Stories to Watch: 7/25/13.
Nancy Pelosi has had it with both Anthony Weiner and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.
Meet Groundswell, a “30 front war” to change the American conversation with coordinated messaging by rightwing media. Remember JournoList? Yeah, Groundswell is basically what conservatives pretended JournoList to be, so they could freak out and play a bunch of victim cards. American conservatives just wouldn’t be American conservatives if they left out all the hypocrisy.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warns that leaving the sequester in place would cost the US 1.6. million jobs. According to the report, “Canceling the cuts, on the other hand, would yield between 300,000 to 1.6 million new jobs, with the most likely outcome being the addition of 900,000.”
A conservative writer points out that Republicans are doing minority outreach wrong. I don’t agree with all of it — for instance, he says they aren’t racist as much as they’re “racially insensitive” — but at least one of them is trying.
Related: Rep. Steve King won’t stop being openly racist, no matter how much other Republicans beg him to take it down a notch. And his defense of himself is typical Republican feigned stupidity; he’s arguing that there really are drug mules — which no one at all is disputing — in an attempt to distract from what everyone is freaking out about. And that’s his assertion that for every undocumented student “who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there” who are drug smugglers — a statistic he pulled straight out of his ass. Obviously, he can’t possibly prove that and he realizes it’s indefensible, so he’s pretending he said something entirely different and that he’s wondering what all the fuss is about.
Also, King is just like Jesus.
Where he used to be leading the 2016 GOP pack, Marco Rubio is now 6th place for the presidential nomination, according to Public Policy Polling.
The legal background on Eric Holder’s move to use courts to fight Texas’ voter suppression scheme.
Finaly, with news that Larry Summers is at the top of the list to replace outgoing fed chairman Ben Bernanke, Senate Democrats write a letter to the White House recommending vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Janet Yellen. Because Summers is just wrong for the job.
[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]
Censoring the Lessons of History.
Today’s manufactured outrage of the day, brought to you by the New York Post:
Anthony Weiner has come under intense fire from Jewish leaders for invoking Nazi Germany while criticizing the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program.
“Last year, more than 700,000 in New York were stopped — the overwhelming majority of them were young men of color. Ninety-seven percent of them did nothing wrong,” Weiner told largely black congregants in Staten Island’s First Central Baptist Church Sunday.
“And the mayor stood up and said, ‘Wait a minute, statistically this’ and ‘statistically that.’ Well, you can have 100 percent statistical reduction in crime if you stop everybody.
“You could have 1938 Germany, because everyone has to show their papers.”
Apparently, it’s terribly offensive to compare a minority population subjected to police state tactics to another minority population subjected police state tactics. Although, I get the feeling that NYP, being a tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, is grossly overstating the situation, cherry-picking their outraged Jewish leaders (who were likely Weiner opponents to begin with) and ignoring the ones who support him. It seems to me that the lessons of the Holocaust are lost if they’re never applied. And to attack anyone who draws a historical parallel to one of the modern world’s greatest crimes is to guarantee that those lessons are never applied — and therefore, never learned. No one’s saying “stop and frisk” is the Holocaust — or even that it’s anything approaching genocide — merely that it’s totalitarianism.
And the thing is, Weiner’s right. When 97% of the targets of racial profiling turn out to have done nothing, then you really have to admit that the profiling is a failure. To continue the profiling anyway, despite the obvious failure of the program and despite protests from the targeted community, is a practice that has a long history and a name — institutional racism. No, it’s not exactly the same as the Holocaust — and that’s not what Weiner was saying anyway — but it’s way over on that side of the spectrum. When you single out one population as the cause of society’s problems, you’re heading down a road that does not go to a good place. That’s the lesson the New York Post would rather we just ignore, because it’s more important that Anthony Weiner lose than to recognize the humanity of the black community in New York City.
If you’re like me, you’ve noticed that the right has drawn an “us vs. them” line between themselves and the black community. Always ready to demonize any group for political gain, Republicans have let their racist flags fly. They can’t openly despise Latinos anymore, Islamophobia just doesn’t pack the punch it used to, and homophobia seems to have become taboo overnight. Who are the GOP without someone to scapegoat, to sow division with, and to hate?
So we come 360 degrees. The “new n*gger" is the old one again. Over at Politico, National Review’s Rich Lowry echoes the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen — while amping the stupid up to eleven. Like Cohen, Lowry argues that racial profiling is just great and that Zimmerman was right to do it, while completely undermining that argument by saying it wasn’t about race.
That’s right, racial profiling is no longer about race. Up is down, left is right, night is day. The gist of both columns is that George Zimmerman should get some sort of freakin' medal for being the guy who had the courage to be afraid of black people. If Trayvon Martin didn’t want to be racially profiled, he shouldn’t have walked around at night being all black. What did he expect?
Meanwhile, the lesson Rush Limbaugh has taken from the Zimmerman trial is that it’s now OK to say “’nigga' with an A on the end.” And thanks to Rush for that, actually. Because it demonstrates so directly what everyone else on the right are saying so obliquely — that the Zimmerman verdict somehow made open racism OK.
These are the kinds of “lessons” people learn when you rope off one section of history as off limits. It’s not a violation of decorum or respect to say that people are starting to act like a certain notoriously racist society. Nor is it a violation of Godwin’s law. You really do get to compare institutional racism to institutional racism. Especially when that racism is politically motivated.
I know the outrage against Weiner is phony. Hopefully it’ll have the shelf-life of most phony outrages and die before the end of the day. But censoring a historical lesson for the sake of winning one election campaign is supremely cynical — and dangerous.
It’s a parallel that people dearly need to hear, so let it be said.
[photo by Boss Tweed]
Stories to Watch: 9/11/11
It’s going to be a short one today. The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks is pretty much blotting out the news-gathering sun today. Now here’s the news…
Paul Krugman — like myself and so many others — believes it’s shameful the way the right has hijacked 9/11, waving it around like a bloody shirt to score political points. The latest sorry-assed example of this cheap political hackery; Herman Cain tap dances on the grave of 3,000 people with an ad that is nothing but pure 9/11 porn. What’s the argument here, Herman? That 9/11 was bad, so you need to be president? Here’s a little advice for you:
That’s right, have a point. And not the kind you’d wear a hat to cover.
Needless to say, Krugman’s opinion is the worst thing ever. One is only allowed to say bad things about liberals and Muslims on the anniversary of 9/11.
Remember the “Ground Zero Mosque?” Yeah, in order to win Anthony Weiner’s seat, Republicans are bringing the hate back. See above item for context.
RIP Cliff Robertson.
John McCain is making shit up again.
Finally, there are pieces of the World Trade Center on Mars. No, really.
Stories to Watch: 9/8/11
Big jobs speech tonight. I’m stuffing taco fixin’s into a pita and watching with baited breath. Or onion breath. Now here’s the news…
A lot is being made of a photo from last night’s GOP debate. The image, taken during a commercial break, shows Rick Perry with his hand on Ron Paul’s wrist, apparently giving him the business. I’d remind everyone that photos can be misleading, especially if you want to read something into one. I’m not cutting Perry any slack here, but the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is complete bullshit. A series of photos might tell you something. A single photo is a moment in time without context. And that’s from someone who’s taken quite a few of them.
Tea Party founder/Wall Street fatcat Rick Santelli calls Thomas Friedman an idiot — to his face and on TV. Santelli’s correct, Friedman’s an idiot. But this time Friedman was right. Rick was trying to get Friedman to jump on Rick Perry’s “Social Security is a Ponzi scheme!” bandwagon and Tom refused.
An appeals court in Virginia rejects two challenges to the healthcare reform bill.
President Obama will bring guests to the big jobs speech tonight, including AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka. Needless to say, this is the worst thing ever!
The DCCC will dump half a million dollars to keep Anthony Weiner’s seat. Perhaps it would’ve been wiser just to let him keep it and hope everything would blow over.
This is freaky; Florida GOP chairman Dave Bitner has died. He’d just announced that he’d be retiring, due to ALS, effective September 23.
Finally, Mittens attacks Perry’s electability.
Stories to Watch: 6/13/11
Mowed the lawn today. Still think it’s stupid. I’m tempted to till the whole thing and plant barley. Now here’s the news…
The big CNN-sponsored Republican debate tonight is going to look a lot like Who Wants to be a Millionaire? — not that that’ll make anyone watch it.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more stupid, a neocon hack accuses Anthony Weiner of being a secret Muslim terr’ist. No, really.
Is there a scientific consensus on global warming? Yes.
Most want to fix Medicare, but not the Republican way.
Apparently, Wisconsin Republicans are still hellbent on committing political suicide.
Although no one was hurt, this plane crash makes me very sad.
Note to Sean Hannity: the nomination of Sarah Palin by the GOP would be an answer to nearly every liberal’s prayers.
Finally, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is just a prick.
Stories to Watch: 6/6/11
Went to a street fair yesterday and got a bit of sun. You can probably read in the dark from red glow put off by my forearms. Had a lot of fun though. Now here’s the news…
Anthony Weiner comes clean; the photo is him, he sent it and, no, he will not resign — although, I doubt anyone on the left will ask him to.
Although Nancy Pelosi is calling for an ethics investigation.
The right wing is trying to (literally) rewrite history to cover Sarah Palin’s ass. People who know what they’re talking about aren’t buying it. He didn’t warn the British, he didn’t ring any bells. What little Palin got right about the story seems to be a matter of luck. Be glad she didn’t get mixed up and say that Revere the silversmith was a “silverfish.”
The Wisconsin Supreme Court takes up Gov. Walker’s union-busting bill. At issue, violation of Wisconsin’s open meetings law. I’ll point out, as I always do, that Republicans could get around this easily by rescheduling a vote and passing the thing the right way. I’ll also point out that the fact that they aren’t suggests (extremely strongly) that the votes are no longer there.
And as long as Republicans are going down in recall elections, Wisconsin Democrats figure they might as well take Paul Ryan down with them.
As Minnesotans prepare to vote on an amendment banning same sex marriage, 70 ministers in that state vow to perform those marriages anyway. First amendment fight on the way?
Finally, Home Depot to the American Family Association: screw off.
Stories to Watch: 6/2/11
Changed all my Gmail passwords. Did you change yours? Now here’s the news…
Wisconsin isn’t the only state with a recall effort going on. Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce — author of that state’s infamous “papers please” law — is also facing recall. And it’s going really, really well.
That twitpic that Rep. Anthony Weiner’s doing a really lousy job of dealing with? Yeah, those may actually have been as planted as he says. A trail of evidence is beginning to reveal itself and it leads to a tea party twitterer and Andrew Brietbart. Try to act surprised.
The New York Times points out that no president has won reelection with unemployment this high since FDR. Here’s what’s wrong with that.
Obama’s approvals continue to rise. Just as importantly, disapprovals fall to an 18 month low.
If you missed last night’s rant by Jon Stewart on pizza, Trump, Palin, and forks, do yourself a favor. It was classic.
Finally, a lot of local news broadcasts say that they’re “there when news happens.” St. Louis’ KSDK currently holds the best claim to that slogan.