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The Stupid Keeps Marching On With Cenk, Jane, David and Adam, The Firebagger Brigade!

I feel I must issue a warning about this clip, it can cause convulsions, vomiting and extreme rage. This gang of people that MSNBC has decided to give a platform to for their 3rd party challenge to President Obama and their attempt to return us to Republican rule, are absolutely disgusting. They are money-grubbing carnival barkers whose real goal seems to be to destroying the Democratic Party so they can make lots of money from the anger, once the Republicans take back over. At 2:15 in the clip, Cenk asks a question about Vice President Biden hinting that he may run in 2016, and Jane Hamsher responds first by calling him “the great compromiser”, see yesterday’s post and then Jane goes on to spew populist lies, sounding very much like a teabagger. Following Jane’s anti-democratic rant, David Sirota shows us how stupid and politically naive he is, simply astounding. I’ll get to that after the clip.

Here is my quick transcript of David Sirota’s completely naive and stupid comments regarding Joe Biden and his potential run in 2016. (Bad grammar is his, not mine)

I think it won’t be a situation like Al Gore in 2000 where he is sort of the presumptive nominee. I think there is a lot of up and coming democrats and I think that Joe Biden hasn’t really made it necessarily a name for himself outside of the Obama administration which I think will be probably pretty necessary for a democratic candidate in 2016.

When I heard that live, after having just vomited into my trash can from Jane’s comments, I laughed out loud. Joe Biden has been a leader in the Democratic Party for a long freakin time. Here is a little history lesson for David Sirota that shows how monumentally stupid that last comment was, thanks to Google and Wikipedia.

1 – When Joe Biden was elected into the Senate at age 30, he was the 6th youngest Senator ever to be elected. From Wikipedia, “In 1974, freshman Senator Biden was named one of the 200 Faces for the Future by Time magazine.” David Sirota was born a year later in 1975.

2 – Biden was a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which he chaired from 1987 until 1995 and on which he served as ranking minority member from 1981 until 1987. While chairman, Biden presided over the two most contentious U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings in history, those for Robert Bork in 1987 and Clarence Thomas in 1991. Ah, yea, David Sirota, no name recognition other than with Obama? I remember watching those hearings, David Sirota was 6 years old and 12 years at those times.

3 – He later spearheaded the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, also known as the Biden Crime Law, and the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), which contains a broad array of measures to combat domestic violence and provides billions of dollars in federal funds to address gender-based crimes.

4 – Biden was also a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In 1997, he became the ranking minority member and chaired the committee from June 2001 through 2003. When Democrats re-took control of the Senate following the 2006 elections, Biden again assumed the top spot on the committee in 2007. So yea, chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations committee and ranking member, nothing to see here, right Sirota?

5 –  He’s also run for president twice, in 1988 and again in 2008. And he had made enough of a name for himself to be chosen as the Vice Presidential nominee who went on to help Barack Obama win the presidency with more votes than any team in history.

Are you really that fucking stupid, David Sirota? And why on earth would anyone bring you on their news show as a pundit, when you say such stupid things and obviously are making it up as you go along. The stupid just keeps marching on.

May 24, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Democratic Party, Jane Hamsher, Politics | , | 1 Comment

A Collection of Cornel Criticism (West, That Is)

Here, Jonathon Capehart takes issue with Cornel West’s recent rantings and the Chris Hedge’s piece at Truthdig.

Even Stanley Crouch has some words for brother Cornel in the NY Daily News.

George L. Cook III sums up the feelings of a lot of people.

Here a white brother weighs in on the Cornel mess.

And I love the title of this one, “Reflections on the Rejected Lover Syndrome”.

May 23, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Politics, President Barack Obama | , | 4 Comments

When Did “Compromise” Transform Into A Negative Idea?

“Compromise” is one of the foundations of democrazy (that was originally a typo, but I like it). Somehow, since the election of President Obama, the word is being redefined by some on both sides of the isle, with the help of the media who just follow along like lemmings. It’s a word that is often said with disdain, as if the mere act of compromising is somehow wrong. This is a very disturbing trend because it basically increases polarization, hatred and gives people a reason to throw up their hands in disgust. It is part of the scorched earth strategy being employed by like I said, both the right and some on the left.

I can almost understand the right’s obsession with not compromising, it’s politics man. But for those on the left who claim to be progressive and care about changing things for the better, it flies in the face of reason to oppose it on principle. The Republican’s don’t want to compromise because they perceive any bills passed and signed by President Obama as a win. And we can’t have that now. And we all know that from day one of President Obama’s first term, they have tried to thwart any success for the White House, even if it means screwing citizens or exposing their hypocrisy. And because of the very successful brainwashing of their base by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the right-wing noise machine, it really won’t have much impact on those voters. We can only hope that it does have an impact on moderates, who are the folks that swing elections one way or the other.

The people on the left wing who have spit on the word compromise and staked out unrealistic positions, their reasons are a bit more complicated and in my opinion, just plain stupid. I expect stupid from Republicans, but in the last 2.5 years, many on the left have shown how stupid they are too. They may have been that way all along, but were hiding it well.

In the 8 years of President Bush’s term, a cottage industry sprung up that was fueled by anger, hatred and indignation towards the Bush Administration and the many rights and liberties that were taken from us or trampled on. Blogs became all the rage during this time and the idea of the internet as a way to organize and mobilize people around a cause became very real. But a lot of it was rooted in and fueled by anger towards Bush. I joined in the craze and loved seeing the Bush Administration challenged and attacked. Good times!  But the transition from the anger based foundation to where we are now, after President Obama took office, didn’t go very well for these people. A lot of that anger just shifted towards the new administration, the path of least resistance, I suppose.

Many of the “progressive”  bloggers that came to prominence during the Bush years, who clearly played to the anger towards Bush and gang, were actually Republicans turned angry. In their disgust towards Bush, they built a following of people who didn’t necessarily agree with them very much, besides hating Bush. Here is a brief list of some of those folks.

Arianna Huffington, worked for Newt Gingrich and is the former wife to Republican candidate Michael Huffington. We all know how she has cashed in and is turning back towards her true party, the GOP.

John Aravosis, former staffer to Sen. Ted (bridge to nowhere) Stevens.

Cenk Uygur, who has apparently admitted that he “used to be” a Republican on his show, he sure keeps attempting to play to the left but his roots help explain his attacks on the President.

Dylan Ratigan has landed a couple of different time slots on MSNBC and is trying to play to the left, although he clearly has a hard time of it. He built his brand on the back of populist rhetoric.

And I would add Glenn Greenwald to the mix too, although he claims to be an independent. He supports Gary Johnson, a Republican, as a third party candidate. He still gets trotted out as a left-leaning blogger or as a representative of the left blogosphere, when he clearly is not. Many volumes have been written about that man and his tactics.

The other group of bloggers and pundits that are fighting against the President and don’t seem to understand the nature of compromise are rooted on the liberal end of the spectrum. It is sad to see this group let their entrenched principles and ideals influence their perceptions of the progress that has been made with President Obama at the helm. They can’t even give the President credit when it is due. My short list of these folks include Michael Moore, Adam Green, Bill Maher, David Sirota, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Markos Moulitsas, Jane Hamsher and Keith Olbermann. We expect the right to have crazy notions about our President and suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome, but it isn’t just a right-wing disease. From The Hand That Feeds You…

 The thing is, these folks aren’t the real threat. That’s what unnerves me, lately. What really bothers me, and I mean really gets my goat, are the basically forward thinking, well educated and Progressive Americans who also wallow in self-indulgent and conspiratorial whining. It is smug. It serves no purpose but to excuse inaction and it is more dangerous.

This is about the other “Obama Derangement Syndrome.” It is high time we address it.

Barack Obama’s Presidency had barely begun when some on the Left started selling us the “betrayal meme.” In March of 2009, Dave Lindorff famously excoriated the new President in a piece called “The Obama Betrayal.” He was apoplectic over capitulation to Republicans regarding the ‘Employee Free Choice Act.’ He makes no mention of the fact that Progressives did not flood the congress and the White House with calls supporting the President’s fight. He omits the huge and organized campaign enlisting our citizen-opponents which went a long way towards torpedoing the legislation. Why should we on the Left have been expected to do anything? Wasn’t Obama supposed to single-handedly crush our foes?

After all, we elected him.

To me, these people are extremely deluded. They’ve built a false narrative within their own minds and in the process have abandoned any pretense that people matter in the equation. Their ideals, reinforced with denial, lies, exaggerations and populist outrage, have overcome their common sense, if they had any to begin with. Whenever I get into a Twitter fight with any of them, I usually shut them up pretty quickly when I ask questions like “how does that help real people” or I start giving them real examples of how it affects people, like those with pre-existing conditions who can now get health insurance, like my niece. They seem to live in a world of generalities, ideals and have created their own echo chamber to reinforce it.

I also think that many of these so-called progressive bloggers, who seem to be fighting progress, have fallen victim to the “right wing paid troll program” where the GOP and their supporters pay people to comment on progressive blogs, either posing as liberals dissatisfied with the President or simply attacking liberal ideas with right-wing talking points. It’s a copy and paste operation that I think has overtaken many of the comment sections of these blogs. I think a lot of these bloggers are naive and think that there is a lot more dissatisfaction with the President and the Democratic Party than there actually is. And they drive out people who disagree with the anti-Obama memes. I know very well about that, having been banned by Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Crooks and Liars, Firedoglake and Americablog. And it wasn’t for being abusive at all, unless calling them “whiners” is somehow abusive or giving a different opinion than the consensus (group think) in the room.

The most often heard refrain from these folks is that President Obama gives up too much in the beginning of negotiations. They claim he gives in before the negotiations even begin. But these pundits who say this have no idea what the behind the scenes vote counting is or what preconditions may have been talked about in advance. But a lot of their criticism is because they think the President should start where they would, way to the left, whether it pollutes negotiations or gives the right-wing the fuel they need to either walk away, or try to paint the left as extreme. And of course, most of these people did absolutely nothing to help the president. More from The Hand That Feeds You…(emphasis mine)

Throughout Obama’s first two years, we the people who did elect him largely sat on our hands expecting to be saved. Perhaps we had become so inured to the imperial nature of the Presidency within the Bush years that we forgot that there are other requirements of citizenship between ballots. As we continued to do nothing and the opposition used slick, manipulative marketing to energize hundreds of thousand of idiots, the Washington Post asked “Is Obama Betraying The Left?” The New Statesman published “Obama: The Betrayal?” It goes on and on and on.

The “betrayal meme” is picking up steam again. This is frankly getting out of hand. Most recently, Cornel West, a great man whom I adore, has had a full blown freak-out. Chris Hedges is loving every minute of it. It’s nifty copy. It’s also representative of a dangerous and elitist abdication of citizen responsibility. It’s becoming the bread and butter of the establishment Left to accuse President Obama of essentially not rescuing us while we wait like little children.

The President has had to attempt to stand his ground in a position of weakness the base helped create. When the rabble on the right was out-calling our Representatives at a ratio of four or five to one to oppose the AFA, where were we? When Tea Partiers were being duped by their masters into showing up by the busload, where were our counter-protests? By the way, much as I do love Colbert and Stewart, they can suck it on that count. Like Bill Maher said at the time, rallies should really “be about something.”

This liberal group of pundits often make grandiose claims that President Obama is abandoning his base and losing support from them, yet every single poll that breaks it down, shows solid support for the President. The small amount who are unsatisfied are more than likely people who have not fared well in the economy and have only heard the media’s filtered version of who is to blame for it. Some are extreme pacifists who expected a Democratic president to just pull our troops out of every conflict that Bush handed to President Obama, immediately. People like Glenn Greenwald, David Sirota, Jane Hamsher and others try hard to further that perception as some sort of betrayal, even though candidate Obama made clear what he was going to do when he took office. I read recently, I wish I could find it, one of those folks basically say that nothing has changed in Iraq, the President isn’t getting us out of there. Except the facts are much different. Unfortunately, the following is from the Huffington Post on August 10, 2010…

In Massachusetts, where the president was on vacation, White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan called the drawdown in U.S. troops a “truly remarkable achievement.” He noted that the milestone had been reached a week ahead of schedule and represented a drop of 94,000 troops on Obama’s watch.

You can imagine my disbelief upon reading the characterization that nothing has changed in Iraq. Combat operations were declared over on August 31, 2010 and the last combat troops drove out of Iraq and into Kuwait. Now a lot of people just denied that it was true, poo pooed it and said we will never leave Iraq. And you can’t play with my ball, either. I’m taking it home. So nah! The reality is that President Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do and ahead of schedule. That has to piss of the people most intent on making sure our president doesn’t get credit for a damn thing.

As a Democrat and supporter of President Obama, it pisses me off that so many people who claim to be progressive or liberal have decided that attacking and weakening our Democratic President is somehow going to help their cause. It is the stupidest fucking reasoning I’ve ever seen in politics. On what fucking planet does weakening your party’s leader somehow help the party? Considering the lock-step discipline of the Senate Republicans and their unprecedented use of the filibuster, it was clear that the President was going to have to compromise. The other alternative was to let the Republicans win and basically defund the entire government. I’m often reminded of what Jane Hamsher’s friend Grover Norquist said which spells out the GOP philosophy of government, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

May 23, 2011 Posted by | Democratic Party, Politics, President Barack Obama, Professional Left, Republican Party | | 13 Comments

I’m Serious, The Cutest Pictures Of A One Year Old Ever!

This is my goofy, smart, fun, talented one year old granddaughter. She reeealllly likes her grandpa, me. We took a nap together this afternoon, she likes to hug me tight. Calls me “bumpa” sometimes, grandpa other times. She knows sign language really well and says many words, she’s very bright. And she loves to play, laugh, dance and entertain.

Photos by Extreme Liberal

May 21, 2011 Posted by | Photography | 3 Comments

A Collection Of Scarborough Smack Downs, F-bombs and Rudeness!

This post was inspired by a link from the very cool @cindyloveseric on Twitter, if you are on Twitter and not following her, you are nuts. This first clip is probably my favorite Scarborough smackdown of all time. Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, father of sidekick Mika, just nails him at :25 seconds, but start from the beginning.

This next one is classic Keith Olbermann, sometimes ally and sometimes hater of Democrats and POTUS. Keith’s awesome line starts around :55 seconds. Interesting also that Joe cites Bush’s 82% wrong track poll number, when you look at Obama’s number (64%), it seems pretty good compared to ole W’s. But I’ve never ascribed that “Is the country on the wrong track” solely to whatever president is in office, the Congress is a large part of that IMO.

This next one is short, but good. Rachel Maddow lands a punch on Joe at :27 in the clip.

This is one of the many F-bombs that Scarborough has accidentally dropped on TV, it happens at :24 in the clip. Barnicle’s reaction is priceless.

This is a classic too, Paul Krugman tells Joe like it is at about 2:49 after Scarborough goes on a very idiotic rant.

Now this one completely offends me and it is Mika being very rude to Joan Walsh, another sometimes ally, sometimes enemy of Democrats. Watch the whole thing.

In this clip, Chris Matthews takes on Joe Scarborough’s hypocrisy, which Joe just loves. He is the most thin-skinned political shill I’ve ever seen. The good part starts about 2:16. Love it!

May 21, 2011 Posted by | Politics | , , | Leave a comment

A Perfect Rainbow Panoramic with Power Lines!

This was taken with my iPhone 4. I stitched it together with Photoshop’s Photomerge tool. You can see the power lines are out of wack because of the angle that I was facing with the 3 different photos that make up this panoramic, but Photoshop made the rainbow absolutely perfect. There is no way in hell that I’m removing all those power lines. It would be a great touchup exercise for someone who is OCD. Of course all photos taken by me are free for the taking, enjoy!

Photo by Extreme Liberal – Click on the image for a much larger version of it.

May 21, 2011 Posted by | Photography, Public Domain | Leave a comment

Quote of the Week – Bob and Elvis

This quote of the week is from the Bob and Elvis Show Podcast, a must have for anyone who likes liberal politics and hilarity.

Bob – Meanwhile they’re running up against a president who is…just kicking ass. Elvis – Oh, he’s kicking all kinds of ass. Bob – Call me an Obamabot, I don’t give a shit anymore. This guy…you look at the last three years, what he has accomplished and then you put…I mean the icing on the cake was bin Laden, of course and that’s a lot of icing. Elvis – That is a shit-ton of icing.”

May 20, 2011 Posted by | Quote of the Week | | 1 Comment

Jon Stewart Tells It Like It Is To Fox News And Bill O’reilly

Here is a link to the second part of the above, damn thing was autoplaying, which I hate.

May 20, 2011 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , | Leave a comment

A Full Rainbow Panoramic For Your Viewing Pleasure

Photo by Extreme Liberal with my iPhone and created with Photoshop, ding! CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR MASSIVE SIZE COPY!

May 19, 2011 Posted by | Photography, Public Domain | 7 Comments

Trying To Understand The Obama Critics On The Left

I’ve been watching and trying to understand the harsh critics of the President since before he was elected in 2008. The ones that really bother me are the ones on the left who don’t seem to be living in reality, don’t seem to even try to understand the context of any given situation and are so knee-jerk in their criticism of the President, that they clearly have other reasons for those quick, over-the-top responses. And the reverse of that, they give no credit whatsoever for what he has accomplished. I’m a liberal, damn it, but I’m a pragmatist too. After spending many hours with my incredible mother watching C-Span and Sunday morning news shows and discussing the way things have worked and continue to work in our government, I’ve learned to be a pragmatist. My mother taught me as I kicked and screamed. She lived through the Great Depression, World War II and was witness to all the progress that has been made over the years for woman, minorities and our entire country. She tempered my idealism and made me realize that you have to compromise in order to move forward and make it stick.

Progress happens in stages and involves educating people, working together towards those goals and yes, speaking out so that pressure is brought on politicians who must make those changes. But it NEVER happens overnight and it can never be rammed down people’s throats. It causes an adverse reaction and push back, thus hurting the chance for progress. There are so many examples of this that you would think it would be obvious to thinking people, but you would be wrong. :)

In the recent uproar with Cornell West coming out full Anti-Obama (I’ll get to that later), he has given us a perfect example of that naiveté. In my reading, I came across this great post from Milt Shook at PCTC (Please Cut The Crap), that helps to explain reality. Here is one passage that said it well…(emphasis mine)

I am a true-blue, died in the wool, hard-core liberal/progressive. I have spent my life trying to do my little part to move this country in that direction. That last part is what makes me an actual progressive. Having all sorts of high ideals doesn’t make one a progressive; the desire to move the system in that direction – THAT is what makes me progressive. Got it? Good.

But here’s the thing.

This country has NEVER been all that progressive.  This country has NEVER fulfilled the promise of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Yet, I remain hopeful that it will. It’s moving in the right direction overall, but in recent years – about the last 40, give or take a few – there have been forces that are attempting to move it in the opposite direction, and they need to stop it.

This may surprise you, but I am not talking about the right wing. I’m talking about the extreme left wing of the political spectrum.  They suck at politics and, ironically, the very people they claim to be trying to advance in society are suffering as a result.

I highly recommend you go and read the entire post over at PCTC, I found myself saying out loud “damn right” and other positive grunts and utterances as I was reading it. Then come back and read my comments on the issue, please. I would also recommend that you buy Milt Shock’s new book, Not Another Savior, although I haven’t read it yet, I’m buying one myself later today. I really like the way Milt thinks and have to “believe” it is good, which is good enough for me to buy it. Kind of like faith. :) More from Milt at PCTC, saying things I’ve been thinking…freakin mind reader, anyway.

We live in a democracy. If you want to make policy, you have to win elections. Winning elections requires a majority. It’s depressing that I feel like I have to point that out to some on the far left, but I apparently do. If you want to be an ACTUAL progressive, then you have to take this equation into account. If you’re not prepared to do whatever is necessary to move in the right (as in correct) direction, which is to get a majority of the populace behind you, then you’re not really a progressive. You may agree with me on every issue above, but if you’re not doing what you can to make shit happen, you’re a phony. God, I hate to be that blunt, but it’s true.

If people who claim to want progress aren’t doing what needs to be done to make shit happen, they are just arm-chair quarterbacks, sitting on the sidelines lobbing grenades in the form of criticism, while at the same time weakening the very people who need strength in order to make that progress. As a “progressive”, very well defined by Milt, it’s fucking maddening to watch as these people tear down the only politician in Washington who seems to be trying to get shit done, President Obama. Individual congress-people and senators have very narrow interests, getting reelected in their districts being the main one. When the critics on the left attack and criticize the “congress”, that amorphous group of people who represent all variations of people in their districts and are sent to Washington for that purpose, I always see that as pretty naive as well. Who in the hell are they going to turn to, Gary Johnson, Ralph Nader? When it comes to the congress, the best analogy to me is the idea of trying to herd cats or chickens, good luck with that. So it takes a leader like President Obama to try to set the direction, educate people, and put pressure on the special interests who push Congress in the directions they want, even if they aren’t in the best interests of progress. It’s a tough job, and made much tougher when the loudest voices in the echo chamber are weakening you.

More from Milt’s excellent piece…

Once again, you can’t get policy done without winning elections. Elected officials make policy. Elected officials make judicial appointments. Elected officials put policies into effect and enforce laws.  And you can’t get elected with high ideals but no support. It literally does not matter how “passionately” you feel about an issue; if you don’t give politicians the tools they need to turn your “passion” into policy, you’re basically masturbating, politically speaking. When you vote for a “third party,” you’re a political jackoff. When you vote for a candidate with no chance of winning, you’re a political jackoff.  If you plan to “stay away from the polls to send a message,” you’re a political jackoff and a joke. Seriously, how delusional does someone have to be to think that not voting sends a message to anyone? For shit’s sake, folks; half the population stays away from the polls in most elections; that’s like saying NOT going to a Lady Gaga concert sends a message that you don’t like her music. Here’s a clue, folks; she doesn’t give a shit about non-fans, and the political system doesn’t give a shit if you stay away from the polls.

But what really angers me about this certain stripe of phony “progressives” is that they’re so loud and obnoxious about it, they end up handing elections to the right wing pretty much by default.

I’ve had a theory for a long time that much of the harsh criticism on the left, the stuff that doesn’t help us progress, is based on pettiness, selfishness, racism towards our first black president, greed and extreme naiveté (or some combination).

I haven’t weighed in much on the Cornell West tirade of late because being a white man, I don’t feel qualified to speak on many of these issues. I certainly have my opinions and have a few years of experience exploring a lot of issues that have faced African Americans. I produced, directed, co-wrote and co-edited a historical documentary on The Second Great Migration and I’m currently in pre-production on a few other similar stories. But I still would never presume to be able to speak to the ideas that Cornell West is pushing in the black community. I leave that to others like Melissa Harris-Perry (2016). Having read to this point in this post, please watch this clip from Ed Schultz’s show featuring Cornell West and Melissa Harris-Perry. And please notice how unspecific Cornell West’s ideas are and how chimerical. You might also notice how easily he dismisses President Obama’s many accomplishments, if only Cornell had gotten a few more phone calls from candidate Obama and a couple tickets to the inauguration.

I am probably Melissa Harris-Perry’s biggest fan, I think she should run for president in 2016 and I hereby nominate her. I would imagine that watching what President Obama has had to go through to this point, she’s probably not looking at the job as a step up at this point. But here’s to hoping she has a moment of dementia and runs for elected office. I read in this “chirpstory” that I created from her Twitter feed, that she hasn’t ruled it out. Woo hoo!

So I keep trying to understand how people who seem sane, with moderate to high intelligence, who claim to be “progressive” (whatever the hell that means anymore), can attack the very party and President who they stand the only chance of making progress with. We as real liberals (or progressives) have to keep calling them out on their pettiness and how they are hurting the progress they say they support.

May 19, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Accomplishments, Politics, President Barack Obama, Professional Left, Racism | , | 12 Comments

Travel Day

I’m on the road for the next two days, I will post when I get a chance. Peace!

May 18, 2011 Posted by | General | 1 Comment

A Response To Cornell West From The Past (Updated)

Cornell West has been out bashing President Obama, much of it for pettiness such as not getting calls from him during the campaign and not getting a ticket to the inauguration in January of 2009. Chris Hedges at Truthdig has the story that is creating all the buzz(kill). The passage below reads to me a lot like the grumblings during the 2008 primaries that candidate Obama wasn’t black enough. Read this passage and decide for yourself.

“I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men,” West says. “It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He is just as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation. When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening. And that’s true for a white brother. When you get a white brother who meets a free, independent black man, they got to be mature to really embrace fully what the brother is saying to them. It’s a tension, given the history. It can be overcome. Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.”

As I was reading that passage, it reminded me of this clip that, to me, is one of the all time greatest political clips ever. As an Obama supporter from day 1 and after suffering through some nasty tactics by Hillary and the gang, when Dick Gregory said this at the State of Black Union ’08, it was just amazing. Notice who else is on the panel.

I had the great fortune and honor to interview Dick Gregory for my last documentary, a 45 minute long interview that was mostly off the topic I was exploring, but a lot of fascinating stuff. I’ve thought about going back and doing something with that footage. Some day.

I have to give Cornell West credit for laying it all right out there for us to see, rough edges and all. I wish I could be a fly on the wall the next time Cornell and President Obama get a chance to talk. There is so much wrong with what I read in the Hedges piece, but I’ll leave that to others to dissect. But in my looking for the above Dick Gregory clip, I came across this one too. Completely off topic, but I just had to share it. He is one funny man.

 UPDATE: Go read Melissa Harris-Perry’s response to Cornel West at the Nation. It’s very good.

May 17, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Politics, President Barack Obama | , | 17 Comments

President Obama – How Can You NOT Like This Man?

The election of President Barack Obama was monumental in so many ways. That’s pretty obvious, I know. Lately, I’ve been trying to understand some people’s extreme hatred for a man with this face.

I mean really, I do not understand how – even if they don’t agree with the mans policies – they can’t see that he is a nice person. Well, it turns out that people really do think he is a nice person, contrary to the many warped memes that get trotted out on television or the vitriol coming from some in the Professional Left – the usual suspects. A recent poll by Politico did the radical thing and asked a poll question that actually attempted to get at that. From Politico with this headline Barack Obama’s Personal Approval Rating Hits 72% In Battleground States

If you want to know why Barack Obama is looking good for reelection despite the our nation’s economic struggles, the new Politico/GWU poll has your answer. 72% of voters in battleground states approve of Obama as a person.

I’ve seen similar results on similar questions and it shows that a very large percentage see him as he actually is, a very genuine, intelligent, nice man. I’m a little freaked out by the “approve of him as a person”, as opposed to what? And really, it does leave 28% who either don’t approve of him as a person or don’t know. I can only imagine how that group breaks out. Certainly the “racists” make up a large percentage of that, from the right and the left. And I would assume some are just hard core Republicans who would spit on any damn liberal. Kind of how I feel about Republicans. :) And then there are, for lack of a better term, “The Naderites”, who don’t like anyone, they all suck, Democrats and Republicans. I’m sure there are others, but those are what come to my mind.

And I am encouraged that 72% of the American people are smart enough to be able to tell that he is a good person. I occasionally have up this Kurt Vonnegut quote  “The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart.” I have to remind myself when reading these polls that they do include some people who are absolutely clueless, the ones that can’t name who the president is or who was buried in Grant’s tomb. They more than likely won’t vote, but I’m afraid they get included in the results of these “years out” polls.

I’m actually encouraged by that 72% number because with that many people who are capable of rational thought, all the Obama campaign has to do is point people to this website, or this one, or how about this great Youtube clip. It will be easy to get 51% of those people to realize that this genuinely nice man in the picture and on the TV really does care. He really is trying to move the country forward for all people. Share those links with all your friends, put them in emails, help spread the truth. I have a feeling a lot of people who consider themselves well informed aren’t aware of all that has been done in the last two and a half years. Here are a few of my favorites.

Authorized the US auto industry rescue plan and two GMAC rescue packages (2009)

Authorized a $789 billion economic stimulus plan (2009) * Note: 1/3 in tax cuts for working-class families; 1/3 to states for infrastructure projects; 1/3 to states to prevent the layoff of police officers, teachers, etc. at risk of losing their jobs because of state budget shortfalls

Credit card companies are prohibited from raising rates without advance notification or arbitrarily if customers are paying bills on time (2010)

Authorized the “Cash for Clunkers” program that stimulated auto sales and removed old, inefficient, polluting cars from the road (2009)

Signed the Affordable Care Act. The historic healthcare reform bill – $940 billion over 10 years (2010)

Instituted enforcements for equal pay for women (Lilly Ledbetter Bill) (2009)

Appointed Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina, to the Supreme Court (2009)

Signed the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation that includes acts of violence against gays under the list of federal hate crimes (2009)

Signed the Tribal Law and Order Act which does this.  “Tribes will now have the right–and the resources–to investigate and prosecute rapes perpetrated by non-Natives on tribal lands.

That’s only a tiny sliver of great things or progress, that has been made in the last two and a half years. I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again, President Obama is the best president we’ve ever had. He has set a new standard for presidents.

May 17, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Accomplishments, Democratic Party, Politics, President Barack Obama, Professional Left | Leave a comment

A Photo Says It All!

May 16, 2011 Posted by | President Barack Obama | | 1 Comment

A History Of Newtisms – The Crazy Continues On!

I thought I would give some highlights of some of the stupid, dangerous and radical ideas that Newt Gingrich has spewed over the years. This quasi-intellectual blowhard seems to be able to con some of the even more stupid media, but those of us with critical thinking ability see through his stupidity. He clearly has an obsession with WWII and Nazi Germany. Some highlights of Newt’s babbling, courtesy of Mother Jones…(emphasis mine)

1978 In an address to College Republicans before he was elected to the House, Gingrich says: “I think one of the great problems we have in the Republican party is that we don’t encourage you to be nasty.

1984 Gingrich takes advantage of the arrival of C-Span to deliver scathing condemnations of his colleagues. He accuses Democrats of appeasement and distributing “communist propaganda,” and threatens to press charges against them for writing a letter to Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega. House Speaker Tip O’Neill calls it “the lowest thing that I’ve ever seen in my 32 years in Congress.”

1985 Gingrich calls Reagan’s upcoming meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev ”the most dangerous summit for the West since Adolf Hitler met with Chamberlain in 1938 at Munich.”

1985Gingrich compares a disputed House election in Indiana to the Holocaust. “We have talked a lot in recent weeks about the Holocaust, about the incredible period in which Nazi Germany killed millions of people and, in particular, came close to wiping out European Jewry.

1989 He explains to the Washington Post why he fights with his second wife, Marianne: “It’s not even that it matters to me. It’s just the habit of dominance, the habit of being the center of my staff and the center of the news media.” Newt gives the marriage a “53–47″ shot of surviving.

1989 Gingrich lays out his electoral roadmap: “The left-wing Democrats will represent the party of total hedonism, total exhibitionism, total bizarreness, total weirdness, and the total right to cripple innocent people in the name of letting hooligans loose.”

1994 A South Carolina woman, Susan Smith, murders her two sons. Gingrich draws the only logical conclusion: “I think that the mother killing the two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we need to change things. The only way you get change is to vote Republican.”

1994 He sums up his political philosophy: “People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz. I see evil all around me every day.”

1998 Gingrich steps down as Speaker, amid ethics complaints and rumors of an extramarital affair. He frames his decision in pragmatic terms: “I’m willing to lead, but I’m not willing to preside over people who are cannibals.”

2006 Asked whether he agrees with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s comments that opposition to the Bush administration’s Iraq policy is tantamount to appeasing Hitler, Gingrich responds, “Yes.”

2007 “We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.” Two years later, Gingrich unveils a new Spanish-language website, The Americano.

2008 Gingrich tells Bill O’Reilly that “there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us.” The gay and secular fascist movement, Gingrich charges, is “prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it.”

2010 Gingrich warns that Obama’s agenda “would mean the end of America as it has been for the last 400 years.”

2010 Sign of the times: Gingrich swaps gay secular fascism for “secular-socialist machine“—which he says “represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.”

2010 A year after writing a book about noted anti-colonialist George Washington, Gingrich suggests that the current president holds a radical, anti-British worldview of his own. “What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?”Gingrich asks. “That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

2011Gingrich tells the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody that he was driven to his cheat on his previous two wives because of his one true love: America. “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”

2011 Secular-socialists give way to atheist-Islamists: “I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time [his grandchildren are] my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.” His spokesman later clarified that Gingrich meant either Islamists or atheists would take over America, not both.

I have a feeling there will be more crap flowing from Newt Gingrich’s mouth in the very near future. He loves getting attention in any way he can. I’ve been wondering since it looked like he was getting in the race, whether Arianna Huffington will make her full pendulum swing back to the party that seems to be in her blood, the Republican Party. I fully expect Arianna to endorse her old buddy Newt and start working for him again. She wrote a piece about what a great president ole’ Newt would be. Ah, gotta love the internets.

May 16, 2011 Posted by | Politics, Republican Party | , | 1 Comment

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