Monthly Archives: February 2008

Rightwing Tool Rep. Jack Kingston Goes on TV to Criticize Obama for Not Wearing Flag Pins – Not Wearing His Flag Pin

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) questions Barack Obama’s patriotism because Obama says wearing a flag lapel pin is a trivial way to show love for one’s country — but Kingston shows up for an interview on MSNBC not wearing his flag lapel pin.

Quote du Jour

President Roosevelt proved that a president could serve for life. Truman proved that anyone could be elected. Eisenhower proved that your country can be run without a president.

— Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971), First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964

Out of Touch: Bush Unaware That Gas Is Set to Rise to $4 Per Gallon – ‘Liberal Media’ Yawns

In addition to being incoherent at a White House press briefing yesterday, George Bush also proved that he is out of touch:

The “liberal media” will let Bush off the hook on this one, just as they always do, because his being out of touch is simply par for the course.

Q What’s your advice to the average American who is hurting now, facing the prospect of $4 a gallon gasoline, a lot of people facing —

THE PRESIDENT: Wait, what did you just say? You’re predicting $4 a gallon gasoline?

Q A number of analysts are predicting —

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, yeah?

Q — $4 a gallon gasoline this spring when they reformulate.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that.

A normal president would be severely criticized for exhibiting this level of cluelessness about what regular Americans are going through — just as Bush’s father was excoriated toward the end of his term for appearing to be unfamiliar with an optical scanner at a supermarket check-out.

And since this Bush is in the pocket of oil companies, he ought to be held to an even higher standard for awareness of what his corporate masters are up to, especially since their price gouging is a major factor in inflationary trends.

But the “liberal media” will let Bush off the hook on this one, just as they always do, because his being out of touch is simply par for the course.

On the bright side, maybe his approval rating will drop even lower than 19 percent. These record lows will become a part of his legacy that all the revising of history by Karl Rove, Tony Snow and the hair pieces at Fox over the next decades won’t be able to erase.

SFB*: Bush Incoherent at News Conference

What did he say?

“We’ll see the effects of this pro-growth package,” Bush told reporters at a White House news conference. “I know there’s a lot of, here in Washington people are trying to – stimulus package two – and all that stuff. Why don’t we let stimulus package one, which seemed like a good idea at the time, have a chance to kick in?”

* In the text-speak sense of the term.

Jilted McCain Supporter Cunningham Now Backing Hillary — or Nader

Bill “Willie” Cunningham

Most of us liberal left-wing Air America listening progressives never heard of Bill “Willie” Cunningham until he spoke at a John McCain campaign rally. When Cunningham three times referred to Barack Obama as “Barack Hussein Obama,” it reminded anyone who lives under a rock that Obama has a more worldly background than the Republican candidates or White House incumbents.

McCain, of course, called out the talk radio personality, but said he took responsibility for the comments. Adoring editorials commending McCain for his chivalry are gushing forth.

But what about the guy who took the fall? On his blog, Cunningham lists YouTube clips of the whirlwind interview circuit he’s been riding, a cartoon of McCain feeding him to sharks, along with editorials condemning him for what was actually an unoriginal idea, since many other Republicans beat him to it. He also supplies clips of himself on his show, saying how he feels about John McCain now.

“I’m angry at John McCain. Why would John McCain repudiate me? I’ve been able to unite McCain and Obama — against me.

I might become a supporter of Ralph Nader.”

That would be fickle, Bill, since you were supposedly spoken for.

Appearing on CNN Tuesday, talk-show host Bill Cunningham said he has “had it up to here” with McCain after the Arizona senator criticized him…Cunningham said he is joining another conservative commentator, Ann Coulter, and support Obama’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

As part of the fallout, the Republican National Committee asked the Tennessee GOP to stop using Obama’s middle name. The Volunteer State’s Republicans complied, but the spirit of their assent was a little lacking.

The Tennessee GOP web site today contains a “clarification” beneath a press release from Monday entitled “Anti-Semites for Obama…”

“In order to diffuse attempts by Democrats and the Left to divert attention from the main point of this release — that Sen. Obama has surrounded himself with advisers and received endorsements from people who are anti-Semitic and anti-Israel — we have deleted the use of Barack Obama’s middle name,” the Tennessee GOP corrective reads.

Some success in this messaging has registered among the rock-dwellers.

An AP-Yahoo poll in January asked people to volunteer the first few words that came to mind about each of the candidates, and 4 percent of the respondents, unprompted, mentioned the word Muslim when describing Obama.

734th Democratic Debate Most-Watched Show in History of MSNBC

Now I’m almost sorry I missed it:

In addition to being the third-most-watched debate of this election cycle, last night’s Democratic showdown in Cleveland was MSNBC’s most-watched program in the 11-year history of the network. In a head-to-head 9 p.m. ET match-up, the debate was second only to FOX’s American Idol. It ranked as the fourth most-watched program in Total Viewers on all of TV last night.

The numbers for the debate, which was moderated by Brian Williams, joined by Tim Russert, more than doubled MSNBC’s previous total viewer high of 3.7 million who watched on March 19, 2003, the night the Iraq war began.

Hussein: How Quickly We Have Forgotten Our Ally, the Late King of Jordan

All this silliness about Barack Hussein Obama’s middle name is an embarassing display of American ignorance about the outside world. Hussein is as common a name in the Middle East as Samuel is in the West.

Yes, there was an evil, despotic tyrant whose last name happened to be Hussein, but there was also an enlightened unelected leader in the Middle East who was as strong an ally of the U.S. as we have had in the region.

It is no wonder Americans have forgotten King Hussein of Jordan — after all he died eons ago:

Prior to his death at age 63 on February 7, 1999, King Hussein bin Talal was the longest serving executive head of state in the world. Of great significance to Muslims throughout the world, King Hussein I was also the forty-second generation direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.

His accomplishments were unparalleled among his peers in the Levant:

read more »

Poll: 93% of Muslims Worldwide Condemn 9/11 Attacks – 0% Approve of Attacks on Religious Grounds

This poll from Gallup is based on a huge worldwide sample:

One of the largest-ever opinion polls conducted in the Islamic world found that seven percent of Muslims condoned the Sep 11, 2001, attacks on the US, but none of them gave religious justification for their beliefs, according to the figures released Tuesday.

The Gallup organisation’s poll of some 50,000 people in over 35 predominantly Muslim countries found that what motivated those considered “politically radicalised” was their fear of occupation by the West and the US, though most even admired and hoped for democratic principles.

“Politics, not piety, differentiate moderates from radicals” in the Islamic world, said Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim studies. “Terrorism sympathisers don’t hate our freedom, they want our freedom.”

The overwhelming majority of Muslims – 93 percent – condemned the Sep 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, and most said the biggest obstacle to better relations with the West was the latter’s lack of respect for Islam.

It’s to the advantage of Bush and the fear-mongers to pin the blame for terror attacks on the Muslim religion, writ larger, rather than the tiny groups of right-wing political extremists who perpetrate the crimes.

Like right-wing political extremists in the United States, al Qaeda and the rest justify their hate-filled political agenda on religious grounds.

Palm Beach Post: The Nader Brand Means Nothing

The Palm Beach Post is not amused by Ralph Nader’s decision to run for president yet again.

Forty-five years after making his reputation as a consumer advocate, Ralph Nader is as deceitful and arrogant as the corporate titans he used to expose.

Nader chided Democrats for failing to enact “decent” energy policy, reminding voters they could have had a president leading the fight against global warming rather than a president who spent most of his two terms denying the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Mr. Nader is selling politics rather than cars, but Americans learned after 2000 that his brand of false advertising can have fatal consequences…If Mr. Nader had not participated, Florida’s electoral votes and the presidency would have gone to Mr. Gore, who would have won the state without controversy…

In 2000, Mr. Nader’s main campaign theme was that there was no real difference between the Democratic and Republican candidates. In retrospect, that statement sounds as ludicrous as the denials by the auto executives in the 1960s that they couldn’t make the safety changes Mr. Nader advocated without making cars prohibitively expensive…

Mr. Nader, demonstrating either that he is out of touch with reality or does not care about the truth, denies any responsibility for the Democrats’ loss in 2000 and thus any responsibility for the thousands killed and wounded and the hundreds of billions wasted [in Iraq].

Announcing his candidacy, Mr. Nader also chided Democrats for failing to enact “decent” energy policy. That criticism simply reminds voters that they could have had a president leading the fight against global warming rather than a president who spent most of his two terms denying the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2000, Mr. Nader received 2.7 percent of the vote. In 2004, he received just 0.3 percent. Mr. Nader blames the steep decline on Democratic legal maneuvering that kept him off the ballot in several key states. In 2004, though, Republicans – especially in Florida – also worked to get Mr. Nader on the ballot. The more important reason for the dropoff in support was Mr. Nader revealing that he has become a self-important fool. The Nader brand used to mean something. These days, there’s nothing new inside the box.

Poll: U.S. No Longer a Predominantly a Mainline Protestant Nation

The presumption of a Protestant framework for understanding the American character is now a thing of the past. We are an increasingly pluralistic society, and we Protestants now have to think much about how we can contribute to the common good as simply just one more voice in the American choir.”

– Richard J. Mouw president of Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Calif.

The quote from Mr. Mouw is in reaction to findings from an exhaustive study on shifts in U.s. religious identification by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. According to the Los Angeles Times:

Barely 51 percent of Americans are Protestants, and among 18- to 29-year-olds, just 43 percent identify with this branch of Christianity, according to the study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Protestants have always held a majority status in the United States.

At the same time, more than four in 10 adults — 44 percent — have switched religious affiliations or abandoned ties to a specific religion, according to the survey, which provides one of the most detailed looks at U.S. religious affiliation.

Slightly more than 16 percent of us are unaffiliated with any religion, and there are more than twice as many atheists/agnostics (4 percent) in the country than there are observant Jews (1.7 percent):

According to the study, 78.4 percent of Americans are Christians, about 5 percent belong to other faith traditions and 16.1 percent are unaffiliated with any religion.

Secular unaffiliated Americans account for 6.3 percent of the population; religious unaffiliated, 5.8 percent; atheists, 1.6 percent; and agnostics, 2.4 percent.

At 1.7 percent of the population, Jews make up the next-largest religious group. Buddhists are 0.7 percent of the population; Muslims 0.6 percent; and Hindus and New Age followers, both 0.4 percent.

The study noted that Protestantism is characterized by significant internal diversity and fragmentation, encompassing hundreds of denominations loosely grouped around three “fairly distinct” religious traditions — evangelical Protestant churches (26.3 percent), mainline Protestants (18.1 percent) and historically black Protestant churches (6.9 percent).

Evangelicals make up the nation’s single-largest religious tradition, followed by Catholics, who comprise nearly one-fourth of Americans.

Pew also found that declines in the ranks of Catholics of European descent are being countered in the Southwest by the influx of Latin Americans.