Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Geico Pulls Ads From Glenn Beck Show

I just signed on to work on this campaign. It feels good to be actively involved. Yesterday we got front page of the Huffington Post and it was mentioned the previous day. Olbermann was wrong on the signature numbers; we're over 112,000 signatures.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bloggingheads hits homerun with timely Iran election diavlog

h/t BJKeefe

It's fun to watch Eli Lake agree with the liberal Reza Aslan. Like Brendan, Lake is one of my favorite neocons. He's a thinking mans neocon. If you're looking for more details from two of the more knowledgeable foreign policy heads from both sides of the political spectrum, I highly suggest watching this diavlog. These diavlogs are of the type that make one of the better resources on the web.

A must read with Aslan in The Daily Beast for some more background on the protests.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Oh the irony in the GOP

Considering the joke Meghan McCain's father made at Chelsea Clinton's behalf.

If you don't remember:
"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?
Because her father is Janet Reno."
It sure is amusing reading the younger McCain's critique of David Letterman's Bristol Palin joke.

The most frustrating part of McCain's complaint is she continues to peddle the nonsense that the joke is about 14-year-old Willow Palin. No where in the original joke did Letterman mention Willow by name and in his apology the following the day he specifically says he was referring to Bristol.

I'm not defending what he said. In my opinion, neither Letterman nor the older McCain's jokes are defensible. But I wish Meghan McCain would just shut up already.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mo Dowd Just Isn't as Funny as She Thinks She Is

When NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd is on, she's hilarious and on fire. It's just that more often than not her columns scream laziness.

I'm far from a fan of the Edwards' family, but you got to love Elizabeth Edwards defending herself and taking a slap at MoDowd:
In response to a recent New York Times column by Maureen Dowd that called Edwards's new book, Resilience, "just a gratuitous peek into their lives, and one that exposes her kids, by peddling more dregs about their personal family life," Edwards says Dowd is way off base and adds that she'd have been "foolhardy" to think she'd be protecting her kids by not writing about her life.

"My children aren't protected from the death of their brother, my breast cancer, or any of the things that have happened in our family," says Edwards. "They're smart kids, they have Google alerts. They already know." Dowd, she adds, "has written an editorial where she clearly does not understand this."

"Least. Welcome. Convert. Ever."

War criminal and former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor is apparently a convert Jew for Jesus:
Q. So he's now a practicing Jew?

A. He's now a Jew. He's practicing Judaism.

Q. Tells us about that? What led him to that?

A. Because of the difficulties, he always wanted to know God in a very diffent and special way. From a very small boy -- because we talk about his childhood a whole lot -- he asked himself questions about Christianity. Too many questions about why certain things happened. And why, this one and that one. Just too many question in Christianity and the whole thing about Christ because he does believe in Christ. When he got to the Hague, he got to know that he really, really wanted to be a Jew. Wanted to convert to Judaism. And that...

Q. Does that mean he has rejected Christianity then? Because that's quite a radical departure.

A. No, no, no he hasn't rejected Christianity. He has always been a Christian. He just decided to become a Jew. He wants to follow the two religions.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Favorable Obama Coverage

It's impossible not to notice that NBC is the White House's favorite network. As a supporter of Obama, I can't say I'm terribly bothered. For all of the hate spewed on Fox it's nice to see the White House have a favorable balance. I'd prefer it was MSNBC, but when they have Liz Cheney on around the clock, NBC may end of being the liberal sister to MSNBC.

CNN's John King is not a fan of the Obama Conan O'Brien plug:
King: It's my school of journalism, it may not be everyone else's school of journalism, but it's my school of journalism is that I interview all these guys with respect. I respect the office, I respect the people, I respect anybody that puts themselves out there like that. But, I, you know, I need to protect myself and my integrity and my credibility, and the President of the United States, you know, God bless him, God bless the one before him, and God bless the next 200 to come. I'm not going to ask them for an endorsement or a product endorsement. I think that's way over the line.
I agree with King. It was tacky. Cute, but tacky. The Daily Show mocked NBC's "Real World" coverage of Obama:
The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
The Real World D.C.
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorEconomic Crisis

h/t Michael Calderone

Stay Classy National Review

"Unfortunately, there’s not a good shorthand term for the psychology behind this kind of behavior. “Racism” doesn’t, I think, capture it. But there’s this deranged fascination with walking up to the line and dancing around there in hopes of getting called on it. Then you get to become indignant. Because, again, the contemporary right’s main view on race is that actual racism against non-white people is only a tiny problem compared with the vast social crisis that allegedly exists around people being vigilant against racism." - Matt Yglesias
Salon has more on this classy cover.

As Andrew Put It: Know Hope

Longterm prisoner and torture victim from Yemen does a spectacular varial 180 in a promotional video for Activist, the new skate- and streetwear brand from Amnesty International
h/t Andrew Sullivan

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Obama in Cairo

h/t Oliver Willis

This video from the White House reminds us just how many Muslim Americans we have. It's a must watch, but I'm sure there will be those on the right who it scares mightily. Today President Obama is giving his big speech to the "Muslim World." Michael Scherer at Time sets the scene in Cairo. The NY Times tells us the goal of the speech. Ben Smith also previews the speech. Bin Ladin is threatened by Obama and thus threatens the U.S. You can watch it live streaming now. Full speech is available here. Mark Ambinder gives highlights here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Oh Snap, John Cole.

I was just telling Oliver the other day how much I love Balloon-Juice. John Cole is fast becoming one of my favorite bloggers on *the left,* though I'd hardly call him a lefty. He's representative of the Democratic Party I'd like to belong to.

This rant against another of my favorites, Andrew Sullivan, captures Cole's skill of cutting through the b.s perfectly. A must read.
Now playing: J Dilla - Blood Sport (feat. Lil' Fame Of M.O.P.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Biggie Smalls Will Always be the Illest

I know I've already waxed nostalgia on Biggie and the disappointing biopic. But Spencer Ackerman reminds us that Christopher Wallace would have been 37-years-old today. What a shame.

Always will be Brooklyn's finest.

Photo of the Day 05/21/09


h/t and article "The Meaning of Michelle Obama" at Time Magazine

Headline of the Day 5/21/9

Twin Boys Have Different Fathers


Super Bowl Champions Pittsburgh Steeler at the White House

There's been some conflict around this, but from the video it looks like good times.

Congress Wastes More Money, Good for the LOLz

Energy and Commerce hires a speedreader.
h/t Swampland

California's Quick Tumble

John Cole is sick of California budget politics and says "Let [California] Burn." Hours later he returned to say he was right with the prescription, but wrong with the prognosis:
“The California Constitution has been amended or revised more than 500 times. It is now 157 pages. “

That just strikes me as a recipe for fail. Additionally, I learned that you all have term limits, so not only does it only take a 50+1 vote to increase spending and a 2/3 vote to raise money to pay for things, you also have special interests doing bond initiatives for anything that blows their trumpet, property tax laws that make no sense, and then to compound everything, people have no problem raising spending because when the shit hits the fan, they will have been term limited out and it is someone else’s problem. Then, the new people coming in to replace them have no experience and no authority and no way to fix it and the voters all hate them.

Pretty awesome.
You've got to respect someone who acknowledges when they're wrong and isn't afraid to do some research.

John pointed me to one of my new favorite blogs, Calitics, who takes the prognosis one step further:

The video features Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, Chair of the Budget Committee, breaking down the root of the evolving California budget crisis. It's an important watch, regardless of your party affiliation or ideology.

What's next?
As the notion of California as ungovernable grows stronger than ever, Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has expressed support for a convention to address such things as the state’s arcane budget requirements and its process for proliferate ballot initiatives, both of which necessitated Tuesday’s statewide vote on budget matters approved months ago by state lawmakers.

“There could not be more of a tipping point,” said Jim Wunderman, chief executive of the Bay Area Council, a business group that moved forward on Wednesday with plans to push for a constitutional convention. “We think the interest is going to grow by orders of magnitude now.”
The constitutional convention would be must see TV. It looks to be the best solution to this mess.

Sullivan Explores a Fundamentalist Disconnect

Amy Sullivan does great work over at Time's "Swampland" blog presenting digestible religion journalism for non-believers. Also, everyone once in a while she'll show up on BHTV. She does great work tonight demonstrating the gap between the Vatican and Bill Donohue's version of American Catholic Fundamentalism. The whole piece is included below:

First L'Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, ran an article giving Obama's first 100 days a tentative thumbs-up. Then, as conservative Catholics in the U.S. were wringing their hands about the horror of Barack Obama's scheduled appearance at Notre Dame, the newspaper--and the Vatican in general--was conspicuously silent. Then, when the paper did report on Obama's speech, its calm, fairly positive take was in stark contrast to the furious reaction of many conservative Catholics here.

But this takes the cake. In an interview with an Italian newspaper the day after Obama's speech, Giavonni Maria Vian, editor-in-chief of L'Osservatore Romano, seemed to forcefully push back against the view that Obama is a threat to Catholic values and religious freedom. “Obama has not upset the world,” said Vian. “His speech at Notre Dame has been respectful toward every position. He tried to engage the debate stepping out from every ideological position and outside every ‘confrontational mentality.' To this extent his speech is to be appreciated.”

After reaffirming that the Vatican newspaper shares the American bishops' staunch opposition to abortion, Vian went further. "What I want to stress is that yesterday, on this precise and very delicate issue, the President said that the approval of the new law on abortion is not a priority of his administration. The fact that he said that is very reassuring to me. It also underlines my own clear belief: Obama is not a pro-abortion president."

Uh, oh. It sounds like the Vatican newspaper "doesn't understand what it means to be Catholic."

You can follow her, as well as Joe Klein over at Swampland. Together Sullivan and Klein almost make Karen Tumulty tolerable. The feed is still worth following.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Frank Black Performs With Portland School Of Rock

h/t stereogum

Republicans Piss into the Wind and the Media Hold Their...

I haven't said anything yet about the closing of Gitmo. Mostly because while I believe it should be closed sooner rather than later, I understand the politics of it are going to be a difficult, and I won't pretend have the answers. But the Republicans fear mongering and claims that Gitmo is just like Disneyland are quite amusing. Today's comments by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) take the cake:

I've mentioned Inhofe before here. He's in the running with Sen. Jim Demint (R-SC) and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) for biggest wackjobs in the Senate.

It's frustrating that the White House has allowed Republicans to control the debate. It's natural for congress feeling left high and dry to vote against funding the Gitmo closing. Dem Senators say they need a plan. After all, they're the ones who have to take this back home and the fear mongering is going to work unless the White House gets into the debate. Tomorrow is Obama's big national security speech, which Politico is already hyping as a duel with Dick Cheney's “Keeping America Safe" at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

It's unclear how a private citizen's views on national security can compete with the President of the United States, but when you're a leaderless party Dick Cheney might be the best you've got.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) says them to CA:

Why not? We keep the Manson Family, the Night Stalker and many other various dangerous people. We sure could use the money, after last night's ballot initiatives were trounced. All this talk of dualing almost makes me forget we had a 2+ year long presidential campaign. It's a shame Dick Cheney didn't run. Maybe then the media would ignore the guy.

h/t: ABCNews and Think Progress

DADT's Slow Crawl Toward Oblivion

Interviews like this and the Colin Powell are what separates Rachel Maddow from the others. She's not being used to her potential and it's a shame. Make sure you watch the full video if you need further proof why DADT must be revoked.

Obama sent a personal promise to repeal DADT to a soldier a couple weeks ago but the delay is ending careers now.

Mark Ambinder at the Atlantic posted what seems to be an educated hypothesis of the White House's plan:
"You can see the outline of the strategy in the administration's decision to let stand an appeals court ruling requiring the military to explain why being gay is, in itself, a reason to have fired a highly regarded lesbian Air Force major. The effect of not appealing the ruling will put the burden on the government to explain to skeptical judges why being gay is inherently incompatible with military service, something the administration (and many in the military) believe is very hard to prove, let alone justify. The hope here is that by allowing the military to make its best case -- and then seeing that case be torn apart by the courts, a critical mass of opposition to Don't Ask, Don't Tell, will build."
There's more. It's worth a read. One of Ambinder's commenters, calchala, perfectly capture my feelings on the subject.
"[I]t's a little too soon to be worried, and I'm actually a little angry at activists on this issue. We're four months in his first term and it's not ALL activists, not just gay rights ones, seem to feel that everything should be done immediately. There's still plenty of time, however, if we're coming to the fourth year of his last term and it's still not done? Then that would be pretty problematic. But right now, I don't like saying this, but chill."
h/t Huffington Post
Now playing: Etta James - At last

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jaime Foxx Couldn't Have Done It Better

h/t Jonas Robledo on AIM

Wingnuttery Everywhere

I was pleasantly surprised with Michael Steele truth to power Republican base Mormon comments:
"[R]emember, it was the base that rejected Mitt because of his switch on pro-life, from pro-choice to pro-life. It was the base that rejected Mitt because it had issues with Mormonism. It was the base that rejected Mitch, Mitt, because they thought he was back and forth and waffling on those very economic issues you’re talking about. So, I mean, I hear what you’re saying, but before we even got to a primary vote, the base had made very clear they had issues with Mitt because if they didn’t, he would have defeated John McCain in those primaries in which he lost."
I'm not a Republican, nor am I part of either party's base, but I've been fascinated by the Evangelical movement for sometime, and Steele's comments are backed up with many conversations I had during the primaries.

Continetti doesn't mention Huntsman's Mormonism in his complaints I mentioned yesterday, but then again, Continetti is not part of the GOP base. His quest for party purity isn't based on religion affiliation. Continetti actually said something that made me a at least a little bit proud:
"The coalition that would nominate such a man (or woman!) exists, sure. In the Democratic party. Not the GOP."
That was until Oliver Willis brought this John Aravosis post to my attention:
"It doesn't matter what Huntsman now tells us. The Mormons have a tenet in their faith called "lying for the lord." It means they outright lie when asked about their church, in order to protect and promote their church. And as we've seen with their treatment of the Holocaust victims, and their absurd excuse for why they secretly baptized President Obama's mother only last year, in matters concerning their faith, they have shown that you cannot trust them at their word. Their promises come second to their faith.
If Jon Hunstman is required by God to secretly help the Mormons infiltrate China - and he is - then that is what Jon Huntsman will do as our next Ambassador to China. You can bet on it. Pity the poor Chinese. They have no idea what's about to happen to them."
These conspiratorial ideas are common place on the extremes of both parties. Aravosis is fairly mainstream in the liberal blogosphere. It's disappointing to see this from what I'd hoped would be the more tolerant edge of political discourse. Hunstman's dedication to service is tried and true. More should expected out of liberal bloggers. These are the things we'd come to expect from birthers.

h/t Oliver Willis
Now playing: Louderbach - autumn

Quote of the Day - 05.19.09

"To call [Christopher Hitchens] statements racist, or homophobic, demeans racist and homophobes. Indeed Hitchens displays something more than that--weakness. Weakness is the root of these sorts of slurs--an unwillingness to do the hard work of taking your opponents at their merits. So you name call and strawman. You mock what you don't understand, what you fear." - Ta-Nehisi Coates, Atlantic Monthly
Now playing: Wilco - Wilco the Song

Monday, May 18, 2009

Continetti Disappointing Op/ed and GOP's Diminishing Numbers

I typically like Matthew Continetti on BHTV. I've debated Continetti merits with Brendan in the comments section a couple times, but his new article in the Weekly Standard is garbage - minus one nugget of truth:
"Because an Obama-friendly moderate stands absolutely no chance of winning a Republican presidential nomination anytime soon. The coalition that would nominate such a man (or woman!) exists, sure. In the Democratic party. Not the GOP."
The Republican Party has no interest in ever moderating itself - 2016 or any time in the future. It will take several presidential elections before it even considers something o drastic. We're talking 16-years minimum.

Today TPM and WaPo both dissect a new Gallup on the ever shrinking GOP. Other than church-going Caucasians, every other demographic has left them.

By 2042 the United States will be "majority-minority," when ethnic/racial minorities will make up the majority of the population. Currently 10% of American counties are "majority-minority" and another 7% are reaching that point.

Good luck in your purification attempts, GOP. You'll be joining the Whigs soon enough.

h/t Ben Smith

A Day Late, But Still Important: Obama at Notre Dame

I just love the way he confronts these controversial topics. As Amy Sullivan at Time said, Obama deserves a certain amount of respect simply for showing up. Pro-choice politicians have been running scared from moral questions on the topic. It's nice to hear Obama take those on head-on.
h/t Balloon Juice

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Political Art at Its Finest

A fascinating collection of photo montages created in the 30s by a German ex-pat John Heartfield living in Great Britain.

h/t Andrew Sullivan

Hollywood Wants into Politics

The Terminator has hardly been a successful governor, so I'd appreciate it if the media didn't use him as a positive example of Hollywood gone politico.

Just say no to Ice Man Val Kilmer for New Mexico governor!

Sweet! White House Poetry Jam

Tonight is the White House Poetry Jam and it will be streaming at 7:45 EST despite what the White House link says. Go o click it. You'll see.

Performing will be students from American, Galludet, Georgetown, and Howard Universities.

Also performing, actor James Earl Jones and husband and wife duo, Michael Chabon, a Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist, and Ayelet Waldman.

About Damned Time

Sen. David Vitter still a shmuck, finally lifts his hold placed on the FEMA head confirmation.

I, for one, am excited about porn adult film star Stormy Daniels challenging Vitter in the LA Republican primary.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

R.I.P Chuck Daly

Rest in peace, Chuck Daly. You were the first professional coach I despised. Your "Bad Boy" Piston teams won back-to-back championships by beating down and abusing your opponents. You showed you didn't need the best athletes or players in the league to play at the highest level. I loved the Bulls and I know had it not been for your coaching and style of play the Bulls and Michael Jordan never would have excelled later.

You "coached" the first 'Dream Team' to the dominating Olympic gold, but it wasn't so much what you did in the Olympics that brought you to the pinnacle. It was your commitment to winning by any means necessary. In that sense, you were the Malcolm X of NBA coaches.

While it's true I despised you, I always respected you and your teams. Rest in peace, Coach.

Friday, May 8, 2009

White House to Honor Stonewall Rebellion

Word is that the White House is going to release a proclamation recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion for Gay Pride month. San Francisco-based blogger Michael Petralis says:
A draft is being prepared as we speak in preparation for June. First one since 2000!

Interesting that Bill Clinton issued a presidential proclamation honoring LGBT pride month in June 2000, his last year in the Oval Office, and Obama is getting ready to put forward a similar proclamation in his first year as president.

Nice bit of progress!

I can't wait to read the Stonewall 40 proclamation from Obama in a few short weeks. And to also say, "Thanks, Mr. President."
h/t Carla Marinucci

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rachel Maddow w/ Rep. Joe Sestak and Lt. Dan Choi

I've really enjoyed watching Sestak performance since Sen. Arlen Specter's move to the D's.

Monday, May 4, 2009

PA Senatorial Politics

A media question, so it's pretty funny watching the media ask questions about a Arlen Specter vs. Tom Ridge match up. But why would we think Ridge can get past Toomey? where are these Ridge vs. Toomey polls? Ridge is pro-choice. This just won't fly with what's left of the PA GOP. It's pretty clear the Specter vs. Ridge match up would be close, but they are basically the same candidate. Big name candidates are one thing, but this is beltway talk. Where are the reality based memes?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Texas, You Know, I Don't Think It's Going to Work

The New Yorkers' Hendrik Hertzberg supports Gov. Rick Perry's suggestion Texas secession:
Despite Perry’s fighting words, there is no reason for the separation to be an occasion for violence. The globe is replete with two-state solutions: India and Pakistan, Ethiopia and Eritrea, Israel and Palestine. Admittedly, these may not be the best examples. A closer parallel would be Czechoslovakia, which, in 1993, split peacefully into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Like Czechs and Slovaks, Americans and Texans speak closely related languages, share a common, if not equally intense, interest in football games (though the Dallas Cowboys could no longer style themselves “America’s Team”), and enjoy each other’s cuisines. (Houston has a number of acceptable organic fusion restaurants, and there is a pretty fair barbecue place just a block from The New Yorker’s offices.) The border between the United States and the Federated States (“Confederate” being a word that remains a little too provocative) might not be as trouble-free as that between the United States and Canada, but, compared to the border with Mexico, it would probably require somewhat fewer armed citizen militias and fences topped with concertina wire to thwart illegal aliens desperate for a better life. On balance, trade relations between the U.S. and the F.S. would be advantageous to both. Cultural exchanges, tourism, and even a degree of military coöperation would be far from unthinkable.

For the old country, the benefits would be obvious. A more intimately sized Congress would briskly enact sensible gun control, universal health insurance, and ample support for the arts, the humanities, and the sciences. Although Texas itself has been a net contributor to the Treasury—it gets back ninety-four cents for each dollar it sends to Washington—nearly all the other potential F.S. states, especially the ones whose politicians complain most loudly about the federal jackboot, are on the dole. (South Carolina, for example, receives $1.35 on the dollar, as compared with Illinois’s seventy-five cents.) Republicans would have a hard time winning elections for a generation or two, but eventually a responsible opposition party would emerge, along the lines of Britain’s Conservatives, and a normal alternation in power could return.
The rest is worth reading, for many laughs. Keep in mind, many Texans do support secession. Just this weekend Gov. Perry has requested help with the swine flu.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

R.I.P Bea Arthur

I watched you weekly with my mother. You brought hours of enjoyment to my life and my families.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

of Montreal Cover of The Beatles "I'm So Tired"

h/t StereoGum

Moving on Up to the Eastside

High school juniors dropping out of school to play basketball overseas was inevitable, but that doesn't make it any less sad:
Jeremy Tyler, a 6-foot-11 junior, dropped out of his San Diego High School and said he would skip his senior year to play professionally in Europe, The New York Times and Yahoo! Sports reported on Wednesday.

Tyler, 17, will become the first player born in the United States to leave high school early to play professional basketball overseas. He is expected to come back in two years, when he is eligible for the NBA draft.
I hope he has a solid support group. There are college graduates who never make the adjustment from college to the pros. I can only imagine what this kid's first year in Europe will be like. Kids are growing up so fast they can't be prepared for what's to come.

Shep Smith is Mad as Hell

I love it when Shep Smith goes rogue on Fox News.
h/t sgwhiteinfla video source
Now playing: Broken Social Scene - Da Da Da Da

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A True Class Act: Andre Ward

Sports columnist Monte Poole is the best thing the Oakland Tribune has going for it.

It really is that simple.

He brings it once again with a profile of 2004 gold medal boxer and Oakland native Andre Ward.

Ward was the highlight of the '04 Summer Olympics. It turns out Ward is an even better person than he is a fighter:
Ward, however, won't compromise. He politely declines to talk trash even when provoked. And that's what Miranda is trying to do. He did it during a recent news conference and can't resist doing it whenever he finds an outlet.

A sample: "Andre Ward has never been in the ring with a fighter like me; he hasn't fought anyone talented. If there is one thing you notice about Andre's fights, he's always running."

Another sample: "Andre doesn't have the heart of a champion. He is holding onto his one achievement: the Olympic gold medal. But that is all he will ever achieve."

A third: "I feel sorry for Dan Goossen to have invested so much money in such an untalented fighter."

This is not atypical of boxers seeking attention. Whether showmanship or cheap chatter, it's designed to attract publicity and stir pre-fight promotion.

Ward responds with a shrug. If the immensely popular Manny Pacquiao doesn't need to swagger and boast, why should he?

"My kids are in this audience. My wife is here," Ward said after Miranda's verbal performance at the news conference. "So I'm going to continue to stand with integrity. And that's part of the reason I want to be an ambassador to the sport, because people expect fighters to do this.
I doubt I'll be able to make it to Ward's hometown debut May 16, but any locals should consider supporting this great boxer and great person.
Now playing: Broken Social Scene - Almost Crimes (Acoustic)

Republicans Stuck in 1993

Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe is going to filibuster the confirmation vote of Judge David Hamilton over concerns he's not anti-Muslim while being anti-Christian. Newt Gingrich did an interview with Christianity Today, where he said more of this nonsense:
You have Obama nominating Judge Hamilton, who said in her ruling that saying the words Jesus Christ in a prayer is a sign of inappropriate behavior, but saying Allah would be OK. You'll find most Republican senators voting against a judge who is confused about whether you can say Jesus Christ in a prayer, particularly one who is pro-Muslim being able to say Allah.
Michael Tomasky, over at the Guardian, does an excellent take down on this lunacy:
So here's where the lie comes in. Hamilton did indeed rule that Jesus Christ must not be mentioned in legislative prayers. But what did he say about Allah? It practically goes without saying that the decision doesn't so much as mention Allah. So this is what his wing-nut critics are doing: They're using the fact that he proscribes mentions of Jesus but does not specifically proscribe mentions of Allah to assert that he thinks mentions of Allah would be perfectly, as it were, kosher.
Please read the rest, if you're interested in why the current GOP is a geographically isolated party.
Now playing: Department of Eagles - on glaze

Take that Culture War and Shove It

Shorter version of Politico's "Obama skates while Right fumes:" 2009 is a new era and Obama's team plays the politics game really well.
Now playing: ESPN - PTI: 4/21

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

4,197,371 Pink Slips

h/t Andrew Sullivan
An interactive map from Slate traces job losses.
Now playing: Moderat - 3 Minutes Of

The Never Ending Senatorial Race

Although I haven't written much about the prolonged Minnesota Senatorial race, I've been following it closely over at Talkingpointsmemo and the Strib. Both have been doing an excellent job. Something caught my eye in today's Strib piece:
Appearing on CNN, Klobuchar sparred with Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, who repeated GOP talking points that "votes [of all Minnesotans] should be treated the same. And I at least think that his appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court should be heard."

Republican Norm Colman is expected to file an appeal with the Supreme Court this week, asking that his setback last week at the hands of a special three-judge panel be overturned.
Did you catch that?
"Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, who repeated GOP talking points..."
It's small, but this is just another sign of the MN media turning on Coleman. Minnesotans are fed up and want their second senator. Three newspapers that endorsed Coleman have asked him to concede the defeat: the Bemidji Pioneer, The Albert Lea Tribune and the Worthington Daily Globe.

Coleman filed his appeal to the MN Supreme Court yesterday. Franken began hiring his staff yesterday. Let's hope for Minnesota and especially Amy Klobuchar this ends shortly. Minnesotans need a second senator.
Now playing: The Race - Moorwood

Monday, April 20, 2009

Seeing This Through to the End

Presidents Clinton and Bush 43 are making a joint appearance "debate" May 29, in Toronto. I really hope it's aired here in the States, though, these days, it'll be up on the web shortly after.

It's doubtful there will be many fireworks, even where they disagree strongly. Both are making their best attempts at being statesmen.

The Globe and Mail has a write-up on the upcoming event and these graphes caught my eye:
Although both presidents demonstrated an ability to compromise in the interests of bipartisan consensus — Mr. Clinton toughened welfare rules while Mr. Bush expanded public health care and funding for education — their opponents saw them only as the personifications of the evil of the other side.

So Mr. Clinton was impeached for abasing his office after lying about an affair with an intern.

And the wild-eyed are still trying to get Mr. Bush and his vice-president, Dick Cheney, tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity for their handling of the war on terror.

The meter doesn't exist to measure the time and energy that has been wasted on all of this.
It's true that a lot of effort was put into impeaching Clinton. Far more than was probably necessary. But to make the say that war crimes and crimes against humanity is tantamount
with perjury is disappointing. I haven't heard anyone serious in the current debate discuss charging Bush or Cheney. The lawyers Jay Bybee and John Yoo, yes, but not Bush or Cheney.

The ease the journalist makes this comparison is surprising, especially from a Canadian journalist. Clinton lied about an affair. Bush and Cheney authorized war crimes that we tried both Germans and Japanese after WWII with.

Passing off the desire to see justice as a purely partisan act doesn't demonstrate enough respect for the rule of law or the United States Constitution.

Chavez and Obama from a Different Angle

Not quite the smiles featured in the Times that had The Corners' panties in a bunch
source via Tapper

Sunday, April 19, 2009

More on International Relations When Grownups Are in Charge

International Relations When Grownups Are in Charge

h/t Brendan

Quote of the Day #2- 04/19/09

In the days before the French Revolution, the people of France were living in dire conditions while their leaders lived comfortably, oblivious to the effect their actions had on the people they governed. When informed that her people were starving because they had no bread, Marie Antoinette famously said, “Let them eat cake.”

Gov. Mark Sanford is sending the people of our state the same kind of out-of-touch message

Faced with the reality that South Carolinians will have to repay federal funds whether they benefit from them or not, Gov. Sanford wants to reject the budget stabilization portion of this money. Most South Carolinians — even those of us who adamantly opposed the federal stimulus bill and thought this level of borrowing to be a terribly misguided mistake — recognize it is now the law, and our children will have to pay back this money regardless. - Bobby Harrell, Republican, is the speaker of the S.C. House
Now playing: GZA/Genius - Living In The World Today

Napolitano stands by DHS report on right wing extremists

I wish she'd said this when it leaked initially. Napolitano is a fierce politician. She needs to get better acclimated to D.C to be truly affective. Right now it feels like she's just feeling her way through the wilderness.
h/t sgwhiteinfla

America's Greatest Fat Man

Charles McGrath has a great profile of John Goodman in today's NY Times:
"Over four decades, appearing in roughly three movies a year, he has played a king, a governor, Babe Ruth and a Stone Age caveman, Fred Flintstone. On “The West Wing” he has been a Republican speaker of the House who temporarily takes over for the president. But as is so often the case with actors his size, he is more often the second banana, the comic foil. His most famous role is Dan Conner, the henpecked husband on “Roseanne.”

In person Mr. Goodman is not the stereotypical jolly fat man. For all his success, he remains full of self-doubt. Compliments make him wince, and his conversational default mode is self-deprecation. He sometimes seems to be eyeing himself with suspicion."

Quote of the Day - 04/19/09

If they want to leave the Union I wish them God’s speed and good luck with their bordering nations once liberated from the oppressive protection of the U.S. military and the freedom-sucking agricultural subsidies of the U.S. government.

I just have one request. Fly your own flag at your rallies. The U.S. flag belongs to me and to my country. The blood of my ancestors in on that flag. My fathers and brothers fought and died under that flag for a nation where they were not equal. My mothers and sisters paid generations of taxes to states that would not educate their children and to a federal government that would not protect their sons from lynch mobs. Those acts of unrewarded patriotism by my foremothers and forefathers were a down payment on my citizenship. They have purchased my right to claim this country and her flag as my own. This year my President stood beneath that flag and reclaimed this nation for all of her people. How dare you wave my flag in hatred?

I grew up in the South. I know all about your deep pride and cultural attachment to the Stars and Bars. So if you want a flag to wave at your little tea parties, go ahead and dust off the flag of secession, treason, and slavery. Leave my flag when you go. - Dr. Melissa Harris-Lacewell

It's Not Me It's You

My favorite conservative Reihan Salam broke up with Sarah Palin over at The Daily Beast. Well worth reading. Heh

Speaking of Straw Men

h/t Sharon Heiny

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mark Halperin has a crush on Obama

A few months back Halperin was complaining that the media was too easy on Obama. He went in Charlie Rose and cried that the media slanted in Obama's direction. But it's as if Halperin has now bought into the "O-Train." He included the picture above over the headline "Why He is Dominating," following it up with the subhead "HALPERIN'S TAKE: Exactly 16 reasons why Barack Obama is exceptionally good at his job." The top two are:
1. On major decisions, almost without exception, he does what he thinks is right, rather then what might appear to be the politically expedient thing to do; in the end, doing what he thinks is right actually turns out to be better politics.

2. He-- and his vice president, chief of staff, deputy chiefs of staff, congressional relations office-- are experts on Congress and know how to approach, manage, manipulate, finesse, and meld with the institution in virtually every respect. (Up to and as far as the considerable limits of three-branch government and multiple egos).
The rest are worth reading, if you want inside the workings of D.C establishment media, but what's even funnier is how this new luuuurve for Obama skews the articles in a more positive light.

POTUS Stays Cool at Summit's Opening
Driving That Train: HALPERIN'S TAKE: 5 things Obama has done in last few days with minimal criticism (or none at all!!!) that would have gotten Bill Clinton hammered in his first 3 months.
And the headline he gives the RNC response to Obama:"Still Fighting the Stimulus"
And for Obama's weekly address "BUDGET SLASHER"

The most hilarious is the headline and image he gives a NY Times article critical of Obama that leads The Page: "Straw Man."

It's impossible to know how long this man crush lasts. I'm slightly worried. Halperin was so wrong throughout the primaries and general that I'm almost tempted to be concerned. I'm holding out for a David Broder man crush article in the Washington Post to ratchet up my concern. If establishmentarian Broder also falls for Obama we'll some trouble is brewing.

An Unexpected Defense of Steve Schmidt

This is the last thing I thought I'd ever write in this blog. It's rare Republicans actions warrant defending - especially in this environment, but the articles questioning Steve Schmidt's commitment to gay marriage are out of line.

The most egregious smear of Schmidt was Mark Nickolas in the Huffington Post.

Nickolas accuses Schmidt of being an ambulance chaser:
The third type are the calculating political opportunists. These folks generally have few core values and try to anticipate a tipping point on a major issue and then quickly shift allegiances so that they can be on the "right side" as things settle. These people don't simply flip on issues due to the prevailing political winds. Instead, they are very thoughtful and calculating, always looking to get a strong head start on upcoming political change and positioning themselves to profit on their timing. You might call them political ambulance chasers.
It's obvious Nickolas doesn't know jack about Schmidt. Instead Nickolas righteous liberalism feeds a sense of authority and the ability to look down the appearance Schmidt's "Johnny Come Lately" to gay rights.

I wish Nickolas had dine even a little bit of research before writing this entry. He might not have wasted his time. on some such drivel.

Let's look a bit at the record.

A 09/04/08 Queerty blog entry: "Unlike some of his party peers, Schmidt supports gay marriage and in 2007 asked California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to back inclusive legislation."

A 09/05/2008 in blog entry on Good As You: "He did, however, tell personal stories about his lesbian sister, referred to LCR as an "important part of the party," encouraged the organization to keep fighting for what they believe in..."

A 11/07/08 Ana Marie Cox interview on The Daily Beast:
From: Ana Marie Cox
To: Steve Schmidt
Sent: Fri Nov 07 08:50:28 2008
Subject: Re: Calling you in 30

the passing of prop 8... any comment?

From: Steve Schmidt
To: Ana Marie Cox
Received: Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 7:03 AM
Subject: Re: Calling you in 30

I was disappointed with the result

A 11/14/08 article on Euro2Day refers to Schmidt as a spokesman for No on Prop 8:"They have raised a tremendous amount of money, and as a result they have significantly out-bought us on TV," said Steve Schmidt. "Every time somebody sees one of our ads, they've seen two of theirs."
Even my good friend Brendan snarked on Schmidt's motivations. A little bit of research by Nickolas or Brendan would have told them a different story. One of a brother of a lesbian who has spoken out in the past for gay marriage rights. One of a strategist who has walked the party line and worked from within to make changes. It's shame that I need to defend Schmidt from a liberal. Schmidt has finally reached the status that his opinion along with recent court and legislative successes for gay marriage give him a larger soap box to speak from.

Brendan in a later entry rounded up some of the Wingnuttery responses to Schmidt position. This response by the Right had to be expected by Schmidt and for this reason, especially, his decision to speak out is all the more commendable. Give the guy a break. You might not like his politics or his party, but questioning his motives is just wrong.

And Now They're Coming for Your Children

Wow, I'm honestly speechless. You smell the fear in these people as the world changes around them. Sad.
h/t Andrew Sullivan via Box Turtle Bulletin

Only on the Internet

h/t Atomly

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Somethings Should be Left to Others

Some journalists are just that journalists and have little business doing commentary. Others like Time Magazine's Joe Klein and TPM Matthew Cooper, Washington Times' Eli Lake can blend the two.

Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic just doesn't seem to be able and pull it off. Today's example:
Their origins -- organic, programmatic, accidental or otherwise -- don't matter much anymore. If -- and we'll have to see the numbers at the end of the day -- 100,000 Americans show up to protest their taxes, the onus to dismiss them as a nascent political force shifts to the Democrats...

There's plenty of evidence that a bunch of hanger-on Republican interest groups, always looking to prove their relevance and hip factor to donors and activists, decided to lend their names and resources to the parties, multiplying their "organic" effect. FreedomWorks is a classic astroturfing shop. But I also think that we're too obsessed with the distinction between the top and the bottom of a blade of grass. At some point, critical mass is reached and astroturf campaigns can work -- they can catalyze genuine anger and channel it into meaningful political participation. In the age of hyperconnectivity, just what would an organic grassroots movement look like, anyway? Are people who've organized on behalf of causes before forbidden from joining? Can the movement not accept help and money from outside players?
Let's take this apart point by point. Since when did the origins of a movement not matter? We're still talking about those snowy Iowa days where Obama built his campaign. Why wouldn't the root and financing behind the teabaggers matter? Oddly, Rachel Maddow put the most effort into the conflicting motivations amongst the teabggers.

As DougJ at Balloon Juice put it: "Finally, why do we have to pay attention to 100K tea-baggers when 10 million anti-Iraq war protesters were considered a focus group?"

But these questions aren't answered by Ambinder. He's too busy with his own unanswered asinine questions. Calling out teabaggers for what they were and what they've become is the job of a quality journalist. Mr. Ambinder should stick to that and leave the columnist/opinion work to professionals.
Now playing: Stevie Wonder - Superstition

Play Ball!

Over the last three years, I've sort of felt like I was in baseball purgatory living in Minneapolis. I only had a few acquaintances that'd even consider going to a game with me. The first year I continued to follow the A's religiously by subscribing to the MLB online radio package. The previous five seasons saw me attending at least five plus games per year, often ending late in October.

Yesterday the boys got together for another game. While it felt like the fastest seven innings ever, seeing as we didn't get seated until the top of the 7th, due to some ticketing issues and a special snack bar attendee, the game was good times. Hopefully the A's pick it up and I get to as many games this year, as in years past.
Now playing: Telefon Tel Aviv - The Birds

04/15/09 Photo of the Day

h/t: Spencer Ackerman
Now playing: Steve Bug - You Make Me Feel (Version 2)

Monday, April 13, 2009

04/13/09 Photo of the Day

President Obama speaks on the balcony of the White House before the start of the 2009 Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

I know I'm a little late to this, but I finally caught up with Notorious tonight. Notorious was not what I expected it to be. What I was expecting, I'm not entirely sure. I've always been a fan of films with music themes, whether it was The Five Heartbeats, The Commitments, Cadillac Records, or Ray. But the musical performances were Notorious most glaring weakness. It wouldn't have been fair to expect newbie Jamal Woolard to rhyme like Biggie, but other than the early battle scene, actual scene viewable here, Woolard has zero stage presence. He has plenty of range and he covers all aspects of Biggie's life through the years, but neither the concert or studio scenes are shot in a way to hide this glaring weekness.

Angela Bassett is great as Voletta Wallace. Derek Luke plays a decent Puff Daddy. Marc John Jefferies is too young to play Lil Cease. Jefferies character left me wondering if he had his parents' permission for the role. Naturi Naughton didn't have the range for the naughty Lil Kim later in the film. Naughton never looks comfortable exposing herself as Kim and for that reason you feel sorry for her and not Kim.

The music supervisor Barry Cole did an admirable job, picking the perfect Biggie tracks to tell his complete life story. I'd watch Notorious again, but only in the company of a friend who'd never seen the film. And that's probably the most disappointing aspect of the film. It had all of the lements of a movie I'd purchase and watch over and over again. Instead I'll put in my VHS copy of Rhyme & Reason for a better portrayal of Biggie.
Now playing: Notorious B.I.G - I Love The Dough feat Jaÿ-Z & Angela Winbush

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Turkish anchor wears blackface to report on Obama’s visit.

h/t Think Progress

It's amazing just how different cultures view "blackface." I don't speak Turkish, so I'll leave it open to others for interpretation.
Now playing: Ray Charles - Over The Rainbow

Baracknophobia - Obey

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Meghan McCain: No Longer Funny

I've humored Meghan McCain - mostly because she's cute. Yes, I know I should be judging her by her ideas and not her appearance. It was a mistake on my part. I can't humor her any longer.

Other than being the daughter of a former presidential candidate and attractive, I have no idea what she offers to the political discourse.

Not only that, but the more she talks, the more she contradicts herself.

She outdoes herself in her recent Daily Beast article:
But as harsh as I’ve been about some elements of the GOP, I find aspects of the Democratic Party infinitely worse. Just as I fear the far right would undermine a conservative resurgence, the far left of Obama’s party threatens to do the exact same thing to him and his administration.
Ah, I see. In case Ms. McCain hadn't realized this, Democrats are in power, with their majorities growing in 2008, because the party celebrates diversity. Even to the frustration of Liberal members. The Democratic Party has members from conservative, moderate, and liberal districts. Republicans simply put - do not. She's afraid of the fringes of both parties, but what she doesn't realize is that's all that is left in the House of Representatives and increasingly heading that direction in the Senate. Her own Dad is lucky Janet Napolitano chose to join the Obama administration. He was looking at a likely to defeat at her hands in 2010.

Ms. McCain celebrates the unity Republicans have shown:
It is no secret that the Republican Party, for all its faults, consistently displays party unity. For all the criticism that the Bush administration came in for, risks were taken (like supporting the Iraq troop surge) that wound up benefiting the GOP in the long run.
Just how much did supporting the surge help Republicans? Did they win the presidency in 2008 or pick up any seats in congress (other than the New Orleans House seat from corrupt Rep. William Jefferson)? His replace, Joesph Cao who has remained true to Eric Cantor and voted against the stimulus bill and the budget against the wishes of his constituents, has been threatened with recall. Just how successful have Republicans been?

One moment Ms. McCain says Republicans should be concerned about the far right and the next she congratulates their unity. She seems to recognize that the tactics of her far right has scared off our generation of voters, but she fails to recognize that the unity and lack of diverse voices in congress is just as distancing. If Republicans are all expected to vote in unison, why would I support a "moderate" Republican as Cao once claimed he was?

This party unity that so thrills her is what freezes even her out of having any real influence. She certainly has got that memo:
As a consequence, some have requested I leave the party altogether, and say that I am now an unwelcome member...

Any criticism I give of the Republican Party is out of love, and as someone who feels knowledgeable and experienced enough to give constructive criticism.
Ms. McCain goes on to cite two erroneous examples Democratic disunity:
Look at Obama’s stimulus bill—as soon as he handed it over to the House, Democrats loaded it with so many appropriations they made it impossible to pass.
But the bill did pass or is she not aware?
(He goes on to cite Sen. Kent Conrad’s endorsement of farm payments and Democrats' opposition to Obama’s plan to limit tax deductions for the rich.) Now, I may not agree with Obama either, but if such a left-leaning magazine so blatantly recognizes the writing on the wall when it comes to extreme members of the Democratic Party hijacking message and power, then it is obviously a major concern.
Conrad is far from a liberal Democrat, so how exactly is he an extreme (and by extreme, I assume she means liberal) hijacking Obama's message? It appears that if anything, the problem Obama is having is with Business-centric Democrats who would rather subsidize companies than save money, without working towards Obama's health care reforms, all in the name of claiming to be a deficit hawk.

These DINOs in the Senate, Conrad, Evan Bayh, Blanche Lincoln, Mark Pryor and the rest, would rather give tax breaks to the wealthiest than work with the rest of the Democratic majority to pass Obama's agenda.

The best question Ms. McCain asks is: "Can politics ever become truly centrist and bipartisan?"

The answer here is surprising. Because the Democratic Party has such diversity and 60 votes is needed to make for cloture, simply working within the Democratic caucus guarantees a truly centrist perspective. Democrats need every one of their 58 senators and two Republican moderates to push through a bill.

This of course doesn't make politics bipartisan. Politics won't be bipartisan until Republicans decide to break ranks and begin working with the president.

The people support Obama. The people want Republicans to participate in governance and until they do so, Republican unity is going to leave them a geographically isolated party and leave Ms. McCain voiceless in the Republican wilderness.
Now playing: Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek - Africa Dream

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lykke Li @ NTBR Part 4 - "Hustlin'"

Lykke Li @ NTBR Part 4 - "Hustlin'" from Drew Innis on Vimeo.
Now playing: ESPN - PTI: 3/27

Obama Administration 60 Days In

There are a few main reasons I voted for President Obama and three of them came to fruition within the last week.

The administrations attempts to reach out the Iran, as he did last Friday in Obama's Nowruz message, the EPA decision to stop mountaintop removal mining, and the executive order to lift the ban on federal funds for embryonic stem-cell research.

These are actions that never would have occurred under a McCain administration. This is the garbage that the Bush administration forced down our throats and left many of us questioning the other half of America. America has an opportunity here to make things right, where so much was wrong the last eight years. Things of course aren't perfect coming out of Washington. Under pressure from the NRA and Blue Dog Dems, the administration and Eric Holder decided against bringing back the Clinton era assault weapon ban. This is frustrating in that there are no real reason a citizen needs to own the weaponry the administration wanted to ban.

Secretary Clinton stressed yesterday that America feeds the Mexico drug trade, both through the drug market and our weapons flooding the streets of Mexico, and we need to do a better job in preventing guns from entering Mexico. This argument falls on deaf ears of the gun lobby, and I can understand why Obama wouldn't want the headache of the fight this year. He needs the support of those Blue Dogs to get his initiatives through.

I just hope he takes them up soon. We need to use every weapon of our own to prevent these weapons from reaching the wrong hands.
Now playing: NewsHour with Jim Lehrer - Obama Takes New Media Approach to Rallying Public Support

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Web 2.0 Taking Over SXSW

My buddy Jay Smooth over at and IllDoctrine was interviewed by PBS at SXSW. It's nice to see hip-hop blogging and video blogging in general get some publicity, and of course, we want Jay to get as much attention as possible. We know being named one of the sexiest men alive on didn't go to his head quite enough. The interview is a must watch for anyone interested in the interactive and expanding world of blogging and video blogging:

Now playing: Eric B. & Rakim - Eric B. Is President

Chuck D Still Has It

Public Enemy w/ The Roots on Jimmy Fallon. Great clip.
via: Stereogum