Blog Archives

Carrtoon(s) of the Week – News of the Right

Sorry I missed last week while I was in the Hospital. I’ll try to make up for it this week with the following selection:

David Horsey in the L. A. Times:

Shedding a light on  the Right…

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Jim Morin in the Miami Herald:

Discovering humor in the House…

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Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Exploring the focus of Fox…

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Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

Giving up groans for Arizona

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Without immigration, where will we get more poor laborers?

Bruce Beattie, in the Daytona Beach News-Journal:

… see, if we just take over our own problems, immigration is unnecessary…

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Jeff Danziger of the L.A.Times:

… now Arizona has the right (and I mean RIGHT) idea…

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Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

… of course a stand on the immigration issue could equal lots of Hispanic votes…

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Steve Breen in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

… so who are the real problem creators here?

 

The Flipper is trying to get back in the good regard of Latinos…

… but he may have moved so far to the right that his move to center is not believeable. Take it’s position on Immigration and the Dream Act.

From the NY Times:

The Flipper - Flopped

The Romney campaign appears to have begun shifting to the center on immigration, after staking out a position to the right of opponents like former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.

During the primary fight, Mr. Romney said he would veto the existing version of the Dream Act, or the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which would grant illegal immigrants brought into the country as children by their parents a pathway to citizenship. He labeled it a magnet for illegal immigration. And he criticized Mr. Perry for granting young illegal immigrants in-state tuition to Texas universities.

On Thursday, campaign aides said Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, was not referring to the most draconian portions of Arizona’s immigration law when he said during a debate that Arizona could be a model for the nation. He was referring specifically to the “E-Verify” measure that requires employers to check the legal status of job applicants electronically.

Romney is looking at getting illegal immigrants to voluntarily leave the country, too. He’s a real pal to folks who are both a large work force and a growing voting block.

 

 

 

Remember when “Conservative” used to be a word defining a form of political economics?

Sometimes we just have to admit that even some women politicians are a bit crazy. Like Majority Whip Debbie Lesko who authored Arizona House Bill 2625 which would allow employers to eliminate employee health care coverage on birth control and related needs:

“I believe we live in America. We don’t live in the Soviet Union. So government should not be telling organizations or employers to do something against their moral beliefs… My whole legislation is about our First Amendment rights and freedom of religion.” 

And what about freedom FROM religion?

But the most revealing look at conservatism is the current Doonesbury series that many newspapers are not printing. Gary Trudeau is looking at the trans-vaginal sonograms required in Texas prior to an abortion:

It would be very nice if “conservatism” got back to economic politics and out of the bedroom and the vagina. Little choice is left to women when considering who to vote for.

Spring Ahead!

We lose an hour of sleep tonight, so remember to set your clocks and watches (and computers and cell phones if they don’t do it automatically) ahead one hour.

Don’t let it get you down, though. It means there’s one more hour of sunshine in the early evening when we start doing the after work gardening or pet exercising or just casual coffee drinking on the front porch. Ahhh, Daylight Savings Time.

It gives Santorum and Romney an extra hour of campaigning in daylight, when people can really see them. Too bad for Newt, though… vampires come out an hour later.

I guess we’ll just consider it springtime and hope there is no return to the cold.

Culture Wars…

We are entering another month of the ongoing political culture wars next week, without really looking at the concerns of jobs, economics, climate change or any of the other real problems that need to be addressed.

Tuesday will be the Michigan and Arizona primaries, so the TV pundits are focusing on those states and in so doing are revealing some new cultural phenomena. For instance, in Arizona they are considering a new law that bans college teachers from cursing but allows students to carry guns. Got that? Gun violence good, language violence bad? And then… what is a naughty enough word to get a teacher fired? Will they be listed in the law?

The biggest insertion of cultural conflict into the process is, of course, religion. Between candidates who have been spoken to by God and encouraged to run, to major religious groups protesting established birth control legislation but supporting the penetration of vaginas to discourage abortions, the promotion of religion over secular politics is frightening… and disgusting.

These politicians are ready to scrap what we know of the scientific proof for climate change in order to promote more industries that pollute the air (listen to the righties cheer) or to ignore what is necessary to reduce the unbelievable growth of population. Don’t they see what is going on here?

I turn to the world of intellectual comedy to backup my views of religion, science and atheism (a belief area that I belong to… but like most atheists don’t try to inflict my beliefs on other people using the replacement of secular law.) Here’s Eddie Izzard:

Even if you don’t agree with Eddie (or me), I hope you were at least entertained… and will think about how to get away from the culture wars and back to solving our real problems.

(BTW, Eddie Izzard will soon be appearing in a new version of Treasure Island playing Long John Silver. Can’t wait.)

A Florida Question: Can Republicans Capture Latinos

In the National polls concerning Latinos, it doesn’t look good for Mitt or Newt or the rest:

Washington Post national poll, December 28, 2011:

Obama 68
Romney 23

ImpreMedia/Latino Decisions, 9/30-10/9:

Obama 61
Generic Republican 17

PPP, 9/30:

Obama 67
Romney 29

Latinos are, in general,  disappointed in the lack of progress on immigration reform. But they saw who voted against the DREAM Act in Congress (Republicans), and they see who is still campaigning against the DREAM Act (Republicans). They see who is demagoguing Mexico and kowtowing to the notorious Latino-hating Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Republicans), and they see who is passing anti-immigrant laws in places like Arizona and Alabama (oh yes, Republicans).

Romney wants to make things so miserable for undocumented immigrants that they “self-deport,” according to speeches he has made in the primaries. Not a popular position among Latinos.

Then there was the straight attack on Cuba in the last debate. Cuban Republicans are a strong Latino group in Florida, but, like many Americans, they wonder if, after 50 years of maintaining the Cuba boycott, we might like to try something else.

Guess we wait and see. Tuesday is the Florida Primary.

Gabby Giffords will be leaving Congress…

It is unfortunate, but Rep. Gabby Giffords (D -AZ), who was shot last year while speaking to constituents in a mall parking lot, will be stepping down from her seat in order to continue her recovery.

We are losing a Representative of great promise and distinction.

Here is her statement:

Republican Alabama State Senator says Blacks are “Aborigines”

What is it about Republicans that they still live in the 19th Century when it comes to protecting their votes? Think Progress has  offered us this case to prove the point:

Alabama state senator Scott Beason (R), who sponsored the state’s tough new immigration law, has been caught on tape referring to black customers of a casino as “aborigines.” Beason made the offensive comparison while wearing audio recording equipment for the FBI as part of an investigation into a group of people accused of buying and selling pro-gambling votes in the legislature.

Beason is caught in one transcript making this statement in conversation with another Republican, according to the AP:

Beason and two other Republican legislators were talking about economic development in predominantly black Greene County and the customers at one of the county’s largest employers, the Greenetrack casino in Eutaw.

“That’s y’all’s Indians,” one Republican said.

“They’re aborigines, but they’re not Indians,” Beason replied.

Questioned in Federal Court as to the subject of their conversation, Beason said they were concerned that a large black turnout would hurt Republican candidates. As to the “aborigine” comment Beason explained: “I don’t know what I meant at the time… I don’t use that term normally. I don’t know where it even came from that day.”

Uh huh. You betcha.

Think Progress goes on to say:

Back in February, Beason warned Republicans that immigration will “destroy a community” and advised his colleagues to “empty the clip and do what has to be done.” Beason later insisted that his comments were taken out of context and that he was using an analogy, not urging violence. He has also been leading the charge to redraw district lines in a way that would significantly dilute the power of black voters.

You make your own decision on the “context” of his statements.

The World of Political Absurdity: Arizona legislature passes circumcision law…

How crazy this country has become… we can add this to all the Birther beliefs that, I’m told, 40% of Americanshave. Maybe Trump will get behind this one.Here’s an idea, add a penis check to the Airport Patdown to avoid allowing non-American terrorists onto Arizona planes.

There’s more at care2.com:

clipped from www.care2.com

Arizona Law Says Lack of Foreskin Acceptable Proof of Citizenship

Part of the controversial Arizona birther bill passed on Wednesday makes a certificate of circumcision (given to parent of a Jewish child after the religiously significant procedure is performed) acceptable proof of American citizenship for presidential candidates. While candidates won’t be asked to “whip it out” in the State House, a documented circumcision will join a verified Christian baptism, postpartum hospital records and long-form birth certificates as proof that candidates are indeed Americans.
Governor Brewer of Arizona has not taken a public stand on the bill, and will now have five days to sign or veto it before the law is automatically enacted.
One might question if the radical birthers are now not only trying to shape the definition of who makes a viable U.S. president, but also what makes an American penis.
Sign the petition for Governor Brewer to veto this bill here.
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Cartoon(s) of the Week – The House is Hard at Work…

Jim Morin in The Miami Herald:

So who are they listening to?

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Steve Benson in the Arizona Republic:

And what are they saving in real dollars?

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Joel Pett in the Lexington Herald-Leader:

…at least they are listening to the President…

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Kevin Siers in the Charlotte Observer:

… and we get the benefits. Don’t we?

Here’s some good news about Gabrielle Giffords…

Gabrielle Giffords, Democratic nominee and gen...

Gabrielle Giffords

It looks like her recovery therapy is going quite well and Gabbie Giffords may have a near-complete recovery. 

 

 

 

This from HuffPo:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
 

HOUSTON — Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Wednesday left intensive care for the first time since she was shot in the head in Arizona more than two weeks ago, the latest big step in the long road to recovery.

With her progress moving at “lightning speed,” doctors had the Arizona lawmaker moved to TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital, where she immediately began therapy that could last several months.

Doctors said she will have a valve inserted into her breathing tube to help her talk.
When asked if the congresswoman was able to speak, neurosurgeon Dr. Dong Kim said, “we can say that her speech function, along with everything else, is improving” but declined to elaborate.
Doctors had previously reported that Giffords was having difficulty moving the right side of her body. On Wednesday, they described that as “weakness” and said her ability to move had improved.
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Arizona and Guns… the Lunacy Continues

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
A man wounded in last weekend’s shootings in Tucson was arrested today for threats he allegedly made towards a man who expressed support for gun ownership during a taping of an ABC News town hall. AZ Central reports:
The Pima County Sheriff’s Office said it arrested Eric Fuller, 63, who was wounded in the knee a week ago in the shooting rampage that killed six and wounded 13. He was being held Saturday for alleged threats of intimidation and disorderly conduct and will undergo a mental-health evaluation. […]
[Christiane] Amanpour brought up the issues of gun safety and mental health. As one member of the audience stood up and expressed his support for gun ownership, Fuller, seated near the front in an area reserved for victims and special guests, appeared increasingly frustrated and agitated.
Fuller then swiveled in his chair, raised his camera and took a photo of the pro-gun speaker, muttering, “You’re dead,” according to Joel Tranter, who was sitting behind him.
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Local Arizona station KGUN reports that the two individuals who set Fuller off were “Ariz. state Rep. Terri Proud, a Dist. 26 Republican, and Tucson Tea Party spokesman Trent Humphries.”
Fuller, age 63, is a political operative who specializes in gathering petitions for ballot initiatives.   Before the program began, he passed out business cards to people sitting around him that read:
“Signatures
“Expediting Initiatives since 2006
“J. Eric Fuller
“Political Circulator.”

Perhaps some good news after Saturday’s tragedy…

clipped from www.mcclatchydc.com
After Arizona shootings, gun sale background checks increase
Background checks for handgun sales spiked in Texas and other states just two days after a mass shooting in Arizona left six people dead and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life.
Texas saw the number of background requests rise to 724 on Monday, up from 621 on the corresponding Monday in 2010, according to FBI records.
But workers at some North Texas gun stores said they didn’t have as big an increase as they expected in actual sales of guns, ammunition and accessories.
Some Arizona stores have reported a major surge in sales since Saturday.

“We haven’t seen anything, and we expected more of a wave to hit,” said Glen Furtardo, manager at the Winchester Gallery gun store in east Fort Worth.

“It has been pretty much normal.”

Since the 2008 presidential election, some gun store workers have seen a rise in sales at least partly due to a widespread concern that the Obama administration will raise taxes on ammunition, guns and other firearms-related materials or ultimately reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

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In case you missed it… Obama’s speech from last night…

Definitely worth listening to a couple of times!

The key point in the President’s Memorial Speech in Tucson… a Quote

“At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”

- President Barack Obama

Let us hope that this sinks in with people on all sides. It certainly will with me. Listening to him, I waas thrilled to have this man as President.

Does Palin Know What “Blood Libel” Means?

Sarah Palin at a campaign rally in Raleigh, NC.

Sarah Palin

It is even more offensive a term in a public message when we consider that Gabrielle Giffords is Jewish. I certainly wonder what the Half Gov. of Alaska was thinking here… did someone write this speech for her (say Glenn Beck?) or are these her own words?

Clipped from Taegan Goddard‘s Political Wire:

clipped from politicalwire.com
One particular line in Sarah Palin‘s statement on the Arizona shootings has created an uproar:
 

“But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

 

The term “blood libel” usually refers to the false accusation that Jews use the blood of Christian children in some of their religious rituals.
While it’s not entirely clear what Palin intended, it’s possible she was trying to use dog whistle politics to speak to her religious base who often feel they’re an oppressed minority.

Quote of the Day – Limbaugh Cites Democrats and Pima County Sheriff as Being Pro-Murder

Salon this morning has a disturbing article called “Rush Limbaugh says a Dozen Incredibly Offensive Things“.

He “jokingly” suggested that Democrats had purposefully orchestrated a mass murder for their own political benefit. He incorrectly asserted that “every association that any act of violence has been made with the conservative right has fallen on emptiness.” He said that now the government will take away your guns, along with “as many political freedoms as they can manage.” (So you’d better stock up on guns, and you’d better fear and hate the government!)

And then they reported this Limbaugh quote:

“This guy clearly understands he’s getting all the attention and he understands he’s got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything that they can to make sure he’s not convicted of murder.”

When you consider the major increase on the sale of Glocks since the tragic event in Tucson, Limbaugh seems to be encouraging such sales by suggesting that government is out to get citizen’s political freedom. Once again I ask a question I’ve asked before… Why is this guy on the air?

Unbelievable! Gun crime as advertising.

This from Laurie Roberts Column in the Arizona Republic

And, as I listen to the news tonite, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson just made the announcement that the amount of gun murders in this country have made us the shame of the civilized world.

Anyway, read and weep:

clipped from www.azcentral.com
 

Glock sales way up in wake of Saturday’s rampage
Sales of Glocks are soaring in Arizona and elsewhere in the aftermath of Saturday’s shooting. Apparently, some gun enthusiasts are afraid that tougher gun laws may be coming.  Somehow, I don’t think they need to worry.
After Columbine, there was a push to kill the gun-show loophole. It went nowhere.
And now, only one congresswoman is seeking any kind of added restriction — one that would ban the type of high-capacity magainze used in Saturday’s shooting.  One that’ll go nowhere, of course. 

Meanwhile, Bloomberg is reporting that gun stores in Arizona and elsewhere are seeing a major boost in the number of people plunking $500 for a Glock like the one used in Saturday’s killing rampage.
One-day sales of handguns in Arizona jumped 60 percent on Jan. 10, compared with the corresponding Monday a year ago, according to the FBI. They were up 65 percent in Ohio, 16 percent in California and 33 percent in New York, according to the FBI data.

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How Glenn Beck And Fox News Successfully Painted AZ Shooter As Hitler, Marx Devotee

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
Within hours of the shooting spree in Arizona, conservative blogs lit up with the news that the suspect, Jared Loughner, was an aficionado of Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto. A Hitler/Marx devotee, the logic went, is someone too idiosyncratic or crazy to be part of any mainstream political movement. Some went further, and cited the information as proof that Loughner was the sort of big-government liberal they had nightmares about.
As with so many of these fast-propagating conservative memes, this one got its start on Fox News.
Simultaneously, reporters across the country discovered his YouTube page, which listed both Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto among his favorite books. It also listed Ayn Rand‘s first novel We the Living, though there’s no viral online meme depicting Loughner as an Objectivist.
That’s in large part because Glenn Beck framed it in his own inimitable way on his Fox News show Saturday evening.

The next morning, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) took the same tack in defense of the Tea Party.

“What we know about this individual, for example, is that he was reading Karl Marx, and reading Hitler, and burning the American flag,” Alexander said. “That’s not the profile of a typical Tea Party member if that’s the inference that’s being made,” he said.

And thus a talking point was born.

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Quote of the Day – Some truth from one who knows.

“We have become a very angry country, part of it very ugly. And that even though we have free speech in this country, constantly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making the people angry at government … may benefit some party, but I think those people have to consider that they may have some responsibility when incidents like this occur and may occur in the future.”

- Pima County (Arizona) Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik

There are some who think Dupnik has overstepped his bounds (Fox News thinks so, as well as others on the Right), but I don’t.  Someone has got to tell it like it is. This coming from a law officer in the State with the laxest gun laws in America, and with a history of problems with immigrants and racial discrimination (Arizona was the only state to originally oppose the Martin Luther King Holiday and, as a result, the NFL pulled the Super Bowl from being held in Phoenix where it was scheduled.)

Loughner charged in Griffiths shooting…

This from HuffPo:

Federal prosecutors charged the suspect in shooting of Arizona congresswoman with attempted assassination and four other charges. Jared Loughner is charged with one count of attempted assassination of member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to killing a federal employee. Heather Williams, the first assistant federal public defender in Arizona, says the 22-year-old suspect doesn’t yet have a lawyer, but that her office is working to get a lawyer appointed for Loughner.

Perhaps we can start thinking about effective gun laws now. Loughner used a semi-automatic Glock purchased less than two months ago… not a gun that is used for hunting… aside from target shooting, the only purpose it seems to have is killing people. What stops gun shops from selling these things to loonies?

Quote of the Day… a pledge to make DADT work…From John McCain?

The number one opponent to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell“, John McCain, made an interesting pledge in a Fox Business News interview today:


“It is a law and I have to do whatever I can to help the men and women who are serving, particularly in combat, cope with this new situation. I will do everything I can to make it work.”


Is this a flip-flop or just good sense from Senator Cranky?

Quote for the Day – Thre Majority Leader on Senator McCain’s opposition to ending “Don’t ask, don’t tell”…

Harry Reid (D-NV), United States Senator from ...

Harry Reid

“First, Sen. McCain said he would seriously consider repealing it if the military leadership thought we should, and [when] the military leadership said it should be repealed, he pulled away the football. Then Sen. McCain said he would need to see a study from the Pentagon. When the Pentagon produced the study saying repeal would have no negative effect at all, he pulled away the football again.

“And his latest trick, he said yesterday that he opposed repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ a proposal that would be a great stride forward for both equality and military readiness … because of the economy,” Reid added. “I repeat, the senior senator from Arizona said he couldn’t support repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ because of the economy.

“I have no idea what he’s talking about and no one else does either.”


- Senator Harry Reid

Most Americans want it, the Administration wants it, McCain doesn’t want it. Who’s right?

Looks like this will come up this week and we may get a decision on DADT:
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
 

The Pentagon study that argues that gay troops could serve openly without hurting the military’s ability to fight is expected to re-ignite debate this month on Capitol Hill over repealing the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Officials familiar with the 10-month study’s results have said a clear majority of respondents don’t care if gays serve openly, with 70 percent predicting that lifting the ban would have positive, mixed or no results. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the findings hadn’t been released.

Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain of Arizona, have mostly opposed repealing the law because they say efforts to do so are politically driven and dangerous at a time of two wars.

“This was a political promise made by an inexperienced president or candidate for presidency of the United States,” McCain told CNN’s “State of the Union” last weekend.

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