Monthly Archives: November 2009

Obama, NFL fight obesity, rightwingers freak

The ever rational rightwingers are outraged that Obama is turning the NFL into a cadre of revolutionary marxists bent on oppressing kid’s god given right to obesity and diabetes.

From the NFL:

President Barack Obama will join Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware in a special public service announcement debuting during each of the three NFL games played on Thanksgiving. The 90-second PSA is a joint effort of the NFL’s PLAY 60 campaign, a leaguewide effort to fight childhood obesity by getting kids active for 60 minutes a day, and United We Serve, the President’s initiative encouraging all Americans to participate in community service. The spot will continue airing throughout the rest of the season in a shorter format.

From a commenter at Trike Force HQ*:

American Experience
lukematthews Friday, November 27th at 12:50PM EST (link)
has got his Dumbo-eared visage at the beginning of every show as well. His goofy, I’m gonna-eat-you grin is so omnipresent as to be the Big Brother nightmare scenario. When I saw that NFL thing, I exclaimed, “Good God! Has he no decency.” My family laughed. [Emphasis added]

Yes, equating Obama teaming up with sports figures in an effort to fight childhood obesity to the paranoid reactionary Joseph McCarthy is particularly witty. Who says rightwingers and Republicans can’t do humor.

*Fear them:

(from Sadly, No! Click for link)

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Perino: no terrorists attacks occurred during Bush administration

From Media Matters and Huffington Post:

No, really. She actually said that. And she wasn’t joking. And, of course, Hannity and the other guest didn’t bat an eye or, y’know, remind her about the almost 3000 people who died eight years ago or about the fatal anthrax letters.

This is a sad follow up to my last post. In today’s rightwing echo chamber, Perino gets to say that, despite the fact that the worst instance of terrorism in United States history occurred under Bush’s watch, in fact, no terrorist attacks actually occurred under Bush’s watch.

This is what passes for accurate and intelligent analysis for rightwingers and Republicans.

And the really weird part is that she wasn’t intentionally or consciously telling a lie. As far as she, her fellow rightwing Republican talking heads, and most of her Fox ‘News’ audience are concerned, she uttered the god’s honest truth.

If for a moment, they allowed a vague recollection of Sep 11 2001 to enter their consciousness, they would quickly mitigate it by reminding themselves that, of course, those attacks as well as the anthrax letters were in truth Clinton’s fault.

You can’t blame a new president for the mess the previous one left. Well, if the new president is not a Republican, then of course you can do that, but that’s another story.

Update: Via Media Matters, Perino obviously explains that, obviously, it’s your obvious fault for misunderstanding her obviously obvious meaning. Obviously.

Here’s a clip from the comment section:

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The Uninformed Agrieved: at least they know they’re mad

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Mathews conduct of this interview and it brings up an important trend: the proud and willful rejection of any reference to facts and rationality in preference for stridently reactionary emotionalism.

Chris Mathews actually came down pretty hard on Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence Rhode Island over his refusal to allow Rep Kennedy to take communion. Mathews asked him if abortion is murder, what should the penalties be and Tobin dodged the question.

Mathews said Tobin must either make specific recommendations or stay out of “law making,” which the Bishop has “transgressed” into. Pretty strong stuff about separation of church and state, saying the church needs to stick to moral suasion.

Mathews notes that, although he shares the Bishop’s views on abortion, Tobin is reluctant to advise “even a minute in jail” for women and girls who have abortions because Americans, Catholics and others, don’t view abortion as a crime.

The piece began with a clip of JFK, still a presidential candidate in Houston, seeking to allay fears that he would be beholden to the Pope as President:

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish. Where no public official, either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of churches or any other ecclesiastical source. Where no religious body seeks to impose its will, directly or indirectly, upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials.

Mathews repeated the quote, asking Tobin what he thinks of it. Tobin replies that JFK was talking about “establishing a national religion.” Incredulous, Mathews asked how he can assert such a transparently untrue assertion.

You think he meant something different from what he said?

The short answer is yes, he probably does. Although he could be cynically manipulating the faithful, it’s also entirely likely that the good bishop has deluded himself enough that he can purposely accept a ridiculous interpretation of Kennedy’s meaning.

It happens so often that it can become hard to notice. Here is just a short selection from today’s toobnetz:

  • New Left Media (via HuffPo) has a great video showing the vacuousness of Palin autograph seekers:
  • Via TPM, the RNC thinks they lost the last two elections because they were just too leftist, so they think it’s a good idea to implement a purity test.
  • Via Think Progress, teabaggers think it’s just a hoot to jeer a woman whose uninsured pregnant daughter in law died.
  • Via Crooks and Liars, Tucker Carlson, in all seriousness, asserts that Palin is “as smart as” Al Gore and “more experienced than” Obama.
  • Via Plumline, Cheney slams Obama for bowing the the Japanese Emperor despite serving two presidents who did exactly the same thing.
  • Via TPM, Crist spells it out:

    “It’s hard to be more conservative than I am on issues — though there are different ways stylistically to communicate that — I’m pro-life, I’m pro-gun, I’m pro-family, and I”m anti tax.” … “I don’t know what else you’re supposed to be, except maybe angry too.” [Emphasis added]

  • And last, via Political Animal at The Washington Monthly, Steve Benin, addressing the issue, quotes Isaac Chotiner at TNR

    The first problem with this argument is that … Palin is unlikely to become a policy wonk because she is not very smart. What’s more, Douthat’s argument is tautological. Sure, it would be nice for the GOP if Palin and Huckabee were interested in policy. But if they were interested in policy, then they would not be so appealing to the GOP base.

    In other words, the problem is that a large part of the right has no interest in a policy wonk, and sneers at intellectuals and elites and the types of people Douthat would like to see running the party. A candidate who was interested in learning the ins and outs of the welfare state and health care policy is unlikely to ever achieve Palin/Huckabee levels of popularity with the grassroots.

These examples illustrate the views and psyches of a fairly large segment of our society. Recent polls estimate this group to comprise around 20 to 25 percent of the general populace.

That means, assuming you live in an average place, demographically speaking, and you’re in a room or on a bus with 19 other people, four or five of them believe things that are demonstrably untrue and act on those beliefs politically and socially.

In some areas the percentage of your 20 busmates or roomates will be lower; but in other areas, it will be higher — and in some of those areas, very, very much higher.

The web, along with older media like talk radio and Fox News, help fan the flames of such irrationality. But, like printing presses and cans of spray paint, this specific technology is still neutral. Barring further corporate intrusion, it is not in and of itself responsible for the ignorance spread through its reaches.

It just as readily carries counter arguments and refutations. But to do so, it must be peopled with those who are ready and willing to counter the ignorance. Thankfully, it is.

And after coming of age doing so much to fight the spread of misinformation during eight years of rightwing Republican misrule under Bush and Cheney et al, progressives and liberals on the web are well positioned to keep banging on the outside walls of the rightwing echo chamber.

[This post has been changed since original publication to correct the wording of the final paragraph and to acknowledge that emphasis was added to the Crist quote from TPM.]

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Palin booed by disgruntled autograph seekers

This is priceless (via ThinkProgress):

This is one reason why I’m still not convinced she’ll have any real success if she runs in 2012. She and her handlers are so arrogant and inept that they even anger fanatics who took time off from work and waited in the cold and rain all day for her autograph.

If she can’t even avoid pissing this crowd off, what response would she evoke from people who are not already enthralled with her?

And it’s not as if any establishment Republican aides and staffers who know enough to avoid this kind of bush league unforced error would be all that eager to sign up to work for her.

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the teabagging of a political party

Greenwald, Hullabaloo, TPM, along with many other sane people, as well as some not so sane people, are trying to figure out the right wing and republican freak out over terror trials.

Of course, the Trike Force, aka the redstate 101s Fighting Keyboarders, are barely keeping it together.

The snake is eating its tail. This will not end well for the rightwingers and Republicans. They have surrendered their party to the most rabid, damaging — and damaged — elements of “the movement.”

At a time when reasoned discourse and sober opposition might buy them some independents disillusioned with Obama’s punch pulling, they are making the strategic decision to embrace the message and people who drive independents and moderates away in droves.

It is spectacle politics at its worst and only serves to make the already enthralled more ecstatic. Everyone else turns away in disgust from the spectacle, as well as from those who try to pull off and manipulate it for their own short term gain.

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fox news corrects sarah palin

Link via TPM: How low can a person’s credibility sink? If the answer is lower than Fox’s minimum required truthiness, then may the flying spaghetti monster have mercy on your soul.

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The Party of No: I object! I object! I object! I object! I object!

Not having a plan of their own, the rightwingers and Republicans can only try to keep actual plans from being heard.

The teabaggers have taken over the party and the party has adopted the teabaggers methods of red faced screaming and tantrum throwing. It is willful and pridefully deliberate ignorance on parade and it is ugly and pathetic.

All they can do is try as hard as they can to stop debate. It is the old rightwing and Republican fear — fear that a public program designed to help people and stop outrageous corporate abuses and legal crimes will actually work and do what it is meant to do.

The version of health care reform under debate is woefully imperfect and must be improved on in the short and long terms. But it is something. Something that will have positive effect on many, many people’s lives.

And the rightwingers and Republicans are afraid of just such a good example. It proves their theories about public programs and private business interests are backwards and, literally, dangerous to our health.

Here, via Think Progress and Media Matters, is what they have reduced themselves to:

Update: Sam Stein at Huffington Post has news of Rep King losing his mind:

3:02 PM ET — Rep. King contemplates wrapping Capitol building with health care bill. Ten minutes after Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-M.D.) took to the House floor to relay the tale of a young boy who died because a tooth infection went untreated and spread to his brain, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) was trying to literally wrap the Capitol building with the legislation.

The House, on Saturday, began what should be a lengthy process of debating and voting on the final language of reform. But not everyone was willing to simply sit through the event. Outside, King and others were leading a mob of angry tea-party protesters in a round of bizarre and disruptive shenanigans.

About 20 feet off the House floor, at the entrance to the lawn in front of the Capitol building, King and two colleagues were wielding a massive copy of the 1,900-page bill, rolled up around a wooden poll. A man accompanying a clearly excited King, suggested that they wrap the legislation around the building.

“Let’s do it,” he proclaimed. “Let’s wrap the building.”

A security guard, looking on disapprovingly, patiently urged them not to try. “You can’t do that sir,” he said. “You can’t do that.”

In the background, the tea party protesters who had gathered for a second day of railing against health care’s passage were dispersing. Sensing a lost opportunity, King turned to go back outside, asking his co-conspirator to grab the rolled up bill.

A Hill aide tells the Huffington Post that he and others have been plotting to tape pieces of the bill to the Capitol building for several days.

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