Sunday, February 28, 2010

History Channel Losing Credibility with JFK Attack Film

Is there no level that the right wing will not stoop? Even some non-Kennedy supporters are appalled at what the History Channel is considering airing.  This is the History Channel, not Lifetime. It's supposed to be based in facts, not innuendo.  In case you missed it, on Sunday, filmmaker Robert Greenwald appeared on CNN's "Reliable Sources" to discuss his campaign against a proposed TV miniseries about the Kennedys, slated to appear on aforementioned History Channel.  The series is being produced by Joel Surnow, the creator of "24" and a supporter of George Bush, who Greenwald says "deliberately distorts historical fact" in order to smear the Kennedy family. "I don't care what your politics are," Greenwald says. "This is a below-the-belt trashing of a president of the United States -- not on policy, but character assassination." 



The script for the upcoming "The Kennedys" miniseries on The History Channel is right-wing character assassination, not "history." David Talbot, author of "Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years" refutes liberties taken with his book.



Tell the History Channel this belongs in The National Inquirer

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Latest Conspiracy? The MDA Logo...seriously

The Missile Defense Agency unfurled a new logo this week and unbelievably it gave the fright-wing another reason to go nuts about Obama's loyalties. When I first saw the article, I thought, "you've got to be kidding me", but alas, they're not kidding. When is this administration going to get it through they're thick heads that no matter what they do, someone will come up with a ridiculous claim? I wish they would just say, "screw it" and do the right thing no matter what we're talking about, because the wingnuts are going to find a way to trash his intentions no matter the discussion. Everytime one conspiracy theory dies down, some genius comes up with a new one. Chris Hayes, Washington editor of The Nation, talks with Rachel Maddow about the strange development on the right of embracing the conspiracy-minded fringe instead of purging them to preserve credibility.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, February 26, 2010

Quick Thoughts on a February Friday

President Barack Obama has concluded after the Health Care Summit yesterday, accord between Democrats and Republicans may not be possible. In other news, the sun will rise in the east, Lassie was a collie, Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon and Michael Jackson is dead.

Paulding County, Georgia lost its State House representative, Glenn Richardson, to a familiar political demon last year -- the extramarital affair. On Tuesday voters chose his replacement, Daniel Stout, a 29-year old banker from Dallas, someone who boldly touts himself as a "Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican," and a man who has had to overcome the fact that had an extra-marital affair with his then-mother-in-law 10 years ago. Stout had an affair with his first wife's mother while his first wife was pregnant with their daughter. Stout and his first wife subsequently divorced. Stout later claimed that "the relationship was stopped short of sex." Seriously? This guy's a bigger scumbag than the guy he's replacing. But hey, at least he's not {gasp} gay!

Last night, the Canadian women's hockey team accepted their gold medals and waved to the excited home crowd. And then the real celebration began. The players came back from the locker room after all the fans had left and staged a party on ice – swigging from bottles of champagne, drinking beer and smoking cigars. The IOC is going to investigate the "behavior." Give me a break. These kids just won the gold medal in their home country -- something that's never happened in hockey and they decided to celebrate. That whole role models argument (they're trying to use) is moot, because the fans had left. If not for the photographer, no one would've even known. Furthermore, no one was complaining about the Yankees champagne, beer and cigar celebration last November. Why do we sweat the small stuff when there's such bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

Bill O'Reilly appeared on "Good Morning America" Thursday with George Stephanopoulos and said, "Sarah Palin needs to go to college. Political college, world affairs college, and she is. She's hired a bunch of advisers and they're giving her a whole bunch of tracks to learn, because it is a sophisticated deal." OK, call me crazy, but at age 46 after already being a governor and after already running for Vice President (thisclose to the red button with old man McCain) she has just now decided she should hire 'tutors'? I still want proof she went to high school. I wonder if Canada would be ready for the influx of new Canadians if this wingnut ever got elected?

Speaking of the Wasilla Hillbilly, she will headline the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina this May. Will Saracuda arrive in a helicopter and kill some endangered wolves? Or maybe she will give a demonstration on how to field dress a moose, then cook a big batch of Sarah Moose Stew for the adoring crowd.

On a serious and sad note. On Wednesday, an Orca whale attacked and killed veteran trainer Dawn Brancheau in front of a horrified audience at the Orlando SeaWorld show "Believe". SeaWorld spokesman Fred Jacobs confirmed the whale was Tilikum, one of three orcas blamed for killing a trainer who lost her balance and fell in the pool with them in 1991 at Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia (which later closed). Tilikum was also involved in a 1999 death, when the body of a man who had sneaked by Orlando SeaWorld security was found draped over him. The man either jumped, fell or was pulled into the frigid water and died of hypothermia, though he was also bruised and scratched by Tilikum. Talk-radio callers, bloggers and animal activists said Tilikum should be released into the ocean or put to death like a dangerous dog. Brancheau's older sister, Diane Gross, said the trainer would not have wanted anything done to the whale. "She loved the whales like her children. She loved all of them," said Gross, of Schererville, Ind. "They all had personalities, good days and bad days." Chuck Tompkins, chief of animal training at SeaWorld parks, said that Tilikum would not survive in the wild because he has been captive for so long, and that destroying the animal is not an option either, because he is an important part of the breeding program at SeaWorld and a companion to the seven other whales there. I went to the "Believe" show in Seaworld a few years back and it was spectacular...there's no other way to describe it. This tragedy is a reminder that no matter how well these animals are trained, they're still wild animals. I guess my question is, why was Tilikum still being allowed to perform and be within close human contact? He obviously has an agressive nature. Apparently he's the biggest whale in captivity. That's fine, put him in a giant aquarium where he can be admired from a distance. Here's some pictures I took at the show on June 6, 2006 (I don't know if any are of him, but Orca's are quite impressive):

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Olbermann: An American Cry for Help

Last evening Keith Olbermann shared his personal experience with a real life "death panel" situation and scorns the unfairness of health insurance in America. Since today is to be the big "Blair House Health Care Summit", I thought I'd share Keith's impassioned plea for our elected officials to fix a very broken system. Don't count on it Keith. By the way, why wasn't Anthony Weiner invited?



Since Republicans got spanked the last time they met with President Obama, they've already set up their defense.

1. Democrats aren't willing to start from scratch Riiight, because that will help.

2. President Obama actually introduced a bill Why doesn't anyone get that Republicans were voted out for a reason?

3. The bill Obama introduced is too short. Seriously? They said other one was too long.

4. The summit is superficial and designed to make Republicans look bad. Well, let's be honest. How hard is that?

5. No governors were invited to the summit -- making it too D.C.-centric. When have governors ever been included?

6. No state legislators were invited to the summit (see above for explanation). When have state legislators ever been included?

7. The summit is taxpayer-funded -- which makes it a waste of money. Kind of like Iraq?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Anthony Weiner Tells the Truth and Republicans Demand Retraction!

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY): “Make no mistake about it, every single Republican I have ever met in my entire life is a wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry!” When Weiner took them on today on the House floor, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) objected. Bravo! We need more Democrats like this guy and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL). They are fed up and are not sitting by quietly anymore. Elected Democrats by and large need to understand that we approve of them fighting back! The fact that these men are targets from the right tells me, they're doing something right! This was a very satisfying video to watch!



At the end of the debate, the House voted 406-19 the House to strip health insurance firms from an antitrust exemption Congress granted them 65 years ago. Well done, Mr. Weiner.

All nay votes came from Republicans: Reps. John Boehner (R-OH), Steve Buyer (R-IN), Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Paul Ryan (R-WI), Tom Price (R-GA), Ron Paul (R-TX), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Linder (R-GA), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Steve King (R-IA), Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Paul Broun (R-GA), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Todd Akin (R-MO), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hey, Teabaggers...What Has Brown Done For You?!

You've got to love the mentality of the Tea Bag crowd. One vote and they've turned on their shiny new messiah! One of the funniest comments was, "These folks, Scott Brown's "Fans," thought Brown was literally the naked lovechild of Reagan and George Washington." I guess most of the country doesn't understand that he did NOT run as a far right idealogue. He would have never gotten elected. In fact, he never once in any ad actually admit he was a Republican. He distanced himself from teabaggers, he ran as a moderate. I don't buy it, this is one vote, but the reaction of this one vote is hysterical. Do these people grasp the fact that he was elected due to a terrible Coakley campaign mixed with a guy running as an "independent?" If he make's a hard right turn, like they want, there is not one chance in hell that he get's re-elected in 2012! Massachusetts hasn't changed, Massachusetts didn't turn on the Kennedy legacy. Massachusetts was fed up with business as usual and Brown made a much better stance that he'd be different. Different doesn't mean, be a tea bagger!
I thought I'd share some of the various comments (former) Scott Brown supporters have written on various blogs and his facebook page:

  • You are a piece of garbage!
  • NOOOOOOOOOOO,  I DON'T EVEN LIVE IN THE DISTRICT YOU REPRESENT.  WHY SCOTT BROWN WHYYYYYYYYYYY?!?! WHY DID YOU DISRESPECT THE TEABAGGERS?!?!
  • You sir, are a sellout. You sir, are NO FISCAL CONSERVATIVE. To quote a true Conservative, Joe Wilson, "You LIE!". Now I shall remove myself from your fan page, you do not deserve support.  I regret having supported you, although you're better than Coakley, I suppose? Remains to be seen.
  • Way to double cross millions.
  • Some of us made it our jobs to get you elected so you can STOP THE SPENDING.  I want my money back for supporting you.  You are a fraud : (
  • Hey Judas, how many pieces of gold did you receive??
  • SOOOOOO disappointed in you Scott Brown, you don't deserve that Senate seat.....
  • I wish your truck had broken down and you couldn't make it to Washington in time to vote for this bill! You were OUR "hope and change" and you let US down BIG TIME!!! Beck/Palin 2012!!!
  • Hey, COL. Klink!!! you really are "FUBAR" F**cked up beyond all regognition.
  • what's next scott, a beer with OBAMA & some peanuts in the back of your truck WTF...
  • scott brown ther is a new term for being bamboozled, lied to, disgraced, tricked, or pranked  its called being "scott browned"... I cant believe i supported u friggin neocon rino
  • Thanks for NOTHING!!!! Can anyone running for office ever speak the truth? Probably not.
  • WELL SCOTT LOOOKS LIKE YOU SHOWED YOUR BUTTOX LIKE WE SAY IN THE SOUTH SAME ON YOU I KNOW YOU THINK THE TEA PARTIES DIDNT HELP YOU GET ELECTED YOUR SADLY MISTAKEN I HEARD YOU SAID F---- THE TEA PARTIES HOPE THAT NOT TRUE AND ALSO HOW ABOUT SAYING NO TO THE HEATH CARE BILL LIKE YOU SAID YOU WOULD
  • LOW LIFE SCUM HYPOCRITE!

There are so many more, but I think by now, you get the gist! 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Brown, Boehner and Bipartisanship...oye vey

I seriously have to ask, do we ever learn? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

Today, Scott Brown (R-MA) broke rank with fellow Republicans and supported a Democratic jobs bill in an important procedural vote. Brown says the bill is not perfect but he will support it. I hope people don't read too much into this vote. This is a soft toss that the Republicans will look foolish fighting. Since Brown's election was largely a protest vote, he can't walk lock step with the party of no. Expect him to act like a moderate on these types of votes. Wait until Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy expire, or ending DADT comes close to fruition, or closing Gitmo becomes reality. Don't get suckered. This boy supports Bush policies and only supports enough moderate positions to get him elected in Massachusetts.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (the orange Republican ventriloquist from OH) said the President has crippled the credibility of this week's summit by proposing the same massive government takeover of health care based on a partisan bill the American people have already rejected. Yeah, ok "Boner", Republicans have garnered so much credibility on this topic. Obama made his own 11 page health care proposal public on Monday morning, giving participants three days to examine them before the meeting. Obama has asked that the summit be televised. It's rumored that he will add one or two Republican-backed measures to the legislation as a show of bipartisanship. These steps satisfy previous GOP demands...which means they'll have new one's. This bipartisan outreach is really getting old, it's not going to happen! Saying no to everything is working for them. It is why Democrats are getting killed in the polls. ENOUGH ALREADY! Get something good done so the public can see that Democrats can govern.  Let's see, what is the Republicans idea of HCR? Tort reform, tort reform! Sorry, I'm not buying into something that adds less than one half of one percent to the cost of health care coverage, but will limit people's ability to sue incompetent doctor's as beneficial across the board. I agree that someone shouldn't be awarded $10K for a scar on their finger, but someone who has the wrong kidney removed (happened in CA last fall) should not be limited to damages. The good news? In this case the doctor apologized for the error after surgery. I guess Republicans think that's enough. Hey, shit happens! The other thing they want is to allow private health insurance companies to sell across state lines. My first reaction to that is, "Yeah, that'll work. I'm sure they won't all be in cahoots to keep premiums high!" However, after doing a little research I found that states have regulated health insurance since the 1945 passage of the McCarran Ferguson Act, which forbids interstate sale of insurance. What Republicans are suggesting would require a federal law that replaces state regulation of insurance with federal regulation. This is an odd policy for Republicans to pursue since they generally claim to reject federal regulation in favor of state independence. They're a confusing little bunch of whiners.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

General Petraeus and Former General Powell Take On Draft Dodger Cheney

Gen. David Petraeus, the current leader of U.S. Central Command, completely denunciated the Dick Cheney school of "torture is awesome" thought on Sunday. On Meet the Press, Petraeus made the case against torturing terrorist detainees, saying he found it far more pragmatic and beneficial to stick to methods authorized by the army field manual. He also reiterated his support for closing Gitmo, albeit without a date-specific time frame.
"I have always been on the record, in fact, since 2003, with the concept of living our values. And I think that whenever we've perhaps taken expedient measures, they've turned around and bitten us in the backside. We decided early on, in the 101st airborne division, we just said, we decided to obey the Geneva Conventions. In the cases where that is not true we end up paying a price for it, ultimately. Abu Ghraib and other situations like that are non biodegradable. They don't go away. The enemy continues to beat you with them like a stick.... Beyond that, frankly, we have found that the use of interrogation methods in the army field manual that was given the force of law by Congress, that that works."

Then there's former Gen. Colin Powell's disagreement with Cheney's "be afraid, be very afraid of the socialist black man in office" rhetoric. On CBS's Face the Nation, Powell pointed out that Obama has kept in place most of the programs enacted by the Bush administration.
"To suggest that somehow we have become much less safer because of the actions of the administration, I don't think that's borne out by the facts. [] The Transportation Security Administration created by George Bush is still in action working in our airports. They take care of me every day that I go to an airport [] Our counterterrorism authorities and forces are hard at work. Our law enforcement officials are hard at work. We have gone after the enemy in Afghanistan with 50,000 more troops, more predators are striking al-Qaida and Taliban leaders in Pakistan. We have continued the policies that President Bush put in place with respect to Iraq. And so I don't know where the claim comes that we are less safe."
I don't know about you, but all this Cheney cheap talk has to be extremely frustrating for the men and women actually serving or have served with honor in our military. This sociopath received five draft deferments during Vietnam. How can anyone think this criminal has what it takes or the knowledge about military policies, especially during wartime? At least President Obama admits it's not his strong suit and listens to those who have the experience. I know it's not politically correct to say, but Cheney wants to see us get hit again, on our soil, on Obama's watch. His rhetoric is making us less safe. He is inviting another terrorist attack by implying we're not ready to respond. He is salivating over the thought of more American casualties. He believes that's the winning combo to give him the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and force us live under his Marshal Law. This man is pure evil, there's no other word to describe him.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

2010 CPAC - A Celebration of Hate and Intolerance

At last year's CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) event, the keynote speaker was Rush "I hope Obama fails" Limbaugh. This year's is Glenn "Obama is a racist" Beck. Who are the real leaders of the conservative movement? Clearly not any of their politicians. This party is turning to hate tv/radio hosts while their fired up listeners and viewers have turned into rabid dogs who no longer fear showing bigotry and hatred. In fact, they seem to be "out and proud." What is in our future when the most angry are the anti-intellectual crowd who are enthused enough to show up and vote? I hope Democrats are paying attention and Independents don't allow themselves to be lulled into a false sense of responsible policy. Don't for one minute buy into Republicans are for smaller government. That is a myth that the Democrats need to start literally proving to the people. Taking the high road in politics will never again be a possibility. Just ask John Kerry.

We got some interesting little tidbits this week from CPAC. I'm going to run down a list of some of the more interesting one's. Former Massachusetts short term governor Mitt Romney claimed among other thing's that the Bush record wasn't all that bad compared to the current president's. "I am convinced that history will judge President Bush far more kindly -- he pulled us from a deepening recession following the attack of 9-11, he overcame teachers unions to test school children and evaluate schools, he took down the Taliban, waged a war against the jihadists and was not afraid to call it what it is -- a war. And he kept us safe." Let's see where I disagree...oh yeah, all of it. I would like some kind of evidence where he pulled us out of a recession after 9/11. Anyone got anything? All "No Child Left Behind" did was force schools to push kids through that weren't necessarily ready. The schools became more concerned with their own evaluations rather than the students. He took down the Taliban? Really? Why hasn't this bombshell been on the news? What does Willard know that the rest of us don't? More nonsense being suggested that Obama doesn't call our military occupations -- war (totally proven to be false) and my very favorite...Bush kept us safe...except for that one really, really big time and a few smaller one's that no one really remembers...at least no one who get's all their information from Fox News.

Tim Pawlenty didn't want to go unnoticed, so on the day Tiger Woods spoke at his apologetic press conference, TimmyPaw remarked, "I think we should take a page out of her [Elin Wood] playbook and take a nine iron and smash a window out of big government in this country." Do these guys ever outgrow junior high humor? They probably fart in public and insinuate it was someone else just for laughs.

Florida wannabe senator Marco Rubio (R)said, "The president couldn’t find anywhere to set up a teleprompter to announce new taxes,” while he was reading off of a teleprompter. This "Obama uses a teleprompter" thing is so friggin' old already. Name the last president or politician who didn't use one. I think the thing that drives me crazy is the dummies who actually think that both Bush's, Reagan, Palin, Bachmann and the rest of their hero's speak off the cuff...well, I guess in Palin's case, it's true.

Erick Erickson, editor-in-chief of the conservative RedState.com blog, offered up some honesty while discussing the right wing's infrastructure when he noted, "We've got Fox News." It's not like it's a secret, but they're now getting brazen enough to admit it.

As Human Events editor Jed Babbin introduced Grover Norquist, he quipped, "And let me just say, I'm really happy to see Grover today. He was getting a little testy in the past couple of weeks. And I was just really, really glad that it was not him identified as flying that airplane into the IRS building." Seriously? They couldn't even wait until the IRS building in Austin stopped smoking? How do you joke about a terrible event sparked by an unstable man which caused several injuries and two fatalities, including the pilot...just one day later to boot? Don't forget, these people call themselves compassionate conservatives. Way to stay classy, conservative movement.

One surprising thing happened at CPAC. When California Young Americans for Freedom’s Ryan Sorba launched into a denunciation of the conference for inviting GOProud, he was roundly booed off the stage. In response to jeers following his initial screed, Sorba said, "the lesbians at Smith College protest better than you do." Way to go Smith College, you've been in the limelight twice this week! This one positive reaction by the crowd does not for a second make me think of amending the title to this blog entry.

The crowd chanted, "Run, Dick Run" when Dick Cheney was introduced by daughter Liz. The pair took turns with their usual anti-Obama rhetoric. You know the one's, he doesn't keep us safe, he's a socialist, he's a one term president, yadda, yadda, yadda. Were these people seriously hibernating from January 2001-January 2009? I have no other explanation as to their rational for wanting to return to the good ol' days of the Bush-Cheney Dictatorship. I'm not on board with everything Obama has done, it's the difference with our side, we don't march lock step. However, to think the current state of affairs is in any way Obama's fault is just plain ridiculous. In my opinion, if Obama would put Elizabeth Warren in charge of everything financially culpable to our government and let her make the decisions without getting in the way, we'd be on our way to a solid long-lasting recovery!  She has been the only one consistently making sense out of this whole financial debacle.

Rachel Maddow who was in D.C. for a Library of Congress event decided to take in CPAC while she was in town. She was accosted from a guy who literally got into her face, got somewhat physically threatening and threw literature at her (To Keep Our Honor Clean: We Must Oppose the Homosexual Agenda for the Military). She said, Thank you. Who are you? and he yelled in her face, "We're normal people, what about you?" As Rachel stated on her show, "He did not in fact seem like normal people, but more specifically he was from an organization called Tradition, Family and Property whose booth I sought out later. They say that it would be unclean to have gay people in the military - and they have this neato gold Welsh looking crest." Except for that one creepy individual, Rachel said everyone was very nice to her. I still find it amazing that these people don't understand that gay people are already serving. Removing DADT isn't about allowing gay people to join the military, it's about letting them continue to serve even if someone finds out they're gay! I don't understand how they're missing that fact!

Mr. Everyman, Glenn Beck with trusty chalkboard along side, gave his keynote speech Saturday evening. Among his claims: He said, "The progressives are a cancer to our society." He used some pretty deceptive "historical" information to back up his misinformation. Did you know Herbert Hoover was really a progressive? How can you even spin that claim? He had percentages of various claims all over his trusty chalkboard. This is another case of taking one of the worst president's in history and trying to chain him to our side. The Beckerheads in the audience don't know any better and certainly aren't going to do a fact check. Did you know you have the right to "pursue" happiness, but you do not have a right to health care or housing? In Glenn's world, his pursuit of happiness is complete. He lies for a living and is very well paid for it. The health care opinion didn't surprise me, but the housing one sure did! Funny how he didn't tie any crime statistics to his uneven rhetoric about homelessness on his chalkboard. Did you also know the progressive tax rate is a bad thing? He got a standing ovation and a huge roar from the crowd for that one. He's making $23M per year and they're making a bit less than that! What is wrong with people? They not only vote against their own best interest, they're cheering an entertainer for telling them they're stupid! I guess having a modern infrastructure isn't important to a group of people who look back wistfully on the 50's. Speaking of going back in time, he compared the 20's to now, saying that it was a great time because that's when the middle class was made, failing to mention how they were exploited by their employers. He also failed to mention that in the 20's, African Americans, recent immigrants, farmers and a large part of the working class population lived below the poverty line of $2,000 per year per family. He was correct saying it was the decade of radios, motion pictures and cars becoming more affordable with mass production. However, to combat the exploitation of those same workers, the UAW for example, was eventually founded in May 1935. Manufacturing and "gasp" unions are what actually made the middle class. Conservative Republicans have been methodically destroying them ever since. Furthermore the comparison is void, we still made stuff then, we don't now. We now have unfavorable trade policies and a global economy. He also got a huge cheer for saying he took one class in college before dropping out. After telling everyone he didn't care about their personal story, he told his. We know he was a drunken, drug addict whose first wife left him, blah, blah, blah. I'll give him one thing, the misinformation he hands out to support his point of view doesn't seem to wear on his conscience at all.

Finally, Ann Coulter called Keith Olbermann a girl (amongst several other anti-liberal, anti-Democrat remarks). That's fine, he's just as much a girl as Coulter used to be! Not that there's anything wrong with being a transgender Ann (or is it really Arthur?). I really don't care about that stuff, but this is arguably the most hateful, vile public personality at this time. You reap what you sow.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rachel Maddow Delivering 2010 Smith College Commencement Address

Last night during the toss to TRMS, Keith Olbermann decided to share video of Smith College seniors reacting to the news that Rachel Maddow will deliver the commencement speech at their graduation May 16, 2010. I know, it's been a Rachel kind of week on my blog, but I thought the reaction of the students in this video was a pretty impressive statement as to the "rock star" appeal Maddow commands at this time. Every once in a while Keith does something like this to slightly embarrass the always humble Rachel. Seems to me his fondness for his one time protégé is genuine. Read more from The Smith College Sophian



One more thing I'd like to add as reported by Danny Shea of Huffington Post:

'Meet The Press' Ratings Burst With Maddow Appearance
Meet the Press has benefitted from another Maddow Bump. The NBC Sunday morning program moderated by David Gregory averaged 4.162 million total viewers for first place. That's the show's highest total viewer delivery since March 22, 2009. Gregory interviewed Vice President Joe Biden and the roundtable included David Brooks, Rep. Aaron Schock, Harold Ford, and Rachel Maddow. Maddow's first appearance, in August, brought the show its highest numbers since April. She battled Schock in a particularly memorable clip on this Sunday's episode. It can be viewed from my Sunday blog post.
Meet the Press beat CBS' Face the Nation (3.025 million) by the widest margin since May 17, 2009, and it beat ABC's This Week (2.508 million) by the widest margin since December 7, 2008. The 2.508 million total viewers represent ABC's lowest total viewer delivery since August 23, 2009. FOX News Sunday averaged 1.208 million total viewers in its FOX broadcast.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Buttars and McDonnell Doing Their Part In Regressing America

  • Utah state Sen. Chris Buttars (R) has put forth a plan to eliminate 12th grade in high school claiming the proposal could save the state about $60 million. When I first read the headline, I figured it must be a bogus one to get you to read it, but nope, this was really proposed. I guess Republicans in red states have decided that the electorate isn't quite dumb enough yet. Funny that the Church of the Latter Day Saints can come up with millions in California to fund an anti-gay referendum, but they can't come up with enough dough to make senior year possible in Utah. Of course, this isn't Buttars' only brush with stupidity. He has said of gays, "They're probably the greatest threat to America going down I know of." and "I meet with the gays here and there. They were in my house two weeks ago. I don’t mind gays. But I don’t want ‘em stuffing it down my throat all the time. Certainly not in my kid’s face." So many jokes to be made, so little interest in talking about this homophobic anti-education moron any longer than necessary. I just thought you should know.
  • I also think it's important to note that new Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) made a little noticed change in Virginia's anti-discrimination law. Gay and lesbian state workers in Virginia are no longer specifically protected against discrimination. On Feb. 5 he signed an executive order that prohibits discrimination "on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities," as well as veterans. It rescinds the order that former Gov. Tim Kaine signed Jan. 14, 2006 as one of his first actions. After promising a "fair and inclusive" administration in his inaugural address, Kaine (D) added veterans to the non-discrimination policy - and sexual orientation. All I can say is wow. In 2010, to go out of your way to strip equal protection laws while we have a black president just floors me. Virginia has elected a women-hating, gay-hating (probable closet-racist) as Governor. Nice job Virginia, I don't feel so bad about Scott Brown right now. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Maddow Tells Beck to Back Off

While I don't want to see MSNBC's Rachel Maddow get into a back and forth with Fox News moronic hate and fear monger Glenn Beck, she has every right to defend herself against the lies he tells his millions of simple mindle followers about her. Last night, she did just that. Unfortunately for Rachel, the people that like her already know the truth. She didn't need to convince us. The people who like Beck couldn't care less about truth or facts, they want to hear their own hatred justified. He'll probably just edit some more video today to play for them. Her message is lost on them.



While I've always believed Beck followers had to be largely unstable to actually take this guy seriously, when Rachel said,
I get hate mail from all sorts of conservatives all the time. I always have. But it is the hate mail from self proclaimed fans of Mr. Beck that is most likely to contain death threats and threats of violence against me expressed as extensions of the frenzied devotion his fans feel for him. They think he is the second coming...
it genuinely bothered me. I've read about threats against her in other interviews she's done, but hearing it in her own voice troubled me. She is a television news personality. She doesn't make policy, she isn't voting in Washington, she's a tv talker. I realize I'm not 100% objective on this subject as I agree with Ms. Maddow on virtually everything, but I fail to understand why anyone would threaten her for doing the same job as Beck except with a very different point of view. She uses calmness, intelligence and a sense of humor, all of which are missing from this guy. What is that really saying about the state of our country when having a different point of view empowers certain people into thinking they have a green light to issue threats?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Maddow Smacks Down Republican Hypocrisy on Meet The Press

I really can't say anything more interesting than suggest you watch Rachel Maddow's appearance today on Meet The Press. She was magnificent. The world's worst moderator, David Gregory still kept her in check at times, but she was more than prepared for his antics today. The panel discussed the Obama Administrations treatment of terror suspects compared to Bush's with the all the political hypocrisy. Also discussed was Republican hypocrisy over the stimulus package and the jobs bill. Maddow challenged Aaron Schock (R-IL) as to why reading an enemy combatant his Miranda Rights is a bad thing. He went into a lie and she bagged him. That woman always shows up with facts and stats. How can they not know this about her at this point? Then they went into domestic policies with Rachel accusing Schock of hypocrisy for railing against a spending bill in public while touting its benefits in his home district. She crushed him again. I do wish Gregory had let her respond when Schlock managed to whimper a question of whether she would give back her Bush tax cuts. She was our local DJ when the Bush cuts for the wealthy were issued and the rest of us got a $600 check. Although I'm sure her point would've been that she wasn't in congress or the senate voting against bills while reaping the benefits, my point is that she wasn't a huge beneficiary either. I don't see that as a point for little Aaron. He looked like he wanted to cry.

Panel examines politics of terror



Roundtable on the Obama agenda, health care

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Evening Thoughts...

First, an FYI: Rachel Maddow will appear tomorrow on Meet the Press. Other guests will include, VP Joe Biden, former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN), Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and journalist David Brooks.
  • Clearly, the Senate Republicans strategy is to filibuster everything to win in November. "Republicans are gambling they can convince the American people Democrats can't get much done, and at the moment, their gamble is paying off," said former Sen. Bob Kerrey, a Nebraska Democrat and the president of the New School in New York. Here's my fear; which Democrat will be the first one to utter that the American people are smarter than that...they understand that the Republicans are obstructionists? Let me say now... No they're not! The American people are not smarter than that! Work on the message NOW!
  • The GOP is outraged that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pared the bipartisan jobs bill unveiled on Thursday. It appears that old Harry reached down and found some golden nuggets! Why are Republicans outraged? He removed the K Street Kickback, which extends huge tax credits to large corporations. The K Street payoff is counted in the tens of billions of dollars. Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy at the Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said tax extenders don't belong in the jobs bill. "They have nothing to do with the jobs bill, nothing to do with unemployment." Give 'em hell, Harry!
  • The previous paragraph leads me to this one. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) sobbed on Senate floor about his chief of staff heading for K Street. His right-hand man, Kyle Simmons, is leaving his side after 14 years. Simmons is starting up a lobbying firm with another chief of staff. Was he crying that his pally might not make as much money on the backs of taxpayers? Maybe Mitchy boy thought Reid wouldn't have the "nuggets" to put a stop to the payouts! There's something about McConnell (besides his party) that bothers me. He has a very evil, deceitful little smirk every time you see him.
  • Tea Party leader Dale Robertson cautioned Tea Partiers to be wary, because Sarah Palin, headliner of last week's National Tea Party Convention, represents a threat "to the heart of the Tea Party:" [] "I am sending an alarm to the Tea Party membership! Be alert to turncoats and deceivers being herded into the Tea Party by usurpers from the weakened Republican Party for the sole purpose of capturing our populist movement." Poor Sarah, not even the Tea Partiers are taking her seriously anymore. I guess when you give a "hand written" Republican stump speech at a movement that some of them actually believe is grassroots, you get blowback. Who knew any of them would figure it out?
  • Newly elected Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) is going to write a book that combines memoir and inspiration. Evidently he wants to tell his personal story about his life leading up to his election as a United States senator from Massachusetts. I literally started laughing when I read this. He's been a senator for what, 9 days?! I guess he's following fellow shallow shell Palin, cashing in while the iron is hot. Rumors up here are that Joe Kennedy regrets not running for his uncle's seat...so do we. If I were Scotty, I wouldn't be moving too much homey furniture into his D.C. office.  I think a Kennedy may regain that seat in 2012.
  • New Hampshire State Rep. Nancy Elliott (R) shared some of her visions of gay male sex at an executive session to repeal same sex-marriage. I wasn't sure I wanted to post this, but since my point is going to be that she's the real pervert, I'm going with it. "We're talking about taking the penis of one man and putting it in the rectum of another man and wriggling it around in excrement. And you have to think, I'm not sure, would I allow that to be done to me?" She continued until interrupted by someone off camera, "Representative Elliott... Let's keep our discussion directly to the bill." She then went on with some other nonsense about it being taught in schools. That statement is such a blatent lie, yet anti-gay fear mongers continue to get away with saying it. And how can you visualize and describe in detail something you (allegedly) don't participate in?! If not participating, maybe she's into pornography? You know, most people secure with themselves don't put much thought into activities that don't affect them. The fact that this lunatic has put a lot of thought into this and was giving details creeps me out as to who she actually is. I hope NH voters send her to the unemployment line.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Dysfunctional Institution: The U.S. Senate

"In the 71 years since Hollywood filmed 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington', the aim of the filibuster has been turned completely upside down." - Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)

The haggling over possible Senate rules changes has begun and understandably so. I'm as annoyed as any other observer, but let's not shoot ourselves in the foot either. The rules of the filibuster certainly need to be amended, but I don’t think it should be abolished. Can you imagine what would happen the next time Republicans have all three branches of government if they couldn't be kept in check? Unquestionably, the stall in the senate over the past year by the Republicans is unprecedented and it needs to stop. They have filibustered 139 bills to date! There are over 200 bills that have passed "the House" that are residing in senate-no-man's-land because Republicans want the public to interpret that Democrats can not govern. 14 months ago, voters wanted change. Now, those same voters are disenchanted with Democrats for not fulfilling promises when in fairness, they really haven’t been given full opportunity. Don't worry, I'm not forgetting the Blue Dogs who are just Republicans in disguise. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has authored a bill that would change the rules of the filibuster. The Harkin bill would require a series of staged votes to cut off a filibuster: the first motion known as cloture would take sixty votes, then fifty-seven, then fifty-four and finally a simple majority--so if a bill survives debate, it can become law. According to Harkin, "At issue is a fundamental principle basic to our democracy -- rule of the majority as a legislative body, [] "Elections should have consequences. Yet the Senate's current rules allow for a minority as small as one to make elections meaningless." He’s right and something must be done. In my opinion and as I’ve written before, they should also bring back the rules in which the party/senators blocking a bill has to stand on the floor and actually explain their position. That'll be another step in putting a stop to this nonsense. Just the threat of the filibuster is where it ends currently. This system is irrevocably broken!

I don’t know all the inner workings or possibilities in D.C., but if Harkin’s idea’s are upsetting to some on “The Hill”, why not try something like this: Only allow "x" amount of filibuster uses in each congressional session. That way regardless of which party is in power, the minority will have to think about which battles are really worth fighting and not just obstruct every single bill for sport. It's ridiculous to watch this process and listen to Republicans say Democrats can't get anything done. They've already more than doubled the amount of 'threatened' filibusters ever used in any one given session, it's ridiculous.

"The Senate is just a pain in the ass to everybody in the world as far as I can tell." - Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)

I rarely disagree with Rachel Maddow, but in this segment, she and Howard Dean discuss the possibility of terminating the filibuster. As I wrote previously, I completely understand why. However, just this week Republicans once again announced they want to privatize social security and end Medicare, replacing it with vouchers so seniors will have to shop for their coverage through private insurance companies. If not for the filibuster, George W. Bush would've privatized social security in 2005 just before the crash. Imagine where we'd be now? Good ol' Republicans, make sure people get less than they deserve at a higher cost so their stock portfolios can keep rising. As for the Democrats? Like Howard Dean says in this video, "We're not tough enough. [] We need a spinal transplant in the Democratic party to play hardball." I like this guy more and more, he tells it like it is. I wonder if he'll give running for President another shot at some point. Sadly, Rachel actually needs to update her chart. The 112 is now 139...and counting.



For anyone who thinks my only point is that Republicans suck, it isn’t…although they do. Just to prove a point that 41 is the real majority, Republicans have filibustered legislation to provide low-income energy assistance; efforts to strengthen the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure children are not exposed to unsafe toys; and efforts to ensure that women are guaranteed equal pay for equal work. Last year Republicans forced cloture votes on a bill to extend unemployment benefits, then ultimately agreed to approve the bill on a 98-0 vote. Really? 98-0 vote after a filibuster. No, no political gamesmanship there. Gee, maybe the fact that Republicans suck was my only point!

Elizabeth Warren, 'The system is deeply badly broken'

Elizabeth Warren, Chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Committee expresses her shock and disbelief that the financial crisis hasn't forced the government to rewrite the rules for the financial industry. This woman really should have a more central role with this administration. Her eye is always on the ball as she looks out for Main Street unlike Tim Geitner and Larry Summers who only care about keeping Wall Street thriving. Truthfully, Obama has been all over the place politically with this hot potato, and if he doesn't realize making excuses for the ginormous bonuses on Wall Street makes him look like one of them, he's a fool. I'm getting confused as to what he actually stands for. I'm starting to feel as though elections really don't have consequences afterall. A couple weeks ago, after the State of the Union address and his question and answer session with Republicans, I thought the dynamic, no-nonsense Obama was back. Now I'm left wondering who he is again. As Warren says in this video, "I truly don't get it."

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One last thing, I would like to add that I like President Obama. I still root for him. As a NE Patriots fan, it would be nice if I felt like I was rooting for the Patriots to beat the despised Colts instead of just rooting for the less despised Jets to beat the Colts.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Maddow Tells The Democrats To Grow Up, Reminds Them They're the Majority

Last night Rachel Maddow showed some frustration with the Democrats over their continued insistence of getting bipartisan support with Republican ideas and votes! Rachel used the stimulus bill as an example of Republicans opposing and criticizing a policy designed and proven to help Americans only to praise and take credit for its effects at home, demonstrating that Republicans are not interested in productive policy but only in sabotaging President Obama's agenda. I think it's important that someone like Rachel is giving this hypocrisy the attention it deserves because average Americans who don't follow politics daily just think Obama isn't fulfilling promises. They have no idea that the minority party has managed to stall his entire agenda, with help from some DINO's like Ben Nelson, Evan Bayh, and a few others. I think the White House is finally starting to push back, but I hope it's not too late. They should've started last August when the Republicans started defining this administrations entire agenda and the WH just sat back taking the high road. That does not work in this day and age of 24/7 cable news with one station in particular trying to bring his administration down. I even think there is a possibility that Obama might be setting up the Republicans and their "Just Say No" philosophy for all the world to see - finally, but what took him so long?

I enjoyed this segment because it's clear how sick of the political games Rachel has become. Those of us who have been feeling the same way can appreciate her distress. I particularly enjoyed the last minute plus of this segment. After pointing out several hypocritical Republicans, Rachel tore into the Democrats...and I agree with her 100%



I'm a couple days late, but Congratulations to the 2010 Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints! It was a great game and the city now has something to really celebrate. This writer loved watching Peyton Manning borrow Brett Favre's "goat horns!" Tracy Porter's game clinching interception reminded me of former Patriot Ty Law's uncanny ability to always know where Manning was going to throw. Who Dat, indeed!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Danica Patrick Impressive in First NASCAR Start - GoGirl!

Not politics, but an awesome story. I want to give a shout out to Danica Patrick's successful foray into stock car racing Saturday afternoon at Daytona in the ARCA event. As I mentioned in an earlier article, the ARCA series is the "Double AA" of stock car racing. It's the first stop for drivers who've been driving around your local tracks for a few years. If you don't tear up too many cars and look like you've got what it takes, hopefully an owner in the Nationwide Series will give you a call. There are several drivers on the circuit who've made careers out of it as well. Maybe they weren't good enough to move up the NASCAR bracket, but it's got to beat working at Wal-Mart. It's also a place for drivers from other racing series to get their feet wet. The Daytona ARCA race is notorious for its frequent and spectacular crashes. Earlier in the week,driver Scott Speed said, “You need to wear a helmet if you watch it from the stands,” - and this year’s race was no exception. The first wreck of the race came only a few laps in when maybe a half dozen cars got tangled up...but that wasn't even the worst part, 4 others who were probably still on the other side of the track when it began, piled into them as well. I don't think those guys will be getting any calls.

The big question after her impressive debut is whether she'll run next week in the Nationwide Series event.  According to team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., "It's totally her decision, I don't know if one race is gonna put it in the bucket for her so she's going to have to think about that. She probably, right now, would be like 'Hell yes, let's go' because she's beaming with excitement. But take the night to think about it." Crew chief Tony Eury Jr. added "I would love for her to come back here and run next week. I think she can do it. I mean, are you going to come out here and run top-five in a Nationwide race? You'd have to have a lot of luck. But to come down here and get experience—I think she showed right there at the end that she's very capable of knowing how to draft and how to do it." Co-owner Kelley Earnhardt-Elledge remarked, "I'm ecstatic, I think she showed us she was able to drive, definitely. One time I seen her up on the high side, and then she pulled down low and I'm thinking 'come on, let's pull off an Earnhardt and pass 18 cars in three laps and win this thing.' "But she did fantastic for her first stock car race. She was aggressive, didn't back out of it and we brought home a good finish. The team did a great job and the communication was there, she was asking a lot of questions and learning a lot." I'm fairly certain that we'll be watching a black and green #7 GoDaddy.com Chevy Impala Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Very nice job, Danica!

While fellow competitors had nothing but kind words to say, reading various racing blogs, it's pretty clear that there are a lot of men out there who must be pretty insecure in their masculinity to say she got lucky, it's only ARCA or it was the Hendrick car. Sexism is alive and well! Lucky? She's the only one in the race who got bumped, went sliding through the grass, corrected the car and brought it home in one piece. She was running 11th at that time because of a poor passing decision a few laps earlier. She had been running in the top 5 all day. She restarted the race with 16 laps to go in the 23rd spot. According to her team, she never raised her voice, never screamed a question, never had a bit of doubt. It's only ARCA? Yes, 185 mph running door handle to door handle with guys who had no business being in those retired "Sprint Cup" cars. Hendrick car? Funny that it's ok when Jeff, Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch were all given superior equipment right from the start of their careers. Sorry boys, the girl outdrove all but five cars. The winner was Bobby Gerhart, a five-time ARCA Daytona winner. The fourth place car with James Buescher won it last year. 2nd place Mark Thompson has 81 starts, 3rd place John Wes Townley is starting his second season and 5th place Patrick Sheltra is in his 5th year. Get it? Everyone who finished ahead of her is experienced in this series. The video below is a compilation of her days' highlights.


Evidently, all the Petty's are petty. Kyle Petty was noticably pouting after the race. Evidently the apple didn't roll far from the family tree. Last month, the failure of the stock car racing Petty family had a few things to say: "Obviously, open wheel built what the sport it is now off of her because it was a floundering sport. They took her and that marketing machine that she is and they went there.[]If she gets in that car and doesn't win races it's not the car, it's not the engines, it's not the team. They only changed one thing. Initially, she'll have an impact on the sport. If she's successful, she'll have a huge long-term impact on the sport,"[]"But if she's not successful the only impact she'll have on the sport is she wasted two or three years on a car that a good driver could have been in and could have been developing."WOW! That's quite an statement. Is that an implication she's not a good enough driver to be developed? "...she's not Juan Montoya, she's not Dario Franchitti and she's not Tony Stewart. She's not really shown over there [in the IRL] and won races and done stuff over there numbers-wise. She's just a marketing machine. Let's look at the facts and be blunt about it."

Man, I hope she has success in this series. I so want guys like this to eat crow. For all my issues with Darrell Waltrip, I think he was genuinely excited and kind of rooting for her yesterday. It's kind of interesting noticing people in the racing world who have daughters. They believe a woman can do this. The good ol' boys that only made boys don't...or at least haven't outgrown the fear of getting beat by a girl.

UPDATE: Feb. 8 - At 12:39PM today, nascar.com reported that Danica Patrick will make her Nationwide Series debut Saturday at Daytona. A statement by Kelley Earnhardt-Elledge read, in part, "I think Danica proved to everyone that she can compete in stock cars at a high level, and right now seat time is extremely important,"[]"She has worked extremely hard during the past two months for this opportunity. Her dedication and work ethic is infectious."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Caribou Barbie Has Tea in Nashville, Has Worshipers Drinking Kool-Aid

Last night Sarah Palin spoke at the anti-Obama National Tea Party Convention in Nashville. You know, the grassroots effort that only cost $549 to attend. I only saw bits and pieces so I'm not in a position to critique the whole 40 minutes. However, when she said, "How's that hopey-changey thing workin' out for ya?" my first thought was "how on earth can anyone think this idiot is competent to run our country?" She went on to say "America is ready for another revolution." Honestly, she makes George W. Bush look like a Rhodes Scholar for crying out loud. Are she and her followers really that far removed from reality? They can't seriously think this whole country has fallen apart in the past twelve months. How does it not occur to them that a true grassroots movement wouldn't pay someone $100,000 for 40 minutes? Anyhow, I thought I'd share a picture of Sarah's cheat sheet. Not only was she reading papers from the podium while mocking Obama for using a teleprompter, she wrote notes on her palm! Note to the Wasilla Witch, Obama wasn't using one a week and a half ago when he verbally spanked your precious Republicans in Baltimore.


Speaking on Fox News this morning with Chris Wallace, she said Rahm Emanuel's comments calling liberal groups "f--king retards" was "indecent and insensitive" and cause for his dismissal. However, she went to great hypocritical lengths to insist that when hate talk show host Rush Limbaugh used the same exact term to describe the same exact group, it was simply in the role of political humorist. "They are kooks, so I agree with Rush Limbaugh," she said, when read a quote of Limbaugh calling liberal groups "retards." "Rush Limbaugh was using satire ... . I didn't hear Rush Limbaugh calling a group of people whom he did not agree with 'f--king retards,' and we did know that Rahm Emanuel, as has been reported, did say that. There is a big difference there." Um, no Sarah, there's not. Is the word offensive or isn't it? I haven't liked Emanual from Day 1, but obviously not for the same reasons. To get technical, Limbaugh echoed Emanual's remarks in agreement with his assessment so Sarah lied when she said she didn't hear him call a group of people whom he did not agree with f--king retards. He most certainly did. Just because her political future is hitched to Limbaugh's fat ass doesn't make her any less than a hyprocrite and liar. God, I can't even explain how much a loathe this bitch.

One thing that is shocking to me is that no matter how many ethics violations that keep turning up about her, how many inconsistencies in her actual record and her rhetoric, her base will not acknowledge any wrongdoing anymore than she will. Just Friday, news broke that hubby was actually heavily involved in running the state of Alaska. msnbc.com obtained over 3000 pages of emails that Todd Palin exchanged with state officials. He was involved in a judicial appointment, monitored contract negotiations with public employee unions, received background checks on a corporate CEO, added his approval or disapproval to state board appointments and passed financial information marked "confidential" from his oil company employer to a state attorney. The Palin's and corruption go hand in hand. Another thing that troubles me as whenever they're close to getting caught for something, they start screaming "liberal media bias" and the friggin' chicken sh*t media backs down for the most part. Journalism and real reporters in this country with a few exceptions are a bunch scardy cats. Instead of breaking career-making stories, they're worried that their boss is going to fire them. Therefore, the right thing rarely gets done. The truth never gets told.

Joan Walsh of Salon said this in part:
"Wow. This was the Palin we saw at the 2008 Republican convention, the snarling pitbull in shimmery lipstick. I know journalists aren't supposed to use words like mean and dumb, but I can't help it. Palin is one of the meanest people on the public stage today. She wallows in it. She loves it! Also? Possibly one of the dumbest. But mean works, and so does dumb. And so do lies, and there were many mean, dumb lies in her speech."
Read entire article here.  Joan Walsh is one of my favorites!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

CBS = Conservative Bias Syndrome

Friday night, Rachel Maddow ventured down to New Orleans to celebrate the city and their Super Bowl appearance. Melissa Harris-Lacewell, associate professor of politics and African American studies at Princeton University, spoke with Rachel about the interwhining of race, politics and football in New Orleans.



It's great that all these players are doing some great charity work (especially Saints LB Scott Fujita) and I applaud them all...even Manning. However, I want to speak a little about the CBS ad controversy. I would like to know why CBS will not air an ad from mancrunch.com, a dating service for gay men (want to make a bet we'll see ads for eharmony.com?), but have no problem with hate monger James Dobson's Focus on the Family ads starring former Florida QB and Christian fundamentalist Tim Tebow with his mommy about the evils of abortion. CBS has claimed that they turned down the mancrunch ad because of their policy against advocacy ads yet they're going to allow not just one, but two seperate Tebow ads. Just to keep you informed, in 2004 CBS also turned down an ad by MoveOn.org critical of Bush and his war in Iraq. Apparently the Conservative Broadcasting System (got that from Dave Ziren) is ok with advocacy as long as they agree with it. My understanding from a few sources is that the Tebow ad will not only advocate how well it turned out for the Tebow's, it will encourage other women to fulfill high risk pregnancies against a doctor's orders...as Mrs. Tebow did.

I'm pretty confident mancrunch knew they wouldn't get the deal and just used the opportunity to generate some publicity, but you do have to ask, why the double standard? Remember the Snickers kiss ad that CBS aired during the 2007 Super Bowl? Two mechanics "accidentally" kiss while scarfing down a candy bar. Evidently an accidental kiss is fine (the haha factor for idiots), but the appearance of two guys that might want to kiss...no, no, no! I've read a lot of people saying how the Super Bowl is a family show and parents shouldn't have to explain two men whose hands brush against each other reaching for popcorn (seriously). However, they don't seem to have a problem explaining an unwanted pregancy or half dressed women hawking beer?! What would the ad have looked like if Mrs. Tebow's son had turned out to be a Florida Gaytor instead of a Florida Gator? This Christian fundamentalism....with strong focus on the word mental, is destroying the fabric of everything we as a nation once stood for. By the way, there is a commercial for GoDaddy featuring racer Danica Patrick getting pulled over for speeding in a 1973 Mustang by a female patrol officer. I like Danica, but the commercial is pretty racy (forgive the pun). My point? Another double-standard. Danica, you can do better...and I hope the car didn't get scratched.

I will share with you a video segment of Dave Ziren discussing this with Rachel Thursday. As far as who I hope emerges as the Super Bowl winner; Who Dat! Hmmm...the halfime show is The Who. Is that a sign?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Toyota - Oh, what a feeling...

As a lifetime Chevy owner, I am getting some satisfaction seeing Toyota finally lose some of it's shine. For years the faithful have been reading Consumer Reports fawn over every model while encouraging readers to not buy anything American...until recently. The free ride is over. My opinion about CR not withstanding, as I prefer Edmunds, which is strictly automobiles (& opinions of actual owners), not a jack-of-all-trades source, I think most potential buyers will give the American manufacturers another look. It seems that Toyota was aware of safety issues for a few years, but covered them up. Unfortunately it took a fatality for Toyota to really get serious.

A week before Christmas, 34-year-old Trina Renee Harris, a mother of two died on impact when her 2009 Toyota Corolla sped through a stop sign and slammed into an East Hardy Toll Road cement divider in Houston, leaving no skid marks. Her husband, Michael Harris, filed a lawsuit against Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., gas pedal maker CTS Corp. and Fred Haas Toyota World, which leased her the car. I wish him the best.

Federal regulators uncovered evidence that some Toyota cars accelerated unexpectedly more than two years ago. What did they do about it? Not much. Toyota told owners to take their floor mats out. They assumed the mats were getting hung up on the accelerator. Now that it's clear that it's actually a design flaw, several models have been recalled and sales had been stopped on these vehicles until a remedy was found. The models affected are as follows: 2009-2010 RAV4, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 Camry, 2010 Highlander, 2007-2010 Tundra and 2008-2010 Sequoia models. Sales resumed yesterday as Toyota submitted a "fix" to the NHTSA several days ago that was acceptable. I would assume the cars standing on the lots were repaired before they were allowed to go home with their new owner.

Yesterday Toyota announced a recall of 270,000 of its Prius hybrids in the United States and Japan over a braking issue. The problem is more acute when the car goes over potholes or rough roads. Since the U.S. hasn’t spent anything on infrastructure since the 50’s, that pretty much describes every road! I actually watched David Champion from Consumer Reports on the Today Show yesterday morning say that he wasn’t sure if there’d be a recall or not since the brakes work, they just don’t always work right away…seriously.

Last year, they were encouraging people take their 1995 to 2000 Tacoma's to Toyota Dealerships for a rust inspection. The trucks frames were rusting out faster than expected. Toyota either repaired or offered to repurchase the vehicle. I'm not really sure that you can fix a rusty frame or if it would even be worthwhile. This is where it got interesting. No matter what condition your truck is in, Toyota bought them back at 150% the KBB "excellent condition" price. The trucks that were bought back, were crushed! Also last year 110,000 2000-2003 Toyota Tundra trucks were recalled due to a frame corrosion problem that could cause the spare tire to fall off.

It will be interesting to see how Toyota and the buying public react to these many mistakes. American manufacturers gaffes never leave the CR reading buyers minds. Let's see if they're consistent.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Things I'll Be Watching In The 2010 Racing World

With Daytona’s Speedweeks underway, I figured I’d take a moment to discuss the upcoming racing season. Last weekend, the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona was run and I have to say, it is kind of fun watching. It is held on a 3.56-mile (5.73 km) combined road course, utilizing portions of the NASCAR tri-oval and an infield road course. The event actually has two races going on simultaneously. The Grand Am Series and the Grand Turismo Series (which is the one I prefer). With the Grand Am series, you get what are called Daytona Prototypes. Specialist chassis makers like Riley, Dallara, Lola and Crawford provide the DP cars for the teams and the engines are branded under the names of major car companies like Chevy, Lexus, Ford, and Porsche. The Daytona GT series for me is a lot more fun to watch although the cars aren’t as quick. While I had the event on and wasn’t watching thoroughly, I noticed at about the 3 hour mark on Saturday, the GT’s started to get lapped by the Prototypes. The GT class cars at Daytona are closer to the road versions, similar to the GT3 class elsewhere. For example, the more standard version of the Porsche 996 is used, instead of the usual RS/RSR racing versions. Recent Daytona entries also include BMW M3s, Chevy Camaro’s, Corvettes, Ford Mustangs and Mazda RX-8s. Since I don’t know who too many of the drivers are, I was rooting for the Camaro’s! One of the neatest things about watching these cars was probably the fact that when the race started, it was raining. Maybe Nascar can’t run in the rain at Daytona or Talladega for safety reasons, but I don’t know why they can’t use this technology to run the road courses or the small tracks with rain tires and wiper blades.

In the land of NASCAR, we’ll also get to watch the Danica Patrick story unfold. I wish her the best, but believe it or not, at age 28 it’s now or never to adjust to this bigger heavier car. I’m not sure that by not giving it a 100% commitment (since she’s continuing in Indycars) that it’ll work out as well as it otherwise might. She signed a contract to drive the #7 Go Daddy Chevrolet Impala for JR Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Nationwide Team. Can you imagine the marketing? You’re going to have two hugely popular racers working together. I hope they find as much success on the track as they will undoubtably have off of it. Danica will compete in 12 (poosibly 13) events for the minor league stock car team (The Nationwide series is kind of the equivalent of AAA in baseball). I have to say, I not only hope she’s successful in the good ol boys series, I think she’s got the right temperment to take on the sexism that runs rampant in this southern based sport. Richard Petty once said of her, "I just don't think it's a sport for women, and so far, it's proved out. It's really not. It's good for them to come in. It gives us a lot of publicity; it gives them publicity. But as far as being a real true racer, making a living out of it, it's kind of tough.” Gee Richard, has it ever occurred to you that you rednecks have never given any woman a real chance, which might be a bigger part of the problem? Maybe you should ask her to bake some cookies for you! I’ll never forget when she got wrecked in the pits at the Indy 500 in 2008 by Ryan Briscoe and was headed towards his pit for a confrontation before IMS security intercepted her. I thought, wow that’s some fire! It’s up in the air whether she will run the Nationwide season opener at Daytona. Because of the speed of the cars and the fact that she’s never run a stock car in a points event (applicable to all), she has to run the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) event on Feb. 6 to get clearance. That series is basically "the AA" and are actually retired Sprint Cup Cars. It’s a proving ground as to whether the drivers are competent enough that they won’t be a safety hazard at the superspeedway. If I had to bet, she’ll make it. I’m sure she’ll have the very best “retired” car on the track. I would also like to give two thumbs up to Dale Jr. and his manager, sister Kelley Earnhardt Elledge for giving Patrick the chance. Yes, they’ll make money marketing, but if they didn’t think she could drive, she wouldn’t have gotten the deal. Also a nod to Indiana native Tony Stewart who said, "I think obviously she's got talent; she's been successful in every form of racing she's been in so far and I don't see why she wouldn't be successful here NASCAR.” Take that Redneck Petty.

And last, but not least is the upcoming Sprint Cup Series. Will Jimmie Johnson win his fifth straight title? It’s hard to bet against him, but I’m going to. Tony Stewart finished sixth last season with his first year team, although they would’ve been third under the old (& better) points system. If they can avoid some of the pitfalls from last season, we will see “Smoke” back at the top. I’ve never been a big fan of Stewart personally, although he’s softened his public persona over the last several years, he is the guy I enjoy watching the most. In my opinion, he is the closest driver, ability-wise to Dale Earnhardt out there. Stewart, like Earnhardt has the ability to manhandle a lousy race car to a top 5 finish when it had no business even finishing in the top fifteen. I’ve watched him go into backwards slides, through grass, inches from the wall and figure out a way to correct and only need to replace the tires instead of the whole car. That is natural talent.
Everyone points at Johnson and Jeff Gordon as the standard bearers in this era and they do have the championships to prove it, but Hendrick Motorsports also has by far the best equipment, technology and not everyone can drive for them. I don’t begrudge them any of that. Whether you like the Hendrick teams or not, Rick Hendrick has constantly reinvested into his teams. For all the Hendrick haters out there, Jack Rousch at one time was in the same position as Rick, but he chose to not reinvest at the same rate and now fields second tier teams. As for the other Hendrick teams, expect Mark Martin to have another solid year, but I don’t see him duplicating 2009. The big question mark is Dale Earnhardt Jr. I don’t see that he has anywhere to go but up. However going from 25th in the points to 17th will not cut it. Not when your teammates finished 1, 2, 3 last year. This guy needs to figure out what is different within him. His first five years, he was a constant threat to win, the last five, not so much. I still say it goes back to that Corvette crash and fire and if that’s the case, he needs to deal with it with a professional if he wants to continue racing.
One rules related thing that I’m happy to report is that NASCAR is getting rid of that stupid wing on the backs of the current cars. Not only were they ugly from a fans prospective, I’m sure it was a contributing factor when Stewart hit one of Michael Waltrip’s pit members last season. Stewart was pulling out of his pits when in the blink of an eye, Waltrip's right rear tire changer was unexpectedly there. Many if not all Cup drivers have expressed the view thru the car ahead is much less with a wing than it was with a spoiler. Improved visibility is always a good thing. A full-field test is scheduled for March 23-24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and after that a decision will be made on when to reintroduce the spoiler based on teams' input.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Republican Solution To Deficit - Keep Shafting The Middle Class

All of this deficit talk is starting to get on my nerves. Of course it’s an issue, but this didn’t start last January. Why is the military/defense budget exempt from spending cuts? It’s our biggest source of wasteful spending, it always has been. Of course Cheney's Halliburton would suffer greatly and we can’t have that. Those mercenaries employed by Blackwater and KBR are real American heroes. Next, make the rich pay the same share as they did before Reagan gave them the keys to the Kingdom. Their pre-1980 tax wasn’t denting their lifestyle. Tax the hell out of U.S. corporations manufacturing outside of our borders. Oh wait, that would make sense. Our politicians are more concerned with who’s funding their next election, which brings me to my desire for term limits. We will need a national referendum or ballot proposition or whatever it’s officially called to ever have any hopes of that happening.

Last night I watched Texas Representative Jeb Hansarling (R) go on Chris Matthews Hardball. He blamed the Democrats for everything naturally, but that's not the thing he said that set me off. He basically called for a cut to Social Security benefits for anyone who is currently under age 55. Since this affects me…and many others, I’m concerned. I’ve been paying into that system for more years than I care to remember and this fool is basically saying “tough luck, sucker!” Yes, I’m well aware of the fact that I can’t live off S.S. alone, but since I paid into this agreement, not getting anything back basically means the country downright stole from me and everyone else who falls into our category. We need to start taking care of our own citizens and stop policing the world. How about we try that?!

We spend at least $607 billion annually for military expenditures. The next closest country in spending is China…at $85 billion. Do we actually have to spend seven times more than another country to be safe? Those big bad Russians spend a whopping $58.6 billion. We are 41.5% of the whole world’s share of military expenditures! Just cut the spending in half and we’ll still have the biggest d***s in the world. Isn’t that what this is really about? Seems like a simple enough solution. The deficit would be under control in about 5 years. Furthermore, Bush lied when he said, “They hate us for our freedoms.” That’s not why they hate us. They hate us because we meddle in other country’s policies without being asked. The U.S. really needs to take a look in the mirror and think about what our reaction would be if another country, say China, comes here and starts telling us how to live. I'm guessing we wouldn't take kindly to it.