From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...
Oh! More Things I Know:
> Alan Simpson is like a milk cow whose tits squirt creepiness.
> Plus he sucks at math because people have two tits each so it would be more like "a milk cow with 620 million tits."
> Keith Olbermann couldn't bring himself to say "tits" last night on Countdown, but I can: Tits Tits Tits!
> I should mention that I'm only qualified to talk about male tits.
> All this talk about tits is makin' you horny. So, technically speaking, Alan Simpson just got you in the mood to procreate. Good luck explaining that to the kids.
> This is the last thing I intend to say about tits: Tits!
> Police should stop tasering children and the elderly.
> America's psychiatric wards are filled with people who have Gone Galt.
> None of this shit would be happening if Lou Dobbs was president. Oh, wait...yes it would.
> If you can't state exactly how many blocks away from Ground Zero an Islamic peace center could be located without disturbing the hallowed ground near it---and specifically how you came to that decision with such finality and precision---you need to go back to playing with your tinker toys in the basement.
> I have nothing against straight people except their bizarre sexual habits.
> This might be a good time to do something about the economy. Sorry if that sounds pushy, I'm just tryin' to help.
> Oh, look! Dick Armey is on my TV. [Click!] Oh, look! Now he's not.
> We seriously need to start learning things from other countries that do those things better than we do.
> Ever since Google went to the dark side over net neutrality, their whimsical home-page logo designs all look Satanic to me.
> I am going to stand here until someone gives me a voucher! Any voucher! I am an American citizen and I a voucher!
Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Despite the flurry of initial applause from groups ranging from AIPAC to J Street to the Israel Project to the American Task Force for Palestine that direct negotiations were resuming between Israel and Palestine, pessimism has been the order of the day since. As one senior White House official recently told me, this just gets us back to the previously messy status quo.
One has to give credit to President Obama for not ducking this problem -- which he probably could, at least for a while. Obama chose Senator George Mitchell on his second day in office, pushed a showdown which he lost on settlements with Prime Minister Netanyahu, made the lack of progress between Israel and Palestine a key point of focus during his September 2009 UN General Assembly remarks, and is now inviting regional leaders as well as Quartet Representative Tony Blair to give this effort another shove.
By cajoling the Palestinians and Israelis to engage, Barack Obama is again putting himself in the vulnerable position of another potential battle with Israel's Prime Minister -- and this time Obama can't afford to lose.
As with Khrushchev and Kennedy, the Soviet premier took the first couple of rounds -- but Kennedy came out on top.
Beyond what ultimately happens in these peace talks, Obama needs to prevail over any pugnacious obstinacy by Netanyahu.
-- Steve Clemons
It's a good thing the public option was never promoted. Who ever would have gone for such obvious socialism? Corporate socialism is just dandy but when it bleeds into the government, no way. It's much better to support rate hikes that are providing some of the highest executive compensation plans in the country. LA Times:
California insurance regulators cleared the way Wednesday for Anthem Blue Cross to implement scaled-back rate hikes after a previous increase was canceled amid an uproar over its size.
Anthem said it intends to put the new rates ? averaging 14% and as high as 20% ? into effect Oct. 1 for nearly 800,000 individual California policyholders.
Regulators also allowed one of Anthem's nonprofit competitors, Blue Shield of California, to move ahead with rate increases ? averaging 19% and as high as 29% ? for 250,000 individual policyholders.
Have you ever looked up at the television at a local business -- your gym, an auto shop, a bar or restaurant -- only to find Glenn Beck or Bill O'Reilly shouting down at you? Often without thinking about it, many businesses and other public establishments are providing a vehicle for Fox News' attempts to divide America. Now you can do something about it.
There are several ways you can get involved:
Please check out TurnOffFox.org, join us, and get involved!
Get your free Turn Off Fox sticker
When you join the campaign, you'll also have the opportunity to get a free Turn Off Fox bumper sticker -- and even the shipping is free! You can get 5 stickers for a donation of $3, 20 stickers for $10, or 50 stickers for $20. Getting stickers (and sharing them with your friends) isn't just about making a personal statement of your values. It helps to build awareness of our brand and our message, and makes it easier to educate folks about why Fox News is unparalleled in its propagation of division and bigotry.
Here's a summary of why we are asking businesses and other public establishments to refuse to play Fox News Channel:
Some of the network's most divisive rhetoric is spouted when the topic of race. In July 2009, Fox host Glenn Beck called President Obama a "racist" who has "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture" -- a statement with which Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch has since said he agrees. Frequent Fox guest Jesse Lee Peterson has said that most black people lack moral character, and cited "what they did to the dome" after Hurricane Katrina as evidence. Recently, Fox News contributor John Stossel called for the repeal of a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prevents business owners from discriminating based on race. And Fox News hosts Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity were the first to air maliciously edited video of Shirley Sherrod's speech to the Georgia NAACP -- video that cost Sherrod her job with the USDA. The recent episode involving Sherrod has helped confirm what we have long known -- that Fox is a propaganda machine with no regard for the truth.
Glenn Beck calling President Obama a "racist" was the most blatant example of Fox News leading the effort paint the President as someone who harbors and acts upon deeply held prejudice against white people. But the network consistently tries to create the impression that black political and civic leaders want to "get even" with whites by taking their wealth and giving it to blacks.
We've seen the hateful atmosphere that has arisen at Tea Parties because of this false narrative. As the House of Representatives deliberated over health care legislation this past spring, some Tea Party members gathered outside the Capitol shouted "Ni**er!" at black congressmen. One of the protesters spat on Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver, while another called openly gay Representative Barney Frank a "faggot" as the laughing crowd imitated his lisp. The Tea Party has been uncritically promoted and embraced by Fox News since its inception.
Last year, abortion doctor George Tiller was gunned down in his church after being demonized for years by Fox's Bill O'Reilly as "Tiller the Baby Killer." O'Reilly had compared Tiller to the Nazis and to Al-Qaeda. He said that Tiller had "blood on his hands" and that he wouldn't want to be Tiller "if there is a Judgement Day."
In another example, a man armed with a rifle, a shotgun and a handgun opened fire on California Highway Patrol officers on an Oakland freeway in July of this year. After he was apprehended, police determined the shooter was on his way to the American Civil Liberties Union and Tides Foundation offices in San Francisco to kill people. In the aftermath of the tragedy, the shooter's mother said that her son watched a lot of television news and was angry at left-wing politicians and organizations. While many Americans are aware of the ACLU's work, the Tides Foundation is a little-known non-profit organization that most people had never heard of -- until Fox's Glenn Beck started demonizing and spreading false information about the organization. Since Beck's show premiered in January of 2009, he has pushed conspiracy theories involving Tides on nearly 30 episodes. During the same time period, Tides was never mentioned on other cable or network news channels, according to a report by the watchdog group Media Matters.
Fox News insists that they're a legitimate news network. They engage in divisive rhetoric, race-baiting and attempts at character assassinations, but they do it all under the guise of reporting the news. Often the mainstream media eventually takes the bait and runs with Fox News' distortions and smear campaigns. When businesses and public places play Fox News, they become a conduit for its stream of misinformation, and it contributes to the misconception that the network is a credible source for news and information.
This campaign is about organizing people to use their feet and their dollars to encourage establishments not to spread Fox 's poison in their communities.
To learn more, and to join the campaign, please visit our website at TurnOffFox.org.
The G4 cable channel has announced it plans to air 10 one-hour episodes of a new documentary titled ?Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan,? a reality show inspired by the Academy Award-winning movie ?The Hurt Locker.? The show’s producers secured a special agreement with the U.S. Navy to follow around an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit on duty.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that ?the serious tone and life-and-death stakes is new for the network best known for such lighter fare,” such as shows called Cheater, Ninja Warrior, and The International Sexy Ladies Show. G4 president Neal Tiles touts the show as an opportunity to ?showcase the work of the courageous men and women on the front lines? and as a way to appeal to their ?young male demo.?
Military.com reports that, ?While the Navy certainly green-lighted the show based on its potential to highlight the courage and skills of dedicated Sailors, it’s not likely everyone is going to see it that way.? Because camera crews will be following Navy explosive ordinance teams through Afghanistan, there is indeed a potential that casualties will be captured on video. In fact, a statement from G4 appears to gleefully tout such a possibility:
While one day’s patrol could result in the successful disarmament of a 50-pound roadside bomb via remote-controlled robot, another could put an EOD tech wearing a 70-pound protective bomb suit in direct contact with a potentially deadly IED.
A G4 spokeswoman told Military.com that she did not know how the company would handle situations involving casualties. Last night on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow blasted the concept of the show. ?Maybe the thinking is,? Maddow commented, ?if you can?t keep the American people supporting the nine-year war in Afghanistan, at least if you let in the right camera crews, then killing American soldiers over there can make for some good home-front entertainment.?
Maddow?s guest, NYT columnist Frank Rich, recalled that this has happened before. In 2003, just as the U.S. was preparing to go to war in Iraq, ABC announced that it would air a television series titled ?Profiles from the Front Line.? Producer Jerry Bruckheimer coordinated with the Rumsfeld-led Pentagon to document the lives of soldiers serving in Afghanistan. While the war was far more popular then, ?the show still bombed,? Rich said. Watch Maddow?s segment:
Saturday marks the fortieth anniversary of the iconic "I Have a Dream" speech by the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior. Sadly, although Dr. King's dream envisioned a time when we as a nation would "transform the jangling discords of our nation[...]
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Vote 2010: Rossi, Murray spar on veterans' issuesAug 25, 2010 - Washington's U.S. Senate race heated up Wednesday as Sen. Patty Murray and challenger Dino Rossi battled over veterans' care and spending. A KOMO News story ignited controversy after a Rossi[...]
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Ken Mehlman ran the most hateful, anti-gay project in presidential history in George W. Bush's 2004 reelection campaign.
President Bush's campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee now says he's gay.
Is being gay a disqualification for working as a GOP operative? Seems unlikely, Mehlman is the latest on a long line of GOP operatives who work against gays during the day, while living a double life.
But GOP Gubernatorial candidate, Mark Neumann, is on record as saying being gay is a disqualification for service his legislative office.
In a widely reported address to the now-defunct La Crosse Christian Coalition in 1997 during Neumann's campaign for U.S. Senate, Neumann said that he would not hire a person who applied for a position in his legislative office after stating a gay or lesbian orientation.
?If somebody walks in to me and say, ?I?m a gay person; I want a job in your office.? I would say, ?that?s inappropriate? and they wouldn?t be hired because that would mean they are promoting their agenda. The gay and lesbian lifestyle (is) unacceptable, lest there be any question about that.?
Does this position still hold for Neumann? How about Scott Walker? Where does he stand on banishing gays from employment in a Walker administration?
From the Atlantic:
By Marc Ambinder
Ken Mehlman, President Bush's campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, has told family and associates that he is gay.
Mehlman arrived at this conclusion about his identity fairly recently, he said in an interview. He agreed to answer a reporter's questions, he said, because, now in private life, he wants to become an advocate for gay marriage and anticipated that questions would arise about his participation in a late-September fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group that supported the legal challenge to California's ballot initiative against gay marriage, Proposition 8.
"It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," said Mehlman, now an executive vice-president with the New York City-based private equity firm, KKR. "Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey, and for me, over the past few months, I've told my family, friends, former colleagues, and current colleagues, and they've been wonderful and supportive. The process has been something that's made me a happier and better person. It's something I wish I had done years ago."
Privately, in off-the-record conversations with this reporter over the years, Mehlman voiced support for civil unions and told of how, in private discussions with senior Republican officials, he beat back efforts to attack same-sex marriage. He insisted, too, that President Bush "was no homophobe." He often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called "the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now."
Mehlman's leadership positions in the GOP came at a time when the party was stepping up its anti-gay activities -- such as the distribution in West Virginia in 2006 of literature linking homosexuality to atheism, or the less-than-subtle, coded language in the party's platform ("Attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country..."). Mehlman said at the time that he could not, as an individual Republican, go against the party consensus. He was aware that Karl Rove, President Bush's chief strategic adviser, had been working with Republicans to make sure that anti-gay initiatives and referenda would appear on November ballots in 2004 and 2006 to help Republicans.
Mehlman acknowledges that if he had publicly declared his sexuality sooner, he might have played a role in keeping the party from pushing an anti-gay agenda.
"It's a legitimate question and one I understand," Mehlman said. "I can't change the fact that I wasn't in this place personally when I was in politics, and I genuinely regret that. It was very hard, personally." He asks of those who doubt his sincerity: "If they can't offer support, at least offer understanding."
"What I do regret, and think a lot about, is that one of the things I talked a lot about in politics was how I tried to expand the party into neighborhoods where the message wasn't always heard. I didn't do this in the gay community at all."
He said that he "really wished" he had come to terms with his sexual orientation earlier, "so I could have worked against [the Federal Marriage Amendment]" and "reached out to the gay community in the way I reached out to African Americans."
I got a call the other day from a frustrated Democrat in a red state who works on the Democratic Party's coordinated campaign effort for the state. He was fuming because he feels the DSCC and DCCC come into his state to raise money by talking about how bad extremist Republicans are, collect a bunch of money and then instead of using it in the state, use it to bolster conservative Democrats elsewhere. We've been talking about that for a while here at DWT, presumably why the guys called me. Yesterday, Greg Sargent, who might not be aware its something people Outside-the-Beltway think about, touched on it in an interesting column in the Washington Post about DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen. Sargent confirms what we've been saying: the Establishment Democrats create bogiemen to run against-- Boehner is the example in this case (and always a good one)-- but have no intention of defeating him, only in scaring and suckering money out of concerned voters, which can then be used to reelect the very Democratic Blue Dogs who vote with Boehner against the Democratic agenda! Van Hollen doesn't want to lose his good parking spot and fancy office with a view.
Van Hollen said the DCCC would advise Dem candidates to seize on Boehner's speech.
"The Boehner speech is Exhibit A that they want to take a U-turn back to Bush policies that failed," Van Hollen said of Republicans. "We will be using it to encourage our candidates to draw a clear distinction between continuing on the road to recovery or turning back the clock to the failed Bush economic agenda."
Van Hollen added that Boehner's speech-- which presented an extension of the Bush tax cuts as a panacea but added few other policy prescriptions-- had only helped Dems by giving them a target, because it would enable Dems to present the election as a choice, rather than just as referendum on them.
"No longer is the Republican plan a blank slate," Van Hollen said. "Their proposal is Bush economics on steroids. By making that clear, he has sharpened the choice in these races. What he's proposing will provide ammunition for our candidates."
When I pointed to evidence this message isn't sinking in-- a recent polling memo circulated by Dems found only 25 percent believe the GOP wants a return to Bush policies-- Van Hollen didn't respond directly. "Boehner's speech opened up greater opportunities to have that conversation," he said.
This morning, the NRCC announced that they will be amplifying Boehner's call for Obama to fire Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, by pressuring Dem candidates to say whether they agree. But Van Hollen dismissed this strategy as a transparent stunt.
"People will see that as pure political gamesmanship," Van Hollen said. "If they focus on just that piece it will demonstrate that they lack any seriousness. The Geithner Summers piece is obviously a political effort at distraction."
In the speech Boehner said we have an "economy stalled by ?stimulus? spending." But according to FOX News' Wall Street Journal, yesterday the CBO reported that "the impact of the stimulus program estimated ... the plan lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points." In addition, the Washington Post reported, "The CBO said the act also increased the nation's gross domestic product by between 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent in the second quarter, indicating that the stimulus may have been the primary source of growth in the U.S. economy."
Boehner also said that "each dollar the government collects is taken directly out of the private sector." This is the old "taxes take money out of the economy" argument, which is intended to trick people into thinking that the money just disappears instead of being used to pay for the schools, courts, agencies and infrastructure that enable businesses to thrive and drive the country's prosperity. If you think that President Eisenhower's spending on the Interstate Highway System "took money out of the economy" you really need to see someone about your problems and not take them out of the rest of us.
Taking direct shots at democracy, Boehner complained about "big government"-- namely We, the People making decisions instead of a few wealthy corporate owners making decisions for us-- and said, "As Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, recently said, "You'd really be amazed at how much government you'd never miss." Boehner really has a problem with this whole "We, the People" thing.
[T]hese "free trade" agreements create a worldwide race to the bottom, allowing companies to bypass the protections that democracies fought to provide for their citizens, pitting exploited, low-wage workers against citizens in democracies, forcing wages and standards ever lower.
These "free trade" agreements need to be reviewed and reformed, so they protect wages, the environment., worker's rights and small businesses around the world. We have a chance to lift each other up instead of push each other down. In February I wrote about Whirlpool closing a refrigerator plant in Evansville, moving the jobs to Mexico where workers are paid $70 a week. The problem is that Mexican Workers Paid $70/Week Can't Buy Refrigerators! If they were paid decent wages, we could sell things we make to them, while they sell things they make to us. But if we follow Boehner's trade ideas everyone just gets poorer and eventually the economy stops.
Oh, wait, we DID follow Boehner's trade plans, and everyone DID get poorer, and the economy DID stop! But a few of his buddies got really REALLY rich. So he wants to do more of that.
This speech by Boehner is just more calling for a return to the policies of the past: we?ve been seeing the trade deficit soaring in the last few months, as the economy tries to go back to old economy. China is 96% of our trade deficit. Boehner saying lets go back to the path we followed when we were borrowing $2 billion a day, it took away 2.8% growth in 1st quarter, sapping the recovery. This notion that Boehner calling for continuing course shows a perverse blindness to changes country has to make.
This whole "I never intended" Alan Simpson apology has gotten entirely out of hand: the person to whom the insult was directed still wants Simpson to resign from the Catfood Commission, while the White House, an unrelated party to the insult or the[...]
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