Sunday, October 31, 2010

Michele Bachmann Wants To Hold Constitutional Classes For Congress

I had read an article by Marin Cogan for Politico that I found interesting - Minnesota lawmaker Michele Bachmann wants to start teaching the constitution to those elected to office, but here's the catch - she will organize the sessions but won't disclose who will be doing the teaching, and she won't allow the press to cover the material.
For the Tea Party soldiers worried that the young upstarts they’re poised to send to Congress will lose their constitutional druthers once they get to Congress, Rep. Michele Bachmann has a message: Fear not, she’s going to set up constitutional classes.

Bachmann spokesman Sergio Gor says, “It was something she’s always wanted to do. There’s so many folks that come to Capitol Hill to discuss obscure and mundane topics, but no one coming regularly to discuss bill of rights or the role of government.”

Bachmann won’t be teaching the classes, Gor says, but will help organize sessions with constitutional scholars, experts, and judges likely to be held in one of the committee rooms on the Capitol Hill complex. The classes will be open to any members — not just freshman — looking to continue their study of America’s founding documents. They will not be open, however, to staff or members of the press, and the list of speakers won’t be made public.

“They’ll provide mechanism for any member to candidly ask questions and learn and explore together,” Gor says. “I think it came about because a lot of good people get elected, but a lot of them get co-opted into the establishment. Right now a lot [of candidates] are running as constitutional conservatives and we want to make sure there’s a support group for those members.”
I find it highly suspicious that a conservative candidate backed by the tea parties would want to hold secret constitutional classes for congressmen - it makes you wonder just what exactly they will be teaching.  Bachmann spokesman Sergio Gor stated that when legislators go to Washington, they "discuss obscure and mundane topics" - let's take a look at some of the topics Bachmann has discussed.

Earlier this year, Bachmann introduced a prayer amendment into the National Defense Authorization bill that would allow military chaplains to use Christian-specific prayers at official military events - the exact language of the bill appears to be more vague, allowing any chaplain to lead a prayer outside of a religious service and close it with a prayer any way the chaplain desires.  Considering the fact that an overwhelming majority of chaplains are Christian, Bachmann's amendment would constitute a law seemingly respecting one faith over another, which would be a violation of the establishment clause.  If you would like to argue that Bachmann was writing the bill to be religion-neutral, just ask yourself this question: "Why did Bachmann even feel the need to sponsor a bill that allowed for prayer in the armed forces?"

Then there was Bachmann's bill in early 2009 that would have prohibited the president from signing on to a global currency despite congressional testimony from the Obama administration that they had zero intentions to replace the dollar - Bachmann's bill was more of a political ploy to play off of fringe conservative fears that the economy was imploding at the hands of the Democrats.

Rebecca Sinderbrand wrote the following for CNN:
Bachmann's bill, introduced Wednesday, proposes a constitutional amendment "to prohibit the President from entering into a treaty or other international agreement that would provide for the United States to adopt as legal tender in the United States a currency issued by an entity other than the United States."

During Tuesday's hearing, Bachmann pointed to recent remarks from Russia and China as part of the basis for her concern - comments suggesting that countries which have used the dollar as their reserve currency might begin to consider other sources. But those decisions, which would be made by foreign governments, would be unaffected by any congressional legislation, and would have no impact on U.S. currency decisions.
Again, it would appear that Bachmann would be the one requiring constitutional classes - as we all know, the federal government is divided into three branches - executive, legislative, and judicial - and each one acts as a check to the other.  Bachmann's bill seeks to circumvent the courts and the executive branch by creating a constitutional amendment tying the executive branch's hands behind their back.  Besides, even if the president were to enter into negotiations with a foreign entity, any agreement would be non-binding without the approval from the legislature - Bachmann just wants to give all the power to one branch of the government.

Back in April of 2009, Bachmann issued a resolution in the House declaring September "National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month."  How exactly is that a matter relating to the bill of rights or the role of government, as Bachmann spokesman Gor said incoming legislators fail to address when they go to Capitol Hill?

There was also a resolution in December 2009 that Bachmann signed onto that was intended to honor Christmas.

Here is the full text of the bill:
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected for use by those who celebrate Christmas.

Whereas Christmas is a national holiday celebrated on December 25; and

Whereas the Framers intended that the First Amendment of the Constitution, in prohibiting the establishment of religion, would not prohibit any mention of religion or reference to God in civic dialog: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas;

(2) strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and

(3) expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions by those who celebrate Christmas.
Again, how does this coincide with Gor's statements and how exactly does Bachmann exemplify the perfect legislator?

Bachmann had also introduced a bill when she was in the Minnesota Senate that would have required schools to permit teaching creationism, but one has to ask just what creation myth would she be willing to teach alongside the overwhelmingly accepted theory of evolution - would she want her children to learn about Zoroastrian or Shinto creation stories or would she just want the one found in the Old Testament?

And if you want that perfect vote for the attack ads, Bachmann had voted against a bill that aimed to reduce infant mortality.  Bachmann basically wants babies to die.

From what I can see, Bachmann has no intention in teaching the constitution - she really has no desire to teach anything but her propaganda to advance her agenda.  Bachmann is in the minority - she has said it herself: "I am in the deep minority in Congress and a fairly new freshman, so I don't have substantive bills that I have passed."  Essentially, Bachmann wants to create a secret club for her tea party friends to conspire and set their stories straight on just how exactly they should rewrite the Constitution.  Just think about the hypocrisy - Bachmann wants to teach constitutional law but she herself introduced a bill to amend the Constitution to increase the power of the legislative branch.  Does that sound like somebody who has a firm grasp of government by the people, for the people?

Rally To Restore Sanity Twice As Big As Glenn Beck's Rally!

The Rally to Restore Sanity is over.  I had wanted to attend but could not on such short notice.  I was worried that not many people would be able to attend and Glenn Beck - or conservatives in general - would use the poor turnout as a reason to push their agenda even harder, but it appears I did not need to worry - the Rally to Restore Sanity beat out Glenn Beck's rally with a turn out more then two times the size!

Here was an article from The Huffington Post:
The Rally to Restore Sanity has come to a close, and crowd estimates are beginning to trickle in. It is clear that a huge number of people attended the event (see photos from the rally here), but the calculations vary among sources.

According to CBS News, 215,000 people showed up for the rally on Saturday. By comparison, CBS estimated that 87,000 -- just 40% of the Sanity Rally estimation -- attended Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally in August.

Canada's CTV, meanwhile, wrote that 250,000 people were estimated to have partaken in the Rally to Restore Sanity.

Earlier on Saturday, Brian Stelter tweeted that the Parks Service approximated that "well over 200,000" attended Saturday's rally.
I find this amazing, considering Beck promoted his rally for months.  I also find the comparisons between the two rallies because of the feud between Glenn Beck and John Stewart.  Also, think of it this way - the right-wing felt the media underestimated Beck's rally, so they gave estimates upwards to one million, so just imagine what that would mean for Stewart and Colbert's rally!

Here is an interesting observation - Andrew Breitbart's Big Government was void of any post regarding the Rally to Restore Sanity and Glenn Beck's The Blaze had a short review of the rally, insisting most of the rally were young pot-smoking white kids who didn't know why they were there.  Basically, conservative media tried to underplay Stewart's more successful rally - some commenters scoffed at the idea that Yesterday's rally had atleast 150,000 people and claimed Beck's August rally had four times that amount.

Basically, the right-wing will do everything to discredit this rally and try to push their false numbers to make it appear as if they are the majority when they are not...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Charlie Crist And The Democrats

Florida Governor Charlie Crist begun his independent campaign for governor leading the polls, trailed by Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek, but things have changed over the months, with Rubio taking the lead and Crist slipping to second.  Recently, a news story claimed Bill Clinton came down to Florida to try and convince Meek to drop out of the race to allow Crist to pick up the Democratic votes - a plan Meek supposedly was for until he changed his mind.

I find this interesting because such a deal would have been the smart thing to do - Meek has no chance of winning and continuing with his campaign would only put Rubio into office - something Democrats would suffer from.  The Crist campaign knew from the beginning that it would never win an election if it went completely to the right and so he campaigned from the center, trying to court voters from both political parties - this is probably why most recently there had been news reports that Crist would caucus with the Democrats should he win.
If elected to the U.S. Senate when voters head to the polls in the Sunshine State next week, Florida Governor Charlie Crist would caucus with Democratic members of the chamber, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to Florida trial lawyer John Morgan, an advisor to the Republican-turned-independent candidate's campaign, "Crist is going to caucus with the Democrats."

Earlier this year, Crist announced that he would drop his bid for Florida's GOP Senate nomination against party pick Marco Rubio to make an independent run. Following the abrupt party-switch -- which the Senate hopeful earlier denied he would ever considering making -- Crist has made an unmistakable shift leftward in the political spectrum on a host of policy issues.
If Crist can get the Democrats to back his campaign, he will be able to beat Rubio.  Apparently Meek believes he can still win, and the Republicans are sitting back enjoying the show.  Meek even appeared on Fox News' Greta Van Susteren's show "On The Record" to deny rumours that he may abandon his campaign - a move I believe Fox made to try and help keep Meek supporters voting Democrat.  After all, when has Fox News been interested in telling the Democrat's side of the story unless it benefits their agenda - remember Glenn Beck's hour-long interview with disgraced Democrat Eric Massa?

Just consider this - how many times has Kendrick Meek or Charlie Cristappeared on Fox News?  Marco Rubio?

Now consider this newest poll result:
Independent candidate for US Senate Charlie Crist is closing the gap, but is still seven points behind Republican Marco Rubio, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll.

The survey shows Rubio getting 42 percent of the vote, Crist with 35 and Democrat Kendrick Meek with 15 percent. Quinnipiac Pollster Peter Brown says Crist is stealing votes from Meek.

“Obviously the fewer people who vote for Kendrick Meek the better off Crist is in the senate race. The question is, can he move enough people from Meek to himself to overtake Rubio. That’s a tall order with a handful of days left in the campaign,” said Brown.
Considering the margin of error, that places Crist neck and neck with Rubio.  I suspect Democrats will be watching the poll results on election day and may pull to Crist in the last minute...

Steve Doocy Lies On Air, Fox News Looks The Other Way...

An article by Will Guzzardi for The Huffington Post was very interesting on Friday - it detailed how Fox News lied on television, with "Fox and Friends" host Steve Doocy making false claims and instead of having an expert or someone knowledgeable of the situation on the show, he interviewed a partisan reporter from The Washington Times.
FOX News continues stoking the fires of incendiary campaign rhetoric, this time asserting verifiable falsehoods about absentee ballots in Chicago.

On a "Fox & Friends" segment Thursday morning, host Steve Doocy asked if "inmates [were] taking priority over American soldiers," while the banner below him screamed, "INMATES VOTE, TROOPS DON'T."

Doocy claimed that ballots were "hand-delivered" to inmates at the Cook County Jail, while absentee ballots weren't sent on time to American soldiers serving abroad.

Rather than bringing on a Chicago reporter to discuss the facts of the case, or asking the Board of Elections for comment, the show interviewed Quinn Hillyer of the Washington Times, a paper whose name almost makes it sound non-partisan. "It's awful," Hillyer said. "What it comes down to is, felons vote, soldiers don't. At least that seems to be the attitude in Cook County, Illinois."

Trouble with Doocy's claims: they're all patently false.

It is true, as he says leading off the segment, that 35 counties were, to some degree, late in send out absentee ballots to military personnel.

Cook County was not one of them. In fact, according to a press release from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, Cook County overseas ballots were sent out by September 3, more than two weeks ahead of the federal deadline.

In 24 of the 35 counties in question, fewer than 10 absentee ballots were requested. In the most egregious case, St. Clair County in the southwestern part of the state sent out 1,274 absentee ballots on October 4, roughly two weeks after the deadline. But all of Cook County's 7,163 overseas soldiers will indeed have the chance to vote, contrary to Hillyer's complaint.

What's more, the claim about ballots being hand-delivered to prisoners also turns out to be pretty suspect.
Where are Fox's retractions?  Isn't it interesting they jump on every other media institution out there, with their pundits calling for this or that, but when they are caught with their pants down they do nothing - no wonder why Fox's viewers support the tea party and believe Obama is a Muslim...

Friday, October 29, 2010


Go out and vote before it's too late - I spent this morning casting my ballot.  Here are the list of candidates that got my support:
  • (D) Alex Sink for Governor
  • (I) Charlie Crist for Senate
  • (D) Alan Grayson for Congress
  • (D) Dan Gelber for Attorney General
  • (R) Adam Putnam for Commissioner of Agriculture
  • (R) Eric Eisnaugle for State Representative
  • (R) Jeff Atwater for Chief Financial Officer
Here are my choices for the proposed constitutional amendments (here is an excellent analysis):
  • Amendment 1 - Yes
  • Amendment 2 - No
  • Amendment 4 - Yes
  • Amendment 5 - Yes
  • Amendment 6 - Yes
  • Amendment 8 - Yes
I also voted "No" on both non-binding referendums on the ballot.

Below are my explanations as to why I voted the way that I did - independetly of both major parties (please note that the reasoning listed below is not the full reason for my decisions but a compact reasoning).

Goodbye Kings Plaza Diner...

Ever since my family moved away from New York, there was one thing we could depend on every time we returned - the Kings Plaza Diner on Avenue U in Brooklyn.  Growing up, we were regulars, calling the place "Patty's" (I believe after one of the owner's daughters) and having our usual meals - mine was two eggs, over-easy, french fries, and sausage.  I would dip my fries in the yolk, snack on the sausage, and mop up the rest with a piece of toast, and don't forget those tasty pickles - nothing said I was home more then a nice meal at my local diner so you can imagine my surprise when I discovered my favorite restaurant closed on Sunday.

Here is an excerpt from an article found on The Daily News' website:
Having cooked a few million burgers and a gazillion fries, Brooklyn's landmark Kings Plaza Diner turned off its neon sign Sunday night for good.

The 35-year-old go-to grill was to shutter its glass doors at midnight, leaving regulars crying in their corned beef.

"This was our swan song," said Harvey Zitter, 61, of Brooklyn, splitting a tuna salad sandwich with his wife.

"It's like a family here," said Zitter, who has patronized the Avenue U eatery several times a week for as long as he can remember. "They know your name and treat you so well. The food is great, too."

Ann Kirchner, 49, of Bergen Beach, had tears running down her cheeks for the diner she's been coming to since she was 13.

"I've been here since they had hair," said Kirchner, pointing to the two bald managers at the cash register.

"It wasn't the food that brought me back. You always saw people you knew, and we made new friends here," said Kirchner, adding that she planned her wedding and the renovation of her home at one of the tables.

Opened in 1975, Kings Plaza, with a fully stocked cocktail bar, is one of the only New York diners to win back-to-back Daily News' Diner of the Year Awards. It won in 1995 and 1996.

Nick Stathos, 58, one of the original owners, leased the land earlier this year to a national developer.

Stathos and his new partners plan to open another diner in the neighborhood soon.
Even after we moved away, we were always welcomed - by name - by Nick.  The Kings Plaza Diner was truly a memorable place and will live on in my memories.  I hope to eat at Nick's new diner soon...

Christine O'Donnell's One Night Stand...


There was an anonymous article posted on Gawker Thursday afternoon that claimed the author had a one night stand with Christine O'Donnell, minus the sex, but according to the author, that was because he was turned off by O'Donnell's personal grooming habits with things never really heating up afterwards.
We'd probably knocked back five Heinekens when Christine leaned over and whispered in my ear that she wanted to go back to my place. Before we could go, though, she told me to ask her friend if she'd mind if I drove Christine home later that evening. That was odd. I guess Christine didn't want to come across as a slut in her friend's eyes for going home with me, so she wanted me to bring it up her friend first.

I did what I was told and asked her friend if she had any objection to me hanging out with Christine a little longer provided I took her home later on in the evening. She didn't, and a few minutes after that, we were all headed back to my apartment. Christine's friend got in her car and went home. My roommate went to his bedroom and went to sleep. And Christine and I got cozy on the couch and popped open another beer.

Things got physical on the couch pretty quickly. It wasn't long before we'd moved from the living room to my bed.

I won't get into the nitty gritty details of what happened between the sheets that evening. But I will say that it wasn't half as exciting as I'd been hoping it would be. Christine was a decent kisser, but as soon as soon as her clothes came off and she was naked in my bed, Christine informed me that she was a virgin.

"You've got to be kidding," I said. She didn't explain at the time that she was a "born-again virgin." She made it seem like she'd never had sex in her life, which seemed pretty improbable for a woman her age. And she made it clear that she was planning on staying a virgin that night. But there were signs that she wasn't very experienced sexually. When her underwear came off, I immediately noticed that the waxing trend had completely passed her by.
This article has gotten the ire of conservatives like Meghan McCain, and it's validity is unknown, but the author does have pictures of O'Donnell in a ladybug outfit.  The author claims O'Donnell had emailed him after the failed sexual encounter but things went nowhere from there - I suggest that the author try to find those emails otherwise he will be dismissed as another Will Folks - the man who claimed to have an affair with "Mama Grizzly" Nikki Haley of South Carolina.  Folks, though, released text messages and a more detailed account, prompting Haley to quickly try to discredit her accuser - I wonder what O'Donnell's response will be...

Updated - Christine O'Donnell's campaign responded to allegations that the born-again virgin and moral crusader-turned-senatorial candidate had a one-night stand with a man at a past Halloween party, and as could be expected, O'Donnell blames sexism and her Democratic opponent.
"This story is just another example of the sexism and slander that female candidates are forced to deal with. From Secretary Clinton, to Governor Palin, to soon-to-be Governor Haley, Christine's political opponents have been willing to engage in appalling and baseless attacks -- all with the aim of distracting the press from covering the real issues in this race. Even the National Organization for Women gets it, but Christine's opponent disturbingly does not. As Chris Coons said on September 16th he would not condone personal attacks against Christine. Classless Coons goons have proven yet again to have no sense of common decency or common sense with their desperate attacks to get another rubber stamp for the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda. Such attacks are truly shameful, but they will not distract us from making our case to Delaware voters -- and keeping the focus on Chris Coons' record of higher taxes, increased spending, and as he has done again here, breaking his promises to the voters."
First, where was O'Donnell when her teabag bretheren accused the president of sneaking off from the media to meet a woman other than his wife?  What about the baseless claims made by New York conservative Carl Paladino against Democrat Andrew Cuomo?

O'Donnell seems to believe such attacks or claims are exclusive to female candidates -they're not, and to be clear, I am unsure of what to make of it, but compared to accusations against the Democrats by right-wing sources like Andrew Breitbart's Big sites or Fox News, I find the Gawker article to be pretty valid, although not as convincing as the Will Folks claim against Nikki Haley.  I also agree with the reasoning behing posting the article, should the article prove to be true - it speaks volumes to a certain hypocrisy considering O'Donnell's views on sexuality.

Also, Christ Coons actually condemned the Gawker article too, but that doesn't really fit with O'Donnell's paranoia.

“It’s cowardly and despicable that they would publish this garbage,” Coons’s spokesman, Daniel McElhatton told The Daily Caller.

Majority Of Troops Accepting Of Gays

Check out this Associated Press article:
An internal Pentagon study has found that most U.S. troops and their families don't care whether gays are allowed to serve openly and think the policy of "don't ask, don't tell" could be done away with, according to officials familiar with its findings.

The survey results were expected to be used by gay rights advocates to bolster their argument that the 1993 law on gays could be repealed immediately with little harm done to the military. But the survey also was expected to reveal challenges the services could face in overturning the long-held policy, including overcoming fierce opposition in some parts of the military even if they represent a minority.

Details on the survey results were still scarce Thursday, with the Pentagon declining to discuss the findings until after Dec. 1 when it rolls out its own plan for repeal.
So let's go down the list - the Democrats and the administration want DADT repealed, Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants DADT repealed, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen wants DADT repealed, and now a majority of troops won't mind if DADT is repealed, leaving Republicans the only ones who want to keep the 17-year-old discriminatory law on the books.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Christine O'Donnell Threatened To Sue Radio Station

Just when you thought Delaware senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell couldn't do anything more ridiculous, she does - After giving a radio interview with WDEL's conservative talk radio program "The Rick Jensen Show," the O'Donnell camp apparently got upset when they discovered the radio interview was video recorded as well.  What was the campaign's response - threaten to sue.

Andrew Malcolm wrote the following for The Los Angeles Times:
Christine O'Donnell is still having trouble understanding that pesky 1st Amendment.

After a 20-minute radio interview with an AM station in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday, a representative of the Republican nominee for Senate demanded that the station turn over a video that had been made of the interview so it could be destroyed.

O'Donnell's campaign manager, Matt Moran, called the station, WDEL, and threatened to "crush" the broadcaster with a lawsuit if the unauthorized video wasn't released to the "tea party" darling, the station reported.

WDEL's attorney told the O'Donnell campaign's law firm that no prior authorization was required to record the interview on video or post it online because the station's actions were protected by the 1st Amendment as free speech, according to a story posted online by WDEL.

"After seeing the video the attorney for the O'Donnell campaign contacted WDEL's counsel again to apologize for charges made by their campaign manager," the station wrote. "The attorney agreed that there was no legal issue with the video and expressed regret for the incident."

"There is no threat to sue D-E-L," O'Donnell's press secretary Doug Satchel told the radio station, on video, Wednesday, apparently putting the matter behind them.
ABC News' Devin Dwyer reported the following:
“He accused us of creating a story to garner ratings because we must be hurting since the Phillies were no longer on the air,” WDEL general manager Michael Reath told the Associated Press.  Moran has denied using the word “crush.” 
Why is this interesting?  One reason is because Christine O'Donnell claims to be a constitutional expert, yet she threatened the press - the free press - with a lawsuit because they recorded an interview she conducted.

Let's look at the Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Now consider the reasoning behind the O'Donnell campaign - they wanted the radio station to surrender the video (before they viewed it) because they thought the station was going to manufacture a story against O'Donnell - they obviously were aware of O'Donnell's body language during the interview and how that would be construed - Delware voters may get an opportunity to see the real candidate since the O'Donnell may not have been aware that the cameras were rolling.

When they finally saw the video, they decided to drop the lawsuit - I think they probably dropped the lawsuit because of all the negative press they received over this, considering O'Donnell's hypocrisy of supposedly being a staunch defender of the Constitution yet simultaneously wanting to silence the media.
The station reports it later received an apology from the O’Donnell campaign, and O’Donnell spokesman Doug Sachtleben said in a video interview that there is “no threat to sue DEL.”

WDEL later posted the video on its website, which it routinely does for interview segments.

“There had been a question prior to the interview as to whether or not the video camera would be running, and its my fault for not pursuing that,” Sachtleben said. “The question was never clearly answered, even though it was put to the host twice.”

“We think the video shows Christine to be a strong candidate that went toe to toe with a strong talk show host,” he added.
Why else would the campaign threaten to sue, apologize, and then claim the interview portrayed O'Donnell positively - this is an obvious spin...

Post-Election Democratic Strategies

With every media outlet pretty much writing that conservatives will come out the winners during this year's elections, which are only a couple days away, I thought there was an interesting article by Howard Fineman for The Huffington Post that discussed the Democrat's strategy after Republican gains:
The bigger the margin Republicans pile up next Tuesday, the less likely it is that the Democrats will be able to - or want to - do much when Congress reconvenes for a lame-duck session on November 15.

Rather, leadership aides tell me, they will want to do the minimum, pushing the toughest decisions on taxes, spending and debt forward to a newer, presumably more Republican, 112th Congress, which will convene for the first time on January 3, 2011.

Come January, the new Tea Party-infused GOP then would have to quickly confront the real-world consequences of its tax-cutting, budget-cutting, debt-reducing, anti-government rhetoric.
I disagree with idea that Democrats should try and get right-wing neophyte legislators to make some tough choices in the beginning.  I do not think it is a good decision because when you take into consideration the attention span of the American electorate, the teabaggers can make the tough choices early in their first term and then plany on American forgetfullness towards election time.

Instead of challenging the tea party right away, Democrats should wait until 2012 - that way they will force the tough issues during a presedential election year, thrusting tea party issues of 2010 onto the GOP's future candidates.  Imagine the tough time a Republican presidential nominee would have when there are some conservative candidates either making asses of themselves or going back on their numerous fringe promises - it would be easy to tie even the most moderate of candidates to such things...

NPR Receives Bomb Threat

From an article by Paul Farhi for The Washington Post:
NPR received a bomb threat Monday, five days after its decision to fire news analyst Juan Williams sparked a hugely negative reaction.

Sources at the news organization said the threat was received via U.S. mail and was immediately turned over to local police and the FBI. The organization did not publicly disclose the threat or release details, on the advice of law enforcement officials.

The letter didn't reference the Williams firing specifically, but people at NPR, who spoke about it on the condition of anonymity, said the timing and tone suggested it was sent after Williams's widely publicized termination.
Another instance of right-wing violence?  Just consider recent stories like the one involving Rand Paul campaign workers stomping on a protester's head or the foiled attack against the Tides Foundation by Byron Williams - where are the acts of violence perpetrated by the "left," who according to conservatives are prone to outbreaks of violence?

Joe Miller's Approval Ratings and What They Mean,..

I saw news that support for Alaskan teabagger Joe Miller has dwindled down to new lows, with 68 percent of people polled stating they have an unfavorable view of the right-wing candidate - compare those numbers with the 26 percent that have some kind of favorable view of Miller.  Below are the numbers.

What does this mean exactly?

My simple analysis of the figures shows that while those who have had a "very favorable" view of the candidate continue to have that opinion, over time the rest of the electorate has learned enough about Miller to develop an unfavorable opinion, and that is because the majority of the electorate are not conservative.  Most voters lie somewhere in the middle, and as people have learned more about the candidate, they were more inclined to oppose his positions - this is why Sen. Lisa Murkowski has had considerable success so far as a write-in candidate.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

James O'Keefe Accuses New Jersey Union Of Fraud In Decade-Old Election With No Evidence


James O'Keefe has done it again.  On Tuesday, O'Keefe had released a video through his Project Veritas and posted a short piece on Big Government attacking his newest target - the New Jersey Education Association.  In his post, O'Keefe claims the union committed voter fraud but admits that the video he made is only circumstantial - he has no hard evidence supporting his accusations and bases everything off a comment made by Wayne Dibofsky, the associate director of the New Jersey Education Association, where he recalled an election nearly fifteen years ago where voting machines were dropped off at the Jersey City Education Association office, but were never used.

Here is the video:

O'Keefe bases his entire video off a comment Dibofsky made where he mentions a couple voting machines dropped off at his office, which was not a voting precinct, and when he told the delivery men of the machines that his office was not a voting precinct and that people would not come and vote, the delivery man replied with the following: "Doesn't matter."  Dibofsky then admits that nobody came to vote on those machines and they were subsequently picked up.

Dibofksy claimed that a candidate had then carried the district with those voting machines - the machines that nobody used.

O'Keefe then goes on to talk about the election and detail the history of the location of the Education Administration to prove that it was indeed not a voting precinct, but O'Keefe only put this information in his video to give it some facts - the rest is just supposition after supposition.

O'Keefe contacted City Clerk of 21 years Robert Byrne, but he could not add anything to O'Keefe's story.

O'Keefe contacted the Superintendent of Elections and they directed O'Keefe to Betty Outlaw, a former Hudson County Superintendent of Elections, whom he could not get in touch with either, but he was sure to mention that she ran for an at-large council seat on Lou Manzo's ticket and that Manzo was indicted - he was charged with extortion last year.  With New Jersey's sweeping corruption arrests last year, O'Keefe was bound to link someone in his "investigation" - much like playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.  Probably doesn't help any that the superintendent's name was Betty Outlaw.

Robert Byrne suggests O'Keefe contact one of the attorneys involved in the election at the time, like Judge Napolitano, to tell O'Keefe that the election was the most scrutinized election in recent history and that what O'Keefe is suggesting would have been near impossible.  O'Keefe does not contact any of the lawyers who were involved in the election, but he does try to contact Dibofsky but he didn't respond in time for O'Keefe's report.

Did you get that?  O'Keefe's "report" on a 13-year-old election could not wait any longer to get any corroborating evidence or actual statements.  Does that sound like journalism or more like a political activist who couldn't find the answer he was looking for so he relies mostly on unprovable allegations.

To sum it up, O'Keefe has no election records, no voting machines, no corroborating witnesses, and no statements from those who were involved in the election at that time.  Basically, O'Keefe has nothing but that doesn't stop Big Government from posting his crap.

After his last stunt trying to seduce a CNN reporter, his hardly news-worthy census video (that quickly fizzled), his arrest for trying to do something with Mary Landrieu's telephone cabinet, and his heavily edited ACORN videos, why should anyone believe this latest video of his?

Update - I had left a comment on the Big Government post pretty much stating my summary but there were no responses - only some negative IntenseDebate scores.  I did, however, notice an interesting comment left behind by another reader, as well as countless attacks by the Big fanatics.

KevinM40 made one mistake - a judge did not determine O'Keefe's videos were doctored - Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes concluded that O'Keefe's videos were "heavily edited."  ACORN was also cleared of any wrongdoing by California Attorney General Jerry Brown, as well as a two-month independent investigation headed by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger and another investigation conducted by the Congressional Research Service, which found no criminal wrongdoing - Harshbarger also came to the conclusion that O'Keefe's videos were highly doctored and manipulated. 

U.S. House Judiciary Chair John Conyers found that "there were no instances of individuals who were allegedly registered to vote improperly by ACORN or its employees and who were reported 'attempting to vote at the polls," and that "no instances were identified in which ACORN 'violated the terms of federal funding in the last five years."

I corrected KevinM40 and Tyler by mentioning Hynes' statements.  Here is what Tyler520 had to say:

Wait a second... Tyler520 insisted that "no judge made any such determination" in regards to O'Keefe's videos but in his repsonse to my comment, he mentions a "punk activist judge."  Considering Tyler520 also mentions "ACORN schools" littering Brooklyn and dozens of verdicts against ACORN still standing without offering any kind of evidence, it is safe to say Tyler knows jack about ACORN, except from what he learns from Andrew Breitbart's propaganda websites.

I am interested to see just what this clown says next, and I thought it would go without saying - I reported Tyler520's "dumb twat" comment.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tea Party Thugs Attack Rand Paul Protester

While the right likes to place blame on the left for being violent, it seems that there are plenty more instances of right-wing violence - most recently, a protester at a Rand Paul rally was either tripped or pushed down by Paul supporters, with one person stomping on the protester's head - all caught on film.
An ugly scene took place outside the Kentucky Senatorial debate Monday night as what appeared to be a supporter of Republican candidate Rand Paul was captured by a local news affiliate literally stomping the head of a member of the progressive-activist organization

The MoveOn volunteer, Lauren Valle, went to the hospital after explaining what had happened to local press. As of 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time she remained there, according to another MoveOn official. According to a local Fox station, Valle had attempted to approach Paul before the debate took place, dressed in a blonde wig and with a "RepublicanCorp" sign mocking him as a stooge of special interests.

Attendees around Valle are heard screaming, "get the cops" as cameras captured her being dragged to the pavement by her red sweater. Once on the ground a man wearing white sneakers pushed the sole of his shoe down on her head.
Just another example of right-wing thuggery.  What I found even more interesting were comments from the Paul campaign - of course they stated they desire civility, but the way Paul described the event on Fox News Tuesday, he made it sound as if the protester was guilty of causing the violence.
We want everybody to be civil. We want this campaign to be about issues. I will tell you that when we arrived there was enormous passion on both sides. It really was something where you walk into a haze of lights flashing, people yelling and screaming, bumping up. And there was a bit of a crowd control problem. I don't want anybody though to be involved in things that aren't civil. I think this should always be about the issues. And it is an unusual situation to have so many people so passionate on both sides jockeying back and forth. And it wasn't something that I liked or anybody liked about that situation. So I hope in the future it is going to be better.
I think the only people doing the "jockeying" were Paul's thugs...

Update - It turns out that the person who stomped on the woman's head was a Rand Paul supporter and volunteer.

He also admitted to attacking the woman...

Sarah Palin Defends Joe Miller's Honor While Joe Miller Hides Behind Lies And Empty Rhetoric

It seems that Lisa Murkowski has gotten under Sarah Palins's skin enough to cause the former half-term governor to post a couple tweets and write a long Facebook note attacking the opponent of her protege, Joe Miller.  Apparently, Lisa Murkowski attacked Miller's military honor, or at least that is how Palin sees things.  First, here are Palin's reactions:

But perhaps the most shocking part of all in this debate was when the incumbent Senator used Joe Miller’s distinguished military service as a means to attack him. Joe Miller graduated from West Point, fought in Desert Storm, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service to our country. I find it astonishing that a sitting U.S. Senator from Alaska would challenge the honor of a decorated combat veteran. Is it any wonder the audience later booed her when she again challenged Joe Miller’s honor? Please watch the video of this exchange here.

We need to send a message that we’re not going to stand for this arrogant sense of entitlement and business-as-usual Beltway corruption. Joe needs our help to fight back against the influx of special interest money. Please join me in donating any amount you can spare to Joe’s campaign by clicking here. He can lead once he gets to D.C., but he’ll need our help to get to there.
Now, lets discuss all of the above.

Palin insists that Murkoski attacked Miller's military honor in her questioning how he is living up to his decorated service with his lies and ethics violations.  It seems that even questioning a veteran would be enough to set Palin off, but it is a perfectly legitimate line of questioning - it's not like Murkowski was the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which the right had no problem supporting six years ago when they attacked decorated soldier and presidential candidate John Kerry.

The other thing in Palin's note is her assertion that the crowd booed when "she again challenged Joe Miller's honor."  The Right Scoop also references a booing, but if you watch the video, you will notice that the Murkowski received an applause for her statement, where she stated Miller was "not fit to lead."  I did hear what sounded like it could be a little booing but it definitely was not the "loud boos" The Right Scoop describes, but of course Palin would join in on this lie because it helps support her agenda and Miller's campaign, which is somewhat of a reflection of Palin's political power.

Also, if you think about it, each candidate received an applause after they spoke.  Miller, in my opinion, got the loudest of the applause, with nobody booing.  When Murkowski was finishing up her comments, it sounded as if some people started to boo and then there was an applause.  It makes me think that it was Miller supporters who were behind the booing to make a scene giving the appearance that Murkowski is not well liked, but considering reports that Murkowski's write-in campaign looks like a possible frontrunner, it is no wonder why the Miller fanatics are willing to do anything to win (like run from the press and handcuff journalists asking questions - read the report of an eye witness and former Miller supporter here).

This debate was also interesting because Miller actually attended it - he has skipped out on a couple others because of his belief that those holding the debates are being biased against him and his campaign.

In addition, like the Christine O'Donnell debate, I see that conservatives have latched onto one question to try and overshadow the rest.  I had read an interesting article by KTUU's Lori Tipton that mentioned another interesting question and response:
Channel 2's News director Steve MacDonald moderated the Senate debate among Republican Joe Miller, incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is running as a write-in candidate, and Democrat Scott McAdams.

MacDonald pointed out that many Americans are angry over what they say is an out-of-control federal government, and asked the three candidates how they would cut back on federal spending.

"What we have to do as Alaskans is, we've got to fight as hard as other leaders in the state but fight in another direction -- rather than for the earmarks, for the resource base we have," Miller said. "If we put as much effort behind that effort for resources as we did earmarks, this state can create an economy that we need to make sure we have jobs."

"The fact of the matter is, if we eliminate earmarks, what that means is that federal spending continues; we're not going to be saving a dime of it," Murkowski said. "What it means is that those in the agencies, those unelected bureaucrats will be setting the priorities. The priorities that they have in Washington, D.C. are most often not in alignment with what's happening here in the State of Alaska."

"There are some things, I think, in federal spending -- I think a 3 percent cut in discretionary spending is something we could certainly look at," McAdams said. "But you don't balance the federal budget on the backs of kids, on the backs of rural communities, on the backs of seniors, while we continue to give tax cuts to the richest 1 percent of America, multi-millionaires, and tax loopholes to multinational corporations."
I think both Murkowski's and McAdams' responses were pretty decent, but I think Miller's is just a bunch of typical tea party talking points.  Miller wants to open up resources in Alaska for development but the federal government stands in his way - the federal government currently controls 242 million acres of land in Alaska.  Miller uses natural resources (oil) as a jobs issue.  

I find that interesting because at 7.8 percent unemployment, Alaska is lower then the national average, and unlike the lower 48, Alaskan's get that nice dividend check from the state to help them get by.  A couple years ago the average U.S. unemployment rate was around 5 percent - Alaska's was 6.2 percent three years ago.  Compare that with states like Florida, which saw their unemployment more than double in that same period of time.  Joe Miller is claiming opening state resources will make a difference in the job market which has only seen a slight fluctuation during the great recession - Alaska saw the least job losses among all the states at the height of the economic crisis at just .5 percent (in late 2008/early 2009).  Things just don't add up, but then again, maybe they do - Miller is a favorite of Big Oil...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ralph Nader Poses Ten Questions For Tea Partiers

I disagreed with Shepard Smith on election night two years ago when he called Ralph Nader "irrelevant" and I still hold that position - Ralph Nader had written an excellent piece for posing ten questions that tea partiers may or may not want to answer.
1. Can you be against Big Government and not press for reductions in the vast military budgets, fraught with bureaucratic and large contractors’ waste, fraud and abuse? Military spending now takes up half of the federal government’s operating budgets. The libertarian Cato Institute believes that to cut deficits, we have to also cut the defense budget.

2. Can you believe in the free market and not condemn hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate welfare-bailouts, subsidies, handouts, and giveaways?

3. Can you want to preserve the legitimate sovereignty of our country and not reject the trade agreements known as NAFTA and GATT (The World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland) that scholars have described as the greatest surrender of local, state and national sovereignty in our history?

4. Can you be for law and order and not support a bigger and faster crackdown on the corporate crime wave, that needs more prosecutors and larger enforcement budgets to stop the stealing of taxpayers and consumer dollars so widely reported in the Wall Street Journal and Business Week? Law enforcement officials estimate that for every dollar for prosecution, seventeen to twenty dollars are returned.

5. Can you be against invasions of privacy by government and business without rejecting the provisions of the Patriot Act that leave you defenseless to constant unlawful snooping, appropriation of personal information and even search of your home without notification until 72 hours later?

6. Can you be against regulation of serious medical malpractice (over 100,000 lives lost a year, according to a study by Harvard physicians), unsafe drugs that have serious side effects or cause the very injury/illness they were sold to prevent, motor vehicles with defective brakes, tires and throttles, contaminated food from China, Mexico and domestic processors?

7. Can you keep calling for Freedom and yet tolerate control of your credit and other economic rights by hidden and arbitrary credit ratings and credit scores? What Freedom do you have when you have to sign industry-wide fine print one-sided “contracts” with your banks, insurance companies, car dealers, and credit card companies? Many of these contracts even block your Constitutional access to the courthouse.

8. Can you be for a new, clean system of politics and elections and still accept the Republican and Democratic Two Party dictatorship that is propped up by complex state laws, frivolous litigation and harassment to exclude from the ballot third parties and independent candidates who want reform, accountability, and stronger voices for the voters?

9. If you want a return to our Constitution—its principles of limited and separation of power and its emphasis on “We the People” in its preamble—can you still support Washington’s wars that have not been declared by Congress (Article I Section 8) or giving corporations equal rights with humans plus special privileges and immunities. The word “corporation” or “company” never appears in the Constitution. How can you support eminent domain powers given by governments to corporations over homeowners, or massive week-end bailouts by the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department of businesses, even reckless foreign banks, without receiving the authority and the appropriations from the Congress, as the Constitution requires?

10. You want less taxation and lower deficits. How can you succeed unless you stop big corporations from escaping their fair share of taxes by manipulating foreign jurisdictions against our tax laws, for example, or by letting trillions of dollars of speculation on Wall Street go without any sales tax, while you pay six, seven or eight percent sales tax on the necessities you buy in stores?
I have asked questions similar to the ones above on various pro-tea party sites like Andrew Breitbart's Big sites, and all I can say is that the hypocrisy is alive and well within the ranks of the right - it seems the tea party, while claiming to maintain certain "conservative" values seem to care more about removing liberals from office

How The Tea Party Was Born...

There is an excellent collaborative piece from The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute that is extremely informative and very enlightening, in which the author, Adele M. Stan, details just who exactly is behind the tea party movement.
Win or lose, the Tea Party movement will come away from next week's elections triumphant, having injected into the Republican Party a group of candidates pledged to the dismantling of government and wed to the religious right. Of the movement's dozen favored candidates for U.S. Senate, all are anti-abortion, and five oppose it even in cases of rape and incest. Among their number are Colorado's Ken Buck, who has compared homosexuality to alcoholism, and Nevada's Sharron Angle, who wants to demolish both the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency. Major GOP players, from political strategist Karl Rove to former Bush speechwriter David Frum, have fretted publicly over Tea Party extremism, with Frum complaining of the movement's "paranoid delusions."

But it has now become clear that these Tea Party "outsiders" are all part of an inside game, a battle for control of the Republican party.

Though billed as a people's movement, the Tea Party wouldn't exist without a gusher of cash from oil billionaire David H. Koch and the vast media empire of Rupert Murdoch. Many of the small donations to Tea Party candidates have been cultivated by either Fox News Channel, a property of Murdoch's News Corporation, or the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, chaired by Koch. The movement's major organizations are all run, not by first-time, mad-as-hell activists, but by former GOP officials or operatives.

Taken together, Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks (another far-right political group seeded by the Kochs) and Murdoch's News Corp, owner of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, form the corporate headquarters of a conglomerate one might call Tea Party, Inc. This is the syndicate that funds the organizing, crafts the messages, and channels the rage of conservative Americans at their falling fortunes into an oppositional force to President Obama and to any government solution to the current economic calamity. Groups such as Tea Party Express, Tea Party Nation, and the FreedomWorks-affiliated Tea Party Patriots; the bevy of political consultants for hire; and various allied elected officials can be understood as Tea Party, Inc.'s loosely affiliated subsidiaries. The Web sites of FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity and the Tea Party side projects of Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck are linked with those of Tea Party Express and Tea Party Patriots, all of which in turn solicit support for Tea Party candidates.
I suggest reading the entire article to get a better understanding of all the parties involved.  For a visual, here is a graphic that accompanied the article:

Texas Board Of Education Like Iran

I saw an article on Reuters by Parisa Hafezi, regarding Iranian academics, that reminded me of another story recently - the right-wing takeover of the Texas board of education.
"Expansion of 12 disciplines in the social sciences like law, women's studies, human rights, management, sociology, philosophy....psychology and political sciences will be reviewed," [Education Ministry] Abolfazl Hassani was quoted as saying in the Arman newspaper.

"These sciences' contents are based on Western culture. The review will be the intention of making them compatible with Islamic teachings."

Hassani said Iranian universities will not be allowed to open new departments in these disciplines and the curricula for existing departments would be revised.

Iran's hard-line rulers accuse the West of trying to harm the Islamic state by influencing the country's young generation with "decadent" culture.
The comments from the senior Education Ministry sound remarkably like the changes made by the conservative Texas board of education.
Recently, the The Texas Board of Education adopted social studies and history guidelines for public school classrooms. In two party-line 9 to 5 votes the Republican majority on the Texas State Board of Education made controversial changes to the state’s social study guidelines that reflect a more socially conservative viewpoint.

The board has amended or watered down the teaching of the civil rights movement, slavery, America’s relationship with the United Nations and hundreds of other items.

Some of the changes include:

a) Removing former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Caesar Chavez from the history books.

b) Questions the discussion of separation of church and state.

c) Claims that the U.S. government was infiltrated by Communists during the Cold War.

d) More emphasis on President Reagan.

e) Eliminating hip-hop should as part of lessons on American culture.

f) Rejected language to modernize the classification of historic periods to B.C.E. and C.E. from the traditional B.C. and A.D.

g) Curriculum changes involves students’ approach to religious liberty and church-state separation.

The Texas Education Agency stated the following will be added to the Government curriculum standards:

“Examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America and guaranteed its free exercise by saying that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and compare and contrast this to the phrase “separation of church and state.”
The changes from Texas' school board sound like something Iran's culture ministry would do - just change the subjects to their Iranian equivalents.

It seems fundamentalism transcends faiths...

Sarah Palin Visits Orlando

I had just found out Sarah Palin visited Orlando this week, which is a shame because I would have tried to attend. I don't plan on commenting on her typical comments (anti-"Obamacare," military, financial reform, etc.), but I did happen to notice something I would like to comment on - Palin made a joke about federal stimulus projects in Florida, referencing some sort of "turtle tunnel" in Tallahassee.

It is safe to say that Palin does not know what she is talking about - she joked about the similarities between Florida and Alaska but only to urge those in attendance to watch her new television program.

Michael Markarian wrote a piece for The Huffington Post last year that detailed this stimulus project that has been trivialized by those on the right - this all stems from criticisms made by Republican Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma regarding the stimulus.
But when you look under the shell, the Florida highway project dubbed the Lake Jackson Ecopassage, which will help turtles and other animals cross a busy and deadly stretch of U.S. Highway 27 in Tallahassee, is not a fleecing of taxpayers. It's a wise solution to a pressing problem that makes the highway unsafe for drivers and a slaughter ground for wildlife. The community-based project is supported by local citizens, public officials, and the state Department of Transportation. It has been 10 years in the making and now, thanks to federal stimulus money, has the potential to not only help animals, but also save human lives.

Here's how the story really began: Ten years ago, a Florida State University graduate student named Matt Aresco noticed a proliferation of dead turtles--some weighing 20 pounds--littering the side of Highway 27.

When he got out of the car to take a look, he picked up 90 dead turtles in a third of a mile stretch of highway. Through painstaking research, he documented the highest rate of turtle mortality on any road in North America--more than 2,000 turtles per mile per year. Ninety-eight percent of the turtles who try to cross, Aresco found, get killed.

Highway 27 was constructed before there were rules about protecting wetlands, and it sliced Lake Jackson, a state aquatic preserve, into two. The turtles--and alligators--follow the same route they've traveled for thousands of years, but now it's a death sentence. Sixty-two species of reptiles, amphibians, and mammals have been found attempting to cross Highway 27.
I wonder if Alaska has to worry about over-development interacting with diverse ecosystems.  I bet the couple thousand inhabitants of Wasilla had never even experienced an alligator in the middle of the road - I have.  In all fairness, Alaska does have problems with road-killed moose, but considering Alaska's population is less than 5%, these incidents are far more rare then what occurs on a Florida highway.

Palin points to just one stimulus project but ignores countless other highly important projects that help restore our state's infrastructure like storm water management facilities, pump stations, and water and sewer upgrades.  I'm sure they are just as important as projects in Alaska, like the numerous multi-million dollar road repairs, which leads me to another issue I would like to address - a comparison of stimulus spending per person between Alaska and Florida.

Alaska tops the list of stimulus dollars per person, with the stimulus covering $3,145 per person.  Florida is at the bottom with $915 per person.  Granted, Sarah Palin rejected stimulus money during her time as Alaska's half-term governor (a decision the Alaska Legislature quickly overturned), I think I would like to hear Palin criticize some of her state's funding first, or is she going to be like one of those Republicans who attack the stimulus but attend ribbon cutting events for stimulus projects?

What bothers me is that Palin's speech is extremely generic.  She uses the same material from every other speech she delivers and any new piece of information is rehashed from other sources.  All she is good for is bringing in the crowds and spewing her partisan crap. I doubt Palin know of any of the other projects the stimulus is funding or what benefits they may bring to Florida - all she knows is what will get an applause from the Republican base.

Frustration At The Polls For The Gay Community

There was a recent Associated Press article that I had read recently that I had found interesting because it stated that gays were considering staying home on election day or possibly voting for a different candidate other then the Democrats who typically support gay issues.
Across the country, activists say gay voters are angry -- at the lack of progress on issues from eliminating employment discrimination to uncertainty over serving in the military to the economy – and some are choosing to sit out this election or look for other candidates...

It didn't help that the controversy over the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for gays erupted less than two weeks before the election, when a judge overturned it, then Obama's justice department decided to fight the judge's decision. On Thursday, the Defense Department declared that "don't ask, don't tell" is official policy but set up a new system that could make it tougher to get thrown out of the military for being openly gay.
I think it would be a serious mistake for them to throw away their vote because they are dissatisfied with the preceived lack of progress - just take a look at comments by some of this years Republican candidates.

"I think that birth has an influence over [being gay], like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically, you have a choice," said Ken Buck, GOP Senate candidate for Colorado.

"There's no absolute right to serve. Men under the height of 5 feet, 2 inches can't serve -- I don't see anybody protesting. Where are the people standing in front of the White House, the short guys standing in front of the White House? You don't see it," said Sean Bielat, who is challenging openly-gay Barney Frank for his congressional seat.  "We understand that there's no absolute right to serve in all these other areas," he continued."

Do gays believe these individuals have their interests at heart?

Should they stay at home this election cycle, they give people like Buck or Bielat a better chance to win, and these guys would rather die then give equal rights to gays...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Big Journalism's Meredith Dake States Hitler Sold Hope, Not Hate

Meredith Dake criticized Rob Reiner's appearance on Bill Maher's program in a post Sunday on Big Journalism I thought was interesting - Dake did not like Reiner's comparisons of Hitler to the tea party, but it was Dake's response that I thought was interesting:
Hitler promised health care, said that Germany’s business infrastructure needed a total government reform, and promised that all of the Germans would have jobs. Also, Hitler may have been elected by less than 40% of the people in Germany, but he was elected by 98.8% in Austria. After becoming Chancellor of Austria he took over the health care system, the car company (Austria had one major car manufacturing company at the time), and the business infrastructure.

Hitler did not sell fear and anger, he sold fundamental change of the nation’s infrastructure. He sold the hope of everyone having a job and that everyone had a right to be given medical treatment at the government’s provision.

That is definitely not what the Tea Party is selling. The Tea Party is selling a return to the constitutional principles that our country was founded upon. It is selling less government intrusion into our lives and that people can make better decisions for themselves than the government can. In other words, the Tea Party is selling the exact opposite of what Hitler promoted.
The first two paragraphs are meant to compare Hitler to the current administration, without mentioning the president or anyone else by name, but the parts that I found more interesting were in the second and third paragraphs where Dake claims "Hitler did not sell fear and anger" and that the tea party is selling the opposite of what Hitler was selling.

Maybe Dake is unfamiliar with the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany or the Nazi rhetoric against foreigners, including German-born Jews of foreign origin.  Does Kristallnacht ring a bell?  Hitler actually rose to power demonizing ethnic groups and glorifying the Aryan race.  They sound surprisingly similar to the things you hear coming from the American tea party movement - repeal the 14th amendment, deny citizenship to Americans of Mexican origin, deport all Muslims, and return to the principles of the founding fathers' glorified Christian nation.

Of course these things don't relate to Dake's article - Kristallnacht and the expulsion of the Jews from Germany occurred after Hitler came to power - after Hitler made those promises for fundamental change - after Hitler sold the same thing Dake admits the tea party of selling...

Obama's India Trip - He Should Visit Sikh Holy Site

I have seen reports that on President Obama's upcoming trip to India he may avoid going to the Golden Temple in Amristar because some back home may perceive he is a closet Muslim.
Correspondents say that it had earlier been strongly hinted that Mr Obama would visit, and it appears the White House has not done its homework on the Golden Temple and the requirements and sensitivities associated with entering it.
Barack Obama. File pic Sikh officials said a simple cap for Mr Obama would suffice

Officials at the temple said that although heads needed to be covered, a simple cap for Mr Obama would suffice.

Hansdeep Singh, a senior staff attorney for the United Sikhs lobby group, said: "If these rumours are true, this is a tremendously disappointing moment for the entire Sikh community and religious minorities in general."

One Indian foreign ministry official told Agence France-Presse news agency an advance team of US diplomats had prepared the temple visit.

"We provided them with all the support and guidance they needed but now it is for US officials to decide whether Obama should go to the temple or not," the official said.

Mr Obama is a Christian, but a Pew Research survey of 3,003 Americans in August showed that 18% believed the president was a Muslim.

The poll found beliefs about the president's faith were closely linked to political judgements about him. It found that people who believed Mr Obama was a Muslim "overwhelmingly disapproved" of his job performance.

The United Sikhs group said that if Mr Obama did not visit it would be "a missed opportunity".
I believe Obama should go for a couple reasons.  One reason being that those who would use his attendance at a Sikh holy site to try and prove he is a Muslim would only prove their ignorance and hatred, and any attack on the president would fail (that is if the president immediately pushes back against any propaganda).

The second reason is that as the article states, a certain percentage of Americans believe the president was a Muslim and that the poll also found that those who believe he was a Muslim "overwhelmingly disapproved" of his job performance.  Those numbers from the Pew Research survey seem to coincide with a previous poll conducted by CBS News that states eighteen percent of Americans identify themselves as tea party supporters

Considering the results of the two surveys, it would be pointless for Obama to try to woo the Obama-is-a-Muslim believers by not going to a Sikh temple because these individuals already believe the Christian Obama is some sort of crypto-Muslim! 

These are the people who believe he bowed to foreign heads of state (and the mayor of Tampa) to demonstrate America's subservience. 

These are the people that believe there is a conspiracy covering up the president's real birthplace. 

These are the people who believe Sarah Palin is an ethical person. 

These are the people who the James O'Keefe videos showed the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. 

These are the people who follow every chalk scribble Glenn Beck draws out linking the administration to terrorists. 

Basically, it would be pointless for Obama to try and negotiate with these people when they already have extremely irrational beliefs - it would be like negotiating with a hostage-taker - they make extreme demands and get what they want while the law enforcement is left scrambling...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sesame Street Promotes Islam, Teaches Shariah Law...

Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism posted an interesting story by Christine Brim, calling for NPR, PBS, and the CPB to be stripped of all government funding. Brim asked the following: "Is it U.S. policy to fund organizations like CPB and PBS, that then send employees to train Muslim-Brotherhood, Hamas-associated groups like CAIR to improve their 'leadership' abilities to impose shariah defamation laws in America?"

I have decided to take a serious look into Brim's claims and found that she is correct - Islam is being glorified by PBS and is part of the administration's attempt to Islamicize America, most likely to bring it closer to Kenyan-born Obama's Muslim philosophies.

Just take a look at the PBS' childrens program Sesame Street - it is overflowing with secret Muslim teachings.

First, look at Big Bird:

He's tall and has a funny apperance.  Doesn't he resemble someone?

And then there is this picture I found on the internet:

Even look at the name - Sesame Street.  I recall a certain mention to sesame from the collection of Middle Eastern stories "One Thousand and One Nights" - it's even called "Open Sesame" in other countries!

And then there is this link to the President:

Michelle's meal looks pretty halal to me...

PBS' secret plan to popularize Shariah Law and assault American culture is nothing new either - check out this magazine cover from 1976:

Notice the blatant Muslim crescent on the top left of the magazine cover?

Do I need to say anymore?

Is NPR The Right's New ACORN?

If you haven't heard, Juan Williams from NPR was recently fired for comments he made while on Fox News.

"When I get on a plane," he said, "I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Subsequently, NPR had received a lot of criticism for their actions.  NPR had claimed the firing was not because of his recent statements and that Williams has become more of a pundit and less of an analyst - Bill O'Reilly believes he was fired because he is a Fox News contributor, and now that Williams no longer works for NPR, it appears he has found a home on Fox News - he just signed on for an expanded roll with the conservative media giant.  Personally, I think there has been a bit of an overreaction to Williams' comments, but I do agree that Williams' comments and his constant appearances on Fox News could potentially raise questions regarding NPR's objectivity.

What I have noticed about this incident is that conservatives are using this controversy as an opportunity to attack the left on multiple fronts, with legislators and conservative celebrity personalities calling to defund NPR - something they tried to do 20 years ago but failed to do.  To conservatives, NPR is nothing more then a bastion of liberal propaganda - they are probably upset that the media organization has some of the most popular radio broadcasts in America and were once voted the most trusted news source in America - an honor Fox News or Andrew Breitbart will never see.  Studies have also howed that there is plenty of conservative programming - NPR is typically ranked more liberal then the average Republican and more conservative then the average Democrat, and viewers generally havea  better understanding of the news and current events then those who obtain their information from network or cable sources.  The problem with conservatives is that recent attacks against NPR are highly political and equate to nothing more then propaganda - they need a new bogeyman now that ACORN is gone.

Let's take a quick look at NPR's funding.  Conservatives call for the end of government contributions as if the government is spending another $700 billion but in reality, the amount is far less - according to Wikipedia, their 2005 budget was closer to $100 million.  Basically, NPR receives no direct funding from the government.

Here is a breakdown:

Andrew Phelps from NPR member WBUR wrote the following fact-check:
The largest share of NPR funding comes from its member stations (including WBUR).

The local stations receive some funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a taxpayer-funded, nonprofit, private corporation, created by Congress in 1967. (Think of it like the Red Cross.)

NPR does receive grants from CPB for special projects, but that funding is not included as part of the network’s operations budget.

So while federal dollars do flow to NPR, the connection is indirect. It may be a fine point, but it’s an important distinction. The federal government can’t “defund” NPR. What Congress can do is cut CPB funding — which has diminished over the years and has, at times, been threatened.

But those CPB funds play a minor role for a large-market station like WBUR (around 6 percent) and represents a much higher percentage for a station in a smaller market, such as Wyoming and Idaho.

Calls to cut taxpayer funding of CPB would mostly hurt small stations — stations that played no part in the decision to fire Juan Williams.

Now taking that into consideration, I had decided to check out Breitbart's Big Journalism because I thought they must be having a field day with the Williams' firing and I was correct - over half the headlines on the site were about NPR and Juan Williams, as well as numerous articles on the site.

Basically, since the right succeeded in the character assasination of ACORN, they needed a new target and NPR was ripe for the picking.