Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bernie's Back!

No, not Bernie Williams, the esteemed former CF for the New York Yankees, but that scoundrel Bernie Kerik. You know, that old Rudy minion; the former NYPD commissioner, whose old boss famously pushed George W. Bush to nominate him as head of Homeland Security. This, of course, blew up in all their faces, not only due to Kerik being woefully unqualified for the post, but for also being the proud owner of a shady and corrupt resume, including alleged dealings with Rudy's greatest foes, NYC organized crime. Man, that's some old school NY shit, right there. Reminds me of the bygone days of Brooklyn's 77th police precinct, during the '70s and '80s, where a group of rogue cops known as the Buddy Boys would steal drugs from dealers and then resell them on their own, among numerous other heinous offenses. (Where was Kerik during that time, anyway? Oh, that's right: in the US military and later, in a power struggle, being ousted from his post as security chief of an elite Saudi Arabia hospital. Sorry.)

Well, Rudy's homeboy plead 'not guity' in federal court yesterday. You see, they've added tax fraud to the corruption charges against him. You sure know how to pick 'em Rudy.

New York Times:
The heart of the federal case [against Kerik] includes allegations that a construction company suspected of having ties to the Mafia paid for renovations at Mr. Kerik’s home in the Bronx in the hope that he would help the company obtain a city license.

Mr. Kerik also faces charges that he failed to disclose a $250,000 loan financed by an unnamed Israeli businessman, and failed to report more than $500,000 in income beginning in 1999, including three years when he was the city’s correction commissioner, then police commissioner.

Looking forward to seeing Kerik in one of the lovely, bright orange jumpsuits they wear at Rikers, which he used to run. Should be fun.

How Do You Spin This One, W?

AP:

Hurricane Katrina not only pulverized the Gulf Coast in 2005, it knocked the bully pulpit out from under President George W. Bush, according to two former advisers who spoke candidly about the political impact of the government's poor handling of the natural disaster.

"Katrina to me was the tipping point," said Matthew Dowd, Bush's pollster and chief strategist for the 2004 presidential campaign. "The president broke his bond with the public. Once that bond was broken, he no longer had the capacity to talk to the American public. State of the Union addresses? It didn't matter. Legislative initiatives? It didn't matter. P.R.? It didn't matter. Travel? It didn't matter."

Dan Bartlett, former White House communications director and later counselor to the president, said: "Politically, it was the final nail in the coffin."


You have the floor, Rush.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Atlantic Yards: RIP?

Actually, the above headline is just wishful thinking on my part. But there seems to be hope, despite the Supreme Court's refusal earlier this summer to hear an appeal of the eviction notices related to the 22-acre development on the outskirts of downtown Brooklyn. The crippled housing market coupled with an economy in full recession has paralyzed the Atlantic Yards project, while two major lawsuits opposing it are making its way through the New York court system.

For those of you unaware of the Atlantic Yards development project here's a brief summary of this highly controversial enterprise:

A Long Island Rail Road yard and a sizable amount of private property surrounding it--made available to the developer, Forest City Ratner, via the city's use of the eminent domain policy--will be the site for a commercial and residential development which will include a stadium for the New Jersey Nets, who are owned by FCR. (Ironically, the site is right across from where Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley wanted the city to let him build a stadium for his team. When his request was denied he moved the Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1957.)

Did I mention that over 15,000 people are expected to move into this area as a result of the Atlantic Yards project, which could make it the the most densely populated neighborhood in the world? (Hello, terrorism target!) How about the detrimental environmental aspects of something this large? Or that the site is located at the busiest intersection in Brooklyn, one that at 11 PM on a weeknight resembles rush hour traffic in a medium sized-town? (This is slightly more impressive when you actually visit the area with folks from outside of Brooklyn and witness their dumbfounded reactions.) I'm convinced that only the insanely greedy could conceive of building such an overwhelmingly-sized project on the chosen site.

I'm not necessarily against urban development; but this one I'm firmly against, to the point of boycotting companies and institutions aligned with it, The Brooklyn Academy of Music and Brooklyn Brewery, among them. (Yeah, I know: they're not going to buckle under my non-existent pressure, but I don't have to give them my money.) Anyone who agrees with the use of eminent domain to benefit a private developer should be ashamed of themselves. Period.

And don't get me started on that whole Nets stadium nonsense. (By the way, the British banking institution Barclays, who paid $400m for the stadium's naming rights, is rumored to have been in cahoots with South Africa's apartheid regime and the Nazis. Way to go, FCR! And for the record, before accusations of hypocrisy are levied against me, I did not agree with city funds being allotted for the new Yankee Stadium, unless there would be some sort of ticket subsidy involved. Fat chance.) Yes, the area should be utilized for commercial and residential development, but at a reasonable scale, just not for this purported monstrosity.

And to those who favor the project, like Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz, who long for the area to become our answer to Manhattan's business and financial districts, I say, Get over your Brooklyn inferiority complex! Hopefully, Brooklyn will never be Manhattan, and that is nothing to be ashamed of, on the contrary. Yes, we should all strive for the betterment of the borough but without losing sight of the big picture, as it relates in this case to those who will irrevocably harmed by this monumental tribute to greed and shortsightedness. Those fashionably ironic t-shirts that announce "Defend Brooklyn" should add "from the Atlantic Yards fiasco!" It's only right.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rove Consultant Dies in Plane Crash Before Testifying in Election Fraud Case

Conspiracy theorists are abuzz with the tragic death of Mike Connell, who was Karl Rove's main internet guru and worked on campaigns for George W. Bush and John McCain. Connell had been deposed the day before this year's election and was set to testify in a case regarding alleged election tampering in Ohio in 2004.

Connell was flying alone in his private plane when it crashed in a residential neighborhood close to Akron, Ohio during Friday's evening rush hour. He was said to have been an experienced pilot.

UK's Telegraph:

The death of the married father of four immediately triggered conspiracy theories amid speculation that he had been about to reveal embarrassing details of the complicity of senior members of the Bush administration in fixing an election and destroying incriminating emails.

In a blog posting entitled "One of my sources died in a plane crash last night...", Larisa Alexandrovna of The Raw Story revealed that Mr Connell had been talking to her about the Ohio case alleging that vote-tampering during the 2004 presidential election resulted in civil rights violations.

"Mike was getting ready to talk. He was frightened... I am not saying that this was a hit nor am I resigned to this being simply an accident either. I am no expert on aviation and cannot provide an opinion on the matter. What I am saying, however, is that given the context, this event needs to be examined carefully."

Connell had reportedly requested Attorney General Mukasey grant him protective custody, fearing for his life. He also reported death threats against him to his attorney, Cliff Arnebeck.

Stay tuned.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rev. Wrong: The Rick Warren Mistake

Barack Obama has pledged to be inclusive and reach out to all sides of our incredibly divided country. A noble endeavor, yes. But with his selection of pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration he's made the equivalent of Bill Clinton's attempt at dismantling the military's 'Don't Ask-Don't Tell' policy right out of the gate: a worthy enterprise taken on a little too early that will ultimately backfire and erode support from key constituencies.

I can see Obama tapping Warren to be an advisor on conservative evangelical outreach or something of that nature, but this? Only choosing Rev. Jeremiah Wright for the occasion would've gotten him more grief.

(Btw, civil rights icon and progressive darling Rev. Joseph Lowery will be giving the official benediction at the Inauguration. Why not give Rev. Lowery the bigger spotlight and trade places with Warren?)

Monday, December 15, 2008

...and then, the other shoe dropped

I'm no fan of George W. Bush. Hell, I believe there are probably grounds for his impeachment and prison. But when he's abroad he's one thing and one thing only: my president and the physical symbol of my country. So, while everybody's having a hoot over W getting attacked with thrown shoes by an Iraqi "journalist" (yeah, how objective is this dude?), I'm not down with that level of disrespect. I believe in the old 'fight at home, united front outside' approach. So, if it happens here, it's a different story, but still...

And where the fuck was the Secret Service? Thinking of china patterns they'll pick when they come back? WTF?! Can you imagine the shitstorm if W had gotten shot or, God forbid, killed?! Yeah, the dude's leaving in a month, but come on, guys. (Can Obama--who will likely be more of an assassination target than any modern president--expect this level of lax protection, as well?)

But the most interesting thing to me, in all of this, is the mentality behind the Shiite shoe lobber's actions.

AP:
"He hates the American physical occupation as much as he hates the Iranian moral occupation," his brother Dhirgham said, alluding to the influence of pro-Iranian Shiite clerics in political and social life. "As for Iran, he considers the regime to be the other side of the American coin."

Sad, indeed. How many in Iraq feel that same way?

Friday, December 5, 2008

OJ Simpson Sentenced To Lengthy Jail Term

I'm not that averse to conspiracy theories: I don't think JFK was done in by Lee Harvey Oswald; 19 dudes with boxcutters sounds rather iffy; Kurt Cobain certainly did not commit suicide in my book; and I don't believe OJ Simpson killed his ex-wife and her fuck buddy. (At least not alone.) There's plenty of facts supporting these theories or at least underlining the presence of reasonable doubt vis-a-vis the official account, so if you disagree, don't just lazily flame me, look it up and make up your own mind.

Still basking in the glow of the historic election of a black president, I hate to get racial here, but I must. For no public figure has highlighted that particular divide in our country in modern times more than that of Orenthal James Simpson. I don't think that I'm trafficking in hyperbole by stating that only Osama Bin Laden is hated more than Simpson here in the US. Not one bit. It pained me to see the blatant hypocrisy in people that had stood up for the judicial system in so many instances when justice did not prevail to quickly and effortlessly turn around and decry the outcome of Simpson's murder trial when it didn't go their way. Suddenly and miraculously, these people discovered and qualified the system as broken. (And don't get me started on the whole 'not guilty but responsible' deal: according to one verdict Simpson was not liable but another verdict found him financially responsible. Give me a fucking break. Talk about a double standard...)

On a personal level, and as a person of color, I'll never forget seeing the reactions in my then place of employment a decade and a half ago, when the Simpson verdict went down and feeling that perhaps some of those people who I had befriended and even become close to, deep down might not feel the same way about me and others like me.

Fast forward to last year and the kind of irresponsible sensationalism the “news” people inflicted on the second most hated man in America, as he found himself in trouble with the law again.

The first mental picture I got from the “OJ Simpson Suspect In Casino Armed Robbery” headline bandied about the news that day, was Simpson cracking into a Vegas casino vault, and with
ski-masked, automatic rifle-toting accomplices making a getaway while hauling out a flatbed truck’s worth of cash. “Wow, he’s cracked. He got that desperate? Damn.” The evil, big, black man strikes fear into the hearts of America once again. Mission accomplished, indeed.

Later on it's uncovered that Simpson, having been alerted by an auction house of a secret sale of allegedly stolen memorabilia of his, went to a Vegas hotel room where the secret sale was being held to reclaim what he believed were his stolen belongings. He eventually was arrested and charged with multiple felonies in this case. But during the initial 48 hours of the case being reported, headlines announced what looked like the potential plot of Ocean’s Fourteen, and no one cared that a man may have been unfairly characterized in the media at this level. Of course not. After all, not even Hitler is as despised in this country as Simpson is. (Before you once again accuse me of hyperbole and invoke Godwin's Law ask yourself this: does OJ have hundreds of thousands of adoring adherents ready and willing to rise in his defense and, if necessary, kill innocent men, women and children in his name?) But I digress.

Today OJ Simpson was given to 8 to 33 years in jail for his part in the memorabilia recovery caper, which was deemed a hotel armed robbery and kidnapping by a judge who prefaced the sentence by stating it had nothing to do with a previous case. "I'm not here to try and cause any retribution or any payback for anything else." Really? Then why bring it up, your honor? If your sentence is fair and appropriate why the need to add a disclaimer? I'll bet dollars to donuts she won't make Keith Olbermann's "Worst Persons" list. And why did ESPN, after having their legal analyst opine on the sentencing, put up a statement by Fred Goldman, father of the slain Ron, but none from OJ's side? And speaking of the Goldmans, why were Fred and his daughter among only 15 members of the public who were admitted to the Nevada courtroom where OJ was sentenced, if this case had nothing to do with the one involving their loved one?

I'm not into football but I'm feeling a strong urge to purchase a #32 Buffalo Bills jersey right now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Terrorist Threat Facing Obama

According to the Associated Press, Al-Qaeda's no.2 Ayman al-Zawahiri released his first statement since the US election in which he issued a challenge to the US vis-a-vis Afghanistan and called President-elect Barack Obama a "house negro". More than just a simple insult, one can infer the subtext to this epithet to be Al-Qaeda's fear of Obama's election to the presidency of the United States harming their ability to recruit.

Ilan Goldenberg, Policy Director of the National Security Network had this to say:

Al Qaeda's narrative is now under siege and it's clearly uncertain about how to react. The election of the first African American President, one with a Muslim father, flies in the face of this narrative. It shows America as an open and tolerant society - not the oppressive empire Al Qaeda would like to portray. In fact, the overwhelmingly positive international reaction to Obama's election is proof of the the threat Al Qaeda faces.

Moreover, Zawahiri's message about Afghanistan...portrays a certain level of nervousness over an administration that is actually going to go after the real terrorist haven on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Al Qaeda viewed the invasion of Iraq as a positive creating a recruiting and training ground for terrorists.

Interesting, to say the least.

On the other hand, I'm concerned that Obama becoming the first African-American president will have the opposite effect on the efforts of militias, separatists, and hard-core, violent racist organizations here at home, in terms of recruiting and raising funds.

Let's hope not.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dan Rather Suit Challenges 'Liberal Media' Hoax; Exposes GOP Influence on CBS, Media

One of the most successful and unfounded hoaxes perpetrated by the wingnut nation is the idea of an all-encompassing liberal media. They only seem to bring this up when the mainstream press does not feel like playing footsie with them and their figureheads need to be held accountable for whatever indiscressions or foul play they may be suspected of comes to light. The single greatest achievement of this farce is the Fox Nuisance Channel and its hollow claims of being fair and balanced. If any organization run by a high-level professional mudslinger like Roger Ailes with lieutenants of Sean Hannity’s caliber in their ranks can be considered objective, then Jimi Hendrix was indeed a prophet: 6 has become 9.

Another byproduct of the right-wing media propaganda effort is the cowardice of the mainstream media when faced by the liberal bias charge. To prove that they are indeed not purveyors of a liberal bias, they tailor their stories and reports with a conservative slant, thereby foolishly playing into the likes of Ailes and co. who get to have it both ways. But if former CBS News anchor Dan Rather has his way in court they might have to think twice about foisting this nonsense on us, the public, in the future.

From the NYT:

When Dan Rather filed suit against CBS 14 months ago—claiming, among other things, that his former employer had commissioned a politically biased investigation into his work on a “60 Minutes” segment about President Bush’s National Guard service—the network predicted the quick and favorable dismissal of the case, which it derided as “old news.”

Using tools unavailable to him as a reporter—including the power of subpoena and the threat of punishment against witnesses who lie under oath—he has unearthed evidence that would seem to support his assertion that CBS intended its investigation, at least in part, to quell Republican criticism of the network.

Some of the documents unearthed by his investigation include notes taken at the time by Linda Mason, a vice president of CBS News. According to her notes, one potential panel member, Warren Rudman, a former Republican senator from New Hampshire, was deemed a less-than-ideal candidate over fears by some that he would not “mollify the right.”


Another memorandum turned over to Mr. Rather’s lawyers by CBS was a long typed list of conservative commentators apparently receiving some preliminary consideration as panel members, including Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan. At the bottom of that list, someone had scribbled “Roger Ailes,” the founder of Fox News.

Asked about the assembly of the panel in a sworn deposition, Andrew Heyward, the former president of CBS News, acknowledged that he had wanted at least one member to sit well with conservatives: “CBS News, fairly or unfairly, had a reputation for liberal bias,” and “the harshest scrutiny was obviously going to come from the right.”

Wait—does CBS stand for Cowardly Broadcasting Service? Limbaugh?! Drudge?! Coulter??! Ailes???! This is the list of people considered for a panel that was to impartially judge the investigation?! Are you motherfucking kidding me? Ugh. This is why the wingnuts deem everyone not on their team—Democrats and the mainstream media especially—as being wishy-washy, weak and pathetic.

Watch how for the next four years—even if he were to become the best president of the last 100 years—the wingnuts will relentlessly pile on Obama (they’ve already started calling our current economic strife the “Obama Recession”, 2+ months before the man has even taken office) and the mainstream media will more than occasionally join in on the unfounded bashing just to show their lack of liberal bias.

Here’s a question, though: is that why they replayed Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s incendiary sermons ENDLESSLY but have yet to say ONE WORD about the fully documented SECESSIONIST ties and associations of the great patriots known as Todd and Sarah Palin?

Losers.

..oh, and about the US being a "center-right" country...

Whether or not this is true is debatable. But one thing is certain: in 2008 the center-right presidential candidate lost. Deal with it, wingnuts.

Friday, November 14, 2008

PUMAs Support Palin 2012 Presidential Bid

They were the disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters who vowed not to campaign for Barack Obama but instead defect to John McCain. These alleged Democrats stubbornly and defiantly called themselves PUMAs (Party Unity My Ass) and McCain courted them with the selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Oh, they were going to wreak havoc on the presidential dreams of Sen. Obama, these PUMAs, for this self-described “force to be reckoned with” would show everyone who’s boss.

Um, not quite.

So what are these one-time so-called HRC supporters up to now that the big, bad, black man is president? Making another bold stab at being on the wrong side of history by nurturing thoughts of a Sarah Palin presidential run in 2012, that's what. I don’t even know where to start.

Their support of HRC and the very meaning of their moniker clearly implied they were disgruntled Democrats. Now they’re billing themselves as feminists and throwing their lot in with a woman that no self-respecting feminist would be caught dead supporting or even mildly agreeing with.

What a bunch of wackos! Jeez…

I'm feeling a bit generous having gone down on the winning side of this one, but regardless, I hope someone within the party is keeping a record of all the traitors, backstabbers and those who almost had to be begged for their support. (I'm looking at you, Elizabeth Edwards.) They should all be made to watch the next four (eight?!) years from the sidelines.

Oh, and as for Joe Lieberman, he better pray the Dems don't end up winning those 3 senate races still in play, otherwise...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

GOP: No Friend of the Enlisted Man

If there was ever a palpable example of the failed Republican/conservative philosophy of “sink or swim” it’s the 200,000 homeless veterans in the US. That these soldiers upon their return encountered rough times physically, mentally, and/or financially is understandable. That it eventually led men and women who risked their lives for their country to live on the streets is inexcusable.

And the condition of the VA hospitals? Let's not even...

How 'bout support for the new GI bill, drafted by decorated Vietnam vet Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA)? It passed with 75 votes, but guess from what party 22 of the dissenting votes came from?

You betcha.

We'd like to wish a safe and happy Veteran's Day to all who have sacrificed mind and body and are still with us.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Word of Praise for Dean

Beginning with the 2006 Democratic victories in Congress and the 2008 presidential election, the 50-state strategy espoused and set forth by Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean, has borne delicious fruit. Many criticized the former Gov of Vermont when he took the reigns of the party in 2004 and put in motion his continental tactics for victory, instead of concentrating on strongholds or close races. Dean had a vision of making the party competitive in every state; sure, he wouldn’t reach that goal—Texas will never turn blue, for instance—but in the process, ground was gained in other states where a loss for the Dems had been a foregone conclusion. (Barack Obama owes Virginia and North Carolina to Dean’s 50-pronged approach.)

So, as he prepares to step down in January, as a grateful Democrat I’d like to propose a toast to Gov. Dean, in appreciation for all his hard work in helping the party arrive at the sweet destination to which the road to victory leads.

Cheers, sir. And many thanks.

(How ‘bout a cabinet post for the Gov, Mr. President-Elect?)

Friday, November 7, 2008

The GOP Civil War: It's On!

As we posted a few weeks ago, a loss by John McCain in the presidential election was sure to bring out the knives. Well, by the looks at things at right-wing blogs like Red State or the recent pronouncement of the likes of Michelle Malkin, the sharpeners are getting a workout.

Both the aforementioned blog and pundit are spreading the gospel of utilizing GOP criticism of Gov. Sarah Palin as the litmus test for outing and making pariahs of those within the party that chose not to drink the moose-flavored, Alaskan Kool-Aid.

This effort is called Operation Leper and they're naming names. Their initial list?
  1. Nicolle Wallace
  2. Steve Schmidt
  3. Mark McKinnon
The wingnut faithful have many more to add and want it known they "are rooting for Sarah Palin. Don't make us add you to our list. Do you really want to be next to Kathleen Parker in the leper colony?"

CNN's Campbell Brown joins in the fun by defending Palin and taking McCain's top aides to task:


By the way, the internal trashing of John McCain by the hard right has also begun. (Not surprising considering 60% of the base had nothing good to say about the initial 10 GOP candidates in the primaries.) Mitt Romney is next.
(They have beef with Faux News (!) for a perceived bias towards Romney. Huh?)

So, do they really wanna go down this road? (If you read the rabid, practically unanimous comments on some of these wingnut blogs, apparently the answer is a resounding yes.) Do they really want to remain oblivious to the lessons learned on Nov. 4th? Namely, that the American people want to move away from blind ignorance, incompetence, religious strong-arming and intolerance?

Fine by me: it'll be a Democratic majority for a loooong time, then.

Bill's Kristol Ball

"Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single democratic primary. I'll predict that right now."

- Visionary neocon pundit
Bill Kristol on Fox News Sunday, Dec. 17, 2006.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yes, He Can (but it won't be easy)

On Nov. 4th, 2008, we the people of the United States of America elected a black man to be our 44th president. This, in and of itself, is massively imbued with a symbolism both superficial and profound. It represents a great step forward in the process of healing our racial wounds at home and also grants us the opportunity to rekindle the alliances we’d frayed abroad; to remind the world that despite our shortcomings, on our best days we are a righteous people who try our damndest to be on the side of virtue. What happened this week is nothing short of awe-inspiring and wonderful. I’m blessed that I was alive to see it happen.

But at the end of the day, when you strip everything to its core, what we did on Tuesday was elect a president. One that inherits two wars, housing and financial crises, and numerous challenges raging from energy sufficiency to healthcare. Did I mention the ever-present threat of terrorism, both foreign and home-grown? (I can’t help but think that the election of a black president might re-energize the somewhat dormant extreme right-wing militia groups that long to overthrow the US government. So add that to Al-Qaeda.)

Personally, I can separate the joy of the undoubtedly symbolic nature of what happened last Tuesday, with the sobering thought of the steep incline facing the next administration. But the latter is tempered by the fact that this is a smart and capable man who seems worthy of the monumental challenges before him. That he may fail is an inescapable possibility, especially when there may be intervening factors beyond his reach or control. However, if the efficient, resourceful, practically gaffe-less way the Obama campaign was run is an indicator of how the next president will lead, then we should be confident in our country’s decision to elect him. Always cautious, of course. But confident, nonetheless.


Isn’t that what hope is all about?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Reaction Around the World























[images courtesy of America Blog via Gotham Notes]

Dude...

"MaCCA’s final speech was fucking awesome…How come he never spoke like that before and chose to be so weird. People."

Mainly because Sen. McCain was constrained by his own party. The hard right NEVER supported him until he chose one of their own--against his wishes--as his running mate. That's why he turned his back on many of the principles he'd stood for in the past. It was a quest to win with a playbook he was never really comfortable with. (Let's not forget that when the GOP had 10 candidates in the primaries, 60% of the Republican base was not partial to ANY of them.)

But...he made those choices and has to live with them. I'm guessing that's why in his acceptance speech last night he put the blame for the loss solely on his shoulders.

To be fair, it was going to be very difficult for a candidate of the incumbent party to win with the failed policies of the current administration weighing on his candidacy (and his approval of most of them). Add the explosion of the mortgage crisis and the financial meltdown towards the end of the campaign and you have nothing less than a recipe for defeat.

A Toast to RFK

"[Things are] moving so fast in race relations a Negro could be president in 40 years. There's no question about it. In the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has...[regarding race relations and prejudice]...we have tried to make progress and we are making progress. We are not going to accept the status quo."

- Robert F. Kennedy, 1968.

44: Yes We Did!

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is the 44th president-elect of the United States of America.



"I was alive and I waited...waited
I was alive and I waited for this
right here, right now
there is no other place I wanna be
"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

(don't) Wait Until Tomorrow

Today is Election Day in the US, and we choose to show our support for one pioneering African-American by showcasing another trailblazer:

James Marshall Hendrix, "The Star Spangled Banner" - Woodstock (1969)

It's a Start...

Since 1960, Dixville Notch, NH (pop. 75) is traditionally the first place in the country to announce its presidential election results, largely due to the town opening its polls at the stroke of midnight on election day.

So, what were this year's results?

Obama = 15
McCain = 6

21 votes cast

And we're off...

(PS: Bush beat Kerry here 19-7 in 2004)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What if...

During the 2004 election I hoped John Kerry would emerge victorious. This time I can feel the tide turning Barack Obama's way on Nov. 4th. But, regardless, there's a possibility that John McCain may become the 44th president of the United States. Granted, it seems this won't be the case, but it's not in the bag just yet. But, what if?

John McCain was someone who I mostly disagreed with but always respected. I was really disgusted when they smeared him and his family during the GOP primaries in 2000. But this latest incarnation is not the man who held my respect back then. So sad.

Having said that, if he were to win the presidency, I would hope that what we've seen and heard from him of late was just some cynical ploy to win the election, and that he'd revert back to who he was, once in office.

And Sarah Palin would go back to Alaska on account of some "undisclosed family emergency" and McCain would invoke the 25th Amendment to name a new VP.

Otherwise...

Ron Reagan Endorses Obama

The man with the magic name--in GOP circles, of course--registers his support for the junior senator from Illinois.

No surprise here, but it's a welcome addition, nonetheless.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fmr Reagan Chief of Staff Endorses Obama

I wonder how someone like John McCain, who has called himself "a foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution" takes the news of a former high-ranking advisor to the 40th president--chief of staff Ken Duberstein--endorsing his Democratic opponent for president?

"I think Colin Powell's decision is in fact the good housekeeping seal of approval on Barack Obama," Dubersein told CNN.

Wow...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

C'mon, You Knew It Was Coming...

Conservative PAC to Run Anti-Rev. Wright Ads Nationwide from Now til Election Day

Everything is Bigger in Texas (even ignorance)

According to a recent University of Texas poll, 23% of Texans polled believe Barack Obama is a Muslim, as opposed to 5-10% of responders to the same question nationwide.

A Sea Change in South Florida Politics?

Miami New Times:

End of the Diaz-Balart Dynasty
The Republican brothers are headed for defeat, and Cuban-American politics will change forever.

By Francisco Alvarado

In less than two weeks, a South Florida political dynasty will almost certainly disappear. Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart, fierce anti-Communists who are indeed [Fidel] Castro’s nephews by a failed first marriage, will likely lose — victims of the anti-Republican discontent sweeping America. They are scions of a family that has dominated politics in both Havana and Washington for more than a half-century.

Until now, the Diaz-Balarts have skated through elections. But two Democratic challengers seem to have their number. Former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez and onetime Cuban American National Foundation chief Joe Garcia have raised more than $2 million. Recently released polls by Telemundo 51 and the Rothenberg Report show the Republican siblings trailing the Dems or locked in a dead heat. The November 4 election will tip their way if Obama voters show in force, which is likely.

That result will forever alter U.S. policy toward Cuba. And it might signal a shift of the Republican party’s staunchest South Florida allies — Cuban-Americans.

All Kindsa Stupid

Dennis "Equality Is Not An American Value" Prager:



Someone needs a refresher on the US Constitution. Or maybe he wants us to adhere to the 'black man is only 3/5 of a man' part. Idiot.


Brad "Defeating Gay Marriage Is Like Defeating Hitler" Dacus:



I'm more in favor of civil unions myself, but this is insane.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fox Regrets Booking Hannity Guest; Host Keeps Mum

According to the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, Fox News regrets booking Andy Martin--who's famously made inflammatory anti-semitic and racially charged comments--on Hannity's America, but the host of the show, Sean Hannity, not only has avoided apologizing for the booking, but openly defended Martin's appearance on his show, when recently confronted by Obama spokesperson Robert Gibbs.

Are you surprised? Nothing about this scumbag surprises me.

A Perfect Storm of Ignorance, Hypocrisy and Desperation

So, Samuel J. Wurzelbacher aka "Joe the Plumber" can't define socialism when asked by Alan Colmes on the Hannity & Colmes show a while back, but he can assure us that Sen. Barack Obama is indeed a socialist. Various Republicans have joined the fray, among them Rep. Todd Akin, from Missouri: “This campaign in the next couple of weeks is about one thing. It’s a referendum on socialism.” Sen. George Voinovich, of Ohio: “With all due respect, the man is a socialist.”

And Gov. Barbie Doll has chimed in with such nuggets as “Friends, now is no time to experiment with socialism.”

Yup. The same lady who presides over the welfare state that is Alaska, where each and every one of its inhabitants is given a oil company-derived subsidy. The one who's on the record as saying this:

"And Alaska - we're set up, unlike other states in the union, where it's collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs."

But Barack Obama is a socialist, you see.


This is the new GOP meme, of course: Barack Obama is a socialist. Don't bother actually finding out what the the term means, just know that it's bad for you.

Oh, it’s a sight to behold when hypocrisy and contempt for the American people and their intelligence, along with the tacit complicity of the media, come together like this.

The Rebuttal

Republican congressman Steve King from Iowa, at a rally for Gov. Sarah Palin this past weekend:

"When you take a lurch to the left you end up in a totalitarian dictatorship.”

"There is no freedom to the left. It's always to our side of the aisle.”

"We choose freedom and liberty.”

Keith Olbermann
, of MSNBC's Countdown responds:

Presumably that's why the Congressman's party was good enough to torture prisoners, eavesdrop on Americans, suspend Habeas Corpus, demonize dissent, pay news organizations to run favorable stories, and generally come as close to a totalitarian dictatorship as any American president ever has.

Palin Water Carriers Give Up on Her

Looks like the bucket has sprung a leak. Or quite a few, actually: Some of Sen. John McCain's top aides have been stealthily referring to the GOP’s VP candidate, Gov. Sarah Palin as a “diva”, “lightweight” and a “whack job”; admitting the lower half of the ticket was quite ignorant about matters both national and international; accusing her of going off message for her own future political gain (a 2012 run for the presidency); the ping-ponging of blame for Palin’s $150,000 shopping spree, etc. etc. etc.

It’s quite evident many key players in the McCain campaign are ready to assign a culpability sash to Gov. Palin if the very likely defeat of Sen. McCain turns out to be the case on Nov. 4th. Hey, these guys need jobs after that, right? But the guilty party here is the man who so cynically and desperately chose her in the first place.

Friday, October 24, 2008

NYT Endorses Obama

As tough as the times are, the selection of a new president is easy. After nearly two years of a grueling and ugly campaign, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has proved that he is the right choice to be the 44th president of the United States.

Mr. Obama has met challenge after challenge, growing as a leader and putting real flesh on his early promises of hope and change. He has shown a cool head and sound judgment. We believe he has the will and the ability to forge the broad political consensus that is essential to finding solutions to this nation’s problems.

In the same time, Senator John McCain of Arizona has retreated farther and farther to the fringe of American politics, running a campaign on partisan division, class warfare and even hints of racism. His policies and worldview are mired in the past. His choice of a running mate so evidently unfit for the office was a final act of opportunism and bad judgment that eclipsed the accomplishments of 26 years in Congress.

Read the New York Times' full endorsement here.

...and so does Scott McClellan

According to the Associated Press, President George W. Bush's former Press Secretary Scott McClellan endorsed Barack Obama during the taping of comedian D.L. Hughley's new show on CNN.

McClellan is the second former Bush administration official to endorse the Illinois senator. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell gave Obama the nod this past weekend.

Dubya Endorses Palin/McCain

NYC Abolishes Term Limits (sort of)

I have an ambivalent relationship with term limits for public office: while on the national stage I don't have a problem endorsing it on a case-by-case scenario (I would've seen nothing wrong with a third Clinton term in the White House, for instance) I'm definitely not crazy about it when it comes to our native New York City.

Our friends at Gotham Notes explain why:

We never had Term Limits in NYC before. We had a Democratic machine. Whatever job you got, it was pretty much for life, until a job above you opened up, and they moved you into that one.

The upside was you had a great many years logged in doing this stuff, so you got the hang of it, and usually became pretty good at it. Things ran pretty well since there were nearly no learning curves to deal with, or re-inventing of any wheels. You could get things done pretty well and quickly. Everyone knew the ground rules, and who to call to get something done.

The downside was, it was almost impossible to break into that system from the outside. You came up through the inside and earned your stripes. It was NY's answer to a gated community. For you techies out there, think AOL in the early days of the Web.

So, whose idea was Term Limits? Three guesses...

Rudy Giuliani.

Ironically, after Sept 11th, the man who so vigorously fought for term limits thought it would be a good idea for us to let him stay on for another term more or less. I mean, how were we ever going to survive the aftermath of that awful tragedy without him? Well, we did. And we all felt better for not letting a self-deified mayor change the rules and self-servingly stay on board for another term.

Fast forward 7 years and another crisis for the city; this one of a financial nature. So what does two-term CEO mayor Mike Bloomberg want to take off the table? Yup, you guessed right. Which is why I called bullshit when I first heard the rumblings over a plan to introduce the abolition of term limits. After all, the people of NYC have voted twice in the last 15 years to keep them in place. But nooo.

So, what deal did the Mayor and the City Council agree to? From now on, 3 terms instead of 2 will be the rule. "Oh, and it was too late and would've been too expensive to have the people vote on it so we went ahead and did it anyway," or words to that effect, muttered Hizzoner late Thursday night.

Beautiful.

By the way, for those keeping score NO LOCAL REPUBLICAN VOTED IN FAVOR OF THIS MEASURE. So it's all on the Democrats who licked Mike Bloomberg's boots. All 29 of them.

I'm Sorry. I Tried.

Last year, I was involved in a political discussion with a fellow NYer who pledged never to support a Republican no matter how seemingly open-minded they may come across. Her argument was based on the fact that these people pander to us while in our midst, only to turn their backs on their positions as soon as they need to cozy up on a national level to the extremists of their party's base. At the time I sounded a call for tolerance but after witnessing the antics in recent times of the likes of Rudy Guiliani and Mitt Romney--the former, especially--I find myself conceding her point.

So, you win this time, crazy, curly-haried, redheaded woman. Ha!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Finally: The Truth is Revealed

Some have described the recent denunciations of a lack of patriotism from liberals and/or blue states; and of the existence of pro and anti-American towns, cities and states, as just inflammatory right-wing rhetoric from GOP partisans in a seemingly losing election. Red meat for their masses at a time of desperation.

Two words: Fuck no.

They believe this shit. This is how they really feel about liberals and blue states. This is the preferred topic of conversation for these folks when the "liberal media elite" is not in attendance. Seriously.

Last week GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin told a crowd in North Carolina that she loved to visit the “pro-America areas of this great nation” implying there were parts of the country that were anti-America.



Minnesota's Rep. Michelle Bachmann then ran with the ball and made similar accusations on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews. When pressed by Matthews if there were any anti-Americans in Congress she could mention by name, she responded that “…the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out if they are pro-America or anti-America.



Back in North Carolina—a state the GOP thought they had in the bag and have now been forced to fight for it—Rep. Robin Hayes accused Obama of inciting class warfare and referred to liberals as people who “hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God.”
Listen for yourself:



Don’t believe their bullshit backtracking stories for one minute—Hayes’ people denied he ever made the remarks until the audio proof popped up—these assholes actually think they have a lock on patriotism and country, yet don’t have the balls to stand up to the scrutiny that comes with making these kinds of pronouncements. Cowards.

And the divide widens.

Limbaugh: The Sports Analogy

Commenting on wingnut spew-monster Rush Limbaugh's unrepentant stance on his racist remarks about Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama, Crooks and Liars' David Neiwert draws a fitting analogy.

Limbaugh is the guy at the sports bar who carefully tabulates the racial composition of every team on the screen and roots accordingly. If a team has a black quarterback, he predicts they're going to lose. Heaven forfend that any black player demonstrate too much enthusiasm over a touchdown or a dunk or a home run, or that any black linebacker should level a white quarterback, because then the "thug" and "jungle" references come out. He hates Tiger Woods with an inexplicable venom (mostly because he's too uppity "full of himself").

We all know that guy. (Some of them are in our families.) And anyone who's even moderately serious about sports, and moderately knowledgeable about them, knows that that guy is completely and hopelessly full of shit.

The GOP's Civil War

The traditional Republican platform, that of true conservatism, proposes a limited government with no involvement in the personal lives of its citizenry; a minimum of taxation; free markets; and the flow of intellectual discourse, among others. It's really hard to recognize the last one in the folks that have been in charge over the last 8 years, but this virulent strain of anti-intellectualism--which seems to go as far back as the Nixon administration, but has taken hold of the party ever since Ronald Reagan became president in 1980--is now threatening to tear the party apart. Especially if John McCain loses this election.

You see, while publicly the neocon-theocratic-grass roots alliance has been routinely attacking the so-called liberal and/or cultural elites, the same has been happening within the party, as we've witnessed the vitriol unleashed towards the various conservative pundits who have denounced McCain's campaign and/or the specific choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

In his New York magazine piece, "The Right's Class War," John Heilemann includes a quote by one Victor Davis Hanson, a National Review contributor and Palin supporter, who had this to say about his intellectually-inclined GOPers:

They … believe as intellectuals that the similarly astute Obamians may on occasion inspire, or admire them as the like-minded who cultivate the life of the mind—in contrast to the ‘cancer’ Sarah Palin, who, with her husband Todd, could hardly discuss Proust with them or could offer little if any sophisticated table talk other than the proper chokes on shotguns or optimum RPMs on snow-machines.”

Isn't this the kind of thing they're used to lobbing at Democrats and assorted liberals? Looks like it's gonna rain.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Obama Temporarily Suspends Campaign to Visit Ailing Grandmother

CNN.com:

Barack Obama will take a break from campaigning later this week to visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii, an Obama spokesman said Monday. Obama's team made the announcement after a day of trading jabs with Sen. John McCain, who painted Obama as unready to handle a crisis. The Illinois senator earlier said he wouldn't be distracted by "outrageous comments" from his rivals.

Mrs. Madeleine Dunham, Obama's maternal grandmother has been reported as being "seriously ill."

More details here.

Yes! Let's Hear it for the Boys!


[Tampa Bay Rays' Willy Aybar (right) high-fives teammates after his 7th inning solo home run against the Boston Red Sox in Game 7 of the ALCS. Photo courtesy of Reuters.]

It took 7 games and got pretty scary at times, but that last one was everything it was supposed to be: a tight contest with each team sending an elite power pitcher to the mound, concluding with a classic underdog story: the Tampa Bay Rays beating the defending world champion Boston Red Sox 3-1 and winning their first American League pennant. From worst to first. Yes, indeed. That's what baseball's all about.
Congratulations to the young Floridian team and best of luck in the World Series.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colin Powell Endorses Obama; GOP Flacks Cite Race as Motivation

Retired Gen. Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State under George W. Bush has endorsed Barack Obama for president of the United States. The Democratic senator for Illinois, acknowledged the endorsement at a North Carolina rally on Sunday.

"With so many brave men and women from Fayetteville serving in our military, this is a city and a state that knows something about great soldiers. And this morning, a great soldier, a great statesman, and a great American has endorsed our campaign to change America. I have been honored to have the benefit of his wisdom and counsel from time to time over the last few years, but today, I am beyond honored and deeply humbled to have the support of General Colin Powell."

Meanwhile, the reaction to the most popular cabinet member to serve in the current and deeply unpopular administration endorsing his rival party's candidate for president has brought out cries of indignation from GOPers and their surrogates--from George Will to Rush Limbaugh and everyone in between--accusing Powell of basing his decision solely on race.

So, here's my simplistic retort to this simplistic statement: does Powell's dissing of John McCain by crossing party lines to endorse Obama make Joe Lieberman a racist too, for his endorsement of McCain over Obama? Of course not. Neither one was a racist move. Please. But these surrogates can't bring themselves to admit Powell's decision may have to do with wanting to distance himself from the failed administration in which he served, McCain's troubling campaign decisions and Obama being the better candidate. Nor the fact that other prominent conservatives, such as Michael Smerconish, Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Buckley, and even the Chicago Tribune have given Obama their support. Nope. Not when there's mud to be slung in a losing campaign.

And speaking of racism, Gen. Powell struck another blow to the GOP smear tactics of this campaign, particularly their equating Muslims across the board with terrorism.

"Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That's not America. Is there something wrong with a seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion that [Obama] is a Muslim and might have an association with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel particularly strong about this because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay, was of a mother at Arlington Cemetery and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone, and it gave his awards - Purple Heart, Bronze Star - showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death, he was 20 years old. And then at the very top of the head stone, it didn't have a Christian cross. It didn't have a Star of David. It has a crescent and star of the Islamic faith.

And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. And he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was fourteen years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he could serve his country and he gave his life."

This is the photo that inspired his above comments:



I wonder what that lady at the McCain rally would say about that.

Friday, October 17, 2008

UPDATE: WaPo, ChiTrib, Smerconish Endorse Obama

And the endorsements keep rollin' in: The Washington Post very politely gives the Illinois senator the nod; the Chicago Tribune--which has not an endorsed a Democrat for president in its 165 year existence!--has joined the ranks of Obama endorsers; as well as conservative Philadelphia radio host, newspaper columnist and MSNBC pundit Michael Smerconish, who announced today on his radio show he has also crossed ideological lines and given his support to the Democratic candidate. (Smerconish was a Bush 41 apointee and master of ceremonies for Bush 43 in 2004.) Get ready for the backlash, Mr. S. Just ask Christopher Buckley.

[Thanks to The Divine Ms. M for the Smerconish heads up.]

The Luck of the Irish?

So sure they are of Obama’s win in the US presidential elections next month, Paddy Power PLC, Ireland’s top bookmaker, has decided to pay off all bets that were backing the Illinois senator's bid for the White House. They coughed up $1.3 million.

I just hope they don’t jinx it.


[h/t The Divine Miss M.]

Kathleen Parker and the $64,000* Question

The conservative journalist who was thrashed for her pointed criticsm on the merits of Gov. Sarah Palin being nominated as the GOP's vice-presidential candidate, muses about her friend and colleague Christopher Buckley's similar treatment for endorsing Sen. Barack Obama, and asks the big question no one had yet asked the Republicans during this race:

What does it mean that the right cannot politely entertain dissenting opinions within its ranks?

Yikes. She gets further into it in today's WaPo. I'd look over my shoulder, if I were you, Ms. Parker. Those wing-nuts can be pretty dangerous.

[* When is this going to be adjusted for inflation?]

Letterman Welcomes Back McCain; Asks About Liddy

So, after not letting up on John McCain's last minute cancellation of a few weeks ago, Late Show host David Letterman gave the Arizona senator a chance to explain himself ("I screwed up") and, despite a promise to put recent differences behind, came at him with hard questions.

But the one question that NO ONE in the political media had asked McCain was finally proffered by the comedic late-night icon: if Obama's relationship with a terrorist (William Ayers) is questionable, what about McCain's relationship with a terrorist of his own? In this case, he was referring to G. Gordon Liddy.

"Did you not have a relationship with Gordon Liddy?"

"I know Gordon Liddy. He paid his debt, he went to prison ... I'm not in any way embarrassed to know Gordon Liddy."

"You understand the same case could be made of your relationship with him as is being made with William Ayers?"



No, Dave: Ayers was a leftie. Everything and anyone are all good and justifiable when they're right-wing nuts. Even a convicted criminal, Hitler aopologist, who has advocated for the shooting of federal law enforcement agents, and equates environmentalists with Osama Bin Laden, like G. Gordon Liddy. Such a bullshit double standard.

Here's a comparison between Ayers and Liddy.

McClelan Compares his W to Oliver Stone's

George W. Bush's former White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan, gives his take on Oliver Stone's new movie about McClellan's old boss, which opens in theatres today. Interesting.

Buffet: Buy American. I Am

After the scary financial rollercoaster of the last few weeks, top investor Warren Buffett encourages belief in the market in his recent NY Times Op-Ed piece.

The Real Debate?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Obama vs McCain (round 3)

Once again, no knockout; Sen. Obama wins by points but no big whoop.

The debate was a bit more pointed and the candidates were a tad more aggressive, but the third time was not the charm, in this case. Did we learn anything new? Were there revelations of any kind? Seriously, there should be 2 presidential debates, tops.

Having said that, Obama's 'McCain = Bush' mantra was perfectly and succinctly driven home here (with a jab at Fox News, to boot):



And it's always fun to watch Sen. McCain's contempt of Obama manifest itself in different ways. (McCain's transformation into Bob Dole is now complete.) This time, eye rolling was involved:

The (reverse) Bradley Effect

With Sen. Barack Obama's accentuated lead in the polls, more and more time has been dedicated to discussing the dreaded "Bradley effect." But here's the thing:

Appearing Oct. 8th, on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, Gov. Mike Easley (D-North Carolina) talked about the very real possibility of a "reverse Bradley effect".

"...I think you're going to see--now, this is coming from my barber, so this is good stuff I'm going to tell you. My barber tells me--and this is a guy who can put a razor--legally put a razor to your throat and ask you a question. So that's a good focus group he's getting all day long.

He says we're going to see a reverse Bradley effect, that there a lot of people that have been saying all along they would never vote for Barack Obama, but they are going to go in the voting booth and they're going to do it because it's in their economic interest.

I saw a pick up truck Monday, a guy riding in it with a shotgun in the back. And he had a camo hat and two Obama stickers. And I think the message there is, "I like McCain, but I love my job." And that's what people are looking at now."

While that may actually come to pass, there's a more plausible scenario. While at an Obama fundraising event, earlier this week, I brought up Gov. Easley's Maddow appearace and his above comments. One person agreed with the Gov's take but used his Oklahoma-residing parents, as a prime example of the theory, but with a twist: they are quite firm Obama supporters who make sure this information is unknown to the public at large for fear of retribution from intolerant neighbors or fellow townsfolk. No lawn signs, no stickers, no t-shirts endorsing their candidate. But they've made a clear choice and are unwavering in their decision. Hmmm...stealthy. I like it.

Campbell Brown Asks the Underlying Question

We've all cringed at the erroneous and mean-spirited assumption by those wanting create dissention and stir racist/xenophobic feelings that Sen. Barack Obama is an Arab or of Muslim faith. But what does that say about the general perception of Arabs and Muslims in our country? Kudos to CNN's Campbell Brown who broached the subject on the air earlier this week.

"When did Arab and Muslim being dirty words, the equivalent of dishonorable or radical?

Whenever this gets raised, the implication is that there's something wrong with being an Arab-American or a Muslim. And the media is complicit here, too. We have been all way too quick to accept the idea that calling someone Muslim is a slur.

I feel like I'm stating the obvious here, but, apparently, it needs to be said. There is a difference between radical Muslims who support jihad against America and Muslims who want to practice their religion freely and have normal lives, like everybody else.

There are more than 1.2 million Arab-Americans and about 7 million Muslim Americans, former Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, successful business people, normal, average Americans from all walks of life. These are the people that are being maligned here every time this happens. And we can only imagine how this conversation plays out in the Muslim world.

We can't tolerate this ignorance, not in the media, not on the campaign trail. Of course he's not an Arab. Of course he's not a Muslim, but, honestly, it shouldn't matter."