Saturday, September 19, 2009

Must Reads

Wonkette: David Brooks Went Running On The Mall And Saw No Racism!

driftglass: Unjust For Men

Derrick Z. Jackson: Soda tax: It’s the real thing

Bob Herbert: The Scourge Persists

Christopher Brauchli: The Internet and The Ignorant

Joe Conason: In defense of ACORN

Maha: Strangling Ourselves With Selfishness and You’ll Get a Kick Out of This, Maybe

Roy Edroso: Their Negro Problem - And Ours

President Obama's Weekly Address - September 19, 2009

Progress in the Global Economy

Friday, September 18, 2009

Things People Have Forgotten About

Posted by Fraulein

Remember Hurricane Katrina? It's had some jaw-dropping lasting effects. That no one will talk about. Because they concern mostly black people. But it's not like people are still racist in America, right? Just avert your eyes and carry on...

Personally I still recall the raw horror, the literal nausea, I felt watching the Katrina disaster unfold on TV while King George the Inept ate birthday cake with John McCain. I vividly remember thinking: "We've lost an entire American city due to the Bush administration's ineptitude. NOW, now he's going to get impeached for sure."

So much for that. And today, all these years later, large swaths of New Orleans are evidently still a giant hellhole, and this NEVER makes it on the news. Awesome.

But It's Not About Racism (One of the Most Racist E-Mails Ever Edition)

A friend was appalled at an e-mail he received from a family member living in the southwest. He forwarded it to me for my take. Here is the email, undoctored except for the size and compilation of the photos for space reasons:

Subject: READ THIS AND WEEP!!!!!!!

I wonder how many other governmental type trucks they have been cloning?
Texas DOT Vehicle stopped by an alert DPS Trooper on I-10 between San Antonio
and Seguin , TX .

The Mexicans cloned a Texas DOT Truck and got busted smuggling drugs...
I wonder how long they got away with it before they got busted?
Let's give them more welfare money, more of our Social Security money, and raise your taxes to fund their free-ride... !





Notice that nearly 100% of this money is U.S. currency!!! Do you now wonder why the cost of living has catapulted in our country??? I don't.

Some of the illegal aliens we're letting in can afford anything at any cost!!! And for the ones who cannot........ we'll give it to them anyway!!!




And our Government wants to give ILLEGAL ALIENS amnesty and not build the border fence because of funding!?!?!? SEND THIS TO EVERYONE, INCLUDING YOUR LOCAL CONGRESS REPRESENTATIVE. Our country is bleeding from the outside in!!! Don't you think it's time we take back what WE (NOT the Government) have sacrificed for over 140 years for??? I do. Build the fence higher and deeper, tighten border control, and send EVERY illegal alien home!!!

Nice touch, that patriotic eagle, huh?

So here's my take:

1 - This is one of the most racist emails I've ever seen.

2 – Drug smuggling has been going on forever. Just ask Oliver North. Things like this happen. That’s why it’s call DRUG SMUGGLING and not DRUG CARRYING OVERTLY ACROSS THE BORDER IN PLAIN SIGHT.

3 – ALL Mexican truckers are now to blame? That’s rich.

4 – Notice that it’s all US currency? NO SHIT! We have a horrible drug problem in this country, not only because of the "evil drug lords", but because of our DEMAND for it. (See Oliver North.) By the same token, we can be called ENABLERS of the drug trade.

5 – We no longer have don’t have an “open border” policy with Mexico & Canada. We must now show our passports to get across their borders. This happened under the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. I don’t know if it’s a holdover from the Bush years, but if it was a real problem, you’d think the Bushies would have done something about it before they left office, or at least after 9/11.

6 - According to this douchebag, all illegal aliens are rich, drug trafficers who can buy anything at cost, driving the cost of living up for us poor, flag loving Americans. But it doesn't matter because if they're not smart enough to be drug dealers, they'll just get on the government teet with...

7 – Welfare? Don’t you have to have documents to receive welfare? And Social Security? Don’t you have to pay into Social Security if you actually have a legally obtained job? Just more racist immigration hyperbole.

8 - Guns: Gee, those look like American made guns to me. You can thank your National Rifle Association for their lobbying against stricter gun laws that make it much easier for US made firearms to fall into the hands of those evil drug smugglers, gang bangers and common criminals to use against our law enforcement officers.

9 - "Sacrificing for 140 years"... Hmmm... that would have been 1869. What were we recovering from back then? Oh yeah, The Civil War. This imbecile is citing the time around the end of the Civil War as the starting point of their "sacrifice." What happened back then? Oh, I remember. Slavery ended. Negroes were freed by that Rupublican bastard Abraham Lincoln. Sounds like subtle secessionist talk to me.

But I really don’t get surprised by this type of stuff anymore. This email combined with the fact that the whole racism debate with Obama that is happening right now only goes to further prove the point that racism is not only a factor, but a significant one in this country. Electing a black man to the Presidency has only exacerbated it. It was hidden for a while now, just bubbling under the surface. The sleeping giant of Racism has now awakened – it didn’t go away because smart people actually voted for the smart guy.

Instead of being happy the Drug Enforcement Agency caught this particular crime and that our law enforcement is working, the racist who originated this email just decides to blame a WHOLE RACE of people. Because as we all know everyone else is evil if they don’t need sunblock. Did this same person blame the entire Caucasian race for Bernie Madoff? By their standard are all white people now thieves?... Or would it just be the Jews?


ADDING... By the way, Texas racist email originator, this happened in your state. Stop your whining and start cleaning it up. Or better yet, just go ahead a secede already. Take your Governor's advice. We don't need you, we don't want you. Leave us Austin, and go away. Form your own banana republic and see how far that gets you when we sanction your ass.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Immune To Irony

How do these people get elected into office? Did they stop drooling on themselves long enough to convince the rubes they call their constituents that they would be of use in Congress? ANY USE?

After receiving a complaint from a rube/constituent of their inconvenience during their recent travel, Republican Texas Rep. Kevin Brady decided to write a letter on their behalf, which would be a nice gesture if it weren't for the purpose of the trip and the specific travel complaint, as the Wall Street Journal so aptly describes:

Protesters who attended Saturday’s Tea Party rally in Washington found a new reason to be upset: Apparently they are unhappy with the level of service provided by the subway system.
Rep. Kevin Brady asked for an explanation of why the government-run subway system didn’t, in his view, adequately prepare for this past weekend’s rally to protest government spending and government services.
This would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. But what do you expect? These people who, as Brady writes in his letter of complaint to DC's Metro system, "came all the way from Southeast Texas to protest the excessive spending and growing government intrusion by the 111th Congress and the new Obama administration" complained that said government's transit system did not spend extra money to provide extra service for the teabagger event.


And the newest Republican MENSA member to step into that dubious Spotlight of Superstupid decides to write a letter on the behalf of an 80-year old woman, who is most likely in that evil, socialized Medicare program, with absolutely no conception of the irony of the situation.


And the kicker of this whole affront to the teabagging community? In July, the House voted on a resolution for appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, HUD, and related agencies including emergency funding for the Metro DC subway system. Brady voted against the resolution.


Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady: SUPERGENIUS.

(H/T Wonkette)

Frank Schaeffer Kicks Ass

Schaeffer on Rachel Maddow's show: "A village cannot reorganize village life to suit the village idiot. It's as simple as that. And we have to understand we have a village idiot in this country: it's called Fundamentalist Christianity. And until we move past these people... until the Republican leadership has the guts to stand up and say it would be better not to have a Republican party than a party that caters to the village idiot, there's going to be no end in sight."


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mary Travers Dies at 72

NY Times: Mary Travers, whose ringing, earnest vocals with the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary made songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” enduring anthems of the 1960s protest movement, died Wednesday night in Danbury Hospital in Connecticut. She was 72 and had lived in Redding, Conn.
The cause was cancer, said her spokeswoman, Heather Lylis.

But It's Not About Racism (The Jimmy Carter Edition) - UPDATED

This past Tuesday, former President Jimmy Carter, an old white Southern man who would probably know racism when he sees it, commented that the Joe "YOU LIE!" Wilson outburst, as well as the teabagger 9/12 demonstrations, was based in part on racial politics.

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American," Carter told NBC News. "I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way, and I've seen the rest of the country that shares the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African-Americans."

"That racism inclination still exists, and I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of belief among many white people -- not just in the South but around the country -- that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply," Carter said.

No sooner had he made that comment, the attack dogs were on the cable chatter stations to debate whether Carter was right in his assessment. Matt Lauer interviewed Michael Eric Dyson and Frank Luntz (Frank FUCKING Luntz!) as if there were equal sides to this debate. Conspicuously absent from the piece was any video or images of the racists signs being carried at the 9/12 protests. Dyson was also on Morning Joke™ where MENSA member Maria "Why Isn't 45 Year Old Anthony Weiner On Medicare If It's So Good?" Bartiromo tried to dismiss racism on the grounds that President Obama once enjoyed a 70% approval rating. Dyson astutely breaks down the arguments, but of course on the Morning Joke™ set, it falls of deaf ears.

The whole point of these most recent morning interviews was to discredit Carter's valuation, just as they attacked him for his Palestine book. They try refuting Carter's argument with no facts or images to bolster their non-racial argument from the teabaggers in DC. They discredit him and thereby try to show that race has little or nothing to do with the 9/12 marchers in Washington on Saturday who were soooo angry at the government "spending its tax dollars" that they showed up bearing signs with Obama dressed as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose, or telling him to go back to Kenya and take his "arrogent" wife with him (Arrogant... perhaps they meant "uppity"?) or calling him a "Muslim Marxist" as though no freedom of religion existed in this country, let alone probably not knowing the definition of Marxism. To them it's just another thing to repeat that they heard from "their hero, Glenn Beck."

Anyone who refuses to believe that race is not only an issue, but the main issue for the upswell in opposition is purposely ignoring what is plainly visible; the deep seated feeling that they really are racist but can't admit it. Where were these protesters when former President Bush bailed out financial institutions with $700 billion? President Obama continues the Bush policy and all of a sudden it's socialism? But you bring a sign like this to your protest?

I'd like to know how many 9/12 teabaggers "protesting the government spending" are A) Democrats and B) voted for Obama? I have more respect for David Duke than some I do for some of these teabaggers or Glenn Beck. At least Duke admits to being a racist and is proud of it.

UPDATE (9/17/09, 6:45am): Keith Olbermann takes on the race issue and backs it up with examples.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Too Soon?


Glenn Beck's 9/12 loonies hate Communism...

...but loooooove the artwork.


Must-read Robert Borosage Column

Posted by Fraulein

Robert Borosage, the very smart and insightful co-director of the Campaign for America's Future, has written a must-read column for Huffington Post today. Borosage sums up where we stand today regarding reform on a number of fronts, from health care to the financial system, and, in my view, paints a pretty accurate picture of the risks we face if these reforms fail. It's worth reading the whole thing, but among the points worth noting:

Despite all the fantasies of the rabid right, Obama is moderate by temperament, creative at compromise. He is, as one of his White House staff described him, a "raging minimalist." He really does believe you put everyone around a table, have a "civil conversation," find areas of agreement and move forward. He does believe that everyone -- from billionaire hedge fund operators to insurance company CEOS to conservative legislators -- will in a crisis put the country first.

But he and his reform program are getting mugged. He's taken on the most powerful private interests in America -- Big Oil, Wall Street, the insurance and drug lobbies -- and they are winning. Republicans, despite the shattering of their conservative shibboleths, have chosen, with lockstep unity, obstruction over compromise. And too many Democrats have shown themselves more beholden to the private interests that pay for their campaigns than the public interest the president of their own party invokes.

This is precisely my fear at this point. In pursuit of some fantasy of bipartisan compromise, the Obama administration is backing itself into a corner from which there might not be an easy escape. Borosage continues:

We are witnessing a harrowing test of our democracy. America is a big, bustling and entrepreneurial country. We pursue our own passions and pursuits, are jealous of our freedoms, and begrudge governmental intrusions. But in a crisis -- faced with depression or war, our history tells us, many become one. We join together for the common good.

But will that happen this time? Will the Republicans join with the Democrats "for the common good"? My fear is that the Obama administration is being awfully optimistic, waiting for this to happen. If the Republicans were to put country above party now, let's face it, it would be the first time. It's just not likely to happen. So then what? Will Obama call them out on it?

With George W. Bush, flawed in a million ways as he undoubtedly was, many people rallied around him because he gave off the air of being "a strong leader." And this, to me, is what we desperately need at this moment in our history. As Borosage says:

Middle income Americans lost income over the last decade, for the first time since we began keeping records. Financial speculation drove the economy off the cliff. Catastrophic climate change is already melting the ice caps. We cannot afford another lost decade. If reason cannot prevail, angry people will increasingly look for a strong man to get something done. And that could make the teabaggers look like a tea party.

What do you think--is Obama up to the challenge?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Patrick Swayze Dies at 57

NY TIMES: Patrick Swayze, the balletically athletic actor who rose to stardom in the films “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost” and whose 20-month battle with advanced pancreatic cancer drew wide attention, died Monday. He was 57.

His publicist, Annett Wolf, told The Associated Press in Los Angeles that Mr. Swayze died with family at his side.

Quote of the Day

If you saw a woman struck by a car, would you call an ambulance right away? Or would you first ask for her papers to make sure she was not an illegal immigrant? - E.J. Dionne on the prospect of Rep. Joe Wilson and other GOP members spreading the health care coverage for illegal aliens lie.
Puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

Frank Schaeffer on the 9/12 Marchers

...Ordinary folks from Planet Earth may ask why the Republican Party, right-wing activists and members of the Religious Right seem so unreachable with mere facts let alone decency and decorum. (As the proud father of a US Marine who fought in Afghanistan I'm particularly outraged that these people would exploit the 9/11 attacks after my son and others were prepared to give their lives in response to our enemies.)
As a former Religious Right leader, who was raised (and home-schooled by my Evangelical-leader parents, Francis and Edith Schaeffer) in the movement, let me explain just why the ordinary rules of decency don't apply to the right these days...

Read the whole post here.

Classic Stupidity - UPDATE

These are the boneheads we are dealing with.

(Photo via Bob Cesca)

These are the imbeciles that "want their country back" as if it was taken away from them in the first place. I wonder how morons like these get by day to day without being killed by walking into traffic? Or walking off a cliff? Or having an anvil fall on their head?

UPDATE (2:30pm): Update on The Stupid.

Via Wonkette:
Would-be teabaggers and and other easily duped dingbats are proudly emailing each other wonderful pictures of a million teabaggers crowding the National Mall, but these pictures are actually from the Million Man March of 1997, an event attended by, ahem, colored people.


Kayne West Is A Dick

I don't usually write about pop culture on my blog and those who frequent this site know my musical tastes are not mainstream by any means, but last night's display by Kanye West at the MTV Video Music Awards was something truly sickening to watch and I felt the need to comment.

The first time I'd ever heard of Kanye West was when he uttered his now famous, "George Bush doesn't care about black people" quote during a broadcast concert for hurricane relief to benefit Katrina victims. His emotions got the better of him that night and I thought then that either he was pretty ballsy or pretty stupid. Now I know it was the latter. If you weren't sure before, you certainly know it now.

Taylor Swift got a surprise when she accepted the award for Best Female Video at Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards.
After Swift, looking shocked, beat out Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Pink and Beyonce for the honor, she took the stage and accepted the award. As she was thanking MTV, Kanye West ran up on stage, took her microphone, and said Beyonce had been robbed for her "Single Ladies" video.
"Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time!"
Swift, 19, stood silently holding her trophy, cameras cut to Beyonce looking stunned in the crowd, and MTV then cut to break.

What. A. Dick. Just goes to show you that money doesn't buy class. Or brains. Or a good haircut.

Luckily, Beyonce is pretty damned classy herself and when she was awarded Video of the Year towards the end of the program, she called out to Taylor Swift to come on stage and finish her interrupted acceptance speech.

New found respect for Beyonce! And Kanye can kiss my ass. He has since apologized on his blog for his intrusion in an obviously effort at damage control, but sometimes an apology just doesn't mean anything. You can't always do what you want and think an apology will make it all go away. And it's clear that he still doesn't get it.
"I'm in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment," he wrote. "Beyonce's video was the best of this decade . . . I'm sorry to my fans if I let you guys down . . . I'm sorry to my friends at MTV . . . I will apologize to Taylor."

Sorry, Kanye, it's too late. Maybe you should have sought out Taylor and apologized before posting your ALL-CAPS comment on your blog. And if you're going to apologize, don't try to justify your actions in the apology. Asshole.

Kanye West doesn't care about 19-year old white country singers!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The More Things Change...

This cartoon was posted by a Facebook friend with the caption, "This cartoon is over five years old. Things have gotten even WORSE since it was drawn."

The slow death march of journalism continues...

Sunday Must Reads

Armadillo Joe recommends...

Frank Rich: Obama’s Squandered Summer

Alex Koppelman: Conservatives march on Washington

Douchebag of the Week: Joe "You Lie!" Wilson

It's a no-brainer this week. The gentleman from the state of South Carolina was anything but gentlemanly in his outburst during President Obama's joint session of Congress this past Wednesday, calling the President a liar in his ignorant refusal to believe that HR3200, the health care bill being brought up in the House would not cover illegal aliens.

Of course, there is no provision in the bill that states they will be covered. In fact, it specifically states that non-citizens will not be covered. But why would that stop a Birther like Wilson from lying about it?

Not only was his douchebaggery evident in his dirty diaper tantrum, but it was plain for all to see in the subsequent apology, which he then said was requested by GOP leadership and then just deciding to shake his tin cup for donations after he realized he's the new wingnut darling, while continuing to lie about health care coverage for illegal aliens.

Joe "YOU LIE!" Wilson: Douchebag of the Week.