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:
Shedding a light on the Right…
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Discovering humor in the House…
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Exploring the focus of Fox…
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Giving up groans for Arizona…
Bruce Beattie, in the Daytona Beach News-Journal:
… see, if we just take over our own problems, immigration is unnecessary…
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… now Arizona has the right (and I mean RIGHT) idea…
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… 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?
… 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:
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.
- Marco Rubio Pushes His Own DREAM Act (abcnews.go.com)
- Romney immigration ‘adviser': No GOP Dream Act (politico.com)
- Romney Immigration Adviser Kris Kobach Says Mitt Romney Won’t Support GOP DREAM Act (thinkprogress.org)
- Rubio’s Dream Act proposal gets flak from Romney adviser, er ‘supporter’ (tampabay.com)
- Rubio beats back VP rumors, hails immigration plan (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- How Marco Rubio can help Mitt Romney without spot on GOP ticket (csmonitor.com)
- “What A Revolting Development This Is”: Romney’s Immigration Adviser Says Mitt Won’t Support GOP DREAM Act (mykeystrokes.com)
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.
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.
- Get Ready To Spring Forward (kymx.radio.com)
- In defense of springing ahead (steveprestegard.com)
- Spring forward, but don’t expect your technology to do all the work (theglobeandmail.com)
- Remember: Spring Ahead! (proud2save.com)
- The Cat’s in the Cradle and Daylight Savings Times (ichoosehappynow.com)
- Change Your Clocks, Change Your Passwords (community.websense.com)
- REMINDER: SPRING AHEAD, iMaGiNe ThAt! (akissofbliss.wordpress.com)
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.)
- Girl Scouts: The Culture Wars’ Tiniest Soldiers [Girl Scouts] (jezebel.com)
- Forget Jobs, 2012 Is About a Culture War and War With Iran (usnews.com)
- Leak Offers Glimpse of Campaign Against Climate Science (bfreenews.com)
- Culture War 2.0 or Same Old War? (atheistrev.com)
- Will Culture Wars be Focus of Tonight’s Debate? (politicalwire.com)
- Climate Change Hoax Has Apparently Become Part Of The Culture War (usapartisan.com)
- On the rise of culture war politics (shortformblog.tumblr.com)
- Contraceptives, religious freedom: Are we in a new culture war? (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
Washington Post national poll, December 28, 2011:
ImpreMedia/Latino Decisions, 9/30-10/9:
Generic Republican 17
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.
- Senior Republicans: don’t alienate Latino voters with immigration attacks (guardian.co.uk)
- GOP, don’t blow it with Florida’s Latinos (cnn.com)
- ‘Soccer mamis’ could sway Florida race, affect general election (cnn.com)
- Poll: Romney Dominating Gingrich Among Florida Latino Voters (miami.cbslocal.com)
- Latino group to challenge Rubio as GOP courts him (sfgate.com)
- Obama courts Latino vote on economic tour (ajc.com)
- Obama’s Latino Arizona Strategy (thedailybeast.com)
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:
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.
- Ala senator slammed for taped ‘aborigines’ comment (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Worse than Arizona? Alabama’s new anti-immigration law (shortformblog.tumblr.com)
- GadsdenTimes.com Headlines: Senator who wore wire denigrated bingo hall customers (commuteresources101.wordpress.com)
- Ala. governor signs tough illegal immigration law (ajc.com)
- Ala. to Enact Arizona-Style Immigration Crackdown (foxnews.com)
- Ala. Weighs Crackdown on Illegal Immigrants (foxnews.com)
There’s more at care2.com:
- Arizona: America’s Top Producer of Stupid (redquixote.wordpress.com)
- Arizona GOP to Obama: Show Us Your Circumcision Certificate (alternet.org)
- Arizona Passes Birther Bill (themoderatevoice.com)
- Ariz. lawmakers OK ‘birther’ bill – USA Today (news.google.com)
So who are they listening to?
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And what are they saving in real dollars?
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…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?
This from HuffPo:
“Expediting Initiatives since 2006
“J. Eric Fuller
- Arizona Shooting Victim Arrested After Death Threat To Tea Party Leader (alan.com)
- Arizona shooting victim arrested after threat – Forbes (news.google.com)
- Man wounded in Tucson held after threat (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Arizona shooting victim arrested after threat (sfgate.com)
- Glock Sales Surge After Arizona Shootings (businessweek.com)
- Arizona Green Party continues to advocate for non-violence after tragedy in Tucson (wilderside.wordpress.com)
- Obama Calls For Civility, Without Casting Blame (outsidethebeltway.com)
- President Obama’s Speech Secrets Now Revealed to You (socyberty.com)
- NYT: Obama’s speech tomorrow to focus on public service, avoid “rhetoric” debate (hotair.com)
“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.
- Obama’s Speech at the Tucson Memorial Service (politicalwire.com)
- Obama Arizona Memorial Speech: FULL TEXT (huffingtonpost.com)
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?
False Accusations of Blood Libel go back to the Middle Ages, as in this document from the Trial of the Jews of Trent in 1478.
- What is “Blood Libel?” (politicalwire.com)
- Sarah Palin’s Statement On Arizona Tragedy Oddly Uses “Blood Libel” (alan.com)
- Palin charges critics with ‘blood libel’ (politico.com)
- Sarah Palin incorrectly uses term “blood libel” to defend herself (shortformblog.com)
- Jewish Republicans muted on Palin’s ‘blood libel’ comment (thehill.com)
- Why Palin’s ‘Blood Libel’ Speech Was Wrong (thedailybeast.com)
- You: Tea Party figurehead says attacks on her are ‘blood libel’ (guardian.co.uk)
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?
- Rush Limbaugh says a dozen incredibly offensive things (salon.com)
- Rush Limbaugh Attacks ‘The Left’ Over Gabrielle Giffords Shooting Response (blogs.abcnews.com)
- Limbaugh: Loughner “Has The Full Support” Of The “Democrat” Party (alan.com)
- Rush Limbaugh: Jared Loughner “Has The Full Support Of” The Democratic Party (mediaite.com)
- Rush Limbaugh Joins Attempt To Blame The Left For AZ Shooting (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Limbaugh says Democrats support assassin who shot Rep. Giffords (americablog.com)
- Rush Limbaugh Feels The Sting Of Sheriff Dupnik’s Comments, Claims Dems Support Loughner (lezgetreal.com)
- Arizona Sheriff Blasts Rush Limbaugh for Spewing ‘Irresponsible’ Vitriol (Keep It Up Sheriff!) (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
Anyway, read and weep:
- Terrifying: Gun Sales Surge in Arizona After Shooting (alternet.org)
- Sales In Glock Pistols Up After Arizona Shootings (huffingtonpost.com)
- Report: Tucson Shooting Spurs Glock Sales Surge (cbsnews.com)
- Tucson suspect’s troubles didn’t keep him from gun (sfgate.com)
- Tucson rampage reopens U.S. gun debate (calgaryherald.com)
- How Glenn Beck And Fox News Successfully Painted AZ Shooter As Hitler, Marx Devotee | TPMDC (angryindian.blogspot.com)
- Bill Maher: Jared Loughner’s Chalkboard Likely Looks Like Glenn Beck’s Chalkboard (mediaite.com)
- Is Jared Loughner a Right-Wing Extremist? (alternet.org)
- After Giffords shooting, left and right fingers both point wrong way (secularnewsdaily.com)
- MJ Rosenberg: Top Jewish Historian on Glenn Beck’s Jewish Problem (huffingtonpost.com)
“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.”
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.)
- Sheriff Clarence Dupnik: “We Have Become A Very Angry Country” (alan.com)
- Sheriff Dupnik On GMA: “We Have Become A Very Angry Country” (mediaite.com)
- Giffords shooting: the sheriff who turned the focus on rightwing rhetoric (guardian.co.uk)
- “Comments from Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik via the AP:” and related posts (scaredmonkeys.com)
- Megyn Kelly Takes On Sheriff Clarence Dupnik Over His “Political Spin” On Shooting (mediaite.com)
- Clarence Dupnik, Arizona Sheriff, Criticized By Sen. Jon Kyl Over Shooting Comments (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- LIVEBLOG: Press Conference With Sheriff Dupnik and FBI Director Robert Muller (firedoglake.com)
- Democratic Congressman Says It’s Time To “Rethink” Free Speech In Wake Of Arizona Tragedy (businessinsider.com)
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?
- In Flip-Flop, John McCain Supports DADT Repeal (lezgetreal.com)
- John McCain Willing To Back DADT Repeal Now That Everyone Showed Him He’s a Giant Prick (queerty.com)
- John McCain Reverses Position on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, Says He Will Do All He Can to Make Repeal Work (towleroad.com)
- McCain says he’ll make DADT repeal work (thehill.com)
- Jon Stewart Introduces Puppet John McCain To Mock The Senator’s Growing Crankiness (mediaite.com)
- John McCain on DADT (pinkbananaworld.com)
Quote for the Day – Thre Majority Leader on Senator McCain’s opposition to ending “Don’t ask, don’t tell”…
“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.”
- Reid rips McCain over ‘don’t ask’ (politico.com)
- McCain stands firm on “don’t ask” … even after that study (shortformblog.com)
- Mother of 9/11 Hero Calls on McCain for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal (gayrights.change.org)
- ‘Don’t ask': McCain clashes with military leaders (sfgate.com)
- McCain slams Pentagon’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ study – MiamiHerald.com (news.google.com)
- Majority of Americans support repeal of DADT except Tea Partiers/extremists and John McCain (crooksandliars.com)
- McCain attacks ‘inexperienced’ Obama for promising ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal (crooksandliars.com)
- John McCain continues jihad against repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ (dailykos.com)
- Sunday Late Night: McCain Blames Obama’s “Inexperience” for DADT Repeal Promise (firedoglake.com)
- Pentagon study shows gay service would not harm military (capitolhillblue.com)