Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In Case You Missed It: President Obama's Address To The Nation on Iraq War

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


What does everyone think?

The Tea Party's Dislike For Obama Has Nothing To Do With Race...Except For When It Does

How is it possible to simultaneously believe that President Obama is a Mooooslim and also a radical black separatist who is a follower of liberation theology taught in the Christian church of Reverend Jeremiah Wright?

Um...maybe because he's black?



Sam Seder is awesome and his confusion after her bashing of Obama for Reverend Wright and in the next breath saying he's a secret Moooslim is CLASSIC.  Um...my head hurts.

Tim Wise Op-Ed on Glenn Beck and Conservative Character Actors

What he said.

Via AOL News:
It has been said that even the devil can quote Scripture for his purposes. So too, apparently, can conservatives quote Martin Luther King Jr. for theirs. To wit, Glenn Beck, who has perfected the craft of cribbing from Dr. King, thereby debasing the majestic prose of the latter and distorting King's intentions to the point where they would have been unrecognizable to him.


And so, after Beck's weekend rally, which coincided with the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, Beck explained that while he disagrees with the part of the civil rights movement that was about social justice and economic equity -- which is to say he disagrees with pretty much all of it -- he agrees with the other part. You know that one line, literally, one line from King's "I Have a Dream" speech -- the one about how we should judge people on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.


It is always this line to which conservatives make reference. For years they've employed it so as to attack affirmative action. If King believed in character over color, they intone, he would have opposed such programs in employment or college admissions. Of course, that's the kind of thinking that follows when you don't actually listen to the entire speech from which the one line was taken, or read any of King's writings.


Had conservatives done the latter, for instance, they might have stumbled upon what King had to say about the issue we now know as affirmative action. In his book "Why We Can't Wait," King noted:


"Whenever this issue of compensatory or preferential treatment for the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil in horror. The Negro should be granted equality, they agree, but should ask for nothing more. On the surface, this appears reasonable, but it is not realistic. For it is obvious that if a man enters the starting line of a race 300 years after another man, the first would have to perform some incredible feat in order to catch up."

Rachel Maddow FTW: Governor Christie Edition

Rachel Maddow calls out New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for blaming the Obama administration for his own incompetence.



Governor Christie is done and done.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Today In Obvious: Glenn Beck Is NOT The White Malcolm X

During my daily perusal of blogs and news sites this morning, I came across a ridiculous eye-catching headline over at The Daily Beast:


Glenn Beck is the White Malcolm X
After regaining my composure, I proceeded to read the article in the hopes that the title was surely satirical because there is no way in the world a serious person would be making the comparison between the assassinated civil rights leader and the Fox News television host.  But I was wrong.

I engaged the author in one of my favorite pastimes, the twitter debate.  He claimed that Beck, like Malcolm is aiming to be provocative.  He was respectful and I appreciated him even taking a few minutes to respond to my critiques.  But there is only so much one can say in 140 characters.  So let's begin shall we...


Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Urban Politico Remembers Hurricane Katrina

Approximately 5 years ago the country watched as one of it's cities suffered the worst cataclysmic event in modern history. The city of New Orleans suffered tremendous losses on levels that cannot be expressed in words. Entire blocks of homes were ripped away, bodies laid dead on the streets and survivors suffered lack of food for over a week, no doubt losing all of there possessions, some of their family members and the lives that they new still bouncing violently off the walls of their minds.

Everyone remembers the story. The Bush administration took 5 days to respond to the disaster, which still to this day, confounds the most brilliant of minds. Meanwhile displaced survivors starved, looted and fought to survive. An out of control police department murdered residents, showing no regard for human life, the Mayor and other city officials pleaded, cried to the world to help.

There are mixed feelings and sentiments surrounding the 5 year anniversary of this disaster. Many have stated that the city is doing much better and is even in better shape then before the storm. Yet driving through much of the 9th ward, it still looks like a ghost town. The disheartening, disproportionate, disenfranchisement of of black folks in New Orleans is still a huge problem and an even bigger problem then before the storm. Thanks to organizations like the Make it Right foundation, headed by actor Brad Pitt and the New Orleans Community Development Corporation headed by actor Wendell Pierce, there are some great things happening in the city. Through the Make it Right foundation, entire neighborhoods within the 9th Ward are being rebuilt using green technology. These homes produce more energy then they use and are being developed as long income housing. For the first time ever these residents will receive electric bills where they are only being charged processing fees. Progress is being made, yet there is still so much further to go.

As our country works to restore the faith in the American dream, in the midst of a recession, a tough, seemingly impossible political climate and tensions flaring against others because of their religious views, we have to remember that our strength has always lied in our ability to stick together through crisis. We have to remember that there are those who are much less fortunate then us and that no matter how tough things get in this country we are still Americans and we are much stronger together then we are apart. Looking back on Katrina 5 years later is a strong reminder of this.



President Obama speaks about the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Motion to Dismiss Dr. Laura and Sarah Palin for Failure to State a Valid Claim

Dear Tea Party, I hereby challenge your leader, Sarah Palin, to a 30 minute debate on the Constitution.  Any time.  Any place. No teleprompters, no earpieces, no coaches or lifelines, and no notes (including notes written on the hand).   Just the two of us, an unedited live stream video feed, and the entire American public watching.  The moderator will ask, oh I dunno, the most basic friggin' "un-gotcha" type questions about the Constitution such as (i) how many articles does it have?; (ii) which Amendment gives us the Right to Bear Arms?; (iii) which Amendment gives us Equal Protection?; and (iv) does the 1st Amendment right to free speech protect us against private individuals or protect us against the Government?  (we'll come back to that last one) The loser has to pack up their shit and leave political discussion forever and agree never to use the word "Constitution" ever again for as long as they shall live.  Agreed?

Friday, August 27, 2010

EPIC FAIL: MISSISSIPPI SCHOOL SEGREGATES STUDENT GOVERNMENT

 In a horrible narrative straight out of Jim Crow era America, a Mississippi public school has segregated student government elections. A memo passed out to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students stated essentially that out of 12 offices available for students to fill, 8 of those offices are for whites, while 4 have been deemed black seats. As you can see by the chart attached to this post all of the higher seats have been set aside only for the white students.

Now maybe it's me. Maybe my history is a bit hazy, but I thought we were living in a post racial America? With the election of the nations first black President and angry whites devoting their hate in recent weeks more towards Islamic America, then African Americans, I must say that I was both surprised and completely appalled to read this in the news today. What's worse is that the School's African American principle has not commented.  Hmmm, excuse me Ms. African American principle, but doesn't a segregated school election, with all of the higher positions only available to white students seem a bit WRONG??? There are a millions reasons why this is wrong, but fortunately I don't think I have to explain any of them to you, as this ignorance stands on it's own merit. The Mississippi Public School System should be ashamed of themselves for allowing something like this to go on. Although it is no secret that the state of Mississippi has had it's share of recent blunders, all rooted in racism, this is a fail of epic proportions. The Urban Politico will be keeping a close eye on this developing story and will let you know if any action is required by our readers in the way of DEMANDING equal treatment and opportunities for ALL students.


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Governor Chris Christie Apparently Caught In Lie Over "Race To The Top" Funding

New video released by the Obama administration contradicts Governor Christie's account of why New Jersey failed to receive a $400 million dollar educational grant in the Race To The Top program.  Earlier today after days of finger pointing, Christie fired New Jersey's State Education Commissioner Bret Schundler after Schundler refused to resign because he wanted to collect unemployment benefits.

It is looking like Christie's comments the other day slamming big government and the Obama administration lack credibility after a new video shows New Jersey officials being asked by the selection committee for budget numbers not once but twice.  Both times they couldn't come up with an answer.

Via Blue Jersey:

It turns out the United States Department of Education keeps video of the presentations of Race to the Top applicants. And that video, obtained by Star Ledger (that's it, below) directly contradicts Gov. Christie's claim that Washington bureaucrats were at fault for not letting NJ just fix a basic error in the application.


Does anybody in Washington, D.C. have a lick of common sense? Pick up the phone and ask us for the number. - - Gov. Christie
Actually, Christie's characteristic bluster aside, the video reveals that the NJ team was asked directly for that information, and they struggled to answer, and couldn't provide it. In fact, they apparently never provided it.
Excerpt of N.J.'s Race to the Top interview shows officials with no budget answer

Assemblyman John Wisniewski's statement after the jump:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Respect: Give It To Get It!


We are all aware of the controversy surrounding the Islamic Cultural Center two blocks away from Ground Zero (hereinafter “ICCGZ”). We’ve talked about it several times here on this blog, and have attributed the hysteria and uproar to nothing more than “Islamophobia.” To me, it is clear. There should be a distinct and clear separation between the 19 criminal, Islamic, extremist cowards that attacked us on 9/11 - and those that support them - and the remaining 1.57 billion that make about 23% of the world’s population. Failure to make that distinction shows a regression in our country to a time when prejudice prevailed and understanding and compassion for those that had differences, was at a minimum.

Many that oppose ICCGZ have gone on record to state that there is no “Islamophobia,” or hatred of Muslims. After being called out for hypocrisy, they shifted their rhetoric to support everyone’s constitutional right to the freedom of religion.  Their issue wasn’t about the RIGHT to build ICCGZ; it was about being “sensitive” to the feelings of others and showing "respect" to New York and the victims of 9/11.  The opposition showed their support of Islam’s constitutional rights by protesting, suing, screaming and yelling. Others decided to show their support by stabbing Muslims, pissing on the rugs and vandalising other Mosques.  

I Think Ken Mehlman Was The Last To Know

Turns out Ken Mehlman the former head of the Republican National Committee and the man responsible for managing arguably the most anti-gay Presidential campaign in modern history for George W. Bush, is himself a gay man.  He officially came out yesterday in an interview with Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic.  None of this is a surprise and most folks are saying that it was the worst kept secret in Washington.  Now that he's out of the closet, Mr. Mehlman wants to join up with marriage equality organizations, I guess because he hopes that they have short term amnesia.

While some high profile LGBT organizations and activists are excited at the idea that Mr. Mehlman is now out and wanting to help, others have basically told Mr. Mehlman to go kick rocks.  Too little, too late.  Where was all this "understanding" and "honesty" when you were putting anti-gay marriage propositions and amendments on state ballots in the 2004 election, most notably in OHIO?

What does everyone think?  Should we give him props for coming out or should we give him the side eye for waiting until now?

Bonus Flashback Video Clip:

Bill Maher outed Ken Mehlman on Larry King Live a few years back.

What Are You Doing This Weekend?

Join Organizing for America this weekend for door-to-door canvassing and other neighborhood events all over the country this weekend.

Via BarackObama.com:

To elect more Democrats to Congress and keep moving America forward, we've got to get back to the doors--just like we did in 2008--and talk to voters about how important it is to vote this fall.


Our goal is 200,000 doors knocked across the country over the weekend of August 28th--it’s an ambitious number, but we can reach it if everyone pitches in.


See what’s happening on the weekend of August 28th and join a Moving America Forward event near you.
Click here to find an event near you!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dear Governor Christie: MAN UP

This is unbelievable.  New Jersey loses out narrowly to Ohio for funds from Obama's Race To The Top program because of a clerical error in their application and Governor Chris Christie blames the Obama administration and government bureaucracy.


Via NJ.com:


Gov. Chris Christie this morning acknowledged the state made a clerical error that blew its chance at winning $400 million in federal money for schools, but he blamed Obama administration bureaucrats for not giving New Jersey a chance to correct the mistake.
“This is the stuff, candidly, that drives people crazy about government and crazy about Washington,” Christie said at a news conference after an unrelated bill signing.
Christie slapped two thick three-ringed binders on the podium containing more than 1,000 pages of the state's “Race to the Top” application and appendices, noting that just one piece of paper contained the error.
“The first part of it is the mistake of putting the wrong piece of paper in," Christie said. "It drives people crazy and, believe me, I’m not thrilled about it. But the second part is, does anybody in Washington, D.C. have a lick of common sense? Pick up the phone and ask us for the number.”
New Jersey narrowly lost out on the funding, placing three points behind Ohio – the lowest scoring state to receive funds. But on its application, New Jersey lost 4.8 points by submitting budget information on school funding for 2010 and 2011 instead of 2008 and 2009, as the application requested.

New! 'This Week In Blackness' Racism Is Over: An Explanation

Elon James White explains how racism is totally over.

More Listening, Less Shouting: Islamophobia, a Muslim American Perspective Part 2

As part of our series on Islamophobia in America and as the controversy over the Ground Zero Mosque Islamic Cultural Center continues, I asked American Muslims, living in New York City their thoughts on the "mosque" controversy, the treatment of American Muslims since 9/11, and whether projects like the Islamic Cultural Center can begin to bridge the gap between the false perceptions of Islam and the reality.  Below is my second interview.  The first interview can be read here.  I have not changed the content of the responses because I think they should remain unfiltered.

Q: As an Muslim American how have you been treated since 9/11? Did you have any personal experiences with xenophobia in the aftermath of the attacks?

A: Since I don't wear Hijab, I am not easily identifiable as a Muslim woman. I often wish that wasn't the case, as I know for individuals like my Mom who do wear the Hijab, these folks are often harassed and told to "Go back to where they came from."  I have experienced this rage and xenophpbia personally in New York City only when attending either Anti-War (Iraq and Afghanistan) demonstrations or in standing up for the rights of oppressed Palestinians.  In aggregate, I believe the xenophobia I have experienced (along with my friends) has become worse gradually since 9/11.  It seems that with every attack that is labeled as Islamic in nature - i.e. Islamic Terrorism - the xenophobia increases.  I have a friend who wears the Hijab who had someone spit in their face and also tell them to "go back to your country".  As a native Manhattanite, this is my home.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg For The Win

Another speech defending the Islamic Cultural Center, another win. This speech is definitely worth watching in its entirety.



Speeches like this are so important because the message is absolutely necessary. On Monday a cab driver in New York was stabbed after a passenger asked him if he was a Muslim. He answered yes and his throat was slashed.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Daily Show: Turn Off Fox

Turns out one of the people funding the Islamic Cultural Center is a shareholder in NewsCorp (which owns Fox News). Based on Fox's argument that the Cultural Center is going to breed terrorism (A RIDICULOUS CLAIM) Jon Stewart urges everyone to turn off Fox News in order to fight the radicals.

In case you missed it:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Parent Company Trap
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Monday, August 23, 2010

Net Neutrality: A Brief Commentary

The world wide web was built centered around the principle that ALL information is created equal and is uploaded with certain unalienable rights, that among these are decent upload speeds, efficient service and the pursuit of the American dream for ALL content providers. This is the framework for net neutrality. The problem with net neutrality however, is that it is in direct opposition to the corporate interest. Net neutrality threatens the fabric of capitalism and the potential that Internet innovation and technology as a whole presents to the elite. This is why conspiracy theorists have always encouraged the socially conscious, knowledge seekers and everyone in between to take advantage of the freedom of cyber space while it is still an open forum, because the day would come when the face of the Internet would change forever and these restless voices who have used the Internet to spread there good news would be silenced. It seems as if that day may be approaching.

The Google/Verizon deal, which by now everyone is familiar with, would give Google or any other content provider willing to pay, an advantage over other providers. For example, if this deal goes through, an individual with a Gmail account would receive faster, better service then someone with a Yahoo account. In other words if you can afford to pay, then your data won’t delay!


More Listening, Less Shouting: Islamophobia, a Muslim American Perspective

As part of our series on Islamophobia in America and as the controversy over the Ground Zero Mosque Islamic Cultural Center continues, I asked an American Muslim, living in New York City her thoughts on the "mosque" controversy, the treatment of American Muslims since 9/11, and whether projects like the Islamic Cultural Center can begin to bridge the gap between the false perceptions of Islam and the reality.  I have omitted her name in order to protect her privacy.  I have not changed the content of her responses because I think her responses should remain unfiltered.

Q:  As a Muslim American how have you been treated since 9/11?  Did you have any personal experiences with xenophobia in the aftermath of the attacks?

A: 9/11 marked the moment when Muslims moved from being the 'other' to the 'feared other'.  I live in New York City and have not had any personal experiences with xenophobia, but we have witnessed a shocking rise in hysteria and fear mongering. A Time Magazine poll this week showed nearly 50% of Americans hold negative opinions of Islam and many don't even know a Muslim.  Even other groups, such as Sikh and Hindus, have suffered hate crimes due to being mistaken as Muslims.

I have a Sikh friend who cut his hair after 9/11 for fear of hate crimes. I also know that travel changed that day for my brother and countless other brown men with Arab sounding names. I remember the first time my brother and I traveled together after 9/11 - the agent was all smiles with me - but her smile vanished as soon as she saw that my brother had Mohammed in his name. I felt very bad for my brother that day.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Islamophobia

Ok, America, let's admit it - we are Islamophobic. It's true.  That doesn't mean we are bad people, but it does mean we have some issues to work out with respect to Muslims.  We'd like to think that we've been acting out of patriotism over the past few weeks in reaction to the so-called Ground Zero Mosque (hereinafter "SCGZM") controversy, and it certainly sounds admirable to say that we oppose the SCGZM because the site of the World Trade Center is hallowed ground, however, the only way that such an argument works logically is if we oppose those who were actually responsible for the horrific tragedy that took place on 9/11 - not the entire religion of Islam.  To blame all Muslims for 9/11 and oppose all Mosques is the logical equivalent of having a family member murdered by a person of a particular race and, from that day forward, blaming all members of that race and opposing any of the members of said race from moving in next door to the crime scene.  The fact that a recent Time poll reveals that nearly 70% of Americans buy into the aforementioned inductive reasoning argument, 33% of Americans believe that Muslims should be barred from running for President, and 24% of Americans mistakenly believe that Obama is a Muslim (not to mention the largely overlooked yet very important fact that we are even having a discussion about the SCGZM in the first place) can only speak to one truth if we are honest with ourselves - America, we are Islamophobic.

Wake Up Remix: Teddy P Would Be Proud

Art by: Charlene Cooper, Phila., PA
This is a great example of what hip-hop could and should truly be!!!



Friday, August 20, 2010

There Is Already A Mosque Inside The Pentagon

There is already a mosque interfaith chapel where Muslims who work inside the Pentagon come daily to pray.   



(h/t Bob Cesca)

First DNC TV Ad of 2010 Election Cycle

Thoughts?



Democrats need to make this election a "choice" election (Bush/GOP ideas that got us into the mess vs Democratic ideas that are starting to pull us out) while Republicans will seek to make this a referendum on the first part of the Obama presidency.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tune In To 'Make It Plain' on Sirius XM Friday at 6pm!

The Urban Politico fam will join Mark Thompson tomorrow on Make It Plain to discuss the ongoing controversy with the building of the Muslim Community Center near ground zero.

Listen in tomorrow during the 6pm EST hour either online or on Sirius Channels 146 or 167.

Not One But Two Anti-Mosque SONGS...yes SONGS

What the hell is going on in the world? My brain is leaking the common sense.





All bigotry needs is a catchy melody! It's kinda of like Sweet Home Alabama for the 2010 generation.  Thank you Rita Jones the genius who penned "Salt In The Wound" above which is sure to hit the Billboard Hot 100 very soon. *blank stare*

(h/t John Cole)

What's Wrong With Rich People?

It has always bothered me a little that some rich people don't give much money to charity.  It also bothers me that some rich people vote Republican simply to keep their taxes low.  I often cringe when I hear about them buying unnecessary luxury items that they can't take with them when they die.  I've previously called out Diddy for his epic failure when he purchased his 16 year old son (an unlicensed driver) a $350,000 Maybach for his birthday the same week Haitians were dying on my teevee in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.

The natural response to my thoughts on this topic are, this is America and people are free to spend the money they earned however they want. I don't argue with that. My point is that when new jobless claims have risen to 500,000 this week and 20 million people are displaced and suffering in Pakistan as a result of devastating floods (where relief agencies literally are begging for donations), I can't help but be a little disgusted at an article in yesterday's New York Times where a couple in Tribeca shows off the new aquarium they built in their basement.  Aquariums of this size and type typically cost a minimum of $50,000 and can go up to as much as $200,000 not including the extra cost of $1,000/month for maintenance. 

The Daily Show: Fox News and the GOP Become One in the Same

Follow the money trail from Fox News to the Republican party! Turns out it's A STRAIGHT LINE.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
News Corp. Gives Money to Republicans
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Did Combat Operations Just End In Iraq And No One Noticed?

I agree with my fellow progressive blogger Raven Brooks who thinks the end of combat operations in Iraq should be a much bigger deal.  It definitely should be getting more coverage than the not at Ground Zero not a mosque story.

He writes:

You’d think that the end of combat operations in Iraq would be a pretty big deal for progressive activists. After all a significant amount of the organizing that occurred during the Bush years was built around ending the war in Iraq. Progressive organizations like MoveOn took bold steps and grew during that time period. Hundreds of thousands of activists marched in the streets during this time period.
It was such a huge issue that it became a point of contrast between the 2008 Democratic Presidential candidates. All of the candidates promised to end the Iraq war by the end of their first term, but Hillary Clinton took significant flack from progressive activists for casting a vote in support of the war. Sen. Barack Obama was not yet in office when the war began and was able to claim the high ground.
And you look around today and there’s just not a whole lot of coverage on this, and certainly not very much excitement on behalf of progressive activists. The Rachel Maddow show did a segment live from Iraq, and there’s been some mention of it on blogs and twitter. But nothing approaching the level of attention it deserves given the organizing energy and resources activists used on it for almost the whole duration of the conflict. At the very least I’d expect an email from an organization like MoveOn.
Yes about 50,000 troops and contractors are remaining on the ground to serve as trainers. But even today there are around 25,000 troops stationed in South Korea, and we’re talking about a conflict that ended over 50 years ago. I’d say it’s in our interest to strengthen the new Iraqi state so that it doesn’t devolve into civil war.

Dear Howard Dean: WTF Are You Talking About?


Howard Dean comes out against the Ground Zero Mosque Islamic Community Center:

"No point in doing good if it will met with resistance."

Gee Dr. Dean I'm glad you weren't calling the shots back when woman were trying to get the right to vote or when black people wanted to be free equals. If I recall that was met with some resistance.


Dr. Dean please see the light.  This is getting embarrassing.

Side Note: I really hope that this is one of Andrew Breitbart's editing jobs and Dean really didn't say this.

Update: Ali Soufan a former FBI special agent says the opposition to the mosque that is breeding xenophobia is endangering our national security.

Via Forbes.com
The National Security Mosque
Ali Soufan


The furor over the proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero makes me think back to one of the most important lessons I learned from al Qaeda terrorists I interrogated--that they have a warped view of America. To them--and this they get from Osama Bin Laden's rhetoric--the U.S. is a country at war with Islam and Muslims, and so they had a duty to fight us.

Dr. Laura Quits and Brand New This Week In Blackness!

So Dr. Laura is quitting radio. Apparently she's wants us to believe she really needed to regain her first amendment right to say racist things...or something.  Good riddens.



Brand New This Week in Blackness with Elon James White.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Daily Show Proves The Debate Over Mosque Is Silly

Thank goodness for Jon Stewart!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mosque-Erade
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Oh and by the way, not all 9/11 victims' families are against the mosque.

Monday, August 16, 2010

In Case You Missed It: Keith Olbermann Special Comment on the (Not) Ground Zero Mosque

Must see teevee:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Pro Life vs Pro Choice: Is there a role for the father?

I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I should even post on this issue. For one, it is such a controversial issue that usually stamps out  any intellectual conversation.  Also, it is family business, and even though the subjects are anonymous, I still felt a LITTLE guilty putting their business on the Internet.

Be that as it may, the issue is an interesting issue. I’m curious to see where people stand on the issue. Hopefully, if any conversation comes from this, it doesn’t get side tracked…

Get Off My TeeVee: Newt Gingrich Edition


Newt Gingrich says the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" (which is actually neither a mosque or located at Ground Zero btw) just like the Nazis or something.


I'm gonna need this guy to find a fiftyleventh mistress and occupy his time more so I don't have to witness him saying so much foolishness on my teevee.

Pakistan Flooding: A Disaster of Epic Proportions

While we've been busy debating mosques and the Dr. Laura racist radio rant, Pakistan is nearly completely under water. 20 million people have been dispaced by flooding in the country's northwest region. With 1,500 people killed by the flooding and millions in need of medical attention, I hope we all can pull together as we did with the relief efforts for the Haitian earthquake. Click here for a list of organizations accepting donations.  They desperately need our help!

Online Donations:

FAMILY HEALTH ORGANIZATION DONATION LINK

UNICEF DONATION LINK

CARE DONATION LINK

OXFAM DONATION LINK

Text Donations:

Text "FLOOD" to 27722 (State Department Fund for Pakistan Relief)

or

Text "SWAT" to 50555 (United Nations)

More links here.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Of Mosques, Conservatives and the First Amendment

Not long ago, the public debate on immigration shifted from the undocumented workers themselves to their children.  "Anchor Babies" as they have come to be known.  The problem with these so-called "anchor babies" is that they are protected by this pesky little thing known as the Constitution.  The 14th Amendment of the Constitution to be exact.  It contains this crazy concept that says if you're born here, then you're a citizen.  Imagine that.  Some key political voices on the Conservative/Republican side of this debate came up with their own version of a solution to this little problem: repeal the 14th Amendment.  We had an entire post about it HERE, so I won't spend any more time going into the merits of that debate.  It does, however, present an interesting concept when you begin to apply the repeal strategy to other national debates. For example, the Mosque that's about to be built a few city blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan is protected by the 1st Amendment's Freedom of Religion Clause....so why not repeal the 1st Amendment?!?!?  I know what you're thinking - that's crazy right?  Nobody would dare to repeal something as sacred as the 1st Amendment, right?  I mean the 14th Amendment, sure.  No problem.  Who needs that old thing?  But the 1st Amendment?  How would somebody even fix their mouth to propose such a thing?  Well it might sound something like this:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

**UPDATED** Ground Zero Mosque: President Obama Does The Right Thing

In what The Washington Post's Greg Sargent calls, one of the finest moments of his presidency, Obama delivers a speech at the White House dinner celebrating Ramadan forcefully supporting the building of the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" in lower Manhattan. I for one am very proud that my President can speak grown up.



Via Greg Sargent:

Obama didn't just stand up for the legal right of the group to build the Islamic center. He voiced powerful support for their moral right to do so as well, casting it as central to American identity. This is a critical point, and it goes to the the essence of why his speech was so commendable.
Many opponents of the project have been employing a clever little dodge. They say they don't question the group's legal right to build it under the Constitution. Rather, they say, they're merely criticizing the group's decision to do so, on the grounds that it's insensitive to 9/11 families and will undercut the project's goal of reconciliation. The group has the right to build the center, runs this argument, but they are wrong to exercise it. In response, Obama could have merely cast this dispute as a Constitutional issue, talked about how important it is to hew to that hallowed document, and moved on.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Opposite Day: Dr. Laura Is Not Racist At All

Dr. Laura is still a flipping moron and her use of the N word is probably the least racist and unacceptable thing she says here in this clip:



The American Prospect breaks down why her use of the N word isn't actually the most offensive thing about this clip:

That said, of everything in that exchange, Dr. Laura's use of the "N-word" was the least offensive -- and least racist -- element; quoting racial slurs isn't cool -- they're still racial slurs, with all the historical baggage that includes -- but you can imagine scenarios where quoting a racial slur is appropriate to the conversation.


In actuality, it's the rest of her rant that drips with racial animus. To recap: Dr. Laura immediately dismisses her caller's problems, uses a racist joke to prove her non-racism, insists that black people voted for Obama over nothing but racial solidarity (as if pre-Obama, African Americans never voted for Democrats), strongly resents the fact that "black guys" can use the "N-word" but she can't, and declares that "If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry outside of your race." Dr. Laura isn't known for her sensitivity, but this is an impressive display of raw racial resentment.
And of course every time Dr. Laura does something I am reminded of this amazing clip from The West Wing where President Bartlet PWNS the fake Dr. Laura. Check it out after the jump:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Get Off My TeeVee: Sharron Angle Edition


Republican Senate Candidate Sharron Angle is claiming that Harry Reid is lying about her saying Medicare and Social Security ought to be phased out.  (Hint: This is a crazy policy position to hold)

As my friend Matt said on twitter, "tape don't lie."

Check it out:

Republicans Are Bad At Math: Job Losses Under Obama

I love graphs because they easily combat GOP talking points in such a colorful way!  (h/t Bob Cesca)

On the left are the job losses between December 2007 and July 2009 and on the right are the job losses since Obama's policies took effect (i.e. THE STIMULUS).


Breaking: Gay Marriages Permitted Resume in CA Starting August 18th


Read the entire decision here.  Essentially, this means if appeals court fails to act by 5 p.m. local time on Aug. 18, then gay couples may marry.

Netroots Nation A Five-Year Retrospective

This year was my first Netroots Nation and it was an incredible experience. Check out the short video retrospective below that looks back at the all five Netroots Nation conventions and what we can look forward to in future years.



After the jump check out my personal highlights from this year's Netroots including Tim Wise and Harry Reid and Dan Choi in a moment that brought us all to tears.

Republicans Are Bad At Math: The Daily Show Edition

Jon Stewart does what he does best, pwn the GOP for wanting to extend the Bush Tax Cuts for rich people and basically making no sense when it comes to the deficit and the economy.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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www.thedailyshow.com
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Little Girl Lost: Montana Fishburne Edition

So by now everyone has heard about Montana Fishburne, Lawrence Fishburne's 18 year old daughter and her foray into the world of adult entertainment.  She has cited Kim Kardashian as her role model which means that she purposefully would like me to weep ugly tears before my head explodes.

No, but seriously, how does a seemingly nice girl end up wanting to be an adult film star?

Personally I think this is one of those moments where we have to look at the things in our popular culture that are influencing young girls.  Some of the celebrities I can think of that girls are looking up to include Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Ciara, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and perhaps even some teenage girls are looking up to the worst rapper since Soulja Boy and Wacka Flacka Nicki Minaj of late.  Even little Miley Cyrus is nearly naked in performances, giving lap dances and dancing on a pole in videos.  And let's not forget any of the male hip hop artists out there who's videos are filled with strippers dancing on poles.  If you are a little 13 year old girl in America today, are these the types of role models you should be looking up to in order to become a successful adult woman who is comfortable with both her looks and her sexuality in a healthy way?  Me thinks not.  I also was quick to observe that I don't think this sex tape to rich celebrity plan of Montana's , a la Kim Kardashian was going to work because Montana happens to be black.  It might be too early to tell if I'm right about that so let me move on...

Get Off My TeeVee: Ben Quayle Edition


This is pretty rich.  Former Vice Potatoe President Dan Quayle's son Ben has been on my teevee recently first, with his fake kids proclaiming he was all about family values, and now to assert that Obama is the worst President ever.

Dear Ben: Go.Sit.Over.There.

You sir are irrelevant and your father is best known for being the dumbest Republican politician before George W. Bush and Sarah Palin graced us with their presence.



Douche.

New! 'This Week In Blackness' With Elon James White

Check it out!



Follow Elon James White on twitter!

Keith Olbermann Special Comment on Robert Gibbs

I can't say that I disagree with much that was said here, even though as I wrote in my previous post, I understand what type of folks on the "professional left" Robert Gibbs was talking about.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tune In To 'Make It Plain' on Sirius XM Tonight at 7pm!

I am going to be on Sirius XM's show Make It Plain hosted by Mark Thompson tonight to discuss the latest dust up between the "professional left" and the White House.
Listen in tonight during the 7pm hour.

Get Off My TeeVee: Charlie Rangel Edition

Dear Congressman Charlie Rangel: I love you and I respect you but please for the sake of the Democratic Party and our fate in the upcoming elections, please retire and stop this...stop this now.



Dear Ed Schultz: Robert Gibbs Was Talking About You

It occurred to me during this morning's dust up between the "Professional Left" and the White House, that Robert Gibbs was sending a message to a very specific person: MSNBC's Ed Schultz. Ed is on my teevee daily complaining about the White House and even has gone as far to suggest that Democrats should stay home in November. I would say that the White House might have a legitimate beef with the television host because even the fiercest critic of this White House would never suggest that we just throw in the towel and hand the midterm elections over to the GOP.


Monday, August 9, 2010

This Just In: Michelle Obama Takes Vaca - World To End Soon

OK, so what's all the hub bub, Bub?  This is one of those over dramatic stories that just begs you to say "really?"  The First Lady is taking a vacation in Spain and...this is newsworthy?  Look, I know that media feels it must cover all things Presidential but this story might have jumped slightly outside the realm of the irrelevant and officially crossed over into the land of the petty.  The spin on this thing has been Shirley Sherrod-esque, ranging from an entourage of 40 of Michelle's closest friends taking an all-expense paid trip on the American tax payer's dime, to Michelle deserving the trip as reparations for slaveryThe Daily News even went so far as to call her the "modern-day Marie Antoinette" opining that "while most of the country is pinching pennies...the Obamas don't seem to be heeding their own advice."  As with most fake outrage, a quick look at the facts goes a long way to stop the madness:

  • First and foremost, Michelle is paying for this vacation with her own money, including her own hotel room, food and transportation. 
  • Michelle brought one (1) daughter (Sasha) and two (2) friends.
  • The two friends paid for their own rooms, food and their own commercial flights as well. 
  • Every first lady for the past 50 years has flown on government planes. 
  • Per official White House policy, Michelle must reimburse the air fare at market rate for a commercial airline ticket for herself and Sasha.
  • The government pays for the Secret Service security detail for the first lady no matter if she goes on a vacation to Spain or sits in her living room eating ice cream and watching soaps.  
  • The Secret Service, not the first lady, determines how much security is needed.
  • Laura Bush took vacation (usually with President Bush) for each of the 8 years during Bush's two terms in office.
So again I ask, What's all the hub bub.....Bub?