Friday, October 09, 2009

Now See, This is How You Do It

Republican governor (and 2012 Presidential hopeful) Tim Pawlenty:

I would say regardless of the circumstances, congratulations to President Obama for winning the Nobel Prize. I know there will be some people who are saying “Was it based on good intentions and thoughts or is it going to be based on good results?” But I think the appropriate response is when anybody wins a Nobel Prize that is a very noteworthy development and designation and I think the appropriate response is to say “Congratulations."

More Republicans like this, please.

Meanwhile, the Good Americans at side with the Taliban:

We’re truly living in an upside-down world when you have to go to the Taliban to hear a rational, logical, accurate statement.

God bless them, I agree with what they say.

Shoot me now, I agree with terrorists!! :-o

How Does It Feel?

NY Daily News:
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is managing to take a more negative spin on President Obama’s Nobel Prize than Hamas.

Says Steele:

“The real question Americans are asking is, ‘What has President Obama actually accomplished?’ It is unfortunate that the President’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights. One thing is certain - President Obama won’t be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action.”

Says Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh (via the wires):

“We are in need of actions, not sayings. If there is no fundamental and true change in American policies toward the acknowledgment of the rights of the Palestinian people, I think this prize won’t move us forward or backward.”

The DNC response warms the cockles of my little heart:

"The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists - the Taliban and Hamas this morning - in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize," DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told POLITICO. "Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize - an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride - unless of course you are the Republican Party.

"The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It's no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore - it's an embarrassing label to claim," Woodhouse said.

About damn time the DNC got some hair on its balls and gave back some of the “objectively pro-terrorist” crap they’ve been quietly eating from the Republicans for years. I got royally sick during the Bush years of every single criticism of the Administration being answered with: "That sounds like something Hamas/Hezbollah/Osama bin Ladin would say!" Now the shoe's on the other foot, and they really ARE saying exactly the same things (or worse) than Hamas.

I cannot WAIT for the outraged demands for apologies from the exact same crowd of wingnuts who used to toss that accusation around with such abandon. I just hope the DNC sticks to its guns and tells the whiners to go screw themselves.

Huh. I Did Not See That One Coming.

President Barack Obama awarded Nobel Peace Prize.
The Nobel Committee announced early this morning that President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” Obama has “created a new climate in international politics,” the committee said in its announcement, referencing Obama’s agenda to reduce the world’s nuclear stockpiles through international institutions, restart peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, and build greater alliances with the Muslim world.

I confess, my first reaction was the same one articulated by my son: "For what?" I mean, the guy was apparently nominated two weeks after becoming President. Of course, that wasn't too early for some people to start declaring his Presidency a total failure, but still.

But as it turns out, the prize isn't just awarded for efforts that have already paid off. According to this piece at

more often, the prize is awarded to encourage those who receive it to see the effort through, sometimes at critical moments.

Interesting. Of course, the "new climate in international politics" bit could be a polite way of saying "we're just so damn glad you didn't elect Bomber McCain and that crazy hillbilly from Alaska who thinks she's Metternich because she can see Russia from some frozen windswept beach."

So, which wingnut's head will explode first?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Brand Pollution

Over at Murderati, Tess Gerritsen tells a story that's scarier than her fiction:
Telling her mother that she wanted to come to the aid of a library under attack, 11-year-old Sydney Sabbagha stood at the podium before the Oak Brook village board.

"I used to go to the library knowing there were people there to help me find a book. Now there is no one to help me," Sydney said solemnly. "It will never be the same without the people you fired."

Sydney nestled back into her seat, but that didn't stop 69-year-old criminal attorney Constantine "Connie" Xinos from boldly putting her in her place.

"Those who come up here with tears in their eyes talking about the library, put your money where your mouth is," Xinos shot back. He told Sydney and others who spoke against the layoffs of the three full-time staffers (including the head librarian and children's librarian) and two part-timers to stop "whining" and raise the money themselves.

"I don't care that you guys miss the librarian, and she was nice, and she helped you find books," Xinos told them.

The story she references goes on to say:

"I wanted that kid to lose sleep that night," a grinning Xinos says Wednesday, as he invites me for a nearly two-hour interview in his Mercedes-Benz in the gated Oak Brook community where he lives. "This is the real world and the lesson, you folks who brought your kids here, is if you want something, pay for it."

"I understand that my philosophy is conservative," Xinos says.

Ah, no, Connie, your philosophy is "I got mine, Jack, fuck you." You are, in short, less of a conservative than you are a complete prick.

At what point are actual conservatives going to try and take their name back from these assholes? For years, Republicans managed to successfully brand "liberals" as weak, foolish and ineffectual, to the point where they ran from the term with euphemisms like "progressive." Is a similar branding going to happen with "conservative," to the point where so many people associate the philosophy with meanness, selfishness and spite that no one wants to be called that any more? We're not there yet, but it seems they're well on their way, and actual principled conservatives don't seem to be doing anything to stop it.

Poor Babies

Lobbyists Annoyed With New Obama Regulations -- Politics Daily
K Street is awash in anger over new regulations designed to limit influence peddling in Washington, CQ Politics reported Monday. The new policy, announced Sept. 23 by President Obama's "ethics czar," Norm Eisen, prevents federally registered lobbyists from serving on "agency advisory boards and commissions" -- private-sector advisory panels created in the 1970s to give input to the government on various issues. The regulations could decimate the ranks of lobbyists who have been serving on the panels, and who the Obama administration sees as special-interest agents with an unhealthy proximity to federal policy...

...the prospect of a mass exodus from the highly prized positions has not made certain lobbyists happy. "There is fury," said a lobbyist who sits on one of the committees. "Absolute fury."

Good. If it makes lobbyists unhappy, that's a plus from where I sit. These boards and commissions should be staffed by people whose qualification is their knowledge of the issue, not the size of their retainer from some corporation.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Remember When?

Latest Newspaper Column:
Hey, remember back during the Bush administration, when a prominent liberal Web site suggested that it would be ­desirable if the U.S. military staged a "peaceful coup" to rid the nation of its "George W. Bush problem"?

Remember when liberals said that military officers (who do not swear ­loyalty to the president, but who are sworn to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all ­enemies, foreign and domestic") would see the way the Constitution was being trampled on by Bush and Cheney, and would take it upon themselves to "sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a 'family intervention' with some form of limited, shared responsibility?"

Remember how much outrage and press coverage there was of that?

Do you remember back in the Bush years when a major Web site ran a poll asking "Should George W. Bush be killed?" with responses including "Yes," "Maybe," "If he cuts my health care" and "No"?

Remember when a liberal gathering featured speakers who not only compared Bush to Hitler, but also boldly stated that, had liberals lived in the time of the Third Reich, "We would have fought a bloody battle. So, keep your guns, and buy more guns, and buy ammunition! Take back America!"

Remember how terrible that was? Remember how bitter and divisive and hateful the liberals were for saying stuff like that?

Well, the reason you probably don't remember any of that stuff is because it didn't happen during the Bush administration. It all happened within the past two weeks, meaning the target was President Barack Obama.

The fantasy about a potential military coup to solve the "Obama problem" was a front-page story on the prominent conservative Web site NewsMax. The "should Obama be killed?" poll appeared on the social networking site Facebook. And the call for conservatives to stock up on guns and ammo and "take back America" (aka armed insurrection against the legally elected government) came from the podium at a "Take Back America" event sponsored by Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly.

The speaker, Kitty Werthmann, titled her talk, "How To Recognize Living under Nazis and Communists," apparently forgetting that the Nazis and the Communists were bitter enemies. But who cares about history when you're really trying to get your rage on?

It should also be noted that the "Take Back America" event also featured up-and-coming conservative poster girl Rep. Michelle Bachmann, who's also fond of telling supporters to be "armed and dangerous."

If any of those things had actually happened during the Bush years, you can bet your bunny slippers we'd be hearing about it to this day from every right-winger who could find his or her way to a keyboard or a microphone.

Heck, I remember people having conniptions over the fact that people occasionally referred to the then-president of the United States as "Dubbya," even though that was a nickname by which he'd been known for years.

I recall that an entry in an online contest to pick a new political ad that compared Bush to Hitler created a firestorm of indignation. That proposed ad (which didn't make the cut in the first round of the contest) didn't come near to advocating the violent overthrow of the government. But that didn't stop the Bushistas from having a years-long attack of the vapors. How dare they disrespect the office of the president that way! How awful! How hateful!

But now, we've got conservatives openly longing for a military coup as a "solution to the Obama problem." We have conservatives calling for armed insurrection. We have polls asking whether the current President should be killed.

Ronald Reagan once said about his former life as a Democrat, "I didn't leave the party, the party left me." I have to ask the Republicans I know who aren't raving lunatics: Hasn't your party left you yet? If not, what's it going to take?