Monday Mashup Part One (11/01/10)

November 1, 2010

  • 1) I don’t know who else has noticed besides me, but the punditocracy is absolutely losing its collective mind as we near the end of this election cycle with its “doomed Dems” narrative, which is totally unsurprising I know; basically, I defy anyone reading this to navigate more than three clicks across any web news site to see what I’m talking about.

    And here is a sampling from yesterday’s New York Times, in which Sheryl Gay Stolberg does the best she can to concoct “Drudge bait”…

    CLEVELAND — The upper deck was mostly empty when President Obama closed out the campaign season Sunday afternoon with a rally on the campus of Cleveland State University here. His aides looked grim, fiddling with their BlackBerrys as Democratic National Committee staffers scurried to get a crowd estimate from fire marshals: 8,000 in a hall built for 13,000.

    It was a fitting coda to the waning days of a brutal election season for the president and his party. Mr. Obama spent the final, frenetic weekend of Midterms 2010 hopscotching the East Coast and Midwest trying to close the “enthusiasm gap” in key states. The task required him, at times, to confront the minor indignities that come with being demoted from rock star to mortal politician.

    What, no sneaky references to the faux Doric columns from Obama’s Dem nomination acceptance speech in Denver in 2008? You’re slipping, Stolberg! And funny, but I honestly cannot recall the last time I read about a campaign speech by a Repug in which the empty seats were counted.

    (And just for good measure, John Harwood depicted a “Republican rout” tomorrow here.)

    Stolberg, however, has nothing on Peter Baker, who, along with Helene Cooper, brought us this (from here, concerning the recent plane bomb scare that quite probably originated in Yemen)…

    WASHINGTON — Trying to manage a terrorism threat in the middle of an election campaign, the Obama administration is walking a political and national security tightrope.

    Remembering the debates over whether President George W. Bush sought to capitalize on the terrorism threat in the days before the 2006 election, White House officials do not want to look as if they are seizing on a potential catastrophe to win votes. But at the same time, they remember when President Obama was criticized when he said nothing publicly in the three days after an attempt to blow up an airliner last Dec. 25.

    “Every president has to be able to take off the partisan hat and assume the role of nonpartisan commander in chief when there is a security incident,” said C. Stewart Verdery Jr., a former assistant secretary of homeland security under Mr. Bush. “The president should be the public face of the response to send the right signals to Americans worried about our defenses, especially those partisans who might be inclined to find fault with anything the administration does.”

    Oh, and just in case we didn’t get it that the Obama Administration didn’t officially communicate with the media on the would-be Detroit pants bomber last December, Baker/Cooper go on to repeat it for good measure (of course, the period of time in question for Obama is three days, but I can recall nary a peep out of our corporate media slaves when a certain 43rd president went mute for six days in response to would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid, as noted here).

    There is still more hilarity in this column, as Baker/Cooper chide Obama again for his “breakdown” in responding last December (to which I ask the following: how many people were killed because of this “breakdown”), but by the end of the column, James Jay Carofano of the Heritage Foundation (now THAT’s a “fair and balanced” point of view) is wondering why Obama supposedly overreacted in the case of the most recent Yemen scare.

    And Baker went one better on Stolberg, by the way, writing an entire Op-Ed column yesterday on Obama’s supposed elitism to which I won’t even waste my time responding – if I want to read the National Review (and I don’t, I assure you), I’ll read the National Review.

    And in response to the supposed “apathy” of the Dem base, I give you this.

  • 2) Next, I give you what is perhaps the most schizophrenic opinion column I’ve read in a long time (and if you guessed that it came from Fix Noise, then you automatically win an autographed photo of humanoid Megyn Kelly with her face contorted as she yells at Obama spokesman Bill Burton, based on this).

    Former Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro decried sexism in political campaigns (good), but then adds fuel to the proverbial fire with the following (bad)…

    But it’s not only Democrats against Republicans who sometimes cross the line. Take for instance, Carly Fiorina. Don’t tell me she didn’t realize that she was being sexist — as well as a tad ageist — when she said referring to Barbara Boxer in an off-mic comment: ‘”God what is with that hair? So yesterday.”

    And how did she stand by when Sen. John McCain issued an unheard of jab at a colleague in the Senate, when he said about Barbara Boxer after distorting her record that “I should know (how difficult she is on defense issues) because I have had the unpleasant experience of having to serve with her.”

    For those who don’t know how the Senate works, no Senator refers to his colleagues in that matter. John McCain has never referred to any colleague before like that. He thought he could get away with it because she is female.

    If the women of Arizona go on the Internet and Google three words: John McCain, rape and gorilla — they might see where he is coming from as far as women are concerned.

    OK, I think we need to step back a bit here.

    To begin, Ferraro is clearly angry about McCain involving himself in the California contest between Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina. And Ferraro has a right to feel that way, even though I don’t think this happened only because of Boxer’s gender; former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist involved himself in the South Dakota contest against former Senator Tom Daschle and on behalf of John Thune, which was also a low blow.

    Also, I am not going to excuse some of the truly lowbrow remarks by McCain that he has uttered in his public life – if you do what Ferraro suggests, you will indeed find the type of language she’s referring to.

    However, I think it’s more than a little self-defeating for her to make those remarks in a column where she’s decrying hateful language.

    Besides, who is Ferraro to say this when she had no trouble spouting some genuinely racist remarks while supporting Hillary Clinton, a sample of which is noted here?

  • 3) Finally, I just want to make a bit of a personal plea concerning tomorrow’s elections.

    Yes, I’m going to say that you should vote Democratic – no surprise there, I’ll admit. And I believe there are a lot of good reasons to do that.


    And one of them has to do with the fact that, for the first time in over 10 years, this guy won’t figure into the outcome of anything (even though he was ineligible in 2008, his policies were very much at issue then as I believe they still are now).

    My request is that you vote Democratic because of the good work done by the Democratic majority in Congress, notably of which is health care reform, jobs bills, the Lily Ledbetter law and granting the FDA more power to enable the safety of the food supply (there are a lot of other reasons, but I think those are some good ones for starters).

    All I ask is that I don’t read everywhere in the universe on Wednesday that the Repugs took over at least one house of Congress because all the “professional left” had going for it (the people who powered Obama’s victory two years ago first and foremost) was “Bush Derangement Syndrome.”

    Please click here to find a polling place in your neighborhood.

    Let’s keep doing the hard work we need to do up until the polls close tomorrow to make it plain to everyone in the world that our support for Democrats is based on moving this country forward for real, as opposed to running away from the past.

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    K.O. Bags The Teabaggers

    October 28, 2010

    Terrific, important stuff that would have been pointed out long ago by our corporate media if they had been doing their jobs – here is Part One…

    …and here is Part Two.


    Friday Mashup Part One (9/24/10)

    September 24, 2010

  • 1) It seems that “Governor Bully” is going to be appearing on “Oprah” shortly today (probably has already by now); as noted here…

    The Oprah Show, which flashes on Garden State screens in just a few hours, features the Oprah-adulation of (Newark Mayor Cory) Booker you expect (she’s given millions herself to…Newark), but also features a warm hug from herself to the Governor. Makes me wonder if her people prepped her to understand that while we’re talking $100 million, he just pulled a $400 million dollar rug out from the rest of New Jersey’s kids.

    Also, I thought this post (cross-posted from Blue Jersey) had some interesting thoughts on that state’s public employee pension crisis, particularly the following…

    …I say we call his bluff.

    If Christie’s “reforms” go through, the NJEA (that state’s most influential teacher’s union…not sure if there are any other such organizations – ed.) ought to turn to him and say: “OK, in that case, we’re out. You are on the hook for all current obligations – but our members are no longer going to contribute. Everyone not vested gets their money back with interest; no one contributes anything more into the system.

    “Instead, WE”LL run the whole thing. We’ll move to defined contribution if we have to, but it will be better than the raw deal you’re proposing. We’ll take over all retirement benefits from now on, and we’ll be overseen by members, a public board, and federal regulators – certainly better than what we have now. So you don’t get to touch our money any more – you’re out.

    “And we’ll negotiate employer contributions with the districts. Try to stop that and we’ll see you in the Supreme Court.”

    In many ways, it would be his worst nightmare. ALL obligations would have to be met by the state’s contributions and investment returns. I’d love to see him weasel out of that one.

    Well, I can dream…

    No word on whether or not Christie would be amenable to this; as noted here, he’s been busy confronting hecklers at GOP campaign events, among other non-NJ-related events (and just what on earth is he doing traveling across the country campaigning for other GOP pols anyway?).

  • 2) Also, I’ve noticed our corporate media suddenly paying attention to American Crossroads, the Karl Rove/Ed Gillespie-fronted GOP fundraising outfit relying on a few well-off donors and corporations (as this tells us, they raised $2.6 million in August).

    That’s not bad, I’ll admit, but as noted here, Act Blue raised about $6.7 million in July and August; split the difference at about $3.35 mil apiece, and that still beats what American Crossroads did over the same period.

    Yes, I know I shouldn’t get preoccupied with the “horserace” political stuff either, but all I’m asking is that you remember this the next time you find yourself hearing more than you’ll ever want to know about Republican party activism (particularly those zany characters with their funny hats and racist/violent signs – more on them in a minute) and next to nothing about what is going on with the other side.

  • 3) Finally, if you’re like me, I’ll bet you’re just chomping at the bit, as it were, when it comes to finding out whether or not the core constituency (or so they think) of the Republican Party supports “Contract on America II” unveiled this week (and I’m talking about those “values voter” “fundies” – here)…

    Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released a statement Thursday morning on the House Republican leadership’s “Pledge to America.”

    “While I have some disappointment that the pledge to honor the values issues such as traditional marriage were not more clearly defined within the document, this is a significant improvement over the 94 Contact with America which was silent on the moral issues. The Pledge is not exceptional, but it is satisfactory, as it does lay a foundation to build upon, and it moves Congressional Republicans to a place of public acknowledgment that values issues are to be a part of the conservative way forward.”

    And I guess it should be thoroughly unsurprising to note that Perkins has said that gays should be allowed to serve “if you want a military that just does parades” (here).

    Despite that somewhat tepid endorsement, Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition stated as follows (here)…

    The agenda embraces time-honored values like traditional marriage and ending taxpayer-funded abortion as well as lower taxes and reduced spending. The message was unmistakable: we will not be divided by a false choice between fiscal responsibility and strong families. We will fight for both, and indeed we must do both if we are to restore America’s promise.

    And I thought this was particularly funny from Reed…

    Pro-family candidates are the most likely to be fiscal conservatives, and Tea Party candidates are the most likely to be pro-life.


    No word on whether or not their “pro-life” bona fides extend to those with whom they disagree of course.

    In a related note, some of our lower life forms are gathering at Shady Brook Farm in Lower Makefield, PA apparently to re-enact “Lord of the Flies,” which should begin any moment (here) – my kingdom for the EPA dome over Springfield from “The Simpsons’ Movie.”


  • Join The “Mosque-Keteers” In A Sing-Along!

    August 24, 2010

    Seriously, I’d love to know how much “Astro Turf” money is being spent on this operation (here – and actually, I think we have our thoroughly unsurprising answer here).

    Oh, and by the way, the guy wearing the head scarf, or whatever that is, is a guy named Kenny who is a Union carpenter working at Ground Zero (and as he tells us later, he most definitely is not a Muslim.)

    (Also, as far as I’m concerned, this bunch of protesters might as well be teabaggers, and here is a doozy of an item about that bunch.)


    Tea Party Mythology Versus Reality

    February 12, 2010

    I think this opinion column illustrates the corporate media disconnect over those teabaggin’ wingnuts pretty well, particularly the following…

    Nearly every household and business in America has curtailed spending over the past few years. Some, dramatically. The only place where profligate spending remains popular is in Washington. Politicians wonder what’s fueling the rage behind the “tea party” activists who feel the government is out of control. Then they turn around and add another zero or two to the massive debt that taxpayers are responsible for.

    (Trying to run the government like a business, including cutting spending 25 percent, an idea put forward in this column) would not be a pragmatic strategy. It would be remarkably cynical, because any president proposing something so draconian would know it had zero chance of getting through Congress. Charges of populism would fly. Political advisers would panic because of all the Americans whose livelihood would be threatened and votes potentially lost.

    But it would delight the tea partyers and lots of other Americans who are appalled at politicians who keep spending taxpayer money, apparently clueless about the privations that many Americans are enduring.

    As you can see, the teabaggers are being presented as allegedly sane bunch of methane dispensers whose primary concern is supposedly out-of-control government spending (no, I don’t like adding to the deficit either, but this is what you’re supposed to do when faced with an economy currently dealing with 10 percent unemployment, in an effort to create jobs – 10 freaking percent, people!).

    Well, I would argue that the pics below from some of these “tea parties” tells an altogether different story (though I agree that someone here is “clueless,” all right).

    And finally…

    (Funny, but I always thought that word was spelled with an “e.”)

    As you can see, government spending has very little to do with what motivates these life forms. It is pure hate of an African American president who is trying to rescue this country from the carnage of the ruinous Bushco reign, as well as the political party to which he belongs (and if you don’t want to believe me, read this).

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled propaganda.

    Update 2/17/10: What the hell is it going to take until we start treating these people like the dregs that they truly are (here)?


    A Blood-Stained History Lesson

    November 22, 2009

    Gee, I’m still waiting for Bishop Thomas Tobin (here) and other religious leaders to decry this…

    …particularly since individuals in this country once wished for this man’s days to “be few” also, which was realized with horrifying finality 46 years ago today.


    A Happily Marginalized Voting Block in “Election ‘08”

    October 21, 2008

    This New York Times report today by Jim Rutenberg tells us that there is a group of Americans out there who have been left behind (in a manner of speaking) concerning the upcoming vote; the story begins with a quote from Bill White, the head of the American National Socialist Workers Party, who was arrested soon after the interview (there’s your first clue that something’s wrong)…

    So stands the state of organized racism in 2008, paralyzed and at a crossroads in what would presumably be a pressing moment of action — the possibility that Senator Barack Obama will become the first black president — but has so far not been.

    There have been sporadic reports throughout the country of Obama signs vandalized with swastikas, windows smashed at local Obama campaign offices and racist pamphlets dropped on doorsteps. Overt and thinly veiled racist comments about Mr. Obama have been caught on camera at rallies, and a Republican women’s group in California — the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated — has made headlines for a flier that showed Mr. Obama’s face on a faux food stamp that also included watermelon and fried chicken.

    But party officials and organizations that monitor hate groups, always concerned about the specter of violence, report far less activity from the more traditional sources of open racism late in the race than they had expected.

    Well, maybe, but as Rutenberg’s colleague Bob Herbert (who has been on fire lately, I must say) tells us today regarding the trumped-up ACORN “scandal”…

    …the reckless attempt by Senator McCain, Sarah Palin and others to fan this into a major scandal has made Acorn the target of vandals and a wave of hate calls and e-mail. Acorn staff members have been threatened and sickening, murderous comments have been made about supporters of Barack Obama. (Senator Obama had nothing to do with Acorn’s voter-registration drives.)

    And this post by Eric Schmeltzer of HuffPo provides a cautionary lesson on what happens when inflammatory right-wing rhetoric goes too far (and this story is truly vile; shocking to inflict such cruelty in an effort to satisfy’s one’s prejudice – those responsible should go to prison for 20 years at least).

    So maybe it’s true that the hate groups aren’t making an impact so far in this election.

    Maybe it’s because they don’t have to.

    Update 10/21/08: Here’s more…


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