Originally posted on Citizen Orange.The "DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama" is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors[...]
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When talking about the American Taliban, it's easy to shrug it off and think, "that's all hyperbole!" But look only to Nevada to realize that with this crowd, there is simply no limit to the craziness.
As GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle attempts to parry charges from Harry Reid's campaign that she is "just too extreme," she is the headliner at an event Saturday promoted by a physician's group that is far out of the mainstream. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which is a major promoter of the Doctors Tea Party in San Diego on Saturday, has given voice to some bizarre theories, believes the advent of Medicare in 1965 was "evil" and "immoral" and once published a piece arguing HIV may not cause AIDS. There's more, too, with the group promoting one of Angle's previously expressed theories that abortion may cause breast cancer and it also once argued the FDA is unconstitutional.
Just too extreme? You be the judge:
The group has a piece arguing Barack Obama may have used "covert hypnosis" to sway crowds and below that is a link to a Q and A with a prominent birther: POTUSthehypnotist
When Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle told a Christian news interviewer this year that “entitlement programs (are) built to make government our God,” she voiced a central tenet of Christian Reconstructionism, according to academics who study the movement.
Christian Reconstructionism is a political-religious movement formed in the 1960s and ’70s that seeks to return American society to the rule of biblical law. Any attempt to expand government beyond the dictates in the Old Testament — for example, by establishing Social Security benefits, education policy or property taxes — turns government into a false idol, reconstructionists believe.
“The problem is that government becomes an idol when it overspills its biblically proscribed boundaries, and people start looking to government for salvation,” said Julie Ingersoll, a religious studies professor at the University of North Florida, in explaining a tenet of Christian Reconstructionism.
Republican Sharron Angle believes the clergy should be allowed to endorse candidates from the pulpit and opposes laws allowing gays to adopt children. [...]
Among her positions, outlined in answers to 36 yes-or-no questions, Angle would oppose making sexual orientation a protected minority in civil rights laws. In a section on school prayer, she affirms that students and teachers should be able to talk openly about religion in schools, including the right to “publicly acknowledge the Creator.”
The federal government bans churches from participating in political campaigns on behalf of candidates, but Angle said clergy should be able to express views on candidates from the pulpit.
Sharron Angle has taken some extreme positions, but this one is remarkable even by her standards: She said on a candidate questionnaire that she would refuse political contributions from a private company that backs equal rights for gays and extends benefits to partners of gay employees.
Note, all those stories are just from today. And Sharrrrron Angle isn't just some fringe nutter Republican. She is their nominee in perhaps the highest profile race this cycle -- the Republican attempt to oust the Democratic Senate leader.
And it's not as if the GOP establishment is running away from Angle. NRSC Chair John Cornyn has lent staff, cash, and energy backing her bid. American Crossroads, Karl Rove's new smear vehicle, inaugurated its election-season blitz by spending $360,000 on her behalf. Republicans remain firmly committed to getting Angle and her fringe politics into the United States Senate.
This is the modern GOP. A collection of theocratic conspiracy theorists with utter disdain for the role of government in making people's lives better. That was true eight months ago when I turned in my manuscript to American Taliban, and it's even more true today.
Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Barney Frank (D-MA) have sent a new letter to the President, requesting a personal meeting with him about nominating Elizabeth Warren as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. This is an escalation of the[...]
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In less than three months, South Carolina voters will go to the polls to choose our state's next governor--a new leader that will determine the destiny of our state for decades to come. On November 2nd, you will have a clear choice at the polls: Vincent Sheheen or Nikki Haley.
Last week, we showed you a video showing Nikki Haley's support for offshore oil drilling. Well, this week we're rolling out a brand-new, straightforward campaign to voters.
We're calling it simply, "The Facts"--a simple message, showing South Carolinians the clear difference between these two candidates.
We wanted you to be the first to see it. Click here to see the first spot, and please consider donating what you can today so we can spread The Facts to voters across South Carolina.
We think that once you see a few of the messages we'll be rolling out over the next few weeks, you'll be convinced of the clear choice of Vincent Sheheen to be our state's next governor.
After a long primary for both political parites, we're down to the final stretch, and there's just too much at stake to let up, even for even one day between now and the General Election on November 2.
Please consider giving what you can today to help us spread our message across the state to as many voters as possible before they go to the polls. And if you can't donate today, please forward this message on to 5 friends.
Thanks so much for all your support so far, and thanks in advance for your help as we count down the days until November 2.
Thanks for everything you do,
President, SC New Democrats
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It boggles my mind that the spouse of a Supreme Court justice can appear on Fox to opine on a decision that her husband will likely be hearing in the Supreme Court.
But no worries, because Thomas confidently declares toward the end of this clip that she "sees a different line between law and policy and knows other people in her house [do] too." She earnestly reassures Cavuto not once, but TWICE on this with regard to Proposition 8 and AB 1070.
I don't have the full transcript, but I did manage to catch some clips as they flew by while I was listening. The exchange about Proposition 8 and Arizona's AB 1070 begins at about 2:30, with Cavuto concern-trolling, but here's the lead-in to that exchange:
CAVUTO: Voters are angry...There is a disconnect between judges and politicians and the will of the people...
THOMAS: It's stunning, actually. I've never seen anything like the times that we're living in. It feels almost revolutionary, I'd say. So I'm glad Congress is going home, and LibertyCentral.org has the spot light (brandishes large flashlight) out for town halls. People want to talk to them about the votes they've had and LibertyCentral.org is showing them how to do that.
Let's have a bit of a history lesson. When FDR took office in 1932 and New Deal legislation was passed in his first 100 days, the only folks upset about it were the 1940s equivalent to teabaggers: The American Liberty League, funded and founded by members of the DuPont family and other wealthy elites who saw their power slipping away. With great fanfare they set out to challenge each and every initiative in the Supreme Court, and succeeded on enough significant initiatives that FDR considered the possibility of packing the Supreme Court. Ultimately, he did not do so, but there was enormous tension between the Court and the Executive, and also the people, who were jobless with no safety nets whatsoever.
Revolutionary, Ginni Thomas? Revolutionary in what way, exactly? Why didn't Neil Cavuto ask Ginni Thomas whether she believes slavery should have been subject to popular vote? After all, perhaps the Civil War could have been avoided that way and we could be a country of slaves and slave-owners. (Please note the deep sarcasm in that question).
Ginni Thomas herself is a beneficiary of court decisions with regard to discrimination, and of course, there's no way her husband would be a Supreme Court justice right now without those same court rulings. Yet, they were most assuredly NOT the will of the people.
Undeterred, Thomas rambles right on through those facts into her own reality:
CAVUTO: There's so many of these issues where either a judge or a politician overrides the will of the people or at least sentiment, you know, be it gay marriage in California, you know, the illegal immigration issue in Arizona. It's kicked to a court and a lot of these are heading to your husband's court.
From your vantage point -- nothing to say about the Supreme Court -- shouldn't they be resolved on a people level and the people themselves have kind of spoken on all of them?
THOMAS: Amen, Neil. Come to LibertyCentral.org and join us. We are all about policy and what people can do in the public square. Once it hits a legal test it is a whole different thing. I see a different line between the law and policy and I know other people in my house do too.
Now the interesting thing about this discussion and Thomas' framing is that a similar discussion would have taken place in 1934, but it would have been between FDR and members of the press. FDR would have been frustrated by the American Liberty League's efforts to overturn things like minimum wage laws that gave people a decent working wage. And yet, he never would have called it revolutionary.
If there is one thing that stands out for me in this clip, it is hearing the wife of a Supreme Court justice speak with such disdain for the judiciary branch. In my opinion, it's unpatriotic, inflammatory, inappropriate, and just wrong.
The Washington Blade's Chris Johnson wrote an article about the DNC's outreach to the LGBT community, noting the speech from the DNC's Executive Director Jennifer O'Malley Dillon to Stonewall Democrats last weekend.
But, there's a big hurdle: Barack Obama. With the exception of the usual apologists, lobbyists and job-seekers, the statements from the White House in the wake of the Prop. 8 decision won't make the DNC's job any easier. Obama's opposition to marriage equality is going to be a HUGE obstacle in the LGBT community. The reelection campaign (which may be run by Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina) probably does not care about that right now, but they will. It's going to be tough to sell "separate, but equal" to people who are demanding nothing less than full equality.
I have much more on this over at AMERICAblog Gay.
Tuesday Robert Reich, Clinton's former Labor Secretary-- a job both he and Obama reserved for the rare progressive in their center-right administrations-- tacked the origins of an enthusiasm gap likely to decimate the ranks of congressional Democrats in November. With shockingly clueless party leaders like Chris Van Hollen and Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the DCCC, Robert Menendez at the DSCC and Tim Kaine at the DNC all of a mind that elections can be won by begging cash from corrupting corporate interests and then spending it with fatalistic, money-grubbing Beltway consultants to take ineffectual TV spots, the Democrats have virtually no chance to make a 1934-like case that the country is not progressing fast enough because of partisan conservative opposition from the GOP. When Democrats and Roosevelt did that then, it was the GOP who were beaten to a bloody pulp by the voters. But Obama is no Roosevelt-- in fact, if anything, Obama's tepid approach is more like Herbert Hoover's-- and the Democrats... well today's lot are a sad shadow of a party once firmly and proudly committed to the interests of working families. Reich is surely pondering this sad-- and dangerous-- turn of events.
Whatever the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections, the activist phase of the Obama administration has likely come to a close. The President may have a fight on his hands even to hold on to what he?s already achieved because his legislative successes have been large enough to fuel strong opposition but not big enough to strengthen his support. The result could be disastrous for him and congressional Democrats.
Consider the stimulus package. Although it?s difficult to separate the consequences of fiscal and monetary policy, most knowledgeable observers conclude that the stimulus has had a positive effect.
Yet the official rate of unemployment remains above 9%, not including millions either too discouraged to look for work or working part-time when they?d rather have full-time jobs. Almost half of the jobless have been without work for more than six months, a level not seen since the Great Depression.
A stimulus too small to significantly reduce unemployment, a TARP that didn?t trickle down to Main Street, financial reform that doesn?t fundamentally restructure Wall Street, and health-care reforms that don?t promise to bring down health-care costs have all created an enthusiasm gap. [And let's not forget the Administration's failed "centrist" approach to stopping the foreclosure crisis.] They?ve fired up the right, demoralized the left, and generated unease among the general population.
This leaves the Democrats in a difficult position. They have to prove a negative proposition?that although these initiatives cost lots of money or require many new regulations, conditions would be or will be a lot worse without them.
The administration deserves tactical credit. It accomplished as much as it possibly could with a fragile 60 votes in the Senate, a skittish Democratic majority in the House, and a highly-disciplined Republican opposition in both chambers. Yet Bismarck?s dictum about politics as the art of the possible is not altogether correct.
The real choice is between achieving what?s possible within the limits of politics as given, or changing that politics to extend those limits and thereby more assuredly achieve intended goals. The latter course is riskier but its consequences can be more enduring and its mandate more powerful, as both Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan demonstrated.
So far, Barack Obama has chosen the former course. Despite the remarkable capacities he displayed during the 2008 campaign to inspire and rally Americans behind him, as president he has for the most part opted for an inside game.
Perhaps he didn?t want to risk what he could achieve through inside deals. Maybe by temperament or inclination he is more comfortable with compromise than conflict. It?s possible he implicitly traded a more ambitious domestic agenda for Republican support on foreign policy. Or perhaps he has sensed the increasing polarization of the electorate and didn?t want to further exacerbate it.
Any or all of these hypotheses may be true, but the undeniable consequence has been to erode the capacity of the president and his party to accomplish much more from here on. Still, it is far too early to write an epitaph for the Age of Obama. He may yet surprise. He is, as he reminds us, a most improbable president.
Last night, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) called for unanimous consent to bring the Defense Authorization bill to the floor of the Senate after the August recess. The bill includes an amendment to begin the process of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who earlier in the day reassured reporters that he woud not filibuster the measure, objected, citing his opposition to the DADT amendment:
MCCAIN: I’m not going to allow us to move forward and I will be discussing with out leaders and the 41 members of this side of the aisle as to whether we’re going to move forward with a bill that contains a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy repealed before, before a meaningful survey on the impact of battle effectiveness and morale on the men and women who are serving this nation in uniform. It’s again…moving forward with a social agenda on legislation that was intended to ensure this nation’s security.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, McCain accused Obama ? who at the time voted against the defense authorization measure because it did not include a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq ? of embracing the policy of surrender and called his vote ?the equivalent of waving a white flag to al-Qaeda.? The Wonk Room peals back the layers of hypocrisy surrounding McCain’s claims.
This is one for the record books. While watching the twitter stream for "supreme court" in[...]
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The chair of the Johnson County, Missouri Democratic Central Committee went to the Warrensburg post office to check the committee's post office box for mail today.
In the mail was a a plain envelope with the address of the committee and no return address. There was a 37 cent Ronald Reagan stamp and a 10 cent stamp for postage.
Contained in the envelope were two bumper stickers:
What passes for subtle racism from right wingnuttia in post-racial America.
The second bumper sticker, as described by the chair, had an image with "BP" and an oil slick on the left, Obama's image on the right, and the legend, "Slickest and Blackest Disaster in U.S. History" in the center.
The chair turned over the envelope and the second bumper sticker to a post office employee at the counter who told her he would turn the materials over to the local postmaster. She retained the first bumper sticker.
Welcome to post-racial America.
Cross posted from Show Me Progress.
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