Saturday, November 27, 2010

Must Reads - UPDATED

Ari Emanuel: Forget the Carter Comparisons, Obama Is Following in the Footsteps of Harry Truman -- and That's a Very Good Thing

Roland Martin: Palin's Reckless Views on Obesity

Adam Goodheart: Lincoln: A Beard Is Born

Julian Borger and Jon Boone: US General McChrystal Approved Peace Talks with Fake Taliban Leader

Christopher Brauchli: Flying Unfriendly Skies

Jennifer Steinhauer: Charting His Own Course Against Prevailing Winds

I meant to add the Greenwald piece yesterday and it fell off my radar, but the response and Katrina vanden Heuval's apology are all connected, so I've included them as well.
Glenn Greenwald: Anatomy of a Journalistic Smear Job

Mark Ames and Yasha Levine: A Response to Glenn Greenwald

Katrina vanden Heuvel: An Apology to John Tyner

President Obama's Weekly Address - November 27, 2010

Giving Thanks for Those Who Serve

*Note: This week's address was made on Thanksgiving Day, November 25th.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Luke, I am not a Republican


Tonight I saw a list of actors and actresses who are "Republicans" and it bothered me that this was based on speculation and the word "registered" as proof of how someone votes or falls on the ideological spectrum. I have no clue how the list was compiled or how accurate it is. But I know that my father-in-law registered as a Republican when he first registered to vote, decades ago. But he is a Democrat. He votes for Democrats, supports Democratic policies. So what someone is "registered" as is irrelevant.

But one name on the list really had me curious so I started Googling. I just couldn't grasp that a man so intelligent and wise and human would actually be a Republican. Yes, there are smart Republicans but it didn't make sense to me that the man who says "baseball" better than any human to ever speak the word, the man who voiced the father who fell to the depths of evil only to be redeemed, the man who played Jack Ryan's mentor, in no way could that man be a Republican.

I am convinced he is not. I am convinced that the man who can speak Shakespeare or three simple letters: C-N-N,and melt my soul either time is a Democrat like me. A Democrat who sees Obama as not a miracle worker, but as a representation of what each American can be. The type of Democrat who knows progress is only as fast and strong as the people who help the president move it along.

"Can we be a transformative populace, is the question."

Jame Earl Jones
It's an excellent question, Mr. Jones. One I try to be. One I fear we keep ourselves from being all too often.

Rush Limbaugh's American History

A Very Special Rush Thanksgiving

Not a day goes by that Rush Limbaugh can't help himself but be on the opposite side of a Barack Obama statement. And this Thanksgiving was no different.

This time, Limbaugh tried to rewrite 400 years of American history by bastardizing the meaning of President Obama's Thanksgiving Day proclamation. While the President made reference to "the compassion and contributions of Native Americans, whose skill in agriculture helped the early colonists survive," Limbaugh, on cue, twisted it into some affront against America and how much Obama hates it.

"So, we were the invaders," complained Limbaugh. "We were incompetent idiots. We didn't know how to feed ourselves so they came along and showed us how and that's what Thanksgiving is all about."
"This has got to be parody," Limbaugh said. "Somebody is toying with me. Somebody is seeing if they can get one past me. Somebody is trying to take advantage of me being not as focused on the day before Thanksgiving and falling for this prank."
"He says nothing about the Constitution in his Thanksgiving Day proclamation because he's got a problem with it," Limbaugh claimed.
What does Thanksgiving have to do with the Constitution which was created 166 in the future of that "first" Thanksgiving? And about the early settlers being invaders? Uh, yeah. They were. And isn't the fact that the 1621 colonists were helped by Native Americans in learning to harvest crops in soil foreign to the Pilgrims well known?

But hey, I suppose those who listen to Limbaugh don't tune in to get accurate history lessons, or accurate anything, really. They tune in to hear stuff like this:
Obama: "This Thanksgiving Day, we reflect on the compassion and contributions of Native Americans, whose skill in agriculture helped the early colonists survive, and whose rich culture continues to add to our Nation's heritage."
Limbaugh: " their casinos and on their reservations."
Happy Thanksgiving, Rush, you racist bastard.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1937
Photo courtesy of NY Daily News

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quote of the Day

"I still maintain that I am innocent, that the criminalization of politics undermines our very system, and I'm very disappointed in the outcome."

~Tom Delay on his guilty verdict of illegally funneling corporate money to help elect GOP candidates to the Texas Legislature. Yes, money laundering.

Mama Grizzlies Have Very Thin Skin

Via Oliver Willis:

In an interview Wednesday with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Sarah Palin fired back at former first lady Barbara Bush, opting to make a class issue out of the Bush’s comments.
“I don’t want to concede that we have to get used to this kind of thing, because I don’t think the majority of Americans want to put up with the blue-bloods — and I want to say it will all due respect because I love the Bushes — the blue-bloods who want to pick and choose their winners instead of allowing competition,” Palin said.
Palin just can't let anything go. So Barbara Bush says of Palin,"...she's very happy in Alaska, and I hope she'll stay there." C'mon, Sarah. Take the high road just once, willya? Nope. I don't think Sarah Palin has ever seen the high road or knows it even exists.

What Should I Wear On My Next Flight?

Any suggestions?

Music Break! Cee Lo Green

F**k You

So Classy, Those Palins

DWTS third-place finisher on Tuesday night was Bristol Palin and she had some choice comments to make before finding out, according to Entertainment Weekly (EW).
Bristol Palin likened a "DWTS" win to giving her detractors--and that of her mother Sarah Palin of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" a "big middle finger."
"...a big middle finger to all the people out there who hate my mom and hate me," Bristol said.
And this is why Sarah Palin will never be President. You can't win anything with 30% of the vote.

Sarah 2012! RUN, SARAH! RUN!

ADDING... Can you imagine the outrage if this quote was coming out of the mouth of Sasha or Malia Obama? Did Chelsea Clinton ever threaten to flip someone the bird when people criticized her mother during the 2008 campaign?

There's a certain decorum children of people aspiring to the highest office in the land should have, and so far with Bristol's foray on Dancing with the Stars while neither being a dancer nor a star, and Willow calling people "faggots" on her Facebook page, they are far from that demeanor. On whom does that reflect badly?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Is This Any Better? - UPDATED

Barbara Bush says W. got it wrong. She didn't put a fetus in a jar.  That's preposterous! Ridiculous!

... It was her housekeeper.

"I didn't put it in the jar," Bush said, clarifying that it wasn't as if it was "in the library" on display.
Bush continued:
"Paula [the housekeeper] put it in the jar. And I was shocked when she gave it to him to -- but, you know, memories dim a little bit but, anyway."

When all else fails, blame the help.

UPDATE (11/24/10, 11:25am):

A reader approached me privately about this post and had concerns about the validity of the story. While there may have been some misrepresentation in the media or in repetition of the story about when or how George Bush witnessed the miscarried fetus in a jar, whether is was his mother showing it to him or the housekeeper, or maybe he just came across it, I have no reason to doubt it didn't happen as neither party has denied that it did.

But something struck me more than anything else and I wanted to set the record straight in case anyone else mistook the post. My reader inferred I was "making fun of a woman who miscarried."

I'm not making fun of the miscarriage episode, so much as spotlighting how there's something fundamentally wrong with this family when it comes to paternal and maternal instincts, and where there might possibly be a sociopathic streak that runs in the family.

Remember, these are also the parents that went golfing the day after their four-year old daughter died of leukemia with no real explanation to the rest of their children. They didn't even attend the funeral that was eventually initiated by Bush's grandmother.

And after watching both the Lauer interview with W. and the Barbara Bush interview, something did occur. Bush said it was mom, Barbara said it was the housekeeper. Either way, what the hell is the housekeeper doing with the fetus in a jar? Is that something you would give your housekeeper to take care of?

I have little doubt when watching George Bush that there has always been something that didn't connect in his brain. Who knows? This episode in his life could be part of why he seemed emotionally detached during some chapters of his White House years, while tearing up at some other events that would make most everyone else shrug their shoulders. Or maybe it's just the effect of years of alcohol abuse.

But no, I was in no way making fun of miscarrying. It's an awful thing to go through. I was pointing out how strange this whole matter has become. Someone is telling the truth. Whether it's Babs or W. is not as significant as the incident itself, which neither one denies occurring.

Poll: Full Body Scanners Okay

Washington Post: Nearly two-thirds of Americans support the new full-body security-screening machines at the country's airports, as most say they put higher priority on combating terrorism than protecting personal privacy, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
64% of those who took the poll supported the use of full body scans. My guess that that at least 95% of those 64% don't normally air travel.

Health Care Reform Works


Three years ago we paid $230/month for my son and my private health insurance plan. Today we pay $411/month. When I signed up for the plan, I put money aside each month to save for the deductible. We paid out-of-pocket for each appointment. In two years we have spent nearly $10,000 in premiums and appointments. The insurance company has covered $600 in covered immunizations (which I imagine they are subsidized for in some way). Me = $10,000. Them = $600. I haven't been able to save toward the deductible in two years.

This morning my son was diagnosed with the all-too-common -- and COMPLETELY surprising to us -- peanut allergy.

This afternoon I called my insurance company to see about changing plans to one that makes more sense and is more affordable. I can lower my monthly costs by raising my deductible and going to a co-pay plan. But because we are existing customers they don't have to cover preventive care.

So, using the handy government health reform site, I was able to compare companies and plans and I am about to embark on the tedious application for new insurance at a new company where I WILL get preventative for my son and me and where my son's allergy can't be excluded from his care.

We will save almost $400 in preventative appointment costs alone. We will save more going to a co-pay plan and raising the deductible. Now I will actually be able to save money for the deductible again.

So I wanted to say, thank you to President Obama, the Democrats in Congress and all the Democrats who encouraged progress. We didn't get everything but we got enough to make this mom feel better about tomorrow.

EDITOR'S NOTE: As JHW22 pointed out on her Facebook page, there's also this:

Sarah's Show Sinks in Viewership

Episode two of the Palin reality show averaged just 3 million viewers, down 40% from the previous week.
Perhaps more troubling are the viewer demographics. The show averaged just 885,000 viewers in the advertiser-friendly 18-49 demo, and the median age of the show's viewer is a whopping 57 years old. According to The Live Feed's James Hibberd, that's 15 years older than TLC's median age of 42.
The series premiere's voyeurs must have included tons of enemies, curiosity seekers those attracted to side show freaks. A 40% drop from week one to week two? Let's see what next week brings.

North Korea Attacks South Korea

NY Times: SEOUL, South Korea — North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire on Tuesday after dozens of shells fired from the North struck a South Korean island near the countries’ disputed maritime border, South Korean military officials said. Two South Korean soldiers were killed, 15 were wounded and three civilians were injured, said Kiyheon Kwon, an official at the Defense Ministry.
And wingnuts blame Obama in 5, 4, 3...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Because We Like to Be Informed


If you read this blog, you most likely find a need to be informed. Sadly, I still see comments and hear people talking about the health care reform with false information and lies that persist despite debunking. But it doesn't hurt to be right and it doesn't hurt to stay informed and to inform others. Here is a great link that shares the truth about the reform law. Read it, enjoy it, share it.

47 Years Ago Today

The Zapruder film can be seen here.