Friday, January 20, 2012

Hey Newt: STFU

In last night's debate, Mr. King of CNN had the gall, the gumption to ask Newt Gingrich, the man running for President, about his personal life.

Let's predict how Newt responded.  After you make that prediction, lets make a prediction about how the South Carolina crowd responds to the red meat.



In case you don't know this Newt, when you're running for President, your past decisions, past misgivings, and past wrongdoings are open laundry for the rest of us to wonder about.  ESPECIALLY when you are a hypocrite who rails about the sanctity of marriage when it comes to homosexuals.  What John King should have asked him was:

"Given that you think gay marriage should be illegal because it undermines straight marriage, should individuals who are unfaithful within the context of straight marriage be allowed to stay married?"
Ironically, this is the same Newt Gingrich who went after Bill Clinton hard when he lied about a blowjob.  Hypocrite much?

This is how it works with bullies.  Newt Gingrich is a BULLY.  And when somebody fights back and calls out a bully for the shit that they say and do, they can't handle it.

So to you Newt...


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Good Day for Progressives

Today is a good day for progressives:

(1)  Websites such as Wikipedia, Reddit, and others imposed a self blackout to bring widespread attention to the bills SOPA and PIPA.  Before the blackout, it seemed that these two bills were destined to be ignored by the media and fast tracked to be passed into law.  But tonight, the lead story on NPR is about SOPA and PIPA.  The lead story on Yahoo! news is about these two bills.  I don't watch the mainstream media news, but I am wondering if they are finally talking about it as well.  Even on AccuWeather's website, the lead story is about SOPA and PIPA.  Whoduthunkit?

Meanwhile, an update on the bill from CNN:

SOPA was once expected to sail quickly through committee approval in the House. But after a massive pushback from tech companies and their supporters, it's being extensively reworked. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has said SOPA won't come up for a committee vote as-is. 
That means the bill could change a lot from day to day -- and one major tenet of the original legislation has already been removed. As originally written, SOPA would have required Internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to sites that law enforcement officials deemed pirate sites. 
A markeup process once expected to take days is now likely to last for months. As the outcry around SOPA grows louder, the bill's momentum in Congress appears to be fading.

This only happened because of massive push back from all levels, but mostly from grassroots users of the internet as well as push back from tech companies who would risk losing much from these risky bills.

(2)  In a victory for environmentalists, the Keystone XL Pipeline application was denied by the White House.  While this itself is a huge victory for environmentalists (who almost never have victories these days), it is a small victory because they can still reapply for the permits to construct the pipeline.

However, in a fascinating statement released by the President to explain the decision, Obama says:

Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment.  As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied.  And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree. 

This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people.  I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my Administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil.  Under my Administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up, while imports of foreign oil are down.  In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security –including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico – even as we set higher efficiency standards for cars and trucks and invest in alternatives like biofuels and natural gas.  And we will do so in a way that benefits American workers and businesses without risking the health and safety of the American people and the environment.

Wow... THIS is the President Obama I voted for.  I thrills me to see him going after Republicans for being the corporate whores that they are.  It also thrills me to see him talking about jobs and workers in a long term context of the health of our environment.  Who would have thought that the two of them were tied together?  Crazy!

We'll see if Democrats, Progressives, and Obama can maintain this opposition to the Keystone project.  Surely they will maintain their pressure to get this pipeline built and the union of progressives needs to maintain our strong opposition.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dangers of Republican Racism

I don't usually go this far with the title, but the language is appropriate after watching this clip from the Republican / Fox News debate on MLK day no less.

Stunning enough as his comments are, its shocking to see and hear the crowds response.  

Newt has this sort of ideological purity that says that he knows what's best, especially for a whole group of people within American culture; blacks.  And he can talk about how he means "poor", but he means "black".  This is clearly evidenced by the audience, the racists in South Carolina.  

But this sort of ideological purity can be dangerous when its rooted in racist beliefs; when its rooted in the belief that you are superior.  Its especially dangerous when you show yourself to be in the minority, when you really are not.  As Republicans cry about the death of "white America", they need an enemy to blame for their "white decline".  Who are those enemies?

Black and brown people...



They (White Christian Republicans) are racially "the best" of the American people.
They have "the highest" self-esteem.
They value work more than "other" Americans.
They have a greater "work ethic" than blacks and browns.
White Republicans are the most upstanding Americans there are.

And they should have the right "to fight" for their superiority, because it is that "other American" Barack Obama that is ruining this country; its that racially inferior black president who is taking this country down the road of destruction.

If you don't believe it, you're not listening close enough to God.  Because its God who has told them they are superior, and that their beliefs and values are a holy order.

And the crowd in South Carolina?

They soaked it up.

Boo-ed the black liberal challenging Newt's premise.
Cheered the white Republican's racial superiority and knowledge.

What's next?


I challenge anyone who disagrees with me to say so in the comments below.  But don't in ignorance think that racial superiority and racially motivated beliefs are not dangerous.  When you think your race and values are "truth" and "superior", I worry for the day you and your party gain power.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Why I Will Never Vote Republican

The name of one of the chapters of Pat Buchannan's new book "Suicide of a Superpower" is called "The End of White America".  What is the chapter about?

One of the chapters is entitled "The End Of White America." Hannity said that Buchanan labels white Americans as an "endangered species" in the book... "America is going to look very much like California right now," Buchanan said, going on to paint a very gloomy picture of the state (bankruptcy, a "black-brown war among the underclass," and so on), and claiming that, in Los Angeles, "half the people there don't speak English in their own homes." 
Buchanan said that the people of color in California "are not bad or evil people," but that they are bankrupting the state. He concluded, "What happens when all of America is like that, when every American city is like LA? ...What California is today, America is in 2041 if we don't change course."

Nothing like some good ol' racism to stir up the Republican base on Fox News.  What does this entail?
(1)  White people are better than brown or black people.
(2)  English is a superior language, and only spoken by white people; the superior race.
(3)  Black and brown people are leeches, living off the welfare of the government; a.k.a. welfare queens.
(4)  Black and brown people are violent, and engage in violence instead of hard work.

Now it's no surprise coming from Pat Buchanan, with his history of racism:

(1) "I think the African American community has embraced Great Society liberalism which has been devastating for the African American family... they bought a lot of liberal propaganda on the liberal plantation"

(2)  On the civil rights movement - "There were no politics to polarize us then, to magnify every slight. The 'negroes' of Washington had their public schools, restaurants, bars, movie houses, playgrounds and churches; and we had ours."

(3)  On Apartheid South Africa"White rule of a black majority is inherently wrong. Where did we get that idea? The Founding Fathers did not believe this."

(4)  On Christianity"Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free."

(5)  On Hitler and the Holocaust"Hitler was an individual of great courage.... Hitler's success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path."

(6)  On homosexuality"The poor homosexuals -- they have declared war upon nature, and now nature is extracting an awful retribution (AIDS)."

(7)  On women - "The real liberators of American women were not the feminist noise-makers, they were the automobile, the supermarket, the shopping center, the dishwasher, the washer-dryer, the freezer."

Notice a trend here?


So what consequences has he had for his thoughts?  His actions?  His speech?  He got hired by MSNBC, and even with his latest book and "End of White America", he's still on their payroll as of this post.  Will he be shunned?  No.  Will he be pushed aside?  No.  Will he be made irrelevant?  Of course not.  Why?

Because too many people believe the same thing as him.  And too many people with a lot of money believe the same thing as him.  Why do you think he keeps showing up on Fox News and MSNBC?


Him voicing these opinions stirs up the Republican base.  And a stirred up, ignorant, racist Republican base helps gets votes.

When I used to teach social studies, I taught my students about the first amendment and freedom of speech. The main lesson concept was essentially...

You can say what you want, but you have to face the consequences of your speech.

Well apparently I was wrong.  Apparently there's no consequences for being a racist, ignorant, slimeball your entire life.

Let's not pretend that Pat Buchanan and his beliefs are an outlier either.  For the GOP and their base, these beliefs are common and have been around since the end of the civil war.  At least now, they're starting to just explicitly say it.  And Buchanan has been explicit about it his entire life.

But now Gingrich is saying it too...

And Santorum is saying it...

And Perry is saying it...

And Bachmann is saying it...

Even Ron Paul is saying it...

This is why I will NEVER vote for the GOP.


I will NEVER vote for racism, homophobia, theocracy, sexism, anti-semitism, and ignorance.