Day: August 7, 2010

The Week In One Liners – Top Political Quotes

Politico

The week’s top 10 best quotes in politics:

 “My palm isn’t large enough to write all my notes down on what this tax increase will result in.” — Sarah Palin, talking taxes (and her love of hand notes) on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I got played.” — Bristol Palin, explaining why she cut off her engagement with Levi Johnston.

 “To me, this has the tortured ring of someone arguing that every southpaw Cy Young winner in the American League since the advent of the designated hitter has had a lower ERA in away games on Astroturf than any right hander.” — Sen. Al Franken, responding to Republicans faulting Elena Kagan having only two years of private sector legal work under her belt.

“We tried jiujitsu, we tried yoga, we tried everything we could to get Republicans to come along.” — Sen. Harry Reid, describing the Democratic Party’s efforts to get bipartisan support behind cap and trade.

“Where the hell do they get these names?” — CBS News’ Katie Couric, pondering the Palin family’s names in a off-camera moment made public this week.

 “Scaring white people is good politics.” — MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, giving her take on the Republican Party’s strategy on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

 “Not since ‘Waterworld’ has $100 million been spent so poorly in California.” — Democratic Governors Association head Nathan Daschle, assessing Republican Meg Whitman’s spending in the California gubernatorial race.

 “If a poll was to come out tomorrow and say that Floridians would see you in a better light if you hug a palm tree for 30 minutes a day, he would be out there for an hour hugging a palm tree. It’s the way he operates.” — Rep. Kendrick Meek, knocking Gov. Charlie Crist for being politically expedient.

“I will be there sometime. … I mean it.” — Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, threatening to sit in Fox News’ new front row seat in the White House press briefing room (Fox later clarified that he was just kidding).

“Nobody owes Tony Hayward an apology.” — White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, being blunt about BP.

Mark Williams Is Back In The Tea Party

The only thing I heard from the mainstream media, regarding this development was :::crickets:::

TPM Muckraker

Well, that didn’t take long. Less than three weeks after resigning from the Tea Party Express “to free the tea party movement from any more distraction based on my personal comments or blogs,” Mark Williams is back at the helm of a tea party group.

As former TPMer Zachary Roth reports, Williams is a leader of the newly-founded “Citizens for Constitutional Liberty,” a PAC “that plans to support conservative candidates and promote grassroots activism among Tea Partiers.”

Williams, of course, is one of the few tea party leaders to come under direct criticism from other tea partiers. His blog posts and public statements, which tea partiers have endeavored to separate themselves from of late, led to his public grilling for a week following the “satirical” blog post about the NAACP that led to his resignation.

Williams isn’t talking about his new tea party venture, according to Roth. But his partners are, and they say Williams’ past is nothing to worry about.

“This latest flap is garbage,” one group founder told Roth. “They want to throw the word racism out there these days. It’s overused.”

But another member of the team behind Citizens for Constitutional Liberty addressed the Williams situation on the group’s blog in a way that suggests Williams’ new tea party home is trying to keep his rhetoric at the same arm’s length that the Tea Party Express did.

“While I find many of his comments distasteful and do not condone those sorts of messages, it is not my right to take away his Free Speech guaranteed by our First Amendment,” writes Mandy Morello, one of the group’s founders. “After all The Tea Party is not to pick and choose one’s interpretation of these Amendments to suit ones personal opinion.”

Morello writes that Williams is “not a racist,” but she says she has started the new group with her eyes open about what working with Williams might mean down the road. Morello writes that no matter what Williams might say in the future, she does not have “the right to apologize for his actions or have the authority to ‘kick him out’ for any other reason than something that is illegal.”

Still, it’s clear that the new leaders hope to make it clear that what Williams does is his business — not the new tea party group he’s a leader of.

“I am not under the illusion that Mark will stop being Mark just because we are partners in this fight,” she writes.

The GOP’s constitution problem

Think Progress’s Ian Millhiser details the astounding number of issues the Republican party has with the constitution.

REPEALING CITIZENSHIP: Numerous GOP lawmakers, including their Senate leader and the most-recent Republican candidate for president, are lining up behind a “review” of the 14th Amendment’s grant of citizenship to virtually all persons born within the United States….

REPEALING CONGRESS’ POWER TO REGULATE THE ECONOMY: The Constitution’s “Commerce Clause” gives national leaders broad authority to regulate the national economy, but much of the GOP has embraced “tentherism,” the belief that this power is small enough to be drowned in a bathtub….

REPEALING CONGRESS’ POWER TO SPEND MONEY: The Constitution also gives Congress power to “provide for the common defense and general welfare,” a broad grant of authority to create federal spending programs such as Social Security. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), however, recently called upon the Supreme Court to rewrite the Constitution’s clear language and repeal parts of the budget he doesn’t like….

REPEALING CONGRESS’ POWER TO RAISE MONEY: The Constitution also gives Congress broad authority to decide how to distribute the tax burden. Thus, for example, Congress is allowed to create a tax incentive for people to buy houses by giving a tax break to people with mortgages, and it is allowed to create a similar incentive for people to buy health insurance by taxing people who have health insurance slightly less than people who do not. Nevertheless, the frivolous assaults on health reform would eliminate this Constitutional power….

REPEALING EQUALITY: The Constitution entitles all persons to “equal protection of the laws,” a provision that formed the basis of Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision yesterday that California cannot treat gay couples as if they are somehow inferior. Immediately after this decision was announced, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) called upon Congress to “act immediately” to overturn it — something that it could only do through a constitutional amendment….

REPEALING FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS: As Judge Walker also held, marriage is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution’s Due Process Clause. The GOP’s anti-gay amendment would repeal this constitutional protection as well.

REPEALING ELECTION OF SENATORS: Finally, a number of GOP candidates have come out in favor of repealing the 17th Amendment, the provision of the Constitution which requires direct election of senators, although many of these candidates also backed off their “Seventeenther” stand after it proved embarrassing. It is simply baffling how anyone could take one look at the U.S. Senate, and decide that what it really needs is even less democracy.

There’s one amendment to the constitution that they worship, however. I’ve spent the last few days with CSPAN2 and learned a great deal about how the second amendment is really the only one that matters. Without the second amendment, we would all be at the whims of a tyrannical government. For instance, a government that would be willing to scrap an amendment which provides “due process” and “equal protection of the laws” for all of its citizens.

Conservatives Go After Judges Who Rule In Favor Of Marriage Equality

Using their well used “mob mentality” to quash dissent from their ideology, conservatives will once again go after judges who they feel are pro-marriage equality.

I wonder if these folks realize that their actions are against everything this country stands for.  The Constitution of The United States tells us that ALL people are created equal, yet conservatives would rather use their hate and skewed view of “equality” to “go after” anything and anyone in contradiction to their core beliefs.

Think Progress

On Wednesday, Vaughn Walker, chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, issued a landmark ruling declaring the state’s ban on marriage equality unconstitutional and without any “rational basis.” His opinion was widely praised by legal scholars, with Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick writing that “nobody can fairly accuse Judge Walker of putting together an insubstantial or unsubstantiated opinion today.”

The right wing is trying nevertheless, as they have in other states where judges ruled that denying same-sex couples marriage rights is unconstitutional. They have called for impeaching the judges, launched political campaigns to oust them, and perhaps most disturbingly, perpetrated nasty whisper campaigns about their personal lives:

– Impeachment: The right wing is already calling for the impeachment of Walker, whose main crime seems to be issuing a decision with which it disagrees. The American Family Association (AFA) sent out one of its many action alerts yesterday, saying that Walker “frustrated the express will of seven million Californians.” Margaret Marshall, chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, said that after her decision legalizing marriage equality, opponents “hired a small plane to fly for weeks over Boston” — including over her apartment building — trailing a banner reading, “Impeach Margaret Marshall.”

– Political Campaigns: Last year, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that marriage equality is legal. Scholars said that while the decision was “politically divisive,” it was “legally sound.” Critics, however, have launched Common Sense PAC, an effort to vote three of the justices who are up for a “retention vote” in November out of office. Common Sense PAC has “spent $2,272, and had $1,392 on hand as of July 15,” and it is erecting black plywood signs that are “designed to look like a ballot, with red check marks in the “No” column for each justice.”

– Personal Attacks: The right wing is currently engaged in a vicious smear campaign to dismiss Walker’s opinion by arguing that he is gay. AFA wrote its supporters that Walker is an “open homosexual, and should have recused himself from this case due to his obvious conflict of interest.” MSNBC commentator Pat Buchanan said Walker must be gay because it was “unnatural” for an “older white guy” to support marriage equality. The right wing similarly went after Marshall in 2004, saying that she allegedly “colluded with homosexuals.”

These attacks are nothing more than sour grapes and grasping for straws. As NPR’s Karen Grigsby Bates has pointed out, conservatives had no problems with Walker’s sexuality when it was first announced that he would be the judge. Supporters of Prop. 8 “did not ask that he be recused from it. They didn’t think that he’d have a conflict in overseeing it,” she said. President George H.W. Bush also nominated Walker, who was opposed by many Democrats for being perceived as anti-gay.

Ground Zero Mosque Opponents Must Not Have Heard About Muslims At The Pentagon

Salon has an article entitled Why Did No One Object To The “Pentagon Mosque“?  Jason Linkins, taking his cue from that article, writes a pretty good op-ed on the subject. 

Huffington PostJason Linkins

One of the best ways of demonstrating that the frantic slavering over “Ground Zero mosques” is nothing but a ridiculous display of pearl-clutchery is to point out that the proposed Cordoba House would actually be the second mosque in the vicinity of “Ground Zero.” But over at Salon, Justin Elliott does me one better by unearthing this 2007 Washington Times article:

Navy imam Chaplain Abuhena M. Saifulislam lifted his voice to God as he called to prayer more than 100 Department of Defense employees Monday at a celebration of Ramadan at the Pentagon.God is most great, sang the lieutenant commander and Islamic leader, in Arabic, as iftar — the end of the daily fast began.

Uniformed military personnel, civilians and family members faced Mecca and knelt on adorned prayer rugs chanting their prayers in quiet invocation to Allah.

When it comes to Muslims praying at Ground Zero, it doesn’t get much Ground Zeroier than that! As Elliott observes:

Yes, Muslims have infiltrated the Pentagon for their nefarious, prayerful purposes — daring to practice their religion inside the building where 184 people died on Sept. 11, 2001. They haven’t even had the sensitivity to move two blocks, let alone a mile, away from that sacred site.

Oh, my stars and garters! These Muslims at the Pentagon probably even have security clearances! (Because they are Department of Defense employees who protect America from al Qaeda death cultists, I’m guessing.)

Rush Limbaugh: Media Giving Michelle Obama Vacation Pass Because Of ‘Slave Past’

This man is insane.  The First Lady takes a trip during the usual August recess and the media has a hissy fit.  This is not the first time this has happened.  Noted historian,  Doris Kearns Goodwin spoke about it on Rick’s List this afternoon.   She said that people complained about Jackie Kennedy, GH Bush 41, Reagan and others vacationing during times of stress with our economy.  Ms. Kearns-Goodwin said this is no big deal and that the hoopla will be over in no time.   Of course, someone forgot to tell Limbaugh and his ilk.

Huffington Post

Rush Limbaugh said Friday that the media is allowing Michelle Obama to take a vacation as a form of reparations for “our slave past.”

In discussing the lack of media outrage over the First Lady’s trip to Spain — which isn’t exactly true, as documented here — Limbaugh said that it stems from her race.

“As far as the media’s concerned, Mrs. Obama deserves this,” he said. “Look at the sordid past. Look at our slave past, look at the discriminatory past. It’s only fair that people of color get their taste of the wealth of America too.”

Limbaugh compared the First Lady’s vacation to Nancy Reagan changing the china in the White House.