Friday, January 14, 2011

The Right Has The Strangest Things To Whine About

The latest complaint is that event organizers gave the memorial a name -- "Together We Thrive" -- and distributed T-shirts to attendees.

The problem, of course, is that those doing the whining had no idea what they're talking about.

[O]fficials at the University of Arizona said the White House had nothing to do with the name or the logo.

"The name of the event and the logo for the event were done entirely by the university," said Johnny Cruz, a spokesman for the University of Arizona. "Branding of the event was not done in consultation with the White House, or any elected officials or political organization."

The T-shirts were also the university's doing, Cruz said.

"That was the university's idea," he said. "We wanted to give people something to remember, to symbolize the community spirit."

The right also complained that taxpayer money was used to buy the shirts, and that wasn't true, either. Literally every claim conservatives have made about this has proven false.

But here's the kicker: told that her complaint has no basis in reality, Malkin argued, "Given the Obama White House's meticulous attention to stage prop details, however, I would say the odds of involvement by Axelrod/Plouffe & Co. are high."

This is a conservative classic. First, present a baseless, classless allegation. Second, run into facts that prove the allegation wrong. Third, pretend the allegation is correct anyway. Malin's follow-up, in effect, is, "Oh yeah? Well, I have no proof, but I prefer to think I'm still right."

Tragedy on the Nation's stage, President gives a gracious speech, Republicans focus of t-shirts made by students.

The attack rhetoric has gotten so stale. Stupid and angry is no way to go through life. Let it go.

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The Choice Of Words Is "Offensive And Even Disgusting"

'IS THERE NO OTHER VOCABULARY AVAILABLE?'.... I try not to be overly sensitive to suspect language, but this really hasn't been a great week for the right.

Obviously, Sarah Palin's use of the phrase "blood libel" generated quite of talk on Wednesday, given the phrase's loaded historical background. Today, we get another example, with the far-right Washington Times editorial board defending Palin in an editorial:

This is simply the latest round of an ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers. The last two years have seen a proliferation of similar baseless charges of racism, sexism, bigotry, Islamophobia and inciting violence against those on the right who have presented ideas at odds with the establishment's liberal orthodoxy.

As those who've been engaged in recent years have no doubt noticed, many of the charges of "racism, sexism, bigotry, and Islamophobia" haven't been "baseless" at all.

But putting that aside, did the Washington Times really have to characterize criticism of the right as a "pogrom"? Cathy Lynn Grossman's take is worth reading. (via Adam Serwer)

Pogrom? Is there no other vocabulary available to discuss the venom in our discourse without raiding the language that specifically stands for the deaths of millions of Jews in historic rampages of anti-Semitism? Is this language not doubly inappropriate as Jewish congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords recovers from a gunshot to her head?

Blood libel, now pogrom. Ignorance is not a defense. Stop playing the victim.

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Louis C.K. On "White People Problems"

The Tucson Address

Real American in real America. "Heroism is here"

The Tucson Address

"Obama heavily edits his speeches. But full credit to chief speechwriter Jon Favreau for a Tucson address that wove the life stories of the slain into the lives of everyday Americans when summoned by Lincoln's better angels of our nature."

Can you imagine Palin, Bush, or Boehner editing their own speech?

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"We should try to create the society each of us would want if we didn't know in advance who we'd be"
Paul Krugman channeling John Rawls:
The veil of ignorance and original position are concepts introduced by John Rawls in A Theory of Justice.[1][2] It is a method of determining the morality of a certain issue (e.g. slavery) based upon the following principle: imagine that societal roles were completely re-fashioned and redistributed, and that from behind the veil of ignorance, one does not know what role they will be reassigned.

The Loughner-Friendly Environment The GOP Created

Does a blood-splattered, inflammatory media — especially right-wing media, with its nonstop calls to attack the government, hate liberals, stockpile bullets before Obama comes for your guns — help create a more explosive, Loughner-friendly environment, much like those fundamentalist mullahs who plant the seeds of hate in young Muslim minds?

You know the answer. It’s a bit like asking if violent video games really do desensitize children’s minds, or if smoking too much pot every day will eventually make you a useless, slow-blinking dolt. It might not be the sole cause, but it’s certainly a factor. How big a factor depends, in part, on the level of one’s instability to begin with.

Which leads us straight to Occam’s Razor. The simplest answer is usually most accurate. Loughner was insane…

But the fact is, Loughner’s festering insanity also found easy, fertile ground indeed to flourish into violence. Almost right up until the moment Loughner pulled the trigger, the ever-paranoid, Tea Party-enraged portions of this country essentially cheered him on, sent him a brochure, welcomed him as one of their own.


The murderous rampage next door (via ryking)

When you threaten violence, “by ballot or bullet” rhetoric, and someone acts out these threats, you can’t claim you were only using metaphors and symbols and assume zero responsibility.

You’re the same people who uses metaphors and symbols from the Bible to kill. It’s what you do. You get the weakest to do your dirty work.

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A Learning Moment

Monday, January 10, 2011

When Your Rhetoric Catches Up With You

Painting with that flawed ideological brush may attract lowlifes, but will always highlight your moral bankruptcy.

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Tea Party Express Fundraises Off Giffords Shooting

In an apparent effort to distance themselves from the mass shootings in Arizona over the weekend, the Tea Party Express sent out an email to supporters proclaiming that they "won't be silenced" -- and asking for contributions.

Won't be silenced? Who has stopped you from talking, or bringing guns to public rallies, or shooting people at rallies? Where have you been silenced?

I bring my thoughts to a debate, you bring a gun. Call yourself a patriot.


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Yankees Send Condolences To Dallas Green's Family

The New York Yankees today offered their condolences and sympathy to Dallas Green and his family on the loss of Dallas' granddaughter Christina Green, who was killed in the Tucson shootings. 

Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner of the New York Yankees, said: "The Steinbrenner family and the New York Yankees organization join the entire nation in mourning Christina and send our deepest condolences to Dallas Green and his family as they deal with this tremendous loss.  This is a tragedy that is beyond words and our thoughts and prayers are with the Green family, as well as all of the affected families."

Dallas Green was a manager of the New York Yankees in 1989

So sad.

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Krugman: "There’s a huge contrast in the media."

"And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will. Of course, the likes of Mr. Beck and Mr. O’Reilly are responding to popular demand. Citizens of other democracies may marvel at the American psyche, at the way efforts by mildly liberal presidents to expand health coverage are met with cries of tyranny and talk of armed resistance. Still, that’s what happens whenever a Democrat occupies the White House, and there’s a market for anyone willing to stoke that anger."

Paul Krugman (via azspot)

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Tom DeLay Sentenced To 3 Years In Prison

AUSTIN, Texas -- A judge ordered former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to serve three years in prison Monday for his role in a scheme to illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.

The sentence comes after a jury in November convicted DeLay on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. DeLay was once one of the most powerful men in U.S. politics, ascending to the No. 2 job in the House of Representatives.

The fucker becomes the fuckee. Crude, but true.

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Moment Of Silence

Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment :’s Celebrity Justice

Concerned about the disenfranchising effects of the economic downturn, large numbers of returning combat veterans, election of first African American president, and a perception that gun control laws will soon be strengthened, Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security issued a report alerting law enforcement agencies of potential threats posed by “rightwing extremists”. The report, excerpted and included in full below, describes how the current economic and political climate is fueling the resurgence in radicalization and recruitment of individuals who might commit acts of domestic terrorism and/or commit other crimes. The nature of the report’s content will undoubtedly spark debate about whether the federal government is seeking to squelch what could be taken to be lawful political dissent. This is especially so when the report came to public light on the same day the Texas Governor made a high profile statement warning the federal government to “back off” and respect state’s rights under the 10th Amendment.

Key Findings

Rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.

The current economic and political climate has some similarities to the 1990s when rightwing extremism experienced a resurgence fueled largely by an economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs, and the perceived threat to U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers.

The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.

Current Economic and Political Climate

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS/I&A) assesses that a number of economic and political factors are driving a resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization activity. Despite similarities to the climate of the 1990s, the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years. In addition, the historical election of an African American president and the prospect of policy changes are proving to be a driving force for rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization.

Exploiting Economic Downturn

Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures. Anti-Semitic extremists attribute these losses to a deliberate conspiracy conducted by a cabal of Jewish “financial elites.” These “accusatory” tactics are employed to draw new recruits into rightwing extremist groups and further radicalize those already subscribing to extremist beliefs. DHS/I&A assesses this trend is likely to accelerate if the economy is perceived to worsen.

Historical Presidential Election

Rightwing extremists are harnessing this historical election as a recruitment tool. Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use. Rightwing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them as drivers for recruitment. From the 2008 election timeframe to the present, rightwing extremists have capitalized on related racial and political prejudices in expanded propaganda campaigns, thereby reaching out to a wider audience of potential sympathizers.

Revisiting the 1990s

Paralleling the current national climate, rightwing extremists during the 1990s exploited a variety of social issues and political themes to increase group visibility and recruit new members. Prominent among these themes were the militia movement’s opposition to gun control efforts, criticism of free trade agreements (particularly those with Mexico), and highlighting perceived government infringement on civil liberties as well as white supremacists’ longstanding exploitation of social issues such as abortion, inter-racial crimes, and same-sex marriage. During the 1990s, these issues contributed to the growth in the number of domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups and an increase in violent acts targeting government facilities, law enforcement officers, banks, and infrastructure sectors.

Economic Hardship and Extremism

Historically, domestic rightwing extremists have feared, predicted, and anticipated a cataclysmic economic collapse in the United States. Prominent antigovernment conspiracy theorists have incorporated aspects of an impending economic collapse to intensify fear and paranoia among like-minded individuals and to attract recruits during times of economic uncertainty. Conspiracy theories involving declarations of martial law, impending civil strife or racial conflict, suspension of the U.S. Constitution, and the creation of citizen detention camps often incorporate aspects of a failed economy. Antigovernment conspiracy theories and “end times” prophecies could motivate extremist individuals and groups to stockpile food, ammunition, and weapons. These teachings also have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as violent Christian Identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement.

Illegal Immigration

Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages. They also opposed free trade agreements, arguing that these arrangements resulted in Americans losing jobs to countries such as Mexico.

Over the past five years, various rightwing extremists, including militias and white supremacists, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool. Debates over appropriate immigration levels and enforcement policy generally fall within the realm of protected political speech under the First Amendment, but in some cases, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS/I&A) assesses that rightwing extremist groups’ frustration over a perceived lack of government action on illegal immigration has the potential to incite individuals or small groups toward violence. If such violence were to occur, it likely would be isolated, small-scale, and directed at specific immigration-related targets.

Legislative and Judicial Drivers

Many rightwing extremist groups perceive recent gun control legislation as a threat to their right to bear arms and in response have increased weapons and ammunition stockpiling, as well as renewed participation in paramilitary training exercises. Such activity, combined with a heightened level of extremist paranoia, has the potential to facilitate criminal activity and violence.

Open source reporting of wartime ammunition shortages has likely spurred rightwing extremists as well as law-abiding Americans to make bulk purchases of ammunition. These shortages have increased the cost of ammunition, further exacerbating rightwing extremist paranoia and leading to further stockpiling activity. Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move at this time.

Weapons rights and gun-control legislation are likely to be hotly contested subjects of political debate in light of the 2008 Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller in which the Court reaffirmed an individual’s right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but left open to debate the precise contours of that right. Because debates over constitutional rights are intense, and parties on all sides have deeply held, sincere, but vastly divergent beliefs, violent extremists may attempt to co-opt the debate and use the controversy as a radicalization tool.

Perceived Threat from Rise of Other Countries

Rightwing extremist paranoia of foreign regimes could escalate or be magnified in the event of an economic crisis or military confrontation, harkening back to the “New World Order” conspiracy theories of the 1990s. The dissolution of Communist countries in Eastern Europe and the end of the Soviet Union in the 1990s led some rightwing extremists to believe that a “New World Order” would bring about a world government that would usurp the sovereignty of the United States and its Constitution, thus infringing upon their liberty. The dynamics in 2009 are somewhat similar, as other countries, including China, India, and Russia, as well as some smaller, oil-producing states, are experiencing a rise in economic power and influence.

Disgruntled Military Veterans

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS/I&A) assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists including lone wolves or small terrorist cells to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

Report from April 2009.

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Sunday, January 09, 2011


Violence and the threat of violence is the calling card of the neo-Right Wing. Real conservatives must be pissed that they are being intimidated into following this rogue element. Or not. They love votes over morals.

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