The talk in town is that our trash collection is DC is going to be a victim of any government shutdown. (DC gets a chunk of its budget from the feds, so if the feds stop sending money, part of DC shuts down. On the good side, there's a rumor that meter maids won't be getting paid either.) So someone set up a Facebook page to have everyone to politely bring their garbage to John Boehner's house Saturday at 12:00AM (I'm not sure if that means Friday night or Saturday night), and over 700 people have signed up.
George Allen is said to be running in 2012 for the Senate seat he once held and lost to Jim Webb; you may remember he was the favorite of the religious right to be the presidential pick until he famously uttered the "macaca" slur back in 2006.
Well, he's at it again with his racist stereotypes. It's evident how he views the world and the people that live in it.
NBC 4?s reporter-anchor Craig Melvin is a tall African-American. Which apparently led to this exchange with former Sen. George Allen, according to Melvin?s Twitter account Tuesday night:
?For the 2nd time in 5 months, fmr. gov. and sen candidate George Allen asks me,?what position did you play?? I did not a play a sport.?
How embarrassing. The fact that it happened a second time is what's illuminating. Let's say he actually forgot that he talked to NBC 4?s reporter-anchor Craig Melvin before, when he previously asked him not if he played sports in college, but what position 'did' he play. But to do it a second time to the same guy shows a pattern, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.
Allen's apology is not exactly persuasive: It might be natural and unrevealing to ask someone if they played sports -- but to assume that a person played football specifically is just weird and stupid -- unless your framework is that of your classic racial stereotype.
Former Sen. George Allen (R-VA), who is running again for Senate in 2012, was called out in Twitter on Tuesday night for repeatedly questioning NBC4 anchor-reporter Craig Melvin about his nonexistent sports career. The Washington Post’s Tom Jackman reported on Allen’s apparent stereotyping of Melvin:
NBC 4?s reporter-anchor Craig Melvin is a tall African-American. Which apparently led to this exchange with former Sen. George Allen, according to Melvin?s Twitter account Tuesday night: ?For the 2nd time in 5 months, fmr. gov. and sen candidate George Allen asks me,?what position did you play?? I did not a play a sport.?
UPDATE: The son of former Redskins coach George Allen apologized to Melvin. “@georgeallenva:sorry if I offended, ask people a lot if they played sports Grew up in fball family found sports banter good way to connect”
Allen lost his seat after being caught on camera hurling racial epithets at a young staffer working for his Democratic opponent. The “macacca” scandal led to other revelations about Allen’s reactionary views on race, including a picture of Allen hanging out with a white supremacy group, and the fact that he had prominently displayed a noose in his Charlottesville law office.
Although Allen has tried to distance himself from his racist past, questions still linger about his view of racial minorities. For example, last year, I attended an event featuring Allen at the Heritage Foundation. After speaking once with the senator during the question and answer period, I again raised my hand for a second question. For some reason, possibly because I was the only minority in an all-white audience, Allen dismissed my second question by asking if I understood what an “at-bat” meant:
DUNLOP: I think we have one more question here. [pointing to me]
ALLEN: This guy has a question. I’ll talk to you afterwards [inaudible] let everyone get a bat [makes baseball bat swinging motion]. You understand at-bats — right?
In Allen’s worldview, every tall African American is a sports player, but Asian Americans have never heard of baseball.
With birther conspiracy theory claims about President Obama again being hyped by the right-wing media, Media Matters looks at the myths and falsehoods surrounding Obama's birth certificate.
CLAIM:Obama Has Not Produced A Birth Certificate. Right-wing media have repeatedlyclaimed that Obama has not produced a birth certificate. For example, on the March 23edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity stated, "Can't they just produce it,and we move on?" Similarly, on the April 5 edition of his show, Hannity saidthat Obama was born in the United States but demanded that he "show the stupidbirth certificate." [Fox News, Hannity, 8/21/08]
FACT:Hawaii Health Dept. Official Certified That She Had Personally Seen Obama'sBirth Certificate.As USA Today reported on July 28, 2009, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director ofthe Hawaii State Department of Health, certified that she had personally seenObama's birth certificate in the original records maintained by the Hawaiigovernment. In a press release, Fukino stated:
"I, Dr. ChiyomeFukino, Director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen theoriginal vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department ofHealth verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-bornAmerican citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or myoriginal statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago." [USA Today,7/28/09; Hawaii Department of Health pressrelease, 7/27/09]
CLAIM:Obama's Stepgrandmother Has Confirmed That Obama Was Born In Kenya. On the July 23,2009, edition of MSNBC's Hardball, conservative radiohost G. Gordon Liddy claimed that there is "a deposition,which is a sworn statement, from the stepgrandmother, who says, 'I was presentand saw [Obama] born in Mombasa, Kenya.' " Further, according toWorldNetDaily, two individuals who purportedly took part in a telephoneinterview with Obama's stepgrandmother, Anabaptist minister Ron McRae and Rev.Kweli Shuhubia, each asserted in their affidavits that Obama's stepgrandmothertold them that Obama was born in Mombasa. [Media Matters, 7/23/09]
REALITY: In The Interview, Obama'sGrandmother Repeatedly Said That Obama Was Born In Hawaii. In a December 4, 2008,Slate.com article, David Weigel noted that McRae provided Pennsylvania attorneyPhilip J. Berg with only a "partial transcript of the call" and thatthe "rest of the call" showed that McRae was repeatedly told duringthe interview that "the president-elect was born in Hawaii":
OnOct. 16, an Anabaptist minister named Ron McRae called Sarah Hussein Obama, thepresident-elect's 86-year-old paternal step-grandmother, at her home in Kenya.Two translators were on the line when McRae asked if the elder Obama was"present" when the president-elect was born. One of the translatorssays "yes." McRae contacted Berg and gave him a partial transcript ofthe call with a signed affidavit. He opted not to include the rest of the call,in which he asks the question more directly -- "Was he born inMombassa?" -- and the translators, finally understanding him, tell himrepeatedly that the president-elect was born in Hawaii. [Slate, 12/4/08]
FACT: Salon Reported That The Full Audio OfThe Interview Indicates That McRae Was Told "Over And Over Again, ThatObama Was Born In The U.S." In a December 5, 2008, War Room post,Salon.com's Alex Koppelman similarly noted that the full audio of the interviewindicates that McRae was told "over and over again, that Obama was born inthe U.S.":
Duringthe interview, which was conducted through a translator by a street preachernamed Ron McRae, Sarah Obama does in fact say she was present. But it's clearthat there was a mistranslation, because as soon as McRae very excitedly startsto try to get additional details, the people on the other end of the linerealize what's happened and say, over and over again, that Obama was born inthe U.S.
Forsome reason, the transcripts of the interview that have been posted on variousright-wing Web sites all seem to cut off right after Sarah Obama says she wasthere when her grandson was born. So does this YouTube video with the audio ofthe interview. But as The Economist points out, McRae also released the fullaudio, in which the key parts of the conversation can be heard. Here's part ofit. (The other person speaking is translator Vitalis Akech Ogombe.)
MCRAE:When I come in December. I would like to come by the place, the hospital, wherehe was born. Could you tell me where he was born? Was he born in Mombasa?
OGOMBE:No, Obama was not born in Mombasa. He was born in America.
MCRAE:Whereabouts was he born? I thought he was born in Kenya.
OGOMBE:No, he was born in America, not in Mombasa.
MCRAE:Do you know where he was born? I thought he was born in Kenya. I was going togo by and see where he was born.
OGOMBE:Hawaii. Hawaii. Sir, she says he was born in Hawaii. In the state of Hawaii,where his father was also learning, there. The state of Hawaii. [Salon.com, 12/5/08]
CLAIM:Obama Wasn't Born In U.S., And His Birth Announcement Printed In Hawaii PapersWas Planted.On March 28, Fox News' Fox & Friends hosted Donald Trump and did not challengehis claim "[t]hat ad thatwas placed in the Houston [sic: Honolulu] paper, that was placed in the paperdays after he was born. So he could have come into the country, and theydid it for social reasons they put it in. They did it for whatever reason.There are a lot of reasons you could have put an ad in. But he could have beenborn outside of this country." [Media Matters, 3/28/11]
REALITY:FactCheck.org States That Those Who Believe Conspiracy Surrounding BirthAnnouncement Should "Equip Themselves With A High-Quality Tinfoil Hat." From FactCheck.org:
Infact, the conspiracy would need to be even deeper than our colleagues realized.In late July, a researcher looking to dig up dirt on Obama instead found abirth announcement that had been published in the Honolulu Advertiser on Sunday, Aug. 13, 1961:
Theannouncement was posted by a pro-Hillary Clinton blogger who grudginglyconcluded that Obama "likely" was born Aug. 4, 1961 in Honolulu.
Of course, it's distantly possible thatObama's grandparents may have planted the announcement just in case theirgrandson needed to prove his U.S. citizenship in order to run for presidentsomeday. We suggest that those who choose to go down that path should firstequip themselves with a high-quality tinfoil hat. The evidence is clear: BarackObama was born in the U.S.A. [FactCheck, 8/21/08]
FACT:McCain Campaign Cited Birth Announcement As Proof That Obama Was Born InHawaii.The Washington Independent reported on July 24, 2009, that McCain campaigngeneral counsel Trevor Potter stated the birth announcement in the HonoluluAdvertiser was proof of Obama's birth in Hawaii and that the announcementwould be "very difficult to invent or plant 47 years in advance":
Whilethey ruled out any chance of the "birther" lawsuits holding up in court,lawyers for the McCain campaign did check into the rumors about Obama's birthand the assertions made by Berg and others. "To the extent that we could, welooked into the substantive side of these allegations," said Potter. "We neversaw any evidence that then-Senator Obama had been born outside of the UnitedStates. We saw rumors, but nothing that could be sourced to evidence. Therewere no statements and no documents that suggested he was born somewhere else.On the other side, there was proof that he was born in Hawaii. There was acertificate issued by the state's Department of Health, and the responsibleofficial in the state saying that he had personally seen the originalcertificate. There was a birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser, whichwould be very difficult to invent or plant 47 years in advance." [TheWashington Independent, 7/24/09]
CLAIM:WND Repeatedly Cited "Kenyan Birth Certificate," "Kenyan Officials" Claims AsFact.WorldNetDaily reported on August 2, 2009, that "Orly Taitz, who has filed anumber of lawsuits demanding proof of Barack Obama's eligibility to serve aspresident, has released a copy of what purports to be a Kenyan certification ofbirth," adding that "WND was able to obtain other birth certificates fromKenya" to compare, and "the form of the documents appear to be identical."WorldNetDaily also made no apparent effort to confirm or deny the certificate'slegitimacy before reporting on it. Additionally, WND reported that "Kenyanofficials affirm: Obama 'son of this soil,'" citing statements made "on thefloor of the Kenyan National Assembly the day after Barack Obama was electedU.S. president." [WorldNetDaily, 4/12/10; 8/2/09; 8/4/09]
REALITY:Kenyan Birth Certificate Immediately Debunked As A Forgery. As Media Matters noted, thedocument posted by WND purports to have been produced by the "Republic ofKenya" on February 17, 1964. But Kenya didn't even become a republic untilDecember 12, 1964. An article from that day's Washington Post, for example, reported that "Kenya became the newestrepublic within the British Commonwealth at midnight." WND later concededthat the "Kenyan birth document released by California attorney Orly Taitz isprobably not authentic." [Media Matters, 8/3/09,WorldNetDaily, 8/6/09]
CLAIM: "Hawaii Governor Can't Find ObamaBirth Certificate." Corsi claimed that "HawaiiGov. Neil Abercrombie suggested in an interview published today that along-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not existwithin the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health."Additionally, on the April 4 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show,Rush Limbaugh claimed that Abercrombie "can't find" Obama's birthcertificate.[WorldNetDaily, 1/18/11; Premiere Radio Networks, TheRush Limbaugh Show, 4/4/11]
REALITY: Abercrombie Has Said That The State ofHawaii Has The Document In Its Archives. The HonoluluStar-Advertiser printedexcerpts of an interview Abercrombie gave to the paper's editorial board.During the interview, the Star-Advertiser asked him about his efforts to releaseObama's birth certificate. From the Star-Advertiser:
Q: You stirred upquite a controversy with your comments regarding birthers and your plans torelease more information regarding President Barack Obama's birth certificate.How is that coming?
A: I got a letterfrom someone the other day who was genuinely concerned about it; it is not alljust political agenda. They were talking on Olelo last night about this; it hasa political implication for 2012 that we simply cannot have.
(Abercrombie saidthere is a recording of the birth in the State Archives and he wants to usethat.)
It was actuallywritten I am told, this is what our investigation is showing, it actuallyexists in the archives, written down ...
...What I can do, andall I have ever said, is that I am going to see to it as governor that I canverify to anyone who is honest about it that this is the case.
If there is apolitical agenda then there is nothing I can do about that, nor can thepresident. [Honolulu Star-Advertiser,1/18/11, emphasis added]
CLAIM: "Obama May Not BeEligible To Serve As President" Because Of His Father's Citizenship. In hisbook, The Manchurian President, WorldNetDaily reporter Aaron Kleinargued that while there is "no convincing evidence thatObama was born in Kenya, nor that his birthplace was any place other thanHawaii, his declared state of birth." He claimed that becauseObama's father was not a U.S. citizen, there should have been "Congressional debate about whether Obama iseligible under the United States Constitution to serve as president."Klein went on to examine the meaning of the term "natural borncitizen" as a qualification to be president, referencing the 1758book The Law ofNations and Supreme Court decisions such as Minor v. Happersett,concluding under that and "scores of other Supreme Court rulings, Obamamay not be eligible to serve as president." Klein asserted that "alayman's reading of readily available legal resources ... clearly indicates aseries of legitimate questions about Barack Obama's eligibility for thepresidency, given that Obama's father was not an American citizen." [MediaMatters, 5/7/10].
REALITY: CourtsRejected Claim That Obama Was Ineligible Because Of Father'sNationality. Klein failed to note the numerous legal rulingsor views of legal experts contradicting the view that Obama "may not beeligible to serve as president." For instance, conservative-leaningattorney Eugene Volokh stated in 2008 that "Ihave no reason to doubt that President-Elect Obama was born in Hawaii, and istherefore a natural-born citizen." Volokh has also noted that while mostcourts have dismissed claims against Obama's eligibility to become presidenton procedural grounds, one court that looked at the lawsuitssubstantively rejected the claim that Obama is noteligible to become president because his father was not a U.S. citizen. Volokhadded, "The court's reasoning strikes me as quite persuasive."[Volokh.com, 12/1/08; 11/18/09; In.gov, 11/12/09]
Keep piling on the pressure--contribute $10 to the recall effort on Orange to Blue.
Fresh off a remarkable Supreme Court victory in Wisconsin, the pressure on conservatives in the Badger state goes up yet another notch. Democrats will file recall petition signatures against Republican state Senator Randy Hopper later today:
Union and Democratic Party supporters are expected to gather at rallies in Oshkosh, Fond du Lac and Waupun today before heading down to Madison to deliver the required signatures to force a recall election against Sen. Randy Hopper.(...)
Fond du Lac Democratic Party Chairman Rich Mantz said the official announcement will be made Thursday at rallies scheduled in Oshkosh at 11 a.m., at 12:30 p.m. at Veterans Park in Fond du Lac and on the front steps of Waupun City Hall at 2 p.m.
These rallies are a key part of closing out the signature gathering process. Last Friday, when Democrats held rallies before submitting the recall petition against Dan Kapanke, they gathered another 1,000 signatures.
Randy Hopper is believed to be one of the more vulnerable Senators. Polling shows him to be the second-weakest Republican (see here and here), trailing to a generic opponent outside the margin of error in two polls. His problems are exacerbated by a scandal with his mistress receiving a state job at a salary 35% higher than her predecessor. At Daily Kos, we ran online ads in Hopper's district to highlight the scandal, and those ads received 4,764,678 page views in one week.
Despite all this, recalling Hopper is not going to be easy. I'm still waiting on final numbers, but preliminary analysis suggests that David Prosser won Randy Hopper's district on Tuesday. If we are going to pull this off?and we have no choice but to pull this off, or else the energy behind the movement dispates and collective bargaining rights are lost?we have to keep piling on the pressure.
Please, contribute $10 to the recall effort on Orange to Blue. We won the Supreme Court race, and will can win the recall too, but only if we keep pushing.
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