Day: December 11, 2010

300 Show Up In The Rain To Counterprotest 5 Westboro Protesters At Elizabeth Edwards’ Funeral

This reminds me of when those Westboro idiots showed up at the Matthew Shephard funeral in Wyoming.  There was a counter demonstration that literally obliterated the view of the handful of Westboro protesters. 

Think Progress

Today, friends and families gathered in Raleigh, NC to mourn Elizabeth Edwards, who died this week after battling cancer. Outside, a small group of protesters from the extremist anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church picketed the event because they said Edwards “spent her life in defiance and disobedience to God.” The church regularly harasses the families of dead American soldiers by picketing homosexuality at their funerals with signs like “pray for more dead soldiers,” and “your sons are in hell.”

But at Edwards’ funeral today, the tiny group of hate mongers was confronted by more than300 counterprotesters, who turned out to stand against hate, despite the rain:

Members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church picketed the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards in Raleigh, N.C. Saturday. But they were vastly outnumbered by a “human buffer” of people who quietly stood in the rain singing Christmas carols and carrying signs reading “God loves Elizabeth Edwards” or simply “Grace” and “Hope.” [...]

In a 2007 interview, Mrs. Edwards described herself as “completely comfortable with gay marriage,” hence the Westboro protesters at the funeral. But on Saturday just five church members (two of them children) showed up to picket, waving hateful signs about Mrs. Edwards and the United Methodist Church where the service was held.

Video here…

For more on Edwards’ legacy, see ThinkProgress’ remembrance of her.

Hundreds honor life of Elizabeth Edwards

Los Angeles Times

Speakers at her funeral recall a woman of energy, intellect and honor, who showed strength during the death of a son, the betrayal of a husband, former Sen. John Edwards, and a battle with cancer.

Hundreds of family members and friends gathered Saturday to honor the life of Elizabeth Edwards, who has been praised for her strength amid a series of tragedies that included the death of a son, a betrayal by her husband and a battle with cancer that eventually led to her death.

The funeral was held at Edenton Street United Methodist Church, where Edwards sought comfort after her 16-year-old son Wade died in a car crash in 1996. She was to be buried later in the day alongside her son during a private ceremony.

Speakers recalled Edwards, who died Tuesday, as a woman filled with energy, intellect and humor. They joked that they had trouble coming up with what to say without the woman who used to leave notes of advice for those close to her.

“There aren’t words that are good enough,” said daughter Cate Edwards, whose eulogy contained a passage from a letter her mother spent years preparing to leave to her children after she was gone.

“I’ve loved you in the best ways I’ve known how,” the letter said. “All I ever really needed was you, your love, your presence, to make my life complete.”

Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, her estranged husband, did not speak. The couple had four children together, including Emma Claire, 12, and Jack, 10.

Their oldest daughter, 28-year-old Cate, also talked of how her mother comforted those around her as she lay dying — at one point barely able to speak as she held her daughter’s and husband’s hands, looking back and forth to each, repeating, “I’m OK. I’m OK.”

“She was way more worried about us than we were about her,” Cate Edwards said.

She talked of her mother’s strength and grace and of her witty advice about everything from clothing (there are always fewer regrets wearing solids than patterns) to marriage (don’t settle for the first boy you ever meet).

“She’s been a lighthouse to all of us — a point of guidance when we all feel lost,” she said.

The memorial brought several political figures, including Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, who led the Democratic presidential ticket in 2004 that included John Edwards; and North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue.

McCain Flashback: ‘I Would Clearly Support Not Extending [Bush] Tax Cuts In Order To Help Address The Deficit’

John McCain should be known as Senator McFlip-flop… 

Think Progress

This afternoon on Fox News, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Congress should vote to pass the tax cuts deal negotiated between President Obama and congressional Republicans. “We have sent the message that we will not increase people’s taxes,” McCain said.

During the interview, McCain took a moment to mock Obama for backtracking on the Bush tax cuts for the rich:

McCAIN: I guess it was my old beloved friend Morris Udall who said the politician’s prayer is: may the words I utter today be tender and sweet because tomorrow I may have to eat them. We’re seeing clips all over the place — “We can’t extend these tax cuts for the rich,” “it’s the rich people” — you know, all of the clips of the President.

He got a good laugh out of Obama’s predicament of dealing with the GOP “hostage takers.” Watch it:

While it is certainly true that Obama has acquiesced on his principled stand against doling out unnecessary tax cuts to the rich, he’s not the only one. In fact, John McCain was once a crusader against the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

In 2008, of course, McCain ran on an agenda of rewarding the wealthiest Americans with a huge tax cut. But, the “maverick” McCain of early 2000s was an articulate and eloquent messenger against handing out more taxes for the rich:

“There’s one big difference between me and the others – I won’t take every last dime of the surplus and spend it on tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy.” [McCain campaign commercial, January 2000]

“I am disappointed that the Senate Finance Committee preferred instead to cut the top tax rate of 39.6% to 36%, thereby granting generous tax relief to the wealthiest individuals of our country at the expense of lower- and middle-income American taxpayers.” [McCain Senate floor statement, May 21, 01]

“I voted against the tax cuts because of the disproportional amount that went to the wealthiest Americans. I would clearly support not extending those tax cuts in order to help address the deficit.” [Meet the Press, 4/11/04]

Approval By Numbers: How Obama Compares To Past Presidents

TPMDC

By some measures, it’s been a rough first two years in office for President Obama, as the soaring rhetoric of his campaign speeches has given way to the unglamorous reality of governing. With the messy debate over health care reform and a slowly recovering economy steadily tugging his approval ratings down, it may seem like Obama is slipping toward a uniquely inglorious first term.

Yet despite all the chatter, Obama’s slide in approval ratings is really nothing special.

According to an analysis of Gallup’s presidential polling data, the general trend of Obama’s approval ratings closely resemble those of other modern Presidents over their first two years in office.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Approval By Numbers: How Obama Compares To Past Presidents.]

A look at how Obama fares over his first two years versus every President since Dwight Eisenhower provides a slightly jumbled comparison, yet there’s an evident downward trend for almost everyone.

In fact, the early drop in Obama’s approval is strikingly similar to that of two historically popular former presidents — Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

Continue reading here…

Rep. Rohrabacher Suggests White People Will ‘Lose Our Freedom’ If The DREAM Act Passes

One of the many “crazies” in the GOP rank and file on the Hill…

Think Progress

In their efforts to bring down the DREAM Act, which would give children of undocumented immigrants who complete college or volunteer for the military a path to citizenship, conservatives have been smearing the bill as “backdoor amnesty” for undocumented immigrants and claiming it creates a loophole for terrorists. Unfortunately, many of their attacks have also taken on racial undertones. Yesterday, Fox News host Glenn Beck told a caller on his radio show that the bill would disenfranchise white people, saying, “if you’re white or you’re an American citizen or a white American citizen, you’re pretty much toast.” Beck suggested his caller steal a Mexican ID card in to receive the supposedly preferential treatment minorities will receive under DREAM.

While clearly bigoted, Beck’s comments appeared to have the joking tone of a self-described “rodeo clown.” But Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) was not joking when he took to the House floor Wednesday to warn that voting for “the Affirmative Action Amnesty Act,” as he dubbed DREAM, will “relegate the position of non-minority American citizens to behind those who are now in this country illegally.”

Appearing on Radio America with Greg Corombus yesterday, Rohrabacher expanded on the dangers to white people of DREAM, explaining that the “real zinger” is that it puts minorities “ahead of every American child who’s not a minority.” “[T]hey can get into college before our kids,” Rohrabacher said on behalf of white people everywhere, warning ominously at the end of the interview that “if Americans aren’t alerted to this, we’re going to lose our freedom”.

Listen:

Of course, the DREAM Act is not amnesty, nor is it affirmative action, and it is certainly not a measure to oppress white people. The bill extends conditional legal status for five years to young people who are upstanding citizens and in this country illegally by not fault of their own. It will also help enforce immigration laws, reduce the deficit, and strengthen the military, but that doesn’t seem to matter to Rohrabacher or Beck.

Politico’s Politi-Quotes 12-10-10

 

The week’s top 10 quotes in politics:

 “It’s alive! That’s just a joke guys, don’t worry.” – President Barack Obama, joking as he looked into a microscope while visiting a biotech classroom. 

“Ok I’m starting to scream at Obama on tv the way I used to with Bush – not a good sign.” – HBO’s Bill Maher, suddenly souring, via Twitter, on the president. 

“He is whining, and no one likes a whining president.” – Sen. Lindsey Graham, on Obama. 

“Tragedy comes in threes. Pearl Harbor, Elizabeth Edwards’s passing and Barack Obama’s announcement of extending the tax cuts, which is good, but also extending the unemployment benefits.” – Christine O’Donnell, philosophizing. 

“You blowhard!” – David Letterman, to Bill O’Reilly. 

“I’m not going to answer.” – Oprah Winfrey, on whether Sarah Palin is qualified to be president. 

“I have another dead horse to beat.” – A White House reporter, beginning his question to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs during a briefing. 

“I saw him the other day and I was amazed by it, he must be 300-plus, and that’s something he’s just gotta deal with because you’re not going to say, ‘I’m going to cut the budget,’ well, how about starting with supper?” – MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. 

“He’s stubborn.” – Gibbs, explaining how Obama has successfully stayed away from cigarettes. 

“I have heard that the TSA will be handling more packages this Christmas than the UPS.” – British Ambassador Nigel Sheinwald, joking about airport security.

Joe Miller Loses Election Challenge

It’s finally over in the Alaska Senate election challenge.  Joe Miller is out and Lisa Murkowski is officially the winner of that race…

The Daily Beast

One wonders if this guy just has nothing better to do. An Alaska Superior Court judge ruled against Tea Party Senate candidate Joe Miller on Friday, rejecting the claim that the name of his write-in opponent, Republican Lisa Murkowski, had to be spelled perfectly for her votes to count.

The judge asserted that Alaska law clearly allows misspellings to be counted if voter intent can be determined, and added that the question was probably moot anyway, because Miller trails by more votes than he challenged and presented no evidence for his claim of voting irregularities.

Alaska Republicans have pleaded with Miller to abandon his legal challenge, fearing it could leave Alaska with only one senator if the case continues past January 5th, when the incumbent Murkowski’s term expires. Nonetheless, Miller is expected to appeal the decision to the Alaska Supreme Court. With help from his chief political benefactor, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Miller has raised more than $200,000 to pay for his challenge to the vote tally.

Read it at The New York Times