Tag Archives: Huffington Post

The Slow Motion Lynching of President Barack Obama

The following essay is by author,  Frank Schaeffer.  When I started this blog I mentioned him here.

The essay is compelling and thought-provoking yet may be uncomfortable for some…

Patheos

I’ve watched liberal and right-wing commentators alike blame the president for being lynched. They say “he’s not reaching out enough” or “he’s too cold.” It’s the equivalent of assuming that the black man being beaten by a couple of thug cops must have “done something.”

I am a white privileged well off sixty-one-year-old former Republican religious right-wing activist who changed his mind about religion and politics long ago.  The New York Times profiled my change of heart saying that to my former friends I’m considered a “traitorous prince” since my religious right family was once thought of as “evangelical royalty.”

I’ve just spent the last 7 years writing over 200,000 words in blogs and articles in support of President Obama. My blogs on the Huffington Post alone would add up to a book in support of the President of over 300 pages. Weirdly, I just realized that through all my writing, this has been the first time in my life I’ve personally gone to bat for a black man. It just happens that he’s a president. But my emotional stake in his life is now personal.

So I’ve changed from a white guy who used to read news about some black man getting shot or beaten by cops or stand-you-ground types who assumed that the black man must have “done something,” to a white guy who figures that the black man was probably getting lynched. I’ve changed ideology but I’ve also changed my gut intuitive reactions.

I’ve changed because if this country will lynch a brilliant, civil, kind, humble, compassionate, moderate, articulate, black intellectual we’re lucky enough to have in the White house, we’ll lynch anyone. What chance does an anonymous black man pulled over in a traffic stop have of fair treatment when the former editor of the Harvard Law review is being lynched?

One famous liberal commentator wrote a book on how Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil could disagree and still be friends. Why, he asked on many a TV show promoting his book, couldn’t President Obama be like that? Because, I yelled at the screen, those two men were white Irish Americans and part of a ruling white oligarchy.

Because, I yelled, you might as well ask why Nelson Mandela didn’t talk his jailers in South Africa into seeing reason.

Because, I yelled, the president is black and anytime he’s reached out he’s pulled back a bloody stump.

Because, I yelled, liberal white commentators have been as bothered by a black man in the White House, who’s smarter than they are as much as right-wing bigots have been bothered.

Because, I yelled, President Obama has been lied about, attacked, vilified, and disrespected since Day One.

Because, I yelled, this country may have passed laws so blacks can vote and eat in a white man’s world, but in our hearts are stuck in a place more like 1952 than 2013.

We’ve been watching a slow motion lynching of a moderate brilliant family man, a father, and faithful loving husband. The Republicans in Congress are so dedicated to lynching the President they’ve been willing to shut down our government and risk the future of our economy.

Evangelical “Christians” have been so stuck on putting a rope around this black man’s neck they have denied their faith and been the backbone of the lying Tea Party who spawned the so-called “birthers” and the rest of the white trash driving our news cycle.

Roman Catholic bishops have denied their tradition of helping the poor and been so eager to destroy this president they aligned themselves with white Evangelical bigots and tried to stop health care reform, all because the President wants to give women a fair shake. The bishops even called him “anti-religious” because the president wants insurers to pay for contraception.

This is a slow motion lynching of a black man who is so moderate and centrist that he favored Wall Street enough so that the Left is all over his case. He’s so “radical” and “leftist” and “hates America” so much, and “coddles our enemies” so much, that he killed bin Laden and used drones to kill our enemies. He’s such a “socialist” that he presided over the revival of our economy from the worst recession since the Great Depression, and led us to the present day stock market boom. President Obama is such a “Marxist” that he tried to give insurance – not socialized medicine – to all Americans.

President Obama never answered back to the disgusting southern right-wing rubes from the former slave states that have tried to belittle, mock and stymie his presidency shouting “You lie” in a million ways, while actually meaning “You lie, nigger!”

And did the “enlightened” Left have President Obama’s back? No. They carp about his “failure” because a website was slow to get running! The white privileged “progressive” few were too busy blaming him for getting lynched and telling him how to craft policy while a rope was put around his neck again and again and tightened with each filibuster, each lie told on the radio, each self-defeating scorched earth action to stop him from succeeding, even if it meant taking us all down too.

We don’t like to admit who we really are. So we make excuses and blame the victim. I’m ashamed for our country, a country my Marine son fought for in two stupid wars this president has been working to end. And I’m still rooting for the best, smartest and most decent man who has been president in my lifetime. I pray for his health care reform to succeed. I pray for his immigration reform to succeed. I’m amazed he’s gotten anything done, but he has, even while the lynch mob gathers again and again to laugh, lie and spit and claim he’s “failed” while “liberal” commentators nod sagely and talk about his “mistakes” as if President Obama has been playing on a level playing field.

We have a lot to do to heal this country of the damage done by the right-wing Obama-haters and the Left wing know-it-all pundits who did not have his back because they don’t have the honesty to admit that we still live in a backward racist swamp of prejudice. Maybe in 50 years our country will be worthy of someone of President Obama’s forbearance again. For now we can just hope that the hatred of the Republican Party for our first black president doesn’t drive us to the brink of ruin again as they strip food from the mouths of the poor, and try to get people to not sign up for health care, just to get even with the black man they swore to destroy from the day that “uppity” black who is smarter than all of them put together took the oath of office.

God bless you Mr. President. I’m praying for you. I am so very sorry. But take heart, in the long reach of history the door you opened will stay open for the millions of Americans of all colors, genders and beliefs who will follow you. They will bless your name. So will history.

H/t: DB

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Filed under President Barack Obama

Jon Stewart Cannot Understand The Media’s Freakout Over Obama’s Castro Handshake

I love this guy…

The Huffington Post

You know it’s a slow news week when a significant portion of Monday’s news coverage centered around President Obama’s handshake with Cuban president Raul Castro.

Jon Stewart could barely wrap his head around the media’s subsequent fascination with said handshake, as he outline on last night’s “Daily Show.”

“Barack Obama [was] at a funeral celebrating Nelson Mandela, a man whose legacy is that he forgave and embraced his foes and tormentors, and thus inspired his country to a national and democratic rebirth,” Stewart said. “Attending that, Obama had the audacity to greet another world leader with a gesture so meaningless you can train a basset hound to do it.”

He continued: “What the f*ck is wrong with us?”

Plus, some of Stewart’s critics, like Sen. John McCain, have not exactly been without sin when it comes to shaking hands with our past and future enemies.

Check out the clip above for Stewart’s full missive.

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Is Pope Francis Leaving Vatican At Night To Minister To Homeless?

Pope Francis

Never in my almost seven decades of life have I labeled a Pope “awesome”.   Now, with Pope Francis at the Vatican helm, I can finally say it.  This Pope is awesome.

How can one tell just how great Pope Francis really is?  Just look at all the right-wing talking points against the Pope…

The Huffington Post

A recent interview with Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the “Almoner of His Holiness,” raised speculation that the Pope joins him on his nightly trips into Rome to give alms to the poor, and it turns out that the rumors are probably true.

A knowledgable source in Rome told The Huffington Post that “Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women.”

Krajewski earlier said, “When I say to him ‘I’m going out into the city this evening’, there’s the constant risk that he will come with me,” and he merely smiled and ducked the question when reporters asked him point-blank whether the Pope accompanied him into the city.

He’s not the only Pope known for nocturnal wanderings. There are stories of Pope John XIII sneaking out to enjoy the beauty of Rome in the evenings, and reports tell of Pope Pius XII dressing as a Franciscan during WWII to help smuggle Rome’s Jewish population to safety. More recently, Pope Benedict XVI popped out unannounced to visit an art exhibit.

When Pope Francis was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, he was known to sneak out at night to break bread with the homeless, sitting with them on the street and eating with them to show that they were loved.

And we love him for doing it now.

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GOP Claims Racism Is Over In Misguided Rosa Parks Tribute (UPDATED)

The Republican National Committee  is woefully out of touch…

The Huffington Post

On Sunday, the Republican National Committee tweeted out an ill-advised tribute to civil rights icon Rosa Parks, praising the late activist for “her role in ending racism.”

The message was widely mocked by Twitter users who pointed out that the end of racism was news to them:

TFC Editor Note:  So the RNC’s amended tweet makes everything ok?  It basically says the same thing as the original tweet.  “Helping to end racism”…I think not.  It STILL exists.

 

 

 

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Least Productive Congress EVER – House Only Working 8 More Days This Year

house calendar 2013

House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) | AP

The Huffington Post

Working during the holidays sucks. Luckily for members of the U.S. House of Representatives, they don’t have that much of it before the new year begins.

The House is only scheduled to work eight days between now and January 7, when members return for the second session of the 113th Congress.

The House had 239 days off scheduled during 2013, and they have even more off days scheduled for next year.

The 2014 calendar for the House, released in October by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), shows members will only work only 113 days. That’s down from 2013, when House lawmakers were scheduled to meet for 126 days. Only 107 days were scheduled in 2012.

As HuffPost reported in July, the 113th Congress is on pace to be the least productivein modern history. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been defensive of that report.

“We should not be judged on how many new laws we create,” Boehner told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer in July. “We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal. We’ve got more laws than the administration could ever enforce.”

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Three reasons filibuster reform might actually happen today

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sen. Harry Reid – (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

This must be done soon.  Preferably, today.  Enough is enough from the Teapublican filibusters in the senate.

The Washington Post – Wonkblog

Filibuster reform might actually happen this time. In fact, it might happen today.

Harry Reid is poised to end the filibuster against executive-branch appointments and judicial nominations. Could Democrats back out at the last minute, as they have so many times before? Absolutely. But there’ve been three big changes in Senate Democrats’ outlook since the last time filibuster reform failed.

1. Filibuster reform is just another word for nothing left to lose. Back in January, the best arguments against filibuster reform had nothing to do with filibuster reform. They had to do with the rest of the Democrats’ agenda.

“Speaker John Boehner said the House wouldn’t consider legislation from a post-filibuster reform Senate. It’s very likely that a real filibuster reform fight would’ve destroyed the Democrats’ agenda in the coming months — think immigration and gun control.”

But gun control died in the Senate. And it turned out that Boehner refused to consider the Senate’s immigration legislation regardless of the filibuster’s status. Now, with President Obama’s political capital at a nadir, it’s clear that there’s no second-term agenda to protect in the near future, and they’re may not even be a Democratic Senate majority after 2014.

So in pure “getting-things-done” terms, Democrats are faced with a choice: keep the filibuster and get nothing done. Change the filibuster and get nothing done aside from staffing the federal government and filling a huge number of judicial vacancies with lifetime appointments.

2. Democrats believe Republicans will shred the filibuster as soon as they get a chance. The main reason filibuster reform typically fails is that the majority party is scared of what will happen when the minority party gets into power. But Senate Democrats just watched Republicans mount a suicide mission to shut down the government. Their confidence that Republicans will treat the upper chamber’s rules with reverence is low, to say the least.

This has led to some fatalistic thinking about filibuster reform: If Republicans are going to blow the filibuster up anyway, Democrats might as well take the first step and get some judges out of the deal.

3. Senate Democrats feel betrayed by Republicans. It’s hard to overstate the pride senior Senate Democrats took in cutting their January deal with Senate Republicans. That kind of good-faith dealmaking, they said, was exactly how the Senate is supposed to work. Some even argued it was a sign that immigration reform, gun control, and other top Democratic initiatives might pass.

But then Republicans filibustered more judges and executive-branch nominees. And the pride top Democrats took in their deal to avert filibuster reform has turned to anger that Republicans made them look like trusting fools. “Just talked to at least 10 Senate Dems about filibuster reform, including some who previously opposed it,” tweets the Huffington Post’s Jennifer Bendery. “Just one opposes now.”

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Filed under Senate Filibuster, United States Senate

Jon Stewart Goes Off On ‘Bipartisan Curious’ Republicans Who Won’t Come Out Against The Shutdown

The Huffington Post

As the government shutdown continues, we keep hearing about those moderate Republicans in the House who would vote for a clean continuing resolution, if only Speaker Boehner would allow a vote.

Jon Stewart wonders, however, if there are so many of them, why don’t they force the issue? Watch above as he and Al Madrigal discuss the “bipartisan curious” Republicans who care more about keeping their government paychecks than everyone else getting theirs.

 

 

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John Boehner On Debt Ceiling: Not Threatening Default Would Be ‘Unconditional Surrender’

The Huffington Post

Less than two hours after President Barack Obama turned up political pressure on Republicans to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the president was looking for “unconditional surrender.”

“The president said today if there’s unconditional surrender by Republicans, he’ll sit down and talk to us,” Boehner said Tuesday. “That’s not the way our government works.”

The Ohio Republican addressed reporters just outside his office to rebut Obama’s earlier press conference. His message to the president was clear: The ongoing government shutdown and pending debt ceiling deadline would not be resolved without negotiations.

“It’s time to have that conversation,” Boehner said. “Not next week, not next month — the conversation needs to begin today. The long and short of it is, there’s going to be a negotiation.”

Boehner ducked a question on what would happen if Congress found itself in the final minutes before a debt ceiling breach without an agreement, reiterating the need to talk.

Obama placed a call to Boehner earlier in the day, to reaffirm his position that Republicans should pass ‘clean’ bills, with no strings attached, to end the government shutdown and to increase the debt ceiling. Boehner said it was a “pleasant” conversation, but he was left “disappointed.”

House Republicans unveiled a new strategy Tuesday to deal with both the shutdown and the looming debt ceiling crisis: a bipartisan negotiating team, resembling 2011′s supercommittee, that would hash out a deal to solve both issues. Senate Democrats showed little interest in the idea, and plan to bring a clean bill to the floor this week that would extend the debt limit through the end of 2014.

“All we’re asking for is to sit down and have a conversation,” Boehner said. “There’s no reason to make it more difficult to bring people to the table. There’s no boundaries here. There’s nothing on the table, there’s nothing off the table. I’m trying to do everything I can to bring people together and have a conversation.”

Both Obama and Democrats said they would be willing to have that conversation, but only after Republicans reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the House Budget Committee’s top Democrat, also pointed out that Republicans did not include tax reform in the so-called negotiating team’s points of discussion, making the prospects of a deficit-reduction deal unlikely.

If no breakthrough is made in the next week, Congress will move dangerously close to the Oct. 17 deadline for the government to breach the current debt limit. Economists have warned the consequences of default may include sending stock and bond markets into nosedives and tipping off another recession.

Boehner said he agreed with the president that the consequences of default would be severe.

“I didn’t come here to shut down the government,” Boehner said. “And I certainly didn’t come here to default on our debt.”

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Rachel Maddow To GOP: You Broke It – You Brought It

For some, the post below this one may be too long to read.  I saw this segment of The Rachel Maddow Show last night in which she runs through the same thing as The Nation article…but with even more detail and information.  Enjoy…

Rachel Maddow reviews the years-long Republican plan to sabotage the Obama presidency at any cost, and talks with Ryan Grim, D.C. bureau chief for the Huffington Post, about House Speaker John Boehner’s struggle to find a way out of the government shutdown he allowed his party to force America into. ~ Licentiathe8th’s channel

Courtesy of the  The Rachel Maddow Show.

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Colbert Hammers Koch Brothers, Right-Wing Pundits Over Obamacare Alarm

The Huffington Post

On Tuesday, Stephen Colbert took aim at the Republicans as they continue to lose the media narrative on the government shutdown over Obamacare. Check out the clip above as he offers some tongue-in-cheek mockery of right-wing panic over the Obama administration’s attempts to sell the program to young people, and the Koch Brothers’ attempts to convince them they don’t need insurance.

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October 3, 2013 · 7:37 AM