Super Pacs

GOP Turns The Tables – Does Obama Have A Bill Maher Problem?

Oh boy, it’s going to be a long campaign season…

TPM2012

Faced with what appears to be a losing fight over Rush Limbaugh, Republicans are trying to turn the tables in the condemnation game by urging President Obama to repudiate comedian Bill Maher, who donated $1 million to Obama’s super PAC and has said some nasty things about Sarah Palin and other Republican women.

Republicans think they’re really on to something here. And some observers agree.

If Obama wants to have credibility on the Limbaugh attacks, says Siobhan “Sam” Bennett, president of the Women’s Campaign Fund and a former Democratic House candidate, he’s going to have to show he’ll step up to all sexism when he sees it, even the sexism that comes from huge donors.

“They’re absolutely identical,” Bennett said. “It’s completely unacceptable when Maher said sexist things about Bachmann and Palin. It’s completely unacceptable when Rush called Sandra Fluke a ‘slut.’”

“If you attack one woman, you attack all women, period,” she added. “If it goes uncalled against, we’re saying it’s OK. It’s not.”

The WCF is a nonpartisan group that helps pro-choice women run for office. The group runs NameItChangeIt.org, a blog that tracks sexism in political coverage (and has taken on Maher in the past). Bennett said the media environment has gotten worse for women candidates in recent years — and she has data that proves that when politicians call out the sexism among their supporters, they benefit from it.

“Absolutely, in every case, unequivocally, research shows that if you speak out against sexism like this, everybody wins,” Bennett said. “You win as a third-party validator, the woman wins and of course the only one that doesn’t win is the bad guy who made that sexist statement.”

This is likely music to conservative ears, as they’ve tried mightily this week to deflect some of the Limbaugh fallout onto Maher. Conservative commentators have cried hypocrisy when it comes to Obama and Maher basically everywhere they can, and on Wednesday a group called ShePAC — dedicated to getting conservative Republican women elected — released a letter that condemned Limbaugh’s comments about Fluke and called on the super PAC supporting Obama, PrioritiesUSA, to give back Maher’s $1 million.

Obama’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment. PrioritiesUSA would not go on the record. Maher’s representatives didn’t respond, though Maher tweeted support for Limbaugh’s apology Tuesday.

At his press conference Tuesday, Obama denounced the attacks and “horrible names” directed at women who speak out without mentioning Limbaugh or any liberal talkers directly.

“[W]e want to send a message to all our young people that being part of a democracy involves argument and disagreements and debate, and we want you to be engaged, and there’s a way to do it that doesn’t involve you being demeaned and insulted, particularly when you’re a private citizen,” Obama said.

But Republicans urging Obama to turn on Maher may have skipped a step — some prominent members of their own party have avoided coming out and denouncing Limbaugh’s remarks unequivocally — even after Limbaugh himself denounced them. Mitt Romney has declined to condemn Limbaugh beyond saying that he wouldn’t have used the same language. A spokesperson for his campaign Wednesday said Romney wasn’t going to say anything more about Limbaugh because “We are not going to be distracted” from talking about the economy. Maybe Romney can avoid Limbaugh, but it’s harder for Republicans to get high and mighty about Maher while Romney and other Republicans celebrate rocker Ted Nugent. He’s said someepically offensive things about Hillary Clinton (not to mention Obama) and he’s a Romney backer.

The tit-for-tat game can go on and on, of course. But the Obama campaign may have made it tougher for Obama to ignore the harsh words thrown around by Maher, who is now (indirectly, to be sure) a major donor to his reelection bid. On a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod had this to say about Romney and Limbaugh:

If you don’t have the strength to stand up to the most strident voices in your party [Limbaugh], how are you going to stand up to Ahmadinejad? … How are you going to stand up to the challenges of the presidency?

Bennett certainly thinks Obama’s facing a challenge of leadership, too.

“The best thing that comes out of this,” she said, referring to the Limbaugh episode, “is that it disturbs complacency and it wakes people up.”

President Barack Obama

At Harvard, Obama Dived Into Diversity Fight

This is an amazing video of a then 30 year-old Barack Obama at Harvard Law School making a speech on race and diversity.  It’s amazing to see how young he was yet his voice and the causes that he took on remain consistent.

Buzz Feed

In this video, not previously available online but licensed by BuzzFeed from a Boston television station, the future president speaks at a 1991 campus protest organized to demand tenure for minority and female law professors.

It was perhaps Barack Obama’s most intense immersion in the charged campus racial politics of the late 1980s and early 1990s: As President of the Harvard Law Review in the spring of his final year there, 1991, he aligned himself with Professor Derrick Bell’s dramatic protest for diversity on the faculty of Harvard Law School.

Bell was the first black tenured professor at the school, and a pioneer of “critical race theory,” which insisted, controversially, on reading issues of race and power into legal scholarship. His protest that spring was occasioned by Harvard’s denial of tenure to a black woman professor, Regina Austin, at a time when only three of the law school’s professors were black and only five women. He told Harvard he would take a leave of absence — a kind of academic strike — “until a woman of color is offered and accepted a tenured position on this faculty,” and he launched a hunger strike to dramatize his point.

Obama was a major figure on campus, the first black president of the Law Review. Some friends, in a prescient joke, just referred to him as “the first black president.” He had a reputation as a conciliatory figure, not a confrontational one like Bell.

“”How Obama would react to Derrick Bell’s protest was a matter of some interest,” New Yorker editor David Remnick wrote in his exploration of Obama and race, The Bridge.

It was a situation in which clear lines had been drawn, and Obama sided with Bell. In a speech before the law school’s Harkness Commons — and sounding very much like his future presidential self — he described Bell as “the Rosa Parks of legal education.”

Obama’s stand provided a major boost to the protests, Keith Boykin, one of their organizers, later recalled.

Barack was always supportive and sympathetic to our campaign for faculty diversity. He spoke about it at one of our rallies. But he was not actively involved in the protest movement. Nor did he need to be. As I said, his presence alone made the case. And even if he agreed with the cause of the movement, he didn’t need to be involved in the more radical protests we launched because our tactics were controversial on campus.

In video, licensed by Buzzfeed from the WGBH Boston television station’s Media Library and Archives, now available online at BuzzFeed in it’s entirety, Obama praised the “excellence of his scholarship.”

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Pamela Geller

Pam Geller – Queen Of Wingnuts

There are no words to describe Pamela Geller, except to say that she, Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and a few other wing nuts say the most outrageous things, because they want to draw attention to themselves and ultimately, sell lots of books….

Mario Piperni

Crazy lady, Pamela Geller, defends Limbaugh.

A 30-year-old poses as a 23-year-old, chooses a Catholic University to attend at $65,000 per year, and cannot afford ALL the birth control pills she needs… so she wants the US taxpayers to pay for her rampant sexual activity. By all accounts she is banging it five times a day. She sounds more like a prostitute to me. She must have an gyno bill to choke a horse (pun intended). Calling this whore a slut was a softball.

Obama calls her and tells Sandra Slut Fluke that her parents should be so proud of her.
He’s a pimp.

Sick. Ms. Fluke is “banging it five times a day”? I wonder how Geller was privy to that information. I also wonder if Geller has any understanding of how birth control pills work.

The sad truth is that Geller is just another sad component of a right-wing noise machine far removed from reality and completely devoid of intellect, honesty and decency. When not referring to coeds as whores and presidents as pimps, Geller fills up her time spreading hate and fear about Muslims to a small legion of devoted psychopaths. Really. Read the comment section of her post. To call these people twisted is to not do justice to their demented minds.

As I’ve noted in the past, there is no chance of rational debate with these people. They truly live in a bubble where they’re free to ignore the truth and create their own set of ‘facts’ to support whatever story they’ve chosen to believe that day.

Welcome to Wingnuttia, the land of the truly ignorant.

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10 little-known Rush Limbaugh facts

Rush Limbaugh is pictured. | Courtesy of Premiere Radio Networks

Politico

America’s top talk radio host is in the middle of a firestorm for calling Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke “a slut” and a “prostitute” before apologizing for his comments after advertisers began leaving his show. Here are 10 things you might not have known about Rush Limbaugh:

1. Enjoys scented candles, and has them lit daily in his Palm Beach home.

2. First job away from home was shining shoes in a barbershop, at the age of 13.

3. During the Vietnam War, after holding a 2-S college deferment, he was reclassified as 1-Y – meaning qualified for military service but available only in time of war or national emergency – for a pilonidal cyst on his butt.

4. Due to his loss of hearing and the need for a cochlear implant, Limbaugh cannot listen to music he wasn’t familiar with before 2001.

5. Owns a Maybach 57S – an extremely rare sports car. Only 63 were sold in 2010, giving the brand a luxury item status that is frequently mentioned by rappers, such as Jay-Z and Kanye West, who cut apart a Maybach 57 in the music video for their hit single, “Otis.”

6. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas officiated at his third wedding. (Limbaugh is currently married to his fourth wife, Kathryn Rogers.)

7. Sang at his friend and baseball star George Brett’s 1992 wedding reception, according to Zev Chafets’ 2010 biography, Rush Limbaugh – An Army of One.” (The two met while Limbaugh was the Director of Promotions at the Kansas City Royals in the late 1970s and early 1980s.)

8. The third member of his immediate family to bear Rush as a first name. His full name is Rush Hudson Limbaugh III, and he was known as “Rusty” growing up. (Rush’s name comes from ancestor Edna Rush, whose name was given to Limbaugh’s grandfather, Rush, Sr.)

9. Admitted to Playboy in 1993 that he smoked marijuana twice, inhaled, but didn’t like it.

10. Idolized conservative writer William F. Buckley. “Bill Buckley is indescribable. He’s irreplaceable. There will not be another one like him,” Limbaugh said on his radio show on the occasion of Buckley’s death.