Saturday, April 18, 2009

Namecalling 101, for Conservatives.

This is country was founded on debate. And even though the debate's gotten a touch bit nasty over the last couple of days, I wholeheartedly support the principle.

So, Conservatives, particularly of the Teabagging/Anti-Tax/Herbert Hoover/24 Percent crowd, say what you want to say. You've got that right. Think what you wanna think. You don't have to like the President. You can even call him names. Lord knows, I've done it to former President Bush. Fair's fair.

But if you're going to call the President names, please dear God, know what the hell you're talking about.

That scene of the CNN Reporter getting in the face (Oh, Lord forgive me) of that Tea-Bagger who was calling the President a Fascist, was embarrassing. Not just for the Tea-Bagger, but for the Reporter as well.

Don't tell him how offensive calling the President a Fascist is. Ask the moron if he even knows what the hell Fascist means?!? Because, clearly, he doesn't.

What, was he Sarah Palin all the sudden?

Does he understand the words that are coming out of his mouth?? (Chris Tucker, 1998)

Lord knows, y'all didn't understand what the hell Tea-bag meant, so let's start by--

Oh, wait--

--and I'm being told that this is a Family site, and no one wants to read that.

--and I'm being told that while some people to read that, there are sites that'll better serve those needs.

And no, I'm not linking to any of them.

Let's start with our word of the day: Fascist.

This from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. (I'm using this Dictionary, because it is the first one I thought of. There's also and Wikipedia you can use as well. I figured any Dictionary would provide the simplest definition.)

Fascism: A political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

I'd like to ask that tool from the CNN Video, if he really thinks he's living in a centralized autocratic government, with the dictatorial leader, and the forcible suppression of opposition???

He does realize that he was just on TV, right? Going out to a national audience calling the President of the United States, the alleged dictator in this scenario, names??

Kinda eliminates the whole forcible suppression thing.

Again...confusing tyranny...with losing.

Next, we move on to our second definition, also from Merriam-Webster.

Socialism: Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

You do know that the Bailout of the Big Banks was started by George W. Bush right? Your guy? So, if anyone's the Socialist in this scenario, it's your guy, not mine.

Secondly, has the President seized the means of production (as Hugo Chavez actually did in March) anytime anywhere, and we all just missed it?

No. He's continued the program Bush started, and built some roads. (This is a massive simplification of the President's Agenda. The American Investment and Recovery Act is more than building roads. So, no, I haven't forgotten the High Speed Rail, the electronic medical records, or any of the other stuff.)

Third, because it has been used so often as an example of Bank Nationalization, it has been getting folks confused. Thus, let me remind everyone that the land of IKEA, Sweden, IS NOT A SOCIALIST COUNTRY!!!

Yes, they have Socialized some things in Sweden (Health care being at the top of that list), but they are a Capitalist Economy. There is Private Enterprise in Sweden. It is a Constitutional Monarchy, something I can personally verify to since I lived there when I was four. I still have the postcard they issued when King Carl Gustav XVI was crowned.


Finally, I'd define Communism, but there's barely any difference between it and Marxism as far as I'm concerned. Though I think Communism is far more totalitarian than Socialism, and advocates that there is no private property at all.

Ain't no way Obama's takin' my Blu-Ray Player.

So, to sum up.

Teabaggers of the world, we get it, you don't like President's policies. You don't like the fact he was elected, and frankly, more than a few of you don't like the fact that he's black.

I'm sorry. I've seen the signs. Some of y'all are racists. Deal.

But just because you don't like the President, it doesn't mean you get to make asses of yourselves in the process. And repeatedly misusing and abusing the English language definitely counts as making asses of yourselves!!

Making a Photoshop picture of Obama as Hitler? C'mon. Do I really need to explain, historically, how stupid that is??

You do know that Fascism stands at the extreme of your own Conservative Values, right? (After all, you're the crowd that keeps saying Barack Obama is a liberal). Whereas Socialism stands at the extreme of Left Wing Values (something frankly we know Barack Obama isn't anywhere near).


I hope you've found this discussion helpful. But, let's be honest, you're not going to listen, and you're going wind up doing is driving more and more Independents and Obamacans our way ayway, so keep it up...please.

You could try to engage the Democratic Majority to at least try and get some of the things on your wish list, but all know you won't.

Just don't come crying to me when you lose again.

And if you do call me a name, at least use the right word.

Here's one you've been proven fond of; six letters, starting with N.

It's offensive, yeah. But you've proven that you know what it means.

The Fireside chat for April 18, 2009

“All across America, families are making hard choices, and it’s time their government did the same."

Cuts to Government programs are coming. And according to the President, "there will be no sacred cows."

4/18/09: Your Weekly Address from White House on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Keith with James Risen: Busy Night Part 3 (VIDEO)

Still more work to do on Warantless Wiretapping.

Keith's Special Comment: Busy Night Part 2 (VIDEO)

As much as it pains me...

Keith with John Dean: Busy Night Part 1 (VIDEO)

This was a busy damn night. Lots of stories to cover, plus the Special Comment.

Keith's Interview with my personal legal fave, John Dean. (He too, sees some wiggle room for the President to go after John Yoo.)

Sen. Roland Burris REMAINS Toast...

According to the Chicago Tribune, he's raised...$845 so far.

That's...Eight Hundred and forty-five dollars, in far...for his campaign.

Couple that with $110,000 some odd bucks in debt. (I have no idea if this includes his legal fees or not.)

Good luck, sparky!

Did Holder just leave himself some Wiggle Room?

I got this from reading Andrew Sullivan (who was reading Marc Ambinder), so this is hardly a thought I can take credit for, but listen to what Ambinder has to say about Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement on the late and lamented Torture Prosecutions:

Here's what Attorney General Holder said today in his statement: "Holder also stressed that intelligence community officials who acted reasonably and relied in good faith on authoritative legal advice from the Justice Department that their conduct was lawful, and conformed their conduct to that advice, would not face federal prosecutions for that conduct."

The emphasis is Ambinder's.

Now, I work around Lawyers. I work around them every day. My Dad’s new wife is, in fact, a Lawyer herself.

I’m just saying, I know how these guys sound, and I know when they leave themselves wiggle room.

Folks, that ain’t wiggle room, that’s more like a tunnel in which large eighteen wheels can pass.

Sullivan puts it better than I can:

If evidence emerges of bad faith in torture sessions, then those staffers may well face legal consequences. Ditto if the legal advice was given in bad faith, along Nuremberg lines, Yoo and Bybee should start sweating. That's why the internal OPR report on the legal professionalism of the torture lawyers is so crucial and why it is being fought over so fiercely. If Yoo and Bybee's memos were so below legal standards that they can be objectively shown to be a means to get away with torture rather than good faith effort to apply the law to proposed torture techniques, then they too acted in bad faith. And they too are war criminals.

Now, all that said “wiggle room” isn’t a substitute for action (which I think we, the ACLU, Senator Russ Feingold, and civil libertarians would prefer). But it is something, especially when you couple this with action from the Congress. Either Chamber will do.

I think, in the wake of our most recent NSA Spying Story, the Congress might find itself a little more willing to act.

Granted, it has an air of “It’s one thing to have the mob get wiretapped, but now that it’s one of us…” but again, it'll do.

Oh, and in case your fingers were crossed, uncross 'em. Spain isn't going to help:

Despite recent reports to the contrary, Spain’s attorney general has now reportedly decided not to prosecute the Bush Six — the top legal officials in the Bush administration who allegedly approved the torture of terror suspects. Attorney General Candido Conde-Pumpio said that the United States would be the proper forum for such a case.

We can only hope.

Mark Kirk advocates violence to keep Taxes low?!?

This is a quote from Congressman Mark Kirk, currently considering a run for Governor of Illinois or for the Senate. When he makes up his mind, I'm sure we'll be the first to know, but...

"I think that the decision to raise taxes by 50 percent in Illinois is political suicide," Kirk said of Quinn's proposal to raise the tax rate to 4.5 percent from 3 percent, coupled with an increase in the personal deduction. "I think the people of Illinois are ready to shoot anyone who is going to raise taxes by that degree."

This may be hyperbole, but in the current climate, with Texas Governors (and to a lesser degree Chuck Norris) advocating for the secession of their miserable state from the Union, with Right Wing Extremism on the rise, Gun sales up, and a constant drumbeat of threats against the President and his Family, this doesn't strike me as funny.

And then we have perennial douchebag Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, a Senator, a representative of Oklahoma, a member of the (allegedly) world's greatest deliberative body, saying this:

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Ok.) said this week that the administration will try “all sorts of things” to chip away at the individual right to own a gun, warning of gun control policies aimed at “disarming us.”

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Cushing, Oklahoma, Coburn warned that Attorney General Eric Holder “doesn’t believe in the second amendment” and “doesn’t even know what an assault weapon is.”

“He doesn’t believe in our right to own and hold a gun,” Coburn said of Holder, whose nomination he vigorously opposed. “He doesn’t believe the Second Amendment means it’s a right for me to have a gun to protect myself.”

You tell me. Is this the party of Lincoln??

Elizabeth Warren on the Daily Show (VIDEO)

For the record, Part 2 was waaay better than Part, and is the part that made Jon Stewart "feel" better.

Part 1:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Elizabeth Warren Pt. 1
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

Part 2:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Elizabeth Warren Pt. 2
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This is who they are...

The following is intentional. I have collected a small smattering of images from today's Teabaggin' Parties from the Washington Independents' Aaron Weiner and David Weigel, as well as some stuff from Daily Kos.

These images, of course, show the worst of the worst. Protestors advocating violence, or racism, or toeing that fine line.

These images do not show all protesters. There were those who merely wanted to protest taxation and the deficit. I merely find these people deluded, not dangerous. And it is danger of which we speak here.

Yeah, let's link our deadly enemy, the one we might have to go to war with, with the duly elected President of the United States.

And yes, the sign says "While Some Kenyan tries to Destroy America". Forget the "In Living Color" quote.

Anything to make the President look alien and foreign.

And of course, my "favorite" for the day...

Apparently, it was from Chicago.

Are you sure you want to go there?

Courtesy Chuck Todd...

From the First Read site (you may have to scroll down a tad):

Franken’s discipline: By the way, and it's a point we've made before, but it's been pretty impressive how Franken has been so disciplined during this recount period. Indeed, until last night, when had we heard from him. Clearly, the GOP thought they were dealing with the stereotype that was Al Franken -- not the guy who proved to be a candidate who, well, got more votes than Norm Coleman. In fact, this has been a problem for the GOP in general the last few years when it comes to dealing with Democrats: They believe their own stereotypes about their opponents, rather than actually dealing with their opponents at face value.

"Mental Gymnastics..."

Even when I disagree with him, Taibbi is always fun.

And, right now, I certainly don't disagree with him.

It requires serious mental gymnastics to describe the Obama administration — particularly the Obama administration of recent weeks, which has given away billions to Wall Street and bent over backwards to avoid nationalization and pursue a policy that preserves the private for-profit status of the bailed-out banks — as a militaristic dictatorship of anti-wealth, anti-private property forces. You have to somehow explain the Geithner/Paulson decisions to hand over trillions of taxpayer dollars to the rich bankers as the formal policy expression of progressive rage against the rich. Not easy. In order to pull off this argument, in fact, you have to grease the wheels with a lot of apocalyptic language and imagery, invoking as Beck did massive pictures of Stalin and Orwell and Mussolini (side by side with shots of Geithner, Obama and Bernanke), scenes of workers storming the Winter Palace interspersed with anti-AIG protests, etc. — and then maybe you have to add a crazy new twist, like switching from complaints of “socialism” to warnings of “fascism.” Rhetorically, this is the equivalent of trying to paint a picture by hurling huge handfuls of paint at the canvas. It’s desperate, last-ditch-ish behavior.


But actual rich people can’t ever be the target. It’s a classic peasant mentality: going into fits of groveling and bowing whenever the master’s carriage rides by, then fuming against the Turks in Crimea or the Jews in the Pale or whoever after spending fifteen hard hours in the fields. You know you’re a peasant when you worship the very people who are right now, this minute, conning you and taking your shit. Whatever the master does, you’re on board. When you get frisky, he sticks a big cross in the middle of your village, and you spend the rest of your life praying to it with big googly eyes. Or he puts out newspapers full of innuendo about this or that faraway group and you immediately salute and rush off to join the hate squad. A good peasant is loyal, simpleminded, and full of misdirected anger. And that’s what we’ve got now, a lot of misdirected anger searching around for a non-target to mis-punish… can’t be mad at AIG, can’t be mad at Citi or Goldman Sachs. The real villains have to be the anti-AIG protesters! After all, those people earned those bonuses! If ever there was a textbook case of peasant thinking, it’s struggling middle-class Americans burned up in defense of taxpayer-funded bonuses to millionaires. It’s really weird stuff. And bound to get weirder, I imagine, as this crisis gets worse and more complicated.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Are The Tea Parties Racist??

I was flipping around Daily Kos today, and they posted a question that’s been on my mind for the last couple of days.

These…Tea Parties (I’m going to avoid calling these people Teabaggers)…

are they for white people only?

‘Cause I’m looking at the photos, and…I ain’t seein' no people of color


Jim Crow Protest Rallies?


Are you kidding me?

Fortunately, I am not the first to have this thought. It turns out that a site called Jack & Jill Politics has been on this way before I was.

I'm not 100% percent convinced in the arguments they present in their piece. Still, I think they're onto something.

Are these the same people who were yelling "Terrorist" and maybe even "Kill Him" at some McCain-Palin Rallies not than long ago? To paraphrase the Governor of Alaska, you betcha.

Did we expect these people to simply engage in the debate and suddenly accept the fact that Barack Obama legitimately won the election? If Norm Coleman is any measure...

Does anyone…anywhere see any people of color in any of these photos in a participatory capacity, and not acting as Security Guards, Cameramen...or worse, picking up after these people?

Couple this with a report from DHS says Right Wing Extremism is on the rise thanks to the Economy (and blaming the Black President for it), there is always reason to be concerned.

Whatever reservations I have about their particular arguments, they did offer a handy guide to sniffing out an undercover racist attack on the President. It goes as follows (with corrections for grammar):

1) Is [said attack] unique to Obama. Is it a phrase we’ve never heard before applied to any other president or is it something we haven’t heard in recent memory?

For example: he’s not an American citizen or he’s a socialist who’s planning re-education camps for young people.

2) Is [said attack] illogical or impossible. Does the assertion plainly contradict the facts?

For example: not an American citizen, socialist, tax raiser, re-education camps for young people.

3) Is [said attack] repeated, over and over, by a desperate person whose team lost badly in the last election and who adopts a wide-eyed, credulous, nodding stare pronouncing the lie slowly, precisely, with a watchful eye to see if the listeners are buying it.

For example: not an American citizen, socialist, elitist, drug seller, tax raiser or terrorist. (aka, the entirety of the Glenn Beck Show)

Optional: Does the assertion cause nervousness, embarrassment or confusion among non-blacks (who are listening to said attack)? When other white people such as Tom Brokaw or John Stewart sense something wrong and start to ask questions like "Do you really believe that?," you know for sure you’re in the racist attack zone.

UPDATE 4:49PM Pacific: Michelle Malkin does not count. She started these damn things, and besides, I'd put her personal racially sensitivity quotient at about zero.

Bo's Debut

The President's Economics Speech at Georgetown University (VIDEO)