Slowly Returning to Live Blogging

Greenlee Gazette is slowly returning to live blogging after moving over 2000 miles across the country. Please bear with me while I reacclimate, and find a new schedule that allows for regular updates. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

N.S.A Wiretapping Program Found to be Illegal


It's about time something from the Bush Era was declared illegal. For the life of me, I still cannot understand why the Obama Administration has covered so much for George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and the rest of that misbegotten crew.

Thanks to Stupid Monkey Planet for the link.

[Excerpt]

Federal Judge Finds N.S.A. Wiretapping Program Illegal

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal, rejecting the Obama administration’s effort to keep shrouded in secrecy one of the most disputed counterterrorism policies of former President George W. Bush. . .

Read more at: The New York Times

Featured Site: Shelf Monkey's Review of Left Behind


Photo from source, Wikpedia

There isn't much reason for this particular post at this particular time, other than to show you how my mind works. Today, my friend, co-worker and fill-in editor, Stupid Monkey Planet were talking, as we like to do. I mentioned that the cloud moving over the mountains made me feel like The Langoliers were coming. More accurately, I was probably thinking of a similar story, The Mist. Both are Stephen King short stories with a vaguely similar vibe.

We started talking about The Langoliers, a story about an airline flight where many people suddenly vanish from the plane, leaving various items behind, and those left behind have to figure out what's going on. It's a gripping story, with a suspenseful setup. Then, I wondered aloud if the authors of Left Behind--an apocalyptic Christian story which started in much the same way--stole the initial premise for their enormously profitable and spectacularly badly written series of books and sundry spin offs.

After a little Googling, I stumbled upon this review of Left Behind, also mentioning The Langoliers. Aside from the "Monkey" reference in the blog's name (which was a shoo-in for this blog on that basis alone), the review is hilarious, and spot-on. I wrote my own review some time ago, which was much shorter and not nearly as funny. Shelf Monkey has picked up a fan in me, and I wanted to share. Here is an excerpt from the post that hooked me.

[Excerpt]

Critical Monkey Entry #4 — Left Behind: Ouch! My soul!

In his collection Four Past Midnight, author Stephen King wrote a tight little novella entitled 'The Langoliers.' It concerned itself with a small group of people who had fallen asleep on an aircraft, only to awaken and discover that everyone else on board had mysteriously vanished. . .

The scenario is absurd, but over 200 or so pages, King achieves a surprising amount of gut-clenching suspense over the predicament. His characters are strong, the dialogue is heightened yet believeable, and the plot device (waking up abandoned and alone) is so universal that a suspension of disbelief was easily achieved.

. . .Flash-forward five years, when Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins (hereafter L&J) release the first volume of their Rapture epic Left Behind. Like 'The Langoliers,' it begins on an airplane where a segment of the passengers have mysteriously vanished. However, rather unlike King's pulpy good time, L&J take an astounding, brain-shattering event and treat the disappearance of passengers with all the astonishment of passengers not wanting a second helping of peanuts. That is to say, there is zero tension in the narrative from the get-go. And it does not get better. . .

Read more at: Shelf Monkey


TeaBonics: Crazy Tea Bagger Signs



FOX "News" is infromitive! Each of the pictures at this hilarious (and a little sad) site features creative spelling. Not to mention creative punctuation, showing a particular confusion over apostrophes. Be sure to check out the comments there, they are a hoot! I really hope "TeaBonics" catches on. . .



Much, much, more: Here.

(With apologies to the blogger who I stole this from. . .I don't remember the site I was on! I'll be happy to attribute it should I stumble upon the original blog either in my memory or on the web.)

Ha-ha! Cars Towed from Glenn Beck Event


Thanks to my sister for pointing me toward a funny story to start my evening blogging!

[Excerpt]

53 Cars Towed From UCF During Glenn Beck Event

Dozens of people who parked at the University of Central Florida for an event say they were set up after their cars were towed. They said event parking signs directed them to a lot, but more than 50 cars in that lot were towed. People said those signs and their cars were gone when they got back.

A viewer contacted WFTV after his car was towed Saturday, along with 52 others. All of them were in line to recover their cars at an impound lot and all of them attended the
Glenn Beck show at UCF. . .

Read more (with video) at: WFTV


Maddow: Senator Brown, You're LYING.

Can you believe Sen. Scott Brown (R-Cosmo) is still pretending that MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is running against him for Senate?

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Why Do So Many Republicans Believe Lies?

Remember the poll that showed Republicans believing all sorts of nutty things about President Obama and other Democrats? Where does all of that craziness come from? It isn't so hard to figure out. . .

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sen. Al Franken Vs. Jason Mattera

I've said before that I'm a big fan of Al Franken. And in this video--where a wannabe conservative "gotcha" journalist tries to corner Franken--I like him even more. He's no dummy, and he's incredibly civil to this little prick*, who called him "Senator Smalley," alluding to Franken's Stuart Smalley character. The lack of respect and incivility of the right* is getting mighty irksome, but Franken handled it well.



Found at: Joe.My.God.

*NOTE: As a blogger, I don't feel any need to be civil or respectful of idiots like Mattera. So there.

Most Ironic Signs of All Time


Image from source, Huffington Post

Being a sign maker, I couldn't resist posting this. But they've got nothing on the tea baggers. . .

[Excerpt]

The Most Ironic Signs Of All Time

If you're putting up a sign, most likely you've got a message and people need to be alerted. Unless you're the makers of these signs. In that case, you most likely thrive on contradicting yourself and confusing anyone in sight. While the perplexed sign readers may disagree, we applaud you. . .

See them all at: Huffington Post


The rational thinker versus the paranoid

I found this at RandiRhodes.com. I can't get it to display properly, so please scroll down. It's worth it.

The rational thinker versus the paranoid

Presented with the same evidence for a mystery, the
rational thinker and the paranoid respond very differently.

Scroll down. . . . .



























































The rational thinker


The paranoid



1. Checks the evidence carefully and doesn’t rely on uncertain evidence



1. Grabs onto a few pieces of evidence and defends them inflexibly.



2. Doesn’t care which evidence he must let go.



2. Seemingly irrationally seizes onto something and won’t let go.



3. Seeks a realistic answer in simple and familiar processes.



3. Invokes complex, unrealistic scenarios controlled by powerful forces behind the scenes.



4. Accepts only what he can critically assess
(falsifiable ideas).



4. Deals in explanations that can never be critically assessed (unfalsifiable theories).



5. Is willing to live with unresolved explanations for long periods.



5. Demands quick, even immediate explanations.



6. Accepts the roles of chance and human foibles.



6. Invents scenarios when nothing ever goes wrong.



7. Uses same rational approach in the rest of his life.



7. Approaches many other “events” in the same irrational, paranoid way. (i.e., both people are consistent across their
lives.)



8. Finds empowering explanations.



8. Feels powerless before these huge forces
(victims).



9. Accepts all demonstrated evidence.



9. Will not face evidence that destroys his theory.



10. Is willing to live with some fraction of unexplained or contradictory evidence.



10. Insists on fitting everything into his explanation, often by explaining difficult items as further evidence of conspiracy.



11. Tries to keep everything in proportion.



11. Often seizes single pieces of evidence and blows them out of proportion.



12. Will change ideas a new evidence emerges.



12. Sticks to preconceived notion regardless of new evidence.



13. Open, flexible, empowered, strong.



13. Preconceived, rigid, victimlike, cowardly.


Source: The Paranoid
Mentality

A Tea Bagger Felony? The Hell You Say!


Image from source, CNN

I've said all along that the tea baggers are a big hot mess. A confused, misinformed, ignorant ball of crazy and/or stupid. Every time a video pops up on the YouTubes, this is confirmed. They're angry, but they have no idea what they're angry about. Beyond talking points, few can articulate what the whole movement is about. They're good at pumping each other up, reciting the scribblings from Glenn Beck's chalk board, and stoking each other's fire. Sooner or later, something bad was bound to happen. Of course this story has little to do with the anger and fear, but it does show a bit of the scruples involved.

[Excerpt]

Tea Party candidate might face felony charge

He's new to politics and learning fast just how rough a sport it can be.

Scott Ashjian, the Tea Party candidate running for Senate in Nevada, could soon face a felony charge. . .

Read more at: CNN

Thanks again to Stupid Monkey Planet for the link.






Scott McClellan & David Frum: Tea Parties Bad for GOP

OK, so there are two rational, sane conservatives. Anyone else? Anyone?



Thanks to Stupid Monkey Planet for the link.

David Frum: Health Care Repeal "Impossible"


Image from source, Raw Story

This is from a conservative. Remember this when you hear--and you will--the new GOP mantra of "repeal and replace" from now until November 2nd.

[Excerpt]

Frum on health reform: ‘Repeal is literally impossible’

David Frum, the former Bush speechwriter who angered many of his political allies with his declaration that health reform is the GOP's "Waterloo," says that repeal of the new health law is "literally impossible."

Responding to declarations by many Republicans that they will seek to repeal the health law signed by President Obama last week, Frum suggested the strategy was unrealistic. . .

Read more at: The Raw Story


Monday, March 29, 2010

Steven Weber: Sarah Palin's Tea Baggin'


Photo from AOL

I know I've already put up a couple of actor Steven Weber's blog posts recently, but the bolded line in the excerpt below should be nominated for some kind of bloggy award. Hilarious.

[Excerpt]

Foxy Lady!

According to what Sarah Palin is trumpeting (well, bleating would be more melodically accurate) on her and John McCain's "Tuesdays with Morrie Express" tour, America is alternately at the threshold of Armageddon, under assault by armies of illegals or crushed beneath a commie/socialist/fascist jackboot. . .

. . .The US is just not a white, hetero, 50's fantasy (was it ever, really?). But just try and tell that to the desperately white, frantically hetero Tea Baggers who have had their sacks steeping in Sarah's brain-free broth for so long that they'd hang you in effigy, put you in the stocks and otherwise excommunicate you from the brotherhood of besotted baggery. . .

Read more at:
Huffington Post

Oklahoma Accidentally Removes Protections for Race & Religion


So, some homophobic jerks in Oklahoma wanted to rip protections away from gay people. . .and they sorta missed. By a mile.

Thanks to Stupid Monkey Planet for pointing me to this hilarious story.

[Excerpt]

IN SEEKING TO STRIP LGBT OKLAHOMANS OF HATE CRIMES PROTECTIONS, OKLAHOMA REMOVES PROTECTIONS FOR RACE AND RELIGION

In October, President Barack Obama signed The Matthew Shepard Act, expanding the reach of the 1969 hate crimes law to "authorize the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute certain bias-motivated crimes based on the victim's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability." Previously the law only allowed for the federal prosecution of anyone who "willingly injures, intimidates or interferes with another person, or attempts to do so, by force because of the other person's race, color, religion or national origin. . ."

Read more at: Out in Oklahoma City


Obama Bullet Hole Flag at Searchlight Rally

Can we dispense with the fiction that conservatives don't have violent imagery in their agenda? Thank you.

You'd Better Sit Down for This. . .Ricky Martin is Gay


Image from source, Comcast

This is the most shocking news of this type--and as late in being announced--since Sean Hayes of Will & Grace came out a few weeks ago. Shocking, simply shocking. Welcome to the outside, Ricky!

[Excerpt]

Ricky Martin is livin' la vida open, says he's gay

Ricky Martin is no longer denying the rumors: He's gay.

In a statement posted via Twitter in both Spanish and English, and later confirmed with his representative, Martin said: "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."

For many, Monday's announcement will come as no surprise; the "Livin' La Vida Loca" singer's sexuality has been speculated about for years. But the Puerto Rican star, who got his start as a child in the teen group Menudo, never directly addressed it and was usually seen at events with beautiful women on his arm. . .

Read more at: Comcast


Message to Florida from George W. Bush

Actually, this is a pretty funny impressionist in an ad for Rep. Alan Grayson.

Hello, It's Me!

Due to some weekend revelry, I totally missed blogging for most of yesterday and only now have a moment for some blogging. So, here I am! And what do I have for you? A totally random video (by request, hi, Mark!) by 80s non-harmonizing girl group, Bananarama! Why not?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Overtime with Bill Maher, March 26, 2010

What Happens in Vegas: Sarah Palin Tea Bags Searchlight


Image from source, LVRJ


Yeah, this wasn't really in Las Vegas, but Searchlight, Nevada is such a small burg, I'm sure most of the visitors were either from here, or at least came here afterward. I'd be especially interested how the hooker trade was for the event. Ahem.

Anyway, I was nowhere near the event, though I did consider going as a roving reporter. But the stupid! It burns! Couldn't do it.

My favorite part is that the crowd left "en masse" after Queen Sarah finished. What, Heidi Harris and Joe the Plumber don't do it for you, tea baggers? Yeah, I said it. I don't care if it doesn't show "respect." I can't respect a movement whose biggest draw is a mental lightweight like Palin, and where the lesser lights are so incredibly dim themselves.

[Excerpt]

TEA PARTY EXPRESS RALLY: Palin energizes thousands, declares 'we're not going to sit down and shut up'

Read it at: Las Vegas Review Journal



President Obama Makes Some Recess Appointments


Not just yes, but hell yes. Since the inauguration, Republicans have been blocking President Obama's nominees for all kinds of things. Many, if not most of the blocks have not been put in place because of severe disagreement on the appointees, but just to gum up the works. Republicans might argue that President Bush made his recess appointees for the exact same reason. I might not agree with that, but if it was good enough then, then suck it up, to the conservatives who are bitching about it now.

[Excerpt]

Obama makes 15 recess appointments, blames Republicans

U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday announced his plan to make 15 recess appointments held up by Republican delays, including two Treasury Department positions and two on the National Labor Relations Board that have been vacant for more than a year. . .

Read more at: Reuters

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rachel Maddow & Hal Sparks: Trying to Prove She is NOT Running Against Scott Brown

If you've been here before, you know I love Rachel Maddow. And I love Rachel's guest in this segment, Hal Sparks, perhaps. . .uh. . .too much. Anyway, Rachel and Hal discuss ways to convince Sen. Scott Brown (R-Cosmopolitan) that she is not running against him for Senate. Maybe he'll get it this time?

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dogs Vs. Police Car. Guess Who Wins?



Thanks to Stupid Monkey Planet for the link.

Eric Cantor's Office Attack. Real?


Image from source, Gawker

I mused yesterday whether or not Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) really had his office window shot out in a political threat/attack. Turns out. . .well, probably not. Unless this was a very clever shooter, who staged an arial attack! I thought it sounded too convenient.

[Excerpt]

Will Eric Cantor, Victim of Random Bullet Rain, Support Gun Control?

After Eric Cantor is done apologizing for lying about his office being shot at, he should probably do something to address the gun problem in his district—which is apparently so bad that bullets are raining from the sky. . .

Read more at: Gawker (with a hat-tip to Tracy for the link)


Sarah Palin Scores Reality Show on TLC


Image from source, TV Newser

Does "TLC" stand for thoroughly lousy candidate? Ha! I kid. Not really. Just kidding. Not really.

It is easy (oh, so easy) to snark on Sarah Palin. Her list of gaffes and goofs easily outstrips Vice President Joe "This is a big f*cking deal" Biden, and his political career is decades longer than hers. But let's put aside Palin's uniquely polarizing effect on the voting populace. Let's concentrate on her abilities as a TV host.

She's trained in journalism, despite having a rather large beef with journalists. She's telegenic, and does manage to en-swoon a sizable portion of the potential viewing audience. She loves Alaska, and likes talking about it. But there's the problem. She'll be talking, probably narrating. The voice. The constantly "on" folksy colloquialisms. The dropped Gs on everything ending in an "-ing." The rambling, impossible-to-diagram sentence structure. Her speeches are not "a bridge to nowhere," they are "paragraphs to nowhere." And the whole nature format is going to be turned on its head by a lady who likes to hang out of a helicopter shooting the wildlife. And settin' up oil rigs right in the middle of national parks! Also.

[Excerpt]

Sarah Palin Alaska Documentary Goes to TLC

Fox News analyst Sarah Palin's life on TV just got a lot busier. Discovery Communications announced this morning they have acquired the rights to "Sarah Palin's Alaska," an 8-part series helmed by "Survivor" and "Apprentice" creator Mark Burnett. . .

Read more at: TVNewser


Health Care Passes Senate and House Again: All Fixed?


Image from source, MSNBC

Well, that was anti-climactic. After a year of out-and-out craziness alternating with tedium, the health care reform vote last weekend was full of drama. It was as tense and nail-biting worthy as the 2008 election. Then, it was off to the Senate for the "fixes" bill, where Republicans vowed to really gum up the works. They gave it a go, even going all night Wednesday night. But by Thursday, they were apparently out of gas. The Republicans caved--even though they did put a dinky little stick in the spokes, causing a further vote in the House to get it done. But with no drama at all, the fix-it bill went to the House, was voted on, and. . .done. That's it!

I am among the Democrats who isn't 100% thrilled with the final outcome. This is the real reason that it appeared that health care reform was massively unpopular. Many of us thought it didn't go nearly far enough. But most of those on the left side of the issue would agree that something needed to be passed. If it had failed, it would likely be a dozen or more years before it was even tried again. This way, there is a foundation to build upon. Could a public option come down the pike? A single-payer plan? Maybe, and I hope so. But that wouldn't have been possible without something to build it on.

[Excerpt]

Dems victorious in final health bill 'fixes' vote

Capping an epic struggle, congressional Democrats put the final touches Thursday to historic legislation enshrining health care as the right of every citizen. Republicans vowed to campaign for repeal in the fall election season, drawing a quick retort from President Barack Obama: "I welcome that fight. . ."

Read more at: MSNBC


Rep. Eric Cantor: Drama Queen


Okay, so after health care reform passed (and the few days leading up to it), the over-heated, over-blown rhetoric from the right got turned up to eleven, right? Epithets and loogies were hurled, windows broken, Congress members threatened. It was getting ugly. Some of the Democratic politicians spoke out. I don't recall any of their statements to be overtly political. But being a Democrat myself, I didn't have my antennae up. But their statements seemed warranted, and the escalating vitriol from the other side did seem. . .I don't know. . .worth mentioning.

Republicans for their part have made a few statements too, always couched in the "People are angry, but they shouldn't act out violently" way, without taking much (or any) responsibility for stirring them up in the first place. Rep. Eric Cantor has since said that his window was shot out, putting this--as all political things are these days--a story where both sides are as guilty as each other. Which doesn't make a lot of sense, since all of the foaming, rabid craziness has been coming from the right.

I don't want to say that Cantor made it up, or that it didn't happen. I don't want to say it, but it sure has crossed my mind. As the Church Lady would say, "how convenient." Regardless of the authenticity, it seems a bit disingenuous that Cantor (and other Republicans) are decrying the "playing politics" angle of making these sorts of announcements. . .by making the same sorts of announcements themselves.

[Excerpt]

Eric Cantor accuses Democrats of 'fanning flames' on member threats

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) angrily lashed out at Democratic leaders for their handling of reported threats against members of Congress Thursday, accusing them of "dangerously fanning the flames" by blaming the GOP and confiding that he has also been the recipient of threats. . .

Read more at: The Washington Post


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Columbus's Embarrassment Gets Caught, Apologizes


Image from source, The Columbus Dispatch

Remember that dude from Columbus--my home town--who berated a man with Parkinson's Disease, threw money at him, and embarrassed the whole town (and nation)? Well, somebody figured out who he was, and now he's suddenly oh so sorry. This is what is so worrisome about the whole "mob mentality" that has taken over the conservative/Republican/tea bagger crowd. The feeling of camaraderie makes you do things you might not ordinarily do.

I doubt it will make much of an impact on them though. They have a "tax day" protest planned for April 15th again (though most of them have been unaffected by tax increases). Worst of all, there is a "bring your guns" rally as close as they can legally get to Washington D.C. scheduled for April 19th. . .my friggin' birthday. That's the anniversary of both the Waco standoff and the Oklahoma City bombing. I hope I don't have another "notorious" birthday.

[Excerpt]

Man who threw money at Parkinson’s patient calls behavior ‘shameful’

The man protesting federal health-care legislation who berated and tossed dollar bills at a supporter with Parkinson's disease last week says he is remorseful - and scared.

"I snapped, I absolutely snapped, and I can't explain it any other way," said Chris Reichert in a Dispatch interview. . .

Read more at: The Columbus Dispatch



Robert Culp Dead at 79


Image from source, TVSquad

This probably doesn't qualify for "The Greenlee Curse," but it's close. While it has happened many, many times in my life, the most memorable ones are Elvis Presley and Isabel Sanford. Both died at points in their lives when their careers weren't particularly on fire, and both died the day after I had a fairly significant conversation about them. With Robert Culp, I just happened to notice--while The Other Half was watching the movie The Pelican Brief--that Culp played the President. I said, "Oh, I like him. Is he still alive?" Gulp.

I was too young for I Spy, but I loved him in The Greatest American Hero, and also in Everybody Loves Raymond. Everybody's got to go sometime, but it's sad. RIP, Mr. Culp.

[Excerpt]

'I Spy' star Robert Culp dead at 79

One half of the 'I Spy' team is gone: Robert Culp has died near his home in Hollywood at the age of 79. What's even more troubling is the way he died. Culp apparently fell and hit his head while out for a walk and was found by a jogger. He later died at a hospital. . .

Read more at: TVSquad



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Threatening Voice Mails to Rep. Bart Stupak

I've already covered my feelings about health care reform opponents and their despicable behavior during the fight and since their loss. It's wrong, it looks like it could get worse, and it needs to stop.


Watch CBS News Videos Online

George W. Bush Shakes Haitians Hand, Wipes it on Bill Clinton

I'm not sure if George W. Bush was doing this to be funny. More likely he was trying to wipe off the poor or the black. Take your pick. Either way, classy.

Health Care Reform Opponents Turning to Threats, Violence


Image from source, Politico

My prediction, after the passage of health care reform, was that this massive over-the-top rage from conservatives and tea baggers would fizzle out. I still think it will, eventually. But not right away. They've had their paranoid, delusional anger stoked by FOX "News" for a steady year. Big corporations have funded their "grass roots" gatherings, and given them a place to congregate where everyone else also hates the Marxist, communist, Muslim, statist, fascist, Maoist, Kenyan, socialist, black President Obama and all of his associates. Right-wing talk radio has spewed forth the afore-mentioned adjectives, along with many others at the speed of a machine gun. And politicians like John Boehner, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann have visibly and vocally egged them on.

Health care reform was painted as the most evil, anti-American, democracy-ending issue to ever roll down the pike. This thing was puffed up as a death-blow to our very nation. And it passed. Some recognize all the invective as merely political rhetoric, over-inflated hyperbole to get the electorate agitated enough to pay attention (and grab ratings, of course). But we aren't an overly bright nation. Or rather, the dumb tends to rise to the top. And the crazy. What do these now rabid people now do with all their rage? We're starting to find out. The question is, will this ultimately fizzle? Or will it just gather more steam?

[Excerpt]

The backlash: Reform turns personal

Reps. Louise Slaughter and Bart Stupak have received death threats.

A tea party participant published what he thought was Rep. Thomas Perriello’s home address and urged disgruntled voters to “drop by” for a “good face-to-face chat.”

Vandals broke windows at Slaughter’s office in New York and Rep.
Gabrielle Giffords’s office in Arizona. . .

Read more at: Politico


Al Franken on Buying Gold

Current Senator, one-time Saturday Night Live alum Al Franken once christened the 1980s as the Al Franken Decade. At the time, the economy was in the crapper, and everyone was talking about buying gold. Sound familiar? Here was Al's advice in 1980.


View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Rachel Maddow Throws Cold Water on Massachusetts' Scott Brown

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has made a bizarre fundraising claim that the Democrats are trying to get Rachel Maddow to run for his seat in November. Captain Naked is darn fine and all, but I think Maddow is the least likely person to be after his seat. Ahem.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Ann Coulter Speech Cancelled Due to Protest


Image from Think Progress

What a shame.

[Excerpt]

OTTAWA: Thousands Of Students Protest, Ann Coulter's Speech Canceled

A spokesman for the group that organized the event said there were fears for Coulter’s well-being after about two thousand people gathered outside the venue to protest her presence there. Coulter is a darling of the U.S. right-wing who uses incendiary language to sell millions of books as well as her syndicated column. She sparked more controversy during a speech at University of Western Ontario Monday night when she told a 17-year-old Muslim student to “take a camel” instead of a the flying carpet she has previously suggested Muslims use for transportation. . .

Read more at: Joe. My. God.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Scary New Poll: You Won't Believe What Republicans Believe


Image from source, The Daily Beast

Stuck on crazy? Stuck on stupid? Paranoid? A nice mixed up stew of all of those? See what you think.

[Excerpt]

Scary New GOP Poll

On the heels of health care, a new Harris poll reveals Republican attitudes about Obama: Two-thirds think he's a socialist, 57 percent a Muslim—and 24 percent say "he may be the Antichrist."

To anyone who thinks the end of the health-care vote means a return to civility, wake up.
Obama Derangement Syndrome—pathological hatred of the president posing as patriotism—has infected the Republican Party.

Here's new data to prove it. . .

Read it in all its scary glory at: The Daily Beast


Frum: "Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox"

Wow.

Health Care Passed. Is Rush Limbaugh Bound for Costa Rica?

For years, conservatives have ridiculed boisterous liberal celebrities like Alec Baldwin for promising to leave the country if such-and-so happened. When the political issue comes to pass, the celebrity invariably stays in the US, and the Rush Limbaughs of the world point and laugh. But now the shoe is on the other hoof, so to speak.

Rush declared that if health care passed, he'd leave the country, and go to Costa Rica. To be fair, he did include the caveat that if in five years, everything in the health care reform package was implemented, then he'd go. So he's got until 2015. And he's even welshing on that, as he's convinced his flock (go look, they're everywhere on the interwebs defending him) that he only meant he'd go there for health care. Or Viagra. Or very young male escorts. Or something.

[Excerpt]

Health Care Bill passes: Rush Limbaugh off to Costa Rica



It's all over Twitter: Health Care Bill passes: Rush Limbaugh off to Costa Rica! Apparently Rush Limbaugh said he would seek medical care in Coast Rica if Obama's Health Care Reform Bill passed. . .


Read more at: SFGate

Limbaugh & Beck Freak Out Over Health Care


Image from NYDailyNews

Yeah, we're back on this. Sorry. I was going to title the pictures "Man. Bear. Pig." But I don't know the first guy, and Limbuagh is definitely the pig.

[Excerpt]

Health care bill passage triggers erruption from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and John Gambling

Conservative talk hosts reacted to the new health care bill this morning about the same way white mice respond to being swallowed by boa constrictors.
Not happy.
"We need to defeat these bastards," said Rush Limbaugh. "We need to wipe them out. Defeat the Democrats, every one of them that voted for this bill. . ."

Read more: NYDailyNews

Monkeys Love Pinot Noir


For no particular reason, other than my sister forwarded it to me, and that Stupid Monkey Planet (friend and contributor) loves monkey stories, here is a link to a photo essay about monkeys who really love wine grapes.

See all the shots (with captions) here: WFTV


One Last Word on Health Care Reform and Republicans


Image from source, CBS News

OK, that is probably a promise I won't be able to keep, but I'll try to have this be the last post on the subject for at least the next few posts, OK? And yeah, I'm aware that my attitude about Republicans might change as we get closer to November. Oh, my opinion of them won't improve, but I acknowledge that they may become more formidable, election-wise.

I don't think it's going to be quite the bloodbath the GOP is hoping for (or the FReepers, see below). It's just that a) the leading Republicans are outlandish cartoon characters, b) the Tea Baggers have made conservatives seem loony, c) the racism homophobia and basic ass-hattery that has been bubbling under the surface is starting erupt, and d) it is hard to sustain this level of anger and invective after a law has passed. Especially if all of the doom-and-gloom predicted does not come to pass. Which it won't.

It never does. From women's suffrage to civil rights to Medicare to gay marriage, all of the GOP-lead fear mongering has never been borne out. I read somewhere on the interwebs that the Republicans really should adopt a paraphrased FDR quote as a motto: "We have nothing but fear itself." I think it fits.

[Excerpt]

The GOP Health Care Debacle

By late afternoon, the debate was just for show. The outcome was a foregone conclusion after the White House clinched an agreement with Michigan's Bart Stupak earlier in the day. Still, the GOP was intent on getting in its last licks during the general debate. And they made the best of the opportunity. . .

Read more at: CBS News


Monday, March 22, 2010

And Now A Word from the FReepers on Health Care Reform


Image--no, I don't understand what Obama has to do with The Joker Either--from source, Free Republic

You knew that the passage of health care would throw some right-wingers into a tizzy. So it is no surprise that the FReepers over at FreeRepublic are having a shit fit over it. But did you expect this?

[Excerpts]

"They all deserve to burn in tragic fires."

"TIME TO FIGHT!"

".....pick up your arms and revolt. . . . . NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"Payback is coming. They will wondering everyday when it will come."

"F*CK OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"EXACTLY!!!! and the frickin government can come and git me!"

"I’ve never felt anything like what I’m feeling today. Not even on 9/11. It’s hard to even look at my girls without crying."

"Civil Disobedience will have to be the name of the game. Voting, for now, will be for fools."

"Then he’s going on vacation....I hope a shark eats him."

"I very sincerely hope not everyone is loading mags right now, Actually, in my case they are referred to as "belts"..... "

"I feel like a Jew on the night the Nuremberg Laws were passed."

Much more, just like that at: Free Republic

Rachel Maddow: Republicans Are Not Here to Help

Ronald Reagan used to say that the scariest words in the English language are, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." No problem! The Republicans are not about helping people. Clearly.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment: GOP Self-Destruction

Keith Olbermann is back on Countdown with a "Special Comment." And it's a good one.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Steven Weber: What is the GOP End Game?


Photo from AOL

I've asked this question before, probably right here on the blog. Of course, I thought the GOP end game was the "permanent Republican majority" that Karl Rove promised (and which seemed all too possible). What Karl didn't count on was the intrusion of actual reality into the virtual one he was creating. So the George W. Bush era was an end game. But the Republicans are frantically working on the sequel. They just might need a little work on finesse, class and manners.

[Excerpt]

End Games

As exposed as ever for their spanner-in-the-works approach to governance, one must ask: just what is the Republican's end game?

Clearly, it's not to improve the welfare of America's citizens, since their policies invariably marginalize and/or burden the majority of them. . .


Read more at: Huffington Post

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Health Care Passes!


Well, thank goodness that is over. Well, not entirely over, but mostly. Now, President Obama needs to sign it, and the "fixes" go over to the Senate, where we are sure to here a bit more of the crazy.

Final tallies are here, if you are interested.

[Excerpt]

House sends health care bill to Obama's desk

After well over a year of negotiations, setbacks, and political wrangling, the House has approved President Barack Obama’s top domestic policy initiative, sending a bill to massively overhaul the nation’s health insurance system to his desk to be signed and enacted into law. . .

Read more at: MSNBC


Proven Yet Again: FOX "News" is Not News

I couldn't bear to watch much FOX "News" today. But what little I did manage to catch absolutely confirmed what is related in the excerpted article below. In fact, FOX "News" very clearly picked sides in this health care reform battle, fighting against it for the past year.

And before somebody gets it in their head to say that MSNBC was the flip-side in this issue, no they weren't. Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann and Ed Schults regularly cast the various bills in a dim light, usually arguing that the bill didn't go nearly far enough. As for the MSNBC news operation, I honestly can't speak to it. But I'd wager that their slant couldn't approach what is seen on FOX "News."

[Excerpt]

If There Is Any Further Question About Whether Fox Is a "News" Operation

I will recommend to historians and semioticians very close study of the footage being produced right at this moment, on the Fox "News" Channel, as it covers the vote in the House on the health care reform bill.

The background footage virtually the entire time is of "Kill the bill!" crowds chanting at the Capitol. "Anchor" woman Megyn Kelly is at this moment breaking the news that Obama's popularity ratings are the lowest of his administration and interviewing an expert on whether this reveals America's recoil at the fundamental "statism" of his world view. Then an on-the-scene interview to confirm that the people who yesterday yelled "nigger" at Rep. John Lewis and "faggot" at Rep. Barney Frank were "an unrepresentative minority" of the protest crowds, and that in fact the typical crowd members would have been "the first to condemn" such harsh terms. Just now going to break, with pan of a huge shouting "kill the bill!" crowd at the Capitol. Seriously, you would think martial law was about to be imposed in DC. . .

Read more at: The Atlantic

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) Slams Tea Baggers for Remarks

I heard a Republican this morning on one of the Sunday political shows try to pass off the use of derogatory epithets by tea bagger protesters and rare "bad apples." They aren't. All you have to do is watch a couple of videos of these events, or flip through some slide shows of their signs to see that. What is surprising is that there haven't been more uses of the "n-word" or the "f-word" (in this case the anti-gay epithet) at these rallies. They've apparently run out of other euphemisms.



Found at: AmericaBlog

Health Care Reform & Who We're Siding With


Politics is ugly. And divisive issues are even worse. How we manage to fall into black-and-white party lines over practically every issue still does puzzle me. For instance how is climate change a partisan issue? How is health care--something everybody has to deal with--a partisan issue? I think it is clear that there is more behind the motives of the politicians and pundits making these issues so partisan. But look who you have to side with if you are against health care reform:

- Karl Rove

- Sean Hannity

- Rush Limbaugh

- Newt Gingrich

- John Boner Boehner

Now there's a group of non-partisan, rational, logical people with no motivation for being against health care reform except for the "facts on the ground," right? And they don't have talking points like "ram it through," or "straight party-line vote," "one sixth of the economy," or "goverment takeover." When listening to Karl Rove argue against health care reform, I'm more convinced that we need to pass it. What a vile, repugnant man. So, if you are vocal against the bill--on matters of process, or on what is in the legislation--remember who you are casting your lot with. 'Cause it ain't pretty.


Health Care Reform Vote Later Today


Image from source, Politico

Can you remember a time when we weren't talking about health care reform? It's easy to forget that we went through all of this before in the 90s. I'm hopeful that today's vote succeeds, though it has gone further than the Clinton plan by actually coming to a vote in the first place.

Like in the 90s, Democrats still can't "message" worth crap. Just like then, Republicans are terrific at it, coming up with catchy names, and succinct two- or three-word phrases. "Death Panels" may not be true, but danged if it didn't catch on. Just like with "HillaryCare" this bill is deemed "ObamaCare." The same voices we heard decrying it then are even louder this time. Thanks to the continued popularity of talk radio, the dominance of FOX "News" amongst conservatives, and the internet, there are differences this time around.

Always easy to stir up, exciteable conservatives are in a frothy lather over this issue. The Limbaughs, Becks and Hannitys have managed to turn this issue into the most dire and dangerous encroachment of government power ever. The tea baggers were born, and offshoots and spinoffs keep a-coming, complete with misspelled signs and ever more violent rhetoric. For that reason alone, I long for this battle to end, preferably with a "win."

[Excerpt]

Dems race to lock in final votes

Democratic leaders are still locking down the final votes needed to pass the centerpiece of their domestic agenda – a historic rewrite of the nation's health care laws that would expand health insurance access to nearly every American.

They hope to secure the votes of a trio of veteran Blue Dogs – Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California, and retiring Reps. Marion Berry (Ark.) and John Tanner (Tenn.) – as well as a handful of anti-abortion Democrats who could break from hard-liner Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) to back the bill. . .

Read more at: Politico


Friday, March 19, 2010

Jon Stewart Channels Glenn Beck: HILARIOUSLY

On Thursday's Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the host turned roughly half of the program into a parody of The Glenn Beck Show. With hilarious results. If this doesn't show Beck's fans what a boob their hero is, nothing will.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Intro - Progressivism Is Cancer
http://www.thedailyshow.com/
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Conservative Libertarian
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform
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