Day: February 17, 2011

Karl Rove: Don’t Blame The Birthers, Blame The White House

Mario Piperni

Karl Rove on birtherism.

“This is the White House strategy, they love this. Look, the President could come out and say ‘Here are the documents,’ but they are happy to have this controversy continue.”

“Every moment the conservatives talk about this, they marginalized themselves and diminish themselves in the minds of independent voters.”

a)  The people who were required to see the documents, have seen them.  End of story.  The President issued his birth certificate and there is no need to cater further to the lunatic fringe of the Republican party.  By the way, it’s getting increasingly more difficult to refer to the kooks on the right as being part of a ‘fringe’.  The right-wing fringe has gone mainstream.

b)  If this was a “White House strategy”, it’s a damn good one. Birthers are conservatives and Republicans and voters should be reminded of this fact at every opportunity. They were not created by Dems but instead emerged from the bigoted, idiot wing of the Republican party.  Birthers are conservatives who are unwilling to accept a black man as their President.

Sorry Karl, but these idiots are part of the folks you counted on to vote for George W. Bush.  You loved them then.  You’re stuck with them now.

Michele Bachmann Refuses To Say Whether President Obama Is A Citizen On GMA

Just like “Carribou Barbie”, Michele Bachmann is absolutely clueless, yet both have aspirations on pursuing the highest office in the land.  Go figure…

Mediaite

In an interview Thursday morning on ABC’s Good Morning America, Rep. Michele Bachmann talked about her interest in the White House, how she’d handle the Middle East as president, and even Lady Gaga. What she wouldn’t say, however, was whether the president was a Christian and a citizen. “That’s not for me to state,” Bachmann told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “When the president makes his statements, I think they should stand for their own.”

Pressed by Stephanopoulos to simply express her own views on President Obama’s citizenship, if she would “declare the president is a citizen, and he is a Christian,” Bachmann refused, pivoting to talk about the stimulus package. Earlier in the interview, Bachmann–reminded that Obama had repeatedly declared himself a citizen–said she “took him at his word” but wouldn’t go beyond that.

Watch the exchange here, from ABC:

Chris Rock Disses The Tea Party

I’ve always liked Chris Rock because of his sharp political humor over the years.  Apparently, he’s still going strong after all these years…

Politico

In the March issue of Esquire, comedian Chris Rock takes a swing at the tea party

Rock is interviewed by writer Scott Raab. 

“Like many nice Caucasians, I cried the night Barack Obama was elected,” said Raab. “It was one of the high points in American history. And all that’s happened since the election is just a sh—storm of hatred. You want to weigh in on that?” 

“I actually like it, in the sense that—you got kids?” asked Rock. “Kids always act up the most before they go to sleep. And when I see the Tea Party and all this stuff, it actually feels like racism’s almost over. Because this is the last—this is the act up before the sleep. They’re going crazy. They’re insane. You want to get rid of them—and the next thing you know, they’re f—-ing knocked out. And that’s what’s going on in the country right now.”

The issue hits newsstands on Feb. 22.

Logan’s Sexual Assault Brings Wave Of Blaming The Victim And Other Ugliness

I’ll never understand the vitriol coming from so many people about Lara Logan’s horrendous ordeal in Egypt…

Media Matters

During a news brief on this morning’s Fox & Friends, Gretchen Carlson reported that CBS correspondent Lara Logan had been “beaten and sexually assaulted by a mob of men while covering the political uprising in Egypt.” While Carlson reported the story as nothing but factual, during her report, the onscreen text read, “Journalist Assaulted in Egypt? Report: Protesters Attacked CBS’ Lara Logan.” 

Is Fox really questioning the validity of the story? If not, why the question mark?

Fox isn’t alone in having a completely inappropriate response to Logan’s tragic assault. Others have seized on the story to attack Logan, suggesting that the reason this happened was because she was a pretty woman reporting in the middle of a war zone. As Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams observed:

In a stunningly offensive blog post titled “Lara Logan, CBS Reporter and Warzone ‘It Girl,’ Raped Repeatedly Amid Egypt Celebration” for LA Weekly, writer Simone Wilson managed to mention Logan’s “shocking good looks and ballsy knack for pushing her way to the heart of the action” before getting to the assault itself. She then went on to imagine how it happened: “In a rush of frenzied excitement, some Egyptian protestors apparently consummated their newfound independence by sexually assaulting the blonde reporter.” Well, sure, what other motive for an assault could there be, given that Logan is, in Wilson’s words, a “gutsy stunner” with “Hollywood good looks”? And how else do Egyptians celebrate anyway but with a gang assault?  It’s not like she deserved it, but well, she is hot, right?

[...]

Wilson wasn’t the only person out there to be wildly tone-deaf in response, either. When the news broke, Nir Rosen, a fellow at the New York University Center for Law and Security, promptly whined to Twitter, “It’s always wrong, that’s obvious, but I’m rolling my eyes at all the attention she’ll get,” adding, “She’s so bad that I ran out of sympathy for her.” He soon backpedaled, deleting several of his most offensive posts and tweeting, “I apologize and take it back. joking with friends got out of line when i didnt [sic] want to back down. forgot twitter is not exactly private.” Apparently he still hasn’t remembered that sexual assault isn’t great joking around material.

Rosen since resigned his post at NYU.

But he’s not alone.   Read more here…

The politics of education upended

I’m not sure I agree with Republican governors and the Obama administration that teachers’ unions are the root of all the fiscal problems in a majority of our states.  

Their argument would have some validity if the GOP weren’t relentlessly going after teachers and unions for years now.  The problem is not fiscal prudence, the problem is that since Reagan, the GOP has tried to get rid of unions period.  Unions are a source of protection from big government and big business which is anathema to GOP ideology.

Politico

In Wisconsin, about 1,000 teachers called in sick Wednesday to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to strip their union bargaining rights.

In Washington, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recounted his battle with his state’s teachers unions Wednesday, calling their leaders “greedy” and “selfish.”

And in Nevada, Indiana and Florida, Republican governors are targeting teacher contracts and work rules to fix a system they say is broken. “The status quo has put us at the bottom of the heap,” Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval told POLITICO.

The events point to a convergence that is remaking the politics of education. Teachers unions, historically one of the most powerful interest groups in American politics, are being besieged like never before – under attack from conservative GOP governors with a zeal for budget-cutting even while taking fire from some Democrats, including President Barack Obama, who has suggested he agrees that unions can be an impediment to better schools.

Obama’s education secretary Arne Duncan sounded surprisingly like the Republican governors when he told teachers unions and administrators at a conference Tuesday in Denver, “Clearly, the status quo isn’t working for children.”

The backlash threatens to undercut one of the Democratic Party’s most stalwart backers — and upset a mutually beneficial relationship where the unions provided financial support and foot soldiers for Democratic campaigns, in return for political cover to protect their prerogatives in the U.S.Congress and state capitals across the nation.   More…