Bill Maher Shows True Colors

Unsurprising, really, as Maher also defended Bibi’s slaughter of civilians last summer (oh, and he does so again in this clip, claiming those civilians were actually attacking Israel at the time they were bombed taking shelter in schools).

“If America was a country that was surrounded by 12 or 13 completely black nations who had militarily attacked us many times, including as recently as last year…Would…

THINKPROGRESS.ORG

This is ugly.

Completely and utterly racist.

Which, I guess is fine….

Wait, no it’s not. It’s horrid. Then, later, Maher pats Israel on the back for being such a great democracy where the Prime Minister makes racist comments about minorities voting…

huH?

Maher’s not right, he’s racist.

And claiming that Israel killing 1,000 civilians was some kind of self-defense? What the hell. People taking shelter in school are not attacking Israel.

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Why There’s a Zero Percent Chance the GOP Will Update the Voting Rights Act

Attempting to fix the law would require Republicans to give public scrutiny to racial disparity in the party’s geographic base. And it would require backtracking on years of political rhetoric warning of federal government overreach and downplaying racial inequality. On top of that, conservative legal scholarsbelieve the concept of preclearance is unconstitutional.

via No, Congress Won’t Fix The Voting Rights Act. Here’s Why. | TPMDC.

There’s no way they are going to use a fine tooth comb to demonstrate that ALL the still racially biased districts and voting changes come from the same party…their own.

It’s a non-starter.   About the closest thing they might try and do and insert some sort of Voter ID law into the Voting Rights Act  (and that, BTW, is a policy designed to lower turnout among minorities).

Yes, that’s how far gone the GOP is in the 21st century.

Hump Day Link Dump (Romney’s KKK Logo and Gay Rights Bashing, Dodd on China, Carrier Low IQ, Gingrich’s Latest Lie, Robert Reich Explains, Trump Fails Again, and Newt’s Class War)

Romney uses KKK tagline for his campaign, “Keeping America American”.

Romney tells vet his marriage should be illegal.

MPAA head Chris Dodd (yes, that one) is envious of China’s Great Firewall, and think the U.S. should have one here.   Curious note… part of the point of the Chinese firewall is to avoid paying outrageous copyright fees to U.S. companies.   The point of the U.S. Great Firewall would be to force U.S. citizens to continue to pay outrageous copyright fees to U.S. companies.

Your phone company is spying on you.   This shouldn’t be news to anyone.    Most of the Republicans candidates want todstrengthen Patriot Act rules that allow this, and then claim to be supporting your freedom by doing so.

Another example of a Tea Party group walking all over that racism line.

Gingrich, obviously, does the exact same kind of thing with the Palestinians, echoing insanely racist rhetoric.

Trump’s debate strategy goes bankrupt, one of Trump’s specialties.

Gingrich tax plan: Give it all to the 1% (not the taxes…the money).

Robert Reich on how math works (and why Republicans don’t seem to care about that).

China has it’s own “occupy” movement happening.

Giving Newt the business on his “poor people, especially poor kids,  are worthless and lazy” kick he’s been off on.

UPDATE:  Larry Wilmore absolutely smashing Newt’s outrageous statements and racist supposition.

The Audacity of a New Hope

The Audacity of a New Hope

The Audacity of  a New Hope
The Audacity of a New Hope

This post is more just a general clearinghouse of some of the more interesting articles I’ve come across lately, and a bit of a call for a ray of hope, somewhere along down the line.

First up is this diatribe by Camille Paglia [bio].  She takes no prisoners on either side.

By foolishly trying to reduce all objections to healthcare reform to the malevolence of obstructionist Republicans, Democrats have managed to destroy the national coalition that elected Obama and that is unlikely to be repaired. If Obama fails to win reelection, let the blame be first laid at the door of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who at a pivotal point threw gasoline on the flames by comparing angry American citizens to Nazis. It is theoretically possible that Obama could turn the situation around with a strong speech on healthcare to Congress this week, but after a summer of grisly hemorrhaging, too much damage has been done. At this point, Democrats’ main hope for the 2012 presidential election is that Republicans nominate another hopelessly feeble candidate. Given the GOP’s facility for shooting itself in the foot, that may well happen.

I would mention one quick point of fact that Pelosi was just pointing out some of the more absurd rhetoric that many townhall and tea-bag protesters have adopted (parodied to wonderful effect by Tom the Dancing Bug here). Indeed, it was an illustration of Godwin’s Law and the sad fact that pointing out what others are doing in a ham-fisted way can often make it seem like one is doing it themselves.

I also disagree with her 2012 predictions, at least for the moment.  I wouldn’t mind being wrong on this.

Having said all that about the failures of my own party, I am not about to let Republicans off the hook. What a backbiting mess the GOP is! It lacks even one credible voice of traditional moral values on the national stage and is addicted to sonorous pieties of pharisaical emptiness. Republican politicians sermonize about the sanctity of marriage while racking up divorces and sexual escapades by the truckload. They assail government overreach and yet support interference in women’s control of their own bodies. Advanced whack-a-mole is clearly needed for that yammering smarty-pants Newt Gingrich, who is always so very, very pleased with himself but has yet to produce a single enduring thought. The still inexplicably revered George W. Bush ballooned our national deficits like a drunken sailor and clumsily exacerbated the illegal immigration debate. And bizarrely, the hallucinatory Dick Cheney, a fake-testosterone addict who spooked Bush into a pointless war, continues to be lauded as presidential material.

Which to me really sets up the point: the Democrats might be a bit reluctant to push forward their own agenda, but at least that agenda is rational.   As I mentioned a while back, even if the Democrat do try and compromise on the health care legislation, the Republicans are so worked up into a fervor by their fringe, now their Beck-led core, they can’t support anything the Obaminator supports without facing the wrath of the Fauxrage.

This problem is pinpointed in Tom Friedman’s horribly titled op-ed, “Our One-Party Democracy“.

The fact is, on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying “no.” Many of them just want President Obama to fail. Such a waste. Mr. Obama is not a socialist; he’s a centrist. But if he’s forced to depend entirely on his own party to pass legislation, he will be whipsawed by its different factions.Look at the climate/energy bill that came out of the House. Its sponsors had to work twice as hard to produce this breakthrough cap-and-trade legislation. Why? Because with basically no G.O.P. representatives willing to vote for any price on carbon that would stimulate investments in clean energy and energy efficiency, the sponsors had to rely entirely on Democrats — and that meant paying off coal-state and agriculture Democrats with pork.

Indeed, when we look at the general response of the Beck-led nutjob Republican core, we see the same old mantra being brayed at high volume.

GLENN: Let me tell you something. For those of you who think climate change is real and manmade, you should know this, that — I mean, you don’t have to be a socialist, I guess, to believe in global warming. It’s just that almost everyone who does believe in global warming is a socialist. I mean, believes in manmade global warming that now can be fixed and reversed or whatever. And we’ve got the tools to fix it. Almost everybody who says, “I’ve got a plan to fix it” is a socialist.

So that’s about where we stand now.  A lot of serious, deep, and long term problems to solve.  One party that actually can see them but is afraid to do anything serious about them, and one party that seems to only see a black dude in the Oval Office and can’t come to terms with it.  Oh yeah, I, like Jimmy Carter, went there.

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American,” Carter said. “I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that shared the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans”

Continued Carter, who is famously from Georgia: “And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply.”

Just to be clear here, I don’t think all Republicans are racist, nor do I think anybody who disagrees with Obama or the Democratic policies are racist.  Nor do I think people who don’t understand science, or history are racist [1].

I do think, however, that the level of vitriol, disrespect, and suspicion aimed at the President has a serious racist element.  Gone is the notion of respectful disagreement.  It has been replaced with outright hatred.  Gone is the notion of “we know you think this is best, but believe you are wrong.”  It has been replaced with “He’s not even an American and we need to take our country back!

Gone is the notion that the Office of the President should be respected, in any way form or fashion.

It took George W. Bush nearly four years, and one terribly misguided war to reach this level of opposition.  It took Obama eight months of doing what he campaigned on to reach the same level of opposition.  There is obviously something else at work here.

Such was the audacity of Barack Obama, and those who voted for him.  Thinking that somehow, some way, those that lost the election would accept their defeat and work to re-invent a party that had lost its way in the support of torture and war and an absurd approach to health care.

Instead we got the Party of No.   A party led by those that want to see our country fail.  A party that sees fear around every corner, and steadfastly refuses to acknowledge their own failure, and complicity, in the problems we now face.

A party that, indeed, refuses to accept we even face these problems, and just keeps shouting “Liar!!” at those who painstakingly point them out.   And just keep shouting “No!!” at any and all proposed solutions simply because of who they are proposed by.

I hate to break to to you folks, but its not going to work.   It’s going to continually marginalize you, which is just going to make you angrier, which is just going to marginalize you further.

We need a sane and rational opposition party for our system of government to work.   We need someone to propose *better* ideas, and work to get those ideas implemented.  We need the sane Republicans to take back over their party.

And we need it soon.  *That*, my friends, is an audacious new hope.  And I hold it dear.

—-

[Pic source Our Nerd President brandishes a lightsaber after a fencing demonstration on the White House lawn today during a photo op to promote Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic Games.]

[1] That first link is for the climate change deniers.  The second link is for the “OMG!! Obama is hiring commie czars” people.

Fox News Vice President Delcares Race OVER!!

Well, good to hear something accurate finally coming from Fox News.

Here’s the full quote from John Moody Vice President of Fox News. This is another edition of “Famous Last Words.”

Less than two weeks before we vote for a new president, a white woman says a black man attacked her, then scarred her face, and says there was a political motive for it.

Ashley Todd, a 20-year-old white volunteer for John McCain’s presidential campaign, says she was mugged at an ATM machine in Pittsburgh (my hometown) by a big black man. She further says he threw her down, then disfigured her by carving the letter “B” into her face with a sharp implement when he saw that she supported McCain, not Barack Obama.

Part of the appeal of, and the unspoken tension behind, Senator Obama’s campaign is his transformational status as the first African-American to win a major party’s presidential nomination.

That does not mean that he has erased the mutual distrust between black and white Americans, and this incident could become a watershed event in the 11 days before the election.

If Ms. Todd’s allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator  Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee.

If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.

Yes, Mr. McCain’s quest for the presidency…AND FOX NEWS will be forever linked to the basest of base fear appeals if this turns out to be false.

I mean, really…to actually think that because some white woman was attacked by a big, black man it should somehow should be a reason to re-examine fellow African-American Barack Obama.

That’s flat out bullshit right there.  And it’s bullshit even before you get to the fact that the woman’s story was bullshit.

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― Police sources tell KDKA that a campaign worker has now confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter “B” in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.

Ashley Todd, 20, of Texas, initially told police that she was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield and that the suspect became enraged and started beating her after seeing her GOP sticker on her car.

Police investigating the alleged attack, however, began to notice some inconsistencies in her story and administered a polygraph test.

I mentioned previously in my post about Joe the Racist Plumber that I was from Texas and the kind of b.s. he pulled was common around so.  This woman is from College Station, which is a bastion of racism (sorry Ags, but I’ve been there too many times to miss it).    This kind of story, where a white woman blames a big, black man for all sorts of bad things, is an even more common story around here.

I have to admit, I did take a bit of pleasure seeing the news conference with the Pittsburgh Police, and see two, big, serious, strong, black women expose the story, and mention how it pulled resources from real crimes.

Oh.. and just so you know…

The Obama-Biden campaign released a statement, commenting on the attack. The statement said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the young woman for her to make a speedy recovery, and we hope that the person who perpetrated this crime is swiftly apprehended and brought to justice.”

The McCain-Palin campaign also released a statement saying, “The McCain campaign is aware of the incident involving one of its volunteers. Out of respect, the campaign won’t be commenting. The campaign also confirms that Senator McCain and Governor Palin have both spoken to the woman.”

“Joe” the [Tax Dodging] Racist Republican “Plumber”

So it turned out that Joe the Plumber became a big part of the debate last night.  Much like the Bill Ayers “connection” that McCain made a centerpoint of his failing campaign, making Joe the Plumber the centerpoint of the third debate is currently is backfire mode.

All right, now let’s deal with that loaded title…

“Joe” in in quotes because the guy’s real name is “Sam”.  As in “Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher”.

Republican is not in quotes because Sam is a Republican.

Linda Howe, executive director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, said a Samuel Joseph Worzelbacher, whose address and age match Joe the Plumber’s, registered in Lucas County on Sept. 10, 1992. He voted in his first primary on March 4, 2008, registering as a Republican.

It was [Wurzelbacher’s] “spread the wealth around” comment that caught the attention of conservative commentators, including Rush Limbaugh, and in discussions on the Internet. Mr. Wurzelbacher was a guest of Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Tuesday.

“Plumber” is in quotes because a quick search of licensed plumbers named “Wurzelbacher” in Ohio turns up empty.

Racist is not in quotes because of this interview…

COURIC: Could you just, Joe, explain quickly, and then we’ll let you go, how you met both of the candidates?

WURZELBACHER: I’ve yet to meet John McCain. Obama came to my neighborhood and my son and I were outside tossing the football, and all of a sudden he showed up, and there went our football tossing for a while. And, you know, neighbors were outside asking him questions, and I didn’t think they were asking him tough enough questions, so I thought, you know, I’ll go over there. You know, I’ve always wanted to ask one of these guys a question and really corner them and get them to answer a question of—for once instead of tap dancing around it. And unfortunately I asked the question but I still got a tap dance. Do you – almost as good as Sammy Davis Jr.

Ooh, I tell ya, ‘dem blackies can dance!!

Now I don’t think he’s an out and out racist. And I don’t think he would actually admit it on TV, but as read his answers to the other questions begin expose a revealing pattern.

COURIC: Well, he supposedly will raise taxes only on people who make over $250,000 a year. Would you be in that category?

WURZELBACHER: Not right now at presently, but, you know, question, so he’s going to do that now for people who make $250,000 a year. When’s he going to decide that $100,000 is too much, you know? I mean, you’re on a slippery slope here. You vote on somebody who decides that $250,000 and you’re rich? And $100,000 and you’re rich? I mean, where does it end? You know, that’s – people got to ask that question.

This was before the previously posted answer (Sammie) and after this one..

COURIC: And again, why don’t you just reiterate quickly for us, Joe, because I want you to get back, get to your local news station where you are, how you felt about the statements made by the candidates vs. the statements you heard when they were out on the campaign trail talking to you.

WURZELBACHER: …

Obama speaks well, but the one thing that’s really important, that everyone in America really need to know is, you know, talk is talk. You know, he can speak pretty, but, you know, there’s got to be action behind it. We’ve seen McCain, we know his actions. Even if you disagree with him, at least you know where he stands. McCain – or Obama, we’re not sure where he stands yet, even after his debates. Like I said, he speaks eloquently, better than I do, but I honestly, I still don’t know where he stands. He’s said a lot, but none of his experience has backed it up. You know, the only experience I’ve seen or his actions are raising our taxes, so, you know, I’m middle class. I can’t have my taxes raised anymore.

[source]

I’ve put everything that I’m talking about here in italics.

Bascially is what Sam is saying, going back to the Sammie Davis, Jr. comment that he ended with (and that is important), is that he can’t trust Barack Obama because he is black.   He can trust McCain because he is white.  When you look at statements of candidates and records of flip-flopping objectively, both guys have done it, and McCain has a longer record of doing so, particularly in the last eight years. 

Sam met Obama.  Sam has ample access to the Internet and has watched the debates.  To still say that you don’t understand simply stated policies and just don’t trust a guy you’ve met and researched.  And the main reason you give is that the guy talks pretty?!   That is a statement that sets off my b.s. alarms.

And it gets worse because the guy, Obama, isn’t planning on raising the guy, “Joe the Plumber”‘s, taxes at all.  As Joe mentioned, he’s not near that tax bracket.  His taxes would go down under Obama’s stated plan

But he doesn’t trust the guy, and then to give an example of how pretty he talks, he picks a black icon known for how pretty he danced.

 

And for your viewing pleasure, here’s Obama “dancin’ like Sammie”.

Yea, doesn’t seem like much of a tap dance to me either.

[Note: When you watch that knowing that Joe is making up his hypothetical income, you can see how he doesn’t really want to hear the answer, which would explain why he still doesn’t understand Obama’s tax plan.  UDPATE:  Here’s the full, six-minute talk.  At the end, the guy says he gets it.  He plays along with his lie more obviously in the full clip as well.  The “spread the wealth” soundbyte is in reference to a generally good economy, BTW, and not explicitly tied to tax policy as McCain has tried to make it.]

I know exactly what Joe was thinking while he was standing there in the sun and it’s not uncommon among rural Republicans.  

It’s a basic distrust of someone standing in front of you, trying to answer your questions.  It’s standing there, nodding your head on the outside, but calling them a liar on the inside [this is exhibited in the video above with the classic “crossing the arms” X sign].  In this case, given the facts and the evidence, I think it’s fair to call that reaction racism, and Joe the Plumber needs to get over it. 

He also needs to get over idiotic Republican tax policies that have stagnated working wages and accelerated executive pay for nearly 30 years, that as I point out here haven’t worked out so well for everyone.

Here is Joe talkin’ ’bout how he, you know, just can’t trust the guy.

Yea Joe.  I know.  I’m from Texas.  I see this crap all the time.

Joe, you and I are about the same age.  Please wake up.

I know you represent the last vestiges of holdouts that only have one real reason for not voting for Obama.  It’s the only thing that is keeping this from being a 20-point landslide.    McCain thinks this makes up a samll percentage of his support, but I would put it at upwards of 30-40%.  This is the 15% of Americans that still think Obama is Muslim (assuming they are part of the 50% that vote and will do so to keep Shariah law out of the U.S).  And, yes, it is that big a part of McCain’s remaining support.

Just ask Joe.

Or ask Gayle Quinnel, she sill believes it after being told it wasn’t true by John McCain in person.

[source]

UPDATE: I think this is kinda funny…more on Joe on taxes…

Wurzelbacher this morning told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that he was talking about, in Diane’s words, the prospect, the hope that someday he would make $250,000.

“Well, exactly,” he said. “Exactly. I mean not that I don’t want to be taxed. You have to be taxed. But to — just because you work a little harder to have a little bit more money taken from you, I mean, that’s scary. You know as opposed to other people. I worked hard for it. Why should I be taxed more than other people?”

[source]

And it turns out that taxes don’t like Joe so much either…so much so that I had to update the title of this post.

LUCAS COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
J. BERNIE QUILTER, CLERK
700 ADAMS STREET
TOLEDO, OHIO
TIME:   12:55:14 PM
DATE:   10/16/2008
CASE: G -4801 -LN -200701803-000    
TITLE: S/O VS SAMUEL J WURZELBACHER  
JUDGE:     STATUS:   ACTIVE/LIEN
FILING DATE: 1/26/2007 CASE TYPE:   ACV   ACTIVATION OF CASE  

MONETARY AMOUNT: $1,182.98 DOCKET/PAGE:   DOC 460 PG 303  
ORIGINAL COURT:   TAX TYPE:   PERSONAL INCOME TAX  
PREVIOUS CASE NUMBER:   STATE OF OHIO NUMBER:  

[source]

Why Hillary Lost and Obama Won : A Simple Analysis

I spent some time this evening watching the Democratic National Convention in Denver. I saw Hillary’s powerful speech and thought she did a very good job of pointing out to her supporters that the worst thing they could do with their bitterness regarding her loss is to turn it into a vote for McCain.

Those are my words, of course, but she made that point very clearly.  She made a number of other ones, and had some catchy slogans.  I might touch on that speech later, but you can look it up on YouTube if you missed it and want to check it out.

Watching her speech and the warm-up video created by the DNC (which including a testimonial from “HIllary’s husband” no name given), it became clear what had been fundamentally wrong with her campaign and why it ultimately failed.

Which brings us to the main point: This was an historic primary for the Democrats, as both of the final two candidates had demographic qualities that were unique for someone so far along in the nomination process.

One candidate ran on that demographic quality and one did not.

The one that did not won the race.

—-

To put it very simply, Hillary ran as a woman.  Barack ran as a person.

When things were going poorly for HIllary, she played her demographic card and claimed sexism.

When things were going poorly for Obama, he worked harder. He organized better and he inspired a wider range of people.

And he won.

—-

The lesson for the future is simple, don’t pigeon-hole yourself if you want broad support. Don’t put such a simple label on yourself and look at everything through that lens. It didn’t ever work for Jackson or Sharpton and it didn’t work for Clinton. Frankly I don’t think it can work, as our country is far too diverse for such a simplistic argument (“vote for me because I’m the same as you”). As always, if events prove me wrong some time down the road, I’ll be happy to eat those words. But as it stands now, the lesson is clear.

Don’t run as a demographic.