Archive for August 12, 2010
This would be CNN”s Rick Sanchez tonight interviewing Alan Grayson (D-FL) about Robert Gibbs’ rant about the “professional left:”
You know here’s what’s interesting. If you listen to Reublicans, they’ll tell you that this president, and Gibbs, and everybody who is around him in this administration are oh, complete lefties. I keep hearing this every day. The most liberal president and administration in the history of the United States. Some go as far as to call him communist.
Yo, Rickie. You “keep hearing this every day?”
You’re being BRAIN. WASHED.
Who — ah, hello – other than radical rightie extremists, would say that Obama is the “most liberal president” in the “history of the United States” and he’s a commie to boot?
What. Kind. Of. People. Do. You. Hang. Around. With. Such. That. You. Keep. Hearing. This. “Every day?”
Oh, and do you ever do any independent research to confirm this or that?
I didn’t think so.
Start packing your bags (me included):
Lawrence Lessig speaks! Always, always, always want to read his stuff:
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has been slapped around silly by commentator after commentator, decrying his anti-Lefty rage. But as I read the battle, it seems to miss a pretty fundamental point:
It’s certainly not fair to criticize Obama for not being a Lefty. He wasn’t ever a Lefty. He didn’t promise to be a Lefty. And there’s no reason to expect that he would ever become a Lefty.
But Lefties (like me) who criticize Obama are not criticizing him for failing our Lefty test. Our criticism is that Obama is failing the Obama test: that he is not delivering the presidency that he promised.
When Candidate Obama took on Hilary Clinton, he was quite clear about what he thought about the way Washington works. And he was quite clear about why he was running for President.
Once Obama clinched the nomination, however, his rhetoric changed. And as he came to office, his focus, as a senior administration official explained, was to clean up the Executive, and leave to Congress the problem of cleaning up Congress (begging the obvious question: Does the President believe the problem with Washington is the presidency, and not Congress?)
Since coming to power, Obama has pushed just one piece of legislation that would have any effect at all on the power of lobbyists over Congress. That bill has not passed, and even if it had, it would have changed nothing in the lobbyists’ power. He has not even indicated that he would support the only substantial reform of lobbyists power with support in Congress today — the Fair Elections Now Act. Indeed, “congressional reform” doesn’t even merit a mention on the “Additional Issues” page of the Whitehouse.gov (though “sportsmen” does).
Obama’s strategy as president has not been to “change the way Washington works.” Rather, he has pushed reforms in the same old way, with the same old games.
But beefed up Clintonism is not what Obama promised. He promised to “take up the fight.” His failure to deliver on that critical promise — the promise that distinguished him from his main primary rival — or even to try, is a failure that everyone, Lefties included, should be free to complain about without suffering the rage of Gibbs.
Obama — if you don’t bust out of the Emanuel-Gibbs-Alxelrod-Summers-Geitner bubble you’re a one-term president. You’ll spend your “retirement” reading books about how if you’d been true to your promises — there’s still time! — you would have been a superstar.
The American Taliban would have us ban religions it doesn’t like, just like the Taliban and sympathetic governments in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia do:
I’m not sure you could ask for a clearer illustration of the absurdity of the anti-mosque camp’s antics than this.
A group leading the charge against the Islamic center near Ground Zero has been granted the right to run ads on New York buses opposing the center — and is claiming this as a free speech victory for the Constitution.
That would be the same Constitution that guarantees religious freedom, of course.
Is it any wonder the right opposes pay for teachers? Wouldn’t want our kids to know what’s constitutionally guaranteed, right — as in RELIGIOUS FREEDOM?
Seriously. Religious freedom is such a fundamental and basic tenant upon which this country was built.
It’s unreal and depressing to me that any notion whatsoever of banning a religion is catching on here in the U.S.
Very, very dangerous.
Your religion could be next.
Known to many simply as “The Kiss,” an iconic V-J Day smooch is now remembered in Times Square.
A 26-feet-tall statute of a sailor kissing a nurse was installed on 44th Street and Broadway. It is a recreation of the famous Life Magazine photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt that became a symbol of the celebration of the end of World War II.
This is the original photograph:
And this is a screenshot of the statue, taken from a video at the link above:
The fall catalogues are starting to come in by the bushel. I was looking at one a little while ago — Garnet Hill — and I noticed that the description of most of the clothing includes, “Imported.”
I’m willing to bet that “imported” means made in China or Vietnam or Malaysia but natch, they don’t want to say that. “Imported,” of course, sounds so much better (but maybe not for long).
Those trusty 24%’ers are still out there — the same people who supported George W. to the end:
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge has ruled that gay marriages in California should remain on hold until at least Aug. 18.
Judge Vaughn Walker set the deadline Thursday to give gay marriage opponents time to appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If the appeals court fails to act by 5 p.m. local time next Wednesday, then gay marriages can go forward.
Aaaaah! Good-bye, life as we know it!
Hey, I want to marry a horse!!
But seriously, it’s too bad Judge Vaughn didn’t lift the ban on gay marriage, effective today. What he wrote in his decision, that was handed down last week, is evidence enough that same-sex couples shouldn’t be made to wait another minute for the right to marry.
Cool maps of metros from around the world:
Although it’ll definitely mark you as a tourist, there’s something about physically opening up a map that makes you feel like an explorer. A new city, drawn in easy-to-understand lines and colors, spreads out in front of you; it’s all there, if you care to find it. Nothing evokes this feeling more effectively than a subway or metro map. With bold lines and utilitarian, even schematic designs, metro maps are meant as easily accessible entry points into a new city or destination. As such, they will become a traveler’s mental GPS, creating borders and illuminating areas unknown before. Eventually, seemingly simple maps become icons of a city itself. Here are some of the maps that we feel do this best.
My faves: The easiest to read: Montreal:
The prettiest: New York:
Here is a must-see video of David Horsup, the Vice President of Nalco Energy Services, the maker of Corexit, demonstrating how Corexit works and explaining how safe it is:
“The toxicity of this particular product is at least 25 times less toxic than common dish washing soap everybody uses in their house on a day-to-day basis.”
As for Croexit getting into the food chain?
“From the standpoint of the oil getting into ah, into, into the food chain, yes, there is certainly a concern there, but from the dispersant standpoint? Absolutely not.”
So, if it’s “at least 25 times less toxic than common dish washing soap,” ah, why is the guy wearing industrial strength rubber gloves?!
This is very, very good news:
At this difficult moment for the struggling economy and country, voters show an uncommon common sense about the choices ahead. For sure, they are concerned about deficits and what impact that will have on future job creation and key obligations, like Social Security. But they are as intent on learning politicians’ plans for investing in new industries and rebuilding the country as they are on learning their plans to reduce the deficit over the next five years. They think they know how we got into this mess – foreign wars and bailouts – and are determined that the highest income earners and big banks finance deficit reduction, not the middle class through Social Security and Medicare cuts or a national a sales tax.
Voters take the long view, seeing the need for both a commitment to a 21st century economy and long-term strategies to reduce the deficit. These are complimentary, not exclusive goals. Progressives need to show they are serious about the deficits, but once they do, voters turn to them, not conservatives, for the right spending priorities and answers.
Voters are united on this key point: Social Security and Medicare are off-limits as a way to reduce the deficit. It is the threat to Social Security that leads many voters to prioritize deficit reductions. Voters instead want to see higher taxes on top income earners and big corporations.
I had a feeling cutting Social Security (which, unbelievably, the Obama administration is considering) would be wildly unpopular so I’m happy to see my assumption confirmed. I think it’s a terrible idea. How dare they give tax cuts to the rich and bailout Wall Street while trying to cut the deficit on the backs of working Americans who are already living hand-to-mouth.
The fact that cutting Social Security is being talked about shows the divide between the haves and the have-nots; the “let them eat cake” mentality. Social Security should be thought of as sacred and politicians should be outright afraid — an automatic career-ender — to even consider cutting it.
From the Washington Post (and to think I get screaming emails from Tea Partiers who favor extending the tax cuts — thought they were all about reducing the deficit):
A Republican plan to extend tax cuts for the rich would add more than $36 billion to the federal deficit next year — and transfer the bulk of that cash into the pockets of the nation’s millionaires, according to a congressional analysis released Wednesday.
Here’s a link to the graph.
It’s a good morning because I woke up in a can-do, let’s-get-’er-done mood and that’s what I’m gonna do.