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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday Afternoon Music feat. Wilco

Ashes Of American Flags

The Cross-Over Experience

Steven Soderbergh is one of the geniuses of Americna cinema. From his breakthrough film Sex, Lies, and Videotape to his lesser viewed works like Bubble, he has pushed the creative envelope. While many will cite the Ocean's series as a signifier that he has lost his creatve edge, his latest picture, which premired Tuesday at the Tribeca Film Festival, should settle any qualms that his detractors may have.

For the lead role, he cast adult film star Sasha Grey.

Not many people in Hollywood have faith in actors/actresses in the adult genre. But Sasha's performance just may shock some. Here's the trailer.

Sasha has worked in the musical realm as well. She has contributed vocals for Lee "Scratch" Perry as well as co-founding the industrial band ATelecine.

The Wired Metric

Wired Magazine offers their own perspective on Barack Obama' first 100 days.

They break it down into the following catagories: Copyright, Cyber Security, Science, Net Neutrality, Transparency, and Privacy. And he doesn't get glowing remarks.

Obama scored high marks in some, but in others he may have to go to summer school.

It's a very interesting read from a perspective not covered by the 24hr cable channels or the bulk of blogs.

Equal Protection For Gays Not In GOP's Best Interest

Many within the GOP, including their primary media outlet are railing against the new "hate crimes" legislation that is making its way through both chambers of the House.

With rampant speculation, fear, and ignorance, they are claiming that the bill, if passed, will stiffle speech, thought, and even go after religious organizations.

Many claim that hate-crimes laws are facsism, that it would target pastors and churches, and stiffle religious freedoms:

But Republican Congresswoman Virginia Foxx takes it a step further. Why does this not suprise me?

The House passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 by a margin of 249-175. Only 18 Republicans voted in favor. Another shining example that the GOP is completely out of touch with America.

If you would like to contact Rep. Virginia Foxx, here's how you can.

Phone: (202) 225-2071
Phone: (336) 778-0211
Phone: (828) 265-0240

It should also be pointed out that Rep. Foxx is not the first to postulate this.

More from Think Progress

If Ignorance Is Bliss...

Then Michelle Bachman is quite possibly the happiest woman on the planet. Of course, with her overly-eager grin and that half-glazed-over look in her eye that is normally indicative of one too many Dirty Martinis at lunch, I just might be overstating the obvious.

Previously, Bachman decided to speak-up on PajamasTV when she heard there was a new flu running about. It's a shame that an elected official doesn't have the mindset of most middle-school children who would have been able to consult Wikipedia to find out who the President was in 1976.

Now, Michelle is at it again. This time she's doing her best to channel Glenn Beck and trashing FDR for something he had no part in.

If you're not sure of how the story really goes, here's what TPM has to say.

When Franklin Roosevelt took office, unemployment was already about 25%. And the tariff referred to here was actually the Smoot-Hawley bill, co-authored by Republicans Sen. Reed Smoot of Utah and Rep. Willis Hawley of Oregon, and signed into law by President Herbert Hoover.

I keep revisiting this notion that the people that Bachman is charged with representing are actually fine, upstanding, and intelligent Americans. Now, more than ever, they need to consider booting Bachman from office. Would you honestly want a seething ignoramous representing you in Washington?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Max Vs. The Marksmen

Max Blumenthal, one of my favorite bloggers and journalists, girds his loins and heads out to a California gun-show.

Max's "Defend Frisco" t-shirt is classic.

If there is one thing that the reactionary, righ-wing population is good at - no matter what state you are in - is claiming that "liberals are going to take everything away".

After watching this video, you start to wonder why Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, Limbaugh and a host of other fringe conservatives are defending them. The preponderance of pro-WWII propoganda available for purchase tends to give off the air of - oh, what was that DHS report about......oh, yeah - right-wing extremism.

Indeed, in their minds, average Americans opposed to the Obama agenda would be herded into FEMA-run concentration camps by a volunteer army of glassy-eyed liberal college graduates. “When they start imprisoning Americans, and people start seeing that we’re the enemy, then that’ll make it hot,” predicted one Antioch-based young man sporting a button for former Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul. “People talk about a revolution,” the young man continued, “an armed revolution. I think police crackdowns on individuals will tip the scales.”

More than a few gun dealers and attendees echoed the young man’s seeming enthusiasm for armed revolt. One Contra Costa, California-based gun dealer named Rich predicted during an otherwise casual off-camera conversation that “some nut” would assassinate Obama within one year of any Democratic attempt at gun-control legislation. While the prospect of organized right-wing violence against the federal government seems far-fetched at this point, the paranoid rhetoric I documented suggests the militia movement that organized against President Bill Clinton’s policies during the 1990s could experience a dramatic resurgence by mobilizing resentment against Obama.

More from Max Blumenthal @ The Daily Beast and David Neiwert @ Crooks And Liars.

I have many friends that are gun collectors that labor under the notion that Obama and his administration are going to do all they can to repeal the 2nd Ammendment, which couldn't be further from the truth, but are no where near the same class of people featured in the video. This is why, from my perspective, conservative pundits, commentators, and talk-radio prattle-heads can't seperate the mental defectives from everyone else. These are two, completely divergent, groups. While one group enjoys collecting guns, going down to the firing range and popping-off a few dozen rounds after work, the other actively daydreams of popping-off a few hundred rounds into anyone that doesn't fit into their narrow view of America.

When They Cry, You Almost Feel Sorry For Them

It appears that Allahpundit and his fellow droogies at Hot Air can't seem to handle the fact that Barack Obama sees the tea-baggery and Fox"News" for what they collectively are. But, and here's what really chaps their collective taints, he's willing to talk things through with them to find common ground.

Seems that Allah and the ensuing commentors don't seem to know how to act now that their man isn't in the White House. And like a spoiled little girl who has to watch while their arch rival gets to play the lead in the school play, they are determined to ruin everything, no matter how big a fool they look like in the end.

what a douche.

Ampersand on April 29, 2009 at 1:14 PM

He is fundamentally anti-American.

WisCon on April 29, 2009 at 1:18 PM

What a thin-skinned douche. It’s on. 4th of July. DC. Then, Election Day 2010 and 2012, Barry.

Babino on April 29, 2009 at 1:28 PM

What a moronic CHILD.

Mommypundit on April 29, 2009 at 1:35 PM

His disdain for normal Americans is surpassed only by his master Soros.

ZJPolitical on April 29, 2009 at 1:15 PM

And there's pages more nonsense.

They actually think that more tea-bagging is going to somehow elevate them and their plans ( of which they have none ) will finally come to fruition. Well, Fox"News" will come to their aid again, but that last attempt didn't seem to work out so well for them. It only served to highlight their willful ignorance even more.

Hey Fox and "Fans", I Think He's Talking About You

The ball's in your court now. Though many of us don't expect you to do much with it.

When you see, you know, those of you that are watching certain news channels on which I'm not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.

- Barack Obama, addressing a townhall meeting today in Arnold, Missouri

And Also, 100 Days Of Conservative Opposition

Via Think Progress, a nice counter-point to Media Matters video I just posted.

And just so they can continue their streak of "No", the House just passed Obama's budget without one single Republican vote.

100 Days Of "Fairness" and "Balanciness"

I'm reminded of John Stewart stating on the Daily Show that Fox"News" - and various other twitching conservatives should pace their rage toward Obama and any and all of his administration.

There's been lots of crazy to go around since January 20th. Here's a video sampling courtesy of Karl Frisch of the Huffington Post and Media Matters.

From Becks disingenuous plea of "I want to believe" until the Three Stooges Of Morning TV ( That's Doocy, Kilmeade, and Carlson of Fox and Friends ) yuck it up over that "socialism" meme, it's clear to see that Fox is neither fair, nor balanced, but the right-wing mouthpiece that they claim not to ever have been.

And hearing them make that claim now is even more hilarious.

Last night I heard Bret Baier sign off his "Special Report" show by claiming Fox"News" was "powerful reporting in uncertain times". Don't you just love those guys?

Not Simply Upset About His Unclean Pores

From Andrew Gant at the NWF Daily News comes another story of a former member of the US Military that has gone over the deep end.

The events that led to the shooting deaths of two Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies Saturday began in a small top-floor apartment in Fort Walton Beach - with an argument over a tube of Clearasil.

On Sunday, lawmen still were investigating why Joshua Cartwright, a 28-year-old U.S. Army Reserve soldier with a history of violence, killed Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies Burt Lopez and Warren "Skip" York at a gun range in Crestview.

A few minutes after he killed the deputies, Cartwright was himself killed in a shootout with lawmen in DeFuniak Springs.

A reoprt filed against Cartwright on the day that he died characterized him as:

an angry husband who threatened his wife, kept guns and knives on hand, was "severely disturbed" that Barack Obama had been elected president, and believed the U.S. government was conspiring against him.

Though Cartwirght, according to the story, was not a member of a named, right-wing extremist group, his behavior is clearly indicative of what the DHS report had laid out. Reading through this story, you will begin to agree with the headline - this doesn't make sense.

The supporting storyline to this is still the unwillingness of the conservative Right to get beyond thier own reactionary stance. Are they willing to stand behind a flacid set of talking-points that do nothing more than create a cloud of ignorance around themselves and ther audience? Or, are they prepared to put their own self-interests and pride away, for once, so that they can see what is truly happening in America.

AOL Hotseat Poll

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thank God For Pauley Perette

I don't watch NCIS, but I almost would simply for her <3

The Lineage Of Conservative Blame

There is a consistant and discernable pattern that any and all conservatives, primarily the fringe players, will use when attempting to cast blame when they have little to no information to go on.

First, they'll blame the Democratic party, liberals, progressives, George Soros, or MSNBC. Maybe the New York Times, General Electric, or even bloggers. It's a mass-blame-game that is designed to distract from their own willful ignorance. They choose not to find the root cause of the issue so they play to their base instincts, as well as the ignorance of their intended demographic, and will use the widest brush to hamfistedly paint a layer of blame on any and everyone with whom they disagree.

Then, there's the hot-button-issue style of blame. It's all the "gays" fault. It's rap music, television, movies, or - in this case - illegal immigrants

More from Media Matters

Of course, those that are insisting that illegal immigration is to blame, or that this is a plot by immigrants, might ought to listen to actual reporting on the swine-flu.

The number of confirmed swine flu cases in the United States stands at 42. The outbreak also has sickened people in New York, Kansas, California and Texas. Health officials in Michigan said they have one suspected case and five are suspected in New Jersey.

Many of them had recently visited Mexico, including several students at St. Francis who had recently come back from a spring break trip to Cancun.

Then again, they would simply claim "liberal media bias" and bit their thumb at everyone and continue prattling on simply to hear themselfs speak.

Midday Tuesday Music feat. Sausage

The original line-up of PRIMUS made a fantastic album back in 1994 under the name Sausage.

Here's the video for the title track "Riddles Are Abound Tonight"

*click image to start YouTube video*

Conservatives Without Funnybones

Why does it not suprise me that an Ohio University study shows that many conservatives think that Stephen Colbert is actually being serious?

This study investigated biased message processing of political satire in The Colbert Report and the influence of political ideology on perceptions of Stephen Colbert. Results indicate that political ideology influences biased processing of ambiguous political messages and source in late-night comedy. Using data from an experiment (N = 332), we found that individual-level political ideology significantly predicted perceptions of Colbert's political ideology. Additionally, there was no significant difference between the groups in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements. Conservatism also significantly predicted perceptions that Colbert disliked liberalism. Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert's political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion.

Does anyone remember Bill O'Reilly's response to the Indiana Univeristy study that showed that he uses "-calling"? After reading the info on the Ohio University study, I'm starting to get the feeling that certain conservative pundits and commentators are going to go after this study as well.

And they say that liberals and progressives take the Daily Show seriously.

Lacking A Sense Of History

More often than not, you're likely to hear a conservative Republican tell a person of liberal or progressive ideals that they lack a sense of their countries history. It is always within a sweeping and highly generalized sense that they say such things. Whether it be under the guise of constitutionality of marriage, how the founding fathers intended their words to be interpreted, or - in this case - about how torture has saved American lives.

The later is more prominently seen in what the conservative movement is passing off as a "national discussin". But, what they don't realize is that their arguments revolving around torture, specifically water-boarding, are so poorly constructed and contain little to no regard to time and widely recorded events. More than that, they seem to have erased from their memories and case in which their Presidential diety, Ronald Reagan, and his own Justice Department prosecuted Texas Sheriff James Parker and four of his deputies for water-boarding prisoners.

George W. Bush’s Justice Department said subjecting a person to the near-drowning of waterboarding was not a crime and didn’t even cause pain, but Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department thought otherwise, prosecuting a Texas sheriff and three deputies for using the practice to get confessions.

Federal prosecutors secured a 10-year sentence against the sheriff and four years in prison for the deputies. But that 1983 case – which would seem to be directly on point for a legal analysis on waterboarding two decades later – was never mentioned in the four Bush administration opinions released last week.

More from Jason Leopold @ The Public Record.

Also, Kossack MinistryOfTruth has a fantastic diary on this subject where they show cases of torture that were prosecuted. One, as recent as 2005.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Conservative Movement As A Study In Agnotology

Robert Proctor, historian of science at Stanford, has developed a word inspired by what he sees as an increase in ignorance when people view a variety of "contentious" subjects.

Via Wired

As Proctor argues, when society doesn't know something, it's often because special interests work hard to create confusion. Anti-Obama groups likely spent millions insisting he's a Muslim; church groups have shelled out even more pushing creationism. The oil and auto industries carefully seed doubt about the causes of global warming. And when the dust settles, society knows less than it did before.

"People always assume that if someone doesn't know something, it's because they haven't paid attention or haven't yet figured it out," Proctor says. "But ignorance also comes from people literally suppressing truth—or drowning it out—or trying to make it so confusing that people stop caring about what's true and what's not."

After years of celebrating the information revolution, we need to focus on the countervailing force: The disinformation revolution. The ur-example of what Proctor calls an agnotological campaign is the funding of bogus studies by cigarette companies trying to link lung cancer to baldness, viruses—anything but their product

When viewing the Republican party, and the conservative movement in particular, you begin to see that Protor's thesis statement is quite equitable.

Conservativism, by its very nature, focuses on "self" rather than the needs of the "community". A perfect example of this is the conservative Right's diefication of Ayn Rand and her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged.

The "Going Galt" movement within the party is intended to show those within the opposition that they are going to remove the "wealth" that they produce as a form of punishment. To that, I would as what it is that they produce that the remainder of America would even want.

The latching on to the fictional John Galt character - his actions, and their intended results - remind me of Texas Governor Rick Perry and his threats of secession. As stated in a previous post, where I discussed the very real fact that conservatives love to say things that "sound good", Perry and his ever eager compatriots tout removing Texas from the union simply because it is nothing more than a talking-point that is top-of-the-list at the moment.

What would happen, should Texas become it's own country? They would lose any and all federal dollars that come into Texas, for a start. Any and all representatives of Texas would be removed from both houses of Congress. And that's two big points for a start. It was, perhaps, the ignorance of Governor Rick Perry that caused him to make these threats of secession during the recent teabaggery in his state.

The rapid and consistant discemination of misinformation by the conservative movement has contributed to the pervasive ignorance that weaves itself into the Republican party as a whole. The advent of Fox"News", as well as the internet, has increased the level of ignorance to near stratospheric proportions.

The way in which Fox"News" presents information to their audience is not only consistant with right-wing, conservative ideals, but further feeds the ignorance within their target demographic. A recent example can be seen in he following video excerpt:

Had you not seen the original footage of Obama speaking about healthcare, you would then be laboring under the assumption that what Wendell Goler and his Fox"News" producers were presenting you was the complete story.

We can see the distribution of ignorance directed at the Republican demographic in other areas such as The Employee Free Choice Act, Obama has made he country less safe, and a gaggle of other prattling nonsense.

The primary inclination of conservative bloggers, pundits, and the media that employ them, is that their target audience will disregard their own ability - and need - to investigate any and all topics that are presented to them in favor of absorbing and regurgitating what they are told.

The very real epidemic of ignorance within the conservative movement, from my perspective, has been and will continually be their ultimate downfall.

Oklahoma Nut-Job Update

Daniel Knight Hayden apparently has(had) a blog.

His content is, shall we say, a bit random and odd.

( h/t David Neiwert @ Crooks and Liars )

This Pretty Much Sums Up The Conservative Movement


( h/t to The Sunshine Empire )

Think about it. The diefication of Ronald Reagan is one of the key pillars of conservative ideology. Completely disregarding the fact that under his "leadership" we sold arms to terrorist groups and financed both sides of the Iran/Iraq war and blatantly lied about any and everything that he could, the conservative Right holds this man up as a virtual God.

Hey Malkin, Fox, Townhall, et al. About Your Reaction To The DHS Memo


A man was arrested for making threats via Twitter about the Tea-Baggery in Oklahoma City.

An Oklahoma City man who announced on Twitter that he would turn an April 15 tax protest into a bloodbath was hit with a federal charge of making interstate threats last week, in what appears to be first criminal prosecution to stem from posts on the microblogging site.

Daniel Knight Hayden, 52, was arrested by FBI agents who identified him as the Twitter user CitizenQuasar. In a series of tweets beginning April 11, CitizenQuasar vowed to start a “war” against the government on the steps of the Oklahoma City Capitol building, the site of that city’s version of the national “Tea Party” protests promoted by the conservative-leaning Fox News.

“START THE KILLING NOW! I am willing to be the FIRST DEATH!,” read a tweet at 8:01 PM that day. “After I am killed on the Capitol Steps, like a REAL man, the rest of you will REMEMBER ME!!!,” he added five minutes later. Then: “Send the cops around. I will cut their heads off the heads and throw the[m] on the State Capitol steps.”

Hayden’s MySpace page is a breathtaking gallery of right wing memes about the “New World Order,” gun control as Nazi fascism, and Barack Obama’s covert use of television hypnosis, among many others.

Michelle Malkin had recently posted a letter from serveral Republican Senators requesting data on "right-wing extremism". I think that Daniel Hayden is pretty good "data-point" to start with.

Also interesting to note that Malkin equated "extremism" with "conservativism" and even attempted to joke that you "might be a radicalized rightwing extremist" is you attended one of the tea-bagging parties. Turns out that she was correct about the later.

On Fox"News", Hannity & James Dobson pounced on the report. And blogs such as Hot Air and Townhall are beside themselves that this report was even considered.

Hate to break it to you guys, but your batting average is pretty low this season. You might want to take a step back and evaluate the situation before you react.

Republicans - Always Thinking Ahead

This kind of brings a whole new definition to the term "pork spending".

...former White House political czar Karl Rove and key congressional Republicans -- led by Maine Senator Susan Collins -- aggressively attacked the notion that there was a connection between pandemic preparation and economic recovery.


Now, as the World Health Organization says a deadly swine flu outbreak that apparently began in Mexico but has spread to the United States has the potential to develop into a pandemic, Obey's attempt to secure the money seems eerily prescient.

Kind of ironic that this is a pig-flu, isn't it.

More from John Nichols at The Nation.

Here's a clip of Collins stating her opposition.

The Republicans, en masse apparently, have little regard for science and basic preparedness. This is yet another example of reactionary posturing gone completely wrong.

It's So Cute When They Beg

Allahpundit is at it again. This time, he's pleading for Miss California to claim that she's a Republican.

Please. She’s Christian, supports traditional marriage, and opposes government handouts. If that’s not a Sarah Palin fan, I don’t know what is. You’re a Republican, gorgeous; own it.

The drooling comments from the HotAir gang will provide some good laughs for your Monday morning. Once again, the conservative Right prefers style over substance.

What Allah doesn't realize is that she's a beauty-pageant contestant. She's been coached to give glittering generalities for anwers. Come to think of it, she does meet the new qualifications to be the VP pick for the next Republican candidate for President.

Don't Touch Me, I Need You

Oh, the delicous hypocrisy of the Republican party. Texas Gov. Rick Perry seems to have changed his mind about secession.

As a precautionary measure, I have requested that medication be on hand in Texas to help curb the spread of swine flu by helping those with both confirmed and suspected cases of this swine flu virus, as well as healthcare providers who may have come in contact with these patients,” said Gov. Rick Perry. “We will continue to work with our local, state and federal health officials to ensure public safety is protected

More from The San Marcos Daily Record.

I can almost picture Gov. Perry now making a list of things that his state would have lost should they have left the union.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Night College Radio Classics

The Bogmen: Suddenly: From their debut album Life Begins At 40 Million

The very first night that I hosted my own radio show at Western Kentucky University back in the fall of 1995, this was one of the songs that were in regular rotation that week. It was, from that moment, one of those tracks that would seep into my memory and be another in a long list of musical cues that remind me of the years I spent there.

There was something about the track that stood out, and still does. Possibly the kitchiness of the lyrics or the proto-typical "college-band" sound. Truth-be-told, it's still a stand-out track when viewed through the lens of the current clap-trap that is doled out for public consumption.

*click the image to play*

And, will someone please explain why you put something up on YouTube and then have the embedding feature disabled?

This will be an ongoing feature every Saturday night.



Friday, April 24, 2009

In Which We See How Ignorant The Far-Right Really Is

Allahpundit at HotAir apparently has a difficult time grasping reality. In his hamfisted attempt to protect Sean Hannity from Keith Olbermann ( who he claimed is "baiting" Sean into getting waterboarded ) he said the following:

If you’re eager to see a journalist get waterboarded and can’t wait for Hannity to take the plunge, there’s no shortage of clips available. Here’s one from 2006 and another from last week. Judge for yourself how shattered they look. Exit question: Didn’t Obama turn those bad-guy pirates into victims by having them shot in the head? Sure, he saved the captain, but at what price?

Sure, the first portion of the paragraph is nonsensical, right-wing blather; but let's look at that "exit question" of his.

The pirates are victims?

Uh, Allah, buddy, they kidnapped an American ship captain. They were going to kill him. What part of that don't you understand? Should we have let him die?

Perhaps I shouldn't be so honest in my line of questioning. But, this isn't the first time that the Somali pirates have been displayed as victims. The current leader of the ever fractioning and irrelavent Republican party has said so as well.

I also find if laughable that Allah gestures to the "gutlessness" of the left. I would like to hear him tell me why he hasn't signed up for military duty yet.


It's From Nature

Michelle Bachman is hillarious. I say that in the context that Louis C.K. uses it in. When a person says something so outrageous that when you hear it, you go insane.

That's right, Michelle, CO2 does occur in nature. But when you have too much of it, it's bad. Here, try this. Put a plastic bag over your head, hold it tight around your neck and see how long you can last before you pass out.

More from The Wonk Room.

The Media's Worst Moment In Obama's First 100 Days

Cast your vote at Media Matters

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In Which I Teach You The Perils Of The Board Feed Track

Board feed is the soundtrack that is produced prior to the mixed, final product. It's untouched by the sound-tech's skills.

And, I think we all know what Beyonce sounds like in a post-production setting.

Check out the board feed that Howard Stern featured on his Sirus program of her.

The Only Way I'll Discuss This Miss California Kerfuffle With Perez Hilton Any Longer by letting Jay Smooth do the talking.

And He Probably Believes It Too

When you have a person with such a massive ego, like Bill O'Reilly, it's difficult to have an intelligent diiscussion with them. The reason being, they know EVERYTHING.

O'Reilly, for all of his self-agrandizing posturing, has a very difficult time remembering the history revolving around the country that he claims to be "looking out for". There have been several examples of this in the recent past.

Colmes always gives up too easily.

Here's a pick of Mao.

You see that guy on the left? The one that's smiling and *gasp* shaking Mao's hand?

That's Richard Nixon.

Something Else That Sounds Good

In a previous post, I spoke about how the Right loves to say things that "sound good" in place of actually vocalizng the truth to their audience.

Last night, Charles Grodon was a guest on Hannity's Fox"News" program and there was a challenge laid to Sean. Would he let Grodon water-board him?

Sean Hannity apparently accepted and offered himself as a sacrficial lamb in order to somehow give support to the families of American military personel.

Here's where Sean has planted in foot so far into this ever gapping maw that it's going to take a little more effort to pull it out than he may first expect.

You see, whereas military recruits are put through a program called SERE, in which they are trained to survive in hostage situations and given training on how to resist torture.

What Sean doesn't realize is that these are "training" situations and the recruit has the option to stop and can even quit the program. When a person is being tortured by a captor, in the real world, they can't just tap-out and say "uncle".

Hannity says that's he'll be water-boarded because it "sounds good", makes him seem like he really believes in his own words. But he's not fooling anyone. He won't go through with it because he knows that he wouldn't be able to take it. Just don't expect him to admit it.

Because Timing Is Everything

And this is doubly so in comedy. If you don't have the timing, your jokes - even your whole act - will just fall apart.

Spaking of jokes, enter Fox"News".

Marc Thiessen, it seems, suffers from some specific form of memory loss that appears to only take place within the brains of Right-wing Republicans. Timothy Noah writes in The Slate:

What clinches the falsity of Thiessen's claim, however (and that of the memo he cites, and that of an unnamed Central Intelligence Agency spokesman who today seconded Thessen's argument), is chronology. In a White House press briefing, Bush's counterterrorism chief, Frances Fragos Townsend, told reporters that the cell leader was arrested in February 2002, and "at that point, the other members of the cell" (later arrested) "believed that the West Coast plot has been canceled, was not going forward" [italics mine]. A subsequent fact sheet released by the Bush White House states, "In 2002, we broke up [italics mine] a plot by KSM to hijack an airplane and fly it into the tallest building on the West Coast." These two statements make clear that however far the plot to attack the Library Tower ever got—an unnamed senior FBI official would later tell the Los Angeles Times that Bush's characterization of it as a "disrupted plot" was "ludicrous"—that plot was foiled in 2002. But Sheikh Mohammed wasn't captured until March 2003.

One would think that if Fox, and the pundits and commentators they employ, takes the issue of national security seriously that they would at least be able to grasp the basics of a timeline of events.

More from Media Matters

The response to this would most likely be, "but we stopped an attack", and that's great. But the fact that they are blatantly rewriting the history of events in order to validate torture techniques that have no proven track-record of providing actionable intelligence kind of takes lying to a whole new level.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Paging Janet Napolitano

Yeah, this is such a good idea.

A peaceful demonstration of at least a million — hey, if we can 10 million, even better — but at least one million armed militia men marching on Washington. A peaceful demonstration. No shooting, no one gets hurt. Just a demonstration. The only difference from any typical demonstration is we will all be armed.

David Neiwert @ Crooks and Liars takes a look at this issue from the perspective of the "we're all gonna DIE!!!" prophecies of Glenn Beck.

Something that should be pointed out, and something that many of you probably already are thinking once you see this video, is that it is within these militia groups that your Right-Wing extremism is starting to come to a boil.

No one is saying that they shouldn't be allowed to protest, but they are wanting to do it AND be armed. One million people in the streets of DC with guns. That's more than our own Marine Corp force times 5. I agree with Neiwert, good luck getting a permit for that.

Favorite Movie Scenes: Pt IV Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls

Tenebrouskate has a posting up today about a Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls tarot deck. As I was checkiing it out, I realized that it has been a LONG time since I have seen that groovy flick.

Honestly, I can't think of just one scene from this cult classic that is better than another. So, here's the trailer.

Any Russ Meyer film is a must own piece of cinema history.

The Party Of ......

A "Prominent" Scientist From Kentucky

Senator James Inhofe has compiled a list of "prominent scientists" in order to show that there is somehow a large portion of the scientific community that doesn't believe in global warming and has facts to back it up.

It turns out there is one of these "scientists" from Bowling Green, KY.

One of the listed prominent scientists is Chris Allen, who holds no college degree, believes in creationism and belongs to a Southern Baptist church.
Allen is a weatherman at the FOX-affiliated TV station in Bowling Green, Ky.
Ed Brayton @ Dispatches has more.

This is what happens when people outside the field of science try to convince those they are tasked with representing that they know what they are doing.

This reminds me of the alleged "list of prominent scientists" that Sean Hannity used to have rapidly scrolling on the bottom of the screen during Hannity and Colmes last year. Sean is also known to use guests whos work has been discredited.

He Has A Promising Future In Right-Wing Talk Radio

If they have this kind of reaction to a jabbering toddler, it's no wonder Limbaugh has a following.

( h/t to Cesca @ The Goddamn Awesome Blog )

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Fox Nation Has Priorities

This is the leading item on The Fox Nation website right now.


It's Not Like He Gave Them A Car

The rate at which this conservative paranoia over a handshake - yes, a handshake - is spreading across the country is almost funny. Conservative commentators, bloggers, and even former politicians are noticably pissed that Obama shook Chavez's hand.

( more at Media Matters )

It's easy to see the hypocrisy within all of this, as Bush and many other Presidents have dared touched the hands of those whos names shall not be uttered - queue scary music.

But this example is not only different, but just so over-the-top that it begs to be pointed out.

That's right, Richard Nixon gave Brezhnev a fucking car.

( h/t to The Hegemon )

Rather than dive headlong into the Fox"News" way of responding to this new piece of information by saying "If this had been Obama......" let's all just sit back and take stock at what these people are doing. They are coming completely undone within the first 4 months of Obama's presidency. It's going to be long haul for these folks and their's sure to be more laughs to come.

Quote Of The Day: Dick Cheney Edition

In an interview with Sean Hannity, Cheney offered this little puzzler as a coda to his game of "patty-cake" with Sean.

I think there is -- it's important not to personally attack the new president. I've never done that...

Oh, really?

More from Think Progress

Such is the mind of the compulsive liar. They do it so often that they don't realize they are doing it.

Quick, Find Somebody That's Not White!!!!

Michelle Malkin and Allahpundit have their new toy to play with. Her name is Katrina Pierson.

Just watch. Katrina Pierson, a young mother who spoke at the Dallas Tea Party, sends a clear message to race-card playing twits like Janeane Garofalo: “Not all of us are hypnotized.”

from the Dallas tea party, yet another example of the ferocious white-power structure that consumed the protests. Little-known fact, per James Carville: She was the only attendee, among hundreds of thousands, who was less than 72 years old.

Both Malkin and HotAir's Allah are approaching Janeane's Garofalo's comments the way one would expect them to, with a rush to judgement. And, truth-be-told, Garofalo did the same thing. The problem that Allah and Malkin have is this - they think that simply because they see one ( or even two ) "people of color" at an event such as the tea-bagging festivities that this is THE proof that racism doesn't exist.

Sorry, that's not the case.

This is also true of how Malkin, Allah - and virtually everyone of their commentors - views Barack Obama's presidency. They think that simply because a black man is in the White House that racism has vanished.

Even though neither of them will admit to this, it is a real fact that continues to weave itself within the lunatic-fringe conservative movement. But this doesn't lesson the rights that Katrina has. She has every right to speak, though her wishes may not reveal themselves to be in her favor should they come to pass.

Primarily, I am speaking of her apparent desire for Texas to seceed. It's an comment that sounds good. And that's something that the conservative Right loves, things that sound good. They love powerful sounding comments - comments that appear to be to their benefit but ultimately mean nothing. They love to hear themselves say that there is no racism within their party. But that doesn't mean that it's true. It's just something that sounds good.

There could be a thousand Katrina Pierson's that participated in the tea-bagging hoopla, or even 5000 Barack Obama's in American, but that doesn't erase the fact that racism exists. This doesn't remove the very real fact that there is racism within the conservative Right. And if Malkin, Allah, and others are willing to remain blind to it, they will never be able to see anything with any real perspective.

Monday, April 20, 2009

This Should Set Off Some Interesting Conversation

Hot on the heels of the lunatic-fringe twitching with anger that the DHS mentioned, in their memo on Right-Wing extremism, that military personel may be targets for recruitment by extremist groups comes this:

A US Marine was arrested today at Logan International Airport after federal airport screeners discovered a gun, bomb-making materials, and ammunition in his checked baggage, State Police and Transportation Security Administration officials said.

Corporal Justin Reed, 22, of Jacksonville, N.C., was booked on US Airways Flight 877 to Charlotte, N.C., said TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis. She said Reed had arrived on a flight from Las Vegas this morning.

TSA screeners in Terminal B called State Police at 7:10 a.m. after a screen discovered the following items in his checked baggage: a locked handgun box containing a semi-automatic handgun, a fully loaded gun magazine, several boxes of 9 mm and 7.62 mm ammunition, three model rocket engines containing an explosive mixture, military pull-type fuses, switches, electronics kit boxes with various components, and a hand grenade fuse assembly with detonator.

According to TSA spokesperson Davis, it is legal to carry a weapon in your checked baggage, but it must be declared.

My question is this - why weren't these discovered in Las Vegas?

Not only that, but the fact that this person had components for making a bomb adds an interesting twist to this. We'll see how the Fox"News" crowd responds.

Newt's Nonsense

I have to wonder whether or not he realizes that he just lied, and blatantly.

I'm reminded of something that my father used to tell me. If you lie enough, you'll have to keep lying in order to keep from saying you're wrong.

It's pathological, the lying that comes from the lunatic-fringe - of which Gingrich is a primary spokesmodel. The former speaker is of the mindset that you have to be continually agressive, and without pause. It's a militaristic mindset that doesn't allowe for nuanced, strategic diplomacy.

I'm almost of the mind that Newt knows that he just lied. But, does he really care?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Classic House Tracks: Pt. I

DJ HMC provided one of the quenticential acid-house tracks of the late 90s. Played by virtually every house DJ in the nation, it is still a classic example of how it's done.

Fox News: We Report, You Decide How To....

...use the english language.

( h/t to Attaturk )

Conservative Ignorance: Pt 2,943

There's be more than a few of these floating around. This one is from Michelle Malkin's blog.

This is what happens when consevatives attempt to be clever and make a poster decrying the Economic Stimulus while simultaneously trying to complain about high gas-prices.

So, if a storm knocks out this guys power in his home, does he feel that he needs to buy a new house? Is he going to have to buy a new TV when the batteries run out in his remote?

Meghan McCain Is Interesting

In a speech before the Log Cabin Republicans, Meghan McCain had this to say:

So tonight, I am proud to join you in challenging the mold and the notions of what being a Republican means. I am concerned about the environment. I love to wear black. I think government is best when it stays out of people’s lives and business as much as possible. I love punk rock. I believe in a strong national defense. I have a tattoo. I believe government should always be efficient and accountable. I have lots of gay friends. And yes, I am a Republican.

Nevermind the fact that the Log Cabin Republicans are about supporting gays within the Republican party, Meghan doesn't seem to be able to see past the "I'm not bad because I have gay friends" meme. This isn't to say that she doesn't advocate on their part in private, but if you're going to call yourself a "progressive republican", you need to prove it. By their very nature, Republicans - particularly within the conservative realm - are regressive.

And her placing tattoos, punk rock, and black coture on the same playing field as national defense and the size of governmnent intrusion into the private lives of the citizenry seems smell a bit off. Not because Republicans haven't frowned on counter-culture, because they have. But, if Meghan has a desire to be taken seriously, she needs to show it in what she says.

On that point, I'm guessing "tramp-stamp" for the tattoo and I'm hoping she's speaking more about The Ramones than Good Charlotte.

Homestate Poltical Funnies

Joel Pett in the Lexington Herald-Leader

( h/t to Bill Tchakirides at The Lobsterscope )

Pac-Man Fever!!

( h/t to samurai frog )

Malkin Has A Selective Memory

Not only is she selective in her moral-outrage, she has little to no sense of the history behind presidents meeting with leaders of countries that don't particularly like our own. Part of being president is having to at least meet your enemies half-way. How else are we going to learn anything about them.

I can’t stand to look at our president’s dumb grin as he warmly greets Venezuela’s thug-in-chief

Did anyone smell sulfur during the photo op?

Now, the Evil Clown (as Allahpundit calls him) can add his friendly pic with Obama to his Chavista Fan Club photo album

I don't recall Obama providing aid to Chavez like the guy in the pic below did to Saddam.

Socialized Medicine + Stem Cells = Success?

And now we watch conservatives and their media counterparts twitch and seeth with confusion.

BRITISH scientists have developed the world’s first stem cell therapy to cure the most common cause of blindness. Surgeons predict it will become a routine, one-hour procedure that will be generally available in six or seven years’ time.

The treatment involves replacing a layer of degenerated cells with new ones created from embryonic stem cells. It was pioneered by scientists and surgeons from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London and Moorfields eye hospital.

This week Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical research company, will announce its financial backing to bring the therapy to patients.

The treatment will tackle age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness. It affects more than 500,000 Britons and the number is forecast to increase significantly as people live longer. The disease involves the loss of eye cells.

Via The Times Online.

The only problem that I see with this procedure being done in America is that, if there is not sweeping changes done to our own healthcare system, it will be virtually unaffordable.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Janeane Garofalo, I Love You, But You're Wrong - Sort Of

Here's her piece from Countdown about the teabaggery. And, I love you dear, but I can't say that I fully agree with you.

I've seen you live multiple times, the last was at Bonnaroo 2008 when you stopped by my seat and riffed with me for a fleeting moment, and you are normally a woman and an entertainer that I can connect with - but we need to talk.

It's not just about racism. But the "hating" - of that, I am sure you are correct, but there is more to it.

To claim that it is about ONLY racism and only "rednecks" is missing a major portion of the tea-baggery nonsense. Not only that, but it is to bestow a label upon many people that they don't quite deserve, even though they are willing participants in a movement that surely includes them. They may be close to it, but haven't dived full-tilt into the shallow end of the pool. What I am saying is some of these people are more than likely are not died-in-the-wool racists, so to label them as such is a bit misleading.

What they are, by and large, are willfully ignorant. And that is something that you and I, at least I think, can agree upon.

I will agree whole-heartedly that the people that participated in these tea-bagging events have none or very limited sense of history. They have little to no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about. But, to call them, en masse, "racists", is more than some of them deserve.

Let me explain.

People, by their very nature, love to feel that they are a part of something. And if that means being associated with people that are racists, then the right-wing conservative is ready to jump at that opportunity - provided not just Obama, but his administrtion, and his policies are a part of it. As long as all of those outside of the "racist redneck" movement within the conservative constituancy can have something to rail against ( regardless of how ill-informed they are ) they aren't really racists. The problem is that they are aligning themselves with that set.

The larger point of this is something that needs to be addressed. Many of these people may not be racists, but they are still part of the set that falls within the catagory of the willfully ignorant.

People that lack little to no sense of history - including those that think the Alamo is a fantastic place to hold a protest of this sort - as well as those that are more than likely to receive a tax cut, people that aren't part of the small-businesses that they claim to support, those that have never made or are not making more than $250,000 dollars per year, and all that think that Fox"News" is actually an objective and honest network are ignorant. And they should be pointed out as such.

To slap the label of racist upon them isn't fair. Even if they are more than willing to set aside facts in favor or talking points and being part of a group that could well be far more ignorant than them, they shouldn't be lumped into the catagory of hating a man simply because he is black. However, they should be pointed out for who they are.

This is not to deminish the very real fact that some people that participated in the tea-baggery are, in-fact, racists - perhaps racists of the worst sort. It's an unfortunate fact that many people are within the right-wing conservative movement.

And I'm not going to address Keith Olbermann allowing Garofalo to say this. I don't think I should have to. He knows what Garofalo's point is and is ready to let her speak her piece. She has a right to, but he is ready to address her standpoint from his own point of view. In point of fact, he is a left-leaning host. None of us can despute that. But, this post is about Garofalo and not Olbermann. She may not be completely correct, but she is from a partial standpoint.

The Right is willing to claim that EVERYTHING "all about them" until they find themselves within the sullied confines of the racists mindset. They aren't willing to accept the fact that many of them are, and are more than willing to claim that those with whom they disagree engage in race-baiting or reverse-racism. But call their entire movement racist will draw out some of the most ridiculous invective they have to offer. They do this because they know many of them are.

As much as the tea-baggery of late has little to do the with non-partisanship that the participants claim to be a part of, it is only fractionally infused by racism. However, the ignorance withing the tea-bag set runs rampant.

I've Been Thinking About This For A Few Days

Once again, Nate Silver comes through with some perspetive that some of us might not have realized.

-- If Texas were not in the Union, the Democrats would currently have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate -- or at least they would once Al Franken gets seated. This is because, in a 98-seat Senate, only 59 votes would be required to break a filibuster.
-- If Texas were not in the Union, the Republicans would operate from a significantly weakened position in the House, since the net 8-vote advantage their congressional delegation gives them in the state (they have 20 seats to the Democrats' 12) is by far their largest.
-- If Texas were not in the Union, George W. Bush would never have become President in 2000 -- not because he'd be constitutionally ineligible (Bush, despite his Texas twang, was born in posh New Haven, Connecticut). Rather, he wouldn't have had enough Electoral Votes to defeat Al Gore.
-- If Texas were not in the Union, Barack Obama would have won the Electoral College 389-147 instead of 365-173 (note that there are two fewer votes total, because there would be two fewer Senators). The vast majority of Texas' electoral votes would be redistributed to lib'rul states like California (which would go from having 55 electoral votes to 59) and New York (34 rather than 31)

So, let's get behind this Texas Secession business. Governor Rick Perry, do it. Come on. Don't be scared.

If Fox"News" Isn't Promoting The Tea-Parties....

....then why are they replaying ( yes, REPLAYING ) Glenn Beck's Tea-Bagging festivities right now?

Yes, they are replaying his right-wing stage show - complete with Ted "I'm so fucking hardcore Republican that I will suck Sean Hannity's balls for more fame" Nugent - and they are claiming that it's not about party but lambasting the "far-right extremist" memo from the DHS. They are talking about how it is non-partisan while there are flags in the background that are directly related to Barack Obama and the Democratic party.

Yeah, no promotion what-so-ever.

And the fact that it was broadcast from The Alamo is so hilarious:

The Battle of the Alamo (February 23 – March 6, 1836) is the most famous battle of the Texas Revolution. After a revolutionary army of Texian settlers and adventurers from the United States drove all Mexican troops out of Mexican Texas, Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna led an invasion to regain control of the area. Mexican forces arrived in San Antonio de Bexar on February 23 and initiated a siege of the Texian forces garrisoned at the Alamo Mission.

In the early morning hours of March 6 the Mexican army launched an assault on the Alamo. The outnumbered Texians repulsed two attacks, but were unable to fend off a third. As Mexican soldiers scaled the walls, most of the Texian soldiers retreated into the long barracks or the chapel. Several small groups who were unable to reach these points attempted to escape and were killed outside the walls by the waiting Mexican cavalry. The Mexican soldiers fought room-to-room and soon had control over the Alamo. Between five and seven Texians may have surrendered; if so, they were quickly executed on Santa Anna's orders. Most eyewitness accounts reported between 182 and 257 Texian dead, while most Alamo historians agree that 400–600 Mexicans were killed or wounded. Of the Texians who fought during the battle, only two survived: Joe, spared because he was a slave, and Brigido Guerrero, a Mexican Army deserter who convinced Mexican soldiers he had been imprisoned. Women and children, primarily family members of the Texian soldiers, were questioned by Santa Anna and then released.

Like Beck had told his audience. He was bringing his show from the only place in America where it makes sense.

Friday, April 17, 2009

And Cue Fox"News"

You know they have to defend their boy.

More from Think Progress former FBI agent who has interrogated terrorists said it has never happened. It’s a “red herring,” he said. “In the real world it doesn’t happen.” And torture doesn’t “protect” anyone, as Kristol claimed. In fact, it has been directly linked to increased casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, as the interrogator who got Abu Musab al-Zarqawi noted:

It’s no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001.

So, let me get this straight. If torture works, then why is Bin Laden still at large? Why have their been consistant failures in Iraq and Afganistan. If this is such a valuable tool to the American military, then where's the benefits?

File This Under "I Don't Buy It"

Allahpundit and his fellow compatriots are all agush over at HotAir about Palin's "admission" that she considered abortion when she discovered she was pregnent with her son Trig.

Exceptionally sweet — which only makes the Great Trig Pregnancy Cover-up that much more nefarious. This clip will come back to haunt her when amateur obstetrician/Hardy Boy Andrew Sullivan finally blows the lid off the case.
Even CNN’s compelled to say that she “rocked the house” at last night’s pro-life fundraiser in Indiana. Conservatives4Palin has video of the entire speech; if you can’t spare the time, watch this clip and the quickie at David Brody’s site. I’m surprised that AOL is the only major media outlet (so far) to seize on her admission that she considered — fleetingly — aborting Trig when she first realized she was pregnant. Like Geraghty says, “Pro-lifers will love her all the more, because she contemplated what they see as a great evil, felt the temptation, and resisted it,” but the left will seize on the fact that, even if only for an instant, America’s favorite hockey mom was glad she had a choice. In fact, they’re seizing on it already.

That final jab at liberal bloggers is kind of clever, kind of. The sad part is, she did have a choice and Allah and everyone that reads this knows it.

That being said, I don't believe Palin, for one second, contemplated abortion. She's too politically minded to even do it.

That being said, seeing that she is such a darling within the conservative movement, she can easily say it now and people will swoon and flail about with excitement over the fact that she "decided" to keep Trig. Truth-be-told, she could say anything she wants now and her rabidly ill-informed audience will come running to her. You can easily find them by their trail of drool.

It's been said that Palin is such a magnetic personality due to her motherly instinct. I find this laughable, at best. After all, motherly instincts aren't always something to applaud. The instinct of a mother bird is to shove her young plummeting to their death in the hopes that they are able to fly. Palin would easily toss any of her sychophantic followers out of the nest, should it yeild her more political currency.

Limbaugh Has New Material For His Show Now

You don't dis the boss

Congressman Todd Tiahrt, Republican of Kansas, might have stepped in it this week. In a meeting with the editorial board of the Kansas City Star, Tiahrt was asked if conservative talk radio king Rush Limbaugh is the de facto leader of the Republican party.

Tiahrt took the bait: "No, no, he's just an entertainer," the congressman said, according to Star columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah.

And the apology comes in 5....4....3....2......

The Tax Day Top 10 List

Jon Perr @ Crooks&Liars bring us the Top 10 Republican Tax Day Lies.

Lie #1: President Obama will raise taxes on small businesses.

Of course, they're not talking about small business. As CNN concluded in October, "fewer than 2% of small business owners would pay more under Obama's plan." But in case there was any doubt about the Republicans' deception on the point, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center quickly put it to rest:

Out of 34.7 million filers with business income on Schedules C, E or F, 479,000 filers fall into the top two brackets, according to an analysis of projected 2009 filings by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

The other 34.3 million - or 98.6% - would be unaffected by Obama's proposed rate hike.

Lie #2: The estate tax devastates small businesses and family farms. the Washington Post explained, under President Obama budget, 99.76% of estates would pay no taxes whatsoever:

The estate tax is scheduled to disappear in 2010, only to be resurrected the following year at its 2001 level, when it applied only to estates worth over $2 million per couple at a rate of 55 percent. In fact, no one expects it to return to that level -- although letting it do so would be a far more rational response to the current crisis than the Lincoln-Kyl approach. Rather, President Obama has proposed holding the tax at this year's level: an exemption of $7 million per couple, with a 45 percent rate for amounts beyond that; this would cost $484 billion over 10 years. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has endorsed this solution, with indexing for inflation. This would hardly be punitive. At that level, 99.76 percent of estates would incur no tax whatsoever. Those who owe would pay, on average, $2.25 million less than they would have paid at the 2001 exemption level. Why in the world should these folks get more of a tax cut?

Why? Because even in a time of national economic calamity, the Republican Party remains committed to dramatically shifting the tax burden away from the wealthiest Americans. (And unfortunately, Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and nine other Democrats are aiding and abetting that transfer by supporting a lower tax rate of 35% for estates starting at $10 million per couple. The price tag? $250 billion.)

Lie #3: 40% of Americans pay no taxes.

As FactCheck among others noted, Republican conveniently ignore sales, excise and most of all, payroll taxes. Starting with the first dollar they earn, virtually all American workers pay the 6.2% Social Security tax (on income up to $97,000) and another 1.45% for Medicare. An analysis by the Tax Policy Center concluded, "three quarters of filers pay more in payroll taxes than in income taxes."

That millions of hard working American families pay no income taxes is due in large measure to the Earned Income Tax Credit. Created in 1975, the EITC "a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families" that results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit when the EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed. As the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities detailed in 2005, the EITC has not only been extremely successful in reducing poverty, it has enjoyed broad bipartisan support. None other than Ronald Reagan called it, "the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress."

Read the remainder of Perr's post @ Crooks And Liars

These, and the preponderance of right-wing lies, that have created this "cut-and-paste" style of discourse amongst conservative voters is a perfect example of ignorance disguised as fact. It's all memorize and repeat. They will never be prepared to answer the real questions that need to be asked or provide any type of substantive alternative that doesn't simply just benefit their own self-interests.

Conservative English

Just another example of them-there-fancy-learnins

( h/t to The Spork )

How Dare Someone Provide Perspective

.....don't you understand that this is a "teabagging" event!?

That man later posted a diary at Daily Kos

I worked my way up to the front ... well, it wasn't so much front as it was middle. It ended up being like a "theater in the round," with the main action taking place in front of a bust of Andrew Jackson, once the governor of territorial Florida with its capital in Pensacola. I took lots of pictures and videos there (some of which I hope to post shortly at Blast Off!), and I was thinking about what I might say if and when I got up there. Still, I wasn't sure I wanted to do it. People were, well, rather rambunctious in their Obama hatred, and the shouting and craziness was, to be honest, a little unnerving.

But when a couple of my friends showed up, one offered to film my "speech," so I figured I'd go for it. I gave a lot of thought to what I wanted to say, making sure to draw the crowd in so they'd listen carefully before bringing the rhetorical hammer down. I guess it worked. :) After I spoke, the MC of the event calmed everyone down and said, "All opinions are welcome here. And besides ... he's half right." That helped defuse the situation a bit, as did the next speaker, who started by complimenting me on my hat (it's a Baltimore Orioles hat -- I was born in Baltimore and I'm a lifelong O's fan).

Anyway, a few, including my girlfriend, have chided me a bit for putting myself in harm's way. "Someone could have had a gun," they say. Well, that's true ... but I've never really been the type to stand around and watch, especially when half-truths and lies are being disseminated with no one to challenge them. Sometimes we have to take a little bit of risk, I think, in order to accomplish things. So many people throughout history have taken such risks ... maybe I'm foolish to do so, but I can only do so much from behind a laptop keyboard. I'd like my kids (9yo boy, 3yo girl) to know that their dad stood up for something important, at least once.

There's been quite the discussion where I worked about the "teabaggery". I work with a preponderance of Right-wing, conservative, Republicans. They are all wound-up so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal in their ass, in two weeks you'd have a diamond.

I asked them why, all of a sudden, they are upset that they have to pay taxes. I asked them, since they are so concerned that we are becoming a "socialist" country, if they would be willing to stop using the things that are paid for by their tax dollars. You tend not to get answers when you ask relevant questions.

They talk about having a sense of "history", when they don't seem to have it. It was all wine and roses until January 20th for them. It's a wonder to behold how crazy they are becoming.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The FDR Angle

Just so that it is out there, I voted for Obama. I knew - yes KNEW - that McCain had no clue what was going on with the country and would destroy more than he could or would create. And I voted for the man that was prepared to step outside the pototypical nonsense that was, and still is, propogated from the Right.

That being said, I would like to say this.

The Right is continually lambasting Roosevelt for the "New Deal", that he somehow had a hand in bringing ruin to the country with his policies. They have gone so far now that the new darling of Fox"News" ( Glenn Beck ) claims that FDR brought "socialism" into the country and that that has worsened our families lives.

Let's take look at this alleged "socialism" that the throngs of ill informed "patriots" claim to see.

Publicly funded parks for them to gather and rant and rave about something that really isn't there - funded by their tax dollars.

Medicare for their grandparents - funded by their tax dollars.

The sidewalks where they were shuffling about, the schools they send their children to, the services they take for granted day in and day out - all paid with mine and your tax dollars.

Should I go on?

But there is more to this nonsense that FDR is somehow now a poison-pill in our presidential history than most will understand.

There was a MASSIVE war going on that we, as citizens, had to take part in. We built, we toiled, we participated. This was done in order to bolster our economy. But there is more that we don't realize when taking part in these discussions with the far Right.

Here's two things that didn't exist back then that have hurt us now:



Not only those, but there are people attempting to prove that there is an equal relation between what FDR did in his day and what Obama is attempting to do. But, they are leaving out the fact that we are speaking about two divergent, economic times. They are telling you that the 1930s and 2009 are one and the same. These people have no sense of history on multiple levels.

So, the next time someone attempts to draw equivalency between what FDR did to bolster the economy back then and what the Obama administration is doing now, let them know that these two timeframes are fundamentally different in more ways than we might realize.

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