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: