wife had convinced themselves, and some very gullible people, that his self-promoted awesomeness would would deliver the delegates needed to go on to win the White House .
Self-delusion and hubris are what kept the Gingriches believing in that fantasy.
Now reality and a mountain of debt will sober them up.
His hubris and ambition remind me of some passages from Shakespeare:
"I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself,
And falls on th'other. . . ."
"I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fix'd and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament."
There is an hilarious parody of Newt and Callista on the video below:
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
But maybe after reading this, people will shut their gobs and concentrate on, y'know, issues that are really important.
The abbrieviated pieces of nothing on the internet who are yukking it up over the story about Mr. Obama, as a child, eating dog meat haven't the mental capacity to see the difference between an adult, Willard Romney, strapping his terrified dog to the top of his family car and driving hundreds of miles and a child who ate something his parents put in front of him, a sort of food that is commonly served in that part of the world. [Doesn't this story give the lie to the idea that Mr. Obama is a secret Muslim? Muslim's are forbidden to be near dogs, never mind eat them!].
These lumpish half-wits think that what an adult male freely chooses to do is equal to what a child is made to do. But more to the point, what is the point?
Barack Obama wrote about this childhood experience almost twenty years ago:
"With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chill peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy). Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share."
From Obama's autobiography.
and not one Gooper bothered to go on FAUX NOOZ and breathlessly tell the squirrel heads on that cable "news" station about this miniscule scooby-dooby scoop. It was only when the even older story about Willard got around the intertubes that some tedious measle-brain decided to dig up Obama's dog tasting incident and make a feeble attempt at equivalency. The aforementioned abbreviated pieces of nothing thought that was a winnah! And they celebrated this titty-for-tatty numbskullery like a kid tee-heeing over having slipped a whoopie cushion under Uncle Billy-Bob's keester.
But wait! There's more!
Now comes this story [will it never end?]:
Birthday Fundraiser For Ann Romney Hosted By Man Who Once Barbecued A Dog
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Well here's Willard Romney's, the presumptive nominee, record. And it is all about gun control and limitations [which I agree with].
I'm curious how the gun lovers and NRA will deal with this issue. Will they accuse Willard of "taking away our rights!" as they have knee-jerkedly accused Mr. Obama? Or will they pretend that Willard's past support of gun control and limitations doesn't matter?
Washington Post:“He was never endorsed by the NRA, and didn't have their official support during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign... Mitt Romney as a candidate received a respectable B grade rating from the NRA, ... Romney's Democratic opponent in the governor's race, Shannon O'Brien, was given a more than respectable "A" grade by the NRA, according to its website.
“The issue of guns has repeatedly dogged Romney, who as a U.S. Senate candidate in 1996 was in favor of several gun control measures.”
"We need a president who will stand up for the rights of hunters, sportsmen, and those seeking to protect their homes and their families. President Obama has not; I will," Romney said. "And if we are going to safeguard our Second Amendment, it is time to elect a president who will defend the rights President Obama ignores or minimizes. I will." --Willard (Mitt) Romney
Romney is a blatant liar on this issue. He has a record of supporting and voting for gun control and gun limits. Although PBO did support gun control and limits while an Illinois state senator, [something I agree with] he has done NOTHING to curtail gun rights since becoming POTUS. What he supported and proposed in Illinois was a state issue [don't the conservatives revere "states rights"]? But since taking office, Mr. Obama has not proposed any legislation on gun issues for the country. But that doesn't stop Willard from pandering to the ignorant who haven't the inclination or the ability to seek out the truth.
President Obama's record on the Second Amendment:
Lasting Effect of Obama Administration
"While the final chapter of the Obama administration’s impact on gun rights will not be written until the president leaves office in 2013 or 2017, the story through much of his first term in office was a neutral one. Congress did not take up serious consideration of new gun control laws, nor did Obama ask them to. When Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm, chances of far-reaching gun control laws being enacted were essentially squashed."
Wayne LaPierre, NRA president:
"Either we defeat Barack Obama and retain all the benefits of our pro-gun victories over the past 30 years-from the Firearms Owners' Protection Act and the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, to the Right-to-Carry revolution, Castle Doctrine, hunter protection and landmark victories in the U.S. Supreme Court-or we lose this election and lose it all," LaPierre wrote. "Everything you and I, and gun owners across America have fought to achieve over the past three decades could be lost as a result of just one presidential election."
Obama Record: Not Gun Rights Restricting
"But the president's record offers scant evidence to support such ominous rhetoric. Obama has not moved to restrict gun rights, despite suggestions that he would tackle the issue after a shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona during which former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ari., was shot in the head."
Obama also signed a bill with an amendment permitting people to carry firearms in national parks."
So what's happening here? The head of the NRA is going after PBO who has not proposed any legislation, as president, to restrict or overturn any gun rights. But LaPierre is supporting Willard Romney who has a solid record of being in favor of gun control legislation.
Are the conservatives so deranged in their hatred of Mr. Obama that they don't see the what is in front of their noses?
Further reading from "The Liberty Zone," a pro-gun rights post, about Romney vs. Obama on gun control issues:
"Whom does Mittens think he’s fooling?
Sh*t, Obama has assailed gun rights less than Romney has in recent years.
"Governor Romney has a solid record of pursuing gun control measures to control crime and increase safety. He is vocally supportive of the assault weapons ban, supported a waiting period, and supports registration. While Governor he continued Massachusetts’s history of gun control advocacy.
In 2002, Mitt Romney stated in a debate that he supported the tough gun laws in Massachusetts and that he believed they help protect us and keep us safe. He vowed not to chip away at those laws.
While in office, Governor Romney supported the Brady bill and a waiting period because it was necessary to complete a background check. More recently, he has stated that with the advent of instant background checks, a waiting period is no longer required."
More recently, eh? Would that "more recently" be when he decided he needed the endorsement of the NRA?
Will conservatives make excuses for Romney by saying he supported gun control and limits when he was an unformed "young man" of only 55 years [and seeking to be a leader in traditionally liberal Massachusetts]? LOL! Or will they acknowledge his flip-flopping and pandering to the NRA and unlimited gun ownership advocates?
What does his record show?
Friday, April 20, 2012
This explains a lot about whom the conservatives admire. And the person Willard Romeny sought for an endorsement:
Ted Nugent quotes:
“If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year,”
"...as reported by the Raw Story, Nugent told his [NRA] audience that they should view President Obama and other Democrats as wild animals invading their homes. Like a coyote "in your living room pissing on your couch. It's not the coyote's fault. It's your fault for not shooting him."
“Obama, he’s a piece of sh-t, and I told him to suck on my machine gun … Hey Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch … Any questions? Freeeeeeeeeeeedom!!!!!” — on stage in 2007
“And in my mind, I’m going why can’t I just shoot this [Hare Krishna] guy in the spine right now; shoot him in the spine, explain the facts of life to him. — WRIF-FM, Detroit, Ted Nugent as guest D.J., Sept. 28, 1990
Sarah Palin, the darling of the Tea Party and promoter of American ideals and patriotism, loves her Nugent:
“After learning of opening act Ted Nugent’s recent public comments about the president of the United States, Fort Knox leadership decided to cancel his performance on the installation," it's Facebook posting says.
So far, the June 23 concert remains on the Fort Knox schedule, with REO Speedwagon and Styx listed as “co-headliners,” but army personnel said they will grant requests for refunds in light of their decision to nix the opening act."
CNN) -- Rocker and avid hunter Ted Nugent has agreed to pay a fine, serve probation and record a public service announcement as part of a deal to plead guilty to transporting an illegally killed black bear in Alaska, according to court documents.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
NOSTALGIA IN A FISH MARKET
Three billion years to get here,
resisting the home in waxed paper,
the burgeoning lungs. Fillet of flesh
and scale at rest in an aluminum pan.
A phantom of fins pokes through my blouse,
through the inevitable nets; drench
of salt soaks my atoms. We gathered
and glittered in a living armada.
Centuries before miasmic heat, a button-like
brain bloomed into hemispheres. Sidewalks
rushed like rivers to the shore
fins stiffened into legs.
I had no idea of running with daggers.
Liquid ceded to gas, ichthyic to animalia.
I wanted fingers more than clefted gills,
a continent of air. The music of the water,
gone from my ears.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty have spent the last decade tracking the incomes of the poor, the middle class and the rich in countries across the world. More than anything else, their work shows that the top earners in the United States have taken a bigger and bigger share of overall income over the last three decades, with inequality nearly as acute as it was before the Great Depression. [...]
Both admire, even adore, the United States, they say, for its entrepreneurial drive, innovative spirit and, not least, its academic excellence: the two met while re-searchers in Cambridge, Mass. But both also express bewilderment over the current conversation about whether the wealthy, who have taken most of America’s income gains over the last 30 years, should be paying higher taxes.
'The United States is getting accustomed to a completely crazy level of inequality,' Mr. Piketty said, with a degree of wonder. 'People say that reducing inequality is radical. I think that tolerating the level of inequality the United States tolerates is radical.' " --SOURCE
The rejection by the GOP of Mr. Obama's proposed "Buffett Rule" is more evidence of how out of touch with reality the GOP is. Sixty percent (60%) of Americans support the Buffett Rule. The Republicans in Congress ignore the people and continue to support and defend the wealthiest and most privileged among us.
Obama and his wife, Michelle, paid an effective tax rate of 20.5 percent on income of $789,674 last year, the White House said. Romney has estimated he will pay a 15.4 percent tax rate on income of $20.9 million." --SOURCE
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ROMNEYCARE!
Friday, April 6, 2012
Open letter* to the Obama haters from Terry Ungod Gonzales:
To your distress; and for the rest of your life, you will bear this:
Barack Obama, whether re-elected or not, will always be “Mr. President.” He will always be the man from a mixed race background who became the President of the United States of America. He and his wife will be welcomed throughout the world by nations and their leaders. The most influential members of the world of politics, arts, and sciences will be their acquaintances and companions. He will be regarded and honored as the U.S. President who entered office during a deep recession and two wars and turned the country around.
You, however, will always justify your lack of achievement on the unfairness of every system, the government, and regulations. You will blame your failure to accomplish anything in a country where impoverished immigrants with limited language skills are succeeding around you, on liberals, Communists, Socialists, and elites.
The small satisfaction you get from writing derisive comments about Mr. Obama and his family will be a pale comfort compared with the reality that exists around you. Bush 41 and his wife are living into their nineties; and with good health and luck, the Obama's will too. You'll see them at other inaugurals; your TV will follow their lives and their daughters‘lives- their successes, the books they will write, and the accolades they will receive around the globe.
You can try to salve your bitter existence with theories of international Kenyan plots or document fraud, but your world will always be limited by your small-mindedness, and your associates will be those who are as poorly adapted to the world around them as you are.
It's time to move on. In your journey into denial, you've already sacrificed your conscience and whatever claim to character you had. Your pretense at a deity-derived morality is mocked by your myopic hatred of the 'other'. Your concept of patriotism is waving a child's flag on the sidelines as others defend your liberty.
Make it easy on yourself. Take a deep cleansing breath and just let go; make the best of your situation. Whether re-elected or not, Mr. Obama will always be the 44th President of the United States of America, and your children and their children’s children will read about him in their history books. No matter how much hatred for him you nourish within yourself this will forever be true.
--Terry Ungod Gonzales
*Edited 4/6/2012 by S.K.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
This is a disaster for every fair-minded American and for our Constitution.
"Ginni Thomas’s 2009 creation of a tea party non-profit group for which she raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in undisclosed contributions, as well as her subsequent creation of a tea party consulting firm last year, has become the basis for allegations by some liberals that her husband’s impartiality has been compromised.
And her attendance at an annual summit of major conservative donors organized by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch – revealed in a recent speech by a federal judge and Thomas family ally – can be expected to draw even more scrutiny." --Politico
This is a good time to recall that seventy-four members of Congress have signed a letter asking Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from any ruling on the Affordable Care Act because of his wife’s work as a conservative activist and lobbyist, where she specifically agitated for the repeal of “Obamacare.” The recusal effort was spearheaded by Representative Anthony Weiner, and his resignation in June slowed the momentum around this issue on Capitol Hill—but there’s still ample evidence for concern.
Ginni Thomas resigned from Liberty Central late last year amid controversy over her role, though the decision was also aided by fundraising troubles and a bizarre, ill-considered phone call she placed to Anita Hill, the woman who accused her husband of sexual harassment twenty years prior.
But only a few months later, Ginni returned as head of Liberty Consulting, a new firm that boasted the ability to use Ginni’s “experience and connections” to help clients “with “governmental affairs efforts.” She met with over half of the incoming freshman class of legislators, and e-mailed all of their chiefs of staff, dubbing herself “a self-appointed, ambassador to the freshmen class and an ambassador to the tea party movement.”
Justices Scalia And Thomas's Attendance At Koch Event Sparks Judicial Ethics Debate
"Reports that two Supreme Court Justices have attended seminars sponsored by the energy giant and conservative bankroller Koch Industries has sparked a mild debate over judicial ethics.
On Tuesday evening, the New York Times reported that an upcoming meeting in Palm Springs of "a secretive network of Republican donors" that was being organized by Koch Industries, "the longtime underwriter of libertarian causes." Buried in the third to last graph was a note that previous guests at such meetings included Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, two of the more conservative members of the bench.
"There is nothing to prevent Supreme Court justices from hanging out with people who have political philosophies," said Steven Lubet, a professor of law at Northwestern University who teaches courses on Legal Ethics.
But the Koch event appears more political than, say, the Aspen Ideas festival. In its own invitation, it was described as a "twice a year" gathering "to review strategies for combating the multitude of public policies that threaten to destroy America as we know it." In addition, it's not entirely clear what the two Justices did at the Koch event. A copy of the invitation that served as the basis for the Times's report was posted by the liberal blog Think Progress. It provided no additional clues. A call to the Supreme Court and an email to a Koch Industries spokesperson meanwhile were not immediately returned.
Faced with a lack of concrete information, and cognizant of Koch's fairly intense history of political involvement, legal ethicists are urging for more disclosure.
In her NYTimes column today, Maureen Dowd describes the conservatives on the SCOTUS as "hacks dressed up in black robes."
"This court," she wrote Wednesday, "is well on its way to becoming one of the most divisive in modern American history...It is run by hacks dressed up in black robes...[M]irrors the setup on Fox News.
Conservative hacks in black robes on the Supreme Court?