Saturday, May 21, 2011

How Many People Did This Today?

Must Reads

Angry Black Lady: Where is My Mind: The Sunday Night “Wrangle” With Joan Walsh

Adam Serwer: To Be Black, And Also A "Mutt"

Noam Cohen: On Tyson’s Face, It’s Art. On Film, a Legal Issue.

Justin Rosario: Republican Jesus

Melissa Harris-Perry: Cornel West v. Barack Obama

William Alden: Bush-Era Tax Cuts Projected As Largest Contributor To Public Debt

David Batty: US Catholic Church Study Blames 1960s Permissiveness for Rise in Sexual Abuse

Alex Seitz-Wald: While Cutting Social Services, Kentucky Gives $43 Million Tax Break To Bible-Themed Amusement Park


... it's May 21st... 2011...

...And I'm still here...

No Jeebus......

Uh... well... this is awkward.

UPDATE: I've just been informed that the preacher fella who predicted today is expecting Jeebus at 6pm. Maybe Jeebus responded through Facebook or an Evite. So I'll reserve my own Judgement and give JC until about 7pm to show up - that includes plenty of "fashionably late" time.

Wait - 6pm EDT or PDT?

President Obama's Weekly Address - May 21, 2011

Reforming “No Child Left Behind” This Year

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Last Post

Well, this is it. All things must eventually come to an end.

After 4½ years of blogging and 3,590 posts, it's finally over. This is my last post.* I say this with a sense of deep sadness, for while I never thought when I first started this blog in November of 2006 that I'd still be adding content in May of 2011, it developed into a life of its own when I realized there were some out in the blogosphere that actually came here on a regular basis to read what I had to say. So I felt a sense of responsibility to continue to keep my blog current, even posting occasionally while on vacations, and recruiting some very good friends who can write and some very capable writers who have become friends to fill in when I couldn't. To them I give my heartfelt thanks and immeasurable gratitude for their contribution and their friendship.

Good luck to you all, and I most likely won't see you in the Afterlife.

* If Jesus doesn't come back and the world doesn't end tomorrow, please disregard this post and come back for my weekly Must Reads staple tomorrow.

Will Bachmann Denounce This?

Mother Jones: With the Minnesota legislature in the middle of a heated debate over a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the state—the opponents of which, [Bradlee Dean, a Minnesota radio host, anti-gay activist] has pilloried on his radio show—the House Republican Caucus invited the controversial hair-metal evangelist to deliver the opening prayer for today's session.
How did it go? Well, the grand finale consisted of Dean alleging that the President of the United States is not a Christian. Via the St. Cloud Times:
"I end with this. I know this is a non-denominational prayer in this Chamber and it's not about the Baptists and it's not about the Catholics alone or the Lutherans or the Wesleyans. Or the Presbyterians the evangelicals or any other denomination but rather the head of the denomination and his name is Jesus. As every President up until 2008 has acknowledged. And we pray it. In Jesus' name."
I don't even know what to say about this because it's so stupifying.

The question is now whether Michele Bachmann, who has helped raise money for Dean’s traveling youth ministry and is a proponent of his anti-gay agenda, will denounce Dean and distance herself from that brand of lunacy in lieu of her possible presidential aspirations? I mean, she may be dumb, but she ain't stupid.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The rapture is coming...


... and I don't mean the Biblical one.

I am more confident that Sarah Palin is going to announce her candidacy on Saturday -- the calculated day of judgment.

And although I agree with this don't sell her short take by PoliticsUSA, I still stand by my conclusion that she doesn't *want* to be President because she doesn't want to have to make decisions; she wants to make money. Otherwise, she wouldn't have left her last elected position half-way through.

But PoliticsUSA nails the complexity of Palin on the head. People who say we should just ignore her or people who say let her run, ignorantly make assumptions that are not worth risking, in my opinion. I have a deep resentment for Sarah Palin because of what she created during the '08 campaign. I still remember, with a great deal of fear and resentment, how she enabled and validated the worst of our stupid, racist, xenophobic, vengeful Americans and gave them a power they hadn't had in quite some time. She gave permission for people to speak about Obama as if he would be the worst person for President based on shallow-minded guilt by association, declarations of otherness, allowances to actually consider bringing guns to rallies, and to hate an entire religion the President isn't even part of.

In her actions, she also brought out my own hate. As much as my son and I try to avoid that word, I cannot find another way to describe my feelings for her. She created a monster in society in people like me as well as in people with a fear of a smart black man who had the potential to change America for the better. They wanted desperately to hate a person who is good so they believed lies and distortions. I hate Palin because I am smart enough to know that her form of manipulation is bad for America. The falsehoods that Obama is bad for America are easily debunked time and again. But the reality that Palin has contributed NOTHING to the discourse that is correct, insightful, inspiring of progress, or even beneficial to families with special needs children, is in no way disputable. You can't compare the results of the man she wants America to fear and hate to her work. She is in the negative column for results and if she gets a chance to run, she will not add anything for the nation to consider as viable options for results. Instead she will campaign on vitriol and lack of ideas.

And a part of America wants to feed on that.

I want her off the stage. I want her to go home and never be seen or heard from again. But that ain't gonna happen. She wants to be heard and ignoring her will NOT make her go away. Ignoring her makes her more desperate for attention.

Laughing her off as the perfect opponent to Obama because he'd wipe the floor with her shamefully ignores that she will do great damage along the way AND we will lack the benefit of a true, smart and beneficial dialogue between two reasonable candidates.

As a liberal, I get annoyed when fellow liberals want the 2012 campaign to be easy: Obama vs. a Loser. I don't. I want our country to have the two best options to choose from. I want the campaign to be hard because the debate is complex, not because we're fighting off crazy birther and racist and hateful crap.

I want America to be better. And it will not be better with Palin in any way. But I know she will insist on being part of the show.

So liberals need to wake up and start dealing with her. Quit brushing her off. Quit dismissing her as irrelevant. Because, like it or not, accept it or not, she IS relevant. She is as relevant as cancer. It's a hated reality that can't be ignored.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oh, I WILL be getting one of these


And you can, too! Yes, you can! (And/or a t-shirt).

Shocking Statistics


I watched part of a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the US Army's 2012 budget today and I learned three things that flat-out shocked me:

1) 50% of National Guard soldiers who committed suicide were never deployed.

2) Our troops are experiencing oddly high rates of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) at oddly young ages.

3) This generation of soldiers enlisting are less fit and have weaker musculoskeletal strength than previous generations and they carry almost 3x the supplies they should. Thus, musculoskeletal injures are 2x combat injuries.

Redistribution of Wealth: The Ryan Plan


OK, I don't read everything, I admit. But I am pretty sure I haven't seen anyone else point out the fact that Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare includes a redistribution of wealth.

According to the wonderful Kaiser Family Foundation:

Government contributions would be lower for higher-income Medicare beneficiaries: payments to plans would be reduced by 70 percent for beneficiaries in the top 2 percent of the Medicare population income distribution, and by 50 percent for those in the next 6 percent of the income distribution. Thus, government payments on behalf of enrollees would be lower for Medicare beneficiaries with relatively high incomes, resulting in these beneficiaries paying higher premiums.
Did you see that? The government would collect Medicare taxes from everyone but would limit the payout the rich people get. They'd pay more for the poor people.

I wonder what Joe the Plumber would think about that...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Stewart-O'Reilly Debates

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates they are not, but it's always fun watching Bill O'Reilly get popped in the head with facts and see him squirm and misdirect. It's too bad we can't see an unedited version of this interview.

Oh, and Bill? The Weathergirls are one of your favorite groups? I know it was most likely said in jest, but it only gave me images of you dancing to "Y.M.C.A." so please, leave the jokes to the funny men.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Crazy Schedule

I have a really nutty work schedule this week that will most likely keep me away from the Intertubes and hence, very light on the blogging for most of this week. I'll try to swing by with a quick word or two if I find something outrageous that can't wait, but I'm not making any promises. In the meantime, I hope that my colleagues will drop in and pick up some slack with their words of wisdom.

You can still follow my tweets and gauge my sleep deprivation on their progressive lack of coherence as the week wears on.

SURPRISE! Trump Not Running

And really, did you expect anything different?
CNN: "After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency," Trump said in the statement.
The famously confident reality television star, who has spent the last few months openly considering a run for president said, "I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election."
And that's the way it's done. Declare victory even though you're not going to bother running. What a petty, petty man.


This has been circulating the tubes today:

Kudos to whoever created it. If anyone knows where it originated, please let me know so I can give proper credit. I received it through email.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rrrruhh?! Newt Trashes GOP/Ryan Plan

TPM: Newt Gingrich slammed the House GOP budget on Meet The Press this morning, telling interviewer David Gregory that replacing Medicare with a voucher system was too "radical" an approach.
..."I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering," Gingrich said, calling the plan "too big a jump" for the country. "I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate."
Behold, Newt the Moderate!

Of course, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out Newt is just saying what anyone in their right mind who just threw his very large hat in the presidential ring (see, what I did there? I made a big head joke) would say after looking at polls showing a majority of Americans, Republicans and Tea Partiers included, are opposed to government hands on their Medicare.

It's just proof that Newt will say anything to advance his position. I'm sure he'll shoot toward the top of the current list of GOP candidates with this one. How he'll be perceived on his comments about Kenyan, anti-colonial mindsets or our "food stamp president" is another matter.

Quote of the Day

"...what this default talk looks like is that the GOP wants a crisis, not a deal. A deal would involve real pain for real voters: Medicare reductions, farm spending reductions, military reductions, and revenue measures. A crisis creates an exciting substitute for such a deal – especially if the GOP can temporarily and delusively convince itself that it can pin the blame for the crisis on President Obama. That will not be true. The whole world will see that the crisis was avoidable, and will see who insisted on forcing it. And however high you imagine the financial and political price – it will be higher."
~David Frum on Republicans playing political games with the debt ceiling