Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dog Blogging Tuesday

Obama and Dems Problem

If anyone wonders why dems are in trouble this coming November, a new AP poll spells it out pretty clearly. Mid terms are all about enthusiasm and what side's voters are the most motivated to get off their couches and go vote in historically low turnout elections. This is not new, and the level of trouble for the presidents party mostly comes from the opposition angry at the laws he has passed. In Obama's case, The Stimulus and HCR leads the charge spurring the republicans aching to repeal or mitigate those ideological gut punches delivered by Obama to the right wing. Since Obama still enjoys historic high approval from dem voters, the challenge for dems is to counter complacency that comes with this satisfaction and lack of focus on the danger enraged to vote wingers pose.

A new AP-GfK Poll finds that Americans "with the strongest opinions about the country's most divisive issues are largely unhappy with how President Obama is handling them, an ominous sign for Democrats hoping to retain control of Congress in the fall elections."

In nine of 15 issues examined, "more Americans who expressed intense interest in a problem voiced strong opposition to Obama's work on it, including the economy, unemployment, federal deficits and terrorism."

These people also say they will vote for the Republican candidate in their local House race this fall. Only those highly interested in the environment lean toward the Democrats.

via Political Wire

Monday, August 30, 2010

Let the games begin

The first time I actually laughed while driving home listening to conservative Christian radio. While the commenters were careful to couch their "concerns" in praise for Glen Beck's White Fest, they started to question his religious principles. Of particular concern is the fact that Beck is a Mormon. Mormon's are not real Christians, and one call-in voiced real concern that not enough people attending the rally know where to "draw the line."

The irony is that not one commenter or call-in raised any Constitutional issues regarding taking the country back for "real" Christianity. That the founding fathers and our founding fathers supported a Christian nation was taken as a given. That those who call themselves Christians get to pick and choose who is pure enough. And, that yes we have freedom of religion, as long as we recognize that conservative Christianity trumps all other religions and has a priviledged place in our culture, and hopefully, for some (too many) in our government.

So as far as I can tell, the rules of the game are this. Carry the Constitution, preach a return to basic Constitutional values and precepts, but don't actually read what the Constitution says, or value how our founding fathers struggled to ensure a secular government. And, don't ever mess with our ability to carry guns.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Charismatic Leaders

There is a theory that in times of economic distress, a charismatic leader is able to come forward and essentially maintain that your economic difficulties are a result of "those others" that are preventing you from moving forward. That is the message of Beck. He is able to couch his beliefs in religious language, all the while making people believe that their problems are a result of the "others."


Robert McCartney has a column in today's Washington Post that wasn't too bad, until we got to this point:

"However, I found little or no evidence of racial hatred in the interviews I conducted. Morever, the people heaped praise on King's legacy - or at least on part of it. They loved his call to judge people not by race, but by personal qualities. In contrast, they didn't want to talk about his support for social justice...'We are here to honor Martin Luther King's legacy. He believed it wasn't about skin color, that it's about the content of your character, honesty, integrity, hard work, care for your family..."

WTF. Saying MLK's legacy is not about race and social justice is like saying that the Holocaust had nothing to do with Jews.

Beck has managed to steal MLK's legacy for White people, who feel they are the victims of entitlements and perks for Blacks. The subtext of the quote above is that if skin color doesn't matter, than Whites would be doing better -- because they value character, honesty, integrity, hard work, care for the family, etc...Beck and those attending his White Fest have managed in one afternoon to completely twist MLK's words to justify their own racism, and perserve their own sense of privilege. He has managed to take a message of unity and use it to further promote division.
Of course, those in attendance would heap praise on MLK's legacy. Because through Beck, they managed to pick and choose portions of MLK's vision to support their own ends. Of course those in attendance would refer to part of a speech that said "...to judge people not by the color of their skin..." By choosing that small part of a larger speech, the implicit message of the day was that if organized, Whites can reclaim their position in society, and MLK would agree.

The New Mormon Billy Graham

There is both a comical element and an ominous one as well with Glenn Beck's new revivalist tea bagger schtick. It seems the glibertarian Beck persona has given way to a new baby jeevus one, mixed with politics and some kind of insidious spoofery of this country's civil rights struggle led by Martin Luther King circa some fifty years ago. Beck scheduled his wanker palooza for idiot xenophobes the same day King gave his famous "I have a dream" speech some 47 years ago on The Mall in DC, in front of the Lincoln Memorial, whilst he and his growing band of racist fools disparage at every chance, the first black president. If that irony is too much to stomach, this will turn it inside out.

"This guy's on secular radio and television," Land said Saturday, "but his shows sound like you're listening to the Trinity Broadcasting Network, only it's more orthodox and there's no appeal for money ... and today he sounded like Billy Graham."

That's right, the leader of the Southern Babtist Evangelicals just compared Glen Beck to Billy Graham.

On Friday night, Beck held a religion-focused event at the Kennedy Center that was billed as Glenn Beck's Divine Destiny.

Beyond creepy, because there are just too many idiots in this country that will glom onto this messianic nonsense, at least so long as a black man occupies the WH. It is surreal lie pile onto surreal lie that could well catch on in a country currently undergoing major economic transition and all the fear that brings to the table.

Beck's speeches around his "Restoring Honor" rally have brimmed with religious language: "God dropped a giant sandbag on his head" to push him to organize the rally, he said Friday.

I doubt God dropping anything but his jaw at this weird shit, and that sand was in that bag.

via CNN blog

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just 2 Stay at home moms....

Bristol Palin on "Dancing with the Stars." Sarah Palin flying around the country, appearing on Fox News and county fairs. When do these two stay home and actually care for their children?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mike Huckabee Brings the Gay Bashing

One woman issue

I know I post about the religious right -- I have to get my frustrations out after listening to religious radio. Why do I do it? Because so much of what is said on religious radio ends up as part of the Republican/conservative narrative. They feed off of each other. I can't believe the
number of times I have read something said on Fox, and it ends up as part of the religious right narrative. And, how often there is a rant on religious radio, and it becomes part of the daily rant of idiots on Fox. Except of course the fact that the parent company of Fox is 7% owned by the Saudis.

If Republicans/conservatives were not married to the religious right, and if some much of what is said by them wasn't filtered through the supposed tenets of Christianity, the utter corruption of the Republicans in Congress would be visible.

And, we would be having a completely different debate nationally. The birthers, the tea partiers, religion, the community center in NY, etc., are all filtered through the lens of the religious right, lapped up by Republicans.

They will gain seats in November, not because Republicans can govern, or even have the interests of the country at heart, but because the religious right wants to regain power -- the type of power and accessibility to government they had under Bush. They want what they believe is their God-given and Constitutional right to control the social agenda of Americans, even as they chant limited government, individual responsibility, etc. The religious right only wants limited government as it relates to free markets and deregulation. They want government intervention as it relates to some of the most intimate decisions individuals and families make.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Like the Birthers, Here Come the Baptizers

Right Wing Watch has a rundown on what appears to be the next phase of the right wing concern troll assault on Obama's religion. I call it the "Where's the Faith" option. The "Birthers" got no traction, and Obama coming out for equal rights and freedom of religion concerning The Cordoba House, a Muslim community center, where, EGADS! Muslims might pray to Allah, has brought on the godbotherers to parse and mince Obama's REAL religion, or lack of it, hard to tell

Where's the faith? The wingnuts can't take on faith that Obama has faith. Lordy sakes alive, as my dear departed Granny used to say

The current president has neither a church, nor, to my knowledge, even a denomination. When I'm asked questions about his faith, by sincere people not looking to attack, I sincerely can't give a good answer. It's a problem I didn't have with any of the Bushes, the Clintons, Reagan, Carter, and on and on.

Of course, it shouldn't be difficult to rectify misperceptions. Throughout American history, presidents have been asked about their faith and sat for lengthy interviews sharing their thinking, explaining precisely what they believe. Why doesn't Obama simply do the same? This isn't rocket science ... Obama's problem isn't a tiny fringe that believes he faces Mecca to pray five times a day, but an increasingly large number of Americans that aren't sure what he believes. Until he makes that clearer, confusion will understandably reign.

But of course, Obama has explained his faith in interviews and elsewhere.

Google tells us so in many ways, but never mind, these guys are doubt sowers like little Johnny Appleseed tosses out seeds of Apple trees, these guys do it with heartfelt concern and bewilderment. To grow Obama into a stealth Muslim, which is there aim, the same way a pride of lions work often in tandem to get the prey running into traps set by other lions down the way.

Then there are the Obama may be Christian, but so what concern trolls. A little passive aggressive who knows wordplay always comes in handy with this type of godbotherer. Raises questions in the mind of those looking for them already, right?

In the aftermath of Obama's unsolicited, controversial dictates over the Ground Zero mosque debate, White House image-makers are now trying to convince the public he is a devout Christian. Specific to that point, he may not be a Muslim, but I'm convinced he isn't a Christian, either.


As evidence of his devoutness, the White House has entered into evidence that he allegedly prays every day. Let me be clear – praying every day no more makes one a Christian than walking across a stream makes one a fisherman.

Prayer, like anything else, can be faked, of course, especially, did you hear, Obama supports A MOSQUE at ground zero. What more doubt do you need for proof to wonder to just what God Obama prays to. Proves nothing, right? And quoting a little bible speak is always a good cherry on top to highlight a point. And that point of course is, OBAMA MUST BE A MOOOOSLIM!!

And finally, we get to the kicker. A new updated version of "show us the birth certificate, Obama" "what are you hiding"?

he phrase, “having been baptized,” is apparently based on Obama’s claim about being baptized. Our major media haven’t questioned the claim.

Miller went on to say, “His baptism presents its own problems. The senior pastor at Trinity at the time of Obama’s baptism was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., the preacher who was seen damning America on cable TV…”

Notice the formulation, “at the time of Obama’s baptism.” She carefully does not say that Wright performed the baptism. In fact, there’s no evidence it was a baptism in the traditional sense that it was performed by Wright or anybody else. It looks like Obama walked down the aisle and made a profession of faith. That is not a Christian baptism.

And there you have it. The circle is squared, allegation cloaked in mystery, that google easily solves, followed by "he may be Christian, but what does that mean really?" I mean, anybody really KNOW whether Obama prays, and to whom whatever? Finalized by, hints of documented proof of being dunked in the river of baptism, signed sealed and delivered by a righteously acceptable vessel of the lord, no short form accepted, nor photo copies, or any other proof but the original parchment in real time. The anatomy of a right wing smear. Televised by Fox soon.

via Right Wing Watch

Stimulate Me

Reuters has this interesting report on the actual success of the stimulus, widely panned from the right to the professional left.

The massive stimulus package boosted real GDP by up to 4.5 percent in the second quarter of 2010 and put up to 3.3 million people to work, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday.

However, economists don't believe it.

The massive stimulus package boosted real GDP by up to 4.5 percent in the second quarter of 2010 and put up to 3.3 million people to work, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday.

But the CBO reports that the stimulus had a stabilizing effect on halting the slide of the economy over the depression cliff. I call that a success, and it saved and created quite a few jobs. Would a new stimulus do the same, probably, for a while. But the problems in our economy run deep into structural problems and how long can we keep it propped up with borrowed money? It is now a political non starter, a new similar sized stimulus, so the natural contraction will begin and there will be much pain. This can be alleviated quite a bit by keeping the safety net funded and the states solvent with federal dollars, but to keep throwing gasoline on a fire long in coming, and arguably necessary for long term economic stability, there would have to be political appetite with the public and politicians, and that just isn't there.

The massive package of tax cuts, construction spending and enhanced safety-net benefits was passed in February 2009 in the midst of the deepest recession since the 1930s.

It raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs during the second quarter of this year, CBO estimated.

Measured another way, CBO said the stimulus increased the number of full-time equivalent jobs by up to 4.8 million, as part-time workers shifted to full-time work or employers offered more overtime work.

CBO said the package, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, would cost $814 billion, down from its previous estimate of $862 billion. The lower figure was thanks largely to health-care subsidies that cost less than anticipated. CBO initially estimated the bill would worsen budget deficits by $787 billion.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My head is spinning

Listening to religious wingut radio makes my head spin. Apparently, religious liberty only extends to Christians. While Jews are not mentioned (that would be political suicide), today's menu consisted of an interpretation of Islam. While the broadcasters were careful to couch their musings in the Constitution -- freedom of religion -- there was some discussion over whether Islam qualifies as a religion. Good punt! We can crucify (pun intended) Islam by deciding that Islam is not a religion. Therefore, we can prove how American we are, how we bless the Constitution, and still ensure that America remains a Christian nation.

Back to the Jews. As the wingnuts were going on and on about how only through Jesus will we reach salvation, and Islam clearly doesn't fall in line, there was no mention that Jews are more aligned with Islam than Christianity. We, too, don't acknowledge Jesus. Go figure. Yet, somehow being American, and believing in religious freedom, means being Christian because our Constitution affords Christianity a prominant place in our distribution of rights because the Constitution promotes freedom of religious, which if you are a true American that would mean a belief in Christianity.

I have a headache. Not even copious amounts of wine can get passed all of this rhetoric. No one mentioned that the Saudis own 7% of Fox News. BUT, there was a lot of talk about how we should investigate the Saudi funding of the projected community center in NY.

I did understand that free markets extend to Christian businesses and community centers, but apparently the free market does not extend to Muslims interests. Except Fox News.

So to sum up, freedom of religion is a valued American ideal, as long as the religion is Christianity. Not Islam, and never, ever mention the Jews. Free markets extend to Christian enterprises, and not to Muslims, and never, ever mention the Jews.

So now I know what it takes to be pro-American in these times.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sarah really pisses me off

Ms. Sarah twitted that "the 9/11 mosque=act of fitna, 'equivalent to bldg. Serbian Orthodox church@ Srebenica killing fields where Muslims were slaugthered."

Again, the twit shows she has no idea what she is talking about. As somehow who was there, who helped prepare the tents for the survivors in Tuzla, and who helped dig the drainage ditches, her twit really, really pisses me off. She doesn't even realize how offensive her post was. The killing fields in Srebenica were part of a government led decision to overtake the enclave, not a decision by a group of religious leaders to create a center dedicated to reconciliation. That she cannot tell the difference is mind numbing. To exploit Srebenica for her own personal political ambitions also is mind numbing. She is clueless. If the Serbian Orthodox Church wanted to create a center to help Muslim and Serbs move beyond the horrific tragedy that Srebenica represents, I would be the first to support the endeavor. If the Muslim community in NY wants to build a center dedicated to reconciliation, which I believe they want to do, I am all for it.

Ms. Sarah doesn't realize the difference between a government supported decision to eradicate a community, and a religious group, who lost members of their own community in 9/11, wanting to create something that gives back to the community. To exploit Srebenica is beyond disgusting. It once again shows her ignorance of things sacred.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hump Day Doggie Blogging

Charlie on a hike in the Gila Forest

Charlie Boy 002_

Charlie Boy 004_

Charlie Boy 001_