Friday, September 25, 2009

The original "Tea Baggers" said they were grass roots too...


Let's clear up a few things shall we?

If you think President Obama

- was born in Kenya
- was born in Indonesia
- is a Muslim
- is a Marxist
- wants to reform health care so the government can kill old people,
- hates America
- is in any way similar to Adolf Hitler, or Joseph Stalin
- or was not legitimately elected (by a landslide) as President
- is a Socialist
- is Fascist
- is the Anti-Christ

If you believe ANY of these things, you are either a complete and utter moron, lacking the basic intelligence God gave geese, OR you are a frightened racist who simply cannot handle the fact that the President of the United States is not white.

Now I could take up lots of blogspace here showing point-by-point how all the unhinged wing nut claims about President Obama and his Administration are just that , bat sh*t crazy with no basis in reality or fact. But you know what? It isn't worth my time.

These people are barely worth even time it takes to expose them as the nutjobs they are... Thankfully The Daily Show did it for me!

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These people are not angry about policy, the vast majority don't even know (or much care) what the Administration's proposals actually are. Ask one of these idiots what a public option for health coverage actually is, and they have no idea. It isn't worth taking the time to say to the VERY angry older white man waving his "NO OBAMA CARE" sign that he gets his health care PAID FOR BY A PUBLIC OPTION! (Medicare)

This isn't about policy, It is about race. The Black Man in the White House is just a bit too scary for them. It is not based in any rational thought. Much like people on the far far left who truly hated George W. Bush and would stand out in Civic Center Plaza here in San Francisco shouting about "9-11 was in inside job!" It is a sad and pathetic congruence of ignorance and animosity.

One former leader of the Religious Right has correctly labeled these village idiots as the "Fifth Column of Insanity." I would say he was being kind..

So "Tea-party Patriots", since you clearly have no interest in facts or reality I have to ask; are you really that stupid, or just racist?

Which is it?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Respect for Marriage Act Debuts and The 2M4M WingNuts are Freaking Out

(Hat tip to Kerry Eleveld - via Americablog)

Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York, flanked by out representatives Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Jared Polis of Colorado as well as a wide swath of LGBT advocacy groups -- held a press conference Tuesday to announce the introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation that would fully repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

“Today, we celebrate the first step toward overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and sending that ugly law into the history books where it belongs," said Nadler, adding that the new RMA bill has 91 original cosponsors.

As Representative Baldwin put it at the press conference, "The legislation we're introducing today will legally extend to legally married same-sex couples the same federal rights and recognitions now offered to heterosexual couples -- nothing more, nothing less."
Mean while over at Wing-Nut Central, the "2M4M" group (I swear I didn't make that name up), is panicking at the prospect. Their website screams that a "zealous network of Hollywood liberals and gay activists" is trying to indoctrinate children into their sinister gay agenda.

The irony here is attempting to repeal DOMA could actually turn out to be something that helps pass Health Care Reform.

The Respect for Marriage Act, has no chance of passing. The sad truth is the Democrats in Congress are spineless, gutless wonders, who are apparently terrified of doing anything that might anger Glen Beck. But on the upside this bill might get the "Teabaggers" (no comment...) so riled up that it could distract them from their hate-fueled quest to kill meaningful Health Care Reform.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Brain Fart Heard 'Round the World....


The big story today was supposed to be the speech that President Obama gave last night to a rare joint session of congress, outlining his vision of Health Care reform. And in fact, there was a great deal in that speech worth talking about today.

Talk radio and television pundits should be going on about how from a political standpoint, the Obama Administration called their critics out onto the carpet and , how from a policy standpoint tried to simultaneously embrace and back away from a public insurance option.

Bloggers and policy wonks should be opining at length about the economic risks of not reforming health care, and fact checking the President's claims that this all can be paid for without significant tax increases or adding to the deficit.

That SHOULD be the story today... But is it? Of course not! Instead, we are all talking about THIS moment...

Republican Congressman Joe Wilson from South Carolina apparently found the President's refuting of that cherished GOP talking point, a bit too much to take. So he blurted out; "You lie!" Much to the shock and embarrassment of his colleagues from both sides of the aisle. Including from his own party's 2008 Presidential Nominee:

Before I get into what happened next, it is worth taking a moment to answer the basic question in the room; Who was telling the truth? President Obama or Congressman Wilson? Does the Administration's health care proposal offer coverage to illegal immigrants? The Republican Party seems to think so, The GOP sent out an email earlier this month claiming that on "Page 50" of the Democratic proposal (bill HR:3200) supposedly says "All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free health care services."

As with most things the Republicans claim these days, the problem is that’s simply not what the bill says at all.

The page in question includes "SEC. 152. PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH CARE," Which means you can't be denied care on the basis of your race, ethnicity, gender, age etc. So what page 50 does is prohibit discrimination it does NOT give health benefits to illegal immigrants any more than Voting Rights Act gives illegal immigrants the right to vote.

What the bill does explicitly say that illegal immigrants can’t get any government money to pay for health care. Page 143 states: "Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States." And it is also worth pointing out, current law prohibits illegal immigrants from participating in government health care programs.

But as we have seen at recent "town hall" meetings across the country, facts and reality are not things the Republican Party likes to deal with. When the truth is clearly NOT on your side, it's much easier to just yell. Which brings us back to Congressman Wilson's verbal flatulence from last night.

It is interesting to see how even in 2009 seasoned politicians like Joe Wilson still have not figured out the power of the Internet. Within minutes of his outburst, Video, audio and still photos of the moment had gone viral. Bloggers and pundits (who really don't like talking about health care anyway, because it's boring and complicated), seized the moment like a lifeline to a drowning man. Bloggers instantly found out that Iraq War Vet Rob Miller is Wilson's likely 2010 election opponent. In minutes several national blogs had put up links to contribute to Miller's campaign. In less than 3 hours Rob Miller for congress took in over $100,000 dollars in individual contributions.

But the fun didn't stop there. Within 2 hours of his outburst, Congressmen Wilson's own website had crashed due to the massive amounts of negative emails being sent through his contact page there. I imagine it was at this point somebody finally got to the Congressman and said he needed to fix this and fix it NOW. Which resulted in the following statement released by Wilson through his office:

"This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President's remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill," he said. "While I disagree with the President's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility."

To his credit, Wilson also called the White House to apologize. An apology which, this morning the President said he appreciated and accepted. Which is all fine and dandy, except for one thing. Joe Wilson didn't apologize for what he said, but rather how he said it. Wilson still isn't admitting that his assertion that the President of the United States was lying about coverage for illegal immigrants was in fact wrong. A point that MSNBC took on earlier today:

Almost two years ago, back in October of 2006 I posted an entry on this very blog explaining why I, once a very conservative and loyal member of the Republican Party, left the GOP and became a fairly strident liberal Democrat. Yes, that's right I admit it, I was once a Republican.

(I will now pause for the gasps of shock, horror and surprise that invariably follow that admission.... Feeling better? Ok, moving on...)

In that posting, I gave what was my primary reason for leaving the GOP, and what remains my main reason for staying away. For the Republican Party, truth, facts and reality are negotiable. If Republicans don't like the facts they simply ignore them. The party of emancipation, Eisenhower, Reagan and yes even George HW Bush, has been reduced to a mob of petulant children stomping their feet and shouting "Is Not!" to whatever fact doesn't suit their talking points.

Watching the Cirque du Stupid that is the Republican Party's response to our Health Care crisis, I am reminded of a scene from the movie "The American President". In the scene, the President calls out his critics for not wanting to solve any of the nation's problems, but rather just trying to make people afraid of change and tell them who they should blame for their problems. In 2009 life certainly is imitating art. For ten of the last twelve years, Joe Wilson's friends controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. During what was nearly a decade of Republican control of government the GOP did NOTHING about the Health Care crisis in the United States. Nada, Zip, Zilch.

Now having been sent packing to the electoral wilderness in 2008, the only thing Joe Wilson and his Party have to offer America are lessons in how to look reality in face and just yell at it.

I will give the last word on Congressman Joe Wilson (R-Stupid) to Keith Olbermann. His "Special Comment" tonight on MSNBC said it all...


Sunday, September 06, 2009

Thank You Bill Moyers.

The man Bill Maher calls "the conscience of American Journalism" cuts through the noise and nonsense of the Health Care debate and nails it...brilliantly

Friday, September 04, 2009

The News from the real "Lake Wobegon"

Humorist and author Garrison Keillor, hosts the popular radio show "A Prairie Home Companion". During which he tells stories of his fictional hometown Lake Wobegon Minnesota.

Keillor bases these monologues, (known as "the news from Lake Wobegon") on his memories of growing up in the very real town of Anoka, MN. A small town north of the Twin Cities. He traditionally ends the segment by saying; "that's the News from Lake Wobegon Minnesota. Where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average."

Yet I give Garrison Keillor a lot of credit. He doesn't sugar coat "his town". The foibles and failings of the people, the fears, prejudices and often petty nature of life in Lake Wobegon is just as visible as the Norman Rockwell-esqe Americana of the place. So this past week I have found myself wondering what Keillor thinks of recent events at his hometown High School:

(From The Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

The Anoka-Hennepin School District has agreed to pay a $25,000 settlement to the family of a high school junior after two teachers harassed the boy and subjected him to classroom jokes, comments and innuendos concerning his perceived sexual orientation

The boy's "fence swings both ways," teacher Diane Cleveland commented during a class in the 2007-2008 school year, according to an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

When the boy wrote a report on Ben Franklin, Cleveland allegedly said before the entire class that the boy had a "thing for older men." Another teacher, Walter Filson, said in front of other students that the boy "enjoys wearing women's clothes." When the boy decided to report on Abraham Lincoln, Filson allegedly said, "Since you like your men older ..." the Human Rights report said.

The school district, which has denied it violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act, agreed last month to pay the boy's family $25,000.

The student, Alex Merritt, and his mother, Jodi, filed a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in May 2008 on his behalf. He was a student at the district's Secondary Technical Education Program (STEP).

His "fence swings both ways," teacher Diane Cleveland said during a class, according to the investigation by the Human Rights department. Another teacher, Walter Filson, said that Merritt "enjoys wearing women's clothes."

Merritt said he had Cleveland's class before lunch, and Filson's class afterwards. If Cleveland made fun of him for something, he said, she told Filson about it at lunch. Merritt would be teased for the same thing in a new class after lunch.

"I told Ms. Cleveland that I wanted to do a report on Ben Franklin, and she said, 'Why? Do you have a thing for older men?' " he said. "Then I sat in Mr. Filson's class, and he called me 'Mr. Ben Franklin,' and said, 'What do you have for these older men that Ms. Cleveland told me about?' "

"I'd come home from school and clam up," he said. "I got death threats from random kids, saying things like 'Shut up, you queer, and, I'm going to kill you, you queer.'"

According to the investigation, Cleveland also covered the screen during a bathing suit scene in a movie the class was watching, and said "It's OK if [Alex] watches this because he isn't into that sort of thing anyway ... maybe if it was a guy."

The Anoka-Hennepin district disciplined Cleveland, 39, a social studies teacher, after Merritt complained. She was briefly reassigned, and placed on two-day unpaid suspension. Her reassignment included working on a "social studies curriculum development and reflecting on equality and diversity in the classroom," according to the investigation. But she completed only one day of the assignment and called in sick for the rest of the week.
The strange part about his experiences, Alex pointed out, is that he is straight.

He said he is speaking publicly now because "I'm not the first kid this has happened to. I feel bad for the kid who was homosexual in that class, seeing that I was belittled. ... If kids feel like this is what they're going through, at work, at school, at the house, you've got to tell somebody."

So unlike in most High Schools were it's other students who usually are the ones who harass a peer who is perceived as "different", in Anoka Minnesota it's the teachers who tag team making a student's life miserable.

That's the news from Anoka, Minnesota - the real Lake Wobegon, were the Women Social Studies Teachers are bitter insensitive cows, the Men Law Enforcement Teachers are emotionally retarded closet cases, and all the Children just want to graduate and get the hell out.