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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Video And Perception

Can you tell me what's wrong with this clip from Fox"News"?

It's pretty easy to catch.

All of Obama's responses were edited out.

And while Fox's easily lead fanbase are lining up behind this clip, and the corresponding article from the Washington Post, it should be noted that unlike his predecesor, Obama isn't screening out people from events such as these.

Rhetorical Flourishes

Would a more apt title to this be "How To Say Nigger And Still Sound Intellectual"?

Just take a look and you tell me.

The predictable racial invective allowed at Fox"Nation" flows just as freely as D'Souza's poorly constructed thesis.

But it isn't only Dinesh that is on the only one "anti-colonialism" talking-point train. Enter likely Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich:

Gingrich cited a recent column D'Souza wrote in Forbes -- promoting his upcoming book on the theme that Obama's central motivation is to weaken America, viewing it as an evil colonial power: "Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation's agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son."

In an interview with ABC News this morning, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs responded to Gingrich by accusing him of trying to appeal to those people "who don't believe the president was born in this country." That is, Gingrich was accused of attempting to use coded language for the birther movement.

"You would normally expect better of somebody who held the position of Speaker of the House but look it is political season and most people will say anything and Newt Gingrich does that on a genuinely, on a regular basis," Gibbs said.

I wouldn't at all say that it's coded any longer, as it is blatantly in your face on a daily basis.

There's lots to be questioned with D'Souza's latest tome, considering the fact that much of his thesis is predicated on an anecdotal error from Obama's book "Dreams Of My Father".

Here, I believe, is where Obama got his skin treatment anecdote. He found it in Fanon and altered the setting and the facts to invent a personal experience instructive about American racism. Barack Obama, meet Tawana Brawley. Obama’s bogus racial incident is reminiscent of the Brawley case, in which Brawley fabricated a story about being a victim of racist assault. But in a way Obama’s lie is worse. Brawley’s fabrications were the product of a troubled 15-year-old, while Obama’s were delivered as an adult in a book that, in some respects, served as his presidential campaign manifesto. Because this is not a trivial deception, we cannot let it pass: It is time for Obama to come clean.

I'm guessing that if any of you have heard Sean Hannity talking about Al Sharpton you will be familiar with the Tawana Brawley incident. But that's another story all together, even though it gave rise to more racial animus from the conservative movement - and continues to.

What Dinesh is not presenting in his argument is that Obama's father was quite literally absent from his life. He is, from my understanding at this point, is relying more on a poor understanding of Obama's book "Dreams" as well as cobbling together pieces of his father's life and attempting to project that onto the son.

This is something that D'Souza should be wary of pursuing, as The Economist reports:

...while I don't have any trouble understanding how Barack Obama thinks, I have a lot of trouble understanding how Dinesh D'Souza thinks. And if I were to try to understand his thinking using the same methods he uses to interpret Mr Obama, I might look to his Indian background, which is where he says he gained his insight into anti-colonialism. Mr D'Souza notes simply that he grew up in Mumbai, but a more complete accounting is that his parents were members of the Christian community in the state of Goa, which was colonised by Portugal. The last name "D'Souza" is a common family name in West Africa, where it indicates that the family is descended from the slave-trading coastal mixed-race elite. In India, however, it indicates that the family likely belongs to the Roman Catholic Brahmins, Hindu Brahmins who were converted by missionaries beginning in the 17th century. Interestingly, the Christian community in Goa retained a Hindu-style caste system, with Catholic Brahmins continuing to discriminate against Catholic dalit or "untouchables", whom they refer to as mahara or chamaar. Elite Catholic Brahmin households in Goa sent their children to Jesuit schools (like the one Mr D'Souza attended) and often spoke Portuguese at home, referring to the main local native language, Konkani, as the lingua des criados ("language of servants").

Goa remained a Portuguese colony until it was annexed by India in 1961, which happens to be the year of Mr D'Souza's birth. Many Goan Christians did not welcome the annexation, fearing they would be subsumed in the Hindu-Muslim mega-state. A later source of anxiety was India's affirmative action (or "reservation") policies, which set aside university slots and civil-service jobs for people from recognised historically stigmatised groups, known as "scheduled castes and tribes". Beginning in the early 1980s, when Mr D'Souza was off studying at Dartmouth, these affirmative-action policies engendered widespread resistance among India's elite classes, who were terrified of losing their privileged status in a colossal country where hundreds of millions of indigents might overwhelm the available spots at top schools (and reduce their kids' chances of, say, going to Dartmouth). Goa itself has set itself up as a redoubt against the reservation policies: it has the fewest scheduled castes and tribes of any Indian state. This is largely because elite Christians have refused to acknowledge discrimination against the Christian dalit, or to allow them to be recognised as a scheduled caste. Pope John Paul II rebuked Indian bishops for these practices on his visit to Goa in 2003.

The way that I read that is that it shows that D'Souza can be framed in the same light that he has placed Obama in - albeit in a ham-fisted and bizarre way, considering that the thesis that simply because a father is one way that that must mean the child will be as such.

But let's look at the racial component in all of this.

Beck has set this up in such a way where he can easily deflect accusations of racism being leveled directly at him, as he is hosting a non-white, non-American-born man of some apparent educational level to make the argument that Obama - for lack of a more polite way of putting it - is an angry negro.

The reality of this is that it's not about how D'Souza's narrative is constructed on hyperbole and conjecture, but how those that will use this information to espouse their racism. It's actually a pretty impressive bit of pre-damage control from the modern conservative media.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Worst Time Ever

Yep, it's pretty clear that Newt is going to run for President.

Not nearly as overly-dramatic as most of the things that Newt and other conservatives have produced over the last 18 months. But the basics are all there: there's only three people that run government and craft policy - Pelosi, Reid, and Obama, unions are bad but conservatives want to protect the right to form one - the false "card check" narrative, only the Tea Baggers are "real" Americans, and everything the Obama administration has done is "radical" - despite the fact that he has governed more from a center-right position than the center-left position he campaigned on.

But what struck me as completely misplaced what Newt's claim that at no point, so far as he can think of, have Americans been in such danger. I mean, after all, WWII, the Great Depression, the threat of nuclear attacks on the US in the 60s, and getting attacked on Sept. 11th were dealt with so easily weren't they.

So here's my challenge to Newt or any other conservative that cares to respond: what freedoms or liberties have you lost since Obama took office?

Media Perceptions

A recent Gallup poll shows that "trust" in the "media" is at an all-time low.

For the fourth straight year, the majority of Americans say they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. The 57% now saying this is a record high by one percentage point.

The 43% of Americans who, in Gallup's annual Governance poll, conducted Sept. 13-16, 2010, express a great deal or fair amount of trust ties the record low, and is far worse than three prior Gallup readings on this measure from the 1970s.

Trust in the media is now slightly higher than the record-low trust in the legislative branch but lower than trust in the executive and judicial branches of government, even though trust in all three branches is down sharply this year. These findings also further confirm a separate Gallup poll that found little confidence in newspapers and television specifically.

Nearly half of Americans (48%) say the media are too liberal, tying the high end of the narrow 44% to 48% range recorded over the past decade. One-third say the media are just about right while 15% say they are too conservative. Overall, perceptions of bias have remained quite steady over this tumultuous period of change for the media, marked by the growth of cable and Internet news sources. Americans' views now are in fact identical to those in 2004, despite the many changes in the industry since then.

When one takes a look at the breakdown of whom holds these particular views, there's one question that quickly springs to mind: Is Fox"News" not part of the media any longer?

73% of those calling themselves conservative thought the "media" had a liberal bias. This is not surprising, as one of the pillars of the modern conservative movement is to vilify the media - that is, unless you are Fox. So again, are they left out of this equation? When you look at the polling data, it's readily apparent that conservatives consider this to be a question about everyone else.

I found this hypothesis even more plausible when I noticed that Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air had taken this in the predictable direction of "who is to blame" for the loss in trust. Naturally, he cast the blame directly at the feet of Dan Rather:

What happened? The CBS attempt to smear George W. Bush with the phony Texas Air National Guard memos. That episode made clear the political tilt and the situational ethics of the “layers of editors and fact-checkers” at CBS, providing a clear basis for the always-present suspicion that the national news media occasionally cooked a story for their own political purposes.

While the Rather piece was accurate, despite the alleged "fabricated font" in the memo, this is the conservative line of attack - all media is biased against us if they attempt in any way to hold us accountable.

Again, just as in the Gallup results, Morrissey never makes mention of Fox"News", even though just days ago he cited polling data to push the narrative that most Americans "trusted" Fox"News" - despite the fact that the poll done by Politico and George Washington University had nothing to do with "trust", but simply what people watched regarding political information.

It becomes glaringly apparent that Morrissey ( and most conservatives )is attempting to have it both ways, and you simply can't do that. Well, you can, but free thinking people aren't going to take you seriously if you do.

As for me, I have to question everything put forward to me - media or otherwise. Despite the fact that conservatives operate under the failed notion that liberal/progressive Democrats will blindly follow Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, or anyone else on MSNBC, I have to dig deeper into things that they report on simply because that's how I've always been.

Were I to be questioned in this survey, I would have to offer the opinion that I don't think there is an across the board "liberal bias" in the media. I do, however, feel that there are far too many people working in media that allow conservative memes to run unchecked and unchallenged. And to take this further, I believe that of the big three cable news networks, MSNBC does have a more liberal leaning prime time line-up that completely distinguishes itself from the more straight-forward reportage that makes up the bulk of every 24hr cycle. Compare that with the unblushing way in which Fox"News" not only allows but urges virtually all their programs to be seriously tilted towards conservative Republican points of view and theatrics over solid reporting and you'll get not only a sense of why conservatives prefer Fox but why they would shy away if asked to defend their standpoints in the Gallup versus POLITICO polling data.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Company You Keep And Unintended Irony

This story is being pushed by Fox"News" and their sister site ( you know, the place that doesn't even pretend to be either fair or balanced ) Fox"Nation", but I don't think they are fully thinking this through.

The world’s largest pro-pedophilia advocacy group uses Facebook to connect with its members throughout the world; to find and exchange photos of children; to hone its members' predatory behavior; and to identify, target and reel in child victims, an investigation by reveals.

Facebook says it has a strict policy against the posting of content that supports groups engaged in child exploitation, yet a simple, five-second search on Facebook, conducted on Sept. 23, yielded dozens of pages devoted to the infamous North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). Many of those pages featured numerous photos of unnamed boys, some of whom appeared to be too young for kindergarten.

And while I am in full agreement that NAMBLA should have no place on Facebook and certainly no place anywhere, the headline at Fox"Nation" took it one step further:

If You Are on Facebook, Is This a Good Reason to Leave?

So, Palin fanatics, are you going to be calling for Sarah ( excuse me, her ghost-writer Rebecca Manour's Facebook page )to stop using Facebook since your media masters are asking you to do the same?

Exit question: Is this going to be the catalyst that causes Palin to admit that she doesn't write those posts herself?

As for me, I realize that the internet has lots of places where people I don't agree with will post images, video, audio, and text. This isn't stopping me from using the internet, but I do think there needs to be swift action by Facebook to remove all NAMBLA and NAMBLA related material from their service. I'm sure that when and if Palin is ever questioned about this - will she be? - that she would say the same. But it seems just a little ironic that a news organization that, on the one hand, condemns the organizations use of Facebook and the services seemingly unwillingness to remove it also champions Sarah Palin's use of that exact same service.

How It Works

If anything, Pam Gellar is great at fabrication and fear-mongering.

When 60 Minutes caught up with her and challenged her on the blatantly false narrative she created surrounding Park51, she took the standard line of response.

So what does Gellar do when in the safe confines of the Fox"Business" noise machine?

That's right, 60 Minutes - a well respected news program for decades - is now nothing more than a tool of the "Islamic supremacist agenda".

Make no mistake, this works quite well within the modern conservative movement - especially when their own rhetoric is reasonably questioned by actual news organizations.

And almost on cue, Fox"Nation" highlighted a "study" that shows alleged bias towards Islam and "the Left".

On Sunday, the season premiere of 60 Minutes will include an anticipated Scott Pelley report on the Ground Zero mosque. Will the story be pro-mosque, just like President Obama? The first clips displayed softballs of sympathy, that it should be seen as "a hub of culture, a hub of coexistence, a hub of bringing people together." To underline the overwhelming sympathetic tilt of this program in the Obama era -- especially all the Steve Kroft hope-and-change goo before the 2008 election -- the MRC has a new special report called "Syrupy Minutes." Here's my executive summary:

In the last five years, CBS’s 60 Minutes has become infamous for letting its left-wing ardor get way ahead of its journalistic mission. Dan Rather destroyed his own reputation in 2004 with a 60 Minutes II “expose” of President Bush’s incomplete Vietnam-era service in the Texas Air National Guard which relied on falsified documents. A CBS-appointed panel found “myopic zeal” in Rather’s professional demise, but no one would admit a political bias.

It doesn't take long to realize that this "study" isn't exactly non-partisan itself, as it was conducted by the ultra-rightwing group Media Research Center - a group known to have nothing but glowing words of praise for Fox"News" and who continually lambaste any reasonable challenges other news outlets put towards figures the MRC is attempting to shield from criticism.

This is how the modern conservative movement works: when you can't defend your own standpoints, simply claim that it's "liberal media bias" or "Islam" that is to blame.

Run, Rand, Run

Seems that Rand Paul isn't as adept at "pressing the flesh" with his Kentucky brethren as he would like us to believe.

The speaking engagement, apparently billed as a "Tea Party event, was slated to last no less than 2 hours, but Rand bolted after just 12 minutes as he was confronted with questions by Kentucky union members with questions.

Insider Louisville has a write-up on how the even took a rather peculiar change once it was apparent that most of those in attendance were union members:

It seemed to me that the speeches were altered a little due to the overwhelming labor presence. Ford and Seum both touted their “union family backgrounds” during their short presentations.

What began as the “Betrayal of Union Values Tour” ended with a whimper as Paul claimed a prior engagement with family and sped away.

When the room emptied into the parking lot, there were chants of “Run, Rand, Run”, much to the chagrin of the remaining Paul supporters, most of whom were too disgusted or too aloof to realize they were attending a Rand Paul rally at a government center.

The best contradiction of the evening came when Paul commended Sen. Seum for his eons in public service, then only minutes later restated his firm belief that term limits must be imposed upon politicians.

In the video clip, you'll notice that Rand won't answer any questions put forward to him and, at the clips conclusion, you can hear him say "we've had enough". What', enough of people asking you the questions you know you won't have to face when you're getting your ego stroked by Fox"News"?

A Tale Of Two Reports

Ed Morrisey over at Hot Air claims to have gotten as exclusive look at a new report from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that is, according to his death knell rhetoric, sounding an alarm that means virtually all industries are in danger because of proposed new EPA regulations.

The new standard for boilers, titled “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Major Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters” and called the Boiler MACT, creates a standard that literally no producer in the US meets at the moment. The industry group Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) represents end-user firms that employ 750,000 in various industries, and they concur.

What happens when the installed boilers don’t meet the new standard? Factories and other facilities will have to close, putting jobs in danger and firms already hammered by the recession will lose production days — which will destroy jobs. That’s why the United Steel Workers have sounded the alarm, insisting that the EPA’s proposal will mean disaster.

Morrissey then goes on to talk about cement producers in the United States and how they would see their production output decreased by up to 15% if these regulations were put into effect.

But here's where his hysteria is misplaced. Regulations of this nature are always given time to take effect, thereby allowing various sections of industry to come into compliance. Morrissey is literally framing this in a way that gives the very misleading perception that when and if these new EPA rules take effect that the next day, virtually all factories and plants will shut down with no time given to come into compliance.

But not only are Morrissey's claims laughable, so is the study done by CIBO ( Council of Industrial Boiler Owners ) as it misleads and misrepresents the information with a junk economic model.

There's another proposal that Ed Morrissey should look into - the GOP's Two Step Job Creation Plan. The "plan" focuses on two areas: cutting spending and fully extending the Bush ear tax cuts for the top earners in the US.

According to the study, this will have just as chilling effect on jobs as Morrissey falsely believes that new EPA regulations will:

• Relative to the president’s budget request, the plan would reduce funding for domestic programs—which include
investments in infrastructure, education, and research—by 22.7%, while extending the Bush tax cuts for top earners.

• The Boehner plan would reduce the deficit by less than 5.5% in 2011.

• Because reductions in spending are larger than the tax cuts, and because tax cuts for upper-income taxpayers are poor
stimulus, the net job impact of the Boehner plan would be an estimated employment reduction of over 1 million jobs.

One would think that a body like that GOP, who is allegedly concerned about unemployment in this country, would take these factors into consideration the same as they did in their report on new EPA regulations. Apparently not.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Soak The Rich Or Hose The Middle Class?

Rand Paul's sense of economic history ( both recent and no so ) is contorted to the point that he won't even comprehend why his standpoint is irrelevant.

Skip ahead to 4:04 for the key bit.

Let's take a close look at this.

During the Eisenhower administration, the top marginal tax rate was 91%. During Nixon it was 70%, and under Clinton - when we had great economic prosperity even despite conservative Republicans attempts to shit down government and block almost everything Democrats did - it was 39.6%. And conservatives call this "tyranny"?

Is it that conservatives want their entitlement programs but not have to pay for them? Is it that they honestly believed that the Bush Tax Cuts actually benefited the American economy? According to a recent report, those tax cuts actually resulted in a net loss of income to the tune of $2.74 Trillion dollars, added $500 billion to the deficit last year - and will have an exponential effect should they be made permanent, and cost two and a half time more than Healthcare reform.

So who's getting soaked, Rand?

From all the talking points being leveled at us by people like Paul, Hannity, and a host of other people completely misrepresenting reality, we are to believe that the top 1% earners in America were given these tax breaks in order for them to reinvest into the economy. Funny, I don't recall that actually having a very good turnout now that I look back on it.

6-Months On

And while many conservatives around the country today are talking about how, after 6 months, Healthcare Reform is continuing to destroy our nation. From talk radio to Sarah Palin's ghost-written Facebook page, all the old memes are new again. From "death panel", to "rationing", on down to doctors leaving their practices en masses, conservatives are marking this anniversary with the same noise we knew they would.

But they are drowning out the voices of those they claim to be speaking for.

President Barack Obama's health care overhaul has divided the nation, and Republicans believe their call for repeal will help them win elections in November. But the picture's not that clear-cut.

A new AP poll finds that Americans who think the law should have done more outnumber those who think the government should stay out of health care by 2-to-1.

"I was disappointed that it didn't provide universal coverage," said Bronwyn Bleakley, 35, a biology professor from Easton, Mass.

More than 30 million people would gain coverage in 2019 when the law is fully phased in, but another 20 million or so would remain uninsured. Bleakley, who was uninsured early in her career, views the overhaul as a work in progress.

The poll found that about four in 10 adults think the new law did not go far enough to change the health care system, regardless of whether they support the law, oppose it or remain neutral. On the other side, about one in five say they oppose the law because they think the federal government should not be involved in health care at all.

This is the category that I find myself in: Healthcare reform didn't do enough.

From the start, I was a proponent of the Single Payer system, and continue to be that way. At the least, the debate should have started there and come down to Public Option. But, when it's 4th down on the 5 yard line, count on just enough Democrats to screw around and not hear the audible and let the opposition get control of the ball.

And while listening to The Diane Rehm Show on NPR this morning, the guest host took a call from a gentleman that is not only on Medicare, but is - at least from his description of it - the proprietor of a "small business". From the lead-up to his question, I was getting the feeling that he was about to unleash a tirade of conservative talking points about how reform is killing his bottom line and how he's going to have to fire employees just so he can afford to provide insurance.

Boy, was I wrong.

After listening to him relate about how reform has had a positive effect on his community, he mentioned that it didn't go far enough, in that it should be able to break up large, monopolistic, providers that control massive areas of the United States, thereby being able to literally price people out of the market. This was not the response I was expecting from this person. And I think the AP story shows that this man is not alone.

Are we going to hear from Palin's show-author on this? How about Beck, Limbaugh, or the conservative media elites at Fox? The people have spoken. These are people you claim to represent. As for me, I anticipate silence from them.

Marked For Continuation?

Here's another dose of Wallace V. Boehner; this time on "earmarks".

I'm given to the notion again that Republicans - be they conservative or not - have varying opinions on "earmarks" dependent on where you live in the US and what your political Q score is at the time.

The late Ted Stevens was widely known as "Uncle Ted" for "bringing home the bacon" to Alaska while Sarah Palin chides them at every given opportunity. Conservative mouth-breathers like Michelle Malkin doggedly create narratives around people like the late Jack Murtha for doing precisely what Stevens did but never a peep from her and her gleefully ignorant compatriots about what their Republican brethren have done.

So, this leads me to ask this question - are "earmarks" inherently bad? I think this all boils down to perception versus perspective. As I've stated before, if you lack proper perspective and allow the noise-machine to shape your perceptions, you aren't going to get an accurate picture of what these projects are, why they were put in place to begin with, and why the funding was directed to them.

It's a common conservative meme that any and all "earmarks" proposed by Democrats are part of some "culture of corruption" and are individual signifiers of the greed, malice, and utter lack of respect for the constituencies each Democrat represents. I find this framing more than just a little mellow dramatic and laughable.

The way that I see it, politicians are elected to go to Washington and do good for their districts, those they represent. If there needs to be highway repair, school reform, safety regulations amended or improved for business, or any variety of interests of the people, the person you elect should be able to provide or at least help provide those improvements to your city, county, or state. Perhaps this is an overly simplistic way of looking at it, but if I'm wrong, what are these people even elected for to begin with?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

No Solution Pledged

In which we see Chris Wallace do his best "hey, look, I'm being balanced" on Fox.

So, the American people aren't ready to hear your solutions? I mean, you've have a LONG time to formulate something. Are you just not going to let us know?

While Think Progress drills down on this a little more, there's something that I think should be pointed out - conservatives are good at making noise but not making progress. Oh wait, I forgot that that's the root word for "progressive". Can't expect a conservatives to use, much less understand, that word.

It's pretty clear to me that John Boehner is not only fumbling for an answer regarding Wallaces meager challenge, but he is crystallizing the modern conservative movements position - talk about how bad things are but don't provide any ideas for how to fix the problems. Sure, we hear things like doing away with the Department of Education, the IRS, or even the FDA, but what would actually happen if one or all three of those were dismantled? You never hear about what would be there to take it's place, or if anything would. That's when people like Boehner fall back on the "free market solutions" talking point. At the end of the day, that's just not so cleverly disguised code for "I don't have any clue what we're going to do".

So this "pledge" was not so much about telling America what they wanted to do, but tell them we are all in trouble but they don't have any real solutions yet - or one's they are comfortable talking about. Well, now that's comforting, isn't it.

Advertising Overkill?

The full ads not in this clip, but a relevant issue is that I think showcases a clear disconnect conservative Republicans have with reality.

Naturally, Alan Grayson is not one to tip-toe around an issue - he's rather "in your face" on most days. In that regard, conservatives have done their level best to portray him as an unhinged maniac due to how he presents his arguments. Rarely do we see his standpoints derided because of substance, as style rules the day in conservative circles. But let's be clear, this is only a one-way street when talking about seemingly over-the-top rhetoric.

And with that in mind, I have to wonder if comparing this man to a member of the Taliban is going to help Grayson's side of the issue or if it's just going to provide more fire-power to all those that oppose him. And while political ads are designed to provoke a visceral response in many regards, there's still a fine line that one has to ride when creating and approving them.

Are we to believe that Dan Webster is just like the Taliban? Most certainly not, but there is somewhat of a connection - I believe, at least - that the modern conservative movement has with those that we are fighting in the Middle East. They desire to control that actions of women.

Of course, I'm not expecting someone like Webster to stone a woman to death in the public square because she slept with a man before she was married, but I will expect him to behave just like he did when confronted by the reporter - completely avoid discussing the issue while standing steadfast against the needs, and I would say rights, of a woman.

But when one takes but a passing glance at what the Tea Baggers are doing to promote their message, this sort of political ad almost pales in comparison. Not to say that one excuses the other, but the line has most certainly been crossed since Jan. 21st 2009.

Attack Everything

I'm guessing had Michelle Obama wrote each spouse of the delegates of the UN a personal letter that conservatives would concoct yet another conspiracy about how the Obamas are out to create a "one world government". But they've only got vegetables and a gift basket to work with this time.

A special recipe of pickled, hand-picked ingredients from the White House Kitchen Garden, including sun gold tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, chocolate bell peppers, carrots, lemon verbena, and fresh herbs are presented in jars with the First Lady's signature. The jars are topped with original artwork done by California artists, Michael Cronan and Karin Hibma, who were inspired by a photo of Mrs. Obama tending to the garden with children and a wheelbarrow.

That's right, a gift based around the idea of healthy eating, promoting American small-business, and the very ideals that make up the American spirit of creativity and exceptionalism.

Naturally conservatives want nothing to do with that at all.

As the world leaders were back in the City scheming to divvy up money that doesn’t belong to them, the spouses hung around with FLOTUS and received a basket that I’m predicting will come to be known as “the re-gifting heard ’round the world”

Because all Republicans have been taught since Obama started his bid for the Presidency that you can't eat vegetables anymore, as only "liberal elites" do that.
This actually fits in quite nicely with Glenn Becks tirades about his french fries. Wait, are they still calling them "Freedom Fries"?

Oh, and for an added bonus, check out how quickly the racial invective starts up at Fox"Nation" in their comments section about this story. Yeah, no racists in the conservative movement - none at all.

Prudish Puppetry

Again, I'm a little late to this story, but I wanted it to simmer for a bit before I put in my two cents.

Sesame Street has a been a staple of early childhood development since, well, since I was a child. I can recall sitting at home with my grandmother and watching Oscar, Big Bird, and Grover talking to me about letters, numbers, and the difference between near and far.

Did you find the clip inherently offensive? some people did.

Sunny days on Sesame Street?

Katy Perry's appearance on the long-running PBS children's show has been pulled after parents complained about the singer's cleavage-baring dress.

That's right, some people thought that Katy Perry was too "revealing" for the type of program she was on. So I'm guessing that prudish, conservative, Stepford Parents aren't going to be taking their children to the beach on any more vacations. Would it be that breast feeding is out of the question as well for the little ones with parents who have voter registration cards with an "R" checked?

A clip leaked on the web this week (nearly a million people have viewed it on YouTube), showing Perry, 25, in a low-cut dress and veil, performing a kid-friendly version of her hit "Hot N Cold" with Elmo.

It was set to air later this year as part of the show's 41st season.

TMZ reports that parents quickly fired off angry letters, demanding it not to be broadcast. "They're gonna have to rename it cleavage avenue," complained one.

Seriously, I've seen plunging necklines on Barbies that reveal more than what Perry had on.

As a quick epilogue to this, go check out the comments section over at Hot Air and you'll be treated to sentiment that Sesame Street is a liberal, mind-control, program that targets children to do their evil bidding. No, seriously.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why We Need Music Programs In Schools

I'm wondering if Neil Peart has seen this kid yet.

I can recall how music class was an integral part of school ( you know, that evil, Marxist, Communist, Anti-American conclave of Leftist trolls ) and you actually were encouraged to learn an instrument in 5th grade. For me, it was a wonderful time in childhood that seems to be lost in modern school curriculum.

And while it's not even remotely realistic that every child will be as talented as this kid at such a young age, this should deter parent from encouraging their child from expressing themselves through music. Had I known that drumming would have been even fractionally this cool when I was in middle school, I would have picked that up instead of the saxophone.

No Politics Today

I'm a bit drained from talking about the all too common machinations of conservatives and the equally predictable stand-points of far too many Democrats today - most notably on the heals of the DADT/Dream Act bill that was filibustered by Republicans today.

So it's all non politics tonight here.............

Monday, September 20, 2010

Music Monday feat. Pink Floyd And The Saucer Full Of Covers

I was sifting through some old vinyl I have the other day and came across Pink Floyd's Ummagumma and Meddle - what I think were two of their greatest efforts ever, even taking Dark Side into consideration.

The tracks that always stood out for me were Echoes and Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun.

Here's the later from my favorite Floyd live performance: Live At Pompeii:

The corresponding cover version of that track that I think matches it not only intensity but in vision would have to come from Psychic TV, from the tribute disc released on Cleopatra Records.

Echoes was the track that seemed to typify the epic poetry of Floyd and where music of that period could, did, and should have gone. And again, their Pompeii set reveled their not only their musicianship, but their courage to create an aural landscape that no one else had.

I love that jam sound around 7:59

Pt: II

The cover version of this came from one of the most unlikely places - an obscure goth/punk band called Alien Sex Fiend.


Had to edit this for a rather large and quite obvious mistake that a commenter pointed out. There are still three members of Pink Floyd still with us: Nick Mason, David Gilmore, and Roger Waters. In my original ending paragraph I stated that there were only two surviving members of Floyd, when I actually should have stated that two members of the original line-up have since passed on. I'm actually rather embarrassed that I screwed that up quite royally.

Careful With That Ax, Rush

( with great apologies to Pink Floyd )

Does Rush really want to go down this road?

Seriously, Rush should realize that when you have your index finder pointed at someone that you've got three others pointed right at you.

So, what has Rush "dabbled" in?

Well, he's done more than "dabble" in drug abuse, and one has to wonder if he's "dabbled" in "sex travel". After all, he was caught with Viagra ( obtained illegally ) and his precious Oxycontin after returning from a trip to the Dominican Republic - a known destination for "sex tourism".

Bait And Spit?

The sound quality is pretty poor, and you do see a woman approaching Breitbart - I'm guessing it's him, as the video quality is equally as shoddy - but there's more to this than we see. Take a look.

From the start, let's be up front - it does not not do your cause any good if you spit on someone. Period.

That being said, let's examine exactly what Andrew Breitbart and his overtly eager droogie are doing.

Breitbart is essentially running headlong into this crowd, know precisely the type of person he is and how he operates, and is clearly taunted and ridiculing them in order to provoke a response. He's actively searching for that one person who will step over than line just so he can prove his point - if he even really has one.

But here's where we have to question the "spitting" episode.

Certainly, the woman holding the camera-phone has a much clearer vantage than we do - seeing as how her choice in AV technology is seriously lacking. But she is also more than far enough away to not hear what Breitbart has said to this woman. Not only that, but in the video, you really don't see the act of a woman spitting on another person, you see a woman in orange dress lean towards Breitbart and then the shouts of "I have that on camera".

Am I saying she didn't do it? No. I'm just stating that we are lacking relevant context.

Would you become so enraged with a person if they stepped over that one edge with you that the only thing you could think to do is exude this visceral response of spitting? I'm sure we all have that breaking point. Do we know what Breitbart said to her? Absolutely not.

As for the situation, there's enough "evidence" to rule that this woman was more than likely out of line. But then again, we are assuming a great deal considering how Breitbart was acting towards the crowd earlier in the tape, as well as their clear intent on being there.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thug Politics : Alaska Style

Caught this over at The Political Carnival and it reminded me of people like Michelle Malkin and her faithful droogies at HotAir screaming and crying about "thug politics" that the Democrats allegedly employ.

Here's the background to the players involved:

The wife of the campaign manager for U.S. Senate Candidate, Joe Miller, threatening people at our table at an official campaign event.
She knew that she was on video, she approached our table without solicitation. The guy with the camera also knew that he was on video. The guy with the camera is a pr person for Joe Miller. The guy with the camera attempted to fight members of our party when they went outside to make a phone call.
I have zero, I repeat zero involvement with the Murkowski campaign. I was not asked to take or post this video by any group or individual.

I'm not entirely sure if this woman just can't handle her drink or if she is so unglued naturally that this is the common way in which she handles her's and her husband's political lives. Seems like she's in the wrong business.

One would think, considering the speed with which these stories get around in the modern socio-political landscape, but why have the major media outlets been silent on this? I'm not even including Fox"News" in that query, as this is precisely the type of footage they DON'T want seeing the light of day.

Naturally, Paul Bauer had to respond in way that made it look like David Stieren was blackmailing him. In a press release from Bauer's offices, his side of the story attempts to paint the confrontation as being NOT about any facet of the campaign and that recording the confrontation was, I'm not kidding here, a violation of election rules.

I am appalled that FCC licensed talk show hosts can literally conspire to change the course of a federal election by using the airways in the way they did, and blackmail a federal candidate’s campaign, Bauer said. There was definite collusion between Morris Communications radio talk show hosts David Stieren and Dan Fagan, with UAA College Republicans conspiring to air the video and force the Joe Miller campaign staff into a compromising position with the intent to disrupt and influence a federal election campaign, Bauer said. Furthermore, the conversation between the campaign managers wife which was disclosed several times by her in the video that this conversation was between two people, had nothing to
do with the Miller campaign; was video graphed by non-participants, the UAA College Republicans, then aired the video to the public without permission with the intent to degrade and intimidate persons, and used against Joe Miller Bauer said. Bauer believes this is a violation of privacy rights and federal elections campaign rules, and is calling for a state and federal investigation into the matter. Bauer also said that he has concerns on how UAA club funds may be used to enhance political agendas without the full disclosure and approval from its members.

I'm unsure of the circumstances under which Bauer left the Miller campaign, but it's safe to say that if this video hadn't make it to the internet that he would have been tossed out on his ear anyway. You can't have and unhinged spouse and her lapdog camera-man threatening people in front of dozens of witnesses without word getting back to you that your campaign might not be able to wiggle out of this situation easily.

I really do wish the audio was a little clearer, because most of what the man with Mrs. Bauer said was either too muffled or simply inaudible. Not only that, but what did Mrs. Bauer say to the woman on the other side of the table? And what happened outside the bar? It's alleged by Stieren was confronted by the cameraman, but it's also alleged by Bauer that the confrontation happened the other way. But without proper validation - like say footage of the so called altercation - it's best not to get into rank speculation.

The end result is that the Miller campaign has a lot to answer for. And as for myself, I think the media at large should seriously be kicking themselves for missing this one.

Another Wingnut Production

Citizens United has another offering for people that are going to be voting Republican anyway - but it's targeted specifically at women this time.

So are people like Coulter, Malkin, and Cupp insisting that they had been silent all these previous years, that they were shunned and even threatened with violence should they speak out?

A quick aside here: I like how they framed the trailer with the exchange between Michelle Bachman and Timothy Gietner. Clever editing indeed.

And while there is likely an interesting historical relevance to the role women played in politics in the past, one has to ask the question - why would any young girl look at Coulter, Malkin, Cupp, or Bachman and Palin as role models? Granted, they are examples of women reaching levels of power they could only once dream about, but take a look at how they use that power. Simply glance at the actions and statements of just one of them on any given day and a person with even a partially functioning brainstem would say "my daughter is not going to end up like that".

Considering the participants in the film, I can only hypothesize that there is going to be a healthy dose of "if you're not like us girls, then you're a failure to your gender". I'd wager that that's a pretty good guess.

Palinisms From The Midwest

Here's self-proclaimed "media-watchdog" ( or would it be "watch-grizzly?) Sarah Palin doing her usual schtick in Iowa.

Because we all know that when someone at CNN, MSNBC, or The HuffingtonPost, or even DailyKos holds people like Christine O'Donnell and Sarah Palin accountable for their clearly recorded actions and words, what they are really doing to spitting on the members of our Armed Services.

I think it's being kind to say that Palin jumped more than the shark on that one.

And you'll notice that not once did she give an example of a lie, a distortion, an untruth by people in the media - and keep in mind that Fox"News" is somehow outside the mainstream unless they are discussing their ratings.

More glittering generalities and faux-patriotic flourishes for a crowd that desires to have their socio-political talking points spoon fed to them by a woman that is essentially a doll with a pull-string.

The Narrative Has Been Flipped

Michelle Malkin once again proves the longstanding point that conservatives are more than willing to be unblushing hypocrites when the time is right.

Case in point, the recently released video footage of would-be Tea Bagger Senator Christine O'Donnell's admission that she dabbled in witchcraft.

Narcissism. Blackmail. Distortion. All wrapped in his trademark smirk of pallor. Yes, it’s tired old liberal “comedian” Bill Maher trying to get Senate GOP primary candidate Christine O’Donnell to come on his show by baiting her with a brief video clip in which she mentions having “dabbled” in “witchcraft” and hung around people who practiced it.

The left-wing blogs (and a few short-sighted rightie ones) are having a field day. What they all seem to have missed is the context for the discussion. The AP says the “context of what led to the comment is not clear.”

But after chiding Maher for doing exactly what Andrew Breitbart makes a living doing ( actually Maher was much more honest and forthcoming about the footage he has than the blubbery rage we expect from the man behind the website "BigJournalism" ) and in typical purse-lipped outrage, Malkin takes to O'Donnell's defense. But why is Malkin defending a clear and unchallenged admission? Could it be that she has to defend the Tea Baggers at all costs, prior standpoints regarding Democrats be damned?

So, she tried it. She rejected it. And she learned from it.

Somehow, this Maher-edited clip (which was never aired on TV, by the way) warrants a declaration from my friend John Hinderaker at Power Line that O’Donnell’s career is “RIP.”

Nonsense. She has nothing to be ashamed of — except, perhaps, for going on Maher’s show so many times. He promises to release 22 more clips until she sits down with him in front of the cameras and brags, in typical TV chauvinist fashion, that he “created her” and that she “owe[s]” him.

Does anyone recall how the blood-thirsty conservative masses - Malkin included - were literally wetting themselves over rank speculation at what Barack Obama may or may not have done in previous years? It was an all out brawl to see who could be the first and loudest with regards to literally every aspect of Obama's fabricated past.

But it isn't just Malkin that is upset at the vetting process when it comes to conservatives. They simply can't stand to have their own words read back to them, for them to be challenged on their statements and actions. I'm just counting down the moments until Malkin finally goes all in with her whining and forgetfulness of even recent history and starts shouting "sexism".

Sarah Palin : Professional Liar

There's not much else to do when someone like Sarah Palin blatantly lies like this except roll the tape.

CQ Politics - c'mon guys, get it right. No one told Christine to only speak to FOX news. C'mon now, print truth. Thanks very much.

I suppose the 100+ others that "retweeted" the lie should also watch this. The contested quote starts around 2:50.

I'm trying to figure out how exactly you spin something like this. Chances are she and all her mouth-agape followers will simply ignore it and focus more on defending Christine O'Donnell.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Conservative Gimmicks : Part 6743

In which we see someone that has an angle, but couldn't possibly see the rebuttal.

And while the crew at Hot Air quite predictably fall for the "manly" aspect of this, It should be pointed out that this "manly man" has some conservatives at a rolling boil because he was on "The Real World".

What could possibly come to mind when someone with these credentials decides to run for office....................?

'Nuff said

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Your Modern Tea Bagger Candidates

From Oliver Willis via Cesca, here's the set-up for another exciting question builder - how can Republicans actually claim these people.

I'm beginning what I hope to be a great discussion with the brother of a childhood friend of mine regarding how the Tea Baggers are mutually exclusive from the Republican party. And while that is only now being floated as a solution to potential losses by the GOP in November, let's take a look at precisely why establishment Republicans are beginning to shy away from the Tea Baggers showcased in this clip.

While Christine O'Donnell once took up the charge made by conservatives against Clinton that is akin to the "birther" contention that Obama was born in Africa, her "anti-masturbation" standpoint is really something that I would expect a conservative not to admit. After all, this is the party that is not only riddled with sex-scandals, but has members whom have a penchant for toe-sucking and wearing diapers, so O'Donnell might want to spin as far away from the "masturbation" perspective as she can. After all, it wasn't too long ago that conservative princess Carrie "Opposite Marriage" Prejean had a little "solo-performance" issue to deal with.

In terms of Sharron Angle, I'm just going to have to go back to the basic and honest question that anyone should ask about her - does she really advocate taking up arms against government and does she really have a "privatized" solution for Social Security and Medicare or is this just all the standard conservative line as they really don't have specific solutions?

As far as Rand Paul is concerned, the whole "Aqua Budda" bit is small time when put up against not only his stance regarding accommodating people with disabilities or favoring the idea that private businesses should be able to discriminate against anyone they choose. Not only that, but his hypocrisy on the role of the USDA on down to the fact that he is not a true "board certified" doctor simply doesn't paint a good portrait of the man who is attempting to be a king of the Tea Baggers.

When one takes a look at Joe Miller and realizes that this man is attempting to gain a seat in Congress representing the state that once called Ted Stevens - a man known for bringing home that evil "pork" to Alaska - "Uncle Ted", you get this overbearing sense that only in Bizarro World would someone like Miller have a snowballs chance in Hell of getting elected.

I think the remainder of the video is self-explanatory.

These are the people that modern conservatives are holding up to us and claiming with loud noises that they are the future of America. If these people are the future, I'm wondering when our country will turn into a version of the society in Logan's Run where conservatives start to tell us that if we vote Republican before we are 30 that we get to "renew".

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Midweek Music

I still kick myself when I recall that I never got to see Bowie and Nine Inch Nails tour together after the concept album "Outside" was released - 15 years ago on my birthday. To me, it stands as a triumphant musical milestone for the Thin White Duke alongside such masterpieces as "Low", "Heroes", and "Lodger" - as it not only showed that Bowie could master the genres of industrial, electronica, and experimental - but because it reunited him aural magician Brian Eno.

In video form, the tracks from Outside gave cutting edge directors of the day a vehicle to push their creative vision. Most notably was Samuel Bayer who had created videos for Nirvana ( Smells Like Teen Spirit ), Blind Melon ( No Rain ), Corrosion Of Conformity ( Albatross ), and was likely picked for the track highlighted below because of his work on The Smashing Pumpkins video for "Bullet With Butterfly Wings".

'The Hearts Filthy Lesson'

But it was the pairing of Reznor and Bowie that gave the musical world something that had been lacking. The Nine Inch Nails remix of 'Hearts' has been - for me at least - a wonderful example of how Trent Reznor can tap into the energy of someone like Bowie and blend it with EDM sensibilities, the industrial flair of people like Front 242 or even Skinny Puppy, and create an audio film score for the visions in our head that we can't quite articulate with language alone.

The rich and storied history of David Bowie is one that none in the modern music catalog could ever begin to match. From being the man who created the track that typified the first human launch into space to the one that helped reshape modern music as we know it, David Bowie is one that should be honored, respected, and studied by anyone that plans of picking up any type of instrument.

Extreme Infighting : Part I

I awoke this morning to find that Christine O'Donnell had won the Republican primary in Delaware. And as I made my standard 45 minute commute to work, I started to wonder how the modern conservative movement and their media masters at Fox"News" would react.

When I got home, this is what I found - a political party divided.

As Morning Edition on NPR began at 5am, I could have swore I heard that the GOP wouldn't fund O'Donnell's campaign. Sure enough, I was correct, and Fox"News" morning princess Gretchen Carlson was completely confused on how this could be possible.

But it wasn't until I saw video and heard audio from Limbaugh's daily blubber-fest that I started to put the pieces together.

For starters, Limbaugh must have a very short memory, as Karl Rove has been speaking out against Democrats far more forcefully than he did of O'Donnell last evening. Secondly, I thought the Tea Baggers and the Republicans were two different entities?

Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air fell directly into lock-step with Limbaugh ( you're shocked, I'm sure ) and reiterated the point that all Republicans shouldn't blindly follow O'Donnell to the polls in November and vote for her simply because she is - well - a Tea Bagger.

This morning, O'Donnell was a guest on Fox and Friends and she didn't mince words when speaking about political acumen that all conservatives once praised nor his past as "The Architect" of Bush's presidency which all conservatives continue to pine for like a lost lover.

When you bite the hand that feeds you, the result you are hoping for usually doesn't tend to happen. Are Kilmeade, Carlson, and Doocy setting themselves up for a verbal lashing from Rove when they have him on next? Only time will tell.

And the fine folks at Fox"Nation" - that corner of the internet where Fox and their followers can remove the "fair and balanced, non-racist, we are diverse" mask and let their true light shine have taken up contextual arms against Rove as well. From the comments section, you get the sense that conservatives there are about to demand that from now on, Glenn Beck refer to Rove as a "traitor" who now stands with the "progressives".

Here's one of the videos they link, in which Rove stands by his statements against O'Donnell.

When one looks at why Rove is questioning O'Donnell as a person that can "lead" as a conservative Republican, it's precisely the way that Rove and virtually all conservatives have viewed and continue to view Obama. The double standard here is not only revealing but louder than just about anything I have heard from the conservative movement in quite a long time.

And if O'Donnell is hoping to win based on "principle" over who retains power in both houses on Congress, she's probably the most naive candidate in modern Republican history. People fell for the Scott Brown narrative based on this exact same line of thinking - are they going to actually fall for it again?

Sure, one could present the argument that she won last night, but we have to look who she won against. I would actually be surprised if Republicans - and that's who is going to be voting against the Democrats in November, not the Tea Baggers - come out in strong enough numbers for O'Donnell. In that respect, I happen to agree with Karl Rove.


Here's an aside that I think bares mentioning: if the Tea Baggers were allegedly formed to be separate from the Republican party, it appears that they are finally showing some signs of being honest to that initially laughable meme. And in that respect, they are giving the Democrats a greater chance come election day in November.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sexism And The American Right

There have been countless examples of Rush's sexist ravings over the years, but this example showcases his disdain for Hispanics as well as women. Listen closely.

I'm guessing that Limbaugh's approach to discussing how NFL football players treat the women around them will likely be relegated to the "satire" category should a woman like Sarah Palin be questioned about it.

But what if it was Glenn Beck?

I suppose to sexism and xenophobia are how we "restore honor" to America now.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Mario

And while far too many people are marking this day from the eponymous release with Nintendo in 1985, most everyone familiar with Mario remembers that he was the man trying to rescue Princess Peach in Donkey Kong in 1981.

Here's a great video timeline to refresh our memory.

Sad to say that Mario has had some creepy and odd bumps along the way on television.......

And we all know that Hollywood had to jump in on the Mario hype...........

There are probably more of us that know it have grown up with Mario and his strange adventures. So where will he and us be 25 years from now?

A Quick Message About This Past Weekend And Why I Didn't Blog

There were several points Saturday evening when I sat down in front of my computer and started to write about Sept. 11th, 2001 and how it affected me, my community, and my life. And that's when it hit me - it didn't.

I don't say that to imply that the actions of that day had no relevance to my world view, that they didn't provoke any type of reaction within me that caused me to ask dozens of questions. It's that it didn't affect me like it did those that were there that day.

This is where liberal/progressives like myself and my conservative opponents differ greatly.

More often than not, you will read pieces by the likes of Michelle Malkin, the over-hyped Pam Gellar, Ann Coulter, Dick "Hell Yeah I Dig Toe Suckin" Morris, George Will, as well as commentary from people like Limbaugh and Hannity that is filled with nothing more than fear-mongering rather than rational perspective.

I scanned through the cable news channels just to get a sense of the tone and tenor of the days broadcast choices. Predictably, Fox"News" replayed their coverage of that day and quite literally framed every other news piece around the attacks. CNN and MSNBC, however, chose to take a less partisan stance and do straight news reporting without using the deaths of nearly 3000 as packaging material.

It's not the politicization of Sept. 11th, 2001 that has gotten to me, it's the commercialization. It's become too much for me.

At one point, not but a year after that horrible day, I told myself that the "paranoid patriotism" running rampant across our nation was going to gestate into a canted and poorly understood vision of American history. We can see that this has come to fruition with Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, the Tea Baggers, and blogs run by some of the more prominent conservative talking heads in this country.

From the actions of those opposing Park51 to people insisting that we are less safe now that Obama is in office, we are seeing precisely what the terrorists were wanting - to throw our nation into unparalleled distress.

There are many aspects of that day that cause me to question the standard and accepted narrative that has been established. But let's be clear - I'm not even aligning myself with the "birthers' in any fashion, as it's simply my nature to question what has been put before me - especially since we have a treasure-trove of video and audio footage to pour through.

To put it into a more concise and clean package - Sept. 11th, 2001 is something that I simply can't write about or view through the same lens as conservatives do. It's not a talking-point generator for me, it's a day that I want to know what really happened and how we can prevent it from happening again.

And with that in mind, with the reactionary nature of the modern conservative in mind, I can but wonder how they are going to use the 10th anniversary to draw attention to themselves, make money, and scare the living shit out of people.

Is this day bound to become a music festival like Bonnaroo where people like Toby Keith, Ted Nugent, and Lee Greenwood will play for thousands of "fans" in order to spread patriotism and love of America? I mean, Hannity has already tried that scam and been exposed by one of his own. So we already know they are willing to stoop to that low.

How else can conservatives co-opt that day that changed a nation?

I fear that we will start to see the posters and ticket prices come January.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Rush Is Really Doing

While Media Matters highlights Limbaugh's predictable fear mongering in the tag line to the clip, there's something that they miss all together.

For starters, Limbaugh - right off the bat - calls the building of Park 51 a "trumped up story". From the conservative point of view, he's completely right, but he seems to forget that statement one moment later when he started calling it a "recruitment center".

But the oddity of Rush's statements don't end there, as he is claiming that Rev. Terry Jones' intent to burn the Koran on Sept. 11th isn't something we should worry about, as it's "silly" and "not worth the energy", even though conservative websites that continually go to bat for Limbaugh have been covering this quite literally 24/7.

And while Limbaugh claims to be "manipulated" into reporting on this story - you know, how Park51 has no money and how a blatant conservative is going to burn a Muslim holy book in order to prove some kind of point - he dives headlong into the theory that Park51 is going to be a recruiting center for terrorists.

The cognitive dissonance of this man should really be studied by modern neuro-surgeons.

Context Is Everything

In which we find Michelle Malkin's new blog-partner Doug Powers completely losing the plot on the "Burn The Kuran" story by concern trolling. Too bad he didn't really pay attention to the article that he linked.

From Doug Power's - who apparently can't comprehend what the word "context" means:

Hot off the press from the AP’s Department of Double Standards we find this:

Should the event happen on Saturday, the AP will not distribute images or audio that specifically show Qurans being burned, and will not provide detailed text descriptions of the burning. With the exception of these specific images and descriptions, we expect to cover the Gainesville event, in all media, placing the actions of this group of about 50 people in a clear and balanced context

Last year, the AP didn’t appear to think twice before showing pictures of burned Christian bibles:

Here's what little Dougie didn't bother to do - check out exactly who burned the Bibles. From the AP article:

The US military burned bibles sent to Afghanistan by an American church, reports CNN. Officials feared the bibles, sent last year, would cause problems if they were used in a campaign to convert Muslims to Christianity. The unsolicited bibles were printed in the two most popular Afghani languages. Ironically, Taliban supporters burned bibles in an attack on a Pakistani village just last month.

If the American bibles "did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the US government or the US military was trying to convert Muslims," a Defense Department spokesman said yesterday. Officials considered returning the bibles to the church, but were concerned they would only be sent back to Afghanistan. War zone troops are required to burn all trash, according to the Defense Department.

And while the Associated Press clearly wrote up the piece to show that the Bibles were burnt by American troops to prevent people in Afghanistan from thinking they were being forcibly converted to Christianity, the article also clearly shows that it was American soldiers who burned what the Defense Department deemed trash.

I'm guessing I'm not the only one missing the obvious brain stem disconnect that Doug Powers has.


While the caption included with the picture at the bottom of Powers' blog piece shows that the American military admitted to torching the holy Christian text, it is the very idea behind what Powers is proposing, what he is equating, that I and many others find preposterous. Seems that Powers didn't bother to read the caption when he posted it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

An Extention Of Terrorism

Interesting to hear and see "Father" Jonathan Morris weigh in on this, as his usual appearances on Fox"News" are filled with pseudo-religious fluff that offer nothing of substance.

But then Bill Hemmer crosses over from "anchor" to "opinion host" with his "what if..." line.

It's the standard piece of fear-mongering that we have come to expect from the modern conservative movement and their media masters at Fox"News" - "what if this happens?!?!?!?!?!?"

Might as well be saying that Wal-Greens and Rite-Aid are enabling crystal meth cooks by having components of the dangerous drug readily available for just about anyone to purchase. Or how about the fact that you can purchase a gun at Wal-Mart so we have to be worried that someone might by one there and kill a child.

It's this type of fear tactic that is precisely what terrorists want us to use against our own people, and exactly why acts of terror work against an intended target - get the mark to become afraid of those within their own country or those that don't look like them and they will slowly begin to destroy themselves.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Because It's All His Fault

I'm wondering what planet Lou Dobbs has been on for the past 18 months.

Apparently Dobbs missed the widely reported fact that Obama was playing both sides of the Park 51 issue, but it's expected that he would make comments about the suit against the Arizona immigration law because, after all, this is Lou Dobbs we're talking about.

But let's not forget that this isn't a new line of attack from the conservative movement.

I'm guessing that this will pick up a little more steam as the elections draw closer. Pretty soon we'll be treated to ads from conservative candidates that connect Obama to everything from the Monica Lewinsky affair all the way to Laura Ingraham's and Sarah Palin's Fox"News" programs being a complete disaster.

Expressionism And The Modern Conservative Movement

When art doesn't imitate life, you end up with something like this.

All the basic elements are there: scary music, a modern conservative pretending to know what former presidents and Founding Fathers would have to say to Obama, the Constitution, and narration that completely ignores the reality of the previous administration. But just for effect, let's frame this as an artist struggling with the grand desire to speak out against government with his craft but is hesitant for fear of retribution from those he disagrees with. Yeah, the melodrama is about as thick as county fair blackberry preserves.

But this part troubles me somewhat - the flag at half-staff on the White House. Doesn't that contradict the entire premise of this clip? After all, the symbolic nature of flying the flag at half staff is to show that this day marks a time of struggle and sorrow for the country. So, if the artist is saying that government - Barack Obama in particular - doesn't see their administration as being unconstitutional, tyrannical, or having taken away the liberties, rights, and freedoms from people, why would the flag on the White House be at half-staff?

You would think that with all this talk about knowing what is and what isn't Constitutional, what is equivalent to tyranny, and what is anti-American, that this painter would get even the tiniest detail like that right.

The reality of this painting is that it represents a lack of knowledge of things like The Constitution, the history of American Presidents, and how we got into this situation. I'm not even going to go into the fact that there would certainly be a few of the men in the painting wondering why Obama wasn't out harvesting their crops and pretending to be the President, but you know that Tea Baggers will never admit that some of the Founders owned slaves - you know, that whole "history" thing can be a pain sometimes.

I'm reminded of a similar video that Bob Cesca commented on yesterday.

First, there's no chance in hell the people who made this video actually voted for the "Democrat" president and the "Democrat" Congress.

Plus, TARP was passed by the previous administration.

The stimulus, which was actually $787 billion and not $1.2 trillion, created 3.3 million new jobs and averted a deeper recession.

That bar graph at 2:14 showing the year-by-year deficits ending with the large deficit of 2009? George W. Bush signed the 2009 budget, not President Obama.

And are the Republicans suggesting here that they're not going to negotiate deals with senators in exchange for votes -- a common practice in Congress since the day it first convened? That's rich.

It's the collective ignorance dressed up like intelligence and historical accuracy ( even recent history mind you ) that is the hallmark of the Tea Bagger collective. Then again, these are the same people that want to do away with the Dept. Of Education, defund educational programs across America, and all too often favor education from a religious perspective.

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