Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Fireside chat for August 21, 2010 (VIDEO)

The President calls out Republicans for blocking campaign finance reforms that would address the Supreme Court decision opening the floodgates of corporate money into elections.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Howard Dean, defiantly wrong.

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I'm glad former Governor Howard Dean went on Keith last night. Too many people hide from the cameras when a controversy breaks out, so kudos to him for getting out there.

Still, his position on Park51 remains ridiculous, indefensible, and frankly a little racist.

I hate to be brutal about it, but the in the scheme of things, the pain, the tragedy, the suffering of the 9/11 families, does not matter.  I'm not dismissing their pain, I'm saying that their pain cannot be allowed to trump our Constitution.

More to the point, to maintain a position that says that a Muslim Community Center is disrespectful, you have to believe that Muslims genetically predisposed to being terrorists. Now, Howard Dean says (over and over again) that he doesn't believe that, but then why justify this belief by giving into it?

This is the same damn argument that was dropped on Civil Rights Protesters.  Progress is coming, but you have to be patient.  This is, in effect, Howard Dean's argument to America's Islamic Citizens.  But as Thurgood Marshall said (at the time), "the Emancipation Proclamation was signed 90 years ago, I think Black Americans have been plenty paitent."

Either the First Amendment is going to apply to all of us, or it applies to none of us.

UPDATE: Saturday Aug. 21: Somehow the guy who once wrote a Screenplay about Thurgood Marshall thought the 90 years quote ws said by Martin Luther King. My utter bad.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What "doing his job" can sometimes mean...

Great, great piece by Jonathan Bernstein:

What makes the presidency so hard is that it's not about deciding right vs. wrong. It's almost always about choices about priorities--which of the many possible "right" things should move up to the top tier, which are clearly not worth the effort, and which are somewhere in the middle. This requires gauging all sorts of things...are cranky Dem Senators really upset about Warren, or just putting up a show for the benefit of home-state interests. How much does Warren's obvious symbolic importance to some liberals translate to liberal activists in general, and how will that play out if Obama was to choose a substantively similar but symbolically less fraught nominee? How do Washingtonians feel about the president's resolve, and will his reputation for being tough be helped if he stands up to balky Senators? What if he stands up to liberals? How much do the banks actually care about Warren's symbolic importance? How likely is this choice to take up valuable Senate floor time compared to alternative nominees, and which nominations or legislation might that jeopardize? What options does he have on those other items that might clear more space for a Warren floor fight (if one is likely), and how important would those compromises be?

Then realize that there's a similar set of questions for each of the things that Barack Obama wants to do, and for all the things he doesn't really care about but for which others are urging him to act. Remember that while on the one hand he has far more tools than any other individual to use in order to persuade others to go along with what he wants, he's using those tools across dozens, maybe hundreds, of issues, while many of those he deals with may only care--and care intensively--about one or two or maybe a handful of issues. And note that everyone is watching what the president decides, and how he decides, and who he listens to and what strategies he uses, so that they can maximize their ability to get what they want from him when it's their turn to play. None of which should be taken as apologizing for the president... he asked for the job! He certainly should be held to account. It's just important, in my opinion, to understand what it means for a president to make a decision before we start attacking him for one.

Black Republicans

From the Daily Beast:

Timothy Johnson, who as chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation works to get African-American Republican officials elected and grow the ranks of black members of the party, says that Sarah Palin needs to clarify her defense of Dr. Laura Schlessinger. He also says Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele needs to speak out against Palin.

Like that'll happen. Mr. Johnson (absolutely, positively ZERO relation) also said:

If she chooses to run for President in 2012, she is going to have to answer to black Republicans.

Again, yeah right.

If a majority of African-Americans were convinced that your organization wasn't going to cave at the first opportunity in the face of the former Half Governor, there might be more than three Black Republicans in the country.

You want to prove something to me? Tell Palin and tell America that Black Republicans have a zero tolerance policy towards racism. Tell Palin that if she runs, even Black Republicans won't support her. But we both know that's not going to happen, thus we come to the inescapable conclusion that Black Republicans tolerate racism.

This from the supposed Party of Lincoln.

The Racist Sisterhood...Part 2

Shocking headline of the day from the Daily Beast, following up on the Dr. Laura racist crapfest:

Black Republican: Sarah Palin Doesn't Speak For Us

Loved Josh's crackback:

Wow, pro-'N-Word' advocacy not helping with black voters. Always hard to figure how these things will play.

Hypocrisy? Priceless.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), you know, the guy who thought withdrawing from Iraq was a mistake, thinks that George Bush hasn't been getting enough credit for the ending of the Combat mission in Iraq.


The amount of coverage (outside MSNBC that is) of the ending of our Combat Mission in Iraq has been scant. Right now, Newsweek's lead story is about Wyclef Jean's Presidential bid in Haiti. CNN is doing tainted eggs and Dr. Laura. Fox News is doing "Nuclear Iran -- Is it Too Late??" Nothing on Salon, Wall Street Journal, L.A. Times. Oh, the Washington Post has a lead story...sorry, had a lead story for a while there (now it's back to the Park51 bull@#$%). Talking Points Memo, via AFP, rates a mention.

The international press t rates only a little better. Nothing on the Times of London. It's the third story on the Guardian of London at least. The BBC has it at number two, with a side story about Iraq finding it hard to care.

What gets on my nerves more than anything is that this was a clear promise made by the President during the campaign, it was one of the reasons (though not the reason) people voted for him. And now that he's made good on that promise, he's not going to get any credit for it.

Listen, let's not B.S. here. This is a great day. I know a lot of my fellow progressives are still up in arms over Afghanistan (and I'm not sure they should be), but getting out of this mess is a net positive.

Now if we can only find a way to avoid an armed Islamic Reformation, that'd be even better.

The Racist Sisterhood...

As I was under the weather yesterday, I did not get a chance to comment (celebrate) the ending of Dr. Laura's radio crapfest.  So let me state my position clearly for the record: Hooray!

But equally interesting is former Half-Governor Sarah Palin's tweeting in support of Dr. LauraThere's more here in the Washington Post.

Keith tweeted a very good question in response. Does this mean that the former Half-Governor agrees with Dr. Laura's conduct??

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Howard Dean's lowest moment.

Oh, Jesus (ironically enough).

I've gotta believe there has to be a compromise here. This isn't about the right of Muslims to have a worship center, or Jews or Christians or anybody else to have a place to worship, or any place around Ground Zero. This is something we ought to be able to work out with people of good faith. And we have to understand that it is a real affront to people who've lost their lives -- including Muslims. That site doesn't belong to any particular religion, it belongs to all Americans and all faiths. So I think a good, reasonable compromise could be worked out, without violating the principle that people ought to be able to worship as they see fit.

Yeah, I gotta go with Keith on this one. What has happened to his man since he left the DNC?  First the Bill-Killer crap, now this.

Josh Marshall went on with some points of his own:

I mean, what's so humorous about Dean's sweating the pain of Muslim 9/11 victim families who are going to be offended about a Muslim community center being built is that I really don't get a clear sense that Dean has any idea what's even being discussed. Does he know it's not at Ground Zero? It's almost like he piled on some 'Muslims are Americans too' and 9/11, 9/11 and the rest and just let his mouth run for a minutes.

Late Please Make It Stop It's Too Painful Update: Sam Stein at Huffpo rung up Dean to see if he wanted to revise and extend his remarks and Sam basically ended up giving the good doctor another chance to demonstrate that he apparently doesn't know anything about what's going on. Dean says the Cordoba House proponents are being inflexible. And maybe they are. But he also makes clear that he takes "the congregation at its word that it is a moderate congregation trying to heal the wounds of 9/11." Only there's no congregation. It's a investment group (Soho Properties) and a Muslim non-profit (the Cordoba Initiative) trying put this together. Ahh, never mind. But he does point out that "best way to heal the wounds is not to have a court battle, but to sit down and try to work things out." Good point, only there's no Court battle. It's done. They got the approval. Maybe someone will get Mayor Bloomberg ginned up about Muslim plot to make us all eat Halal food. But there's no court battle.

Doing your homework. What a concept ...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


After cracking on Keith’s Special Comment on Obama a couple of days ago, I felt it only appropriate that he should be given his due praise for his recent work where he almost nailed it in his Worst Person in the world segment when he ripped on Dr. Laura for her recent racist rant on the radio.


Somehow it has gotten into the American consciousness that only saying “N----r” and burning a cross on the lawn counts as racism. As someone who lives with the prospect of my life ending at a routine traffic stop, being followed around in stores, on watching as a perfectly legitimate application for an Apartment is rejected, I know better. These are examples of everyday, common racism that still happen. What Dr. Laura did was extraordinary and public, but hardly unique.

So this is a long way of saying that Keith really nailed the moment when he said that the N-bomb wasn’t the most offensive part of the segment. He was telling his audience that there was more racism there, and he was right.

But the part that offended me wasn’t the bit Keith highlighted, where she assailed black people for hyper-sentivity (which was offensive, don't get me more), it was Dr. Laura’s insufferable demand that the caller prove to her (the white woman) that what happened was racist.

You got to listen to the whole segment (which Randi Rhodes played last week), which I cannot stomach to bring you here.

Again, African-Americans are perfectly capable to determining for themselves what is and isn’t racist. No offense white folks, we really don’t need your help on it. We do need your help in the discussion that follows. But in the end, we will determine what offends us, not you.

But we're starting to get a good look at what passes for racial discourse nowadays, and it's starting to tick me off. There are (at least) two parties in any debate. In a racial one, such as this, there is a African-American and a White Person. Both have a role to play in the discussion to come, but for some reason on the TV, only one is allowed to speak.

I still am stung by the idea that when Rand Paul revealed his true colors, there weren't many black people called onto the air to offer their opinion outside Rep. James Clyburn. That ticked me off.

Now, we're seeing the same thing happen when the Park 51/Cordoba Mosque B.S. As people scream, hem and haw, has there been any Muslim...well...anybody brought to the air to defend the place. Or is this just another discussion happening exclusively among white people?