Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quote of the Day

If Juan [Williams] had said something like, “Sarah Palin is a fucking imbecile who ought to be dragged out behind the barn and put out of our misery with a bullet,” ALL these same people (or most of them, anyway) would be screaming for his head. 
If Juan had said something like, “You know, Hitler had the right idea…those fucking Jews ARE a problem and we’d be better off without them,” he’d be drinking a beer with Mel Gibson wondering if either of them will ever work again. 
If Juan had said, “Jon Stewart is a bigot. You know…those Jews run the media,” he’d have been equally fired but no one would have come to his defense. Wait a sec…did Juan Williams come to the aid of Rick Sanchez? Did ANYONE? [insert crickets chirping sfx]

~ Cousin Avi

Must Reads

Thaddeus Russell: Why I Got Fired From Teaching American History

The Rude Pundit: Regarding Tea Party Senate Candidates, the Best Explanations Are Always the Simplest

Hamilton Nolan: You're Making a Bad Mistake, Juan Williams

Wolfe Tone: The Curious Case of Joe Miller

Jurassic Pork: Looks Like We Do Body Counts, After All

Mudflats: Lisa, Liar, Pants on Fire! Murkowski Makes False Claims About Endorsements

Boo Man: Washington Post Sends Racially-Charged Gift to GOP

Gail Collins: Elections - Oshkosh Shrugged

Mark Warren: The Questions We Have Refused to Ask of the Tea Party

Read more:

President Obama's Weekly Address - October 23, 2010

Letting Wall Street Run Wild Again

Friday, October 22, 2010

Can We Stop With The Glee GQ Outrage?

I'm not a regular watcher of Glee, that hit Fox show that I just don't have time for. I'm probably not cool enough to watch it anyway. I did watch on a regular basis in its first season but things being what they are, it's fallen off my radar.

So imagine my lack of surprise when the three leads were in a sexy, GQ photo shoot. Sure, go ahead, grab what you can while you can. It's all part of the business of show.

I am shocked, however, at the blowback this has received. From the Parents Television Council calling the photos "bordering on pedophilia" to Katie Couric chiming in with her disappointment.  There was even a bumper on MSNBC calling the shoot controversial for such a "wholesome" show.  And that's where this has to be nipped in the bud.

Glee is not wholesome. Leave It To Beaver is wholesome. 7th Heaven is wholesome. The Cosby Show is wholesome. Glee? Not so much. Just because everyone is singing doesn't necessarily make it so.

From what I've seen, the show tackles topics like teenage pregnancy, coming out as gay, and overcoming disabilities, which is admirable. But we can't dismiss some of the show's over the top villains who condone bullying, have false pregnancies and weave a huge lie about it which leads to divorce, and duplicitous teachers who commit extortion just to name a few. There was even a recent scene in which two cheerleaders are kissing in bed, a little more than lesbian experimentation as that's been the hint with these characters for some time now. They dry humped during a choreographed number, for Christ's sake!  And that's fine. Because it's entertainment.  It's fantasy.  So for an organization like the Parents Television Council that's suddenly getting the vapors because the adult actors of their favorite show are posing in underwear for a men's magazine,  it's all become a little too much for my taste.

And let's not pretend that this show's younger audience isn't tuning in partly because the boys are hunks and the girls are hot. Seriously, I've never seen a school where the cheerleaders wear their uniforms 24/7, have you?  This show is prime spank bank material for hot and horny teenagers as all shows over the years have been. Hell, it was Suzanne Somers in Three's Company and Donna Dixon in Bosom Buddies when I was going up.

Dianna Agron has already apologized for something I don't believe she had to apologize for. She did, however, put things in perspective: "If your 8-year-old has a copy of our GQ cover in hand, again I am sorry," she wrote. "But I would have to ask, how on earth did it get there?"

So if you don't want your child to see the racy photos in November's GQ, here's a hint:  don't buy them the fucking magazine. And really, you need to draw a line between what's real and what isn't. These are adult actors in their mid to late-20's getting paid (probably handsomely) for what they do and what they are: acting and looking good.

Someone should remind Couric that Lea Michele's Glee break was being discovered on Broadway going topless eight shows a week for Spring Awakening. And I haven't heard any criticism for her recent Marie Claire UK magazine shoot.  Or is that okay because it's not a men's magazine?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Now He's Just Being A Dick

Williams said that NPR's move to fire him was "a chilling assault on free speech" that came about due to "political correctness and ideological orthodoxy" by the "self-righteous ideological, left-wing leadership at NPR." He also recounted the years of tension between him and his bosses at NPR that resulted from his association with Fox.
Well, at least we now know where Juan Williams stands.

In my opinion, this is not about oppression of free speech, as much as Sarah Palin wants it to be. Juan Williams is free to say whatever he wants. That does not mean that the objective news organization he works for doesn't have the right to terminate his contract because of inappropriate statements he made while identifying himself as an analyst of said organization.

Why do these defenders of the Constitution fail to understand that freedom of speech does not mean the possibility of repercussions about the asinine things you are free to say?  It doesn't exist in a vacuum.

To top it off, this winds up being a big payday for Williams, as he was immediately contracted by Fox News for a multi-year $2 million deal. Seems to be the best mistake Williams ever made.

See Ya, Juan!

Juan Williams agreeing with Bill O'Reilly's comments on the now infamous The View segment in which Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walked off the set:

"...I think you’re right. I think, look, political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don’t address reality.
I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you,
if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
Did it ever occur to Williams that the 9/11 hijackers were NOT wearing Muslim garb? So according to Williams, we have more to fear from someone wearing "Muslim garb" than someone who isn't. Remind me again what the Times Square Bomber was wearing? So finally, NPR, which over a year ago asked Williams not to identify himself as an NPR analyst while on O'Reilly's show, has had enough.
NPR announced late on Wednesday night that it has terminated the contract of longtime analyst Juan Williams over his comments... In a statement, NPR said that it had informed Williams of its decision on Wednesday night, and that his remarks were "inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."
A quick Google search will find that right wing bloggers are outraged, OUTRAGE I TELL YOU!, that Williams was fired for "no particular reason" or for "telling the truth" and are blaming Think Progress and The Huffington Post for... well for reporting the incident I suppose.

Even the Morning Joe crew was appalled at the firing. And just recently, Joe Scarborough tweeted this:

Actually, Joe, no. Williams was fired for saying he gets nervous on a plane when he sees people wearing Muslim garb.

But here's one question that these people should answer: If it's okay for Rick Sanchez to be fired for saying Jews run the media, and it's okay for Helen Thomas to be forced out for saying that Jews should get out of Palestine, then why is this particular firing an outrage? It couldn't be because one religion is to be revered and the other is to be vilified, could it?

Well at least Williams if now free to express his opinion on Fox News full time without having to worry about damaging NPR's credibility.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Does Anyone Know How to Write, “God Bless You” in Chinese?

A friend of mine wrote a letter to the editor of New Mexico's Carlsbad Current-Argus about the hijacking of the Republican Party by the extreme right and asked if I would include it on the blog. I don't know if or when it may be published, so here it is.

Does Anyone Know How to Write, “God Bless You” in Chinese?
The President of the US Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue, recently extolled the virtues of outsourcing American jobs, while accepting donations from foreign corporations, including ones from state controlled companies in Russia, India, and Abu Dhabi. The Chamber blames Democrats for job loss while promoting outsourcing those same jobs. It should be clear that these foreign corporations donate to the Chamber because they want more American jobs. The US Chamber of Commerce recently pledged $75 million to attack Democratic candidates across the country.
Alas, the Republican Party is no longer the GOP. Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley must be rolling over in their graves. The party has been hijacked by their ignorant conservative wing and moderate Republicans have been largely silent. Even the Arizona Maverick seems to now be one of them. The Tea Baggers seem to be calling the shots. This wing constantly carries on a smear campaign against the Democrats in general and the President in particular that is ill mannered, full of lies and downright unpatriotic. This wing slanders our elected President, promotes armed rebellion and invents nonissues to energize their base. It is now so crazy in the Republican Party that Karl Rove, a frequent Republican spokesperson on FOX News and often called “Bush’s Brain,” has endorsed a candidate that believes scientists have developed human brains in mice.
It is amazing that anyone would trust this hijacked party with resolving this recession. Republicans/Tea Baggers don’t know anymore about the economy than they do about manners or patriotism. Republicans tell us that we must eliminate the deficit. They then tell us that we must pass all of the Bush Tax Cuts, which they know and admit, would add trillions to the deficit. Republicans tell us that regulations are killing recovery when lack of regulation and oversight caused this recession. They rail against stimulus spending then beg for that money to be spent in their district. I am reminded of a Will Rogers quote:” If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?”
So Americans, continue to buy those Toyotas and vote Republican and all of our jobs will soon be gone. We can all stand on the corner and beg. Does anyone know how to write, “God Bless You” in Chinese?

Forrest in NM

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Behold! The Tea Party Darling!

Christine O'Donnell doesn't know what's in the First Amendment of the Constitution the Tea Party claims it wants to return to.

The saddest part about the whole exchange is that smirk that comes across O'Donnell's face when the audience reacts. She thinks they're laughing with her, not at her.

A Message Problem?

I'm constantly hearing the talking heads on the cable shows (except Fox News, my cable box is allergic to that channel) repeating the meme that there's White House messaging problem. "Why do a significant portion of the population think President Obama raised taxes instead of the fact that he gave 95% of Americans a tax cut?" they ask. "What is the messaging problem with the White House?"

Well, when you are on the fence or don't really pay attention until a month before elections, you're going to get a thirty second blurb on your local news and now know the details on the issues. And the loudest noise makers get the coverage. Even if there are 3 million self-described Tea Partiers out there, that's one percent of the population. One percent.

But ultimately, when you are just flat out anti-Obama and decide to listen only to those who you agree with instead of looking for objective sources of information, why would you think any differently? When all you watch is Fox News Channel, when all you listen to is Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, when all you read is William Kristol and David Brooks and Jonah Goldberg, why would you assume they were lying to you, especially when they're saying what you subconsciously want to hear?

The problem isn't with the message, it's with the messengers.

UPDATE (12:10pm): See what I mean?

Rush Limbaugh said Monday that President Obama has "switched from Messiah to demon."
The radio host said the president looked "demonic" in photos that were taken over the weekend and that appeared on the Drudge Report Monday.
"These pictures, they look demonic," Limbaugh said of the Obama photos. "And I don't say this lightly. There are a couple pictures, and the eyes, I'm not saying anything here, but just look. It is strange that these pictures would be released....It's very, very, very strange. An American president has never had facial expressions like this. At least we've never seen photos of an American president with facial expressions like this."
"I mean, I feel like I'm watching The Omen: 666 and all that," he would say later. "This is weird, weird, weird stuff."
Is it any wonder that polls show some people think Obama is the Antichrist? But it's a White House message problem, right? I'll be looking for Robert Gibbs to release a statement claiming President Obama is not Beelzebub, the Antichrist or Satan, you know, just to clear up the White House messaging.

Where Were the Pom-Poms?

"Our message is we don't work for you anymore, Mr. Reid. Enjoy your retirement. We don't work for you anymore, Nancy Pelosi. You're fired. And Mr Obama and your czars -- you're next, because now we can see 2012 from our house."

~Sarah Palin at a Tea Party Express rally

We don't work for you anymore? You're fired?  So are we the employee or the employer?  What a dunce.  And let's get that code language in there with the czars dig.

When are we going to pay attention to something other than the equivalent of a high school cheerleader?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Keep the Speaker!

Posted by JHW22

Fuck You, Brian Kilmeade

Kilmeade's non-apology apology for calling all Muslims terrorists:

"I misspoke. I don't believe all terrorists are Muslims. I'm sorry about that, if I offended or hurt anybody's feelings. But that's it."
But if I didn't offend anyone, then nevermind.

I'll never understand how these brainiacs get national shows.

Latest Tea Party Candidate?


HuffPost: ...When asked how far he would go to prevent an attempt to repeal the controversial [DOn't Ask, Don't Tell] policy from being approved in the upper congressional chamber, [Sen. John] McCain responded by saying, "Absolutely I will filibuster or stop it from being brought up until we have a thorough and complete study on the effect of morale and battle effectiveness."
The longtime senator said that it doesn't matter to him that Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen have both voiced support for stopping the enforcement of the ban on gay troops.
However, back in 2006 McCain communicated a distinctly different stance on the issue when he said, "The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, 'Senator, we ought to change the policy,' then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it."
Of course, John "It's not the policy" McCain continues to deliberately ignore the fact that the repeal of DADT would happen after the study on the effect of the repeal is completed.


Can I Get a Palin 1st Amendment Tweet? Joe Miller Security Detains Reporter- UPDATED

C'mon Sarah, I'm eagerly anticipating your latest tweet in which you express your outrage over Joe Miller's security detail impinging on his 1st Amendment rights.

Tony Hopfinger, editor of the online Alaska Dispatch, tells KTUU-TV that security pushed him as he tried to question Joe Miller on Sunday. He says he pushed back and that guards then detained him, accusing him of trespassing at the public event in Anchorage...
...The Anchorage Daily News reports that "Hopfinger was handcuffed by the guards and detained in a hallway at Central Middle School until Anchorage police came and told the guards to release him."
How exactly does one trespass a public event?

Here you go, Sarah. Just to refresh your memory:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Now get those thumbs workin'.

And let's hear it from the "Go back to the Constitution the way the Founders intended" Tea Party to call Miller out on this blatant disregard and hypocrisy. I'll be waiting for that as well.

UPDATE (2pm): Sam Stein gets an exclusive with Alaska Dispatch reporter, Tony Hopfinger (emphasis mine):
"Getting handcuffed by somebody you don't know at a public school, no one had said it was a private event or cast it that way, I mean intimidated, yeah [I was]. But I guess I was more pissed off. Miller, I felt, was going to answer my question on the reprimand part," said Hopfinger.
"I think, just like in other parts of the country, the media is finding itself having a hard time doing its job in this political cycle because, whenever we ask questions, there are certain candidates out there who decry 'lamestream media' or whatever. Mr. Miller has had plenty of time to answer questions. He has been given plenty of opportunities. He somehow believes he shouldn't be questioned about his background and yet he wants a job in six years, to a post where there are only 100 in the entire country, and we are not supposed to ask questions about anything of his past. There is a little bit of shoot the messenger. It is happening up here, and other parts of the country. There are certain candidates who just want to turn this around and act like it's the media causing the problem. That has always been there, that element. It is just more ramped up this political cycle."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cartoon of the Day