Archive for: August, 2010

Obama Outsmarts Both Sarah Palin and the GOP With Iraq Speech

Aug 31 2010 Published by under Featured News

All day today, Republicans from John Boehner to Sarah Palin have gone on a prebuttal campaign with the intent of criticizing President Obama for taking credit for the end of the Iraq war. The problem is that Obama’s actual speech gave George W. Bush and the troops credit, and by doing so, he outsmarted Palin and the GOP.

Early on, Obama referenced George W. Bush and the history of the Iraq invasion, “From this desk, seven and a half years ago, President Bush announced the beginning of military operations in Iraq. Much has changed since that night. A war to disarm a state became a fight against an insurgency. Terrorism and sectarian warfare threatened to tear Iraq apart. Thousands of Americans gave their lives; tens of thousands have been wounded. Our relations abroad were strained. Our unity at home was tested.”

Obama gave credit to the troops, “These are the rough waters encountered during the course of one of America’s longest wars. Yet there has been one constant amidst those shifting tides. At every turn, America’s men and women in uniform have served with courage and resolve. As Commander-in-Chief, I am proud of their service. Like all Americans, I am awed by their sacrifice, and by the sacrifices of their families.”

He continued, “The Americans who have served in Iraq completed every mission they were given. They defeated a regime that had terrorized its people. Together with Iraqis and coalition partners who made huge sacrifices of their own, our troops fought block by block to help Iraq seize the chance for a better future. They shifted tactics to protect the Iraqi people; trained Iraqi Security Forces; and took out terrorist leaders. Because of our troops and civilians –and because of the resilience of the Iraqi people – Iraq has the opportunity to embrace a new destiny, even though many challenges remain.”

After noting that he has kept his campaign promise to get combat troops out of Iraq, Obama praised Bush’s patriotism and affection for the troops, and repeated his call for unity, “As we do, I am mindful that the Iraq War has been a contentious issue at home. Here, too, it is time to turn the page. This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I have said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hope for Iraq’s future.”

Obama talked about doing right by the veterans of Iraq in Afghanistan, “Part of that responsibility is making sure that we honor our commitments to those who have served our country with such valor. As long as I am President, we will maintain the finest fighting force that the world has ever known, and do whatever it takes to serve our veterans as well as they have served us. This is a sacred trust. That is why we have already made one of the largest increases in funding for veterans in decades. We are treating the signature wounds of today’s wars post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, while providing the health care and benefits that all of our veterans have earned. And we are funding a post-9/11 GI Bill that helps our veterans and their families pursue the dream of a college education. Just as the GI Bill helped those who fought World War II- including my grandfather- become the backbone of our middle class, so today’s servicemen and women must have the chance to apply their gifts to expand the American economy. Because part of ending a war responsibly is standing by those who have fought it.”

The President concluded by calling the troops the steel in the American ship of state, “In an age without surrender ceremonies, we must earn victory through the success of our partners and the strength of our own nation. Every American who serves joins an unbroken line of heroes that stretches from Lexington to Gettysburg; from Iwo Jima to Inchon; from Khe Sanh to Kandahar – Americans who have fought to see that the lives of our children are better than our own. Our troops are the steel in our ship of state. And though our nation may be travelling through rough waters, they give us confidence that our course is true, and that beyond the pre-dawn darkness, better days lie ahead.”

Compare what Obama actually said with what Sarah Palin assumed that he would say on her Facebook page, “Later today, President Obama will speak to the American people about Iraq. No doubt he will laud the “end of major combat operations” by the date he randomly selected some 18 months ago. His press secretary Robert Gibbs also gave us a glimpse of what else he might say, telling the Today Show this morning that ”What is certainly not up for question is that President Obama, then-candidate Obama, said that adding those 20,000 troops into Iraq would, indeed, improve the security situation, and it did.”

Palin assumed that Obama would be taking a victory lap tonight, but she could not have been more wrong, she assumed that Obama would be dishonest and not give Bush or the troops credit. Palin assumed that Obama would behave like, well, Sarah Palin, “The more honest you are about the past, the more likely it is you will gain the support of the American people for your Iraq policy in the future. We need to be able to trust the White House war strategy, as our children’s future depends on it. Being honest with us tonight is a good starting point in building trust.”

By launching a preemptive strike against Obama’s speech tonight, Republicans left themselves wide open to be made fools of, which is exactly what the president did. Did Sarah Palin or John Boehner speak to George W. Bush today and give him credit for his contributions? Nope. In stunning contrast to Obama’s actual speech, Palin spent most of her Facebook post attacking the president instead of thanking the troops.

The Republicans thought that they could shape the message by speaking first, which might have been a great plan, if they would have delivered the correct message. Instead, we got another edition of Republicans guessing and getting it totally wrong. The GOP is so deep into their Obama hate that they have lost all touch with reality. Obama did not take credit for anything, except keeping a campaign promise. Instead of a “mission accomplished” victory lap, Barack Obama attempted to provide closure to the long and divisive political conflict over the Iraq invasion. Obama spoke as the nation’s leader, while Sarah Palin brought more sour grapes.

Full Transcript of Obama’s Iraq Speech

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Omnious Sign for 2012 as Palin to Speak at Iowa Reagan Dinner

Aug 31 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, Republican Party

The GOP's Great White Hope Reads her 3 Ideas for America from her hand

I am really sorry to be the one to tell you this.

Are you sitting down? OK. Well, do you remember that crazy woman who spent all of that money that wasn’t hers on clothes during the 2008 campaign and didn’t know what job she was running for and couldn’t answer any questions so she shut down the press until they would show “deference” to her? Yeah, Sarah Palin. That’s the one.

Well, my friends……….

It’s looking like she’s going to run for President of our great country.

I know, I know. If I just ignored her she would have gone away. She’s silly. Not a threat. Yada yada. But still.

I’m just sayin’. She’s headlining the Iowa GOP’s Ronald Reagan Dinner. This is what GOP candidates do. They go to the presidential nominating state of Iowa and play kissy face and they do it even more at Ronald Reagan dinners.

According to the Press Release:

“Governor Sarah Palin will be the Party’s special guest at the upcoming Reagan Dinner: A Salute to Freedom…The Iowa GOP is pleased that Gov. Palin is traveling to Iowa to join the battle to return principled, conservative leadership to Iowa,” said Chairman Strawn. “Our economic and personal freedoms are under attack in Washington, DC and Des Moines. I know Iowa Republicans will be energized and motivated by Gov. Palin to stand up and fight for these principles all the way to Election Day and beyond.”

And see, this time Palin has finally realized that she shouldn’t charge Iowan Republicans to speak there. She thought she could charge them and still win political favor, but every rising star has their comeuppance and Palin had hers last year in Iowa. They do not pay for you, Ms Palin. You need them. Welcome to the big game.

The fact that Palin loosened her tight fist around any potential wad of cash should be alarming. That, in and of itself, is a tell. What happened?

Well, earlier this month, The Iowa Republican polled 399 Republicans and reported:

“The poll shows that the 2012 contest is going to begin right where the 2008 Iowa Caucuses left off, with Mike Huckabee leading Mitt Romney. Huckabee comes out on top of the poll garnering 22 percent, Romney finishes second with 18 percent, and Newt Gingrich finishes surprisingly well with 14 percent in third place. Sarah Palin finishes a disappointing fourth with 11 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul garnered 5 percent, while Pawlenty, and South Dakota Senator John Thune each received 1 percent.”

Yes, see? Not so good for Sarah. But that may be because she has all but ignored the state whilst traipsing around on her various media tours. She did stop there for a book signing last year, but really. This is Iowa. Some effort please.

Most Americans don’t trust Palin, according to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll (certainly not the most scientific poll but it is the most recent and concurs with the general findings that Americans do not trust the Mama Grizzly) released Sunday. In fact, only 29% think she could handle being President. Yes, that is the far right Republican Party. The Bush voters.

Did that just send a chill up your spine?

This dinner is a usual stop for hopeful Presidential candidates, but here’s a ray of sunshine for you. In 2007, three Republican presidential candidates — Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and John McCain — failed to show at the seventh annual Reagan Dinner. And maybe not coincidentally, Obama took the state in 2008.

And of course, Ms Palin is playing coy, telling her employer and coincidentally the only media source she trusts enough to be “interviewed” by, that she’s not focused on her own political future, but rather is focused on helping elect conservative Republicans during this fall’s midterm elections. Yes. This is sort of like the soft “no” but request to go to Tiffany’s for window shopping.

This is not original, but I’m sure Republican men find it adorable. Which is, as you know, the number one quality in a patriarchal lap dog. Or pit bull. And certainly a Republican woman who might run for President. In that vein, Ed Failor Jr., head of Iowans for Tax Relief, said of Palin: ” She’s sort of the Hillary Clinton of the Republican Party.” Yes, indeed. Yes. Indeed. Without the brains. Integrity. Privacy. Or protected daughter.

I leave you with this to digest on the eve of the President’s much more important address to the nation. Let us stay focused on sanity for just a bit longer, shall we? But just think, if she really does this, the Democrats will be rolling in money. Heavens. No one raises more money for Democrats than Sarah Palin.

So, don’t worry. Be happy. While this would be an epic embarrassment and the most ridiculous campaign season ever, Democratic strategists must be panting. I can only imagine how these debates will go. Of course, Palin probably won’t honor that tradition and instead will issue ghost written screeds from her FaceBook Page about Obama’s birth certificate. A bored nation rejoices.

It took the Republicans to bring a reality TV celebrity famous for quitting her job and not knowing anything except how to get more free swag to the Presidential race. Of course.

You thought Bush was bad. Buckle Up. And why don’t you pay a visit to that witch doctor just in case?

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Alaskans Just Not that Into Sarah Anymore

Aug 31 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, Republican Party, U.S. Senate

Arctic Queen Ignored by Her State

Palin Not Driving Force in Apparent Miller Upset

Put away your crowns, Tea Party Publicans. Sister Sarah is not a kingmaker yet.

A Public Policy Polling survey done of Alaskan voters in the Republican senatorial primaries, where Joe Miller appears to be winning in a surprising upset over incumbent Lisa Murkowski, reveals that 59% percent of Alaskan voters weren’t moved by Palin’s endorsement.

“Only 15% of those who voted for Miller said Palin’s endorsement was ‘very important’ in who they decided to vote for while 26% said ‘somewhat important’ and 59% said it didn’t matter at all.

Overall 35% of primary voters said a Palin endorsement would make them less likely to support a candidate while 26% said more likely and 39% said it didn’t make a difference either way. Among Miller voters though 41% did say a Palin endorsement was a plus to only 13% who said it was a negative.”

The fact that 59% of voters couldn’t care less who Sarah Palin endorsed is a low blow in the home state of the former governor, whose approval ratings once towered in the puffy clouds of Palinland. The fact that 35% of voters in a Republican Primary said it would make them less likely to support a candidate is a rather chilly blow off of the Mama Grizzly Pitbull.

While Alaskans might be unmoved by Sarah’s word, Palin’s endorsement may have helped a lot in getting the Tea Party to pour money into the race. The Tea Party is becoming notorious for not vetting candidates (see Delaware Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell (R) who owes back taxes and has other financial malfeasance brewing) before they endorse them. Palin’s word is enough with them. In that sense, Palin brings the power of the Bircher Koch brothers with her, and that kind of money can buy a lot of ads.

So while Alaskans might think they weren’t swayed by Palin, may in fact have not wanted to be swayed by her (Palin’s preemptive quitting and subsequent money grab still stings), money can change a lot of seemingly independent minds via negative campaigning.

After all, 47% of primary voters thought Murkowski was too liberal and where did they get this idea? The Tea Party funded ads “accusing” Murkowski of actually working with Democrats. Apparently, working with other Americans for the betterment of your state is tantamount to treason in the Tea Party. Which makes me wonder.

I guess these folks who are so worried about how “liberal” Murkowski is can’t wait to give up their Social Security and Medicare.

But there was also the parental notification for abortions bill up for a vote, which presumably drove out the more conservative factions. In the end, though, Alaskans didn’t care who Sarah endorsed. Her choice was not going to influence them.

I find this supremely disappointing, as we all know that Palin is the largest fundraiser for Democrats out there. We may all need to dig deep into our pockets to help the Democratic candidate Scott McAdams in Alaska, as Palin apparently won’t be able to whip up the sort of rage in Alaskans as she does in the lower 48. After all, Alaskans have lived through her aborted reign and are off to the next battle.

I guess Alaskans just aren’t that into Sarah anymore.

But that doesn’t mean America isn’t into her. I can hear that Mama Grizzly roaring for 2012 from here.

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Glenn Beck Claims that Barack Obama is a Birther

Aug 31 2010 Published by under Featured News

We all know that logic isn’t a strong suit for Glenn Beck, but on his radio show today while trying to defend Mitch McConnell’s pandering to the Obama is a Muslim movement, Beck managed to claim that Barack Obama is the biggest birther of all, “You know who the biggest birther is? Barack Obama.”

Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:

While he and his crew were trying to defend Mitch McConnell’s lame response to the question of whether or not Obama is Christian from two weeks ago on Meet The Press, Beck said, “If you are birther, which I’m not, if you are a birther, you know who the biggest birther is? Barack Obama. He brought up again this weekend, what I gotta walk around with my birth certificate on my forehead? Nobody was asking you a question about that…This is what he wants.”

Beck is completely wrong. According to the transcript, Brian Williams did bring up the birther issue during the NBC Nightly News interview. Williams said, “Mr. President, you’re an American born Christian.” Obama replied, “Keep in mind, those two things — American born and Muslim — are not the same. So — but I understand your point.” Later he added what Beck referred to, “Well, look, Brian, I — I would say that I can’t spend all my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead. (LAUGHS) It — it is what — the facts are the facts. And so, it’s not something that I can I think spend all my time worrying about. And I don’t think the American people want me to spend all my time worrying about it.”

Most importantly, Beck’s point makes no sense on multiple levels. Obama does not gain politically from either the birther or the secret Muslim attacks. He is not floating these out there himself. People like the fans of Glenn Beck are. Secondly, how can Obama be a birther? Does this mean that the President is questioning his own birth place? Is the President demanding of himself his own birth certificate? It seems that Glenn has moved on from labeling Obama a racist to calling Obama a birther.

If Obama is exploiting the birther attacks for political gain, then by that standard Sarah Palin is also a birther, because she never misses a chance to whine and complain about those out there on the Internet who believe that Trig Palin is not her son, and demand that the see proof that she actually gave birth to her favorite political prop. The difference between Palin and Obama is that she goes out of her way to bring “Babygate” up, while Obama has done everything short of walking around with a birth certificate “pasted to his forehead” as he said to dispel the racist birther accusations. By blaming Obama, Beck is attempting to legitimize birtherism, and he demonstrated once again just how far into the gutter he is willing to sink to smear Barack Obama.

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John Boehner’s Iraq Hypocrisy

Aug 31 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, Republican Party

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Boehner jealously eyes up Obama's tan when he should be working

Boehner Speaks; America Bristles

It’s that time again. House Min. Leader John Boehner (R-OH) is going to address us again. You know, preparing for the GOP take-over this fall, so listen up people. He is a Republican, so naturally he speaks for Americans and unless you have no papers available in the blink of an eye or are white and thus exempt, you qualify.

Today’s talk is what we call a preemptive strike against any possible notion that Americans might be pleased with Obama for a moment over his successful draw down in Iraq.

Last week Boehner told us how he would save money by firing all of the experts running the economy (sadly, he failed to present a real plan or offer to give up his perks). He also railed against all things Obama.

An embarrassingly high number of main stream outlets fact-checked the orange one and found his “Republican plan” would actually leave us in a much larger deficit (the total Obama deficit would be $3.784 trillion over 10 years, and its GOP counterpart would be $4.155 trillion) and even Reuters reported, “The massive U.S. stimulus package put millions of people to work and boosted national output by hundreds of billions of dollars in the second quarter.” But you know the GOPERS; they’ve no shame in being wrong every time! So, yes, brave boy Boehner will speak and smirk again. Not even the racist President Obama can stop him!

Today, boys and girls, Boehner will give us his Republican Plan (fairy tale) about foreign relations! In this story, all Democrats including your President are fools and morons. You, as an American, can only be led by the true American Party, the GOP. But if you had been listening for the last 40 years, you would already know how ashamed you should be to be anything other than a John Birch funded birther.

Johnny will praise anyone who isn’t Obama and give props to Bush for ending the war in Iraq, or rather, the conflict, because Pro-Bush stuff really goes over well with the moderates whose pulse Johnny is always taking so accurately. Also, keep in mind, that we are not to let reality get in the way of our partisanship. When he tells you that the draw down was all Bush’s idea and Bush deserves all of the credit, you are to nod and clap and wave a flag if you have one. Do not think. For the love of God, don’t think.

I’ve found it’s best to prepare for major distortions of reality — just in case, you know — so here’s a specific preview of coming attractions. Hotline Oncall reports that he will say:

“When General Petraeus embarked on the surge strategy in January 2007, it was widely viewed as our last chance to save Iraq from spiraling into an irreversible descent toward chaos,” Boehner will say. “Some leaders who opposed, criticized, and fought tooth-and-nail to stop the surge strategy now proudly claim credit for the results. Today, we mark not the defeat those voices anticipated – but progress.”

So yeah, “some leaders”…that would be your President who was against the war in the first place. Who is going to tell Boehner that the generals were telling Bush before he invaded that he didn’t have enough troops? So, taking “credit” for the surge can be an admission of a mangled strategy from the beginning. But that is not our focus today. Remember, Republican equals good. USA! USA! USA!

Then he’s going to insert the general timeline fear, not noting that the Iraq timeline is working quite well and that in reality, any time we leave violence will pick up for a while. It’s inevitable. Apparently it has not occurred to Boehner that maybe we should not have been there and that there isn’t a real solution. But then, what can you expect. Boehner was discharged from the Navy after eight weeks for medical reasons (do tell, Johnny!), so honestly, when he speaks about the military, he has almost as much experience as Sarah Palin does as governor.

And in an attempt to diffuse the President from taking any credit at all for anything, Boehner will say:

“Boehner will also warn Obama against “using campaign promises as a yardstick to measure success.” That, Boehner will say, “runs the risk of triggering artificial victory laps and premature withdrawal dates unconnected to conditions on the ground.””

Premature victory laps? Like the one George W. Bush and the GOP took when they proclaimed “Mission Accomplished?”

Yes, well, we all know the danger of an artificial victory lap. Mission Accomplished. Head’s up, America: No Mission Accomplished Now, under Democratic President!

And in case you thought he was done telling you how you feel:

“Lastly, Boehner will call on Obama and Dems for their help in providing economic support for veterans. ‘Stimulus’ spending sprees, permanent bailouts, federal mandates and government takeovers have failed this nation and have failed our veterans,’ Boehner will say.”

Never mind that Boehner and his minions in the GOP voted against veterans. And please don’t mention the Walter Reed debacle. Sigh. We are not doing reality, here, people – this is called messaging and since soon you will be expected to repeat these thoughts as your own feelings, I pray you are paying close heed. Veterans good, Obama who pushed for veterans benefits bad. Do try to keep up.

Non-patriotic Americans are speaking out of turn and rejecting the hopeful preemptive strikes of a soon to be empowered, reckless, Party frighteningly bereft of ideas. This is what they had to say in the comments section of the Hotline article:

Madmatt, who pays attentions to deeds, not words:

“I notice you don’t mention that Boner and his GOP scum already voted AGAINST help for veterans this past session…guess its okay to fellate the gop scumbags huh!”

Er, cue the waving flag, boys! Hurry! Get Sarah Palin over here to natter on about sending our babies to die and how great it is. Rah rah! Pro-military does not mean pro-vet, come on, Matt!

Jonna Woodburn, re himself:

‘I used to vote straight Republican years ago, and John Boehner is the bar-none star-player representative of all the reasons why I refuse to vote GOP now. …He is the blind, ignorant, smirking, unfeeling, out-of-touch, self-centered, power seeking, self-satisfied limo-riding, self-congratulating voice of hell on earth. And hell is waiting to get its hands on him. The saints will stand above him and all his ilk, while he slips into the fire, and turn their backs with not one uttering forgiveness.”

Oh, honey. Just because Boehner has been like that all of this time doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. Don’t you feel like giving the GOP another chance? Gosh, it wouldn’t be nice to just reject them without giving them a chance to show us what they can really do. Be a nice girl, Jonna. Come on. Donate a baby or something.

Gilmore from another country tries to reason with Americans:

“Do people still listen to anything this faked tanned jerk suggests. If Rednecks in America are stupid enough to vote for Republicans you deserve to be the laughing stock of the world. Obama is the best thing that has happened to America since Bill Clinton and you just don’t get it do you? The rest of the world does!”

And lastly, Gary, who seems to feel it is American to have real elections (shame, shame, Gary!):


That sums up Americans’ responses to today’s GOP spin in a nutshell. A rather predictable and sad little effort from a mentally-impotent man, but let’s give Boehner an A for effort. Mind the explosives as you walk down the perilous path of reality, people.

And please don’t be sad. Come this fall, you will get to listen to Boehner deliver screeds of wisdom and insight like this every single day. One hopes you have a hearty appetite for revisionism.

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The Republican War With Obama Becomes A War on America

Aug 31 2010 Published by under Featured News, Republican Party

Presidents Obama and Clinton

Paul Krugmann in his column of August 29, 2010 in the New York Times, addresses “Witch-Hunt Season,” a replay of “the last time a Democrat sat in the White House” and “faced a nonstop witch hunt by his political opponents.”

After eight years of one of the most – if not the most – corrupt administrations in US history, not to mention arguably the most incompetent – we are back to the witch-hunts. And it is not just President Obama himself who is the target of these attacks, but anyone he appoints or thinks to appoint – even those who already work for him or who support him.

The Republicans respond Immediately; the swift-boating gets under way, the smears, the innuendos and outright accusations of wrong-doing, including – disingenuously – racism.

Because as Glenn Beck established back in 2009, President Obama is a man with “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

Things were bad enough for President Clinton; as Krugman reminds us, at one point the Republican-controlled Congress took “140 hours of sworn testimony over accusations that the White House had misused its Christmas card list.”

President Bush said the Constitution was just a “goddamned piece of paper” and used it to wipe his backside, but President Clinton got accused of misusing his Christmas card list. The Republican-controlled Congress never even breathed a whisper about investigating Bush; The Democrat-controlled Congress has refused to even examine the myriad abuses of the Bush administration.

An illegal war against an innocent nation, torture, rendition, attacks on civil rights and habeas corpus, but none of that matters – it’s the Christmas card list. Even oral sex in the Oval Office, while an insult to the dignity of the office, was not a violation of the Constitution, and did nothing to threaten our national security.

But President Obama is in a special place: he is black; our first African-American president. At first they attacked his Christianity for being of a racist variety, based on his pastor. When that became passé, they began to accuse him of not really being a Christian at all, but a Muslim.

Again, Krugman points to this, citing Rush Limbaugh: “Imam Hussein Obama,” is “probably the best anti-American president we’ve ever had.”

Imam Hussein Obama…If you don’t want to use his middle name against him, you can always use his first name.

Glenn Beck rose to the challenge, attacking, “Barack” back in February of this year:

“He chose to use his name Barack for a reason — to identify, not with America — you don’t take the name Barack to identify with America. You take the name Barack to identify with what? Your heritage? The heritage, maybe, of your father in Kenya, who is a radical? Is — really?”

Two years before, on Glenn Beck’s program, Ann Coulter asked the following: “Is Obama a Manchurian candidate to normal Americans who love their country? … Or is he being the Manchurian candidate to the traitor wing of the Democratic Party?”

As Media Matters points out, Coulter “has previously referred to Obama as “B. Hussein Obama” in the past and called him “President Hussein.” She has also compared Obama to Adolf Hitler, calling Obama’s book, Dreams from My Father, a “dimestore Mein Kampf.

He has been called worse. He has been portrayed as having a watermelon patch around the White House.  Rush Limbaugh played “Barack the Magic Negro” on his show many times in 2007 and 2008 and it has since been used by other Republicans.

But we are assured there is no racism involved (Obama is the racist, after all). In fact, conservatives have turned things around and accused the left of being racist. On August 13 of this year, Rush Limbaugh, who just a month before (July 6, 2010) said Barack Obama is president only because he is black  – “[Obama] wouldn’t have been voted president if he weren’t black” - stated that “The Democrats are trying to keep black people out of politically powerful positions, it ain’t us.”

This is a poser. Is Rush trying to tell us that it was the Republicans who voted Barack Obama into office, and that Democrats voted against him? Was it attacks from the left and not the right that forced African-American Shirley Sherrod out of her job?

All this might be news to the black voters who voted Democrat in 2008 – fully 96% of them according to exit polls, or to the majority of black voters who are in fact Democrats – not Republicans. Of course, the conservatives forget they already accused THOSE black voters of being racist – voting for Barack Obama only because he was black, like them.

The barrage of attacks has been relentless. Pretending to be a government in exile, the Republicans have done more while hiding at FOX to paralyze the United States government than the Free French did while hiding in London to paralyze the Vichy government of France. Krugman touches on this point as well, saying that “What we learned from the Clinton years is that a significant number of Americans just don’t consider government by liberals — even very moderate liberals — legitimate.”

They’ve gotten to the point where they believe God himself wants them to have control of the US government. Bush believed it, Bachmann and Palin believe it, Angle believes it, and from his rhetoric in Washington this weekend, Beck believes it, even somehow seeing himself as the agent and catalyst God has chosen to implement this change.

How this explains the results of the 2008 election is anyone’s guess.

One of the many examples of these attacks against the government is the smear campaign turned against green jobs czar, Van Jones, who was hounded out of office for being a “radical/communist/black nationalist” who planned to take over the country. Another, more innocuous figure was Shirley Sherrod. As Media Matters tells it,

On August 4, Dr. Kevin Pezzi — a writer for Andrew Breitbart’s who Media Matters for America has noted for his absurdly self-aggrandizing claims, racist writings, and sexual inventions including “penile enlargement techniques,” released a two-part screed against former USDA appointee Shirley Sherrod, smearing her as a racist.

As it does so often the White House panicked and Shirley Sherrod was ordered to resign. Only afterward, when the left erupted in protest, did the White House stop to look at the facts.

It is hard to blame the Obama Administration for being oversensitive to this criticism, given the example provided by the fate of the Clinton Administration put under similar pressure.

But then in July 2010 no less a journalist than Sam Donaldson, of ABC News, urged President Obama to stand up to and take on Fox News. Donaldson said, “President Obama, don’t be afraid of them. Take them on, and let the people judge.”

It is clear that the Republicans are not going to cut the Obama administration any more slack than they cut the Clinton. They are going to accuse him no matter what he does, no matter which stance he takes, even if it contradicts previous spin.

Whether President Obama actively engages in a war of words with FOX or other Republican organizations, it is clear that he must thicken his skin and resolve to not buckle under pressure, and to look at the facts before taking any action. It is difficult to regain the momentum once you have surrendered it, and as anyone left of a very Centrist President Obama knows, he is at his best when he stands up to the bully-boy tactics.

So dig your heels in, Mr. President, because they are not going to stop pushing no matter what you do. Might as well prepare for the fight because, as Van Jones said, “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide” and unless you intend to spend your last two years in office on the run, that’s what you’re going to have to do.

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Glenn Beck Claims God Spoke to His 8-28 Rally with Flying Geese

Aug 30 2010 Published by under Featured News

Do you remember when Glenn Beck promised a miracle from God at his 8-28 rally? On his Fox News program today Beck unveiled the power of the Lord through flying geese. A flyover by some geese is what Beck is citing as his miracle. Beck called it “God’s flyover.”

Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:

Beck said, “I want to show you first that miracle that happened at 10:59. There are several versions of this, or at 9:59. There are several versions of what was happening. Do we have the videotape? At 9:59, what happened was there was a flock of geese. It was a flyover if you will. Somebody caught it on tape. Here’s the flyover. This was happening just as the opening music was starting. We wanted to have a flyover, but you can’t flyover in the District of Columbia. It was perfect coordination and perfect timing. Coincidence? Maybe? I think it was God’s flyover. It was not supposed to happen. We couldn’t get a flyover. We couldn’t even get anybody dressed in a military uniform to present the flag. We tried for almost a year. We couldn’t get it done. Thank God, we had our flyover.”

Beck is calling it a miracle that a flock of geese flew over an outdoor rally at the exact time that the rally was starting. If this is the best miracle that God could offer Beck, then he/she really must not think much of Beck and his cause. I would expect so much more from God than migratory bird pattern. Some geese flew over my house on Saturday too, so I guess everybody got a miracle. It could have been a miracle, or it could have been a FLOCK of FREAKING GEESE. They were outside. You know, where the birds fly. I don’t think this was all that big of strange and mysterious ways kind of thing.

You know Beck’s rally was a giant bomb, when he had to rely on Geese as his proof of God’s blessing. I wonder if it still would have been a miracle if the geese had flown overhead at 10:05, or maybe 10:17. Sadly, the crowd seemed to get more excited for the geese, than any of the actual human speakers. By the time Beck gave his speech, people were bored and leaving. The geese were the highlight of the whole morning.

Also if you look at the Zapruderesque geese footage, you see lots of green grass around the rally attendees. There seems to be plenty of room to move around. This certainly doesn’t seem like 300,000-500,000 or even a million people were there. It appears that Glenn Beck provided evidence on his own show that debunked his exaggerated rally attendance estimate. Glenn Beck has gotten so desperate that he is using random birds as proof of God’s stamp of approval. If this was God’s thumbs up then it seems that much like the rest of America God had little interest in the showboating of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

At least now we know why Beck was rocking the Kevlar, damn socialist, community organizing, Obama geese.

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Sarah Palin and Her Minions Go to War against Medicare

Aug 30 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues

Palin PIcked Nut Job

Palin Picked Nut Job Calls Medicare Unconstitutional

Oh, boy. The latest news in Miller v Murkowski is that Joe Miller has pronounced Medicare unconstitutional. He also thinks unemployment benefits are unconstitutional. And also…..Social Security.

Has he actually read the Constitution? Maybe he has had the Special Readings by Sarah Palin over a midnight salmon freshly caught by Todd, the original papers of our founders dimly lit by the hand powered electricity Sarah generates by weaving self-aggrandizing tales of glory — a flag gently waving in the background from the soft, perfect breeze of Sarah Palin’s Alaska. We don’t know.

But we do know that Joe Miller is nuts.

Raw Story has video of Miller on Face the Nation:

“I would suggest to you that if one thinks that the Constitution is extreme then you would also think that the founders are extreme. We just simply want to get back to basics. Restore essentially the constitutional foundation of our country. This means the federal government becoming less onerous, less involved in basically every item of our lives. And what that means is there does have to be some transition.”

Oh dear. Definitely the Special Readings theory.

We also wonder if Joe claiming that Medicare is unconstitutional is really the root of Sarah’s love for him. After all, Palin’s Medicaid program was shut down by the feds after over 250 people died waiting for service. Sort of a mini-Bush-Katrina of mismanagement, if you will. But heck, if Medicare is unconstitutional, then, all of those lawsuits will just go away!

The Anchorage Daily News reports:

“State programs intended to help disabled and elderly Alaskans with daily life — taking a bath, eating dinner, getting to the bathroom — are so poorly managed, the state cannot assure the health and well-being of the people they are supposed to serve, a new federal review found…..No other state in the nation is under such a moratorium, according to a spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
A particularly alarming finding concerns deaths of adults in the programs. In one 2 1/2 year stretch, 227 adults already getting services died while waiting for a nurse to reassess their needs. Another 27 died waiting for their initial assessment, to see if they qualified for help.”

But here we go for the gold:

‘The common thread in the suits is that seniors and disabled Alaskans aren’t getting the services they are entitled to, under the law, Davis said. In one big win, the state Supreme Court ruled last year that the state had improperly cut off or reduced services to more than 1,000 needy people.”

That would be the elderly and disabled that got cut off because of Sarah Palin’s mismanagement. So the state initiated a “fatality review”. Ah, some kind of committee to investigate why people didn’t get services and died. What was it that Sarah said about Obamacare killing her baby because they would determine he wasn’t eligible for care?

“The state agencies are so incompetently managed that Doctors & Health care providers wrote to the fed gov about a state that is unresponsive and incompetent and “has resulted in the death(s) of the active clients.” Luckily, the feds were there to stop Sarah Palin’s administration from killing any more people. So, this may be a time when the feds were sorta the good guys. Flag waves.

Gosh, if I didn’t know better, I’d a thunk I ran smack dab into one of them there Death Panels Palin was warning people about last year! Also, letting the elderly and disabled die waiting for care is super heart-warming coming from the mother of a disabled child who won PolitiFact Lie of the Year award for the Death Panel thing.

Next time you hear Palin nattering on about how being a Mama gives her cred, will ya’ ask her, if you’re allowed to ask questions, what regular moms of disabled children should do when politicians like Palin cut off their access to care for their children? Should those moms maybe rise up, in a sorta Mama-esque way, and take back Momhood? It might be prudent.

Mind you, don’t worry about poor Joe. If he is successful in his mission to get elected and then to take away Medicare, he will still have insurance and you and I will pay for it forever.

Also, too, Joe Miller can’t do right by Alaska if he thinks the federal government is bad. Doe he know what state he’s in? Has he looked at the employment numbers? Does he have any idea what’s going on? Pfft. I forgot. He doesn’t need to know. He’s got charisma and Mama Grizzle!

This kind of willful ignorance is what tons and tons of Tea Party money funded by Brawny paper towels can buy. Isn’t that just so Normal Rockwellish? Let us hope that whatever happens with the recount, Alaskan moderates are awake and lively this mid-term. Surely they don’t want their Social Security privatized or their Medicare done away with. Heavens.

One hopes Democrat Scott McAdams gets some love from the arctic state.

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The Westboro Baptist Church Meets Newton’s Third Law

Aug 30 2010 Published by under Featured News

Even the children hate

What are we to do with groups like the Westboro Baptist Church, which has been designated a hate group by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, and who seem intent on testing the limits of free speech?

They’re an obvious choice. Look at their web address – their url. It’s not, as you might expect, but But at this point that may not surprise anyone. They’ve made themselves well known in recent years.

And God does not just hate fags, he apparently hates fag enablers. That covers a lot of ground, but never fear, there is plenty of hate to go around.

Where does one draw the line? And there have to be lines. There have to be limits. Certain things, for example, are terroristic threats.

Legal or no, hate has consequences. The other day a man drove by and sprayed mace on the Westboro protesters. He was arrested.

Nobody should be shocked. It’s a simple enough rule, Newton’s Third Law: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.

People don’t want funerals to become sideshows. They don’t want Westboro people there and they don’t want counter-protesters. But if you protest or if you allow protests, you have to expect the opposite force to make its opinions known as well.

But my real question here is this: what if the next time a man in a pickup truck drives by, he is armed not with mace but with an assault rifle?

This seems like an extreme reaction to what some would say is a non-violent action, but we have to consider a couple of facts here in our deliberations. And one of these is that speech itself can be a form of violence.

There is a line between words and deeds. Hate speech straddles that divide and blurs those distinctions.

WBC claims (emphasis in the original), “WBC took her ministry to the streets, conducting 44,017 over 34,000 peaceful demonstrations (to date) opposing the fag lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth.”

But are they peaceful? It’s not an easy call if hate speech blurs that line.

Another thing to consider is that the people having violence used against them are more likely to perceive the violence than the person directing it. And those are the people most likely to be engaging in the predicted opposite reaction.

A further complication is that extremist groups like the Westboro Baptist Church feel exempt from the normal rules of human conduct. For groups like this, the Bible takes precedence over the Constitution. We see this on a daily basis, where Christian groups feel their beliefs should be privileged on the basis that it is the True religion. It is a violation of their worldview to level the playing field.

“God wills it!” Is the cry, an excuse for every sort of atrocity. If God says so, then they have an obligation to carry out his will.

Of course, nowhere in the Bible – Old or New Testament – does it say to protest soldiers’ funerals or to carry signs saying “God hates fags” everywhere they go. One could argue that God can fight his own battles. We certainly have the examples of Sodom and Gomorrah to look back on. God has ultimate sanction on the acts of humans, if we are to believe the Bible. He hardly needs a ragged band of bigoted haters to work his will on the world.

But there is no crime for those who have Christ as one ancient monk put it. They believe they have righteousness on their side and so they can do anything and the rest of us be damned – and will be, according to their understanding.

It’s a win/win for groups like Westboro Baptist Church. They are trying to provoke a response. If they succeed, they are validating their own views. If they can force us to act like they say we act, then they can point their fingers and say that we have confirmed their suspicions.

And they, making a mockery of a soldier’s funeral, will play the martyrs.

What then, are our options?

Lady Gaga, recently confronted with protests by the church’s members, told her own flock to not respond: “Pay these hate criminals no mind. Do not interact with them, or try to fight, Do not respond to any of their provocation.”

You don’t have to be a fan of Lady Gaga to see that this was a clever move. This isn’t what they want, to be ignored. They want to make a splash, they want someone to hate. It’s hard to act out your hate on somebody who is ignoring you.

Using Facebook as her forum, Lady Gaga told her fans:

I would like to make my little monster fans aware of a protest being held outside the Monsterball in St.Louis tonight. Although we have had protesters before, as well as fundamentalists at the show, this group of protesters are hate criminals and preach using lewd and violent language and imagery that I wish I protect you all from. Their message is of hatred and divisiveness, but inside at the Monsterball we preach love and unity.

Lady Gaga is aware of the blurred line between language and violence. Her crime? The “proud whore Lady Gaga teaches rebellion against God.”

And here I thought she made music.

President Obama is equally guilty: “Keep your eye on this silly woman, as she and the Beast Obama are good examples of what you all love most about this vile nation.”

Another solution used recently was that of political satirist/comedian Dave Sirus (aka “Brick Stone”) who responded by harassing the harassers – through humor.

Brick Stone’s weapons were not mace, but words:

–If you hate gays, why are you holding the sign that way?

–If a woman dressed as a man has sex with a guy with a vagina, can they still get into heaven? Or, are they already there?

Wit-wielding Brick, unlike the mace-wielding driver, did not get arrested. A safer response and he managed to disturb the protesters enough that they left. Safer, and more effective than mace. And less a use of brute force than an assault rifle.

The folks at ComicCon used humor as well, in greeting the Westboro folks.

Counter-protesters at ComicCon

There were all the usual suspects there in San Diego, “robots, magical anime girls, Trekkies, Jedi and… kittens?” Their message to WBC?:  ”What do we want? Gay sex. When do we want it? Now!”

Words are more powerful than bullets. But who knows if the next group will respond with silence, humor…or gunfire?

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Obama Takes a Shot at Bush’s Incompetence in His Katrina Speech

Aug 29 2010 Published by under Featured News

President Obama spoke today at Xavier University in New Orleans to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. While much of his speech was rightly dedicated to the rebirth rebuilding, and revival of New Orleans, Obama took a shot at the Bush administration, “I am proud that my FEMA Director, Craig Fugate, has 25 years of experience in disaster management in Florida.” Et tu, Brownie?

Obama discussed preparing for future threats to make sure that there is never another Katrina, ” Now, even as we continue our recovery efforts, we’re also focusing on preparing for future threats so that there is never another disaster like Katrina. The largest civil works project in American history is underway to build a fortified levee system. And as I — just as I pledged as a candidate, we’re going to finish this system by next year so that this city is protected against a 100-year storm. We should not be playing Russian roulette every hurricane season. And we’re also working to restore protective wetlands and natural barriers that were not only damaged by Katrina — were not just damaged by Katrina but had been rapidly disappearing for decades. ”

The President then took a shot at the prior administration’s incompetent handling of Katrina, “In Washington, we are restoring competence and accountability. I am proud that my FEMA Director, Craig Fugate, has 25 years of experience in disaster management in Florida. He came from Florida, a state that has known its share of hurricanes. We’ve put together a group led by Secretary Donovan and Secretary Napolitano to look at disaster recovery across the country. We’re improving coordination on the ground, and modernizing emergency communications, helping families plan for a crisis. And we’re putting in place reforms so that never again in America is somebody left behind in a disaster because they’re living with a disability or because they’re elderly or because they’re infirmed. That will not happen again. ”

On a political level, Obama’s message was clear. Unlike George W. Bush, I take disaster preparedness and recovery seriously. I appointed somebody with disaster management experience to run FEMA, not some political crony from the International Arabian Horse Association. I think this is an important message to send to the people in the Gulf whose faith in the government’s ability to respond to a natural disaster was destroyed by incompetence at the local, state, but especially at the federal level. The problem is in deeper because all Americans saw the post-Katrina ineptitude and doubted the government’s ability to respond to any disaster.

Obama already distinguished himself as the anti-Bush with his handling of the BP oil leak, but still his critics continue to push the talking point that Obama is “just like Bush.” One of the most important and Herculean tasks that Obama faces is that his administration must try to undo the damage to the American political psyche caused by eight years of Bush incompetence.

The Bush administration was one of the most inept White Houses of the last 100 years. Their handling of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina placed them in a class apart on the incompetence scale, and in an election year, where Republicans are trying to recapture the Congress based on voter anger, it is shrewd move by Obama to remind voters just how incompetent George W. Bush was, and it is this same ineptitude that the GOP is looking to restore to power this November.

Full Text of Obama’s Katrina Anniversary Speech

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