Tag Archives: immigration

Arizona brings immigration reform back to the front burner

[Updated below]

I’ll resume regular posting, two to four times a week.

Aside from travel and school stuff, I’ve been distracted by the reaction to this video I shot of my mayor questioning Obama’s citizenship at a local ‘tea party’ rally. The rally was in a public park of course and many of the attendees looked like they are drawing social security and medicare checks, but they sure hate government. Except that one of the organizers called 911 on me for filming. She said they ‘rented the park’ and had the authority to kick me out.

A police captain set her straight, but it nicely demonstrates their authoritarian mentality.

As this post at Think Progress notes, the people who attend these rallies, aside from being mostly older white far right Republicans, also support the incredibly intrusive Big Brother ‘show me your papers’ Arizona law:

Not only are Tea Partiers not speaking out against SB-1070, they’re actively supporting it. The Arizona Tea Party Network called on its members to support Brewer’s big government. In fact, the sponsor of SB-1070 is state Sen. Russell Pearce (R), a Tea Party backer.

Why are they so supportive of Big Government in this case? The Think Progress post quotes a University of Washington study sheds some light on the attitudes toward people who are, unsurprisingly, vastly unrepresented at their rallies:

For instance, the Tea Party, the grassroots movement committed to reining in what they perceive as big government, and fiscal irresponsibility, also appear predisposed to intolerance. Approximately 45% of Whites either strongly or somewhat approve of the movement. Of those, only 35% believe Blacks to be hardworking, only 45 % believe Blacks are intelligent, and only 41% think that Blacks are trustworthy. Perceptions of Latinos aren’t much different. While 54% of White Tea Party supporters believe Latinos to be hardworking, only 44% think them intelligent, and even fewer, 42% of Tea Party supporters believe Latinos to be trustworthy. When it comes to gays and lesbians, White Tea Party supporters also hold negative attitudes. Only 36% think gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt children, and just 17% are in favor of same-sex marriage.

Update: Redstate blog, whose head honcho is best know for calling former supreme court justice David Souter a “goat fucking child molester,’ has this up today about how congressional black congress members and civil rights movement heroes were, y’know, lying about ‘tea partiers’ calling them n!gg4r and otherwise abusing them. Hey, if it wasn’t caught on video, then it could not have happened, right?

Bolding mine: yes, you can see for yourself. Why? Because people brought cameras*. Otherwise, this wouldn’t have gotten challenged, and the Democrats wouldn’t be trying to hide from this story right now. And no, this is not something that people should just move on from, either. We can move on after the Members of Congress involved either publicly retract their accusations, or else prove them.

This is just one more way the ‘tea partiers’ are proving how moderate and inclusive they are. It’s just that all the non white, younger, non far right Republicans — who totally, totally exist and who support the ‘tea party agenda’ — for some reason don’t seem to be able to make it to the rallies. Maybe it’s all the angry white people with guns…

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What might have been: Sarah Palin reminds Americans what they voted against

David Weigel at TWI is reporting on the Palin speech to the “Tea Party Convention” in Nashville. I’ve dvr’d it and have only listened to the first fifteen minutes and will either update this post or write more expansively tomorrow.

For now I’ll just say that she is putting the capstone on the merger between the so called tea party — or parties — and the Republican party. It was obvious anyway, but now they’re not even trying to put up a facade. Still, I think that’s a a move that will diminish their outsider credibility and spark various internal skirmishes.

Also, by defending the Bush administration and adopting, in the first fifteen minutes at least, a combative tone reminiscent of some of her really odious posturing during the campaign, it seems that she is giving quite a gift to the administration and congressional Democrats.

Update: Okay, it’s only been a few minutes, but

…and around the world, people who are seeking freedom from oppressive regimes wonder if Alaska is still that beacon of hope for their cause…

I’d have more sympathy for her stumbling over her notes if she hadn’t repeated the strange rightwing Republican attack on Obama as somehow being dependent on teleprompters.

Update II:

…and unethical shameless tactics like considering a candidates children fair game…

Like Rush Limbaugh, John McCain and many other rightwing Republicans did to Chelsea Clinton?

and

and children with special needs are welcomed in this world and embraced

Like the way Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck used exactly the same term Rahm Emanuel used, except they used it explicitly to mock and ridicule developmentally challenged people?

Update III: her hypocrisy is shameless. Sam Stein at Huffington Post notes the following about her Sunday morning appearance on Fox

Palin also used her platform to continue a call for the president to rid himself of his closest advisers. On Attorney General Eric Holder, she labeled his handling of captured terrorists — “allowing them our U.S. constitutional protections when they do not deserve them” — a firing offense. On Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel, she said his comments calling liberal groups “f-ing retards” was “indecent and insensitive” and cause for his dismissal.

But the former governor went to great and sometimes awkward lengths to insist that when conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh used the same exact term to describe the same exact group, it was simply in the role of political humorist.

“They are kooks, so I agree with Rush Limbaugh,” she said, when read a quote of Limbaugh calling liberal groups “retards.” “Rush Limbaugh was using satire … . I didn’t hear Rush Limbaugh calling a group of people whom he did not agree with ‘f-ing retards,’ and we did know that Rahm Emanuel, as has been reported, did say that. There is a big difference there.”

Also, there are now pictures and videos of the notes she scrawled on her hand; no word on whether she wrote the notes before or after she made the telepromter dig.

Again, this would normally not be a big deal if she hadn’t repeated the weird teleprompter line. Also, as Stefan Sirucek notes at HuffPo in the above link, it was a “lovefest” with pre selected questions. Criticizing Obama’s performance at the “question time” with House Republicans and overlooking this requires some world class level mental gymnastics.

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Over confident rightwingers might hamstring Republicans in 2010

Steve Singiser at Daily Kos has a great piece about the possible hamstringing of the Republicans by the tea baggers. He describes the recent NY-23 race to make his central point:

In one hand, the Republican party funded the Scozzafava candidacy with independent expenditures that may well have topped a million dollars. In the other hand was the steadily increasing number of Republican “regulars” eager to embrace the third-party insurgent conservative, Doug Hoffman. It culminated in the campaign’s final week, when no less a Republican figure than national party chairman Michael Steele essentially abandoned his own nominee, saying that a Hoffman victory would be just fine by him, since Hoffman, too, was a registered Republican.

This is a microcosm of the problem confronting the GOP. They want to harness the potential political energy and power of the “tea party” movement. But they are very wary of ceding their party to that movement. Thus, the often absurd dance of the Republican Party, which in one breath embraces the teabaggers while in the next breath endeavoring hard to keep them at arms length. [emphasis added]

I have to make the usual caveat that the elections are still a long way away and anything can happen. Still, as things stand now, this could well be how things play out.

First, the obvious point is that the party establishment have painted themselves into a corner: they are increasingly reliant on a small segment of the population and, in pandering to this rump, they alienate moderates and independents who could otherwise be persuaded to vote Republican. This is largely a zero sum game: when they move further to the right, they appease the base but turn off the middle persuadables and when they move a little back to the center, they attract some of the fence sitters but make the base righteously and terribly angry in the process.

They know this is not a tenable long term position to be in and are busy co opting and softening the tea baggers, but that’s a long term project. In the short run, they think they will be able to hold the Rube Goldberg contraption that is their current coalition together long enough to win great victories in 2010.

They believe this is possible because the progressive and liberal base of the Democratic party is not as energized as the rightwing base of the Republican party.

While it is true that progressives and liberals are, rightfully I believe, dismayed, very few are disillusioned. Most of us knew Obama was center-left at best. That doesn’t mean progressives are happy, just that they are not all that surprised.

Rightwingers and Republicans at sites like redstate.com take it as an article of faith that the progressive/liberal base is practically in shock, disillusioned beyond redemption at their failed ‘messiah.’ This is inaccurate.

Despite the picture painted by some Democrats and many in the media, progressives are supremely patient and willing to compromise. As the elections draw closer, there will be endless comparisons to 1994. This is not 1994.

Aided by the especially self defeating Republican absolutist opposition to health care reform, various elements of the liberal/progressive base along with vast swaths of independent persuadables will not only turn away from Republicans but will actually vote for Democrats.

The Democrats were already planning to run on an argument that voting Republican would be voting to turn back the clock on a little loved decade. And now, the Republican pledge of total reform repeal will make that astoundingly easy to argue.

And this isn’t even accounting for the rightwing Republicans civil wars that will break out in primaries and over various issues before then. It will be public and it will be messy. Democrats and lefties will do all they can to fan the flames, not least by making Republicans and rightwingers take an explicit stand on total repeal of health care reform. Immigration will be another flash point.

Remember, the redstaters and their ilk think of NY-23 as a victory because it forced the ‘party elites’ to endorse a teabagger, even if retroactively. I doubt the ‘elites’ view it the same way.

Update: redstate chief Erickson is right on cue:

If Conservatives Are Serious About Their Resurgence, They Will Defeat Bob Bennett (R-UT)

…snip…

Trust me, the people who treat pro-lifers with the most distain [sic] are not pro-choice leftists, but leadership Republicans who want their money and vote, but otherwise wish they’d shut the heck up.

And that situation is going to continue until conservatives decide to take a Republican scalp in a GOP primary.

Allow me to recommend Bob Bennett (R-UT). In fact, if conservatives really do want to be taken seriously by the GOP and not be seen as just puppets for leadership, defeating Bob Bennett should be the number one agenda item of every conservative in the United States of America, even surpassing the desire to see Marco Rubio beat Charlie Crist. [emphasis in original]

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Pelosi’s husband buys football team, Limbaugh and rightwingers will not be amused

Obviously, this headline from the Huffington Post is destined to cause some on the right to complain about double standards.

click image for link to story

click for link to story

The story links to a Washington Post report. Here’s a screen grab of some of the thoughtful objections it has inspired.

click to go straight to comments

click image to go straight to comments

This poster spices his faux misplaced outrage with some misogyny and anti latino bigotry, but he’s a ‘patriot’ so it’s okay.

As a commenter on the Huffington Post thread notes, Rush and a whole lot of people on the right are going to be quite irate about this on Monday. But, that’s still a day and a half away. I’m sure we’ll be hearing from them about this well before then.

Their general hatred for Pelosi is of immense proportion. Their collective freak out over this is going to be a spectacle…

Update: In keeping with today’s theme of screen grabs, here’s one from the redstate post and comment thread I linked to in my last post. It’s in reaction to a story claiming that the lyricist from Black Eyed Peas is buying an ownership share of a team.

click image for link to redstate post and comments

click image for link to redstate post and comments

Aside from the hilarity and stunning lack of irony of the title, it’s also an indication of the reaction to Pelosi owning a team. I mean, we’re talking about a blond white woman in a rap group with black guys.

Despite the ancient fear and loathing that arrangement brings up, the reaction to Pelosi’s husband owning a football team will still probably be many orders of magnitude greater.

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redstate in damage control mode over cheering olympics not coming to US

Erick Erickson must be feeling some pressure over all the joy he and other redstaters felt and expressed with unbridled passion because the Olympics won’t take place in the US in 2016.

Responding to and article about Democrats charging that Republicans and right wingers are “rooting against America” at Politico, he pens a defense of rooting for failure.

(Click here if the video doesn’t work)

While I am not in the least surprised that so many right wingers and Republicans feel this way, I am perplexed as to why they have absolutely no qualms about publicly engaging in such orgiastic joy over this.

Do they honestly believe this kind of behavior will win people over to their cause? Are they in such ecstatic joy over what they perceive as an Obama defeat that they are incapable of understanding how such behavior will be perceived? Do they care?

These people are over the edge. Not only have they long ago abandoned any pretense of making contructive contributions to the discourse, they have made a final, terminal commitment to abandoning any shred of rationality.

And in discarding all claims to rationality so whole heartedly and with such perplexing enthusiasm, they are quickly — and surely — abandoning whatever hopes they may have once had of returning from the political netherworld.

They are operating from a 90’s model in which they think they can get away with spreading lies and speaking out of two sides of their mouths to the party base and more mainstream audiences

Again — yet again — they do not get the archive. Their words, and often their actions, are being recorded and will not go down the memory hole. They, literally, do not know what they’re doing.

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Fox News producer caught on film rallying 9/12 protesters

This is from Media Matters, also linked to on Huffington Post.

Here’s a video of a Fox “news” producer rallying a crowd off camera at the 9/12 protest. Follow the links above for longer versions of both the behind the scene shot of the producer hyping up the crowd and of the clip as it looked to Fox “news” viewers.

The only shocking thing about this is that it’s not particularly shocking. Could anyone honestly be surprised by this?

The producer first ducks out of the shot when she realizes she’s being filmed. She continues waving her arm at the crowd even while crouching and trying to stay out of view but then stop even trying to hide and stands back up, all the while still rallying the people behind the reporter.

Here’s what the Huffington Post reports about the reaction of Fox “News”

“The employee is a young, relatively inexperienced associate producer who realizes she made a mistake and has been disciplined,” Bryan Boughton, Fox News Channel Washington Bureau Chief told the Huffington Post.

I suspect if she was “disciplined,” it was not for rallying the crowd, but for getting caught doing it on film.

The Fox “news reporter” starts his segment praising the diversity of the crowd, including saying “…they’re black, they’re white…” You can watch a lot of video of the protest, including on Fox and CSPAN and still see few — if any — non white protesters.

At the end of the clip, the “news reporters” tells Glenn Beck that the crowd credits him”

“This is, as best [as] I can describe it, a absolute grassroots movement. And this is an uprising. We’re at the beginning of a political movement. And the credit you.”

As Media Matters notes, Fox News was hyping the 9/12 protest heavily.

And they are now running ads criticizing other outlets for not also hyping the 9/12 protest.

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jumping the shark meets fuoridation paranoia

Disparaging democracy is no longer enough.

Shouting down and calling for an end to the socialistic mollycoddling of people in wheelchairs is no longer enough.

All of the other right wing hysteria and paranoia no longer gives the rightwingers and Republicans that rush they got the first time they yelled that Obama is a Muslim and is not a citizen.

Like the addict going down a bad road, the rightwingers and Republicans need to start using the harder stuff. Now they’re spiking themselves with a much purer, unadulterated variety of craziness:

Obama is gonna grab your kids.

These nutcases are, in all seriousness (or at least such as they can muster), are tearing out their hair and planning to pull their kids from the “government schools” because Obama is planning an address to the kids telling them to study hard, stay in school and work to give back to society.

It’s just exactly what Hitler did. And Mao. And King Richard.

I’m just waiting for the new round of nuttery concerning fluoridation sapping our precious bodily fluids.

They think they have already won the health care fight. They truly believe, notwithstanding recent elections, that most Americans support their extremism. They think they have come out of the wilderness and are poised to “take back their country.”

They are wrong. I believe they will be seen to have lost the health care debate when all is said and done. People do not support their reactionary extremism. They are not about to skate back into electoral success.

But they don’t believe that and refuse to consider it as even a remote possibility. Which, from my perspective, is a Very Good Thing.

Laboring under the delusion that they are the vanguard of a popular uprising, they will grossly overreach. First they will do so on minor tactical issues like this. But, soon enough, they will do so on a much larger scale.

The coming immigration reform debate comes to mind as a possibility.

They are setting themselves up to fail both miserably and publicly. While that will be amusing to watch, it will also be somewhat concerning. Such an eventuality will only serve to drive them deeper into delusion, paranoia and, potentially, violent actions.

p.s. At least one rightwinger isn’t chasing his own tail.

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Explaining Sessions (and the rest)

Jamison Foser has a good piece at Media Matters on the racism and sexism on display in Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing.

There have been a lot of posts at various progressive sites and blogs about the racism and sexism so I won’t rehash them here. I just want to briefly examine what seems to lie underneath the shabbiness and think about what it might mean some of the actors involved.

Sessions’ (R-AL) own racism is well known, if unremarked upon by the media in their current fainting spells about the supposed reverse racism of a latina supreme court nominee.

Another well worn racist retread media darling from yesteryear, Patrick Buchanan, also largely gets a pass. Although this is beginning to change.

Sessions trotted out the Desi Arnez “your got a lot of ‘splaining to do” gem, to his own obvious great amusement and self satisfaction.

Graham (R-SC) condescended to the judge, using anonymous quotes about her temperament that a colleague attributed to sexism [see the Foser link in the first paragraph], and told her that maybe she needed to do a little self reflection.

What do Sessions, Buchanan, Graham and the media hacks who almost completely ignored all this, while at the same time being hyper sensitive to perceived slights against white males, have in common?

They have in common a sense of entitlement, a sense of white male privilege that is so ingrained — in their own psyches and in our society — that it has become virtually invisible. Stephen Colbert breaks it down here in a segment called “Neutral Man’s Burden.”

According to this view, white males are, by definition, neutral. Anyone who is not male and white is suspect and defined, often completely, by that difference from the supposed norm of the white male. This is a fundamental reality in America today.

It is a reality so fundamental that, despite exhortations that others engage in self reflection, many people in America today, certainly a large percentage of white males, are unaware of it.

It resides just under the surface of pandering from Republicans, from McCain and Palin to their rabid admirers to so many in the media, talking about the “real America” in last year’s campaign. Even Clinton engaged in it with her desperate gambit to woo “hard working Americans.”

While Clinton and Palin broke through the gender glass ceiling, they still were clearly using thinly veiled code for “white Americans.”

This is, and has been, slowly changing. Changing at a glacially slow incremental pace. But changing.

The problem for almost all rightwingers, most Republicans and many in the media is that their either are unaware of this change or they are all too aware of the change and are trying like hell to stop and reverse it.

The idol of so many rightwingers and Republicans, William F Buckly, explained the purpose of the conservative National Review, launched in 1955 this way:

…It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no other is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.

And to this day, so many rightwingers, Repbulicans and media chatterers see it as their solemn duty to “stand athwart history, yelling Stop.”

They might be able to slow it at times, even temporarily divert it at other times, but they cannot stop it. Still, in the process of trying, they mark themselves clearly for all to see.

They mark themselves clearly for all to see them as the reactionary racists and sexists that they are.

And that mark is indelible.

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Rep. Steve King (R-IA): “Salvery was abhorrent, but…”

“…it was also a fact of life in those centuries where it existed.”

The Republicans seem dedicated to their own destruction.

Think Progress has the whole story, including audio of King trying to cover his ass for opposing the bill recognizing the slaves who built the capitol dome.

Huggington Post has a piece up about Senator Sessions (R-AL) leading the Republican fight against Sonia Sotomayor. Sessions is an, uh, interesting pick.

In the Huffington Post story, Ian Millhiser notes that Sessions alleged that Sotomayor is unqualified because she was on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, a group Sessions asserted is “extreme“. Millhiser also writes that, in an interview on Fox, Sessions criticized the PRLDEF because it “brought several race discrimination lawsuits for minorities.”

Millhiser also writes about how Sessions “joked” that he liked the KKK until he found out some of them were potheads, how he called a black employee “boy” and scolded him for criticizing a white secretary, telling him he had to “be careful what you say to white folks.”

I’ve written before about other racist behavior by members of the so called “grand old party.” And the problem isn’t limited to old white guys, as one of those examples, as well as this one, demonstrate.

I could come up with examples of what Republicans could do to hurt their future chances even more than they already are, but they would seem farcical and unrealistic.

That is, until they are compared to whatever racist jokes, positions or freudian slips next emanate from the mouths of other members of the ‘gop.’

Update: That didn’t take long. C&L reports: “Conservatives Circulate Picture Of Obama With Bone Through His Nose

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Morning Fox savant: Irish and Italians are “other species”

This little gem is from Huffingotn Post:

[Click on the link above for video]

BROWN HAIRED GUY: We keep marrying other species and other ethnics–

GRETCHEN CARLSON: Are you sure they are not suffering from some of the causes of dementia right now?

BROWN HAIRED GUY: The problem is the Swedes have pure genes. They marry other Swedes, that’s the rule. Finns marry other Finns; they have a pure society. In America we marry everybody. We will marry Italians and Irish.

DAVE BRIGGS: This study does not apply?

BROWN HAIRED GUY: Does not apply to us.

[pause]

DAVE BRIGGS: Huh.

Even the other Foxanistas seem perplexed…

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