Thursday, May 28, 2009

GOP v Sotomayor

The Republicans are at it again. This time it's a concentrated effort to derail the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court. She's been called everything from racist to "Harriet Miers". From what I gather, her legal acumen is above reproach and her expertise is greater than any current member of the bench at the time of their respective nominations. But the GOP don't care. Obstructionists that they are, they just plain refuse to approve ANY nominee of Obama's for the high court. I have never seen a bigger batch of selfish, sore losers in my lifetime. Of course, if Judge Sotomayor is in fact not a racist, happens to be eminently qualified, and the public perceives the GOP's resistance as simple, unmerited ideological stonewalling, well, they're fucked a bit further, huh?

Over at The JB Random Report, how we feel about the whole thing was captured perfectly:
The GOP has to handle this confirmation hearing very carefully. They are already losing ground with the fastest growing immigrant population in the country, and giving this nominee a hard time will only deepen an already widening rift.

[Obama] doesn’t have an easy road either. With the economy still struggling, change and bi-partisanship coming considerably slower than promised, the last thing he needs is a long drawn out hearing. If he pushes too hard to get her in before Congress’ Summer break, there will be a very large cracking sound when he hits the floor if she is rejected.
(Not to mention having to deal with those damn quintissential DINOs: the Blue Dogs, and their ever-present potential refusal to support POTUS on key measures.)

But I've got a feeling there is a strong current of "Fuck this, we're not changing our ideology just to accomodate Hispanics or anyone else into the party", which I can respect if not agree. After all, that's how--with the exception of the 8-year Clinton administration--they've managed to stay in power over the last 30 years. Let's see how it works out for them now.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Will Obama Honor the Confederacy This Year?

Daily Kos:
Presidents since Woodrow Wilson have annually sent a commemorative wreath to the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Up until the presidency of George H.W. Bush, the wreath was sent on or near the birthday of Confederate president, Jefferson Davis. Since then, the wreath has been sent on Memorial Day.

One might think that this is a practice birthed in a generosity of spirit and healing of the war that had so deeply divided the nation. Unfortunately the truth is that the monument commemorates not the dead so much as the cause of the confederacy, and stands to this day as a rallying point for white supremacy.

This is why scholars Edward Sebestaco-editor of "Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction," University of Texas Press, and James Loewen, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Vermont, joined by some 65 others (including me) sent a letter to president Obama asking him to end the practice.

The many prominent scholars who signed the letter include: James McPherson, Professor of History, Princeton University; and William Lee Miller, Scholar in Ethics and Institutions at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia; Jon Weiner, Professor of History, University of California, Irvine; and David W. Blight, Professor of American History, Yale; and Roger G. Kennedy, director emeritus of the National Museum of American History.

The monument was given to the Federal Government by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and in 1914, and was, Sebesta and Loewen write, "intended to legitimize secession and the principles of the Confederacy and glorify the Confederacy."

The Daily Beast has an account of the effort, but so far, the media, and for that matter, the blogosphere have not yet picked-up on the story. The History News Network, however, published the letter along with the names of those who had signed on at the time.

This should be interesting...[more]

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Oh, the Hypocrisy!

Watch for the winner of this edition of Countdown with Keith Olbermann's "Worst Persons in the World":

In with the New

The more I read the comments sections on conservative blogs the more I am disenchanted and disgusted by the whole lot of them. Supposed Christians who are more in line with the fire, brimstone, wrath and barbarity of the Old Testament and not much in tune with the message of peace, love, brotherhood and tolerance of the New Testament. (You know, the part of the Bible that actually has the teachings of Christ in it. Sorry to break it to ya: no Christ in the Old Testament, folks. Or as my brother succinctly put it the other day, “That’s why it’s called the New Testament.”)

People spewing pitiless rants about health care not being a right (!) or such nonsense as how we should give tax breaks to the rich, hoping they create jobs. Good grief. They don't see the logic in rewarding with these concessions and incentives those who actually generate employment, and not waiting around to see if greed doesn't overcome them and they end up doing the right thing of their own volition. Jeez...the more I find out what makes these people tick the less I want to know anything about them. On the bright side, a recent Gallup poll has the Republican Party losing ground in every demographic since 2001. Except regular churchgoers, whose support of the GOP remains unchanged. [sigh]

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Finally! (another inconvenient truth)

You've got it all wrong, people.

The reason why former Vice-President Dick Cheney has, of late, been actively and fearlessly prattling on about how the Obama administration's refusal to rebuke the rule of law and engage in war crimes has made us less safe, is not so much fueled by the desire to protect the legacy of himself and George W. Bush, but a stance firmly rooted in the knowledge that NO ONE with a prominent role in the White House, the Democratic party, or the mainstream media has the balls to confront him with the obviously glaring fallacy of his position: the Bush 43 administration DID NOT keep us safe. Right, Paul Begala?

If 3,000 Americans had been killed on your watch, in an attack that could have been prevented, perhaps you'd be a little hesitant to accuse anyone else of endangering America. And if you had advocated torture, and the torture produced false information that you used to mislead America into an unwise, unjust and unwarranted war, you might be a tad sheepish about defending the use of torture.

Not Dick Cheney. Mr. Cheney has stepped up his attack on Pres. Obama's security strategy, telling CBS's Bob Schieffer that Obama's refusal to use waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" (i.e., torture) endangers American lives.

The truth is the Bush-Cheney policies did not keep us safe, and Mr. Cheney is not a credible spokesman on issues of national security.

About fucking time.

Perhaps what's most galling about Mr. Cheney is how, without irony, humility or apology, he holds himself out as someone who has protected America when in fact he shirked his responsibility before 9-11 and misled us into war after. The closest Dick Cheney has ever come to fighting for America is when he shot his lawyer in the face.

Too bad Dick Vader will never see the business side of a jail cell for the harm he's done to this country. Here's more.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An Honest Red Sox Fan

One of the reasons I was so upset about Alex Rodriguez's name being the only one made public from the infamous list of 104 users of PEDs was how fans from other teams--especially those rooting for Boston--could point the finger at A-Rod while--hypocritically, of course--secretly dreading which one of their beloved players was on that list as well. The discovery of Manny Ramirez's PED use is a step in making things a bit fairer in that regard.
"I always thought that, for the rest of my life, I would look at [the Red Sox's 2004 World Series Champions] banner and think only good thoughts. Now, there's a mental asterisk that won't go away. I wish I could take a pill to shake it from my brain. I see 2004 and 2007, and think of Manny and Papi first and foremost. The modern-day Ruth and Gehrig. One of the great one-two punches in sports history. Were they cheating the whole time? Was Pedro [Martinez] cheating, too? That 2004 banner makes me think of these things now. I wish it didn't, but it does. This makes me sad. This makes me profoundly sad."
- ESPN's Bill Simmons, die-hard Red Sox fan.

Read the whole piece here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The "Liberal" Media

Next time some dittohead wingnut starts parroting that tired nonsense about a liberal bias in the media, ask them why the Dixie Chicks were crucified for publicly admitting to being ashamed of fellow Texan George W. Bush, yet golf personality David Feherty makes a lame ass joke that manages to both call for grave bodily harm upon Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and equates the US military with political assassins, and nothing happens.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pitch Tipping: Selena Roberts is Full of Shit

Or, as former Major League outfielder Doug Glanville--and one-time teammate of Alex Rodriguez--more delicately puts it:

[A]ccording to the latest story, Alex is connected to some pitch-tipping scheme in which he relayed signs to the opposing hitter (if he was a friend) or for someone who would return the favor when he was hitting...Although I have never heard such a rumor about Alex, this may be one of the most egregious charges one can make against a player, and a rare one at that. Should a player know that someone in his own dugout is helping the opposing team, I would venture to say that all-out Armageddon would ensue. Imagine if a pitcher knew that his pitches were being given away to the opposing hitter by his own teammate no less. This spy would have to watch his back.

How would this scheme have been missed for Alex’s entire career? We all know that every time he plays, the camera zooms in on him. Opposing teams watch him obsessively, studying film endlessly. The “A-Rod cam” is on full tilt all the time. So, over a period of years, did the best in the business, the brightest analysts and teammates, miss that he was doing this for his roommate from the year before, or maybe for his cousin’s favorite player? Or did they know it but were afraid to come forward? Is it possible that all of these experts had their heads in the sand?
Yes, Doug, they did have their heads in the sand. All of these knowledgeable, experienced baseball people were duped. But fear not, sir, the mighty Selena Roberts and her scores of anonymous sources have come forward to save baseball from the Darth Vader wannabe known as A-Rod. Give me a fucking break. This woman is a cancer on baseball. And the best thing is she might end up making Alex the underdog in this whole mess and the recipient of fan sympathy. Or at least indifference due to her overkill.

Are Gays the Democrats' "Christian Right"?

Just like in the past the so-called "Christian Right" was a constituency the Republicans courted but didn't actively embraceat least not nearly as much as when George W. Bush and the neo-cons showed up on the national sceneit seems to me that gays have become their counterpart in the Democratic party. Granted, gays have had more of a presence in Democratic politics than, say, evangelicals in the GOP in the latter part of the 20th century. But this New York Times piece (check out the byline—ha!) got me thinking:
Mr. Obama — who has said he opposes same-sex marriage as a Christian but describes himself as a “fierce advocate of equality” for gay men and lesbians — is under pressure to engage on a variety of gay issues that are coming to the fore amid a dizzying pace of social, political, legal and legislative change.

Two of Mr. Obama’s potential Supreme Court nominees are openly gay; some advocates, irked that there are no gay men or lesbians in his cabinet, are mounting a campaign to influence his choice to replace Justice David H. Souter, who is retiring. Same-sex marriage is advancing in states — the latest to allow it is Maine — and a new flare-up in the District of Columbia could ultimately put the controversy in the lap of the president.

Mr. Obama’s new global health initiative has infuriated activists who say he is not financing AIDS programs generously enough. And while the president has urged Congress to pass a hate crimes bill, a high priority for gay groups, he has delayed action on one of his key campaign promises, repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule.

Social issues like same-sex marriage bring together deeply held principles and flashpoint politics, and many gay activists, aware that Mr. Obama is also dealing with enormous challenges at home and overseas, have counseled patience.

But some are unsettled by what they see as the president’s cautious approach. Many are still seething over his choice of the Rev. Rick Warren, the evangelical pastor who opposes same-sex marriage, to deliver the invocation at his inaugural, and remain suspicious of Mr. Obama’s commitment to their cause.

The President has quite a few former members of the Clinton White House surrounding him. As a pragmatistbut not necessarily a big fan of Bill ClintonI say, why not? Why not get pointers from the people who advised and worked for the first Democrat to serve two terms as president since FDR? Sounds good to little ole me. So, I'm pretty sure one of the lessons this administration has learned was how the effort to dismantle the aforementioned "don't ask, don't tell" policy was handled by the 42nd president and his advisors. And how, in the end, nothing changed except feeling the harsh sting of failure and disappointment thanks, in large part, to ill-advised timing.

That doesn't mean I believe it is or isn't prudent for the President to heed the calls of his gay supporters at this moment. Frankly, I have no clue as to whether it is politically advantageous or not at this time. But I have a gut feeling Obama and co. will remember the lessons of the past and proceed cautiously and accordingly on this matter.

It should get interesting.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Erin Burnett: Beautiful but Evil

Here she is praising tax shelters. What a catch she is! Can't wait to be filthy rich so I can ask her out. Ugh.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Rub

You may be right, Miss California: there's a good chance God is not in favor of gay marriage. But I can't see him approving of breast implants, either. (Or Perez Hilton, come to think of it.)

The Cowardly Kittens

Since I don’t interact with Chumpbots/MAGAts on any regular basis anymore I don’t find myself debating them as frequently as I used to, but ...