Monday, November 29, 2010

Disillusioned and Disgusted: Obama Caves Again

According to the Washington Post, Obama has caved to the Republicans once again. While he cited growing concerns about the budget deficit, he decided that all federal workers will have to endure a two year stay on their wages. Look who's excluded: military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers. The military personnel should be excluded, and them alone. However once you look at the list it's pretty clear that the middle class federal workers are taking the screws. Watch his next announcement be that he's going to extend ALL Bush tax cuts including those for the wealthy for another two years. Want to make a wager? Not giving these folks a raise will save $5 billion over the next two years, but adding billions to the deficit for the rich --- no problem! That apparently seems like a fair trade-off to President Benedict Arnold.

Obama said "Getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifices and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government." You see, the only people who will be required to sacrifice during these tough times are the middle class. The wealthy are the job creators (in India) so we can't make them pay their fair share or even the amount they paid during the Clinton years. Why, why that would mean one or two fewer luxury cars for those nice folks and we can't make them suffer like that. That would just be cruel!

John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, blasted the announcement, called it what it was; "a superficial, panicked reaction to the deficit commission report. This pay freeze amounts to nothing more than political public relations." Gage said in a statement, suggesting government nurses, border patrol agents and other personnel are being unfairly targeted for Democratic election losses. Bingo Mr. Gage.

Democrats got slaughtered because of the appearance that nothing was getting done. No where does this administration acknowledge that Republican obstructionism was the biggest culprit, but yeah, let's throw the baby out with the bath water. Democrats never learn, they really don't. They didn't lose for being "too liberal," they lost for not standing up for their principles and explaining the story to the electorate. By the way, the progressive caucus stayed mostly intact, it was the blue dogs who will be going back to private life in January. You would think someone on Obama's staff might have noticed that little fact.

It's amazing what the minority party has been able to do for the past two years. Just wait until they have the majority in one branch come January. You won't even realize the Democrats still are still in charge of two branches because they'll be slinking away at every turn. Disillusioned, disgusted and hoping for someone who really works for the people. Mr. Feingold, are you listening?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Rachel Maddow Was Destined To Be A Game-Changer

On a breezy evening in northern California in the spring of 1990, Castro Valley High Scool graduated. Rachel Maddow gave a speech at her graduation that was more responsible, articulate and straightforward than speeches most adults dare attempt. Only Rachel Maddow herself as an adult has given as relevant a speech in recent memory.

I found it amazing listening to a barely 17 year old give this wise-beyond-her-years speech especially knowing how her life has turned out thus far. Her aim was/is true. The intellectual prowess and concise reasoning made it clear that she was destined for greatness from the beginning. The faculty must have cringed when she announced she wasn't going to deliver the planned speech and those behind her looked uncomfortable at times with her new and improved speech as they sometimes looked down at their feet. I know it's written on my sleeve how amazing I think Rachel is, but what is even more significant is that she apparently always has been. I've watched this video several times in awe. How does any 17 year old command that much intellect, compassion, and avant-garde thinking? We have a bunch of fifty-something-plus politicians who can't speak in complete sentences!

She's on record saying she grew up in a very Catholic conservative household and even has two aunts who are nuns. Can you imagine her poor parents reasoning with their very progressive daughter? She must have been a handful. I remember reading an article with her mom in which Mrs. Maddow talked about their mother/daughter arguments in Rachel's teen years and how she would realize Rachel was winning so she'd just say, "We're not going to talk about this anymore." Obviously the confidence and facts were always her forte. You've got to believe, there are no two parents anywhere who deserve to feel more proud than the Maddows and I'm sure they are. As I leave you to watch the video, the socks, sandals and shorts made me laugh. There she is wearing dangling earlings giving an awesome speech and I was thinking afterwards, I'll bet she left the house with a nice pair of slacks and nice shoes. The lady has been a non-conformist from the start. She is simply amazing. We're lucky to have her, but the more we see of her and who she is, the more I wonder, is MSNBC actually holding her back?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Liberals and Tea Partiers Should Agree, but...

The United States Constitution - Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure.
Ratified 12/15/1791.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Today a friend of mine made mention that if we're going on vacation next year we should probably start looking. I informed her that it's going to have to be somewhere without the full body scanners because I am not going into those nor am I going to allow an enhanced pat down to take place. Then a discussion ensued. She takes the simple approach that our government loves; "anything to keep us safe." I let her know that she was more likely to win the lottery than be killed by a terrorist and I wanted to know how much we should readily give up in the so-called "land of the free?" Polls show that I'm in the minority in this position, but I feel very strongly about it.

Ever since September 11, 2001 our government has not missed an opportunity to play the fear card. We had George W. Bush illegally wire-tapping and reading private emails and our public said, "anything to keep us safe." So he managed to pass the Patriot Act (which Obama reauthorized in February) with many Democrats enthusiastically signing on. This law is anything but patriotic since it essentially lets the government pry into anybody's business without needing a warrant. What did we hear? "Anything to keep us safe." Then some yutz tried to start his shoelaces on fire because he had bomb materials in them so now we all get to remove our shoes while going through airport security...all together now, "anything to keep us safe." Next was a plot that 10 airliners would be targeted to detonate liquid explosives which led to the 3-1-1 rule. That means you can have three containers with up to 3 ounces of a liquid in a 1 quart bag. Obviously sun tan lotion, shampoo and mouthwash are a threat to "the homeland." Yet our passive electorate said, "anything to keep us safe." Last Christmas, some terrorist dropout decided that he was going to take a Detroit bound plane down by blowing up his "junk." So now there are procedures as invasive as something your physician might do in place. Yet the chickenhawks chant "anything to keep us safe." This rule is where I am drawing a line in the sand. The new full body airport scanners are in place at many of the busiest airports and as of November 1st, the new "enhanced pat down" technique has been put into motion. The horror stories, all ones I knew would become reality are hitting the newswires rapidly.

This week amongst TSA claims that all images are erased immediately after a person has passed through was proven to false. A technology website has published 100 images they said were taken by body scanner machines at the Florida Federal courthouse. They were images that weren't supposed to be saved. According to the report in Gizmodo, U.S. Marshals saved 35,000 images on their scanner.

Cancer survivor Cathy Bossi, a 32 year flight attendent who had a masectomy was forced to remove her prosthetic right breast in Charlotte after passing through the full body scanner. The 3-year cancer survivor said it was against her better judgement to even go through these high radiation contraptions in the first place since she didn't want the added radiation through her body, but she reluctantly agreed. She said two female Charlotte TSA agents took her to a private room and began what she called an aggressive pat down. She says they stopped when they got around to feeling her right breast, the one where she'd had surgery. "She put her full hand on my breast and said, 'What is this?'. And I said, 'It's my prosthesis because I've had breast cancer.' And she said, 'Well, you'll need to show me that'." Ms. Bossi should sue the TSA's asses off!

Evidently menustrating women will have another reason be also be on edge. When the question was asked if sanitary products would be visible, the answer was yes. The Feminest Peace Network asked about tampons; "And what about tampons? They look kind of like sticks of dynamite. Are they going to ask us to pull them out and show them just to be sure?" Sarcastic and on target. TSA agents will have to use their own discretion with this topic! This is simply outrageous and unacceptable.

What is next? Let's say 250 people are on board a typical airliner. That is a fair amount of people, but if we're going to be paranoid, let's think big. What if a "terrorist" decides to strike the Super Bowl, the Daytona 500, Disney World, The Mall of America or even a Bruce Springsteen concert. How many people will be in those venues? Should we basically be strip searched to enjoy our "freedoms" as Americans? At what point do we say enough?

What will it take for us to stop ceding our rights to the government just for the mere appearance of safety or the right to travel? If Israel, the country with missiles hurling in daily thinks these devices don't work, why aren't we listening to them? I know the counter argument; "so don't fly." I won't. As far as air travel within the U.S., yes one can still drive, but with such a large country, that is not really practical for many. This will have an impact on the airline and tourism sectors of the economy if others feel as strongly as I do. Maybe they'll be the ones who will get this meant to humiliate and/or intimidate people into going into the pornorama removed. As far as I can see, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. What about rape victims? Can you blame them for not wanting strangers seeing them naked or groping their genitals? Is it OK that they are left crying just so they can travel? What about an elderly person with a colostomy bag? Is it ok to decimate their dignity for appearance sake?

I entitled this article "Liberals and Tea Partiers Should Agree, but..." because the two shall never embrace in this divided plutocracy. Jon Stewart did get this mostly correct at his rally. This issue is the resulting consequence of which liberals have always understood. We could see what the eventual outcome of government intrusions and influences (ex. The Patriot Act) in our day to day lives would become. While I have an issue with the social conservatives in their movement, if they're true to their "less government interference," they should join us in fighting this utopian invasion of privacy. Never forget, once rights are given away or taken, you won't get them back. If people accept this disgusting intrusion that treats law abiding travelers like criminals, more intrusions will follow. Do you think it's far fetched that the government will start showing up at people's private residences unannounced and demanding to fully search the premises? I don't, they're doing everything else. I can even see passports on a state-to-state basis at some point. The U.S. efforts to combat terrorism have done us far greater harm than terrorists could ever have done themselves. That’s why they call it “terrorism.” They have us on the run. They have changed how we live. And we're allowing the government to rule by fear. We are not the Land of the free, because of the brave anymore and we should stop pretending that we are.
Native Americans would argue that we never were, and they'd have a point.
Maybe it's time to read 1984 again.

Try to overlook the fact that the female CNN anchor is an idiot. This is the "Don't touch my junk" clip. I was waiting for the TSA screener to ask him to cough. I wish good luck to John Tyner in this battle!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

We Can Agree To Disagree Civilly As Proven By Maddow and Stewart

For anyone who was unfortunate enough to miss this classic interview between Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart, I decided to post it and offer my own critique. This is the full uncut interview including some footage that was not included in the 11/11/10 episode.

I really like Jon Stewart, but found his false equivalency bothersome. Let me start by admitting that cable news is a very small portion of peoples lives, but to dismiss its reach beyond its own viewers is foolish. What I'm about to write is not whining, it's the fact that Americans are not being presented solid facts, which includes GE owned MSNBC. We're only getting what our corporate lords allow us access too. That is a major cause of our civil unrest and partisan discourse in my opinion. We're all playing "telephone." Who is the Jack Anderson of 2010? There isn't one. Doesn't it seem strange since Anderson exposed everything Nixon was up to back in the day, that the media has been effectively neutered?

Should we be more concerned with corruption in our politics than the left/right battle? Absolutely. How exactly do we do that? I offer the rise of the Tea Party funded by the billionaire Koch brothers with exuberant assistance by FNC as proof of corporate media's influence. People need to consider that corporate America has bought our media thanks to deregulation by Ronald Reagan. Add that 95% of talk radio is literally right wing talkers because of blowing up the Fairness Doctrine (another Reagan gem). Ultra-conservative billionaire Rupert Murdoch's 24/7 right wing propaganda channel called Fox "News" has effectively painted anyone who's not conservative and in love with big business as an anti-American communist. According to Jon, Fox isn't partisan, they're idealogues. Their donation of $1M to the Republican Governors Association and $1M to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce which used the money to run attack ads against Dems would suggest they're both. For nearly 15 years, and while the FNC mission is clear to most, they still prop up their "fair and balanced" mantra with decent success. MSNBC has 4 hours of liberal evening talkers (5 if you count Chris Matthews). Hardly a balanced playing field. I felt Stewart went overboard to make his point about discourse while clearly distancing himself from the left. He needs to admit the fact that in the past couple years angry conservatives heavily influenced by their media heroes have killed doctors who provide abortions(with Bill O'Reilly chanting Tiller the baby killer in one instance), have killed cops when they think the government is coming for their guns (Glenn Beck, Alex Jones), have killed church goers in a gay friendly church (O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage). Recently a Beck fan was caught on his way to shoot everyone at the Tides Foundation in California. Angry liberals write blogs, go to events to get their head stomped on by a neanderthal or make phone calls for GOTV. To pretend the same type of "discourse" occurs from the left is not factually accurate. It's not 1969 anymore. Yes, the civil discourse in the country is terrible, and while he didn't say it, I felt he was essentially suggesting to Ms. Maddow that her show is as big a problem as the aforementioned commentators. I take issue with that. Yes, she makes fun of kookiness from the right (and the left when presented), but has never used her show as a forum for fear of your political opponents. It amazed me that the man who has been voted most trusted newsman two years in a row will not admit he's on the field. He is whether he wants to be or not. To ding Rachel for doing the same things he has done is disengenuous, whether he hides behind his comedian title or not. That in a nutshell, is what bothered me.
And then...

I almost fell off my chair when he went into his Bush apologist speech. He admits that George W. Bush is "technically" a war criminal, but that's a conversation stopper! What? No Jon, that's a conversation starter and we put the clown in jail with the rest of his crooked cronies. Bush is a war criminal. He actually admits it in his new book. Dick Cheney admitted as much as well...and proudly! But no, let's once again play the old game of equivalence and compare that to thinking Obama is a secret Kenyan, Muslim, Marxist, or of the day. Evidently it's ok that Bush is a war criminal, because conservatives are allowed to be law breaking radicals, whereas liberals are not even allowed to be radical enough to prosecute those crimes. We're not even allowed to call them crimes, apparently. That's too divisive.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

White House To Cave On Bush Tax Cuts For The Rich

Today we've heard that the White House is ready to accept an across-the-board continuation of steep Bush-era tax cuts, including those for the wealthiest taxpayers. Add $700 billion to the debt? Why not, those top 2%ers are having a rough time. Yes there was a bloodbath for Congressional Democrats last week and as usual, these morons are either misreading it or are in on the game. Before the election, 80% of Americans thought extending the tax cuts for those making less than $200K and letting the cuts expire on the wealthy was the way to go. But nope! Nancy Pelosi thought the Republicans would make that a political issue so she didn't take a vote! Well yeah, a vote you idiot Dems could have won with! What happened to all the debt reduction talk from the teabaggers and Republicans? Oh that's right, they won. Here's Republican thinking in a nutshell: "Now we can screw the little guy a little more, we'll just keep bringing up God, guns, gays and our new fave, Muslims. The rest of our positions don't matter, let's just keep 'em scared!" Here's the best part, Pelosi is going nuts over this decision. Where the F were you when you weren't the lame duck Speaker?! Dumbass Axelrod said "The notion of spending the next two years fighting over this, I think, is a complete misreading of what the American people want. They want us to focus on the economy. They don't want us to fight the battles of the last two years." Yes, yes we do! Stop being a bunch of candy-assed suckers. The Democrats in Congress got slaughtered because the Republican Senate used the filibuster as standard operating procedure and the Democrats sat back and said, "OK, just don't be mad at me...please."

How about yesterdays news from Obama's Debt Commission? I think it's time for us to admit that this guy is a wimp and a corporatist. A decade of unnecessary wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, and the fallout from Wall Street's housing bubble have almost tripled U.S. public debt since 2001. Yet look at the debt commission suggestions yesterday, their idea of reducing the debt is to take it out of the hides of middle class workers and retirees. Obama put 18 conservative white men, all Wall St insiders on a commission; why is anybody shocked or surprised? I'd rather lose my modest tax cut than see the wealthy successfully extend the wealth discrepancy gap while jobs continue to be outsourced. I really hope this phony gets primaried or just doesn't run again. I know many will point to Carter/Kennedy, but this guy is folding like a card table. Disappointed is an understatement.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who Does This? Babs Bush Does!

In his new book, "Decision Points" George W. Bush discloses that his anti-abortion view was formed because his mother, Barbara Bush showed him the remains of a human fetus in a jar when he was a teenager, the result of an earlier miscarriage by the elder Bush. A jar! It was in a jar! Who the hell in their right mind keeps a fetus in a jar?! And for how long? WTF!!! When I was a kid, my mom stuck to pickles and tomatos, maybe stringbeans on occasion. And while I don't really want to be mean, he also remarked, "There was a human life, a little brother or sister." [Insert your own joke here.] According to Bush, he didn't recount the story to explain the genesis of his anti-abortion views, but rather "to show how my mom and I developed a relationship." Ok, ok, one has to ask what kind of relationship they had besides creepy. If my mother had ever shown me something freaky like that in a jar, I'm pretty sure cocaine and excessive alcohol would follow...oh, wait.

Dubya made the admission during an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, to promote "Decision Points."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dems Caving on DADT - Surprise!

Here we go again. Democrats and Republicans play the good cop, bad cop game to perfection. The good cops are cowards afraid to question the accused and the bad cops beat a confession out of the suspect even if he has an alibi. Either way, you don't get the just outcome. As usual, we have Democrats cowering in fear while Republicans kick sand in their face and laugh. Even though something like 70% of Americans want DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell) repealed, the Democrats have found yet another way of turning a win into a loss. Even the soon-to-be-released Defense Department study has found that U.S. servicemembers do not mind serving alongside gay soldiers, much to the chagrin of John McCain (R-AZ). President Barack Obama has repeatedly said he wants to overturn the policy, which bans gays from serving openly in the armed forces, yet every chance he gets he does something to undermine overturning it. Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and McCain, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, are in talks on stripping the proposed repeal and other controversial provisions from a broader defense bill, leaving the repeal with no legislative vehicle to carry it. I know there are people saying bring DADT up as a seperate vote, but that is not how it originated either. It got passed through the defense bill. And we know that all the cowards in DC are afraid to tackle this issue head-on and do the right thing so this is where the overturn will die. If Democrats can't use the brains they were born with and repeal a policy more than two thirds of the American people, including a majority of conservatives who want it gone, then they can't expect people to vote for them. It shows their inability to stand by their convictions. I am absolutely blown away that after the beatdown Democrats took last week, they think that going further right is the way to go. This is the shit they keep doing that is keeping the base home! Republicans actually captured 31 percent of gay voters this year, compared to 19 percent in 2008 largely due to the Log Cabin Republicans. GOP strategists seem perfectly capable of understanding that the vast majority of the American people want DADT repealed. They are certainly capable of understanding what 31 percent of the LGBT vote means. But Democrats think that they can keep stringing along the LGBT community with lip service. Things are changing within the GOP and Sarah Palin and her teabaggers aren't going to like it. Sadly, most other things that the Teapublicans stand for aren't palatable for liberal Americans either. We need an honest Progressive Party to rock the boat and make a difference that will actually help the majority, not for the fearful and wealthy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Olbermann Will Be Back Tuesday!

Reported via Huffington Post:
First Posted: 11- 7-10 09:21 PM

Keith Olbermann will return to the air on Tuesday after being suspended for two shows (this past Friday and the upcoming episode on Monday).  The host of MSNBC's "Countdown" was given an indefinite suspension last week after his boss, network president Phil Griffin, discovered that Olbermann had made political contributions without seeking prior approval, as per company policy.
A network spokesman released the following statement via email:


From Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC:
After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.

Earlier on Sunday, Olbermann broke his silence via Twitter, telling his followers "Greetings From Exile!" and thanking people for their support.

Over the past few days, Olbermann had received an outpouring of supportive words -- even from reporters and conservative pundits. CNN's Eliot Spitzer called the punishment "ridiculous." Another MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow, immediately called for his reinstatement and used the opportunity to illustrate that her network is bound by different ethics and "not a political operation" like Fox News.

While I wish Rachel hadn't bothered with that analogy since it wasn't all that important to the issue, her point was that MSNBC doesn't have candidates on the payroll and does attempt some transparency. To be honest, I saw this very smart woman showing a bit of media inexperience wanting to support her friend and not get fired by her employer.  This was clearly new territory for her.  She'll handle the next crisis with more ease.  It's MSNBC, there will be a next time.  Keith's fans are mad at her for not taking a firm stance and Fox fans claim that it shows she has no credibility.  I saw someone in a tight spot.  I have to believe she spoke with Keith who as an experienced guy knew what he was doing.  I doubt he wanted her to ruin her career since he was so influential in elevating it.

Over a quarter million people signed a petition to put him back on the air while Phil Griffin and his boss Jeremy Gaines probably got more emails than they've ever seen.  Many on the right are now calling it a publicity stunt, yesterday they were saying na na na na nana.  I don't care if it was a stunt or not, we don't have enough voices on the left and I don't want to lose the one's we have.  We'll see what Comcast does when the keys to NBC change hands.

It's Time To Stop Pretending There's A Liberal Media

Where to begin, where to begin...  On October 30 Comedy Central comedians Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert hosted a rally: Restore Sanity/Keep Fear Alive. It was a three hour event with over 250,000 in attendance far eclipsing the 87,000 who attended Mormon Glenn Beck's Beckevangelist Event on August 28. The 30th was a beautiful day, an awesome line-up of musicians were assembled to entertain the excited crowd. Lots of smiling faces, a lot of good humor and like I said a lot of good music. All in all, a wonderful day. As the event was concluding, Stewart spoke for about 15 minutes on how we can restore sanity and here is where my issue begins. In my heart of hearts I believe Mr. Stewart who I have very high regard for went overboard in trying to prove he's a middle-of-the-road guy. Yes, he said some incredibly powerful things that are applicable to all, "But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies." Yet he also wanted to equate equal blame to both sides and this is where I take issue. FNC has spent nearly 15 years dividing this country with loud personalities telling us that liberals are Marxists, communists, anti-American, etc... A montage played in the background of Fox's most egregious personalities alternating with snippets of MSNBC hosts. What Stewart failed to mention was that the Fox hosts are "keeping fear alive" and the MSNBC hosts are trying to "restore sanity," by debunking the myths perpetrated by the likes of Fox. While Stewart himself has portrayed the Tea Party as racists, and I believe a large portion of them are as we've all seen their signs; he took aim at Ed Schultz for doing the same thing and then claimed that it's an insult for people to not see the difference in the tea party and actual racism. Sorry Mr. Stewart, that was a total BS comment and something that you're also guilty of. As a matter of fact, Jon has actually told Fox to "f#%k off" on a few occasions. Does the MSNBC gang ever go over the top? Sure they do, but they remain grounded in the world of reality. I know, I know some will claim it's because I view the world from their viewpoint and while that may be true, they're not constantly being dinged for making stuff up and when they do get something wrong, they own up to it and apologize. At the end of the day I found myself wondering what the reactions from those on the montage would be and it was pretty much as I expected. Here goes:
  • Keith Olbermann tweeted respectfully, what he does is not the same, but in a gesture toward “lowering the volume" in news coverage, suspended his "Worst Person in the World" segment.
  • On Monday Bill O'Reilly claimed that after Tuesday nights election, all the MSNBC hosts were going to commit suicide.
  • Rachel Maddow said well done to Jon Stewart (she was noticeably absent from the montage).
  • Glenn Beck said it was the equivalent of a high-school play; it was not good and referring to much of the rally as nonsense.
Guess which side understood the message...the side not responsible for the insanity.

So along came Tuesday's mid-terms, the Democrats were crushed in the House. We're now looking at having an angry, orange, alcoholic named John Boehner third in line for the presidency. I hope President Obama on VP Biden have the good sense to not be going out for hamburgers anymore. The crazy teabaggers won 34 seats I believe. I am so discouraged by our electorate who continue to vote against their own best interests. The Republican Party has a lower favorability than the Dems by 8 points, but they put Republicans back in power because they're mad the Dems who couldn't fix an 8 year disaster in 21 months. If they'd been paying attention they'd know the gridlock was the Republican senate filibustering everything congress passed. I guess the guy we lost in the senate who will be missed by liberals is Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. The man is a straight shooter who was outspent 4 to 1 by billionaire Ron Johnson as Feingold does not take special interest money. He was painted as a rubber stamp for Obama and Pelosi and nothing could be further from the truth. He said no to many bills because they did not go far enough and he'll always have my personal thanks for having the good sense to vote against The Patriot Act all those years ago. Then there's reduce the deficit idea Reps ran on, but they're ready to immediately add $700B to it by extending the Bush tax cuts for not just the middle class, but those struggling Top 2%ers. I know it's been suggested that this country goes through cycles, but we've never had a black president and his election has sent many people totally over the edge. I have true fear in what Republicans can and are willing to do with an unjustly terrified electorate. Sidenote, at the end of Tuesday evening all MSNBC commentators were accounted for and doing well.

Then Friday came along and brought forth another stake through the heart news for liberals. MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann for making contributions of $2400 each to three to Democratic candidates without obtaining prior approval from his superiors. Keith told his bosses he didn't know he was barred from making campaign contributions. Now he and Phil Griffin are playing the who's is bigger game. Griffin wants him to apologize on-air for his mea culpa and he's resisting. My guess is part of Keith's hesitance is that Joe Scarborough donated $5000 to a Republican congressional candidate in April as well as taking place in a fund raiser for that candidate. Can't really blame the guy, seems like a double standard. Even Bill Kristol thinks this suspension is absurd. Rachel Maddow seemed to be in an uncomfortable position Friday as he is her mentor and friend.  She stated that it is NBC/MSNBC policy to get permission for donations first, but the point has been made, put Keith back on the air. She's getting slammed this weekend from Keith supporters for a milquetoast response, but she's really in a tight spot. I'm sure she would've liked to stand in solidarity and not do her show. I would've been proud of her for that as well, but folks need to understand she's still a "kid" in this arena. She doesn't have millions socked away where walking away is an actual option. This is her dream job. I get it when conservatives lack the empathy to put themselves in someone else's shoes, but it's one of the things I believed set us apart. When the dust settles, maybe Keith and Phil can go on the air together, issue a joint statement and donate a "fine" to a charity like the Free Health Clinics. I can't believe MSNBC really wants to lose it's biggest star unless this is a nod to Comcast in what the future holds after their acquisition, which I'm not at all happy about. Hopefully we'll see him reappear sooner than later. At around 3:30 today he tweeted, Greetings From Exile! A quick, overwhelmed, stunned THANK YOU for support that feels like a global hug & obviously left me tweetless XO

Also worth reading: MSNBC's Disgrace by Senator Bernie Sanders

And to wrap up my week of political downs, Friday night Bill Maher at least stood in agreement with my Restore Sanity Rally opinion. Here is the New Rule:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The View From The Deck - Week Ending 10/10/10

The "Bear Your Rapist's Baby Caucus" currently consists of five teabagging Republican nominees for the senate, but according to Raw Story, at least 78 GOP candidates for the House would qualify for this extreme voting bloc as well. The GOP has always pandered to the right-wing base by promising to strip women of the right to control their own bodies. In the interest of not alienating sane people though, many Republican lawmakers make an exception in cases of incest and rape, and when a mother's life is in danger. Here are five freedom lovers who think they should get to decide what a rape victim does with her body:

1. Rand Paul (Kentucky) - Believes the federal government should have the power and the duty to intrude on women's reproductive choices. I thought libertarians were supposed to be small government, fiscal conservatives, but socially liberal?
2. Christine O'Donnell (Delaware) - Too much nuttiness to list with this one.
3. Sharron Angle (Nevada) - A quote: "If dealt a lemon, make lemonade." WTF!!!
4. Ken Buck (Colorado) - Also supports a Colorado amendment that would bestow fertilized eggs with “personhood” status, essentially outlawing not just abortion but many contraceptives like the IUD and the birth control pill.  Because Colorado needs more unintended kids?
5. Joe Miller (Alaska) - Unequivocally pro-life, including cases of rape or incest, but supports death penalty.  How does that actually make any sense?
Bottom line, if you don't believe in abortion, don't get one. Let other women make that choice. This has been going on for at least 2010 years, but has only been allowed in a controlled environment in our country for 37 years. If a woman really needs to terminate the pregnancy, do you really want to see wire coat hangers come back in fashion?

Gene Cranick, a rural homeowner in Obion County, Tennessee who hadn’t paid the $75 for the subscription fire protection service offered to the county’s rural residents got to watch his local fire department watch his house burn to the ground...literally.  Firefighters came to the scene and just stood there, with their equipment on the trucks, while Cranick’s house with 3 dogs and a cat inside burned to the ground. According to the local NBC TV affiliate, Cranick said he offered to pay whatever it would take for firefighters to put out the flames, but was told no. They wouldn't do anything to stop his house from burning. Thanks to 30 years of right-wing demagoguery about the evils of “collectivism” and the treachery of “big government” we’re getting a peek at a grim nightmare that may be in our not-too-distant future if the teabaggers really get a foothold in our government.  It’s a picture of a society in which “rugged individualism” run amok means every man for himself. This law abiding, tax paying citizen should've been afforded the basics --- like fire and police protection with no questions asked. Is this really the America that our founders and sane-thinking individuals pictured for us?

MSNBC, which has become the favorite news channel of cable-loving lefty's thanks to Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann, is finally getting to declare itself the progressive antidote to Fox. With the new slogan, “Lean Forward” and new promotional videos directed by Spike Lee, the news network is branding itself as the spot for progressive, forward-thinking viewers. And by extension it’s branding its competition–Fox News–as being left in the dust, looking backwards. MSNBC has shot past CNN in key timeslots, but public awareness of the network is lagging behind its rivals. The new campaign is a “coming-out of sorts” following the example of Fox News, its ideological competition, by marketing to a specific niche. MSNBC’s left leaning niche began growing with viewers tuning in to hear discontent from Olbermann and to a lesser extent, Chris Matthews (who supported the invasion initially) over the war in Iraq, but was solidified when Maddow, a popular guest on the channel, got her own show in the fall of 2008. “It’s an umbrella that’s pretty wide, but that does have a progressive sensibility,” Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC told the Times of his audience. “We’re confident. We’re strong. Let’s not live in the past, let’s not live by fear.” In addition to Maddow and Olbermann, MSNBC hosts Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell round up the progressive-friendly lineup.  In addition to the new TV ads which will run on other NBC Universal stations starting this week, the network will run a print campaign for buses, kiosks, and both web and online publications targeted towards potential viewers. All I can say is, it's about time!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Clinton Believes Obama Should Have Struck Back Sooner

Chris Matthews interviewed former President Bill Clinton in what I thought was an excellent interview...amazing that Matthews finally showed some respect and didn't continuously interrupt! I wish Obama would've asked the former president for advice at some point in the last 20 months instead of allowing the Republicans to control the dialogue. I just hope it isn't too late. Just thinking of the senate and congress full of teabaggers, John Boehner third in command with Mitch McConnell as majority leader makes me ill. Democrats, liberals and moderates, listen up --- maybe we've been disappointed in more than a few things that have not been done, but we can not go back to not just the GWB years, but mix in some Andrew Jackson!  On November 2nd, get out and vote!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fair Representation? Not When Over 50% of Americans Live in 9 States!

Have you ever wondered why U.S. politics are so screwed up? Maybe it's because more than 50% of Americans Live in 9 States. What you're left with is just 18 of the 100 Senate seats representing 154.6 million Americans, while the other 82 Senators represent roughly 150.4 million (based on a U.S. population of 305 million)! Democracy in action, indeed. Conservadem Ben Nelson of Nebraska for example, can ruin any progressive bill. Nebraska's population is only 1.8 million, but he has just as much clout as California's Barbara Boxer (D) who represents 37 million people.  If ever a chart demonstrated the need for proportional representation, this is it. I've never believed the propaganda that we're a center-right country. I've always been of the opinion that the "right" had more land mass, but less people and this is crystal clear proof. We'll never have real progress in this country until we initiate some serious reforms to politics.

November 2009

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Did You Know That Obama is a Radical Christian Muslim?

A little more cognitive dissonance from Saturdays service conducted by Glenn Beck.  Evidently he provides some sort of reality for them.  Whether or not that reality is based in fact is irrelevant.  It is a reality constructed from the blurred recollections of old wive's tales, half understandings of Scripture, barely rudimentary knowledge of our laws and our Constituion, veiled racism and bigotry that they grew up with in their insular lives.  Beck provides the same role that churches and religions do.  A simple ideology that comforts people in their stupidity. It defines their world for them so they can get on with their meager lives.  Although she did forget to mention that he's also a communist, socialist, fascist!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Beck Attendees? Here's Your Sign!

Another awesome video by the New Left Media from Saturdays Beckalooza.  I had to laugh at the very first interviewee (well several of them actually).  Liberals seem to understand that wearing a flag as clothing is desecration of the flag yet "real" Americans don't know that!  And when she said we're not just a bunch of crackpots, my immediate reaction was, "yes, yes you are!" As Bill Engvall would say, "here's your sign!"

Produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviewer) and Erick Stoll (camera operator) with additional camera work from Kasey Hosp

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Restoring American Values That Never Existed

August 28, 2010 will be remembered as nothing more than the day an egomaniac wanted to redefine what that date represents in history. He tried to steal the historical date of Dr. Martin Luther King Jrs. "I Have a Dream" speech at the time we have our first black president. The Faux Networks' very own preacher, Glenn Beck and his klan (reported at as many as 87,000) decided that they've had enough (of that black, guy). Let's not kid ourselves, Beck's little "Restoring Honor" assembly was nothing more than a rally for those who still can't get over the fact that the black guy won. If this was any more than a disingenuous little gathering of pissed off teabaggers, I'd like to see proof of it. If this "awakening" was legitimate, why wasn't what they want honor restored to, made perfectly clear? What topics could they have covered? How about addressing two more than questionable presidential victories in 2000 and 2004? How about questioning the incompetence of George W. Bush when he failed to read any memo's or reports, the latest delivered on August 6, 2001 that warned, "bin Laden Determined to Attack" which led to the largest attack on U.S. soil. How about questioning invading a country that had no ties to Al-Qaeda, but sure had a lot of oil? How about indignation at the SCOTUS ruling that corporations are citizens and can donate as much money to political campaigns as they want thereby deciding the elections? How about how the U.S. violated the Geneva Convention with torture? How about thinking about how far we've fallen as a state-of-the-art country slipping towards third world country status? But no, while most of the Beckerheads obeyed their leader and left most of the signs home, that didn't stop them from blaming liberals for ruining the country even though the last true liberal running the country died November 22, 1963. Oh yeah, but letting terror suspects buy guns is groovy...seriously! One guy suggested that even though Obama hasn't come for his guns...yet, when he does, he'll get them one bullet at a time (if someone said that about Bush, they'd have been arrested). Well, watch the video for yourself and notice the diversity (NOT!):

Since "God" must not have anything to say through Psycho Glenn yesterday, he plagiarized Obama, King and others. Beck's speech was a mishmash of ramblings of a demogogue and sociopath. It wouldn't bother me so much if so many people weren't buying into this garbage. These people believe Obama is a manchurian president (because they saw the movie, not because they understood the meaning) and a whole bunch of other things they don't know the definition of like socialist, marxist, nazi, etc... They believe he's part of The New World Order for christ sakes!
In my mind, when these hateful, undereducated hypocrites say they want to restore "traditional American values" they're saying they want to go back to the 50's (at least). White men in charge of everything; women are to be a chef in the kitchen, a harlot in the bedroom, and an incubator; blacks go back to second class citizenry with separation; gays keep their mouths shut and marry someone of the opposite sex, live miserably just to conform to Becks version of Christianity or Mormonism (since I don't even know what the hell he's selling). And the Hispanics? Well, they weren't such a big issue "back in the day." Let's just go back to Mayberry --- which unbeknownst to them, never really existed. He mentioned that we're a Christian nation and that sends me through the roof. We are not, we are not, we are not! How is it these supposedly strict Constitutionalists can't interpret the god damn first amendment where it clearly states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
These people are only strict Constitutionalists for the parts they like. They're the same people who cherry pick the Bible for quotes to justify their hatred of gay folks, but eat shellfish, wear blended clothing, but would be appalled if someone actually stoned their disobedient children to death. You see, when I went to catechism, a sin was a sin, there were none more egregious than others. I still don't believe being gay is any more a sin than wearing blended clothing, so I guess I'm a rebel.  The problem liberals have and always will until we have a true awakening of our own is that we try to do things in a well reasoned, politically correct manner trying to take into account everyone's beliefs. Conservatives are like a giant bulldozer who will wreak destruction on anything they don't like because they just don't care. We must stop being a Prius to their Caterpillar heavy equipment. These teabaggers are taking the country down a road the early settlers and founders clearly did not intend. Furthermore, this is not a grass roots effort. These believers are being played. It's been widely confirmed that the multi-billionaire Koch brothers are funding this anti-Obama movement with Dick Armey heading it up. History needs to be taught to these buffoons. The Pilgrims who left England and came to this land, came here to be free to practice their faith. They were forced to practice the State mandated religion of the Church of England. Now here we are in 2010 and radio clown Glenn Beck, abominable snowbitch Sarah Palin, crazy Michele Bachmann, scary Sharon Angle, fruity Rand Paul and doesn't wear heels Ken Buck want us to recognize Christianity as our national religion. God, if you're up there and listening, don't let them get away with it!

UPDATE: Evidently, part way through the event, Beck asked the gathered honor-reclaimers to take out their cell phones and text "SOF" to #### several times while the C-SPAN camera panned the audience and he teased them with the possibility that this could be the largest number of people to ever do this. After exhorting them to text a few more times he told them they'd just donated $10 to his SOF fund! Their pockets were picked without even a bump! It was masterful, indeed. I wonder how many did it multiple times! Brilliant fleecing of the flock and probably illegal!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Too Lazy to Think? Find Christianity!

This summer I haven't had as much time to spend with my blog, but as the days get shorter and cooler, I plan to resume writing on a more regular basis. One of my facebook friends posted this video and it made me chuckle. If you're a devout Christian, you may find what he says offensive. However if you live in the land of reality (where I try to exist) you will find a lot of truth in what he says, partially because you may have thought it yourself, but weren't able to verbalize it quite as well as he did. I hope you enjoy it.

You can view more of Pat's video's here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Those Darn Gotcha Teachers!

Look at the look on Sarah Paylin's face when Kathleen Gustafson tells Mama Grizzly (aka Worst Governor Ever) that she's a teacher, compared to the way she lights up upon hearing that the lady is married to a fisherman. Meanwhile we see abstinence only Bristol standing there snidely, arms crossed, chewing gum and muttering things. Todd briefly tries to cut off the cameras view while his lipstick wearing pitbull gets confronted. This family makes the Beverly Hillbillies look like they have class. See Sarah, this is why you must stay in the safety zone at Fox where none of those crazy constituents can actually ask you a question.

From Alaska native Shannyn Moore: "Kathleen Gustafson is a teacher married to a local commercial fisherman. She felt like Sarah Palin had let the state down by becoming a dollar-chasing celebrity and ignoring the oath of office she'd sworn on a Bible. Kathleen was motivated by the fact Palin was using the very place where her family makes a living to fortify the Palin personality cult -- pretending to do the very thing they worked so hard to sustain. Initially, Kathleen just wanted to waste a little of the camera crew's time, since Palin wasted so much of her time purporting to represent Alaska's interests. She didn't imagine Palin would be so easy to draw out."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Prop H8te Overturned, but the Fight Will Continue

On Wednesday, August 4, 2010 in an incredibly awesome decision, Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco overturned Prop. 8, California's same-sex marriage ban. With that, the right wing immediately went wild claiming that Walker's own homosexuality was an open secret in SF and he should've recused himself. Whether he is or isn't, is irrelevant. He followed the law. Are they actually implying only a straight white male could've made an unbiased decision about the civil rights of gay people? Does that also mean that the 3 women on the Supreme Court should not have a vote if Roe v Wade is ever contested? What I find very interesting about these howls of foul play is that these very people were high-fiving when the conservative Republican and GHWB appointee was selected to hear this case. Many of those same knuckle draggers screaming about how one judge invalidated the votes of the 7 million Californians who supported Proposition 8 were comfortable with the SCOTUS stopping the Florida recount in 2000. Remember when they selected arguably the worst (definitely the most inept) president ever in George W. Bush while ignoring 51 million voters nationwide? Here's the problem, if you let a majority vote on the civil rights of a minority the minority will never win. Certain people are fine with tyranny as long as it just oppresses minorities. It makes them feel superior. Walker's ruling was based in large part on the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. Proponents of Prop. 8 failed to support their claim that same-sex marriages undermine the institution of marriage or are harmful to children. He asserted. "Moral disapproval" of homosexuality is not a sufficient basis for such discrimination. Good on him. As for the other complaint about the ruling - that judges should not force social change on a culture that is not ready for it - remember: It was the federal judiciary, invoking the Constitution, that desegregated schools and ended bans on interracial marriage. Discomfort with a minority group, whether based on skin color or sexual orientation, does not justify the denial of basic rights. 

I love the claim, "a culture that is not ready for it." Don't these people also claim that the U.S. is the greatest, most free country in the entire world? That we're leaders? How can we be leaders when we have a bunch of bible-thumping cowards and rednecks spending all their energy worrying about what total strangers may or may not be doing in their bedooms? I would suggest that the real sexual deviants are the one's obsessed with other people's "relationships"! My gosh, Mexico allows gay marriage! Our other neighbor, Canada allows it. The amount of countries who allow gay marriage or legal recognition is staggering. We are way behind the civilized world...way behind. More Info 

And it has been noted from various places how quiet the Republican Party has been about this ruling. While my go-to-gal Rachel Maddow mentioned the silence as deafening, she offered no suspicions as to what they may be up to. Here's my thought about their silence on this issue. I believe the whole "repeal the 14th Amendment" brouhaha has very little to do with illegal immigration or "anchor babies." Republicans like Graham, Kyl and McCain and whoever else has jumped on the bandwagon would like you to believe that the "Citizenship Clause" was the entire amendment, where children born here are legal U.S. citizens regardless of the status of childs parents. They're telling us that they must destroy the 14 Amendment so that the children of immigrants who have entered the country illegally will not be considered Americans, thereby "anchoring" the parents to the nation. Guess what else is in the 14th Amendment? The Due Process Clause which prohibits state and local governments from depriving people of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken. Also, the Equal Protection Clause which requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. This is how Section 1 of the 14th Amendment actually reads:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
See that? Get rid of that pesky little section and you can kill several birds with one stone. With it's removal, not only will undocumented immigrants be out of luck, gay folks will be forced back into the closet, women will be pushed backwards, and heck why not segregate schools again. Party like it's 1868!

My last point is, keeping the population arguing about social issues is also a way to keep attention off of the fact that corporate owned politicians are fleecing us to a dramatic tune --- with our wealth being distributed up! The top 5% have more than 50% of the wealth, but let's keep worring about, "Adam & Steve" or "Abby & Eve." Let's step in and force a 14 year old who was raped by her step-father to carry that demons spawn for 9 months. If the president has dark skin, let's make sure we have the long form version of his birth certificate. How about we get a grip before our ignorance slips us any further into irrelevance?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What Birthers Believe

I've kind of tried to shut off much of the news today just for a mental break, but had this sent to me from a Facebook friend. Since I was actually laughing out loud as I watched it, I felt compelled to share it. It's hilarious! You gotta love the witch doctor! Whoever put this video together did a fabulous job. Sadly, much of what they incorporated into this are things that are commonplace on many Tea Party signs.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Nomination for a 2010 Darwin Award

This guy is living, breathing proof that you can't fix stupid.  I don't care how drunk you are, anyone in their right mind would not climb over a fence and attempt to ride a 16 foot, 1800 pound crocodile! Michael Newman, 36, said on Wednesday he just wanted to pat the massive reptile, known as Fatso, to know what its skin felt like. It's reported that the man scaled a fence and climbed into the crocodile enclosure in Broome, Australia at Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park after being ejected from the pub next door for being drunk.

"I thought to myself, `Well, I will jump the fence and go from behind its tail and pat it and sit on its back'... And within like one split second before I even slightly touched its back, it already had me by my leg ... ,''
Sgt Roger Haynes said, "He has gone to a reasonable effort to get in and he is extremely lucky. Not too many people escape from between the jaws of a five-metre (16 feet) crocodile…they are not renowned for letting people go...No person in their right mind would try to sit on a 5m crocodile."

The video below is a compilation of various reports about this lucky to be alive nitwit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Capped? Matt Simmons says BP covering up MASSIVE HOLE miles away

We were told that BP finally choked off the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday — 85 days and up to 184 million gallons after the disaster began.  We were also told there would be a 48 hour watch to see whether the capped-off well would hold or blow a new leak.  Reports seemed to be finally moving in a positive direction.  I was feeling pretty good that the damn gusher was stopped and was hoping that we would soon be entering the clean up phase.  Then I came across this damning report.  If true, we're being duped into believing that oil is no longer gushing into the Gulf.  Unfortunately I can't find the entire interview video, but this certainly captures Matt Simmons outrage towards BP and what they're getting away with.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The GOP Says Deficits Don't Matter if Helping the Wealthy

Senate Republican Jon Kyl (R-AZ) says that Congress should extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans regardless of their impact on the deficit. Meanwhile, he and other Republicans are blocking unemployment insurance extensions over deficit concerns! We've been at this rodeo before. The unpaid for tax cuts for the rich at the expense of working people is the same backwards policy Republicans used to put the nation in this hole, and it's the same policy they promise to return to if put in a position of power again. As exasperating as the Democrats can be, we can not let Republicans back into power.

In an election year, you'd think the framing of this argument couldn't be more advantageous for Democrats.  However are Democrats going to act like Democrats always have and cut a deal in which getting unemployment benefits extended will come at the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts as well or will they finally show some backbone and say not this time?!

Rachel Maddow made several great points yesterday on Meet the Press while debating both former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ed Gillespie and former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (who seemed shocked she took on the other "Dem" at the table) when they sang the praises of tax cuts.
"When Republicans have had the reins, this is what they've done: two wars not paid for, prescription drug benefit not paid for, two tax cuts that mostly benefited the rich not paid for." They put all that stuff on the deficit, $1.3 trillion sitting there as--in a deficit when Obama took over, after the previous Democratic president had handed him a surplus. If you talk about--if Republicans want to run as this fiscally responsible party, it's neat, but it's novel. It's not how they've actually governed."
Several moments of back and forth with Gillespie and New York Times columnist David Brooks beating their chests on how conservative policies are awesome and drooling over new New Jersey, Governor Christie (R) and how he is taking on the government employee unions there. Funny how they didn't mention how Christie handed out $1 billion in tax cuts to families who earn more than $400,000, the richest two percent and cut that same amount from education spending ($800+M) and other social programs which help the middle class and the poor.  I wish Rachel had brought it up because David "Bushy" Gregory sure wouldn't.  Then she continued...
"I think that most Americans also, though, understand the basic arithmetic that when you're talking about pushing tax cuts that do mostly benefit the wealthy and you're simultaneously talking about getting tough on the deficit, you're talking about a world in which math doesn't work the way most people think it works. If you're going to talk about tax cuts--I mean, Harold, you, as a Democrat, proposed some very significant tax cuts when you were thinking about running for Senate in, in New York, a huge corporate tax cut, a big payroll tax holiday, and then said simultaneously, And we got to get serious about the deficit."
"Tax cuts hurt the deficit."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The View From The Deck - Week Ending 7/11/10

Joe Hagan of New York Magazine describes the John McCain of 2010 as a frustrated, anxious and at times insecure man, engaged in a desperate struggle for his political existence. Really, this was worthy of an article? Most of us have watched his continuous meltdown since he lost the 2008 election.

Rand Paul said tea party activists have been mischaracterized as "right-wing lunatics." No, I'd say for the most part that's a perfect description.

Andrew Napolitano: "Bush and Cheney should have been indicted for torturing, for spying and arresting without warrants." I'm surprised the judge is going to be allowed on Fox after making the statements he did about Bush and Cheney during the interview with Ralph Nader on CSPAN2. Or will he lose his new gig for speaking the truth?

Pyscho Republican Senate candidate from Nevada, Sharron Angle stands by her abhorent position that that abortion should be outlawed universally, even in cases of rape and incest. She insisted that a young girl raped by her father should know that "two wrongs don't make a right. Much good can come from a horrific situation like that," Angle added. "Lemons can be made into lemonade." This is so infuriating my head wants to explode. If Harry Reid can't beat this lunatic, I so fear the thumpers and fundies that want this country ruled by theocracy. And I don't believe for one minute, if there is a God, that he'd want to force further punishment on a victim by making her carry the violaters' child to term. This woman and the people who think like her are sick...sick heartless monsters.

And I close on a lighter note: All right Jimmy Buffett! You pissed off Fox and Fiends and that's good enough for me!!! Rock on!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Results Are In: Reaganomics Won and America Lost

This graph really explains the redistribution of wealth...upwards!  For the anti-tax teabaggers who aren't smart enough to understand they will most likely never be in that top 1% or any interested intelligent person, let me provide a link to a little educational history on American tax rates. Taxes are at historic lows; and yet the middle class which runs the economy is disappearing.  The country hasn't been in worse shape since the depression. In the year that I was born, 1962, the top tax rate was 91%!  In fact during many of the most prosperous years in the US, when the middle class was flourishing, the top tax rates were very high.  Yet the low- to middle- income conservatives continue to vote against their own best interests.  They vote for politicians that will continue to push legislation that will continue to allow that gap to grow wider and wider just by speaking of God, guns and gays.  Thanks to the abundance of ignorance, the deficiency in education and plain lack of intellectual curiousity, our country really is on the road to oblivion.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Front Lines in Afghanistan

Rachel Maddow, on the ground in Afghanistan speaks with Chris Matthews about whether Afghan citizens are willing to fight for their country after the United States leaves.  I thought the questions and answers provided gave some basic insight that we never hear about.  The show Rachel did last night (another show will air live from Afghanistan tonight) got even deeper into the weeds, but this 10 minute synopsis was well done by both anchors.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The View From The Deck - Week Ending 7/4/10

During the hearings for Elena Kagan's SCOTUS nomination, Lindsay Graham (SC-R) asked Elena Kagan where she was during the Christmas Day underpants bomber threat, her response was, "Like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant". Good for her for having such a quick wit to such a stupid question. She also was continuously badgered by Jeff Sessions about military recruitment during her time as Dean of Harvard Law School. Keith Olbermann quite possibly had the funniest response saying, "How a hearing to decide if a Supreme Court nominee will be confirmed is turning into a hearing in which the Senator from Keebler elves tree self-destructs." Adding he "all but called Solicitor General Kagan a liar in her hearings, says he knows better than she did what happened at Harvard while she was at Harvard and he was still up in the tree baking the fudge-covered shortbread." Going into this, I wasn't a huge Kagan supporter, I'm still not really, but after listening to some of the asinine questions from Republican Senators I found myself rooting for her.

Rachel Maddow left for Afghanistan Friday where she will team with Richard Engel, NBC News Chief foreign correspondent. She will be broadcasting live from there Tuesday and Wednesday. Below, Rachel gets instructions on saving her life -- or someone else's -- in case they're hit by enemy fire. She better stay safe!

Final instructions from The Rachel Maddow Show on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

How Dummies Protect the Small People

Since I can't really get my focus away from the disaster in the Gulf and there's really only so much I can say that hasn't been said, I really appreciate the link that someone posted to this video on a Facebook page I frequent. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Monday, June 28, 2010

BP Slick Covers Dolphins and Whales

John L. Wathan, who photographed and documented the death of animals affected by the oil spill describes what he sees. The plane is piloted by Tom Hutchins. Much of what everyone needs to see about the Deep Water Horizon disaster, whether we like it or not, is right here. Our mainstream media is failing us with it's milquetoast reporting of the immense ongoing tragedy. They need to demand access to the entire Gulf region. I'm completely disgusted that our government appears to be allowing BP, the architects of the worst ecological disaster in history to be running the show and blocking access to reporters and the public.
Let me warn you, this is not for the faint of heart. I had a very hard time watching this.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Maddow Waves the Caution Flag on Big Oil

As someone who used to be an enthusiastic NASCAR fan, but has just morphed into an interested bystander, I still loved this analogy that Rachel Maddow used in comparing why big oil needs to take some lessons from NASCAR in how to deal with danger and accidents (is there anything she doesn't know about?). Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) joins Rachel.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Cries From The Gulf" by Lea Morris

Written and narrated by Gulf Coast native Lea Morris, this open letter captures the raw heartbreak of the millions impacted by the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Produced by ROF Productions.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Republicans Agree...Obama is Extorting BP - Unbelievable!

The GOP is still out there defending BP, even after Rep. Joe Barton had to retract his apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward. First, the Republicans cried that Obama wasn’t doing enough about the Gulf oil spill crisis, and now they’re complaining that he’s overstepped his bounds. Mike Papantonio appears on MSNBC’s The Ed Show to take on the GOP and their defense of this corrupt corporation.

When Big Biz Stands on the Neck of a Local Community

The multi-billionaire owner of New Hampshire Motor Speedway said Thursday he will consider moving next year's summer race if Loudon's police chief doesn't cut the cost for providing safety details! NHMS owner Bruton Smith (who owns many of Nascar's sanctioned tracks) said that if he can't reach a compromise with the town on security costs, he may move next June's race from New Hampshire. "The dates are scheduled year to year with contracts with NASCAR," said Jerry Gappens, NHMS vice president. "There is the option of doing that. Let's hope it doesn't come to that option." Gappens said Loudon charges too much to organize security, and Loudon's police chief makes too much doing it. He said Chief Robert Fiske makes $50 per hour (yup, that's a lot), amounting to almost $59,000 for covering the races over five years. NHMS is asking Loudon to reduce its price tag for June's upcoming race from $170,000 to $65,000. "No, we're not prepared to do that," said Loudon Selectman Roger Maxfield. "The answer is no, we won't." Maxfield said he thinks $170,000 to cover an influx of 100,000 people is reasonable, as is Fiske's hourly rate. "He's also in control of 80 full-time officers, so that's a large detail," Maxfield said. NHMS has suggested cutting 38 police officers from its camp grounds and replacing them with private security guards supported by a few officers. Fiske said that plan isn't in the best interest of public safety. "The crime is consistent with a city of that size," he said. "We have alleged rapes and assaults, let alone the DWIs." (wmur) (6-18-2010)

I'm rooting for the Town of Loudon, the police chief and all his personel. Race fans pay upwards of $150 for some of these seats. The 43rd (last) place car earns what some blue collar workers make per year...seriously. The $170,000 price tag is a drop in the bucket for Bruton Smith. He probably spends that on any given day for personal items. How screwed up are our priorities when Smith is telling the Chief to hire $8 per hour security guards? With over 100,000 people in a very small space, they want to minimize security? Seriously? I've been to races...I want trained professionals monitoring the angry drunken wild fans who often times need to be handcuffed and arrested. While I've never stayed on the infield or campground at any track, the people I know who have often feared for their safety. Someone making $8 per hour isn't going to "protect" you in an altercation...they're just not. This is just one more case of a filty rich prick who is watching his wallet grow fatter and has no regard for the safety of the fans. To the best of my knowledge, the summer race at Loudon has never failed to sell out. Personally, I think he's using this as an excuse to move the date to another of his tracks - Las Vegas, giving them two race dates.

Friday, June 18, 2010

To Live on the Land, We Must Learn by the Sea

A heartwarming video in these difficult times. Music courtesy of the great John Denver and inspiration from the great Jacques Cousteau.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fake President Maddow's Oval Office Address Rewrite

Rachel Maddow rewrites President Obama's Tuesday Oval Office Address as an "in-her-own-head, wish he had said that" speech.  To call this woman brilliant is understated, I wish he had said these things too. 

Today,  Rachel sat down with the president for lunch at the White House along with columnist Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post, columnist Gail Collins of the New York Times, Gerald F. Seib of the Wall Street Journal and a handful of White House staffers. I would've loved to hear his response to last night's quasi-skewering of his Oval Office Address.  While I'm sure there was some good natured ribbing going back and forth, I'll bet there was some edgy awkwardness too.  No reports as to what they discussed.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Palin Claims She Knows How to Stop the Leak

So there you have it --- Sarah's alternate reality. Her Fox association has taught her well. Just lie, say it over and over and assume that other networks will pick up the lies and report them as fact. It worked when they destroyed ACORN, so their boldness and deception goes full speed ahead.

  • …On the June 15 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Glenn Beck said that Obama “needs to explain why we haven’t — why we turned down all the international help. They offered it within a couple of days. We said no…”
  • …In a later segment on the June 15 Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson hosted Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL) and stated: “Steve Doocy asked [White House press secretary Robert Gibbs] why the Jones Act has not been waived, allowing international ships to come into the Gulf.” LeMieux later responded, in part, “The Jones Act shouldn’t be preventing any foreign ships from coming to help in the skimming operations.”
  • …Later on Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham stated that one of the “things the president needs to talk about and needs to do” is to “waive the Jones Act” so that “all of our technology, all of our manpower, all the skimmers internationally” could reach the Gulf. Ingraham did not note that there are already international ships in the Gulf responding to the spill.
All lies. How can anyone sincerely believe that this network doesn't continually do damage to this country's psyche? Not only for their political lies dividing us, but even on a situation that nearly every American agrees on. They want to divide and concur on this tragedy as well.  Reality posted below:

  • …In a June 15 press release, the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center stated that “currently, 15 foreign-flagged vessels are involved in the largest response to an oil spill in U.S. history.” The JIC further explained, “No Jones Act waivers have been granted because none of these vessels have required such a waiver to conduct their operations in the Gulf of Mexico.” To date, the administration has leveraged assets and skills from numerous foreign countries and international organizations as part of this historic, all-hands-on-deck response, including Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization and the European Union’s Monitoring and Information Centre. In some cases, offers of international assistance have been turned down because the offer didn’t fit the needs of the response.

Friday, June 11, 2010

How did he get through law school?

Massachusetts, what the hell happened electing a graduate of the Sarah Palin Civics School? Our newest Senator thinks (and I use the term loosely) that the EPA is "a non-governmental agency"? Explaining his vote to bar the EPA from regulating carbon emissions, Scott Palin...I mean Scott Brown said:

"To give a non-governmental agency the ability to regulate the way that they have the potential to, they can regulate churches and restaurants and drop it all the way down from the big emitters to the very smallest emitters and it’s not appropriate. And, you know, we in Congress should continue to work on this issue and have the authority to do just that. And I would encourage, certainly, the majority party to start to work on a lot of these energy issues right away."

Churches? Restaurants? OMG, we are so f***ed if this is the best our country has to offer for leaders. And this is Massachusetts, not South Carolina!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Flush This Mister Sr. WH Anonymous Source!

Shortly after Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) beat union supported candidate Bill Halter for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in Arkansas, an anonymous senior White House aide began spreading word that President Obama's political team thought that the money unions had spent on Halter's candidacy was a massive waste and damaging to the party.
The unnamed official told Politico's Ben Smith, "Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members' money down the toilet on a pointless exercise. If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November."

AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale quickly responded to the criticism saying, "We are not an arm of the White House or the DNC or a political party. We work on issues. And if we feel like someone is standing up for working families, we support them, and if they don't, we won't support it. In the past, people would have assumed that was talk, but now we have backed that up with action. Is the lesson they are taking out of tonight that they can go after labor and anonymously trash us and we will put our tail in between our legs and slink home? That ain't happening." And to drive home the point that the White House was hiding behind the cloak of anonymity in their attacks, the AFL-CIO spokesman added: "My name is Eddie Vale of the AFL-CIO and I'm proud to fight for working families and I don't hide behind anonymous quotes."

When will this WH understand that real liberals don't care about blindly electing anyone with a (D) after their name? I'm so disillustioned, disappointed and disgusted with this administration kowtowing to every conservative they can find under any and every rock, but have totally thrown us under the bus. We actually voted for change and progress and are ending up with a status quo, right leaning administration. I knew we were in trouble when Rahm Emanual basically told us to piss off saying, "where they going to go?" Screw you Rahm. You are destroying the party, not those of us who wanted real change - change that benefits the masses, not the few privileged. We'll stay home and we won't donate. Yes, Republicans will take over for the next few years, but really, what's the difference? And more importantly, why the hell are people so anti-union when it's the unions who will protect them in the workplace? Don't they care about fair wages, benefits and safety? How I'd love to see a third party with Bernie Sanders (VT-I) on the top of the ticket!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The View From The Deck - Week Ending 6/6/10

I'm back - I have a very nice tan so traveling to Arizona wouldn't be advisable at this time. However, I am happy to report that I do have less than 5 players on the DL on my fantasy baseball team (down to 2), but all of my other hopes from last week went unfulfilled.
  • On the BP Disaster, as they kept saying they need 48 hours every 48 hours to assess if the "top kill" was working, it was pretty clear to me it wasn't working and they were just biding time with the media to come up with plan D. Plan D turned out to be the "cap" which they're lauding as a success because they claim they're collecting half of the gusher! Call me crazy, but even if those estimates are accurate (I'm skeptical as I don't trust BP or Tony 'I want my life back' Hayword one iota), half a mega disaster is still a mega disaster. Every time I see those tar covered birds, I feel sick. While I was in east central Florida, I noticed that the BP station was selling their gasoline for 9 cents less per gallon than everyone else. I paid the extra at a 7-11.
  • On Wednesday, we probably watched the worst call ever when umpire Jim Joyce's blown...and I mean blown call robbed a young Detroit Tigers pitcher of a perfect game. At the risk of sounding like a complete smartass, Stevie Wonder could've made that call! He probably would've heard the ball hit the glove waaay ahead of the batter's foot hitting the base. Armando Galarraga's classy response left him personally victorious from this mess. His remarkable grace in handling this entire situation should cement him as one of those guys everyone just roots for from this point forward. Right after Joyce made that unbelievable call, Galarraga reacted with a smile, he was empathetic to the umpire's plight following the game, and the two men shook hands the next evening when Galarraga brought out the Tigers lineup card. Every step of the way, Galarraga took the highest possible road. The umpire tearfully admitted he blew it and cost that kid a perfect game, batter Jason Donald admitted he was out, yet Commisioner Bud Selig will not reverse the call as I feel he should. This blown call did not affect the outcome of the game, it cost the guy not only a perfect game, but a no hitter.  I'm sick of the so called "baseball purists" saying that an overturning this call would set a new precedent. To them I say bullsh*t.  It has already happened. We only need to go back to 1983 when George Brett's homerun was disallowed (too much pine tar on bat), he went ballistic and had to be restrained from hitting the umpire. The call was overturned, the homerun was reinstated and the game picked up the next day. Maybe had Galarraga acted like a rabid madman like Brett did, Selig would've been more empathetic.
  • Right wing hate radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, 59, married Mrs. Limbaugh IV, Kathryn Rogers, 33 and blonde, just like all of Faux Newz women. I'm sure this is true love and has nothing to do with his multi-million dollar empire.  Just look at him, so suave and handsome, even George Clooney is jealous - NOT! What really bothers me is this; Elton John, 63 and gay, serenaded the 400 guests Saturday night to celebrate the marriage. I'm sorry, but EJ is a sellout. I don't care how much money he was paid, any gay person who would perform for this horrible evil man in light of all the things he has said and continues to say about gay folks. If Elton John actually needed the money, he's still a loser as he's had a wildly successful career.
  • Finally, it seems that Maine Republicans are backing away from the Tea Party platform. The state prides itself on its independence and moderation, that is not what the Tea Party represents. Last month with inspiration from a small block of tea partiers, Maine Republicans adopted a party platform last month that raised eyebrows nationally, with planks calling for the elimination of the Department of Education, calling global warming a "myth" and a declaration that health care "is not a right. It is a service." Etc... Apparently it occured to someone that the state generally favors centrists such as Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe and former independent Gov. Angus King. Adhering to a rigid platform right wing may be a turnoff to voters who will be choosing party nominees Tuesday. Don't look now, but people might be coming to their senses!
Quick Note: MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" is again the only cable news show nominated for a Television Critics Association award. TRMS is 2 for 2 since it's September 2008 inception! The show is nominated in the Outstanding Achievement in News & Information category alongside Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," ESPN's "30 for 30," History's "America: The Story of Us," and Discovery's "Life." You know who I'm rooting for!