Thursday, September 10, 2009

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Calls Obama's Speech "Combative" Without Grasping Teh Irony™.

Yesterday, President Obama gave an historic speech before a joint session of Congress.

Historic in several ways.

First, the President outlined why there is an overwhelming need for real health care reform in America, and did so very eloquently.

Second, the he outlined what he expects to see a health care reform package contain, and how it will benefit Americans, which he also did very eloquently.

Third, he made it clear that he will not tolerate the continued lies, obfuscation, and stone-wall tactics practiced by certain members of Congress for short-term political gain, nor the lies, obfuscation and stone-wall efforts by the health care and insurance industries to protect their very profitable business practices.

For that, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said this about President Obama:
"I found his tone to be overly combative and believe he behaved in a manner beneath the dignity of the office."
This was stated by Graham without any hint of irony.

Since you seem to be clueless about what "combative" actually is, Senator, let me explain.

"Combative" is participants at a South Carolina town hall meeting screaming "Obama is socialist" and then booing Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) for suggesting they "turn Glenn Beck off."

"Combative" is continually repeating lies in order to win a political battle - like the "Death Panel" lie that your pal Sarah Palin (remember? - she donated to you), continues to propogate.

"Combative" is GOP members of Congress heckling the President during his speech.

"Combative" is an asshat like Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC) shouting "You lie" at the President during his speech to a joint session of Congress and the nation... not to mention it was behaving "in a manner beneath the dignity of the office."

Get the picture?

President Obama letting you know he isn't screwing around with you anymore is not "combative."

Telling you that he's tired of you using "this as an opportunity to score short-term political points" and that "The time for games has passed" is hardly "undignified."

Frankly, Senator, it's the only approach to take with people like you, and it's long overdue.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The NY Times Continues The Lies And Feeds The Wingnuts With Creative Editing.

Fer Crissake, can somebody make this stop? Please?

The President does NOT want to "pull the plug on Grandma."

In today's New York Times, statements made by President Obama during his Labor Day speech were so truncated that their meaning was completely twisted to become the opposite of what he actually said.

Here's the New York Times text:

Mr. Obama's Labor Day meeting with his advisers followed his return from an A.F.L.-C.I.O. picnic in Cincinnati, where he gave a rousing campaign-style pitch for his health care initiative that previewed some themes for Wednesday night. The president told thousands of cheering unionized workers that Congress should stop debating, because "it's time to act and get this done."

"I've got a question for all those folks who say we're going to pull the plug on Grandma," the president thundered. "What's your answer? What's your solution? And you know what? They don't have one. Their answer is to do nothing."

It makes it sound as though the President believes that killing your grandma is a viable alternative.

Here's the ACTUAL text, as spoken by the President (highlighted by me to show you what the NYT decided to ONLY use):

We have never been this close. We've never had such broad agreement on what needs to be done. And because we're so close to real reform, suddenly the special interests are doing what they always do, which is just try to scare the heck out of people. But I've got -- I've got a question for all these folks who say, you know, we're going to pull the plug on Grandma and this is all about illegal immigrants -- you've heard all the lies. I've got a question for all those folks: What are you going to do? (Applause.) What's your answer? (Applause.) What's your solution? (Applause.) And you know what? They don't have one. (Applause.) Their answer is to do nothing. Their answer is to do nothing. And we know what that future looks like: insurance companies raking in the profits while discriminating against people because of pre-existing conditions; denying or dropping coverage when you get sick. It means you're never negotiating about higher wages, because all you're spending your time doing is just trying to protect the benefits that you already fought for.
Of course, the NYT doesn't even mention that the President referred to all the wingnut accusations as lies.


This is what passes for journalism in America today?

It makes me sick.

When news sources continually lie, it's no wonder America is populated by so many people who can pass for Teh Stupid™.

h/t to Media Matters.

Monday, September 7, 2009

On Wingnuttery And The President's Speech To Schoolchildren.

Across America, wingnuts, as a result of Loud Noises™ from the right wing and non-stop media mouthpieces giving Teh Stupid™ traction , school districts are actually reviewing President Obama's Back to School speech scheduled for tomorrow, to see if it's "acceptable."

Before they allow it to run in their schools, they need to make sure he isn't going to brainwash our oh-so-malleable children into becoming Socialist Nazi Pinko Commies™.


For those of you who are concerned, here is the full text of the President's speech:
Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009
The President:
Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.
I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.
Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."
So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.
Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.
So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.
But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.
Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.
I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.
And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.
Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.
That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.
So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?
Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

Wow. He's encouraging kids to stay in school, work hard, and accept some responsibility for their own education as well?


h/t to Media Matters.

On Welcoming Domestic Terrorists To Organize on Kenai Peninsula Borough Property

As much as I dislike giving any publicity to Batshit Crazies Bearing Weapons™, this is so over-the-top that it merits everyone's attention.

Take a look at the accompanying advertisement (left), which was published in the Sunday, September 6th edition of the Peninsula Clarion.

Notice the date of the "Powerpoint presentation" and "how to organize a militia unit?" Yep. 9-11.

The same people who helped organize the Michigan Militia are planning to get it started here... apparently with the tacit endorsement of the current leader of the Kenai Peninsula Borough government.

Norm Olson and Ray Southwell, whose anti-federal government insanity helped spawn the home-grown terrorists that killed 168 victims and injuring more than 680 in the infamous Oklahoma City Bombing, now plan on forming an Alaska chapter.

As if we don't already have enough whack-jobs walking around.

If you recall, these clowns were in their heyday during the Clinton administration, when they decided that the "liberal democrat" in the White House was hell-bent on "taking away their personal liberties."

Now, they appear to think they can make a resurgence... and why not?
In their minds, Obama's even WORSE than Clinton was!

He's black after all, and has a Muslim-sounding name!

Last month's spate of town-hall meetings across America, with all the screaming loons calling Obama everything from a socialist to Hitler, Olson and Southwell are encouraged that the time is ripe... and since Alaska has plenty of crazies, here's the place to get started.

Do I think they have a right to espouse their insanity? Yes I do.

Do I think the local government should be providing them a venue? No, I don't.

They are holding their organizational meeting in a building that belongs to the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

A building that houses the North Peninsula Recreational Center, and is funded by both the tax dollars of the citizens of Nikiski and the citizens of the borough as a whole.

However, our illustrious Borough Mayor Dave Carey seems to happily align himself with right-wing wackos who love to tote guns around, so hey - no problem with permitting people who advocate violent revolution to use a public building to foment domestic terrorism.

If you agree with me, contact the Mayor and let him know that you feel this a completely inappropriate use of publicly-owned, taxpayer sponsored resources.

His contact info is:

Phone: (907) 262-4441, ext. 2150
Office Address: 144 N. Binkley, Soldotna, AK 99669