Monday, November 30, 2009

Draft Dick Cheney Web Site

Conservative bloggers are salivating at the possibility of Dick Cheney running for President in 2012.

The noise is made from the rapid release of air that occupies the space where brains should have been. Heh.

As a progressive, I am so in fear of Cheney that I literally laughed when a read the Jawa Report blog post. Cheney wasn't invited to the 2008 Republican National Convention because of his political radioactivity. The embarrassment caught on with the media and Cheney was suddenly suppose to speak at the convention. There was never an announcement of when Cheney was scheduled to make his speech. Cheney later cancelled because of Hurricane Gustav. The McCain campaign did not mourn the loss of Cheney's oratory skills.

The Draft Dick Cheney web site is a hoot.

We hope that you will join our effort to convince former Vice President Richard Cheney to run for President of the United States in 2012. No other Republican leader has the stature or experience of Dick Cheney. He alone can lead the Republican coalition to victory in 2012!

Cheney's approval rating increased to a less than stellar 37 percent in May of 2009. CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said Cheney's approval ratings have little to do with his opposition with Obama's policies. People like Cheney more that he is not in office.

“Is Cheney’s uptick due to his visibility as one of the most outspoken critics of the Obama administration? Almost certainly not,” Holland told CNN. “Former President George W. Bush’s favorable rating rose 6 points in that same time period, and Bush has not given a single public speech since he left office,” Holland said.

There aren't enough conservative bloggers to get Cheney elected.


Better Understanding of Conservatives

Ken Kupchik has created a list of definitions to help better understand conservatives. Examples:

def-i-cit [def-uh-sit; Brit. also di-fis-it] -noun: The amount by which a sum of money falls short of the required amount, which only matters when a Democrat is elected to office.

fil-i-bus-ter [fil-uh-buhs-ter] -noun: The Republican's health care plan.

My own contributions to the list.

Enhanced interrogation: the PC term for tortuing the shit out of Muslims.

Evildoers: this isn't even a real word.

Nooconservative: 60's draft dodger.

Sarah Palin: starbursts.


Washington Post Poll on Republican Voters

A Washington Post poll finds Republican voters aren't as conservative as the tea baggers the GOP is pandering to.


35 percent of Republican voters support abortion being legal in most cases. 19 percent support abortion being legal in all cases. Only 16 percent of Republican voters want all abortions illegal. 28 percent want abortions illegal in most (not all) cases. Abortion is not the wedge issue it once was for the GOP. 23 percent of Republican voters feel the GOP spends too much time on abortion

Gay Marriage

23 percent of Republican voters feel the GOP spends too much time on gay marriage. That ranks higher than any other issue. The second was abortion, follwed by second amendment rights at 16 percent. If Republican voters are getting tired of the guns, gays and abortion message then how does the GOP plan to bring in new voters. Republican voters are still strongly religious. 48 percent want religion to play a greater role in politics. How these people can expect politicians to be religious leaders is mind-numbing stupidity. Did the GOP sex scandals teach Republican voters anything?

Fox News

74 percent of Republican voters watch the nonsense known as Fox News. 43 percent watch Glenn Beck. It is no wonder why 74 percent of Republican voters believe President Barack Obama does not share their values. 60 percent believe Congressional Republicans share their values.

Despite the misinformation from Fox News, 56 percent of Republican voters want to see Congressional Republicans work with Democrats. 49 percent said the Republican Party is headed in the right direction. 42 percent feel the GOP is going in the wrong direction. Imagine what these numbers would be if the leaderless Republican Party did not have Fox News and talk radio.

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LisaNova Visits IRC Community

Youtube star Lisa Donovan (aka LisaNova) did a Thanksgiving video to spotlight the work of International Rescue Committee. The organization helps displayed refugees forced out of their countries because of violence. The refugees grow their own food on a green community. The work they did to build their own community is inspiring.

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Quote of the Day

"No, no I’m just saying — Beck-Palin, I’ll consider. But Palin-Beck — can you imagine, can you imagine what an administration with the two of us would be like? What? Come on! She’d be yapping or something, and I’d say, 'I’m sorry, why am I hearing your voice? I’m not in the kitchen.'"

Glenn Beck, saying he would only run with Sarah Palin if he was on the top of the ticket. Beck apparently feels women are whiners and belong in the kitchen.

Bonus quote: Palin will not rule out Beck being her Vice-Predent. The statement shows how unserious Palin is about policy.

"I saw that. I got a kick out of that too... hear such a thing. I don't know. We'll see. We'll see."

Beck and Palin truly deserve each other.

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CBO Report on Senate Health Care Bill

A Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation study on the Senate health care bill. Younger people would see an increase in their health insurance premiums.

Many individuals and families would experience changes in premiums that differed from the changes in average premiums in their insurance market.2 As explained below, some provisions of the legislation would tend to decrease or increase the premiums paid by all insurance enrollees, while other provisions would tend to increase the premiums paid by healthier enrollees relative to those paid by less healthy enrollees or would tend to increase the premiums paid by younger enrollees relative to those paid by older enrollees. As a result, some individuals and families within each market would see changes in premiums that would be larger or smaller than, or be in the opposite direction of, the estimated average changes.

The good news is less healthy and older people would see savings in the health insurance coverage. Overall, government subsidies would lower the costs of many health insurance premiums. For nongroup primiums, people receiving would save 56 percent to 59 percent. The savings for small group primiums receiving subsidies is 8 percent to 11 percent. Savings from small group markets will be 1 percent to 4 percent.

A side effect of insurance companies no longer screening out people would be an administrative savings of 7 percent to 10 percent. Riders and medical underwriting would be elimanated from policies. Insurance companies would also be gaining new customers. Insurers would have to take all applicants and could not impose lifetime limits on what health insurance people can purchase. The study finds the government insurance exchanges would decrease costs. (The study doesn't explain how.) The exchanges would create competition between insurers. Translation: look for health insurers to spend more on marketing.

Small businesses with 50 or less employees will see no major cost changes in premiums. The study does not include numbers for tax credits for small businesses that provide health insurance.

Effects on Premiums for Employment-Based Plans Would be Much Smaller The legislation would impose the same minimum actuarial value for new policies in the small group market as in the nongroup market. That requirement would have a much smaller effect on premiums in the small group market, however, because the great majority of policies sold in that market under current law have an actuarial value of more than 60 percent. Essentially all large group plans have an actuarial value above 60 percent, so the effect on premiums in that market would be negligible. In sum, the greater actuarial value and broader scope of benefits in the legislation would increase the average premium per person in the small group market by about zero to 3 percent (with other factors held constant). Those requirements would have no significant effect on premiums in the large group market.

I like the idea of exchanges. It is time to create a free market and break up the private insurance monopoly. People can compare premiums and judge what bests suits their needs. The last thing the health insurance industry and Republicans want to do is break up the status quo.

The bad news is the Senate bill will not grant universal health coverage. The public option will only cover 3 million to 4 million Americans. Many will still lack health insurance.

A surprise is the Senate bill proposes a tax on pharmaceutical industry. The White House agreed with pharmaceutical companies to veto any bill allowing the Medicare to negotiate prices or import drugs from Canada. Look for the White House to pressure Reid to drop the drug tax.

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Party of No Votes Against Health Care Legislation Appearing Online

Republicans have been beating the drum over the text of the health care bill being online. All 40 Republican Senators signed a letter demanding Majority Leader Harry Reid put the health care legislation on the internent.

With an issue this large and complex, we need full transparency at every stage in the legislative process. President Obama was elected, in part, on his promise to bring greater transparency to the workings of the federal government. The American people and every member of Congress should be allowed to read the bill that was sent to CBO. The bill should be made available for taxpayers to read and learn how the federal government is spending their money. We are writing to request that you immediately make all materials sent to CBO publicly available on the internet.

Guess what? Senate Republicans just voted against an unanimous consent agreement that would require health care legislation being posted online. Apparently, they didn't expect Reid to find their demand reasonable. Republicans are truly the Party of No.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Alan Grayson Goes Nuclear

Rep. Alan Grayson urges Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to use the nuclear option. Grayson believes Republicans have become obstructionists. He proposes bringing to filibuster down to 35 votes.


Why Miley Cyrus Deserves Ridicule

The Crista Flanagan's MadTV parody of Miley Cyrus nails the vapid of this bizarre pop culture phenomenal.

However, it is hard to top the sheer horror of the real Miley Cyrus. Miss Hannah Montana's goodbye to Twitter is unintentionally hysterical.

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Troll Hall of Fame: Anonymous Blog Critic

We received a critique of the blog post "Palin Supporters Up Close." We thought we would share this insightful... err, something with you.

The only ignorant and dishonest people live in this little world of your goofy website. You people who write your left wing trash here are not only stupid but your a joke!
No go get a twinkiee from Mommy'kitchen and go back to your room to write some more dribble.

Unfortunately, the writer chose to remain anonymous. The next Roger Ebert is out there. Will this wonderful critic please step forward.

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Hooray For Hollow Wood

Lagniappe:Loads of linkage at Blckdgrd.Also, too, Neil Young

Comix, comics, comixx, comic strips, editorial cartoons, cartoons, comic books, underground comix, satire, parody, Republicans, political cartoons, John Poindexter, Ollie North, G. Gordon Liddy, John Bolton, Ronald Reagan, Sarh Palin, Joe Lieberman


Friday, November 27, 2009

Drunk Larry King

This clip goes beyond description. Listen and laugh.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Daffy Duck Thanksgiving

I'm Thankful for the Funny People

Gag stolen fromSandy Underpants , one of the funniest persons around.

I'm starting up a new Zencomix feature called "Lead Free Comix". Basically, it is going to be a cartoon jam, sketching with pens, no pencils allowed. Crowquill quickies. I want to do a Zappadan comic in this style.

I'll continue the Grill Rats comix, but I also want to put one shot cartoons out there that aren't necessarily part of a story. I don't want to invest a lot of time into backgrounds, character developement, etc. I think illustrating other people's funny comments would fit perfectly into the spirit of Lead Free Comix . If I use your comment, I'll attribute, and slap a "copyright you" on the toon, unless you would rather I didn't use your words, then I won't use them. What do people think?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Glenn Beck Is Truly Despicable

To show how unpatriotic Glenn Beck really is: the pundit tells his "nephew" not to re-enlist. Beck falsely claims President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress want to portray soldiers as baby killers. Beck is attempting to restart the political culture wars of the Vietnam era.

This is what Obama actually says about America's soldiers.

And I think about my grandfather whenever I have the privilege of meeting the young men and women who serve in our military today. They are our best and brightest, and they're our bravest -- enlisting in a time of war; enduring tour after tour of duty; serving with honor under the most difficult circumstances; and making sacrifices that many of us cannot begin to imagine. The same can be said of their families. As my wife, Michelle, has seen firsthand during visits to military bases across this country, we don't just deploy our troops in a time of war -- we deploy their families, too.

Beck is selling bullshit with no basis in reality.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Palin Supporters Up Close

New Left Media interviewed Sarah Palin supporters outside of a book signing. It is depressing how ignorant Palin supporters are about policy. These people can't even say what they want Palin to do if she becomes President. Foreign policy, cap and trade health care? Palin supporters don't have a clue where their savior stands. They do support Palin because she is "real."

A Palin supporter believed Obama wrote two books details his love for Marxism. Another supporter speculates Obama may detonate bomb to declare marshall law. These people absolutely ignore reality. Conservative media is responsible for spreading this bullshit misinformation.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Quote of the Day

"She did not feel comfortable speaking about issues regarding Hispanics and Latin America. Those are not topics that come up frequently in Alaska. So she asked to cancel the interview and, unfortunately, you were already there."

Ana Navarro, Hispanic issues advisor to the McCain campaign, explaining to Univision anchor Jorge Ramos why Sarah Palin cancelled an interview with the network.

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Alex Sink's Green Plan

Florida CFO Alex Sink plans to save $1 million and go greener by getting rid of payment paper warrants. Sink will have future payment warrants sent electronically.

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Glenn Beck Loses Another Sponsor

The blog Stop Beck reports Nestle’s Nescafe Dolce Gusto will no longer run ads on Glenn Beck's Fox News program.

Today, Nestle confirmed that their ads will no longer appear on Glenn Beck or on any Fox News show. According to the spokesperson, “airing the spot on FOX and this program was an error that has been corrected.”

Beck has now lost 89 sponsors. I understand that Beck is a media sensation. I wonder how Ruport Murdoch and Roger Ailes expect to make money off of a pundit that attacks Fox News' advertisers and landlord. The business model behind keeping Beck on makes no sense.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Big Chief

Lagniappe: Arlen Spector and Gerald Ford can Fuck Off.

Comix, comics, comixx, comic strips, editorial cartoons, cartoons, comic books, underground comix, satire, parody, Republicans, political cartoons


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Joy Division - Dead Souls

Joy Division - Dead Souls
Found at

Barney the Dinosaur should sing this song for kids.

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George Lemieux Panders to Cuban American Conservatives

Sen. George Lemieux has blocked the nomination of State Department official Tom Shannon. Lemieux is not a foreign policy expert. The only reason to block the nomination is to pander to elder Cuban conservative voters. Shannon was the top Latin America State Department official under President George W. Bush. The Bush administration wasn't known for being friendly with Cuba. Shannon was approved by the Foreign Relations Committee by a 14 to 4 vote.

Nine former State Department secretaries of expressed their displeasure to Lemieux.

``He has every right, if he doesn't think this individual is qualified, to go to the floor and make his case, but why should one freshman senator with no background in Latin America, no background in Brazil, decide the Senate can't vote on the president's nominee?'' said Bernard Aronson, who served as an assistant secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, and signed the letter. ``It's really a slap in the face to Latin America. You don't see nominees to France, Germany, China, held up by a single senator. It would be an insult.''

News flash to Republicans: you are losing the Hispanic vote and the Cuban policy has been a massive failure. The majority of Cubans now want an end to the embargo. Younger Cuban Americans are more concerned with the economy. The days of Republicans milking Cuba for political gain are over.

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The Daily Show Goes Rogue

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show: The Rogue Warrior
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Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

The Daily Show pokes fun at the media frenzy surrounding Sarah Palin.

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Quote of the Day

"I don't mind gays. But I don't stuffing it down my throat all the time and certainly in my kid’s face."

Utah State Sen. Chris Buttars

Senator, that is way too much information.

Hat tip to GottaLaff.

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Provider Clause Is Dangerous

I have serious objections to the provider clause in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

PROVIDER CONSCIENCE PROTECTIONS.—No individual health care provider or health care facility may be discriminated against because of a willingness or an unwillingness, if doing so is contrary to the religious or moral beliefs of the provider or facility, to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

A 21 year-old Tampa woman was wrongly incarcerated after she reported being raped during the Gasparilla event. A jail health care worker refused to give the victim a second morning after pill. The female health care worker refused to administer the morning after pill because it was against her religious beliefs. TPD spokeswoman Laura McElroy said the health care worker acted against policy.

Democrats need to stop pandering to the Christian Right. The Senate bill contains $50 million for abstinence-only sex education. An Oxford University study found abstinence-only sex education did not prevent teenagers from having sex.

Researchers found none of the abstinence-only programmes had an impact on the age at which individuals lost their virginity, whether they had unprotected sex, the number of sexual partners, the rates of sexually transmitted diseases or the number of pregnancies.

One trial did show a short-term benefit with participants reporting that they were less likely to have had sex in the month following one abstinence-only programme.

But the researchers said this finding was offset by six other trials that showed the programmes had no effect on the participants' recent sex lives.

Christian fundamentalism does not belong in health care. Ever.

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Documentary on Neda Agha-Soltan

Frontline has a documentary on the slained Neda Agha-Soltan. A Basij member fired into a group of protesters. Indications are Agha-Soltan was an innocent bystander. The Iranian government would not let Agha-Soltan's family bury her body.

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Tampa City Council Passes Transgender Protection Ordinance

Great news: the Tampa City Council passed civil rights protections for transgender people 5 to 1. Councilman Charlie Miranda was the lone dissenting vote.

The new rule prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on "gender identity and expression," with that defined as someone who has an "inner sense of being a specific gender" regardless of their "assigned sex at birth."

Miranda said he voted no because he was afraid transgender people would create a disruption in the workplace. This attitude lead to the firing of Largo City city manager Susan Stanton. Largo garnered negative national publicity from Stanton's termination.

A big surprise was Councilman Tom Scott voting for the ordinance. Scott is a pastor at the socially conservative 34th Street Church of God. During his tenure on the Hillsborough County Commission, Scott voted for the ban of gay pride displays in county public libraries. Scott stated LGBT issues are not related to civil rights. Scott voting for the transgender ordinance is surprising.

"I did not sleep well last night. I spent most of my time as a Christian praying and seeking wisdom and direction on this particular ordinance," he said.

Scott said he wasn't intimidated by people who threatened not to vote for him if he supported the ordinance.

"The only vote I care about is God's vote," he said, noting that as a county commissioner he cast votes against gay issues.

Equality Florida is asking supporters to thank the Council for passing this ordinance. I am asking you to thank Terry Kemple for once again failing to achieve his silly Christian conservative agenda. Kemple attempted to stop Kevin Beckner from getting elected and a Valrico bikini bar from opening. Kemple failed on both counts. The L.A. Clippers have a better winning streak than Kemple. Send Kemple a message on Facebook and thank him for his lack of accomplishments.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

David 'Dean' Broder Wrong Again

David Broder contends it is more important for President Barack Obama to make a quick decision on Afghanistan than be right.

It is evident from the length of this deliberative process and from the flood of leaks that have emerged from Kabul and Washington that the perfect course of action does not exist. Given that reality, the urgent necessity is to make a decision -- whether or not it is right.

This foolish man is known has the "dean" of Beltway journalism. No wonder the D.C. media screwed up the pre-Iraq war WMD story.

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Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Senate has released the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I am reading the bill now. President Barack Obama issued a statement on the bill.

Today we passed another critical milestone in the health reform effort with the release of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I was particularly pleased to see that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the bill will reduce the deficit by $127 billion over the next ten years and as much as $650 billion in the decade following, saving hundreds of billions while extending coverage to 31 million more Americans.

From day one, our goal has been to enact legislation that offers stability and security to those who have insurance and affordable coverage to those who don't, and that lowers costs for families, businesses and governments across the country. Majority Leader Reid, Chairmen Baucus and Dodd, and countless Senators have worked tirelessly to craft legislation that meets those principles.

Just yesterday, a bipartisan group of more than 20 leading health economists released a letter urging passage of meaningful reform and praising four key provisions that are in the Senate legislation: a fee on insurance companies offering high-premium plans, the establishment of an independent Medicare commission, reforms to the health care delivery system, and overall deficit neutrality. The economists said that these provisions 'will reduce long-term deficits, improve the quality of care, and put the nation on a firm fiscal footing.' Those are precisely the goals we should be seeking to attain.

The challenges facing our health care system aren't new - but if we fail to act they'll surely get even worse, meaning higher premiums, skyrocketing costs, and deeper instability for those with coverage. Today, thanks to the Senate's hard work, we're closer than ever to enacting solutions to these problems. I look forward to working with the Senate and House to get a finished bill to my desk as soon as possible.

Update: the bill's lanuage clearly states no federal funds maybe used for abortions.

ABORTIONS FOR WHICH PUBLIC FUNDING IS PROHIBITED. The services described in this clause are abortions for which the expenditure of Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services is not permitted, based on the law as in effect as of the date that is 6 months before the beginning of the plan year involved.

Sec. Kathleen Sebelius will have the power to determine what over funding relating to abortion. That dtermination will be made by the CBO and Government Accountability Office. The bill states insurers are not required to carry coverage for abortions. The bill is following the law of the hidious Hyde amentment.

NO PREEMPTION OF STATE LAWS REGARDING ABORTION.— Nothing in this Act shall be construed to preempt or otherwise have any effect on state laws regarding the prohibition of (or requirement of) coverage, funding, or procedural requirements on abortions, including parental notification or consent for the performance of an abortion on a minor.

Reid wants private insurers to federal funds from private premiums. The short answer is we are requiring health insurers to create different accounts.

The senate bill will tax costemic surgery. I'm looking forward to Republicans standing up for less taxes on boob jobs.

Update: RH Reality Check finds the bill does not contain language as Draconian as the Stupak-Pitts amendment.

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Marco Rubio is a conservative poser. Rubio appears on paper as a red blooded tea party-loving wingnut. The record reflects a man who will reinvent himself.

Rubio talks a mean Second amendment game. NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer gives Rubio a lower rating than Crist.

"He voted when the gun bill was brought to the vote, but we know that what goes on behind the scenes is an entirely different story," Hammer said. She said the NRA ratings -- a big deal in the Republican primary -- are based not just on how politicians vote, but on the totality of what they do or appear to do.

"We watch everything: false claims, lips service, what a member tells other people,'' said Hammer adding that, with Rubio "it's not pretty... we take our issue very seriously."

Speaker Rubio made no effort to bring in more revenue during the deficit. Rubio fought against the Florida Seminoles aqquiring new gaming rights. Rubio was silent on the state borrowing money to pay for the state deficit.

Rubio is a proponent of offshore drilling. The Daily News was shocked to learn Rubio was not aware the military is against the creation of more offshore rigs. The Air Force and Navy used the waters for military exercise.

Rubio said abortion violates the privacy clause in the Constitution. The Founding Fathers wrote no privacy clause. The word privacy isn't not even mentioned in the Constitution. Do a scan and check for yourself. Rubio has a law degree and seems aware what what is in the Constitution.

Rubio recently said he does not support amnesty for illegal immigrants.

“If you grant amnesty, the message that you’re sending is that if you come in this country and stay here long enough, we will let you stay. And no one will ever come through the legal process if you do that.”

The problem with Rubio's rhetoric is anti-immigration activists accuse Rubio of doing nothing during his tenure as Speaker.

"A lot of us are mad at him because he did block those bills," said David Caulkett, a founder of Floridians for Immigration Enforcement. "Rubio claims to be anti-amnesty but the question is, 'Do we trust him?'"

Rubio talks a mean game in the locker room. His onfield skills are another story.

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Glen Beck's Greatest (Fearmongering) Hits

Crooks and Liars compiled Glenn Beck's most disturbing fearmongering moments. Beck compares the Obama administration to socialists, Nazis, communists and totalitarians. Never mind that these political idealogies have stark differences. Beck throws out code words to scare the shit out of people. Beck has Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and barely managed to graduate from high school. This man is not an international polical science expert. Beck's background is being a radio shock jock and doing large amounts of drugs. It is sickening to have Beck mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate.

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Thought of the Day

Suffering from Sarah Palin, Carrie Prejean and Levi Johnston burnout. When did the Republican Party become a reality television show?

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Quote of the Day

"I can envision a couple of different combinations, if ever I were to be in a position to really even seriously consider running for anything in the future, and I'm not there yet. But Glenn Beck I have great respect for. He's a hoot. He gets his message across in such a clever way. And he's so bold – I have to respect that. He calls it like he sees it, and he's very, very, very effective."

Sarah Palin, asked if she would make Glenn Beck her presidential running mate

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bill O'Reilly: Is Obama the Devil

Bill O'Reilly asks Lou Dobbs if President Barack Obama is the devil. Dobbs treats it like a serious question. There is something about cable television that makes grown men become batshit insane.

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Compassionate Conservatism: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Edition

Raw Story reports the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent out a mass email asking supporters to lobbying against Amendment 2588. The legislation forbids the Defense Department from doing business with any contractor that requires "employees or independent contractors sign mandatory arbitration clauses regarding certain claims. The amendment was written by Al Franken, in response to Jamie Leigh Jones being gang raped in Iraq. Jones was unable to take Halliburton and KBR to court. The

The U.S Chamber of Commerce email contained this myth.

Opponents of pre-dispute arbitration use anecdotes and a handful of narrow studies to
claim that the arbitration system is broken and favors companies, but in fact arbitration is more likely to result in positive outcomes for consumers and employees. Individuals fare as well, if not better, in arbitration disputes than they would have in court. The National Workrights Institute found that employees were almost 20% more likely to win employment cases in arbitration than those litigated in court. Further, a study in California showed that consumers won 66% of arbitration disputes brought against businesses. Studies examining other types of consumer related arbitration show similar, if not better outcomes for consumers.

The Fifth Circuit Court ruled that Jones could take her case to court. Judge Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale found that arbitration allowed Halliburton and KBR to not hear Jones' claims.

Under these circumstances, the outer limits of the “related to” language of the arbitration provision have been tested, and breached. Halliburton/KBR essentially asks this court to read the arbitration provision so broadly as to encompass any claim related to Jones’ employer, or any incident that happened during her employment, but that is not the language of the contract. We do not hold that, as a matter of law, sexual-assault allegations can never “relate to” someone’s employment. For this action, however, Jones’ allegations do not “touch matters” related to her employment, let alone have a “significant relationship” to her employment contract.

Under arbitration, no claims can not be heard in court or allowed to be made public. Arbitration was made to protect corporations. If that was not the case , why would the Chamber of Commerce be so hellbent on revoking Franken's amendment?

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Quote of the Day

"Yeah, tax revolt. I think people, when they figure out how badly they're going to get hurt in the next few years, there's going to be a tea party on taxes and its gonna get nasty. Nancy Pelosi's going to be bobbing up and down in the Boston Harbor."

Bill O'Reilly, on Glenn Beck's radio show

Beck's replied, "Uh, I don't think that's necessary."

It says something when O'Reilly freaks Beck out.

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Michael Steele's Dance of Death

RNC Chairman Michael Steele tells Neil Cavuto health care reform will create death panels. This is a Republican myth backed with zero factual evidence.

CAVUTO: Now obviously in this environment a lot of vitriol comes forth. Michael, I just wanted to get your reaction to some of your co-party members, former Alaska governor Palin, who calls these panels that are essentially going to be dispensing care or deciding it, death panels. That sort of thing — is that proper? Is that right?

STEELE: Well, I think it’s, I think it’s proper because its within the context of what people are seeing in some of the legislation that’s floating around out there. When you’re talking about panels that are going to be imposed, that will be making life and death decisions, that will be making decisions about whether or not you get health care or don’t receive health care. I think that’s perfectly appropriate.

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We All Derserve Health Care

Organizing For America have announced their winner for best health care video.

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Why Reforming the Banking Industry Is Most Important Issue

Reforming the banking industry is the most important matter facing America. The issue takes precedence over health care. There is of financial safety net to more systemic risks from occuring. The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee is tackling the problem. Chairman Chris Dodd has unveiled the ambitious Restoring American Financial Stability Act. The bill would stop regulatory and prevents financial institutions from becoming too big to fail. The bill is already being opposed by the banking industry and Senate Republicans.

Dodd has a long way to go if he wants to win support from the Republican leader. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) came out swinging last week, sharply criticizing a proposal he said was not supported by any Republican.

“I don’t think the public is clamoring for us to pass yet another thousand-page bill, and I’m not sure where they’d find the time to do this on the Senate floor, since it’s obvious health care’s going to be the dominant issue for the coming months,” McConnell said.

Republicans do not want to see reforms of the deceptive lending practices being used on mortgages and credit cards. That is exactly what the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency would do. The agency would operate as an independent watchdog and inform the public and have the power to stop "hidden fees, abusive terms, and deceptive practices." The bill would end the oversight role of the regional Federal Reserve banks. The banking industry picks those regional Chairman. Former Federal Reserve Bank of New York chairman Tim Geithner has been against a proposal to make the chairmen federal appointments. Dodd proposes a single Federal Bank regulator.

Eliminates the convoluted system of multiple federal bank regulators to increase accountability and end unnecessary overlap, conflicting regulation, and “charter shopping;” keeps in place the healthy dual banking system that governs community banks.

A huge potential hurdle to the bill's passage is a allowing shareholders to have a vote in executive compensation and corporate affairs. Dodd wrote legislation that would cap the executive bonues, of companies receiving bailout money, at $100,000. Geithner had the provision stripped from the legislation. Dodd took heat and Geithner didn't admit he was responsible. Only after Dodd told the media that the Treasury Department pushed to strip the provision was when Geithner stepped forward.

The Dodd bill would give the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Agency the power to investigate and enforce banking regulation. Dodd's idea is this will consolidate federal agencies and decrease red tape. The FDIC and the Federal Reserve will give up their regulatory responsibilities.

The FDIC will focus on its jobs as deposit insurer and resolver of failed institutions, retaining backup examination authority over troubled banks and gaining additional authority to accompany the new agency on examinations of healthy banks and holding companies to ensure it has sufficient information to perform its insurance functions. The Federal Reserve will focus on monetary policy without being distracted by responsibilities for bank oversight and consumer protections. The Federal Reserve will continue to play a key role in assessing financial stability and have guaranteed access to financial institutions and any needed information.

The White House is not thrilled with Dodd's proposal.

Austan Goolsbee, who sits on the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, said he felt some "nervousness" about Dodd's proposal to create a committee independent of the Federal Reserve to oversee risks in the financial system and police potential threats to the economy.

"The administration's view is that systemic institutions ought to be governed by the Fed," Goolsbee said. A different group could be charged with looking at problems on the horizon, "The Dodd version is 'let's combine both of those and create some new agency,'" he said. "I am a little worried that to create that new agency would take a long time and by the time you got to that we are back into this world."

This is the same White House that has been telling Harry Reid to drop the public option, but still supports mandating that every American buying health insurance. The White House is pro-corporatist. The Republicans look at Wall Street as their true base. Reforming the financial industry should have been the first issue both parties addressed when President Obama was sworn into office. America does not have the money for another bailout and the economy is (finally) recovering too slowly. The anger from progressives and tea party protesters is from Washington's bailing out the banking industry. People are scared and turning to clowns like Glenn Beck and conspiracy theories for answers. The public needs to get behind the Restoring American Financial Stability Act. Free markets are a wonderful thing. However, another economic meltdown is not an option.

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Simon Eyes

Lagniappe: Are you OK, Mr. Swift? Please send us a sign....

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Tom Harkin on Republican Obstructionists

Tom Harkins explains how Senate Democrats plan to counter Republic attempts to delay the health care bill.

If the Republicans want to stay here this Saturday and Sunday to read the bill, then let them stay here," he said. "We are planning to do something that would require Republicans to be there 24 hours a day, and if they leave the floor, we'll ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading, and that'll be the end of it."

Republicans will eventually have to leave the floor. Count on it.


Learn to Speak Teabag

You too can learn how to speak the language of Dittoheads.

Hat tip to Gottalaff.

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CBS Poll on Sarah Palin

A CBS News poll only 23 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Sarah Palin. Considering the amount of national media attention Palin - that number is far from impressive. 48 percent of Republicans want to see Palin run. An equal amount of Republican voters do not want Palin to run for President.

Just 11 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of independents believe Palin could be an effective president. Overall, 26 percent of Americans say she could be effective in the job.

Palin's numbers with independents dooms her chances in the 2012 general election. In 2008, the Detroit Free Press asked voters what they thought of Palin's Republican National Convention speech.

“I was completely underwhelmed. She was a Republican novelty act with a sophomoric script. It was not even a speech I would expect for a someone running for the local PTA, much less for vice president.”

— George Lentz, 66, Southfield independent

“Who is Sarah Palin? I’m sorry but I still don’t know anymore about this young lady tonight than I did last night … The way it looks to me, she’s the Republican vice presidential nominee for one reason: because Hillary wasn’t selected.”

— Mike Kosh, 38, West Bloomfield independent

“Sarah Palin is a self-described ‘pitbull with lipstick.’ She spent little time helping Americans learn who she is. She is a cool, poised speaker, but her speech contained few statements about policy or the party platform. … I am not convinced that Palin’s experience as a mayor or governor in Alaska meet the qualifications to be vice president much less one stroke or heart attack away from being commander in chief.”

— Ilene Beninson, 52, Berkley independent

“Nothing worked for me. I found her barrage of snide remarksand distortions to be a major turn off. She is not a class act. The most important point she made is that she will be an effective attack dog.”

— Jan Wheelock, 58, Royal Oak independent

“Sarah got as much applause as Hillary did, and had a friendly, appealing appearance.
Her delivery style reminded me of a high school valedictorian who also might have been a cheerleader. I thought she would appear more professional, more stateswomanly. She’s no match for Joe Biden.”

— Joellen Gilchrist, 64, Beverly Hills independent

The results of the CBS News poll.


Favorable - 23 percent
Not favorable - 38 percent
Undec/haven’t heard enough - 37 percent

VIEWS OF SARAH PALIN – Republican Voters

Favorable - 52 percent
Not favorable - 16 percent
Undec/haven’t heard enough - 32 percent

VIEWS OF SARAH PALIN – Democratic Voters

Favorable - 4 percent
Not favorable - 57 percent
Undec/haven’t heard enough - 37 percent

VIEWS OF SARAH PALIN – Independent Voters

Favorable - 21 percent
Not favorable - 36 percent
Undec/haven’t heard enough - 40 percent


Yes - 24 percent
No - 66 percent


Yes - 26 percent
No - 62 percent

A total of 873 voters were surveyed. The survey was weighted to make up for the slight discrepancies in the numbers of voters of different party affiliations.

Side note: Litbrit offers her take on Palin's fantasy-based book "Going Rogue."

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Alex Sink Supports Gays Adopting

Florida CFO and gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink announced her surport for allowing gays to adopt.

``We need a system in which all of our children are assured that they live in a healthy, loving home -- a home that's determined not by any law,'' Sink told about 300 gay activists who packed a gallery of modern artwork at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale. ``The decision has to be made by the judge, in consultation with the experts, to determine what is the best for that individual child.''

Sink made the announcement at an Equality Florida fundraiser. Sink said she looked forward to working with state Sen. Nan Rich. The latter has repeatedly introduced bills to reverse the law forbidding gays from adopting. The Department of Children and Families are overloaded with 20,000 kids in the foster care system. Gays are allowed to be foster parents.

Sue Carlton wrote a heartbreaking op-ed about Martin Gill and his domestic partner attempting to adopt two brothers. Gill was only suppose to care for the boys a couple of months. The brothers were never adopted and lived with Gill for five years. Gill is attempting to adopt the brothers so they will not be separated in the system.

Gay adoption is an alien concept to many straight people. The secret is Florida has no problem allowing gay foster parents care for children. If these politicians were really afraid kids were endangered then they wouldn't allow gays to be foster parents. To hypocrisy is sickening. I'm glad Alex Sink is willing to change the current status quo.

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Quote of the Day

No, I don't think there's anything wrong with getting breast implants as a Christian. I think it's a personal decision. I don't see anywhere in the Bible where it says you shouldn't get breast implants.

Carrie Prejean, on her boob job

The Bible doesn't say anything about sex tapes either.


McGill University Suspends Choose Life

McGill University is in Montreal, Canada. The school's SSMU Council voted 16 to 7 to suspend the club status of Choose Life. The anti-abortion club gave out false health care information and showed graphic images. The school had fears Choose Life events created an environment that threatened student safety. I have personally seen Christian conservative activists become confrontational with students on the Tampa USF campus. I wrote about an incident that was reported by the USF student newspaper The Oracle.

The student said she was waiting for class, sitting on a bench near the Subway outside of Cooper Hall, when evangelist John M. Kranert charged at her with his fist up, running until he stopped inches from her face, before he stuck his finger out and called her a whore.

"I remember this, when he was telling me, that I was fully covered," she said.

People should have the right to protest. Engaging in physically confrontational behavior is where the line is drawn.

The pamphlets handed out by Choose Life gave false information about abortions being linked to breast cancer. I previously wrote that the National Cancer Institute found no link between abortions and breast cancer. This doesn't stop Christian Right groups from using bogus science to scare people. Choose Life president Natalie Fohl blamed the false information on Silent No More Awareness, the makers of the pamphlets.

Choose Life's club status is under review. Fohl is not happy with the McGill University's treatment of Choose Life.

“I really don’t feel that if people properly understood what our position was that they would be saying what they said,” Fohl said. “It sounds good to say, ‘No, we’re not limiting free speech,’ but it really is saying, ‘You say what you want but only this way.’”

Fohl fails to realize there will be blow back, if Choose Life gives out false health information and holds events that pose safety concerns. Free speech is a wonderful thing. Just don't expect people to agree with what you have to say.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lady Gaga - The Fame

The Fame - Lady Gaga

Prince used to make dance pop songs this catchy. What happened to his career?

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Terry Kemple On Wrong Side of 14 Amendment

The Tampa City Council will take it's final vote on, if transgender people should be protected from decrimination. On November 5, the Council held a preliminarily on transgender protection. The Council voted unanimously in favor. Longtime Pushing Rope reader (and punching bag) Terry Kemple sent out a mass email claiming the ordinance would violate religious rights.

Please stop this assault on Christian values! Do this whether you live in the city or outside the city. If you don’t, here are just a few of the things that will happen. 1. People who dress like the opposite sex will be allowed into the restroom of the gender they feel like today. 2. Sexual predators will be able to take advantage of the law to go into the other sex’s restroom. 3. Regardless of their religious beliefs, rental property owners will be forced to rent to cross dressers. 4. Regardless of their religious beliefs, business owners will be forced to hire and/or retain cross dressers. 5. These special privileges will be granted because of a person’s aberrant sexual behavior. These are not hypothetical! Example after example exists of this discrimination against people of faith! If the City Council hears a loud voice from the Church they’ll think twice and we may actually defeat this proposal. If they don’t hear from us be ready to lose a few more of the religious freedoms our country was established to protect. Please contact City Council members and ask your Pastor to tell the congregation to contact them as well.

Gay people are sex predators is the oldest lie the Christian Right dish out. Kemple is literally saying that his religious beliefs require him to use Jim Crow-style oppression on transgender people. Kemple wants people to continue to not provide housing or jobs to gay and transgender people. Kemple is arguing discriminatory practices are required forms of religious expression.

To make matters clear: the ordinance does not close down churches or force Mr. Kemple to give up his freedom of expression. The First amendment protects Kemple's speech and religious views. Kemple should read the 14 amendment.

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

This passage is known as the Equal Protection Clause. the 14 amendment was instrumental in ending the Jim Crow laws. Strauder v. West Virginia allowed blacks to serve on juries. Brown v. Board of Education ended racial segregation in learning institutions. Due process was cited in Lawrence v. Texas. The decision ended Texas' law against same sex sexual intercourse. Christian conservative arguments that gay and transgender rights are not a civil rights issue is not founded in reality.

Since Kemple is sending a mass email out, I thought ask readers to message Kemple on Facebook. Feel free to let Kemple know how you feel about his opposition to the ordinance for transgender protection.

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Breaking News: Obama Wins the Woman of the Year

The Nobel Peace Prize was just the beginning of Barack Obama's hot streak. Obama beats Hillary Clinton for Democratic Woman of the Year.

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Cheney in 2012?

On Fox News Sunday, the panel made a pointless controversy on President Barack Obama Emperor of Japan. It is called paying respect to a foreign nation's customs. The panel noted that Dick Cheney did not bow to the Emperior. Liz Cheney floated the of her father running for President.

You could also look at the comparison and think, Cheney 2012.

I'm sure the White House would love to see Dick Cheney as the GOP nominee.

Cheney didn't bow because he is famous for his rudeness. Ron Reagan describes how Cheney treated his mother during his father's funeral. Nancy Reagan is frail and has difficulty walking.

How did your mother feel about being ushered to her seat by President Bush?

REAGAN:Well, he did a better job than Dick Cheney did when he came to the rotunda. I felt so bad. Cheney brought my mother up to the casket, so she could pay her respects. She is in her 80's, and she has glaucoma and has trouble seeing. There were steps, and he left her there. He just stood there, letting her flounder. I don't think he's a mindful human being. That's probably the nicest way I can put it.

How serious is your mother's glaucoma?

REAGAN: I don't know the specifics. She can still see. You may have noticed that she was wearing large glasses at one point.

Cheney created national embarrassment by wearing a parka and hiking boots to the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Jews were senselessly slaughtered and Cheney dressed like a South Park character. Wearing a formal black jacket or bowing doesn't show weakness. Cheney's actions illustrate a lack of empathy. Apparently, behaving like an asshole is a quality conservatives seek in a presidential candidate.

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Quote of the Day

What is one of the most substantive policy books I've read. This woman, Gov. Palin, is clearly jazzed by policy. Particularly environmental policy and energy policy. As well as taxes and so forth."

Rush Limbaugh, on Sarah Palin's book "Going Rogue."

Kids, don't do drugs.

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On a Mission From God

Lagniappe: You're probably wondering why we're here, and so am I, and so am I.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Cat Blogging

Two kittens play fighting with a puppy.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stupak-Pitts Petition

Alternet is running a petition against the anti-abortion Stupak-Pitts amendment. Let Congressional Democrats know you support women having control over their bodies.


Lou Dobbs Deported

The Onion reports illegal immigrant Lou Dobbs has finally been deported. Our national nightmare is over.

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Rupert Murdoch Accuses Obama of Racism

News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch backed Glenn Beck's claim that President Barack Obama is a racist. Mudoch gave an incoherent defense of Beck. Murdoch went further by claiming Obama made a racist statement about "blacks and whites." Murdoch doesn't bother to cite Obama's allegedly racist statement. That might be because the statement doesn't exist.

Rupert Murdoch: "On the racist thing, that caused a [unintelligible], but [Obama] did make a very racist comment about blacks and whites and so on, which he said in his campaign he would be completely above. And that was something which perhaps shouldn't have been said about the President, but if you actually assess what he was talking about, [Beck] was right."

Mudoch also denies that Fox News on-air talent has compared Obama to Joseph Stalin.

Rupert Murdoch: "No, no, not Stalin, I don't think. I don't know who they -- not one of our people."

Media Matters has compiled quotes of Fox News personalities.

Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano

"I'm absolutely calling it a power grab. It's blatantly unconstitutional. If the government can do this, this is central planning, Soviet-style. This is Josef Stalin without the bloodshed."

Glenn Beck

"[F]or the last couple of weeks, I keep seeing these scenes and I'm like, gosh, I've seen these scenes before, and I couldn't remember where it was. This morning, I'm in a meeting and I remember and I said to the staff, "Lenin, Stalin and Hitler." I am not comparing -- and I doubt you are, too -- I'm not comparing what's currently going on in our administration or in Washington on either side with these guys, but I see echoes of the past that frighten me."

What is hysterical is Murdoch and Beck have the audacity to call anyone racist. Fox News has spent this decade bashing Muslims, Hispanics and gays. Bill O'Reilly speaked in racist terms towards Michelle Obama.

"I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit. We'll track it down."

Fox News went balistic over Sotomayor's "wise Latina" quote. Sotomayor made the remark during her speech at the "Raising the Bar: Latino and Latina Presence in the Judiciary and the Struggle for Representationtic on Sonia Sotomayor's "Wise Latina." Fox News is somehow shocked Sotomayor would bring up her Latina heritage to a group of Latina lawyers. Fox News has publicly supported the Minutemen Project. Minutemen organizer James Gilchrist admitted the group has white supremists in their ranks. Fox News isn't concerned about combatting racism. The network panders to racists for ratings.

Someone must have informed Murdoch that his statement was laughable. Murdoch is doing the dance of shame and backing down.

But News Corp. spokesperson Gary Ginsberg tells POLITICO that Murdoch did not intend to suggest that he had the same opinion as Beck.

“He does not at all, for a minute, think the president is a racist,” Ginsberg said.

My response is bullshit. Murdoch clearly intended to accuse Obama of racism. Murdoch just didn't have the spine to deal with the political fallout.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shorter Michael Steele: Republicans Are Scared of Blacks

RNC Chairman Michael Steele has an interesting way of telling people the Republican Party is a big tent. Steele tells Roland Martin Republicans are terrified of black people.

MARTIN: One of the criticisms I've always had is Republicans -- white Republicans -- have been scared of black folks.

STEELE: You're absolutely right. I mean I've been in the room and they've been scared of me. I'm like, "I'm on your side" and so I can imagine going out there and talking to someone like you, you know, [you're like,] "I'll listen." And they're like "Well." Let me tell you.

Steele is having a moment of candor. I'm sure Steele has had uncomfortable moments with white Republicans. As the RNC Chairman, it is a horrible message for Steele to give minority voters.

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Nicolas Cage's Money Management Skills

The Daily Beast did a story on Nicolas Cage's excessive spending. Cage bought two Bahamian islands, a castle, two yachts and a jet. There was also a collection of shrunken heads. A disonsaur skull with purchased for $276,000. Cage wonders why is is broke.

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In Spirit & In Truth Town Hall

The National Black Justice Coalition and Equality Florida are hosting "In Spirit & In Truth Town Hall" to bridge the differences between the black religious and LGBT communities. It is a good idea that is long overdue. Both communites have played major roles in the civil rights movement and have often been ignored by the Democratic Party.

The National Black Justice Coalition and Equality Florida continue our statewide Town Hall Series with clergy and community discussions on homosexuality and the Black Church for the purpose of building dialogue, understanding and common ground.

Panel members include:

•Dr. Sylvia Rhue, National Black Justice Coalition, Director of Religious Affairs

•Rev. Deborah L. Johnson is the founding minister of Inner Light Ministries

•Rev. Roland Stringfellow, Coordinator of the Coalition of Welcoming Congregations -Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Sexuality

•Nadine Smith, Equality Florida, Executive Director

•Lorenzo Robertson, Ujima Men’s Collective

Host: Equality Florida Palm Beach County
Type: Education - Workshop

Date: Saturday, November 21, 2009
Time: 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: St. Andrew's Episcopal
Street: 100 North Palm Way
City/Town: Lake Worth, FL

Check the Facebook page for more information.

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Rosemary's Baby

Insert Rosemary Wood's Baby Joke Here.

Lagniappe:Bluegal is nominated for Best Individual Blogger.

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