Saturday, July 24, 2010

Daniel Schorr Dies at 93

NY TIMES: Daniel Schorr, whose aggressive reporting over 70 years as a respected broadcast and print journalist brought him into conflict with censors, the Nixon administration and network superiors, died on Friday in Washington. He was 93.
...At CBS, Mr. Schorr won three Emmy Awards for his coverage of the Watergate scandal and took pride in his often blunt reporting on the administration. In one instance he hurriedly began broadcasting after acquiring a copy of Nixon’s notorious “enemies list” only to discover in reading the names aloud that his was No. 17.

Must Reads

Joan Walsh: The Shame of Right-Wing "Journalism"

Bob Cesca: Fooled Again by Breitbart and the Wingnut Right

BooMan: Why Palin Won't Run for President

Political Party Pooper: How Corporatist-Conservative Policy Destroyed The American Economy

Chez Pazienza: Right and Wrong

Batocchio: The Five Circles of Conservative Hell

Elvis Dingeldein: I LOVE BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY... or, No Real Public Person Should Follow Me On Twitter

Bob Herbert: Thrown to the Wolves

Armadillo Joe recommends...

driftglass: The Negrological Constant REDUX and Who's Next?

Timothy B. Lee: Freeways and the Decline of St. Louis

Matt Johnson: Parking Takes Up Space

Joan Walsh: The Civil Rights Heroism of Charles Sherrod

President Obama's Weekly Address - July 24, 2010

Moving Forward on the Economy vs. Moving Backward

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Regular Epidumbic

I'm not a late night talk show viewer, but maybe I should start watching a little more Jimmy Kimmel.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cartoon of the Day

Quit getting stuff done


President Obama,

Can you please stop getting stuff done? You're making the Republicans look bad. First you pass health care reform ( it may not be perfect but gosh darn it it's better than what we had AND saves money) then you pass financial reform (it may not be perfect but gosh darn it it's better than what we had AND saves money). Add to that stuff like working to reduce nuclear weapons and other stuff and you're holding government so accountable that the Republicans will have more to do to take all these good things away from Americans. They'll have to work that much harder to convince Americans they don't want this stuff after all.

And now this! It says, "Since taking office, Obama has taken steps to cut wasteful spending in part by reducing improper payments. Last month, he ordered creation of a federal 'Do Not Pay List' — a database that agencies ultimately must search before cutting checks to individuals and contractors." Now you are going to make sure the government is going to cut checks more responsibly? But the Republicans are supposed to be the responsible party! You're make them look bad. Now knock it off! And tell those effective members of Congress who are working with you to knock it off, too!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on Shirley Sherrod

This is arguably Olbermann's best special comment ever.

"Fired up? Fired up?! Anyone? Anyone?"

Thar She Blows!

Holy shit.

Oh, By The Way, While We Freaked About Sherrod...

...this happened.

That's President Obama signing the Wall Street Reform bill into law.

If you’ve ever applied for a credit card, a student loan, or a mortgage, you know the feeling of signing your name to pages of barely understandable fine print. What often happens as a result is that many Americans are caught by hidden fees and penalties, or saddled with loans they can’t afford...
...with this law, unfair rate hikes... will end for good. And we’ll ensure that people... aren’t unwittingly caught by overdraft fees when they sign up for a checking account.
With this law, we’ll crack down on abusive practices in the mortgage industry. We’ll make sure that contracts are simpler -– putting an end to many hidden penalties and fees in complex mortgages -– so folks know what they’re signing.
With this law, students who take out college loans will be provided clear and concise information about their obligations.
And with this law, ordinary investors -– like seniors and folks saving for retirement –- will be able to receive more information about the costs and risks of mutual funds and other investment products, so that they can make better financial decisions as to what will work for them.
So, all told, these reforms represent the strongest consumer financial protections in history... And these protections will be enforced by a new consumer watchdog with just one job: looking out for people -– not big banks, not lenders, not investment houses -– looking out for people as they interact with the financial system.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shirley Sherrod


I am livid. So livid I can't possibly formulate a proper post. So instead I will write free-form and hope it all makes sense when I am finished -- even to me.

Breitbart uses film editing as his weapon.
Fox News uses distortion as their weapon.

The left-wing media like the Huffington Post and groups like the NAACP see the weapon and throw their hands up.
The Department of Agriculture and the White House throw their hands up.

We are at the mercy of the right-wing media when they can use their constant hate, lies and fear-mongering to extort the citizens, the media and the government to do dance as if bullets are being fired at our feet.

Shirley Sherrod is the personal victim of the right-wing's lies and the left-wing's capitulation.
We are all victims of the aftermath.

I want Shirley Sherrod reinstated by President Obama and apologized to by ANYONE who perpetuated the lie about her. Yet, even when the truth is out, people will believe the lie and think the truth is the lie. It will be too late. And the people who will hold on to the lie are dangerous people. They are the ones who thrive on right-wing weaponry and chaos.

Now Fox is acting as if they had nothing to do with this and are going to pull the wool over their own viewers' eyes. And people will believe that lie, too.

Part of me keeps saying, please let this be a Rosa Parks moment. Please tell me that we will all learn from this and stop the cycle of destructive rhetoric and fear-based reaction. Please tell me that this honorable woman will be an example of how we should ALL learn from our personal struggles and see people as people. Let the destruction of her reputation result in a phoenix moment for her. Let her rise from the damage as the person we refer to when we say, "I beat back my personal '-isms' and rose above them." Let Shirley Sherrod be the person who forces us to beat back the cowardice and discuss racism in America.

And let's beg of our friends and family to THINK before they allow thirty-eight seconds to define a person or a story.

Here's Shirley Sherrod's entire speech.
Here is Rachel Maddow's thorough take on the chaos.
Here is the story unfolding on CNN.

EDITOR'S UPDATE (7/21/10, 2:45pm): is petitioning President Obama to reinstate Shirley Sherrod. It only takes a minute to fill out a form and do the right thing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cartoon of the Day

I Refudiate that Wee Wee'd Up Remark


Let's compare made up phrases, shall we?

When President Obama used the phrase "wee wee'd up" the intertubes went crazy analyzing what that expression meant although I knew exactly what he meant. To me it was perfectly clear that he was mocking the "Much Ado About Nothing" drama that arises when parties feign offense or cry out end of the world fears as frivolous opposition. It's like the baby-toe-as-little-piggy running wee wee wee all the way home.

Notice when Obama used the line, he was in the midst of making an audience laugh. Notice the smile on his face. Notice the tone of mocking. He was making fun of the ridiculous by using a word that was ridiculous. That's actually pretty clever.

Now, when Sarah Palin used the word "refudiate" the intertubes went crazy calling her out for using a word that doesn't exist. To me, and everyone else, it was clear that Sarah Palin just didn't know what the hell she was doing and made up a word out of pure stupidity. Of course she tried to cover it up by reminding Americans of the "wee wee'd up" comment and comparing herself to Shakespeare.

Notice when Sarah Palin used her fake word she was actually insulting an entire religion by asking good Muslim-Americans to turn their back on a place to practice their faith because of terrorists who attacked that faith as well as the Twin Towers. She actually suggested that a place of community and faith is harmful to Americans AS she harmed the English language.

So I am all for making up words. I am all for confusing words and spelling words incorrectly. But what I am not for is doing so while you "stab hearts" of good Americans who have the right to practice their religious beliefs in America.

Sarah, the pain you cause is "too raw, too real" and I reject you "in the interest of healing". Although, I will hang on to "refudiate" as a constant reminder of your hatred, bigotry and ignorance, also, too.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Just When You Thought It Was Safe For The English Language...

... here comes the Mama Grizzly calling for Obama to "refudiate" the NAACP's Tea Party resolution.

Somewhere in the heavens, Noah Webster just handed the Merriams a gun and asked to be shot in the face.

UPDATE (5:25pm): Looks like she's also tweeting to ask all "peaceful Muslims" to "refudiate" a mosque at Ground Zero.

Finally, someone in the Palin camp realized that "refudiate" isn't a word, and Mama Grizzly deleted the tweet, then compared herself to Shakespeare.

But Sarah, if you want to celebrate your bastardization of the English language, why did you delete your tweet?  Or perhaps I should ask, "Why did you refudiate it?"

Comparisons and Calls for Anger -- FAIL


We could have the world's best political historians debate and we could never properly compare any two presidents. And I don't want to. Obama is Obama. 2010 is 2010. Can we learn from history? Yes. But we can never duplicate it or any person from it. Apples and oranges.

I think Obama is the same leader he was at the DNC in 2004. I believed in his red states/blue states speech and I believed in his Inauguration speech when he said he would be everyone's president. We may throw around insults like "enemy" about the Republicans and we may mock them and despise them. But I am really grateful I voted for a president who remembers that he is their president, too. He remembers that all Americans have a stake -- his ethics and behavior reflect that understanding.
I want him to get tough at times, sure, but he never was that man and isn't that man and yet he has still accomplished a great deal, as has this Congress. Him getting angry isn't THE solution, nor is it A solution. Cooler heads prevail and I want a president who has the coolest head in the country.

He is working his ass off against every conceivable and inconceivable hurdle and hasn't let up. Some may think he is a slacker because we don't see him 24/7. But I also don't want an actor on TV trying to say the thing that will make 300 million dramatic Americans feel better. I want him to focus on his job and not placating those who will just find one more thing they want him to make them feel better about. He's the president, not a bully, nor our therapist, nor our friend. His job is to get policies that help, not to say the right thing.

I feel for anyone out of a job and especially when they are being made out to be the problem by people in government who should be following the president's lead. They should remember that they represent all Americans. He isn't going to make them see that if he acts the way they do.

Mark Williams Booted From National Tea Party Federation

They're a "federation" now?  What am I, watching an old Star Trek repeat?

‘We, in the last 24 hours, have expelled Tea Party Express and Mark Williams from the National Tea Party Federation because of the letter that he wrote,’ [federation spokesman David] Webb said of the blog post by Williams that satirized a fictional letter from what he called ‘Colored People’ to President Abraham Lincoln.
Webb called the blog post ‘clearly offensive.’
And as Oliver Willis notes, they'd have a lot more credibility on this matter had they expelled Williams over the last few months of hate speech bullshit spewing from this guy's mouth. Did it really necessitate a sick letter as a final nail in the coffin?

Also, if there is no room in the Tea Party for the likes of a Mark Williams, why are conservatives and Tea Party folk going apeshit over the NAACP's resolution to denounce any form of racism in their group? Seems like a no-brainer, and yet those with no brain are doing the "I'm offended" dance.