Sunday, January 10, 2010

A big bag of postpourri

-- Harry Reid was racially insensitive.   Trent Lott was racist.  Not at all surprised that conservatives don't know the difference.

There is a BIG difference between praising a segregationist in public like Lott did, and Reid's making, in private, a racially insensitive comment while praising and welcoming the candidacy of the man who would go on to become the first African American President of the United States.

Reid's choice of words shows that when it comes to race and discussing African Americans, he is very unenlighted. THIS DOES NOT MEAN HE IS RACIST, it just means this guy, who it should be pointed out enthusiastically campaigned for Obama, has a long way to go when it comes to learning how to discuss race. His heart is most likely in the right place, his mouth and vocabulary? Not so much.

Lott on the other hand made a point to say that if Thurmond had been elected president in 1948 "we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years." Thurmond ran a presidential campaign on a segrationist platform in 1948 and on the campaign's plank remarked "all the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools, our churches."

When Michael Steele -- who recently came under criticism himself for using the phrase "honest injun" -- OR ANYONE ELSE advances the notion that there is any comparision between Reid's and Lott's comments, they show themselves either to be ignorant or worse; they show themselves as folks who will seek to exploit discussions of race as a launching pad to provoke racial division.

Update: Hal at Half Empty has more.

-- Visit my friend Michele's (yes, he's French) excellent blog Miss Welby.

-- If the Supreme Court rules in favor of corporations' political spending as free speech, then we will be one more giant leap down the road to American fascism.

If this vision becomes reality, businesses and other big-money players will spend billions either hyping their preferred candidates or running attack ads against elected officials who don't support their preferred agenda. Voters will be forced into a couch-potato role, mere viewers of the electoral spectacle bought and paid for by wealthy companies.

The Supreme Court's decision in the hotly anticipated campaign finance reform case Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission -- which may be announced as early as Tuesday -- will show whether a majority of the Roberts court is buying their argument.

-- Dennis Hopper is dying of prostate cancer.

-- Kelly Fero's memorial service yesterday included this reading of Che Guevara's last letter to his children:

If one day you must read this letter, it will be because I am no longer with you. You practically will not remember me, and the smaller ones will not remember me at all.

Your father has been a man who acted on his beliefs and certainly has been faithful to his convictions.

Grow up as good revolutionaries. Study hard so that you can master technology, which allows us to master nature. Remember that the Revolution is what is important, and that each of us, alone, is nothing.

Above all, try always to be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed against anyone, anywhere in the world. This is the most beautiful quality in a revolutionary.

Until forever, my children. I still hope to see you.

A big kiss and a big hug from Papa.

Hasta la Victoria Siempre.

-- Read this excerpt of John Heilemann's book about John and Elizabeth Edwards and the collapse of his 2008 presidential campaign, replete with the tales of Rielle Hunter, Elizabeth's cancer, and more behind the scenes. I didn't think I was capable of being shocked by this sordid episode any more, but this certainly did the trick.

-- The bra-color Facebook meme is tiresome already.

-- The most powerful man in American media and politics simultaneously is Roger Ailes.  No one disputes this. The question -- even among scions of Rupert Murdoch -- is whether, despite the enormous profits, this is a good thing.

-- The inventor of Gumby passed away. Art Clokey originally fashioned Gumby's crooked head after his deceased father's Conan O'Brien-styled hair swoop. Clokey was placed in an orphanage shortly after his father's death when his stepfather forced his mother to choose between them. He was adopted at age 11 and encouraged by his adoptive father to expand his artistic horizons.  As an adult he managed a little controversy as well.

-- When Mary Matalin and Dana Perino and Rudy Giuliani all claim that there were no terrorist attacks during George Bush's terms, that's not stupidity or even a mistake; that's premeditated.

Not only does the statement suggest Giuliani does not remember the devastating attack in his own city, it also omits the anthrax attacks and the attempted shoe bomber attack.

A day earlier, Giuliani falsely claimed that the shoe bomber attack occurred before September 11th.

Curiously, the Associated Press did a long write-up of Giuliani's Obama criticisms but omitted the startling mistake. George Stephanopoulos, who conducted the ABC interview, included the quote in a blog post but did not question it.

 This demonstrates again that Republicans are repeating lies as often as they can get away with in order that they become the "truth".

And when the media refuses to challenge them, then our democracy is failed.

Update: Harold Cook at Letters from Texas ...

In political messaging, one person misspeaking is a mistake. Two misspeaking is a concerted coordinated trend, and thinking, patriotic Americans should call them on their lies every time they attempt them. Those who seek to re-write this history only serve to so utterly mask the roots of our life-threatening challenges that they themselves put Americans at further grave risk.

And what of the so-called "reporters" interviewing these liars? Best I can tell from the video clips, neither Perino's or Guliani's false claims were at all challenged by their interviewers. Of course, Perino's interview was on FoxNews, which is to political news coverage what pro wrestling is to sports - it's not real, they just want you to think it is.

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