Friday, July 31, 2009

President Obama Names 16 Agents of Change
To Receive the Medal of Freedom Top Honor

Release from The White House:

WASHINGTON – President Obama today named 16 recipients of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom. America’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals who make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

This year’s awardees were chosen for their work as agents of change. Among their many accomplishments in fields ranging from sports and art to science and medicine to politics and public policy, these men and women have changed the world for the better. They have blazed trails and broken down barriers. They have discovered new theories, launched new initiatives, and opened minds to new possibilities.

President Obama said, "These outstanding men and women represent an incredible diversity of backgrounds. Their tremendous accomplishments span fields from science to sports, from fine arts to foreign affairs. Yet they share one overarching trait: Each has been an agent of change. Each saw an imperfect world and set about improving it, often overcoming great obstacles along the way.

"Their relentless devotion to breaking down barriers and lifting up their fellow citizens sets a standard to which we all should strive. It is my great honor to award them the Medal of Freedom."

President Obama will present the awards at a ceremony on Wednesday, August 12.

The following individuals will receive the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom:

Nancy Goodman Brinker
Nancy Goodman Brinker is the founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s leading breast cancer grass roots organization. Brinker established the organization in memory of her sister, who passed away from breast cancer in 1980. Through innovative events like Race for the Cure, the organization has given and invested over $1.3 billion for research, health services and education services since its founding in 1982 and developed a worldwide grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists who are working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find cures. Brinker has received several awards for her work, and has also served in government as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary (2001 – 2003), Chief of Protocol of the U.S. (2007 – 2009), and Chair of the President’s Cancer Panel (1990). In May, Nancy Goodman Brinker was named the first-ever World Health Organization's Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control.

Pedro José Greer, Jr.
Dr. Pedro Jose Greer is a physician and the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at the Florida International University School of Medicine, where he also serves as Chair of the Department of Humanities, Health and Society. Dr. Greer is the founder of Camillus Health Concern, an agency that provides medical care to over 10,000 homeless patients a year in the city of Miami. He is also the founder and medical director of the St. John Bosco Clinic which provides basic primary medical care to disadvantaged children and adults in the Little Havana community. He has been recognized by Presidents Clinton, Bush, Sr., and Carter for his work with Miami's poor . He is also the recipient of three Papal Medals as well as the prestigious MacArthur "genius grant". He currently has a joint private practice with his father, Pedro Greer, Sr.

Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking is an internationally-recognized theoretical physicist, having overcome a severe physical disability due to motor neuron disease. He is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, a post previously held by Isaac Newton in 1669. In addition to his pioneering academic research in mathematics and physics, Hawking has penned three popular science books, including the bestselling A Brief History of Time. Hawking, a British citizen, believes that non-academics should be able to access his work just as physicists are, and has also published a children’s science book with his daughter. His persistence and dedication has unlocked new pathways of discovery and inspired everyday citizens.

Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp, who passed away in May 2009, served as a U.S. Congressman (1971 – 1989), Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (1989 – 1993), and Republican Nominee for Vice President (1996). Prior to entering public service, Kemp was a professional football player (1957 – 1969) and led the Buffalo Bills to American Football League championships in 1964 and 1965. In Congress and as a Cabinet Secretary, Kemp was a self-described "bleeding heart conservative" who worked to encourage development in underserved urban communities. In the years leading up to his death, Kemp continued seeking new solutions, raising public attention about the challenge of poverty, and working across party lines to improve the lives of Americans and others around the world.

Sen. Edward Kennedy
Senator Edward M. Kennedy has served in the United States Senate for forty-six years, and has been one of the greatest lawmakers – and leaders – of our time. From reforming our public schools to strengthening civil rights laws and supporting working Americans, Senator Kennedy has dedicated his career to fighting for equal opportunity, fairness and justice for all Americans. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that every American has access to quality and affordable health care, and has succeeded in doing so for countless children, seniors, and Americans with disabilities. He has called health care reform the "cause of his life," and has championed nearly every health care bill enacted by Congress over the course of the last five decades. Known as the "Lion of the Senate," Senator Kennedy is widely respected on both sides of the aisle for his commitment to progress and his ability to legislate.

Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King was an acclaimed professional tennis player in the 1960s and 1970s, and has helped champion gender equality issues not only in sports, but in all areas of public life. King beat Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match, then the most viewed tennis match in history. King became one of the first openly lesbian major sports figures in America when she came out in 1981. Following her professional tennis career, King became the first woman commissioner in professional sports when she co-founded and led the World Team Tennis (WTT) League. The U.S. Tennis Association named the National Tennis Center, where the US Open is played, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2006.

Rev. Joseph Lowery
Reverend Lowery has been a leader in the U.S. civil rights movement since the early 1950s. Rev. Lowery helped organize the Montgomery bus boycott after Rosa Parks was denied a seat, and later co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a leading civil rights organization, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rev. Lowery led the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Rev. Lowery is a minister in the United Methodist Church, and has continued to highlight important civil rights issues in the U.S. and worldwide, including apartheid in South Africa, since the 1960s.

Joe Medicine Crow – High Bird
Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, the last living Plains Indian war chief, is the author of seminal works in Native American history and culture. He is the last person alive to have received direct oral testimony from a participant in the Battle of the Little Bighorn: his grandfather was a scout for General George Armstrong Custer. A veteran of World War II, Medicine Crow accomplished during the war all of the four tasks required to become a "war chief," including stealing fifty Nazi SS horses from a German camp. Medicine Crow was the first member of his tribe to attend college, receiving his master’s degree in anthropology in 1939, and continues to lecture at universities and notable institutions like the United Nations. His contributions to the preservation of the culture and history of the First Americans are matched only by his importance as a role model to young Native Americans across the country.

Harvey Milk
Harvey Milk became the first openly gay elected official from a major city in the United States when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk encouraged lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens to live their lives openly and believed coming out was the only way they could change society and achieve social equality. Milk, alongside San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, was shot and killed in 1978 by Dan White, a former city supervisor. Milk is revered nationally and globally as a pioneer of the LGBT civil rights movement for his exceptional leadership and dedication to equal rights.

Sandra Day O’Connor
Justice O’Connor was the first woman ever to sit on the United States Supreme Court. Nominated by President Reagan in 1981, she served until her retirement in 2006. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, O’Connor served as a state trial and appellate judge in Arizona. She was also as a member of the Arizona state senate, where she became the first woman in the United States ever to lead a state senate as Senate Majority Leader. At a time when women rarely entered the legal profession, O’Connor graduated Stanford Law School third in her class, where she served on the Stanford Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Since retiring from the Supreme Court in 2006, O’Connor has served as Chancellor of the College of William and Mary, on the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center, and participated in the Iraq Study Group in 2006, as well as giving numerous lectures on public service. She has received numerous awards for her outstanding achievements and public service.

Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier is a groundbreaking actor, becoming the top black movie star in the 1950s and 1960s. Poitier is the first African American to be nominated and win a Best Actor Academy Award, receive an award at a top international film festival (Venice Film Festival), and be the top grossing movie star in the United States. Poitier insisted that the film crew on The Lost Man be at least 50 percent African American, and starred in the first mainstream movies portraying "acceptable" interracial marriages and interracial kissing. Poitier began his acting career without any training or experience by auditioning at the American Negro Theatre.

Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera is an accomplished and versatile actress, singer, and dancer, who has won Two Tony Awards and received seven more nominations while breaking barriers and inspiring a generation of women to follow in her footsteps. In 2002, she became the first Hispanic recipient of the coveted Kennedy Center Honor. Propelled to stardom by her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story, Rivera went on to star in additional landmark musicals such as Chicago, Bye Bye Birdie, and Jerry’s Girls. She recently starred in The Dancer’s Life, an autobiographical musical about her celebrated life in the theatre.

Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson was the first female President of Ireland (1990 – 1997) and a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997 – 2002), a post that required her to end her presidency four months early. Robinson served as a prominent member of the Irish Senate prior to her election as President. She continues to bring attention to international issues as Honorary President of Oxfam International, and Chairs the Board of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI Alliance). Since 2002 she has been President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, based in New York, which is an organization she founded to make human rights the compass which charts a course for globalization that is fair, just and benefits all.

Janet Davison Rowley
Janet Davison Rowley, M.D., is the Blum Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology and Human Genetics at The University of Chicago. She is an American human geneticist and the first scientist to identify a chromosomal translocation as the cause of leukemia and other cancers. Rowley is internationally renowned for her studies of chromosome abnormalities in human leukemia and lymphoma, which have led to dramatically improved survival rates for previously incurable cancers and the development of targeted therapies. In 1999 President Clinton awarded her the National Medal of Science--the nation's highest scientific honor.

Desmond Tutu
Desmond Tutu is an Anglican Archbishop emeritus who was a leading anti-apartheid activist in South Africa. Widely regarded as "South Africa's moral conscience," he served as the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) from 1978 – 1985, where he led a formidable crusade in support of justice and racial reconciliation in South Africa. He received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work through SACC in 1984. Tutu was elected Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986, and the Chair of the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1995. He retired as Archbishop in 1996 and is currently Chair of the Elders.

Muhammad Yunus
Dr. Muhammad Yunus is a global leader in anti-poverty efforts, and has pioneered the use of "micro-loans" to provide credit to poor individuals without collateral. Dr. Yunus, an economist by training, founded the Grameen Bank in 1983 in his native Bangladesh to provide small, low-interest loans to the poor to help better their livelihood and communities. Despite its low interest rates and lending to poor individuals, Grameen Bank is sustainable and 98% percent of its loans are repaid – higher than other banking systems. It has spread its successful model throughout the world. Dr. Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Morning Joe Crew Rips on Glenn Beck

This is exactly what Glenn Beck wanted. We're all outraged and ranting about him and he's laughing all the way to the bank. It's a damn shame that it's come to this in American. If you're a right winger and say crazy shit on the air, they reward you with million dollar contracts. Something is seriously wrong with these people and something is seriously wrong with network news executives who allow it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Carl Bernstein Destroys Sarah Palin

Great Photo | Obama in Ghana

This is a great photo from Obama's visit to Ghana in early July. See all the latest White House photos here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bachmann Blocks Obama Birthplace Resolution

H. Res. 593, a resolution “recognizing and celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the entry of Hawaii into the Union as the 50th State,” contains this provision: “Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii”

BACHMANN: Mr. Speaker? I object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order that a quorum is not present. [...]

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD): Further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

The bat-shit crazy Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) actually did us a huge favor by calling for a quorum. Now when the resolution does come back up, it will be with a roll call vote. Let the 'Birthers' stand up in front of congress and be accountable while the cameras are rolling for all the world to see.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bad Moon Rising | The Day Nixon Was Elected

“[writer John] Fogerty claims it was written on the day Richard Nixon was elected to power in the States, and it reflects the sense of unease in the air and the portents of what was to follow.”

HT: Les Enrages

Overheard At Sarah Palin's Farewell Party

10. “More tiny hot dog appetizers? You betcha”
9. “Don’t forget to schedule an appointment with Joe the Mover”
8. “Quiet down! We don’t want to wake the Russians
7. “Todd, I’ve always wanted to know — what do you do exactly?”
6. “John McCain passed out in the dip
5. “Where can I check my pelt?”
4. “Bad news — the new governor just quit”
3. “Please accept this gift from all of us at Lenscrafters”
2. “Dancing with the Stars’ called, they got your resume”
1. “I haven’t seen you since the ‘Fire Dave Letterman’ Rally”

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Too Funny | SCOTUS Humor

Rachel Maddow Exposes GOV. PERRY as an IDIOT

Friday, July 24, 2009

Appropriate Dave Chapelle For The Moment

"Because sometimes you have to laugh about it."
Oliver Willis

Yes, We Are Proud "Digital Dickweeds"

CNBC’s Dennis Kneale thinks we bloggers are all "digital dickweeds." I kind of like the ring of that and it just makes me want to blog all that much more. Yes, Mr. Kneale we are digital dickweeds and proud to be of service. Now get your nerdy ass back to work and quit trying to convince the world that the recession is over. It's not. I like his optimism but he's a little early with all his glee I'm afraid.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tag Team Trying To Kill It

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Wacko Wing & The News Pundits

So what's the deal with all the right-wing pundits feeding the wacko wing of the Republican party?

  1. Are they just crazy and insane?
  2. Are they just filled with hate and want to stir up a fake controversy with mean nasty partisan politics?
  3. Are they un-American and un-patriotic and trying to harm America?
  4. Are they trying to copy Glenn Beck and get some of those crazy wacko wing FOX News viewers to boost their ratings?

I think it's #4. They've seen Glenn Beck act crazy, as hell as he plays a full throated lunatic, and they've watched his ratings soar. They've discovered that there are lots of wacko wingnut Republicans and they've said screw this honest reporting bit, I want me some of those wackos and big ratings. Which do you think it is?

American's Most Trusted Newscaster?

According to a TIME poll, Jon Stewart is now America's most trusted newscaster, beating out Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric. I'm not sure what this says about the state of nightly news at ABC, CBS and NBC. I love Jon Stewart and this really does not surprise me. Maybe we all get more of our news from the cable news shows and the internet today. In my opinion, the nightly news hour has become irrelevant. By the time they report it, we've already seen it on the internet or cable news. It's the same reason that newspapers are becoming irrelevant. We all want instant news and the nightly news hour host and the newspaper are usually nothing but reruns.

Spacey & Letterman Talking Twitter & Tweets

HT: Huffington Post

Lewis Black | Health Care Reform

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - Health Care Reform
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Birthers Right Up There With Loch Ness Monsters

MSNBC FirstRead blog:

*** Birth(ers) of a Nation: Remember that McCain event last year during the presidential campaign, when a woman asked if Barack Obama was an Arab? Well, that’s nothing compared to YouTube clip of a Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) town hall, in which a woman carries on and on about Obama's citizenship and birth certificate. Let's get something straight: If Obama weren't a United States citizen, don't you think the Clinton campaign (first) or the McCain camp (second) would have said something during the two-year-long presidential campaign? (In fact, McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone, was the one who had the bigger potential legal question mark about his eligibility for the presidency.) But the real story in all of this is that Republican Party has a HUGE problem with its base right now. That some Republicans believe a man who won last year’s presidential contest by seven percentage points is not the legitimate president is a base problem much bigger than Cindy Sheehan anti-war protestors or black helicopter conspiracy theorists who flock to some Ron Paul events. Check out how flummoxed Castle looked. How many other Republican elected officials are dealing with questioners like this woman? Meanwhile, did Lou Dobbs really GO THERE? Seriously? This is getting absurd.
Chuck Todd and the gang over at FirstRead pretty much covered it. On one hand, it's infuriating to hear these nuts make these outrageous claims but on the other hand, it's probably great for Democrats that this is the face of the new GOP base, knowing that most of the country realizes how crazy these people are. It's kind of like watching one of those conspiracy shows where people think that the moon landing was fake.

Monday, July 20, 2009

ObamaCare Demise Greatly Exaggerated

Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight examines the four scenarios under which health care reform could still pass this year.

I'm banking on scenario number one – "Whip the Democrats Into Submission."

Understanding the FOX News Mob Think

Briseadh na Faire, an author over at TheZoo blog, posted the following as a comment to a ThinkProgress blog post and then posted it on TheZoo as an Op-Ed:

FOX has millions of viewers who agree with whatever it broadcasts. They display a lynch-mob mentality: trial by media, then hanging. Their group-think gives them comfort in that “majority rules” absolves each individual from individual responsibility.

If you don’t understand the enemy, you cannot defeat it. The mob will always need a leader; one who feeds its fears and provides weak victims as sacrifices. Notice how often its spokespersons portray their opponents as weak?

Those who negotiate are weak. Those who compromise are weak. Those who resort to violence first and ask questions later are strong. This is primal. This is mob-think. This is what is left of the Republican Party. This is Fox’s viewing audience.
That's it. That is the perfect description of what they do and who they are. I've never been able to put it into proper words but in three short paragraphs, this author nailed it.

GOP: No Plan, No Knowledge, Just Kill It

It's become pretty clear that Republicans don't have a credible health care alternative, many of them don't understand the intricacies of the policy debate, they don't seem to get why we think reform is necessary and furthermore they don't care. They just want to kill it.

Michael Steele opened his mouth again today and gave us some new word salad. You can watch the video above but there were a couple of telling answers to questions. One of the questions was about the individual mandate policy debate, as to whether or not there should be an individual requirement. Steel was completely ignorant as to what that meant, even though it was a much discussed point of debate during the 2008 election season. Stumped a couple of different times, Steele said, "I don't do policy, ...My point in coming here today was to begin to set a tone, and a theme if you will." I really should not complain because Steele is one of the best things to ever happen to Democrats but I can't help but shake my head when the Chairman of the Republican Party continues to show such a lack of knowledge or grasp of the issues. It's astonishing actually.

Further proof that Republicans just want to kill health care reform comes from remarks made by FOX News pundit, William Kristol and Senator Jim DeMint (S-SC). Kristol said, "My advice, for what it's worth: Resist the temptation. This is no time to pull punches. Go for the kill." Meanwhile, we had Jim DeMint proclaim this past Friday, "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."

It's just politics for these guys. They don't care about finding a solution to help 47 million Americans without health insurance. They are not concerned that there are an additional 25 million with insurance so lousy that they are afraid to use it, for fear of being cancelled. It really doesn't stop there either. What about the millions of Americans who can't change jobs because they are slaves to their health insurance and in fear of being dropped if they move to a new job? The only people that I know who are not afraid of their health insurance company are the people in congress who have great coverage and great options. Don't we deserve what they have? Shouldn't we demand it?

I'm very suspicious that anyone trying to slow dow or delay health care reform is simply angling for time to find a way to kill it. Follow the money. Joe Liberman has been on the news this morning, calling for the process to be slowed down. A look at the record shows that he "raised almost $3.6 million in campaign contributions from the health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries over the course of his career, averaging more than $500 per day since taking office." You can find similar contributions for almost anyone in congress who is calling for a slow down in health care reform.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Matthews Meter Says YES On Health Care

Is The Southern Strategy Finally Dead?

I would contend that the so called "southern strategy," used so effectively for the past several decades by Republicans, is probably dead as a national strategy. I'm thankful for that. But, it's alive and well and being used regularly on a statewide and local basis in southern states and cities. I would like to see the day when southern states and cities also reject the old racial "southern strategy."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hate Crimes Bill Passes Senate 63-28

The Hate Crimes bill passed in the Senate this week as an amendment the Department of Defense authorization bill but may face a presidential veto. Obama has told Congress that he will veto the defense bill if it includes funding for the F-22 fighter jet. Sadly, both of my senators voted against the hate crimes bill. I sat for a while just staring at that list of "NAY" voters. They are mostly old men from a different era and many of them are from the deep south where I live. These times they are a changing and with every tick of the clock and with every passing year, this list of old school naysayers grows smaller and smaller. I'm not sure I'll ever live to see the south completely transformed but I'm enjoying seeing my country transformed.

Voted Yea - 63

Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Burris (D-IL)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaufman (D-DE)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (D-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)
Voted Nay - 28

Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Brownback (R-KS)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Not Voting - 9

Alexander (R-TN)
Bond (R-MO)
Bunning (R-KY)
Byrd (D-WV)
Corker (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Martinez (R-FL)

Crazy Wingnut of the Day

It's hard to believe that anyone would be trashing Walter Cronkite upon news of the former anchorman's death but leave it to Debbie Schlussel. She's glad he'd dead and blames the loss of the Vietnam War on Walter. I swear to God, these people could burn something in the oven and scream that it was the media's fault.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Same-Sex Marriage Announcement Fracas

When the Elkhart Truth published a same-sex wedding announcement for Micheal Berkey and James Chapin earlier this week, Hoosier fundies went bananas. The couple plan to be married July 25th in Iowa.

It didn't take long for the American Family Association of Indiana to start spinning and spreading lies. The group sent out an action alert to their sheep suggesting that the paper will soon start printing "anniversary announcements for polygamous marriages" and "incestuous birth announcements." So far the newspaper has stood its ground that same-sex marriage is legal in Iowa.

Well I have to say that same-sex wedding announcements never occurred to me. The paper absolutely did the right thing in publishing the announcement, in my opinion and if I owned a newspaper, I would publish them as well. However, I must say that I feel for small town newspaper owners put in this position. Even if the owner / editor is pro gay marriage, being asked to publish these announcements puts them in one hell of a bad spot. As you can see from the Huffington Post piece, the evangelical nuts will come after you. I'm sure they will try and demand that businesses not advertise with the paper and that people cancel their subscriptions. It wouldn't take much to put a small town paper out of business. That being said, if I were in that position, I still would have published the announcement if asked to do so.

Back In Campaign Mode on Health Care Reform


We have talked and talked and talked about fixing health care for decades. And we have finally reached a point where inaction is no longer an option -- where the choice to defer reform is nothing more than a decision to defend the status quo. And I will not defend the status quo.

Rep. Joe Courtney on Congressional Hypocrisy

"In 2006, Courtney promised not to accept taxpayer subsidized health insurance, a privilege offered to all Members of Congress, until all Americans have access to affordable and quality coverage." Congressman Courtney is to be commended for setting a good example. I think they should all have to take that pledge. If it's not good enough for the American people, then they should cancel it for members of congress and their families as well. Let them get out on the street and try to buy an individual policy like the rest of us poor bastards not fortunate enough to have a government or corporate job with paid insurance. They might all decide that reform is in order after all if they got a little taste of what we have to deal with.

David Choi covers Zee Avi "Bitter Heart"

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Crazy Zell Miller Wants To "Gorilla" Glue Obama

These people are nutting-up faster than we can report it. Crazy Zell Miller (fake Democrat turned Wingnut) is up to his old tricks. He was the keynote speaker today at the American Legislative Exchange Council. He had lots of crazy things to say but this was my favorite and seems to fit with the right-wing coded race meme of late:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Obama, “our globe-trotting president,” Miller said, “needs to stop and take a break and quit gallivanting all around. I think (chief of staff) Rahm Emanuel ought to get some Gorilla Glue and put it in that chair in the Oval Office and say ‘Sit here awhile.’”
Yeah, he said it. He wants to "gorilla" glue the President to a chair. That ought to get crazy Zell a few backslaps from the good ole boys back home up in the hills and backwoods of north Georgia.

Remember this famous crazy Zell moment:

Bernie Sanders on Public Healthcare

I'm sure you've all seen this video of Senator Bernie Sanders by now but it's worth repeating. Bernie reminds John McCain and the other Republicans on the committee that the health care benefits offered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) is socialized medicine and that most people wanted more VA and not less VA medical care. He asked if any of them wanted to offer an amendment to eliminate the VA and of course none of them dared say a word. He then reminded the committee that Medicare is a single payer system. He asks them to go out and compare attitudes of the people toward Medicare, which does not throw people off the their plan for preexisting conditions or for getting sick the previous year, with the attitudes of people toward private insurance companies. Bernie concludes by reminding the committee and the Republicans that the function of what they are doing there is not to support the private health insurance companies but rather to try and provide the best quality health care to the American people, in the most cost effective way. He said that the United States Congress was the only institution in American that seems to think that the private health insurance companies should be playing the dominant role rather than the government. He's right. Far to many people in congress are trying to obstruct health care reform and trying desperately to stop the public option because they have been bought and paid for by the health insurance lobby. There is ample proof that the large majority of Americans want a public option and many want a single payer system. Yet, many in congress seem inclined to want to ignore the will of the people and bend to the demands of the insurance lobby. That tells me that they are afraid of the insurance lobby more than they are the American people. That's our fault and it's up to us to do something about it. We have to step up, make our voices heard and scare them into representing we the people rather than corporate board and lobbyists.

Music Break: "Stand by Me"
Playing For Change | Music Around the World

Mark Johnson, founder, Playing for Change:

From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", comes the first of many "songs around the world" being released independently. Featured is a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe.

Playing For Change is a movement to connect the world through music.

The act of playing music with people of different cultures, religions, economics and politics is a powerful statement. It shows that we can find ways of working together and sharing our experiences with one another in a positive way. Music has the power to break down the walls between cultures, to raise the level of human understanding.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Meghan McCain:

“Joe the Plumber -- you can quote me -- is a dumbass. He should stick to plumbing.”

Sessions Just Keeps Showing His True Self

Senator Sessions (R-AL) came out and told reports that Sotomayor's testimony was "muddled." He went on to say, “I do think Roberts and Alito are far superior in terms of answering questions crisply and with clarity and having very little inconsistencies in what they said...” It sounds like he's trying to imply that she's not as articulate as a white man. Let me be more blunt, he's playing to a racist constituency back home in Alabama. I know a little something about this coded language because I live in the middle of the deep South and I immediately picked up on his message. The Senate Democratic Leadership office put together the above video to show just how wrong he is. Whether it's just politics or more troubling deep-seeded Alabama racism, it's a real shame to see the top Republican on the committee showing so little respect. There's nothing wrong with him asking tough questions and nothing wrong disagreeing with her answers or positions on the law but Senator Sessions has crossed into something far different from that.

HT: Think Progress

Bill Maher on Hardball Last Night | VIDEO

Bill Maher appeared on Hardball last night with Chris Matthews. As usual, Maher's dry wit and humor had Chris and I cracking up with laughter. They talked about Maher's recent road appearances in the South, the Sotomayor confirmation hearing and about all the sleazy sex scandals going on in the world of politics. Click the play button and enjoy.

Obama's All Star Pitch

Not bad for a first pitch and I'll bet he didn't have to practice in the halls at the White House like Jed Bartlett. Man I miss that show. I'm not much of a baseball fan but it was fun to see Barack Obama smiling, enjoying the moment and zinging the ball across home plate.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beauregard Sessions Foghorn Leghorn Moment

The folks over at Daily Kos are having a blast with Senator Sessions latest foot in mouth moment during the Sotomayor confirmation hearing. You have to read David Waldman's post about it over there because it's hilarious.

Also, as I'm posting this, the TV is playing in the background and Bill Maher is cracking up Chris Matthews on Hardball, as they talk about today's hearing. I'll see if I can find a video clip of that and post it here as well. Hell we might as well laugh at these racist Republican clowns.

The Intellectual Incurious Modern Conservative

This observation form Oliver Willis is too true not to pass along:

"The last eight years and John McCain and Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh tell us all we need to know about the right’s intellect. They are for war for no good reason, covering up said war when it goes bad, torture, tax cuts for the wealthy, economic and educational disparity between the rich and poor, racial and sexual discrimination, immoral smearing of political opponents, speaking in the language of moral superiority while engaging in immoral personal behavior, neglect of government’s role as a watchdog and instead use it to enable corporate crime and the resulting economic malaise, and above all else the elevation of the intellectually uncurious over science and the advancement of knowledge."
Michael Boh posted an account on his Our Rants & Raves blog saying that he "attended another dinner over the weekend where a political debate broke out and the minority at the event offered the rest of us a political and sociological glimpse into just how unyielding America's Republicans are today" It's a great story and one that many of have experienced ourselves. These far right wingers just can't be reasoned with and many of us have stopped trying. It's pointless.

Absurdity Of The Day | Gingrich Espanol Fail

Here we have a Spanish language twitter feed by Newt Gingrich announcing that he will be on FOX News tonight. Imagine that, his first Spanish tweet is to announce he will be on Fox. I'm thinking oxymoron. Remember Newt is opposed to all things bilingual and here he is putting out a bilingual twitter feed. Do you think he'll have the stones to tweet in Spanish that he still thinks that Judge Sotomayor is a racist or reverse racist. I just hope he can read Spanish so that he can enjoy the responses he is sure to get from the Hispanic community. Newt has entertained us for so many years with his absurdities. I'm almost happy he's still around to make me laugh.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Watch Out!
Ralph Reed Wants To Rebrand His Himself

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution had an article yesterday about the resurgence of Ralph Reed. Apparently, Reed wants to rebrand his coalition into a 21st century model which he refers to as a Christian Coalition 2.0. Reed says:

“This is not going to be your daddy’s Christian Coalition, ....

"It has to be younger, hipper, less strident, more inclusive and it has to harness the 21st century that will enable us to win in the future.”

"You have to reinvent it, ...It’s the political analog to the iPod and the iPhone. It would be cool. It would be transformative. It would transform our politics and bring younger people to our ranks. All of those are critical imperatives.”
In other words, Reed wants back in the game and he wants to use inclusive language to trick people into thinking his Christian Coalition is a place for people they once banished to burn in hell. Doesn't this remind you of some other Ralph Reed era phrases that tricked people into voting Republican. Remember "A kinder and gentler nation?" Or, how about a more recent one in "Compassionate conservatives?" What a crock. This is simply more shenanigans by Ralph Reed, trying to trick people into voting for what they are being marketed as a kinder, more inclusive coalition and Republican party. Their attitudes have not changed. They just want their power back and they are willing to engage in deceptive advertising to get there. What do you think?

New Orleans

A while back, I expressed my love of New Orleans to a handful of people and one of the right-wingers in the group charmed in and announced that she had never been to New Orleans and furthermore that she never intended to go there. She slammed the people and the city and suggested that I only went for the booze and to see tits flashed in my face. Finally I'd had enough of her bullshit and politely told the group that I loved New Orleans because of it's culture, the wonderful people, the beautiful architecture, the French influence, the history and the food. Everyone else in the crowd nodded in agreement until the wingnut slithered off, mumbling something about hurricane Katrina and individual responsibility. God I have no use for an ignorant person with no appreciation for culture. Her idea of a cultural experience is most certainly a Friday night tractor pull. Anyway, I'm ready for a return visit to New Orleans. I've been so many times but have not been back since Katrina.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mudflats Examines First Term Quitters

The Mudflats blog did a little number crunching by examining all the first term quitters since 1900 and the results are rather telling:

On a hunch, I reviewed online lists of all the men and women who’ve been elected governor of their state since the year 1900. Pored over them for a few hours. Over 1200 politicians have taken that first-term oath of office. Some soon died in office. Many resigned to accept other positions in government, including Spiro Agnew who was “tapped” by Nixon after being the Governor of Maryland for about five minutes. On a handful of occasions, a first-termer was dragged off to the slammer or impeached. One was incapacitated by a nervous breakdown and one left just as impeachment came knocking on his door. So—how many out of over 1200 just up and quit before the end of their term?

Three: Jim McGreevy, Eliot Spitzer and Sarah Palin.

HT to Andrew Sullivan for the link.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Auto-Tune the News | You Gotta Love It

Friday, July 10, 2009

Not So Fast Matt Drudge & Sleazebag Wingnuts

click to watch video

Matt Drudge and every sleazebag wingnut blogger on the internet has posted a photo that claims to show President Obama checking out a woman's backside. It's a still taken from a video but what is actually going on is that obama is offering his arm and watching his footing so as to help another lady down the steps. Watch the video and set the record straight if you see some sleazebag trying to misrepresent the facts.

Peggy's Spot On Analysis

Peggy Noonan nails Sarah Palin in her latest Wall Street Journal column. I don't agree with Peggy's conservative ideas but I admire her for often calling it like she see it.

“The elites hate her.” The elites made her. It was the elites of the party, the McCain campaign and the conservative media that picked her and pushed her. The base barely knew who she was. It was the elites, from party operatives to public intellectuals, who advanced her and attacked those who said she lacked heft. She is a complete elite confection. She might as well have been a bonbon.

“She makes the Republican Party look inclusive.” She makes the party look stupid, a party of the easily manipulated.

“She shows our ingenuous interest in all classes.” She shows your cynicism.

“Now she can prepare herself for higher office by studying up, reading in, boning up on the issues.” Mrs. Palin’s supporters have been ordering her to spend the next two years reflecting and pondering. But she is a ponder-free zone. She can memorize the names of the presidents of Pakistan, but she is not going to be able to know how to think about Pakistan. Why do her supporters not see this? Maybe they think “not thoughtful” is a working-class trope!
HT: Bob Cesca (my favorite blogger)

FOX News Advocating "PURE GENES"

Brian Kilmeade:
"We are — we keep marrying other species and other ethnics and other ... See, the problem is the Swedes have pure genes. Because they marry other Swedes .... Fins marry other Fins, so they have a pure society."
Pure genes? Are you freaking kidding me? I seriously can't believe he said that and can't believe that FOX News didn't bleep it out. That's not funny people. That's the language of fascism. To talk about breeding a pure society with pure genes is the language of Adolf Hitler.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Coverup at the Highest Levels of Government

Was Dick Cheney running an assassination ring out of the White House?

Eshoo said she could not discuss what was a "highly classified program." She did, however, note that when Panetta told House Intelligence Committee members what it was that had been kept secret, "the whole committee was stunned, even Republicans." A Republican committee member told Who Runs Gov's Greg Sargent it was something they hadn't heard before.

Panetta himself was kept in the dark about the program -- whatever it was -- having only been told about the classified activity on June 23. "His own top leadership didn't even brief him that this program existed," said Eshoo.

The day after he found out, on June 24, the CIA header briefed members of Congress about the matter. Two days later, on June 26, the seven lawmakers wrote Panetta asking him to publicly correct an earlier statement he had made, in which he declared that it was not the CIA's "policy or practice to mislead Congress."

Asked why it took two weeks for that letter to Panetta to become public (news of the letter broke on Tuesday evening) Eshoo said it was simply a matter of clearance.

"I was informed by one of the committee lawyers that the letter should be classified and so it was sent to him classified," the California Democrat replied. "The lawyers made a determination recently that it did not need to be classified so we made it public."

Had she received a response from the CIA? "We have not," Eshoo said.
I cannot imagine that the rumors of a top secret assassination ring reporting only to Dick Cheney are true but if they are, he needs to be locked up in a cage down in Gitmo. What in God's name went on during the Bush years? These bastards think they are above the law.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

WTF? | Acquitted Detainees Might NOT Go Free

What the f-ing hell? This is pure politics just to shut up the crazy ass neocon wingnuts. So you mean to tell me that we are going to hold acquitted detainees indefinitely just because we know to do otherwise would mean the wingnuts will be on television screaming bloody murder, proclaiming that Obama is releasing terrorists onto the streets. Jesus what the hell are we doing?

From the WSJ:
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.), who has scheduled a Wednesday hearing on military commissions before the House Judiciary subcommittee he heads, questioned the administration's plan to allot prisoners to federal courts, military commissions or indefinite detention.

"What bothers me is that they seem to be saying, 'Some people we have good enough evidence against, so we'll give them a fair trial. Some people the evidence is not so good, so we'll give them a less fair trial. We'll give them just enough due process to ensure a conviction because we know they're guilty. That's not a fair trial, that's a show trial," Mr. Nadler said.
I'll tell you what I propose, let's let these wingnut media stars and elected officials have their way. What they really want is to just kill anyone that is Muslim and don't tell me different because of number of them have said it to my face. So, let's take these radio announcers, FOX pundits and Republican elected officials down to Gitmo, turn on the TV cameras, hand them one of those guns they hold so dear, and let them shoot these acquitted detainees between the eyes, then give them a shovel and let them bury the bodies. It's all going to be on TV so once and for all, let these neocon wingnuts explain themselves to the world and to their maker. I'm sick and tired of being told that I'm naive, that these people are all terrorist and deserve to die even though we don't have any evidence on them. By God charge them, try them and convict them or set their asses free. For us to want anything less, means we've become just as barbaric as some of the people we are fighting against. If we stoop to their level of justice, it means they've won!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

More Palin from THE RUDE PUNDIT

This Rude Pundit post is a must read for anyone who thinks Sarah Palin is an idiot. It will make you laugh and shake your head in agreement.

Do You Hear That Noise?

It's the collective groan of wingnuts far and wide, knowing that Senator Al Franken (D-MN) has just been sworn into The United States Senate. Give 'em hell Al.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Punctuation, Grammar and Good English

Paul Begala examines the "incoherent, bizarre and juvenile" statement posted on Gov. Palin's official website. Actually, it reads like a few of the wingnut blogs I've seen recently. This is why education matters. The idea that she aspires to be President of the United States is troubling to say the least.
The text, as posted on Gov. Palin’s official website (here), uses 2,549 words and 18 exclamation points. Lincoln freed the slaves with 719 words and nary an exclamation; Mr. Jefferson declared our independence in 1,322 words and, again, no exclamation points. Nixon resigned the presidency in 1,796 words — still no exclamation points. Gov. Palin capitalized words at random – whole words, like “TO,” “HELP,” and “AND,” and the first letter of “Troops.”

Gov. Palin’s official announcement that she is resigning as chief executive of the great state of Alaska had all the depth and gravitas of a 13-year-old’s review of the Jonas Brothers’ album on Facebook. She even quoted her parents’ refrigerator magnet. (Note to self: if one of my kids becomes governor, throw away the refrigerator magnet that says: “Murray’s Oyster Bar: We Shuck Em, You Suck Em!”) She put her son’s name in quotations marks. Why? Who knows. She writes, “I promised efficiencies and effectiveness!?” Was she exclaiming or questioning? I get it: both! And I don't even know what to make of a sentence that reads:
*((Gotta put First Things First))*

Paul Begala
"Sarah Palin Turn Pro"
The Huffington Post

Intellectuals Have Left the Republican Party

These idiots can't even spell:

Intellectual and moderate Eisenhower conservatives have left the Republican party. My God the hard core base that remain as the Republican party despise anything intellectual, educational, cultural or historical and it shows. Just look at some of the signs from these tea party events. The spelling and grammar make the signs look like they were made by third graders. I just read a comment posted by a wingnut that says, "Obama is a hack and a joke,more oever an embarisment." Have you ever noticed that every time one of these wingnuts tries to trash the intellect of a Harvard educated man, they in fact show themselves to be the uneducated idiot? They just embrace mediocrity. Proof in point is the fact that they still consider Sarah Palin to be the star of the GOP, even after her incoherent resignation news conference last week. I guess that I should be happy that Republicans embrace such people but I just have no use for stupid people and I damn sure don't want them running the country.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Queen | "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon"

Jesus Christ Listen To This Boob

Just listen to this boob. Senator Grassley's answer to our health care worries is that we should all just "go work for the federal government." These Republicans have no empathy or concern whatsoever for the health care problems and worries of working people. Republicans are going to be out in the wilderness for a long time unless they get a clue real fast.

Matt Drudge Has His Panties In A Wad

Matt Drudge has his big ole closeted queen panties in a wad over Maureen Dowd's op-ed in the NYT yesterday about top GOP queen diva Sarah Palin. Dowd apparently thinks the Alaska governor is a little koo koo saying, "Caribou Barbie is one nutty puppy." Yes, yes she is. You can stick a fork in her, she's another cooked Republican.

Sunday Political Shows Preempted

Sunday morning routines are hard to break. It's bad enough that the Sunday papers have withered away to nothing but now I flip on NBC to find that Meet The Press and The Chris Matthews Show have been preempted by Wimbledon tennis of all things. The Chris Matthews Show was available online so not all was lost.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

To Be A Blogger

Friends have encouraged me to start this blog so that I'll have a forum to vent about the issues I care passionately about. I promise to say what's on my mind. All too often in the past, I've had to censure my opinions, remarks and comments so as not to offend certain friends, relatives and associates but I refuse to do that here. This is my place to be free and open. Anyone is welcome to comment but I will not tame my remarks so as to try and please all readers. I've had enough of that and intend to speak my mind on this blog. Welcome to any reader who finds their way here.