Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, January 31, 2011




In March of 2009, and less than two months after Mr. Obama's inauguration, the loonies over at FAUX NOOZ were pounding away at the fact that the stock market had precipitously declined, and therefore, the FAUX NOOZ clowns honked their horns and announced that it was all Mr. Obama's fault;  that the financial community had no confidence that Mr. Obama knew what he was doing; and that the stock market would have hit 15 thousand had Sarah Palin been elected vice president [I made that last part up.]


From the dailykos:

"Well, now, two years later, the Dow Jones has touched on 12,000 for the first time since the Bush-Republican recession.

For those of you keeping score at home, the Dow closed at 7,949 on Bush's last day in office. That means it's gone up 50% since President Obama's inauguration.

Clearly, that's socialism run amok...liberal thugism on the loose. Oh, for capitalism's good old days when Bush and the GOP steered it straight to the edge of oblivion."

So.  Where is the breathless reporting on the stock market now that it touched on 12,000?  Gretchen?  Bill-O?  Joe Scarborough [who is always quick to point out irrelevant connections to events that he clearly doesn't understand], and the rest of the FAUX NOOZ clowns who keep their audience amused and deeply uninformed.

The question is, for those who think FOX "News" has any credibility:   Is the stock market doing well now because the financial community believes Mr. Obama knows what he's doing?  When it was tanking, FOX unequivocally knew the drop was the result of  the business and financial communities having no faith in the 2-month old Obama administration.

Now that the Obama administration is 2 years old, and in accordance with FOX's logic, we have to believe that the business and financial communities have a pantload of faith in Mr. Obama's administration.

Imagine!  The stock market has done well under a Socialist, Marxist, Commie Kenyan!

FAUX NOOZ reports, WE deride!


In keeping with presenting their audience with misinformation, FOX "News" put up a map of the Middle East, labeling Iraq as Egypt.  Apparently, no one on their staff is smart enough to know where Egypt is nor the difference between two countries that have consistently been in the news.

If you're watching FAUX NOOZ,  you're becoming dumber by the day.  Iraq is not Egypt, no matter how many times FAUX NOOZ tries to make it so.  (And Glenn Beck is not a political pundit, no matter how much cable nooz time FAUX gives him.) 

Thursday, January 27, 2011


These are the sort of people who admire Rush Limbaugh and follow his every toxic radio broadcast.  If this doesn't sicken you, nothing will:

"California Lawmaker Receives Racist Death Threat Warning ‘Rush Limbaugh Will Kick Your Ch-nk Ass’

Last week, California State Sen. Leland Yee (D) called on right-wing hate radio host Rush Limbaugh to apologize for mocking Chinese President Hu Jintao and the Chinese language by speaking gibberish 'ching chong chang' Chinese on his radio program. Yee, who is Chinese-American and chairs the state Senate Select Committee on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, said Limbaugh owes the Chinese-American community an apology for his 'pointless and ugly offense.' Naturally, Limbaugh did not apologize, and instead railed against Yee the following day on his radio, calling him out repeatedly by name.

Yee’s call for civility did not sit well with one Limbaugh fan, who responded by sending several racist death threats to Yee’s office this week. “Rush Limbaugh will kick your chink ass and expose you for the fool you are,” the faxes read, threatening him with 'death.' "

If this is what Rush Limbaugh inspires in his listeners, then Limbaugh deserves to be shunned and disgraced.  Wait.  He is disgraced.  No thinking person, IMHO, would listen to his swill.  Those who do, apparently need to have their racism enforced and promoted.  This is what Limbaugh inspires in his listeners.  Racism.

Limbaugh, the idiot, Michele Bachmann, and finally, the darling of the conservatives, the chronically uninformed and confused, Sarah Palin, all broadcasting their ignorance about America and her history, these are the characters the righties look up to?  

And now we hear that 400 rabbis have written a letter to Rupert Murdoch asking him to sanction the anti-semite, Glenn Beck, for attacking Jews and spreading lies and calumny about George Soros.

Another hero of the conservatives, Glenn Beck, also urged his listeners to shoot liberals in the head.

So to recap:   Limbaugh has a ditto head, who admires him, calling the President of the United States a "Marxist Nigger," Michele Bachmann stupidly claiming that the Founding Fathers tirelessly worked to end slavery, Sarah Palin, among her many preposterous statements, saying the US lost the space race to the USSR [Hey, Sarah! Which country was the first to land on the moon?], and Glenn Beck broadcasting anti-semitic lies about Jews.

What will it take for reasonable conservatives to walk away from these assh**es?  Are they waiting for their heroes to say something disgustingly stupid?



Tuesday, January 25, 2011



Bachmann actually got up in front of people and said the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery? 

This is grindingly cringe-worthy idiocy.  But not for the Tea Party--which apparently rewards stupidity and actually encourages it. 

If my child came home from school and said his American history teacher claimed what Bachmann claimed, I would demand that teacher be fired as a monumental incompetent.   Yet this stupid woman is appearing in Iowa with the hope of being nominated as her party's candidate for president?

What has happened to this country that people as illiterate and dumb as Michele Bachmann can attain not just the position of US Representative but, incredibly, entertain the hope of being president without having the slightest understanding of the history of this country?

But more important, what about the people of the 6th Congressional district of Minnesota?  They are the ones who contine to keep this dunderhead in office.  Can an entire congressional district be that soft-witted?  Apparently, yes.  I guess even gormless people need representation too, and Bachmann is their choice.
The Tea Party, which supports this irredeemable dunce, should be ashamed of  going within 10 feet of this jerk, let alone supporting and encouraging her to seek high office.

The Tea Party cannot be considered a serious movement so long as they continue to support people like Carl Paladino, Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann--people who are ignorant and proud of their ignorance and who have no intention of correcting their imbecility.

Here's the video of this unfortunate woman making an ass of herself for all the world to witness.  These are the kinds of pols the Tea Party admires:  Jabbering idiots.

Please link to this post by our friend (O)CT(O)PUS over at TSZ, which supplies more details on the Bachmann debacle.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Shamelessly copied from Green Eagle [who's always a step ahead of us all on important news such as this.]

"Perhaps There's Some Hope

In this news:

'New Washington Post/ABC Poll: Americans View Tea Party Less Favorably Than Russia, Socialism'

The Tea Party scored about the same as Saudi Arabia."
More from firdoglake:

"Americans have been watching the Teabaggers for almost two years now, and as it turns out, unbridled, spittle-producing rage isn’t very popular.

52 percent of Americans now hold unfavorable views of the tea party, a new high. Nearly three-quarters of Democrats – including as many moderate and conservative as liberal members of the party – have negative views of the political movement, as do half of all independents.
Only 35% of Americans like the Teabaggers, about the same number that like Saudi Arabia. Kinda figures. Both love to drill for oil, hate gays, and believe in theocracy.

Russia, on the other hand — the country that Republicans still love to demagogue — has a net-positive 47/45 favorable rating.

As for socialism, it’s viewed favorably by 36% of Americans, a fact which will just make Teabaggers even angrier and crazier."



"More Americans want to keep the sweeping health care reform legislation passed last year than want to repeal it, according to a new CBS News/New York Times survey. Forty-eight percent of Americans say they want to keep the law in place, while 40 percent want to see it repealed. "

Thursday, January 20, 2011




This is a positive story about a man who has worked to improve people's lives and who, after many years of doing so, has been recognized for his efforts.

My friend, Jim Wilde, was honored recently for his work with the private, non-profit Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership, which assists low and moderate-income people in becoming home owners:

From The Lowell-Sun article:
"The Lowell-based MVHP is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes home ownership for low- and moderate-income earners by offering home-ownership classes and down-payment assistance.

Those who work with Wilde said his successful leadership of the MVHP is due to his organizational skills, good work ethic and passion."


"Maria Lopez, project coordinator at MVHP, has worked with Wilde for more than 10 years and said she admires him.

"He demands from us a good work ethic, but he does it in a way that's different," said Lopez. "He never loses his temper, he's always smiling and happy, but we know we have to do our work."

She said his passion is evident when he makes special accommodations for clients who participate in the program."

"Wilde joined the MVHP 18 years ago when the focus of the partnership was working with affordable-housing developers. Wilde had the idea to shift the focus to helping people become strong homeowners through training and education, said Omoyeni [Robert Omoyeni, president of the MVHP board].

The Project Genesis training program for first-time homebuyers was created 18 years ago. Since then, more than 12,000 families have participated. Omoyeni said that of the last 500 families who have participated, not one has had to foreclose on a home, which speaks to the program's success.

"That's probably one of the biggest reasons why the MMBA have chosen Jim to be the recipient of this year's prestigious award," said Omoyeni."
Jim's work is a testament to the idea that people who are treated with dignity, who are given correct information and guidance on how to navigate banking and mortgage issues can and do succeed in becoming responsible home owners.
I am proud of Jim and proud to be his friend.  We've known each other for 30 years, and I can attest to all the things his co-workers have said about him.  He really, really is that wonderful.

This story reminds me of another man who quietly works for and dedicates himself to helping those in need.  Our blogging buddy, Dave Miller.  Another hero, IMHO.

Jim and Dave are the kind of people who make this country "a more perfect union." 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

GLENN BECK: "You're gonna have to shoot them in the head!"

Here's a teevee personality who makes millions and millions of dollars demagoging on FAUX NOOZ and who is Sarah Palin's friend.  In fact the two of them, after the Tucson shooting, had a little heart to heart on his radio show where Beck made Palin into the victim.

FAUX NOOZ fans and other Americans have made this man who he is--a representative of the right wing of the Republican party.  Now listen to the kind of rhetoric Beck has been feeding his fans for years and years and then perhaps someone can tell me why any mentally healthy person listens to him, why any mentally healthy person believes this man is good for America:


"I will stand against you and so will millions of others. We believe in something. You in the media and most in Washington don't. The radicals that you and Washington have co-opted and brought in wearing sheep's clothing — change the pose. You will get the ends.

You've been using them? They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You're going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you.

They are dangerous because they believe. Karl Marx is their George Washington. You will never change their mind. And if they feel you have lied to them — they're revolutionaries. Nancy Pelosi, those are the people you should be worried about.

Here is my advice when you're dealing with people who believe in something that strongly — you take them seriously. You listen to their words and you believe that they will follow up with what they say."

DATE OF BROADCAST:  June 10, 2010

h/t DemocraticUnderground

Beck appeared on the "Today" show this morning and was interviewed by Meredith Vieira.  When she questioned him about his hate rhetoric and his on-air musings about killing Michael Moore, Nancy Pelosi, and beating Charlie Rangle to a pulp with a shovel, like all cowards, Beck did not take responsibility for his hate-speech that incited murder and mayhem but instead, whined that some of his speeches were from 8 years ago, and worse, he compared himself to Jon Stewart and The Simpsons.

A real stomach-turning coward.

You can hear this very revealing interview here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I wondered, too, why Presidents Obama and Clinton and Secretary of State Clinton would be laughing at an otherwise solemn occasion.

A blogger known for detesting all things liberal and all things Obama placed these photos up on his blog with the implication that Presidents Obama and Clinton and Secy. of State Clinton were disrespectfully yukking it up at the Holbrooke memorial.

However, when we dig further for what is really going on, we find that they were probably reacting to a humorous anecdote the former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, was relating about the deceased.

"If any anecdote captured the indefatigable Holbrooke it was the one told by Annan, who led the U.N. when Holbrooke was ambassador there. Annan drew laughter when he recalled how Holbrooke managed to persuade then-Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms to relent and permit the United States to pay its dues to the world body. First, Holbrooke arranged for the conservative senator to address the Security Council. “What I did not realize was that part of the deal was that I should go and speak at Jesse Helms’s alma mater,” said Annan, who made the trek to tiny Wingate, N.C., to speak at the Jesse Helms Center at Wingate University. Bill Clinton echoed the anecdote, wondering aloud how Holbrooke got Helms to cough up funding for the international organization he had long criticized.

That, said Annan, was “the beauty and the power of Richard’s unique brand of diplomacy.”
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff:

"A Holbrooke book could include a chapter titled "How to Win Friends and Tick Off Everybody Else," Mullen said, drawing peals of laughter from an audience that chuckled far more than it sniffled during the two-hour memorial."

Apparently the blogger who placed these photos on his blog has never been to a memorial service or wake where the people who knew the deceased engaged in telling humorous stories about the one who has passed away. The blogger is either naive or deliberately trying to make the past president, the current president and the secretary of state look like despicable miscreants, by misrepresenting what is actually happening at the service.

It was a feeble attempt to smear the two presidents and secretary of state, but worse is that a lot of unhinged bloggers can't seem to give up their crusades to demonize President Obama and his administration, despite the call from both conservatives and liberals to turn down the rhetoric.

Here are the comments from this blogger's followers:

Xxxxxxx Xxxxx said...

"Good find, Xxx. These 3 evil stooges should be ashamed of themselves.

Vermin dancing on the graves of people who actually wanted to keep America safe."

January 17, 2011 6:00 PM
xxxxxxxxx said...

"Even something as simple as basic decency is lost on these subhumans."

January 17, 2011 6:07 PM
tha xxxxxxxx said...

"LOL, great comments guys, bring em on."

January 17, 2011 6:49 PM
Xxx said...

"I see 3 wrong things there."

January 17, 2011 8:57 PM
Xxxxxx xx Xxxxx said...

"I can't top Xxxx's comment. LOL. And spot on too."

I will contine to document the vicious falsehoods and misrepresentations that these conservative blogs continue to disseminate. These facts indisputably refute the cheap lies and disinformation these people continue to spread.

As for this blogger's effort to portray President Obama, President Clinton, and Secretary of State Clinton as disrespectful?


Sunday, January 16, 2011


h/t Parsley's Pics, via facebook:

Friday, January 14, 2011


David Corn gives us his analysis on the multi-millionaire radio hate-monger's insane (yes, there's no other word to describe this) slander broadcast on his radio show this week in the aftermath of the Tucson tragedies:

LIMBAUGH:  "What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He's sitting there in jail. He knows what's going on, he knows that. . . . The Democrat party is attempting to find anybody but him to blame. He knows if he plays his cards right, he's just a victim. . . . That smiling mug shot -- this guy clearly understands he's getting all the attention and he understands he's got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything that they can to make sure he's not convicted of murder -- but something lesser."


"Limbaugh was suggesting --no, make that stating as a fact -- that the Democrats want to help Jared Lee Loughner escape full justice for allegedly murdering six people (including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl) and attempting to kill Giffords, a Democrat quite popular within her party. What could Limbaugh be thinking?

Then again, it's not truly a rational thought process that derives such a conclusion. Would he have his audience of ditto-heads believe that the leading Democrats who have visited Giffords in her hospital room -- Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Kristen Gillibrand -- want to help the man who nearly killed their friend to get off easy? Limbaugh has no evidence to cite, because there is nothing to back up his ranting. This is craziness. Hateful craziness.

Does Limbaugh even believe this swill? He could be saying it merely to satisfy the red-meat yearnings of his followers. That would render him perhaps the biggest cynic on the American landscape. (For such care and feeding, Limbaugh earns at least $50 million a year.) Yet if he truly thinks that Pelosi is plotting to assist the assassin who put a bullet into the head of a friend, he is delusional.

There is no other explanation: panderer-for-profit or nutcase. I realize this is not a civil way of describing someone. But there are moments when civility prevents us from serving and protecting the truth. Mendacity, ignorance, provocation -- sometimes these must be called out by name. Otherwise, those who would use or exploit such means to pervert the national discourse gain an advantage.

Obama is correct: To advance the national interest, Americans must mount rigorous debates in the best terms possible. But you cannot have an honest debate with a mud-thrower. (My father used to tell me, there's no fair fight with a skunk.) Those who purposefully undermine reasonable and necessary discourse do not deserve a pass in the name of civility. Limbaugh, as he so often has done, resorted to extreme rhetoric and a big lie in an attempt to undercut or destroy a political adversary. He made a dark week even darker."

Who are the people who regularly listen to this guy--a cynical cad who appears to be a money-slut, interested only in filling his bank account off of dead and wounded Americans.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


"I think we've just seen how a master works. I tend to be lukewarm on most of Obama's speeches because, unlike Bill Clinton, he can't really sustain the "this is worth hearing, America!" impetus unless he really crafts the speech well. He's not really an applause-line speaker (though that does seem to be what he aims for most of the time), but a Kennedy-esque "coiner" whose greatest strength is the philosophy of his phraseology. Lines like "We are the ones we have been waiting for" make you pause, think, reflect - not stand up and cheer, necessarily - and stick with you well beyond the speech and even the context. When Obama doesn't do that, when he's just lecturing or doing his "fired up, ready to go" bit, he's really not particularly great.

But what Obama did in Tucson was a magic trick.

For one thing, he was able to maintain the gravitas of his message not only despite the crowd, but at times even heighten it because of the crowd--such as when he sort of laughed about how the guys tackled Loughner, as though it was such a heroic act that even he couldn't believe it, turning a routine ceremonial thanks into something more personal. (He also managed to maintain his tempo evenly throughout the 30 minutes, which is difficult to do even if you don't have impromptu cheers interrupting you and urging you in a campaign-style atmosphere). For a speech that (presumably) wasn't designed for a pep-memorial, he made it work remarkably well.

Secondly, he kept a fine balance between addressing the victims and addressing the nation--it would have been easy for this to turn into a "look at me, I have compassion for normal people" photo-op, and on the flip side, have it be a crass political speech using the dead as cover.

But if you look at the speech as a whole, it's truly remarkable what an illusion Obama pulled off. Even as I was listening to it, I was somewhat perturbed by Obama's theme on "rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame"--a tacit rebuke of Democrats' criticism of Sarah Palin, despite the fact that no Democrat of any consequence has actually assigned the blame on anyone but Loughner; if we cannot scream at the top of our lungs at someone who is, for whatever reason or intention, whatever effect or consequence, indicating that people be "targeted" by the masquerade of a gun-sight, then what sort of healing can be expected when the eliminative harm-mongers can scream at the heal-mongers all they want?

Yet as Obama's speech unfolded, realize what he did: he led, by example. His speech was about community, brotherhood, love, understanding, listening, caring, healing, and yes, hope--all the things that are anathema to the world-view the Palinites are trying to espouse. Obama effectively took the rug out from under them, baring to the American people the soul of this Stalin, this Hitler, this death-panelist, and showing us that he is none of those things. You want to call Barack Obama Hitler? Then show me Hitler's Tucson.

So while Obama's words were more condemning of the Democratic discourse of the past few days, the speech itself was a ringing rebuke of all the Republican delusions, the delusions that the Democratic government is evil, that it's full of Manchurian candidates and sleeper agents and gran'ma-smotherers, that it's on the verge of turning America into the Union of the Third Reich of Kenyanistan. In one fell swoop, Obama pulled his entire party away from the brink of confrontation with a weaponized political lunacy and stood, alone on a stage, staring all the hordes down, like Wyatt Earp at the OK Corral, daring them to draw their guns and aim their sights and try to take him down, that no cross-hair or brandished gun can stop the power of love and hope, that no bullet can defeat the strength of the human spirit to open its eyes, and that there is no hate that cannot be washed away by rainpuddles.

I am glad that this man is our President."


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


As Andrew Sullivan eloquently put it, Palin had a chance to look presidential in the aftermath of the Tucson tragedy.  Instead, she chose a path that is all too familiar with her--making herself the victim. 

Palin had a chance to rightfully say that she had no guilt in what the shooter did, but that, perhaps the gunsight, crosshair visual she placed over Rep. Gifford was not the wisest thing to do at a time when political rhetoric was out of control in this country.   Palin could have acknowledged that a victim of the shootings, Rep. Gifford, was correct in her concerns about those violent images, and that she (Palin) regretted using them.

Palin did none of that.  

Here's Andrew Sullivan's opinion of how Palin miserably failed to bind up this country's grievous wounds, and instead poured salt on them with her extremely inappropriate reference to "blood libel."

"The leader of the GOP base has told us a lot today. She has told us two things. She can see absolutely nothing awry in the inflammatory and violent rhetoric she and others have deployed so aggressively in the past two years. Nothing. The attempted assassination of a congresswoman after relentless demonization of her, after her opponent brandished an M-16 at a campaign rally, after a brick was thrown through her campaign window, after she personally complained about Palin's own metaphorical cross-hairs on her ... this is an utterly, totally, completely irrelevant set of events:

PALIN:  "Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them."

Really? So why was it in any way relevant that Barack Obama was "palling around with terrorists"? If the acts of the radical left began and ended with them alone, why was Palin so insistent in the campaign on linking Obama to the Weather Underground - even though he'd met them decades after their crimes?

Then there is the usual shocking and inflammatory language. At a time when nerves are truly frayed, when blood lies on the ground, Palin offers us this:

"Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn."

Notice the paranoid and conspiratorial word: "manufacture." Now recall what actually happened, which is that a congresswoman was shot through the head after being subjected to extraordinary levels of hatred and demonization and threats. Because that very congresswoman had herself complained at the time of the "consequences" of Palin's metaphorical use of cross-hairs, reporters, bloggers and regular human beings on Facebook made that obvious connection.

There was nothing "manufactured" about this. It was the most obvious set of observations to be made in the immediate aftermath. To call this understandable concern about the impact of violent rhetoric and imagery on disturbed minds a manufactured "blood libel" - equating critics of extreme rhetoric of being the equivalent of Nazis or medieval anti-Semites - is to up the ante at a time when leaders really need to calm emotions. We know this much right now: Palin does not possess the self-awareness, responsibility or composure to respond to crises like this with grace. This message - even at a time of national crisis - was a base-rousing rallying cry, perpetuating her own victimhood and alleged bloodthirstiness of her opponents.

One would have thought that Palin, like any responsible person in her shoes right now, could have mustered some sort of regret about the unfortunate coincidence of what she had done in the campaign and what happened afterwards. Wouldn't you? If you had publicly defended a map with cross-hairs on a congresswoman's district, and that congresswoman had subsequently been shot, would you not be able to express even some measure of regret at what has taken place, even while denying, rightly, any actual guilt? Could you not even acknowledge the possibility that your critics have and had a point, including the chief Palin-critic on this, who happens to be struggling for her life in hospital, Gabrielle Giffords.

But no. That would require acknowledging misjudgment. Palin cannot acknowledge misjudgment, as she cannot admit error. It would require rising to an occasion, rather than sinking to it. And to moderate that tone, to acknowledge that one can make an error, to defend oneself from unfair accusations while acknowledging the need for a calmer discourse in future - this is beyond her.

It is, of course, also her strategy. She can only win in a hugely polarized country. She has as little support outside the Republican base as she has a cult following within it. And she has decided that this occasion for introspection is actually an opportunity to double down.

There is something menacing about that."

"If crimes 'begin and end with the criminals who commit them,' I think Sarah Palin just endorsed a mosque near Ground Zero."--a reader from Sullivan's blog


Several Jewish groups are criticizing Sarah Palin's use of the term "blood libel" in her video statement on the Arizona shootings. The phrase traditionally refers to false anti-Semitic myths about Jews using the blood of Christians, often children, in their rituals.

Abraham Foxman, who heads the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement:

"It is unfortunate that the tragedy in Tucson continues to stimulate a political blame game. Rather than step back and reflect on the lessons to be learned from this tragedy, both parties have reverted to political partisanship and finger-pointing at a time when the American people are looking for leadership, not more vitriol. In response to this tragedy we need to rise above partisanship, incivility, heated rhetoric, and the business-as-usual approaches that are corroding our political system and tainting the atmosphere in Washington and across the country.

"It was inappropriate at the outset to blame Sarah Palin and others for causing this tragedy or for being an accessory to murder. Â Palin has every right to defend herself against these kinds of attacks, and we agree with her that the best tradition in America is one of finding common ground despite our differences.

"Still, we wish that Palin had not invoked the phrase 'blood-libel' in reference to the actions of journalists and pundits in placing blame for the shooting in Tucson on others. While the term 'blood-libel' has become part of the English parlance to refer to someone being falsely accused, we wish that Palin had used another phrase, instead of one so fraught with pain in Jewish history."



"...[S]ome experts on the history of blood libel took exception to Palin's use of the term.

"In her own thinking, I just don't understand the logical use of this word," said Ronnie Hsia, a professor of history at Pennsylvania State University who has written two books about blood libel. "I think it's inappropriate and I frankly think if she or her staff know about the meaning of this word, I think it's insulting to the Jewish people."

Said Jerome Chanes, a research fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies at the City University of New York: "It's a classic case of, I don't know what you want to call it, semantic corruption."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Is this what he really wants his ditto heads to believe?

Rush Limbaugh: Jared Loughner Has 'Full Support' Of Democratic Party

Speaking on his radio show Tuesday, Limbaugh said that Loughner was getting the exact attention that he wanted:

(Actually, the truth is that Limbaugh is getting the attention he so desperately craves.  Why else would he utter such asininity?  It's always about him.  Poor Limbaugh

"What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He's sitting there in jail. He knows what's going on, he knows that...the Democrat party is attempting to find anybody but him to blame. He knows if he plays his cards right, he's just a victim. He's the latest in a never-ending parade of victims brought about by the unfairness of America...this guy clearly understands he's getting all the attention and he understands he's got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything that they can to make sure he's not convicted of murder - but something lesser."


Steve Benen of Washington Monthly:

"No one could possibly believe this garbage. It's idiotic gibberish, disconnected from reality on multiple levels.

But here's the follow up for any Republican willing to answer: do you agree with Rush Limbaugh's assessment? Do you believe Democrats have offered their "full support" to a gunman who killed six innocent people and tried to assassinate a Democratic congresswoman? Is the GOP also convinced that Democrats want to ensure the killer's acquittal?

Or, for once in their lives, will Republicans have the guts and decency to say, "No, I think Rush Limbaugh is wrong"?


From Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish:

The Poison Of Limbaugh

11 Jan 2011 04:31 pm Very very very few people have contributed more poison and hatred and extremism to the culture than Rush Limbaugh. As every single conservative commentator joins ranks in calling the Tucson assassination a completely apolitical act, and as the right discovers that there is no connection whatever between political culture and political acts, we get this:

"What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country."
Again, the statement is so offensive and absurd one has to pinch oneself to believe someone actually said that about a mass murderer. No one has said something that crudely partisan about Loughner and the GOP. So this is actually a classic example of what some of us have long been worried about in "conservative" discourse. Limbaugh is not mainstream, you say? National Review just approvingly reprints excerpts from Limbaugh's show. He is untouchable; and his tone will not change.

All Americans of good will should shun this demagogue and the filthy anti-American rot he promotes each day.

Monday, January 10, 2011


First, let me state that I am against censoring speech.  But take a look at these signs, which are representative of those that were carried at tea party rallies all over this country since the first protests were held in the spring of 2009.

No fair-minded person can look at these signs and not understand the eliminationist threats and gun-menacing ideas implicit in them as solutions for this political movement if it didn't prevail, whether that meant defeating the passage of legitimate legislation or defeating politicians they disagree with.

This country allows for this sort of free speech; but what people don't seem to understand, or want to face, is that when you encourage these kinds of extreme solutions in political movements, some crackpot will feel free to take the action that is suggested by the extreme rhetoric in these signs and in politcal speech where their candidates and leaders encourage "second amendment solutions," and the exhortation to "not retreat but reload," or using crosshairs and gunsights to target political opponents.

There has to be another way for people to register their disagreement with their government without threatening revolution and mayhem if they don't get their way.

Do we really want to continue down this destructive path?

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Trying to make sense out of this senseless act, I've done some research on the past few years' violent incidents and rhetoric as a way to understand how yesterday's massacre was the inevitable outcome.

Here are some of the other violent acts and rhetoric that some of us may have forgotten and that were a prelude to the assassinations of January 8, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona:

July 27, 2008—Jim Adkisson shoots and kills two people at a progressive church in Knoxville, Tennessee, wounding two. Adkisson calls it “a symbolic killing” because he really “wanted to kill…every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book,” but was unable to gain access to them.

September 18, 2008—Dick Heller, the plaintiff from the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, provides testimony to the D.C. Council regarding firearm-related legislation. Heller’s written, submitted testimony states, in part: "‘We the people,’ armed, are TRULY what the Writers of the Constitution intended for us to be in Art. 1, Sec. 8, para. 15, and that is the CITIZEN MILITIA. If suicide terrorists DO attact our city, ARMED CITIZENS could be the First to counter these hostilities in our individual neighborhoods.”

September 22, 2008—The National Rifle Association launches its GunBanObama website, which predicts that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, “if elected…would be the most anti-gun president in American history.” The website is part of a $15 million NRA campaign to discredit Obama.

December 9, 2008—FBI teams investigating the murder of white supremacist James Cumming, 29, a resident of Belfast, Maine, find supplies for a crude radiological dispersal dervice and other explosives in his home. Cumming's wife, who shot him to death after being abused by him repeatedly, explains, "His intentions were to construct a dirty bomb and take it to Washington to kill President Obama. He was planning to hide it in the undercarriage of our moter home."

February 5, 2009—FOX commentator Glenn Beck hosts an hour-long special on Fox called “We Surround Them,” a “grassroots effort to wake up our Nation's leaders and let them know what many, if not most, Americans truly believe in and stand for.”

February 20, 2009—FOX commentator Glenn Beck hosts a program that games a 2014 civil war scenario called “The Bubba Effect.” It involves citizen militias in the South and West taking up arms against the U.S. government.

March 21-22, 2009—Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) states that she wants residents of her state to be “armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us ‘having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people—we the people—are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country.”

April 4, 2009—Neo-Nazi Richard Poplawski shoots and kills three police officers responding to a 911 call to his home in Pittsburgh. His friend Edward Perkovic tells reporters that Poplawski feared “the Obama gun ban that’s on its way” and “didn’t like our rights being infringed upon.” Perkovic also commented that Poplawski carried out the shooting because “if anyone tried to take his firearms, he was gonna’ stand by what his forefathers told him to do.”

April 7, 2009—The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis releases an assessment of right wing extremism in the United States. The Department notes that “the economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.” Recalling the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh, the Department speculates, “The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”

May 21-22, 2009—We The People Chairman Bob Schultz hosts a gathering of 30 "freedom keepers" in Jekyll Island, Georgia. The meeting plays "a key role in launching the current resurgence of militias and the larger anti-government 'Patriot' movement." One of the participants, former Texas militia leader Jon Roland, claims the federal government has "been engaging in warlike activity against the American people."

May 31, 2009—Scott P. Roeder shoots and kills Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider, in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas. The FBI lists Roeder as a member of the Montana Freemen, a radical anti-government group. In April 1996, he had been pulled over in Topeka, Kansas, for driving with a homemade license plate. Police found a military-style rifle, ammunition, a blasting cap, a fuse cord, a one-pound can of gunpowder, and two 9-volt batteries in his car.

June 10, 2009—James W. von Brunn, a convicted felon and a “hardcore Neo-Nazi,” walks into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and shoots and kills a security guard. Von Brunn believed that Western civilization was going to be replaced with a “ONE WORLD ILLUMINATI GOVERNMENT” that would “confiscate private weapons” in order to accomplish its goals.

June 24, 2009—Hal Turner, a New Jersey resident and white supremacist blogger/radio host, is arrested again after calling for the murder of three Republican-appointed jurists on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals who had issued a June 2 decision upholding handgun restrictions in Chicago. Writing on his blog, Turner says, “Let me be the first to say this plainly: these judges deserve to be killed,” and includes photographs, phone numbers, work addresses, and room numbers of the judges, as well as a map of Chicago’s federal courthouse which points out its “anti-truck bomb” pylons.

July 15, 2009—Katherine Crabill, a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates in the state’s 99th District makes headlines by calling on Americans to resist the course President Obama has set for the country. Appearing at a “Tea Party” rally, Crabill quotes a 1775 speech by Patrick Henry and then states, “We have a chance to fight this battle at the ballot box before we have to resort to the bullet box. But that's the beauty of our Second Amendment right. I am glad for all of us who enjoy the use of firearms for hunting. But make no mistake. That was not the intent of the Founding Fathers. Our Second Amendment right was to guard against tyranny.” This thought is reinforced on Crabill’s campaign website, where she states the Second Amendment “was clearly intended for self defense as well as, and more specifically, to keep the government on notice of an armed citizenry.”

September 9, 2009—With President Barack Obama at the U.S. Capitol to address a joint session of Congress on the subject of health care reform, Joshua Bowman, 28, of Falls Church, Virginia, attempts to drive his Honda Civic into a secure area near the building. U.S. Capitol Police stop him and, searching his vehicle, find a rifle, a shotgun, and 500 rounds of ammunition. He is arrested on weapons charges.

September 25-26, 2009—Kitty Werthmann, a speaker at the “How to Take Back America” Conference in St. Louis, tells her audience, “If we had our guns [during the time of the Nazis’ reign in Germany], we would have fought a bloody battle. So, keep your guns, and buy more guns, and buy ammunition. Take back America. Don’t let them take the country into Socialism. And I refer again, Hitler’s party was National Socialism. And that’s what we are having here right now, which is bordering on Marxism.”

September 29, 2009—An editorial at the Newsmax website calls for a military coup to oust President Obama.


Saturday, January 8, 2011



A commenter at the DU blog asked this very interesting question:

" rarely ANYONE actually takes a shot at a member of Congress. Coincidence? Probably not.

Would it have been acceptable if Palin had posted a picture of the White House with a rifle sight superimposed on her web site? So why was this?"

Good question.  Why is it okay for Palin to put a crosshair gunsight on Congressmen and Congresswomen she wants defeated, but that very same graphic on the White House for defeating the president would get her a visit from the Secret Service?

UPDATE I:  from the NYTimes:

"While the exact motivations of the suspect in the shootings remained unclear, an Internet site tied to the man, Jared Lee Loughner, contained antigovernment ramblings. And regardless of what led to the episode, it quickly focused attention on the degree to which inflammatory language, threats and implicit instigations to violence have become a steady undercurrent in the nation’s political culture.

Clarence W. Dupnik, the Pima County sheriff, seemed to capture the mood of the day at an evening news conference when he said it was time for the country to 'do a little soul-searching.'

'It’s not unusual for all public officials to get threats constantly, myself included,' Sheriff Dupnik said. 'That’s the sad thing about what’s going on in America: pretty soon we’re not going to be able to find reasonable, decent people willing to subject themselves to serve in public office.' ”

From yesterday:

Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head Saturday and an unknown number of others were wounded when an assailant opened fire in an area where the lawmaker was meeting with constituents, officials said.

There were varying accounts on Giffords' condition, but a hospital spokesman said the Democrat was in critical condition. An aide to the Democrat was killed. An unknown number of others was injured, officials officials said, including additional aides to the lawmaker.

Congressional officials said one of the victims died soon after the attack, and others were taken to a nearby hospital. The officials said the wounded included some of Gifford's aides who were with her at the time.


"Federal Judge John Roll was shot and killed in this morning's attack in Tucson. He had earlier been under protective custody because of threats tied to case tied to the illegal immigration issue in the state."



Her father Spencer Giffords, 75, wept when asked if his 40-year-old daughter had any enemies.

"Yeah," he told The Post. "The whole tea party."


Giffords, whom I had not noticed before, seems remarkably calm, reasoned, sane and public-spirited. She did not try to exploit the angry right's attacks on her, but she did rightly note them. What we're seeing here is an almost perfect case of foresight: a public figure specifically stargeted rhetorically in ways that seemed to encourage violence, several incidents that prove the threat was real, at-the-time warnings of the dangers of this, and a stirring refusal of Giffords to be intimidated.

That she was at the Safeway today is a great testimony to her character and to core values of democratic accountability. She warned us. We carried on. And no-permit gun rights

A gun had appeared at one of her Safeway appearances before. From a Gail Collins column:

Giffords warned of this:

"They really need to realize that the rhetoric and firing people up, and, you know, even things for example, we're on Sarah Palin's targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, you gotta realize there's consequences to that action."

Various Palin sites are frantically removing various incendiary materials - which is both gratifying, but also, it seems to me, an acknowledgment of previous rhetorical excess. is in meltdown, images like these are being removed ASAP, and Palin's Facebook page simply cannot cope with the number of commenters blasting her."


Back in June 2010, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's (D-AZ) Republican opponent Jesse Kelly had an event at which voters could shoot an assault rifle with the candidate, promoted as thus:

Get on Target for Victory in November Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.