Happy Birthday, Chris Elliott. That guy with you looks a lot like Newt Gingrich.
Archives for May, 2009
Goofing around with a delightfully sexy, silly song, yet the virtuosity of both Peggy Lee and Toots Thielemans shines through like a supernova.
"George Tiller was a mass-murderer. He had blood all over his hands. Now we grieve for him that he was shot in this deplorable manner and he did not have a chance to get things right with his maker perhaps. Every man deserves to have a trial of a jury of his peers and then a proper execution, not to have somebody become judge, jury and executioner on their own."
The hate is already pouring in from the right after it was learned that Dr. Tiller was murdered today. Check out this comment from Red State. I'm not blaming Erick for writing this, but it points out the true feelings of many anti-choice zealots.
There's a suspect in custody now.
Tiller was serving as an usher at the church, one of six ushers listed in the church bulletin. He was handing out bulletins to people going into the sanctuary minutes before being shot.
A church member who did not want to be identified said the gunman threatened another person at the church after the shooting.
Tiller's family issued a statement through Wichita attorneys Dan Monnat and Lee Thompson. "Today we mourn the loss of our husband, father and grandfather. Today's event is an unspeakable tragedy for all of us and for George's friends and patients.
"This is particularly heart wrenching because George was shot down in his house of worship, a place of peace."
This Week with George Stephanopoulos marks the passings of activist Gérard Jean-Juste, television producer Jack Reilly and writer Amos Elon. In addition, the Pentagon released the names of ten servicemembers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Army Maj Jason E George, 38, of Tehachapi, CA
Army 1LT Leevi K Barnard, 28, of Mount Airy, NC
Army SGT Paul F Brooks, 34, of Joplin, MO
Army CWO Brent S Cole, 38, of Reedsville, WV
Army SFC Brian Naseman, 36, of New Bremen, OH
Air Force Lt Col Mark E Stratton II, 39, of Houston
Air Force SrA Ashton L M Goodman, 21, of Indianapolis
Navy CDR Duane G Wolfe, 54, of Port Hueneme, CA
Army 1SG Blue C Rowe, 33, of Summers, AR
Army SPC Chad A Edmundson, 20, of Williamsburg, PA
"At least Bush kept us safe," is the war cry from conservatives whenever they try to find something good to say about the Bush Administration and their eight disastrous years of rule. They forget about everything that came before Sept. 11th apparently. That's not supposed to count. It's true that it's difficult to keep a nation completely safe and it's hard to assign blame, but let's not forget that George Tenet seemed to know a little about who the hijackers were after we found out who hit us.
According to the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, on the morning of 9/11, as aides rushed over to George Tenet’s table at the St. Regis Hotel restaurant to tell him the news of the World Trade Center strike, the CIA director was overheard to say: “I wonder if it has anything to do with this guy taking pilot training.”
That being said, the media is very afraid to ever bring the facts up that Richard Clarke pointed it out in the Washington Post in a column called: The Trauma of 9/11 Is No Excuse
Top officials from the Bush administration have hit upon a revealing new theme as they retrospectively justify their national security policies. Call it the White House 9/11 trauma defense.
Should the nomination play out like this, it would foreshadow a dramatic power shift within the Republicans party:
"Unless there's something that comes out that's very much out of the ordinary, this is likely to be a smooth confirmation if Republicans are smart politically," said John Ullyot, a Republican strategist who served seven years as a senior Senate staffer.
"Politically, it's better to conserve our powder and live to fight another day and not pick a fight that a) we know we can't win, because we don't have the votes and b) could really hurt us politically," Ullyot told AFP.
Unfortunately, Ullyot staffed Arlen Specter and John Warner, one a former Republican, the other a former Senator, both part of the G14. It's unlikely that he'll influence right wing legal activists, who have clear incentives: "By ginning up controversy where none exists, these activists get free press and free money and a micro-movement with which to corral fellow travelers into common cause."
And in turn, every victory for the GOP base is a black mark for the GOP brand. Robert Lovato summed up the predicament over at FDL:
So it will be the GOP and not Sotomayor that will be on trial in this high-stakes judicial confirmation of the post-Bush era of Republican dominance. Latinos will watch to see if GOP leaders will use the Sotomayor hearings to distance themselves from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and others many Latinos consider to be anti-immigrant extremists.
And we should all be watching to see if Republicans are prepared to use the Sotomayor confirmation as a way to communicate a willingness to redeem themselves for the great injustices of our recent past.
Mitch McConnell joined John King of CNN to discuss judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination. King asked him to comment on Limbaugh's racist rant against her. McConnell took the cowardly way out by not denouncing Limbaugh-Gordon Liddy and all the rest of them for their hate speech and instead used a different tactic.
RUSH LIMBAUGH: So, here you have a racist. You might want to soften that and you might want to say a reverse racist. And the libs, of course, say that minorities cannot be racists because they don't have the power to implement their racism. Well, those days are gone, because reverse racists certainly do have the power to implement their power. Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he's appointed one.
MCCONNELL: Look. I've got a big job to do, dealing with 40 Senate Republicans and trying to advance the nation's agenda. I've got better things to do than be the speech police over people who are going to have their views about a very important appointment, which is an appointment to the United States Supreme Court.
So I'm not going to get into policing everybody's speech. The important thing here is to look at the nominee, her qualifications, read the 3,600 cases, and do it right. That's what the American people expect of us.
In other words, McConnell is whispering, "hey Rush/Newt/Cheney/Buchanan/Tancredo! Keep saying what you're saying and I'll make believe that the Senate Republicans are above it all."
Asked if Sotomayor is a "racist," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) ducked the issue on CBS this morning. "I'm not going to get involved in characterizations before I've even met her," Kyl said.
On CBS's Face the Nation when asked if Republicans should stop calling Sonia Sotomayor a racist Kyl responds with this:
Kyl: I don't know of Republicans in the Senate who have ever called her a racist and by the way....
Schieffer: I said Republicans, not Republicans in the Senate.
Kyl: Yeah. Well our job, I hope our job is a little like we're insisting for the judges and that is we look at the facts, we examine the situation, and then we make our decision.
Schieffer: Let me clear up just one thing. You do not think she's a racist do you Senator Kyl or do you?
Kyl: Bob I, I'm not going to get drawn into characterizations before I've even met her. I'll be meeting her on Tuesday. I intend to review very carefully, I actually practiced before the Supreme Court, I enjoy reading opinions, and I'm going to read as many of her opinions and look at the decisions that she's made before I make any pronouncements. I think that's what we're asking her to do as a judge when she approaches cases and I think she would want us to approach our consideration of her nomination in the same fashion.
Apparently Kyl is more afraid of speaking out against the extremists out there like Limbaugh, Tancredo and Gingrich than alienating Hispanic voters.
Chris Matthews "big question" for this week is who's winning the debate over whether to close Gitmo or not. We get treated to this bit of mumbo jumbo by New York Magazine's John Heilemann in response.
Heilemann: Well on the question though, on the substance of it, the administration's winning the argument because they're right and it's crazy to think that we couldn't integrate it, that we couldn't have these prisoners brought on shore with no risk to the American society.
On the politics conservatives are winning this argument because people are afraid of what the implications would be and I don't think the NIMBY argument, not in my back yard argument, as a political matter is still winning the day right now.
I think Heilemann misspoke since he contradicted himself in the same sentence. It was the end of the show and possibly Matthews wasn't listening to him that carefully since he did't catch the slip, but he said he agrees with him and I would guess it was with what he was trying to say, which is that the Cheney's of the world and the GOP are winning the game of keeping Americans terrified.
That said here's my beef with this. How do you say that the President is correct and that it's "crazy" not to think terrorist suspects could be brought to the U.S. and in the next sentence say the ones who are spreading the crazy with trying to scare the hell out of everyone are winning the argument without qualifying why?
If the NIMBY argument is still winning the day it's because not enough of you "journalists" are calling it out for being "crazy" and explaining to the public how the GOP is fear mongering for political gain. Maybe when Chris Matthews ever bothers to take this seriously as a matter of criminal justice instead of political gain and the silliness of who's "winning and losing" we'll have some better dialog on the topic from one of his shows. I'm not holding my breath for any hope of that happening soon.
In the mean time we are subjected to a give me your opinion in thirty seconds or less round table of nonsense on a topic that deserves a much more serious and lengthy debate.