Daily Dose EXCLUSIVE: Obama’s Massachusetts Heckler

I was watching the coverage of the President’s speech at the Martha Coakley rally at Northwestern University today, when I noticed a pro-life heckler shouting. Par for the course anymore, right? I ignored it and kept tweeting. After the speech, they re-ran footage of the heckler being escorted out – and I could not believe my eyes. I had met this man only on Thursday, and he was carrying the same sign. I didn’t get his name at the time, nor did I get his also-protesting young son’s, but we had a very interesting discussion for at least an hour on Thursday afternoon.

It all started because I wanted to finish my tuna sandwich in peace. Continue reading

Billie’s Quickies … Politics, food, sex, gadgets

Go ahead!  Judge that book by its cover.

  • Gosh I love a good mystery … and, this one involves a fast food sculpture.
  • Farm raised fish that are pretty okay!  Good.
  • Wow: “Starting on July 9, 2009, Emily Zinnemann relinquished control of her life to the whims of 52  strangers, friends, & acquaintances. Each participant receives a budget & a full week to enjoy as s/he pleases, choreographing Emily’s daily routine from breakfast to bedtime.  The experiment’s progress is fully mapped on this website.”
  • I want a waterless washing machine, and I want it NOW!
  • This doesn’t particularly surprise me.  I’m convinced that the people who are the most afraid of germs, also get sick all the time.
  • This looks surprisingly yummy …. and CHEAP!
  • This “Obama Weather” thingie is pretty hilarious
  • Coconuts banned on the beaches of Rio?! What the hay?
  • Awesome glass sculpture of an octopus.
  • Believe it or not, there are nine other currencies that are doing worse than the dollar.
  • Technology isolating us from one another?  Hooey!
  • Tough economic times, but women leading in pursuit of higher education.
  • I’m going to have to defend Guy Fieri too … I love “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!”  “I want to go to a party at Food TV superstar Guy Fieri’s house. I imagine pyramids of glistening pork ribs and snow shovels full of hush puppies. I dream of patiently standing in line by the pool waiting for margaritas to be blasted into my open mouth by a fire hose while AC/DC blares over the loudspeaker.”
  • Tip for great gravy … a keeper I’d say.
  • I really really really really really want this bed!
  • Isn’t bigotry all too often made to be about the children?’
  • Metabolism boosters that I will assume that with slight changes can be adjusted for women, too.
  • “I just cannot get excited about sexual misbehavior that is never going to be investigated by a legislative committee. “
  • Terrible: “Allegations of sexual exploitation and other crimes have dogged U.N. peacekeeping missions almost since their inception in 1948″
  • “A majority, held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily, with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people.” –Abraham Lincoln
  • Viagra dessert? Mmkay.
  • And, a water sommelier?? Sheez!

Poor poor capitalist suckers

Poor Capitalists.

Too bad, so sad.  They didn’t think of what a GORGEOUS opportunity it would be to take advantage of the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”  Hey, this is a capitalistic society … why are moneymakers so late to the game and so deluded about it?

Snake Oil salesmen have been around FOREVER … and I don’t really see the issue with taking advantage if no one’s health is at risk.  Climate change is no hoax … notwithstanding – what asshats for failing to make a buck!

Face it, GM, Chrysler, Ford … those guys missed out when Carter was President during the other fuel crisis.  What the hay?  They had ALL THIS TIME to use capitalism to their advantage.  Guess what?  GIANT FAIL.  Yes, I think this is why the President said ..buck the f*** up!  Get it together, you had ALL these years, and you refused to take advantage of what was right in front of your face … it really was RIGHT THERE.

The same holds true now.  But, instead, just like then … corporations (Chamber of Commerce is  GUILTY) is whining, and crying, and boo hooing…AND ignoring the fact that they could BANK ON THIS GREEN ‘BULLS***”

Are they really that stupid?

The answer is yes.  Against their better interests, they lost American innovation, allowed the Dutch to build a better levee (with the result of far too many deaths), and woe is them decided against building a better …. whatever.

Such is the cost of being an idiot.

Capitalism is the foundation of American society … the Rockefellers’ knew it … and because of greed, and misplaced outrage, it’s not changing.  And, it’s no ones fault but theirs … but the COST is ours.

Truer words than this have not been spoken for a while: “What I want to see is a stable nation wherein east respects west, north respects south, where farms are held in the same esteem as the merchants and longshoremen along our coasts who move their produce from port to port, nation to nation. I want to see innovation return to the United States in the form of revitalized industry”

Let’s do this please, and let’s not be jackasses about it.

Reasonable Doubt

bllieddoseOver and over the President has proven, using his own words, and through his own actions, that he errs on the conservative side of liberal.  This should come as no surprise.  Aside from the health care debate – which is nigh on a century old – he has proven to be, both now and during the election, a middle-of-the-road liberal.  Hardly radical, and probably not even a progressive, really.

The majority of America voted for a president who is even-keeled, pragmatic, empathetic, and intelligent … and, while disappointments are sure to occur and he probably will fall short on issues that hit us personally, President Obama presented to everyone pretty much exactly who he is and what his intentions are.

That said, the President of the United States probably does not know you personally, therefore he – like many of us – speaks to us in general terms.  So, this statement is particularly perplexing: “Obama’s path is so clearly illuminated by the light of his own reason, he simply can’t entertain another possible way of being, a different set of beliefs, held by an intelligent person who is well-informed and well-intentioned-or so his language about cynicism, fear, and lies strongly implies.”

What the author has done is describe herself.  You see, she should know very well that what the president was referring to when he wrote the following in an August  NYT OpEd:  “In the coming weeks, the cynics and the naysayers will continue to exploit fear and concerns for political gain.”  She should know very well that he is not speaking of intelligent disagreements or actual policy debate. No, he is talking about – and we continue to talk about – actual misrepresentation of the facts.  She should know this.

That an editor of Reason Magazine in an editorial that same month – and smack dab in the middle of all the town hall shenanigans, talks of death panels, comparisons to Marxism, Nazis, and Socialism (not the helpful sort) – would use personal feelings that Obama somehow will not negotiate with ‘disagreers’ to misrepresent what the point of the President’s piece actually was about is rather confusing, perhaps even unreasonable.

Is President Obama Racist, or Just Blind-ist?

Tommy_Christopher 036

I really had to laugh to myself when I saw this item at Hot Air, in which New York Governor David Paterson’s wife, Michelle, seems to indicate that race and/or disability may be behind the White House’s attempt to get him not to run.  Here’s what she said:

“You never heard of that before,” Michelle Paterson, in her first comments on the situation, said following a luncheon in Midtown.

“David’s the first African-American governor in the state of New York and he’s being asked to get out of the race. It’s very unusual and it seems very unfair.”…

In a passionate defense of her husband, New York’s first lady, Michelle Paterson, tells News 4 it’s wrong for the White House to get involved in a local race. She admits there have been some very disappointing times recently where it seemed her husband might not be able to survive politically. But she said he’s “a fighter” who is staying in the race. Mrs. Paterson says she believes David’s blindness is contributing to his low poll numbers.

Here’s why I laughed. On Monday, I was playing a game of “What’s the worst possible question I can ask Robert Gibbs at my next briefing?”  It’s an amusing pastime that I engage in on long car trips, or while waiting at the DMV.  It’s actually a helpful exercise, too, but I’ll get to that later.

So, Monday’s entry, as I drove back from Manhattan, was “Robert, did the President ask David Paterson not to run for re-election because he’s black, or because he’s blind?  Or was it the combination of those two factors?”

It’s a useful exercise because it can help to reveal a deeper point from a superficial starting place.  In this case, I’ve sat through many briefings and press conferences in which reporters tried, repeatedly, to get the White House to weigh in on one race or the other, in even the teensiest way, only to be rebuffed.  Eventually, someone would say “OK, how about this: Can you confirm that a Senate race exists in Illinois?”  Gibbs: “It would not be appropriate for the President to comment on another race.”

So, I was really surprised to learn that the White House had asked Paterson not to run for re-election, in a fairly public fashion.  It’s a bad move on several levels, actually, and inconsistent.

First of all, no-one was under any illusions that Paterson earned himself any goodwill with the White House with his handling of the Hillary Clinton Senate seat.  His poll numbers are also not terrific.  Issuing a decree like this isn’t all that necessary, and has no upside for the White House.  The best case scenario is that Paterson steps aside, something that could have been accomplished with more subtle pressure.  Worst case: Paterson defies the White House, and puts a dent in their leadership credibility.

I also found my mock question illustrative of another prickly point in recent political discourse.  The idea that Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst was related to race has not really been framed all that well by the media.  The question isn’t whether Obama’s race made him do that, but whether it failed to prevent it.  Nobody had ever heckled a white President in such a setting, just as no white Democratic New York Governor has had this problem before.

You also have  to wonder if the President would have called an iconic white pop star a “jackass,” and what the reaction to that would have been.

If we’re all being honest, race does frequently have some impact on the way we deal with people.  As a writer, I know I’ve found myself debating the use of seemingly innocuous phrases that could be distracting when applied to a black President.  I recall changing the word “tarred” in reference to a negative campaign ad, for example.

One of the reasons that discussions of race are so poisonous is that the objective, frequently, is not to gain greater understanding, but rather to score points.  That’s really too bad, because this kind of on-the-job learning could be a valuable object lesson  for the rest of us.

I didn’t know the first thing about Joe Wilson before “You lie,” but since then, I’ve been informed that he supported the flying of the Confederate flag, and that he disparaged the illegitimate black daughter of Strom Thurmond.  Still, people can learn and grow, and if Wilson had held a press conference after his outburst to say something like, “Upon reflection, and despite my continued belief in the substance of my objection, I think it is possible that I might not have done that to a white President,” well, a statement like that would impress the hell out of me.  Unfortunately, it would also lead to headlines like “Wilson a Self-Avowed Racist!”

Conversely, the right has already shown no compunction about calling the President a racist, and all Democrats along with him.  So, instead of “teachable moments,” we get ugly little food fights.

“OH, nooooo” they di’nt … talk about the wrong bill

mr-bill-ohh-nooo-magnet-c11751410jpegGuys, guys, guys … (today I’m specifically referring to Politico) please stop referring to A bill as THE bill when writing about health insurance reform.

You- and everyone else who is paying attention – know there are several drafts of several different political agendas’ goal for this bill.  You’ve mentioned the one most hotly debated here, here, here, and here.   It wasn’t until the release of the Baucus plan that there was re-re-renewal of controversy about what Obama ‘meant to say.’  So, let’s not play dumb.  Either wait for the President to specify which to which one he is referring, or ask him the damn question yourself … don’t y’all work with CNN and all?

Keith Olbermann Issues “Fox-twa” on Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes

Cross-posted from Mediaite

Countdown host Keith Olbermann has issued a call to the millions of readers at Daily Kos to dig up some dirt (real dirt, not this kind) on Fox News personality Glenn Beck, his producer, and Roger Ailes.  The “Fox-twa” comes on the heels of the resignation of Obama adviser Van Jones, whose abrupt departure has been attributed to a weeks-long campaign by Beck.  The Scrabble-averse pundit has already set his sights on new quarry, and Keith is pushing back.

In a blog post at Daily Kos, Olbermann makes this straightforward plea:

I don’t know why I’ve got this phrasing in my head, but: Find everything you can about Glenn Beck,  Stu Burguiere, and Roger Ailes.

Predictably, Olbermann’s decree has been met with apoplexy from the right, casting Beck as the future victim of a “smear campaign.”  I’m not sure what the logic here is, unless the right is now conceding that Van Jones was also the victim of a smear campaign.

So far, the lion’s share of the 1,350 Kos commenters have ignored Olbermann’s request, however, leaving some poor intern to sift through suggestions to stop watching The Simpsons and NFL Football.  Good luck with that.

Others have posted links detailing some Beck that has already slipped through the cracks:

  • agreed that America’s only hope is for Bin Laden to blow us up.
  • fantasized about choking Michael Moore to death.
  • advocated beating Rep. Charles Rangel with a shovel.
  • declared that he hated the families of 9/11 survivors.
  • declared that he hated Katrina victims, whom he called scumbags.
  • incited people to commit tax evasion.
  • accused Obama of having a deep seated hatred of white people (but isn’t a racist?).

Olbermann also announced plans to issue his plea on Tuesday’s broadcast, and to set up a dedicated tipster’s email.  In future news, Keith Olbermann’s Tipster Email Spammed By Conservatives.

Also noteworthy: Olbermann again denies that he ever agreed to a truce with Bill O’Reilly, and in the comments, observes unironically that “This guy does not take criticism well.”

It’s tough to say whether a TV and blog audience will be able to outdo some googling and a Lexis-Nexis search, but Beck is unlikely to gain any traction playing the victim here.  Much of that depends on the zeal and methodology of Keith’s million deputies.