A Wise Man Takes On Progressives Flirting With Ron Paul!

I’m still in editing mode on a project, but just had to share this post that my friend and fellow blogger Angry Black Lady wrote about a piece by Tim Wise, one of the leading experts on racism in the country. It takes on those on the left flirting with Ron Paul and is a must read for liberals. Go check out ABL’s post and really, go read Tim Wise’s entire piece, it is long but well worth it. Here is ABL’s lead in to an excerpt that gets to the heart of the post.

But people are starting to get it. The Greenwald sweater of polemical deceit is unraveling, and I like it. I like it because I find his sort of polemical discourse and rhetorical bomb-throwing to be a reckless distraction from the serious problems that confront us.

I especially like this, from Tim Wise — “Of Broken Clocks, Presidential Candidates, and the Confusion of Certain White Liberals.”  It’s a thing of beauty. You should read the whole thing, but I’m going to excerpt what I see as the most salient bit:

I want those of you who are seriously singing Paul’s praises, while calling yourself progressive or left to ask what it signifies — not about Ron Paul, but about you — that you can look the rest of us in the eye, your political colleagues and allies, and say, in effect, “Well, he might be a little racist, but

How do you think that sounds to black people, without whom no remotely progressive candidate stands a chance of winning shit in this country at a national level? How does it sound to them — a group that has been more loyal to progressive and left politics than any group in this country — when you praise a man who opposes probably the single most important piece of legislation ever passed in this country, and whose position on the right of businesses to discriminate, places him on the side of the segregated lunchcounter owners? And how do you think they take it that you praise this man, or possibly even support him for president, all so as to teach the black guy currently in the office a lesson for failing to live up to your expectations?

How do you think it sounds to them, right now, this week, as we prepare to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, that you claim to be progressive, and yet you are praising or even encouraging support for a man who voted against that holiday, who opposes almost every aspect of King’s public policy agenda, and the crowning achievements of the movement he helped lead?

My guess is that you don’t think about this at all. Because you don’t have to. One guess as to why not.

It’s the same reason you don’t have to think about how it sounds to most women — and damned near all progressive women — when you praise Paul openly despite his views on reproductive freedom, and even sexual harassment, which Paul has said should not even be an issue for the courts. He thinks women who are harassed on the job should just quit. In other words, “Yeah, he might be a little bit sexist, but…”

It’s the same reason you don’t have to really sweat the fact that he would love to cut important social programs for poor people. And you don’t have to worry about how it sounds to them that you would claim to be progressive, while encouraging support for a guy who would pull what minimal safety net still exists from under them, and leave it to private charities to fill the gap. And we all know why you don’t have to worry about it. Because you aren’t them. You aren’t the ones who would be affected. You’ll never be them. I doubt you even know anyone like that. People who are that poor don’t follow you on Twitter.


And please, Glenn Greenwald, spare me the tired shtick about how Paul “raises important issues” that no one on the left is raising, and so even though you’re not endorsing him, it is still helpful to a progressive narrative that his voice be heard. Bullshit. The stronger Paul gets the stronger Paul gets, period. And the stronger Paul gets, the stronger libertarianism gets, and thus, the Libertarian Party as a potential third party: not the Greens, mind you, but the Libertarians. And the stronger Paul gets, the stronger become those voices who worship the free market as though it were an invisible fairy godparent, capable of dispensing all good things to all comers — people like Paul Ryan, for instance, or Scott Walker. In a nation where the dominant narrative has long been anti-tax, anti-regulation, poor-people-bashing and God-bless-capitalism, it would be precisely those aspects of Paul’s ideological grab bag that would become more prominent. And if you don’t know that, you are a fool of such Herculean proportions as to suggest that Salon might wish to consider administering some kind of political-movement-related-cognitive skills test for its columnists, and the setting of a minimum cutoff score, below which you would, for this one stroke of asininity alone, most assuredly fall.

I mean, seriously, if “raising important issues” is all it takes to get some kind words from liberal authors, bloggers and activists, and maybe even votes from some progressives, just so as to “shake things up,” then why not support David Duke? With the exception of his views on the drug war, David shares every single view of Paul’s that can be considered progressive or left in orientation. Every single one. So where do you draw the line? Must one have actually donned a Klan hood and lit a cross before his handful of liberal stands prove to be insufficient? Must one actually, as Duke has been known to do, light candles on a birthday cake for Hitler on April 20, before it no longer proves adequate to want to limit the overzealous reach of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms? Exactly when does one become too much of an evil fuck even for you? Inquiring minds seriously want to know.

And here is another chunk from ABL’s post which is a preface to a book authored by Glenn Greenwald that I’ve been wanting to write about since I was turned onto it. It made me say out loud, “Whaaaaaaaaa?”…

During the lead-up to the invasion, I was concerned that the hell-bent focus on invading Iraq was being driven by agendas and strategic objectives that had nothing to do with terrorism or the 9/11 attacks. The overt rationale for the invasion was exceedingly weak, particularly given that it would lead to an open-ended, incalculably costly, and intensely risky preemptive war. Around the same time, it was revealed that an invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein had been high on the agenda of various senior administration officials long before September 11. Despite these doubts, concerns, and grounds for ambivalence, I had not abandoned my trust in the Bush administration. Between the president’s performance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the swift removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the fact that I wanted the president to succeed, because my loyalty is to my country and he was the leader of my country, I still gave the administration the benefit of the doubt. I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.

And this is the guy going around calling anyone who supports President Obama “baby-killers”. People call this guy smart?

Political Mythbusters: There Never Was A White House Deal To Kill The Public Option, Stop Lying!

There have been many lies circulated about President Obama over the last 3 years, but the one that seems to have poisoned the water from the beginning is the lie that President Obama struck a deal to keep the public option out of the final health care bill. It has formed the basis of the “caved” meme that people on the left, most of whom never supported Obama as a candidate, have used to feed their irrational hatred for our president.

The lie has taken on epic proportions as it’s morphed over the years. Recently, I’ve had liberal friends throw it in my face when I’ve shown my support for our very accomplished president. The lying has to stop!

The birth of the “public option” lie

The original source from which the lie was created, is an article that David Kirkpatrick wrote in the New York Times about the active role that President Obama was taking in crafting the health care law. There were two mentions of the “public option” in the entire article, one was in reference to what the Democrats in the house were pushing and the other contradicts the lie completely. Rep. Henry Waxman was quoted in the article.

The president has said he wants a public option to keep everybody honest. He hasn’t said he wants a co-op as a public option.”

You really can’t get any more clear than that, can you? In the article that is the source for the public option lie, there is a quote from a respected member of the House saying that the president wants a public option. And to be fair to the author, he never even implies that the public option was part of the deal.

The New York Times article also discusses how the White House was more hands-on with the Senate Finance Committee than with other congressional committees. What is implicit in this analysis is that the White House understood that, as with every piece of legislation the administration supported, it was the Senate that posed the biggest impediment to achieving comprehensive health care reform.

There was another quote from earlier in the article that many used as the basis for the lie. It is an explanation of the deal that caps the costs for hospitals.

Hospital industry lobbyists, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of alienating the White House, say they negotiated their $155 billion in concessions with Mr. Baucus and the administration in tandem. House staff members were present, including for at least one White House meeting, but their role was peripheral, the lobbyists said.

Several hospital lobbyists involved in the White House deals said it was understood as a condition of their support that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates — generally 80 percent of private sector rates — or controlled by the secretary of health and human services.

There is nothing in those two paragraphs that says anything about a deal on the public option, it is talking very specifically about costs to hospitals and reimbursement rates for patients on Medicare. The sentence “would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates — generally 80 percent of private rates…” is poorly worded and could easily be misinterpreted, especially by people searching for a reason to hate the President.

If you read David Kirkpatrick’s words carefully, you see that the deal was on reimbursement rates and how they wouldn’t be the 80% that Medicare generally pays, which was a sore spot for hospitals.

Here is another example of that same idea, worded slightly better, but with selective placement of quotation marks. Tom Daschle wasn’t happy with the authors characterization of his words and corrected it in an update.

Daschle writes. “The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers.

Once again, if you were to stop reading after the words “health plan”, you wouldn’t have gotten the entire meaning of the sentence. Experience tells me that the Obama-haters aren’t interested in the truth, only that which fits with their preconceived memes.

Tom Daschle sent a note to the author clarifying his comments and making it very clear that there was no deal on the public option.

“In describing some of the challenges to passage of the public option in the health reform bill, I did not mean to suggest in any way that the President was not committed to it. The President fought for the public option just as he did for affordable health care for all Americans. The public option was dropped only when it was no longer viable in Congress, not as a result of any deal cut by the White House. While I was disappointed that the public option was not included in the final legislation, the Affordable Care Act remains a tremendous achievement for the President and the nation.” (emphasis mine)

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The Professional “Whiny” Left Revealed!

If you haven’t gone to iTunes and subscribed to the Bubble Genius Bob and Chez Show podcast, you are missing out on the best political analysis around and a lot of great laughs. You can find them at their respective blogs, Bob Cesca’s Aweseome Blog! Go! and Deus Ex Malcontent where they consistently tell it like it is.

I personally look forward to the show like a little kid looks forward to candy.

A few weeks ago, they did a show called “Stop Whining”, which I highly recommend you listen to, after you subscribe to them on iTunes. But in case you prefer reading or are at work and can’t really listen, I took the time to transcribe a large portion of that show for your reading pleasure. I think it exposes the true motivations and agenda of those who have become known as the “Professional Left” or the name I prefer, “Firebaggers”.

As with anyone, I don’t agree with everything they say, but damn near everything in this portion of the show. The one thing I disagree on is the characterization of the blog post by Deaniac83 from The People’s View that was the impetus for a lot of the discussion. Deaniac83’s post about the debt ceiling deal, as I saw it, was about how that deal wasn’t as bad as it was being portrayed by many on the left. I didn’t perceive it as approving of the deal, but rather that the President made the best of a bad situation. Contrary to John Boehner’s characterization that he got 98% of what he wanted, when you look at the deal from a wider perspective, President Obama “ate his lunch”. They quickly move away from that subject and on to an incredibly insightful analysis of the “firebaggers” — who seem intent on helping the Republicans take down our Democratic President Barack Obama. Enjoy and share widely!

Bob Cesca (B)- I don’t watch Morning Joe anymore, but I can guarantee you that they were talking about this, concern trolling about it on Morning Joe over the last couple of days, because they love to do that. Oh look, the president’s losing his base…when, we’ve talked about here, it’s not really the base. The liberal blogosphere is not the base of the Democratic Party, certainly not the Obama campaign. And it never has been…we’ve always been fickle, we were divided during the primaries in 2008. A lot of people were very hesitant to jump onboard, once President Obama became the nominee. But regardless, here’s the story. Backing up on this..”The Obama administrations point person”…this if from the Huffinton Post, “The Obama campaign’s point person in New Mexico recently sent an email to supporters defending the President’s position on the debt deal and bashing the Nobel prize winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and the quote

Chez Pazienza (C)- interject for a moment, the vital, vital outpost of New Mexico

B- That’s exactly right, ah…columnist Paul Krugman..

C – Defending the frontier

B- Right, the quote unquote “firebagger lefty blogosphere”, On the evening of August 1st. dunt, dunt, duh duh…cue the dubious music for this. “On the evening of Aug. 1, just after Congress passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling, Obama for America (OFA) New Mexico State Director Ray Sandoval sent an email to supporters with the subject line, “Please take 5 minutes to read this, Please.” He used the magic word twice. “”I know many of you have raised frustrations, but please, I implore you, please take 5 minutes and read the article below. It does a great job of explaining the Debt Ceiling deal,” Sandoval wrote in bold text.” Now, that was all he wrote and then it proceeded to include this blog post from a blog called The People’s View and the blog post went on to, ah, criticize Paul Krugman as being a political rookie, it used the word firebagger, you know, which is sort of the colloquialism combining Firedoglake and teabaggers, which I use that a lot, It’s, I think it’s appropriate.

C – It is actually.

B – He even used the ah…

C- I try really hard, actually, not to do too much of the adjusting names because I’ve always thought that it’s kind of childish when you do like the, you know, the Rethuglicans….(crosstalk)….but firebagger admittedly works and of course I can’t let myself off the hook for calling them teabaggers so uh..

B – Well you have to…

C – That’s a joke that makes it’s own gravy

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Anatomy Of A Glenn Greenwald Smear Job!

I’m not a huge fan of Glenn Greenwald. There are many reasons why I dislike the man and his writings, but the main ones are his dishonesty and hyperbolic rhetoric. I only read him when I’m tipped off to something particularly crazy.

I’ll be honest and say that when he was assaulting the Bush administration, I was cheering him on. But even then, I noticed that Greenwald played loose with the facts and exaggerated things beyond recognition (Warning, right-wing link). So even though it was aimed at Bush, it still left a bad taste in my mouth. Lying and misleading is a Republican thing, but of course, anyone who knows about Greenwald, knows that he is a libertarian (civil, LOL) and doesn’t vote.

I was searching Google one day and came across an article in The Nation titled “A Response to Glenn Greenwald“, written by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine. Of course, I had to click on it. In recent years, Greenwald has become an example of how — with the growth of the internet — people have been given platforms who don’t deserve it and don’t have enough integrity to wield such power. Glenn Greenwald has shown time and time again that he is vicious in his attacks on people and uses every sleazy rhetorical technique known to humans to push his narrative. He is completely anti-Obama, anti-government and anti-Democratic Party. He used to be anti-Republican Party during the Bush years and that is when he established some false credibility with the left.

I did a study of his posts on Salon.com for a period of just over a month. What I found was — out of 43 posts, 38 of them were anti-Obama and the remaining 5 were about something non political. There were zero posts that attacked Republicans. ZERO! I guess the GOP hasn’t done anything recently that has upset Glenn.

If you want to experience the full impact of Glenn Greenwald’s hyperbole and over-the-top rhetoric, I suggest you read things in the order that I did. None of the articles are extremely long, with the exception of Glenn’s and his many updates, so it shouldn’t take that long. But you can certainly just keep reading here, too.

I first read the response to Glenn Greenwald from Mark Ames and Yasha Levine, the subjects of Glenn’s scorn. I then went and read the original piece they had written that upset Greenwald so much. And finally, I read Greenwald’s wild-eyed screed, laying into the two people who wrote the offending piece

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Jane Hamsher Gets Marginalized By Ed Schultz

If you didn’t see this last night on Ed Schultz’s show, good for you, don’t watch that shit. But this clip where Ed Schultz says a line that I don’t think Jane Hamsher appreciated, is worth watching. Ed’s response to her was typical Ed and really didn’t explain anything, but he stuck to his guns. The look on Jane Hamsher’s face is priceless and as I was reading Eclectablog’s piece over at Angry Black Lady Chronicles, it made me think of this clip. Enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

And I don’t agree with what Ed says, I just like seeing Jane get all upset. I’m just like that.

The Glenn Greenwald Some On The Left Don’t Know! (Update I)

I learned a lot about Glenn Greenwald today with so many cool people writing great stuff and others sharing it on Twitter and blogs. I decided that I would compile all the great links I came across today as a way to gather the information in a unified place. I may update it too, feel free to contribute links in the comments or email them to me if you want to stay anonymous. I’ve compiled a lot of links on Jane Hamsher too, I may have to lay them out too…one of these days.

This one is about his most famous case as a lawyer, he’s said some interesting things over the years.

Apparently Glenn Greenwald didn’t have much of a problem with President George W. Bush.

Click Read More for much more Greenwald Fun!

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The New “Bradley Manning Exception” To The Law!

The opportunistic firebaggers (Teabagger + Firedoglake zealot) are raising money like crazy in their little twisted worlds. They are all excited about the cute little juvenile camp fire song that was sung to the President at a fundraiser and his comments afterward. I haven’t said too much about the Manning issue because I don’t really like drawing attention to Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald’s little money-making and fame-seeking stunt. I have said before that it is one thing to be a whistleblower and leak an egregious event or situation that otherwise would go uncovered, but when someone just does a huge data dump that might have something incriminating within it, it is quite different. In either case, it seems like the military has no option but to court-martial that person. If it is whistleblowing, that’s what we have the statute for, that’s what we have defense lawyers for…but the massive release of classified documents that simply “might” have something in it or if it does have something in it, does releasing all the other stuff along with it keep it in the “whistleblowing” realm? Here are President Obama’s remarks to someone questioning him after the little song stunt, which I’m not posting here, I’m just not into simple, childish, grade level school tactics and lyrics. The President talking about those quaint little things called “laws”…

When I read or hear people in the firebagger brigade talking about how Bradley Manning should just be released, he’s a hero. I can’t help but think to myself, what kind of message would that send to others in the military, classified shmassified, laws shmaws. As an extreme liberal, I’ve never been a fan of the military and it’s industrial complex or the culture of the military with it’s macho, bigoted, arrogant attitude towards non-military, women, minorities and us hippies in general. But I certainly like the fact that they protect us and whenever I see a military person in uniform, I try to go out of my way to thank them for their service. Whether you like what their bosses tell them to do or not, they are still stepping up to defend me and our country and deserve respect for it.

Click Read More for much more

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Some Wisdom On The Professional Left – Getting Real!

I lifted this comment, with permission, from a post over at Angry Black Lady Chronicles who has inspired me in many ways after spending some time there earlier today. This comment from Betty Cracker nails it as far as I’m concerned, I’m sure many of you will agree. (emphasis mine)

@ Insipid — I think there are several factors at play in how the “progressive left” is reacting to the most progressive president we’ve had in generations. [Note: I consider myself a progressive leftist in the sense that if I could wave a magic wand, I’d adopt a Scandinavian-flavored social-democratic style of government. I use the term in scare quotes in the opening sentence to differentiate my progressive leftism from the firebagger brand…]

Anyhoo, my sense is that a certain percentage of the firebaggers are just politically inexperienced. They probably never bothered to read Candidate Obama’s policy proposals; they were just caught up in the movement aspects of the campaign and are now shocked — shocked! — at what they perceive as the paucity of ponies. And why don’t they see the actual, honest-to-god ponies? Because they don’t know enough about history to realize change doesn’t happen overnight. They think FDR just went tada! and pulled Social Security out of his arse rather than striking deals with the devil (including the exclusion of most women and minorities) to establish the concept that this country has a stake in not allowing its seniors to starve to death, a rather radical idea at the time. Not unlike the concept President Obama established, that we have some responsibility to ensure health care for all our citizens.

Another percentage are more interested in burnishing their “more liberal than thou” cred than the dirty business of governing and the odious compromises that go along with it. They aren’t naive per se, but they see every compromise as an opportunity to focus attention on their moral superiority. I suspect a lot of our political pundits fall into this category.

And lastly, yeah, as you noted, racism comes into play too — and gender politics as well. As someone who expended a lot of pixels on the PUMA silliness during the 2008 primaries, I’ve got to say I was somewhat surprised how quickly and eagerly the disgruntled “Hillary or fuck America in the ass — hard!” contingent embraced wingnut memes about Obama as the “Affirmative Action” candidate, etc.

I was surprised and disheartened. But in the end, it turned out to be a vanishingly small subgroup. It didn’t make a dent in Obama’s electoral performance among either whites or women compared to how white candidates like John Kerry fared. And I think we (Democrats, liberals, whatever) are better off to have that shit out in the open.

Joan Walsh’s Racist Twitter Problem – Digging Herself Out Of A Hole! (Updated)

I had every intention of writing a post about the budget deal that went down last night, but in scanning my favorite blogs, I came across this post from Angry Black Lady at her most excellent blog, if you don’t have it bookmarked, there is something wrong with you. :)

My opinion of Joan Walsh (Salon.com), up until now, has been pretty neutral, I don’t usually read her articles and mostly just see her on MSNBC. For the most part, she didn’t seem as anti-Obama as others in the “professional left” who have been and continue to make money on the backs of liberals. They haven’t all cashed in yet, like Arianna Huffington, give them time.

While reading through the twitter fight between ABL and Joan Walsh, it became very clear to me how she feels. You can judge for yourself. It also shed some light on why Glenn Greenwald could get away with calling us supporters of POTUS “Obama-lovers” with no repercussions. “Obama-lovers”…did you catch that? Here is the meat of the exchange on twitter that Joan Walsh is desperately trying to spin…

@joanwalsh read your article, I resent white progressives who pretend they are the base of Dem party and ignore AA’s, we are even

@joanwalsh PBO is not your lap dog, thank god Gibbs called out the liars in the progressive media, u have done nothing but act like baggers

@truthrose1 Not saying white progressives are THE base; opposite. But I resent African Americans who say THEY are THE BASE. Wrong.

@joanwalsh white progressive voices use the term “the base” carelessly that is my point

@joanwalsh AA’s are not the entire base, however, white progressive voices ignore us and act as if we don’t exist

@truthrose1 No, I don’t. That’s insanely unfair. Talk to a person, not your stereotypes. Please. Tiresome, really.

@joanwalsh history will show how the so called “progressive” wing of the Dem party was a toxic and deceitful bunch of back stabbers.

@truthrose1 You’re toxic, I’m sorry. Jesus. Get some help.


I’m addling a comment that just came in over at ABL’s site that I just loved.

Author: Kerry Reid
I generally agree, Ricky. But one thing I’ve found hilarious from the Firebagger set is that they can use the most vicious (and racist) invective against Obama — but if members of his administration should happen to dish it back even slightly, then they hit the fainting couches and clutch the pearls. It’s politics, kids. If you don’t have a Teflon ass, stay out of the kitchen. (Or mixed metaphors to that effect.)

I’m just awfully glad some of the Whiny White Professional Left set weren’t in charge of the civil rights movement or the women’s rights movement or gay rights or any of the other significant social movements of the last 50 years — movements that frequently found the participants and leaders taking nightsticks to the head, forced feedings, teargas, imprisonment, police dogs, firehoses, actual assassinations.

Apparently one needn’t use actual sticks and stones to break the bones of the Poutrage Set. Words are enough to crumple them into a whimpering pile in the corner.


Click on “More” to see a large portion of Joan Walsh’s quest to dig herself out of a hole.

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