"If you disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, why not overturn prop8 and make them get married, like the rest of us?"
Maybe you heard the story from last week where John Stewart and "The Daily Show" explained how Fox News was hypocritical by complaining that people were trying to paint all the Tea Baggers as being violent racist because a "minority" of the group was, and yet they do the same thing to the left. At the end of the segment Mr. Stewart tells Fox to "go fuck yourselves"
Fox being Fox couldn't let it go and had Bernie Goldberg on to "discuss". As you'll see from the clip below, at first Mr. Goldberg agrees with Stewart, but then he launches into a personal attack. This is why you don't fire at a guy with a team of writers...
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Bernie Goldberg Fires Back|
The fact that Rachel Maddow is right isn't a big shock, but she distills it here so well. The whole thing is worth a read, but I couldn't agree with her more - I love debate on real issues, it's good for us as a country and for me a person, but here's the thing. Yelling isn't debate. Screaming that someone is an IslamoFascistSocialist that wants to kill your grandma isn't debate. And it isn't helpful either.
As a country we have serious issues that need serious discussion (hint 10% unemployment is a lot more of a problem than whether or not you can carry a gun into a Starbucks [and don't start with the slippery slope bullshit]), it's time everyone come to grips with that. Take it away Ms. Maddow;
"Dissent is not the aberration in a democracy. Dissent is the norm. Our political vitality depends on dissent. No one expects that the president is going to have the whole country agree with his options and his priorities.
Nobody expects Americans to share the same political opinions.
But has there ever been a time when we shared so few political facts? Let’s argue. Let’s have the great American debate about the role of government and the best policies for the country. It’s fun. It’s citizenship. It’s activism. It makes the country better when we have those debates. And your country needs you. It needs all of us.
But two things disqualify you from this process: You can’t threaten to shoot people and you have to stop making stuff up."
Yes. We can. Thanks to State Rep. Dave Upthegrove for posting this on Facebook, I had to share;
It would be easy to mock the so-called conservatives and their "Mount Vernon Statement" (and it's oh so tempting to), but quite honestly Danial Larson at The American Conservative magazine does it so much better than I could. A highlight that I particularly agreed with...
"I cannot object to the statement that the “federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.” This is true. However, I have no idea why the organizers of this gathering think that anyone will believe their professions of constitutionalism after enabling or acquiescing in some of the most grotesque violations of constitutional republican government in the last forty years. If constitutional conservatism means anything, it has to mean that the executive branch does not have wide, sweeping, inherent powers derived from the President’s (temporary) military role. It has to mean that all these conservatives will start arguing that the President cannot wage wars on his own authority, and they will have to argue this no matter who occupies the Oval Office. It has to mean unwavering conservative hostility to the mistreatment of detainees, and it has to mean that conservatives cannot accept the detention of suspects without charge, access to counsel or recourse to some form of judicial oversight. Obviously, constitutional conservatives could in no way tolerate or overlook policies of indefinite detention or the abuse of detainees. They would have to drive out the authoritarians among them, and rediscover a long-lost, healthy suspicion of concentrated power, especially power concentrated in the hands of the executive.
"Until we see these basic demonstrations of fidelity to constitutional principle from the would-be constitutional conservatives of this Mount Vernon meeting, we should assume that this is little more than a new ruse designed to rile up activists and donors during a Democratic administration in order to breathe new life into a moribund and bankrupt movement."
h/t Balloon Juice
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm Michael Mullen has been having meetings with the rank and file of the Armed Forces...
"(As he) was nearing the end of a 25-minute question and answer session with troops serving here when he raised a topic of his own: "No one's asked me about 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" he said.
As it turned out, none of the two dozen or so men or women who met with Mullen at Marine House in the Jordanian capital Tuesday had any questions on the 17-year-old policy that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military — or Mullen's public advocacy of its repeal.
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Darryl E. Robinson, who's the operations coordinator for defense attache's office at the U.S. Embassy here, explained why after the session. "The U.S. military was always at the forefront of social change," he said. "We didn't wait for laws to change."
It will seem as you're watching this that Rachel Maddow is calling out Republicans and their hypocrisy (and she is), but it's the end of the segment where she really hits on it. We *know* that the Republicans are going to vote against the Obama administration's policies, regardless of whether or not they're a good idea or even if they agree with them. We. Know This. The real issue here is that the Democrats and the administration have to do something about it...
I've not been following the Prop 8 trial in California too closely, but I have been checking in on occasion. The arguments and witnesses wrapped up this week, and the court is in recess till Feb 26th when it will hear closing statements from both sides.
This week was final witness testimony from the defense (if you're not following too closely, that would be the side that supported Prop 8 and the same sex marriage ban), including their second expert witness Mr. David Blankenhorn. I'll let his testimony take it from here;
“Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would probably reduce the proportion of homosexuals who marry persons of the opposite sex, and thus would likely reduce instances of marital unhappiness and divorce.”
“Gay marriage would be a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion. It would likely decrease the number of those in society who tend to be viewed warily as ‘other’ and increase the number who are accepted as part of ‘us.’ In that respect, gay marriage would be a victory for, and another key expansion of, the American idea.”
“Because marriage is a wealth-creating institution, extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would probably increase wealth accumulation and lead to higher living standards for these couples as well as help reduce welfare costs (by promoting family economic self-sufficiency) and decrease economic inequality.”
Great article by a conservative economist. It's a little long but it's well worth reading the whole thing, here's the money quote;
"Until conservatives once again hold Republicans to the same standard they hold Democrats, they will have no credibility and deserve no respect."
Bob Herbert has a great column up at the NY Times, you should really go read the whole thing, but for me this is the money quote;
The air is filled with obsessive self-satisfied rhetoric about supporting the troops, giving them everything they need and not letting them down. But that rhetoric is as hollow as a jazzman’s drum because the overwhelming majority of Americans have no desire at all to share in the sacrifices that the service members and their families are making. Most Americans do not want to serve in the wars, do not want to give up their precious time to do volunteer work that would aid the nation’s warriors and their families, do not even want to fork over the taxes that are needed to pay for the wars.
I don’t think our current way of waging war, which is pretty easy-breezy for most citizens, is what the architects of America had in mind. Here’s George Washington’s view, for example: “It must be laid down as a primary position and the basis of our system, that every citizen who enjoys the protection of a free government owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal service to the defense of it.”
The next time you see some flag waving wingnut spouting how important the wars are, ask them about their service record or how much time they’re spending volunteering to help the troops that they “support”. Just don’t be surprised by the answer…
...Which isn't news, nor is the fact that he's become a "must read" for me, but I think he really nails political coverage in America. He starts out talking about the Palin media coverage, but really he paints an accurate, but unfortunate, picture of the mainstream political coverage. The piece is titled "Yes Sarah, There is a Media Conspiracy". The whole thing is worth a read, but I think this is the key...
The political media has always taken it upon itself to make decisions about who is and who is not qualified to be taken seriously as candidates for higher office...
The tone for all this behavior is always set somewhere way up the corporate totem pole, and it always reflects some dreary combination of simple business considerations (i.e. what’s the best story and sells the most ads) and internalized political calculus (i.e. who is a “legitimate” candidate and who is an “insurgent” or a “second-tier” hopeful). It’s not that the reporters are making this judgment themselves, it’s that they have to listen to what the apparatus Up There is saying all day long — not just their bosses but the think-tank talking heads they interview for comments, the party insiders who buy them beers at night, the pollsters and so on.
And when all these people start getting in their ears about this or that guy doesn’t have “winnability,” or doesn’t have enough money to run, or has negatives that are insurmountable, all that thinking inevitably bleeds into the coverage. It’s not that the reporters are “biased.” They just don’t have the stones, for the most part, to ignore all the verbal and non-verbal cues they get from authority figures about who is “legitimate” and who isn’t.
There’s a great acronym from the computer industry called FUD, it stands for Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. In short, it means to attempt to influence not with facts, but by appealing to peoples’ most base instincts. There is a ton of FUD in relation to Ref 71, but the reality is this –
These are the facts. No amount of Fear, Uncertainty, or Doubt change them. This isn’t about special rights, or hurting kids, or redefining marriage, it’s about equal rights for everyone.If you’re a Washington resident please vote YES on Referendum 71.
Salon has an excellent piece on healthcare rationing entitled "The 'death panels' are already here"...
"The future of healthcare in America, according to Sarah Palin, might look something like this: A sick 17-year-old girl needs a liver transplant. Doctors find an available organ, and they're ready to operate, but the bureaucracy -- or as Palin would put it, the "death panel" -- steps in and says it won't pay for the surgery. Despite protests from the girl's family and her doctors, the heartless hacks hold their ground for a critical 10 days. Eventually, under massive public pressure, they relent -- but the patient dies before the operation can proceed.
"It certainly sounds scary enough to make you want to go show up at a town hall meeting and yell about how misguided President Obama's healthcare reform plans are. Except that's not the future of healthcare -- it's the present. "
There's been a lot of talk recently about the government interfering and/or rationing an individual's healthcare (beyond the so-called "death panels") and how no one should have that happen to them. Let me all fill you in on a little secret... As someone who has suffered from a chronic illness (Ulcerative Colitis) for over 15 years, I'm here to tell you that insurance companies have been interfering in my healthcare for YEARS.
Look, we can have a serious debate about the role of government in healthcare, and that's a debate I'm happy to have with you, but those opposed to President Obama's plan should stop with the whole "the only voice in you're health plan discussion should be your's and your doctor's" argument. It hasn't been that way for years and it's disingenuous to pretend otherwise.
...I know that's not news, but even by Republican standards this was pretty stupid and low;
"If we're able to stop Obama on this (health care reform), it will be his Waterloo, it will break him." Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) from a conference call with conservative activists via Washington Post
Really? I don't think anyone would argue that we're facing serious issues with our current health care system. We might argue on how best to address those issues, and whether or not there should be a public option, but everyone pretty much agrees that there's a problem. What's Sen. DeMint's idea? Defeating Obama. And they wonder why they're called "The Party of No". Idiots...
I generally believe that when someone has an affair, it's their issue. It's sad for the spouse and family affected, but it's basically personal. I understand that when it involves a public figure it's news (see Edwards, John), and I'm fine with that, but I wouldn't necessarily feel the need to comment on it.
Here is candidate Ensign in 1998 suggesting that Bill Clinton resign because of his affair, saying that he "had no credibility left" (how's the credibility thing working out for you?)
Here is Sen. Ensign explaining in 2004 that we need a Constitutional amendment protecting marriage from Teh Gay (I'm guessing that's why he had an affair, because LGBT people love each other).
Here is Sen. Ensign in 2007 explaining why Larry Craig should resign ""There's too many people that paint with a broad brush that we're all corrupt, we're all amoral. … And having these kinds of things happen, whether it's a Republican or Democratic senator — we certainly have had plenty of Democratic scandals in the past — we need people who are in office who will hold themselves to a little higher standard." (that one pretty much speaks for itself)
Listen Senator - You take care of your own house before you go telling everyone else how theirs ought to be built...
Our current Attorney General is excellent, today while speaking to U.S. attorneys in DC;
Note to Messrs. Gonzales & Ashcroft - That's how it's done.
Scott Horton at Harper's Magazine has an outstanding piece on the so-called "Bush Memos" that is well worth a read, but here's the kicker (and I couldn't agree with him more);
If you'd like to read a further, and slightly more legal look at the issue, Jack Balkin has an equally excellent write up as well;
"This theory of presidential power argues, in essence, that when the President acts in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief, he may make his own rules and cannot be bound by Congressional laws to the contrary. This is a theory of presidential dictatorship."
That’s what this feels like, a New Day. A lot of conservatives, and to a much greater extent far Right Wingnuttia just can’t understand that. They’ve worked themselves into believing that I, and so many like me, think that Mr. Obama will take the oath and suddenly everything will be rainbows and happiness. That’s not going to happen; I know that, you know that, most people know that.
But it is the end of 8 years of gross negligence (the attacks of 9/11, the financial markets collapsing, Katrina), political cronyism (“heck of a job Brownie”, the entire DOJ “leadership”), false bravado (a staged landing on a US Navy Aircraft Carrier, “Bring ‘em on”), lawlessness (illegal searches, the suspension of Habeas Corpus, torture), and ruinous foreign policy (Iraq, ignoring Afghanistan, the Middle East and most everything that wasn’t Iraq). Back in early 2001 Mr. Bush said that he was “A uniter, not a divider”, and while it’s taken him 8 years, trillions of dollars, and thousands of American lives, he’s finally right – Mr. Obama takes office this morning with an 80% approval rating.
No, things are not going to magically get better tomorrow, but it IS the start of a New Day
The New York Times' Gail Collins discusses about Mr. Bush's farewell speech tonight;
The whole piece is well worth a read, but suffice it to say, I won't be tuning in.