Day: July 20, 2012

The top five most painfully self-serving reactions to the Aurora shooting

Michael Bloomberg and Louis Gohmert

The following story is at best, aggravating but tolerable.

According to the following article, I might be part of the problem, however, this needs to said:

:::Rant:::

I don’t look forward to the renewed call for gun control and the bullying gun lobby shutting down the debate by threatening lawmakers that they will put them on a list and send it out to their NRA constituents  if they vote against gun laws.

This shouldn’t be allowed in our Democracy.  They got away with it during the Eric Holder fiasco and they recently tried  to used their influence during another congressional vote.

Dems have to grow a spine and at least propose measures to ban assault weapons.  In my opinion, there is no earthly reason civilians should be allowed to own assault weapons.

:::Rant Over:::

Now, back to the five most painfully self-serving reactions to the Aurora shooting…

The Raw Story

Within hours of the tragic shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado last night, politicians and others rushed to stake out the tragedy as their own. Some pointed to the senseless murders as proof of their beliefs, while others have used it as an opportunity to gather donations and expand their mailing lists. Others have simply been unable to resist the powerful urge to rush to their computers or smart phones and say, “I told you so!” as loudly as they can.

Here’s Raw Story‘s round-up of the five worst opportunistic offenders at just barely twelve hours or so since James Holmes reportedly fired his first shot.

 

5. Iranian-American author and activist Reza Aslan

Aslan took to Twitter early and often this morning to make pointed jokes about the killings. “Guy shoots, kills 16 ppl in a Colorado theater last night but don’t worry folks he wasn’t a Muslim so obviously this is not terrorism,” he quipped just after 10:00 a.m., when most people were first waking up to the news.

About 15 minutes later, he followed up with, “I demand Peter King call hearings on radicalized Batman fans.”

Granted, Aslan has a point about the reluctance on the part of the media to brand any act of violence not performed by a brown-skinned person of Islamic faith as “terrorism.” As The Atlantic.com editor Max Fisher tweeted, “‘Shooter was not Muslim’ is a line I’ve seen in quite a few news stories this morning. Well, he wasn’t an Eskimo either.”

Nonetheless, the phrase “Too soon!” was invented for remarks like these.

 

4. Huffington Post blogger Cindy Handler

Every time there is a headline-grabbing mass shooting, responsible gun-owners everywhere groan inwardly and brace themselves for the deluge of hand-wringing columns and editorials calling for more stringent gun laws, as well as the equally self-righteous, defensive pushback that inevitably follows from The People Who Care Way Too Much About Guns. Thank you, Cindy Handler, for not wasting any time whatsoever in getting that process rolling.

Not that Handler doesn’t have a point when she says that law enforcement personnel “could be more effective in their jobs if it weren’t so easy for every idiot and his grandmother in this country to be packing,” but this column could just as easily have run on Sunday morning, couldn’t it? A day or two of reflection before the moralizing starts seems polite, at least. Plus it avoids the appearance of circling the block looking for a crime scene to hastily erect one’s soapbox in.

The NRA has (perhaps wisely) declined to comment on the incident for now.

 

3. Ditto New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who didn’t even wait to finish his second cup of coffee Friday morning before clambering up on the moral high ground.

“Soothing words are nice, but maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be President of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it,” he said in his weekly radio address. “If it was one of your kids yesterday in Aurora, maybe you’d stand up and say I’m not going to take this anymore.”

 

2. The Brady Campaign

A great organization working for a laudable cause, but this morning’s petition sign-up  seemed like little more than an excuse to gather email addresses.

“I Demand Congress Stop Arming Dangerous People” reads the petition, and who in their right mind doesn’t agree with that?

Of course, an aside at the bottom of the call for petition signatures notes quietly that those who ease their consciences by signing up will automatically be added to the Brady Campaign’s ongoing communications — including, one assumes, calls for donations.

 

1. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)

Our top honors go to Texas Congressman Rep. Louie Gohmert, who opted for the Jerry Falwell on 9/11 approach, which means to hang all responsibility for a senseless and complicated tragedy on your own personal set of pet issues.

In an interview with The Heritage Founation’s “Istook Live,” the Tea Party congressman blamed “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs” for the Colorado massacre, as well as for the escalating rate of suicides among active duty military personnel.

You can hear audio of Gohmert’s full remarks, embedded via YouTube, below:

Tragic Shooting At Movie Theater In Aurora, Colorado

America woke up to this tragic news…

Think Progress

A tragedy is unfolding in Aurora, Colorado today. Overnight, 12 people were killed and at least 38 others wounded at a movie theater premiering “The Dark Knight,” the newest Batman film.

The gunman, 24 year-old James Holmes, is in custody, and the FBI has said he has no known connections to terrorist organizations. Police are still investigating the gunman’s apartment, which they reported was “booby trapped” and had “buckets of extra ammunition.”

Wearing a gas mask, the gunman set off what appears to be tear gas, then fired randomly into the audience. Police believe he used four guns — a rifle, a shotgun and two hand guns. A three-month old baby is reported to be the youngest injured in the attack. Cell phone video and personal accounts of the event are beginning to trickle out.

President Obama released a statement this morning saying, “As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family.”

UPDATE 

ABC has gotten in touch with a woman they believe to be the mother of James Holmes, who told them “‘You have the right person,’ she said, apparently speaking on gut instinct. ‘I need to call the police… I need to fly out to Colorado.’”

UPDATE

The three month old has been released from the hospital, but Denver News 9 reports that there are six other victims in children’s’ hospitals.

UPDATE

Obama will be speaking about the shooting at his first event today in Florida, at 11:20 am.

UPDATE 

In a statement this afternoon, a Colorado police chief revised the number of people shot up to 71. Fifty nine were injured, while 12 were killed.

The Last Word – More Rush Limbaugh lies

A comment from Democratic Underground

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The Modus Operandi of republicans is to lie, distort & depend upon the likes of Rush & John Sunnu to deliver their racist & divisive message. Hopefully, voters are now aware that now our democracy is in jeopardy & come out in historic numbers this November!!!

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A Guide To Consumer Brands Helping Bankroll Right-Wing Attack Ads

 

Below, are the companies sponsoring the Right-Wing vitriol in the 2012 election season…

Think Progress

Have you eaten at White Castle recently? Or caught a movie at Regal Cinemas?

If so, you may be unwittingly helping finance right-wing attack ads.

That’s because many of the country’s most common brands are run by rich conservatives who are using their personal wealth to bankroll outside spending groups that are running attack ads smearing progressives. From Marriott Hotels to Brawny paper towels, and from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Coachella music festival, corporate executives at these organizations have given millions of dollars to groups like Mitt Romney’s Super PAC Restore Our Future.

Some corporations, like Waffle House, give direct donations to conservative attack ad groups like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads.

The following list of consumer brands either have leaders who wrote checks to outside right-wing attack ad groups or gave money directly from the corporation. Only entities that gave $25,000 or more were included in this guide.

CONTINUE HERE…

 

Ann Romney’s snobbish snub

 

Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, speaks with ABC newswoman Diane Sawyer at Fenway Park baseball stadium in Boston, Monday, April 16, 2012. (Credit: AP/Steven Senne)

I think everyone I know had the same reaction to Ann Romney’s words…you people.  However, I’m ahead of myself so I’ll let the Salon article put it in context…

Salon

Ross Perot suffered for calling black voters “you people,” but 20 years on, we’re all “you people” to GOP elitists

Are we allowed to criticize Ann Romney yet? I have a call into Hilary Rosen, but she hasn’t gotten back to me.

I’m thinking that with Mitt Romney’s shot at Teresa Heinz Kerry the other day, for not releasing sufficient information from her personal tax returns, maybe we’re beyond the “wives are off-limits” phase of the campaign. Or maybe “wives are off-limits” always applies, but only to Republican wives.

Whatever. I find it impossible not to comment on Ann Romney Antoinette’s remark that her husband has provided enough tax information to “you people.” Or as she told ABC News: “We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life.” Like everyone else, I immediately thought of the trouble Ross Perot caused for himself when he referred to the NAACP audience as “you people” in 1992. It’s so disrespectful.

Now, it may be OK, in some circles, to call the media “you people,” which is what Romney would probably argue she was doing. But in fact, she’s talking to American voters, a majority of whom (including a third of Republicans) want the Romneys share more tax returns,according to a USAToday poll released Thursday. The poll didn’t ask whether voters would like more information generally about how the Romneys “live our life,” but that seems if anything an even more arrogant and elitist reaction from Romney.

Ann Romney’s comment about “you people” is particularly fascinating to me because I can’t get over the way the contemporary right has taken insults they once reserved for African-Americans and applied them to a much broader swath of the country, including white folks, who happen to make up 90 percent of their base. The obvious example I’ve written about before is Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010,” which blames the hard times suffered by the white working class on its own laziness, aversion to marriage, and fondness for the dole – the same personal traits he blamed for African-American poverty in the 1980s.

Ann Romney is too well-bred to call African-Americans “you people” in public, of course, especially after what happened to Ross Perot. But she obviously has no problem referring to other folks she holds in contempt that way. Of course Romney has displayed contempt for certain African-Americans – like when she and her husband told the Obamas to “start packing,” because in Ann’s words, “It’s Mitt’s time. It’s our turn now,” to live in the White House. As if the Obamas were troublesome tenants who’d overstayed their welcome in the home that rightly belongs to the Romneys.

She displayed her plutocratic sense of entitlement when she proclaimed Hilary Rosen’s remarks about her stay-at-home-mom status “a birthday present.” Romney’s sincere reaction wasn’t outrage but opportunism; she enjoyed the sight of Rosen being grilled on a spit over a bipartisan open flame. Good to know it’s all about you, Ann.

Politico and other mainstream media Romney defenders think some of us are being unfair focusing on the Romneys’ wealth and “the way we live our lives,” in Ann’s snippy terms. They think it’s mean to talk about Romney’s dressage habit, which involves a really expensive horse now headed to the Olympics, whose care and feeding allowed the Romneys to take a $77,000 tax deduction. That’s almost twice the median wage in this country.

But in a time of unprecedented income inequality, the Romneys’ wealth, tax history, lifestyle and values are absolutely fair game. And so is Ann Romney’s barely repressed elitism.

We’re all “you people” to the Romneys. It’s good to know.

CONTINUE READING

 

Chick-fil-A Seeks To Distance Itself From Anti-Gay Owner

Think ProgressChick-fil-A President Dan Cathy

On Monday, a Baptist Press story quoted Chick-fil-A’s president Dan Cathy admitting his company’s anti-gay ideology — a stance the company previously attempted to deny. But after two days of Cathy boasting about the story, the company’s Facebook page now features a message flatly contradicting its head.

In his interview with the Baptist Press, Cathy admitted that the company indeed has an anti-gay political agenda. When asked about reports that the company was against same-sex marriage, he told the paper “Well, guilty as charged,” adding:

We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit… We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.

Cathy reinforced his views in a radio interview, in which he asked “God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.” He continued his anti-LGBT campaign Wednesday on Twitter, twice bragging that the Baptist Press interview had “lit up the gay community.”

Today’s statement on the the Chick-fil-a Facebook page takes the exact opposite view. The company now claims:

The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.

Continue reading here…

Romney Adviser: ‘Real Americans’ Don’t Care About Candidate’s Afghanistan Policy

Mitt RomneyThis is the weirdest campaign that I’ve seen in my lifetime.

The inmates have truly taken over the asylum…

The Huffington Post

Watch video here…

A senior adviser to Mitt Romney declined to provide more specific details on the presumptive GOP nominee’s plan for Afghanistan on Thursday, saying it was a distraction from what “real Americans want to talk about.”

The Romney campaign has said the former Massachusetts governor “supports the 2014 timetable as a realistic timetable and a residual force post-2014″ in Afghanistan, but he would not have announced the withdrawal timeline publicly, as President Barack Obama did. But as Josh Rogin at The Cable notes, “details remain sketchy” on what Romney would do beyond the timeline.

Top senators are equally flummoxed. None of them who talked to Rogin were able to explain what Romney’s policy was.

On MSNBC on Thursday, Romney Senior Communications Adviser Tara Wall was asked about Rogin’s article and whether Romney should have a more specific policy on Afghanistan before his upcoming trips to Israel and London. Wall replied that these “attacks” were a distraction from the more important issues of jobs and the economy:

I’m not going to get into the details of that. I’m here to talk about again, once again, the jobs situation, the economy, the growth that we need and what this governor is planning on doing in that regard and what this president has failed to do. […]These are the issues we need to be talking about. And we need to be talking about how this president has failed to address that, has failed to talk about that and continues to malign small business. Those are the things that I’m here to talk about, that I think we need to continue to focus on, that this campaign will focus on. […]

Unfortunately it’s disappointing that the attacks, these recent attacks on all these issues outside of what the issues are relative to Mitt Romney are diverting away from what real Americans want to talk about. And real Americans want to talk about getting back to work.