Friday, February 27, 2009

Who wants to hang with Rush Limbaugh?

On the American Prospect blog Sarah Posner reports:

In his CPAC speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted that conservatives are more "interesting" and "fun" than liberals. Here's his proof: "who wants to hang out with guys like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich when you can be with Rush Limbaugh?"

McConnell's comment causes me to suspect that the chasm between liberals and conservatives in this country is immense and unbridgeable. I find it hard to imagine anyone preferring the company of Rush Limbaugh to either Paul Krugman or Robert Reich.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Instant Polls show public liked Obama speech

As reported by Sam Stein of Huffington Post:

Instant public surveys on Barack Obama's address before Congress showed, by in large, that the public was incredibly receptive to his speech, regardless of political party. ...

A CBS News poll of approximately 500 people saw approval of the president rise from 62 percent before the speech to 69 percent afterward.

Meanwhile, a poll on CNN showed that 68 percent of respondents -- who skewed a bit Democratic -- viewed the speech positively, 24 somewhat positively, and only eight percent not positively. Eighty-two percent supported the president's economic plan as outlined in the speech, while 17 percent opposed it.

Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s official Republican response received a less favorable response. Here is how the Fox News panelists, who are usually receptive to the conservative point of view, responded:

BRIT HUME: “The speech read a lot better than it sounded. This was not Bobby Jindal’s greatest oratorical moment.”

NINA EASTON: “The delivery was not exactly terrific.”

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: “Jindal didn’t have a chance. He follows Obama, who in making speeches, is in a league of his own. He’s in a Reagan-esque league. … [Jindal] tried the best he could.”

JUAN WILLIAMS: “It came off as amateurish, and even the tempo in which he spoke was sing-songy. He was telling stories that seemed very simplistic and almost childish.”

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Schwarzenegger's truthfulness

I was just watching California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on This Week with George Stephanopoulos talk about the budget deal just reached in Sacremento which involves tax increases and spending cuts. George reminded Arnold that when he ran for governor he promised never to raise taxes and asked, "Were you wrong to make that pledge?" "No," replied the governor, "because I really hate raising taxes, but this is an emergency."

So when a Republican says "never raise taxes" do they really mean "only raise taxes when the situation demands?" It seems that Republicans are using different standards of truthfulness than the Democrats. Democrats are much less likely than Republicans to say they would 'never raise taxes," not because they hate taxes any less but because they are aware that in an emergency raising taxes may be necessary. Is their different attitude toward saying what they mean and meaning what they say putting Democrats at a disadvantage when campaigning?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rush Limbaugh says he is no coward

On his show yesterday Rush Limbaugh responded to Attorney General Eric Holder's charge that Americans had been a "nation of cowards" on the subject of race.

I, El Rushbo, am no coward. … In fact, I show bravery on race. I am totally willing to discuss it openly and honestly. How does one show bravery on race as I have? You talk about media bias, you talk about slavish media coverage of Black quarter backs in the National Football League. Then see what happens. Then watch all hell descend upon you from every quarter of this nation’s media. From print to broadcast to internet. … I show bravery on matters of race.

Watch it:

Limbaugh is referring to his very brief stint in 2003 as football commentator for ESPN. The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Donovan McNabb, had a couple of bad games early in the season. Rush Limbaugh proclaimed on a national broadcast that McNabb's poor performance was because he had never been that good to begin with and had only been proclaimed a great player because the media was eager to promote black quarterbacks. I believe Rush Limbaugh was fired just a couple of days after that broadcast.

The way I remember the incident the general feeling among football fans was that he was fired mainly because his comment was so totally wrong it would be absurd for him to continue posing as a football expert. The comment showed he was a racist, but the main problem was that his racism was causing him to be wrong in his football judgments. After the slow start that season Donovan McNabb went on to have a great season, as if to demonstrate just how wrong Rush Limbaugh had been.

Since Rush Limbaugh had really wanted to be a television football commentator, he views the incident as him being forced to sacrifice for his (racist) truth. But there is no need for those of us who do not share his racist views to see any nobility in his actions. He was and is just stubbornly wrong.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Conservative Stimulus Bill humor

This is a cartoon which was published yesterday in the New York Post. A lot of people were appalled by it. I have read the opinions of several right-wingers who claim it is no big deal and point out that Bush was occasionally portrayed as a chimp in cartoons. Of course, Bush was never depicted as a violent, crazed animal that had to be shot by the police. When I described the cartoon to my 85-year-old father he thought it was a hilarious comment on what he took to be the Keystone Cops-like circus surrounding the writing of the stimulus bill. Of course, unlike most Americans, my father is facing no financial uncertainties -- his state pension and Social Security are unlikely to be impacted by whatever happens or does not happen in Washington.

My opinion of the cartoon? I am shocked and appalled that any newspaper would publish such a thing. It is becoming clear to me that the more competent and successful Obama and the Democratic Congress are the more violent and angry the Conservatives will become.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

President Obama invites us to track the stimulus spending.

If you are not on President Obama's email list you may not have heard about a new websites that have been set up to allow the public to track how the stimulus money is spent and a website for posting and reading stories of how Americans are coping with our current economic challenges. Here's an excerpt from an email I just received from President Obama:

The recovery plan will create or save 3.5 million jobs, provide tax cuts for working and middle-class families, and invest in health care and clean energy.

It's a bold plan to address a huge problem, and it will require my vigilance and yours to make sure it's done right.

I've assigned a team of managers to oversee the implementation of the recovery act. We are committed to making sure no dollar is wasted. But accountability begins with you.

That's why my administration has created, a new website where citizens can track every dollar spent and every job created. We'll invite you and your neighbors to weigh in with comments and questions.

Our progress will also be measured by the tens of thousands of personal stories submitted by people who are struggling to make ends meet. If you haven't already, you can read stories from families all across the country:

Your stories are the heart of this recovery plan, and that's what I'll focus on every day as President.

With your continued support, we'll emerge a stronger and more prosperous nation.

The secretive Bush Administration never invited us to track how they were spending our money or provided tools to allow us to do so. This is change I can believe in.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What kind of liberal are you?

I just took the quiz and this is what I scored. What kind of liberal are you?

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Peace Patroller, also known as an anti-war liberal or neo-hippie. You believe in putting an end to American imperial conquest, stopping wars that have already been lost, and supporting our troops by bringing them home.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Terrorism committed by white people

A few days ago James Adkisson was sentenced to life in prison for killing two people during an armed assault at the Knoxville, TN Unitarian-Universalist church last July. Just after he was sentenced he released to the Knoxville News a four-page handwritten "manifesto" which was to be his suicide note if things had gone as he planned . The note can be viewed here. Some excerpts:

Know this if nothing else: This was a hate crime. I hate the damn left-wing liberals. There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country & these liberals are working together to attack every decent & honorable institution in the nation, trying to turn this country into a communist state. Shame on them....

This was a symbolic killing. Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I know those people were inaccessible to me. I couldn't get to the generals & high ranking officers of the Marxist movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickenshit liberals that vote in these traitorous people. Someone had to get the ball rolling. I volunteered. I hope others do the same. It's the only way we can rid America of this cancerous pestilence."

I thought I'd do something good for this Country Kill Democrats til the cops kill me....Liberals are a pest like termites. Millions of them Each little bite contributes to the downfall of this great nation. The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is to kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather. I'd like to encourage other like minded people to do what I've done. If life aint worth living anymore don't just kill yourself. do something for your Country before you go. Go Kill Liberals.

It is clear that his act was a terrorist act with the same motives and purposes as other acts of terrorism, such as the 911 attacks or the embassy bombings -- to try to achieve political ends by killing innocent civilians. The only possible reason for not classifying his attack as an act of terrorism is if you define terrorism in a way that excludes the acts of white Christian Americans. Keep that in mind when you hear people claim that there have been no terrorists acts in this country since 911 or that terrorism is the exclusive province of Middle-Eastern people and/or Muslims.

Post-racial America

If you want irrefutable evidence that the election of Barack Obama does not mark the end of racism in this country take a look at this. It is an editorial cartoon that actually ran in the Ashville (North Carolina) Citizen Times newspaper on Monday, February 9, 2009. The ideas embodied in the cartoon and the decision to publish it are about as pure expressions of racism as can be imagined.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Republicans on parade.

Karl Rove responds to Obama's criticism of Republicans who offer 'more tax cuts as the only answer to every problem we face.'

Republicans using homophobia against each other.

Andrew Card thinks the most important way of showing respect for the Constitution is wearing a jacket in the Oval Office.

Although he disdained bipartisanship when he was in charge of the House, Newt Gingrich criticizes Obama for not being bipartisan enough.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Why the President will not mention local blog

Local conservative blogger, QCExaminer, pleads with President Obama to "diss" her. I think she is missed something important about why the president advised Congressional Republican "you can't listen to Limbaugh and get things done." It wasn't just because Limbaugh is a conservative. It was because Limbaugh was telling Republicans to oppose Obama, not just when they thought his proposals were wrong and would not work, but all the time, especially on proposals that, if passed, would work. Limbaugh wants Obama to fail, not because his ideas would fail, but out of fear that his proposals would succeed. The success of Obama's policies, in addition to being good for America, would clearly demonstrate to the vast majority of voters that it is in their interests for Democrats to be elected.

That is the reason the President told Republicans in Congress they cannot listen to Limbaugh and "get things done." Is QCExaminer saying anything that the President needs to comment on? Not so much.

Magic Tax Cuts

Ellen Beth Gill at Ellen's Illinois Tenth Congressional District Blog discusses the amazing Republican claim that tax cuts are a better stimulus than government spending. Why would increasing after-tax profits for businesses automatically create jobs in the current business climate? Are they Magic Tax Cuts?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Off-the-grid living

The fellow pictured above is John Wells. He is experimenting with living disconnected from the energy grid. You can get an overview of what he is trying to do on his website.

You can keep track of his daily progress by following his blog. He posts about once a day. The last few days he has been completing his shower, in which the water is solar heated in a collector he designed and has been building. Fascinating reading. Much more uplifting than the websites some other local blogs are spotlighting