50 Years After ‘Bloody Sunday’

sfPresident Obama spoke at a ceremony in Selma, Ala.,marking the 50th anniversary of the events of “Bloody Sunday” when more than 600 nonviolent voting-rights protesters were attacked by Alabama state troopers as they marched for voting rights. His remarks are below.

It is a rare honor in this life to follow one of your heroes. And John Lewis is one of my heroes.

Now, I have to imagine that when a younger John Lewis woke up that morning fifty years ago and made his way to Brown Chapel, heroics were not on his mind. A day like this was not on his mind. Young folks with bedrolls and backpacks were milling about.

Veterans of the movement trained newcomers in the tactics of non-violence; the right way to protect yourself when attacked. A doctor described what tear gas does to the body, while marchers scribbled down instructions for contacting their loved ones. The air was thick with doubt, anticipation, and fear. They comforted themselves with the final verse of the final hymn they sung:

No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you;

Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you.

Then, his knapsack stocked with an apple, a toothbrush, a book on government – all you need for a night behind bars – John Lewis led them out of the church on a mission to change America.

Ignore the Right-Wing Media Hype – There’s No Chance Condoleeza Rice Will Be California’s Next Senator

Rice

Rice

Right wing media outlets were giddy last week after the Field Poll found that, in aggregate, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, now a Stanford professor and fellow at the Hoover Institution, had more support than anyone else who might consider running for the California U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Barbara Boxer, who is retiring. Headlines like this in Reuters and other legit sources caused the stir: “Condoleezza Rice Leads Potential 2016 U.S. Senate Hopefuls in California.”

Reuters is, of course, technically correct. Field asked California voters to weigh in on 18 possible candidates to replace Boxer. From the 18 names on the list, 49 percent of respondents chose Rice and 46 percent chose Democrat Kamala Harris, the state Attorney General, who is the only announced candidate so far.

Wow! Rice is winning by 3 points — or at least that’s the way right-wing blogs like Breitbart.com, Tucker Carlson’s Daily Talker and Red Alert Politics spun the poll results. In reality, the suggestion that Condoleeza Rice could win the 2016 Senate race in California is nonsense.

Giuliani Proves That Patriotism Truly Is the Last Refuge of Draft-Dodging, Adulterous Scoundrels

photo-giuliani-flag

Samuel Johnson said it 240 years ago: “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” Rudolph Giuliani proved it last week at a fundraiser in New York for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker when he exhumed commie-baiter Sen. Joe McCarthy by asserting that while he and Republican fatcats like himself were America-loving patriots, Pres. Obama and his family were not.

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say,” Giuliani said, “but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

In the media frenzy that ensued, Giuliani — who spent $50 million campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 only to win just one (1) delegate to the Republican convention — embarked on a victory lap of right-wing media outlets during which he doubled down on his petty spitefulness.

That seemed to come to a halt yesterday when he issued a banal non-apology, which included this delicious tautology: “My bluntness overshadowed my message.” Bluntness was his message. After all, when you’re accusing the president of being anti-American, why be polite?

Obama’s Job Approval Surges in California As Optimism Rises among Democrats
Marine One lands at the Sand Hill Field landing zone in San Francisco, California, after President Barack Obama returned from the Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection Summit in Palo Alto, Feb. 13, 2015. The Golden Gate Bridge is in the background. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Marine One lands at the Sand Hill Field landing zone in San Francisco, California, after President Barack Obama returned from the Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection Summit in Palo Alto, Feb. 13, 2015. The Golden Gate Bridge is in the background. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

A Field Poll of California voters out this week [PDF] found Pres. Obama’s job approval rating has rebounded in the state to 57 percent — up 12 percentage points from five months ago when his approval rating was 45 percent.

By party affiliation, the president’s job approval rating was 84 percent among Democrats, 54 percent among independents and 18 percent among Republicans. Overall, just 36 percent said they disapproved of the president’s job performance.

Analysis by Field pollsters suggests that approval of the president’s handling of the economy and optimism about the overall direction of the country among California Democrats is behind the surge in Obama’s polling:

Like ISIS, US Christian Extremists Advocate Killing Gays – But ISIS Is Actually Doing It
ISIS executes a gay man by pushing him off  of a rooftop

ISIS executes a gay man by pushing him off of a rooftop

While ISIS has been barraging the world media with horrific images — burning a Jordanian pilot alive and beheading journalists, aid workers and, most recently, 21 Egyptian Christians — it has also been executing gay men by hurling them to their deaths off of rooftops and other high places. Two men were also reportedly crucified for being gay.

ISIS appears to be handling these two kinds of public murders differently. It seeks international publicity for hostage executions because they seek to stoke outrage, fear and horror in order to lure the civilized world into an Armaggedon-like conflagration in the Middle East. The executions of gay men are handled with less fanfare because they have a different purpose — based on the their interpretation of the Koran, ISIS is murdering these men in order to carry out God’s judgment for the sin of homosexuality.

Most Americans view this sort of barbarism toward gays with detachment — it’s a faraway Muslim death cult acting out its extremist views. In fact, on the issue of homosexuality, ISIS is aligned with Christian extremists right here in the United States, many of whom also interpret God’s law as calling for the execution of gays.

There is a key difference, of course. While Christianists advocate killing gays, ISIS is actually doing it.

Terrible Deeds: Thousand of People Have Been Burned Alive in Christ’s Name
Templar Knights leader Jacques de Molay being led to the stake where he will be burned alive

Knights Templar leader Jacques de Molay being led to the stake where he will be burned alive

The right wing’s anti-Obama outrage-du-jour comes in reaction to the president’s comment at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday about the excesses of religious extremism:

You’re More Likely to be Killed by a Gun than a Car

The good news is cars and driving are getting safer, thanks to better construction, a trend away from younger drivers, and maybe even because of harsher penalties for things like texting while driving or not wearing a seatbelt.

The bad news is you’re more likely to take a bullet, especially if you’re under 25.

How to Improve Your LDS-dar, In One Easy Lesson
Is Mainstream Media Hiding Mormon Behavior Because of Mitt?
A photo of the Strack family, whose parents and three youngest members were recently deceased. The photo was published in the Deseret News.

A photo of the Strack family, whose parents and three youngest members were recently deceased. The photo was published in the Deseret News.

Mitt Romney’s thinking of running for president again. That means it’s time for the mainstream media to sweep the truth about how zingy Mormonism is under the rug.

Here’s how you know “legitimate journalists” are talking about Mormons.

Hank Green Says It’s Not OK for the Mainstream Media to Snipe at YouTube Stars
But the Reason Isn't What You Expect -- He Even Calls Out Jon Stewart
Bethany Mota's post-interview selfie

Bethany Mota’s post-interview selfie

If you missed it in the post-game coverage of the recent State of the Union speech, Pres. Obama broke new ground beyond perfecting presidential ad libs. He also agreed to one-on-one interviews with three YouTube stars, and one of them, Hank Green, isn’t happy with the way the “legacy” press corps treated the endeavor. Green’s article, posted on Medium, is titled “Holy Shit, I Interviewed the President.” It might have been better named, “Holy Shit, the Mainstream Media is Killing Democracy.”

Green: How does a democracy function with no credible system for informing its citizens?

CNN intro’d and outro’d every segment with Glozell [Green] in a bathtub full of cereal, as did ABC’s morning show…Even new media companies like Vice were dismissive:

“Think of it as a teeny-bopper AMA…The interviewers will be GloZell Green, who’s perhaps best known for sitting in a tub full of cereal; a 19-year-old who gives beauty advice named Bethany Mota; and Hank Green, a notorious YouTube ranter whose brother wrote The Fault in Our Stars.”

Obama Adds New Words to SOTU Lexicon

obama_1400-740x493Ben Smith of Northeastern University analyzed the language of President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night against every SOTU since 1790 and found Obama introduced a number of words never before used in the address. The list includes:

Enumerati

  • 7

    Number of swing states in play on the 2016 Electoral Map, according to Crystal Ball: “This map feels like déjà vu: It’s effectively the same map we featured for much of the 2012 cycle, and it unmistakably suggests the Democratic nominee should start the election as at least a marginal Electoral College favorite over his or (probably) her Republican rival. However, at the starting gate it is wiser to argue that the next election is basically a 50-50 proposition.”

  • $1.5 million

    Amount Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign online in the 24 hours after he announced his candidacy, the Washington Post reports. “The donations came from a broad base of supporters — some 35,000 donors who gave an average of $43.54 a piece, according to the Sanders campaign.”

  • Of the nation’s top 250 Republican donors have given money to Scott Walker in his campaigns for Wisconsin governor, according to an Upshot analysis of Federal Election Commission records and state records. By comparison, 30 percent have given to Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, 20 percent to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and 10 percent to Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

  • 181

    Companies, individuals and foreign governments that have donated to the Clinton Foundation also lobbied the U.S. State Department when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state in the Obama administration, according to a Vox analysis of foundation records and federal lobbying disclosures.

  • 56%

    Of Republicans would attend the gay wedding of a loved one if invited, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll. That compares with 80% of Democrats and 70% of independents, who said they would go. Overall, 68% of Americans would attend, the poll showed, while 19% would not and 13% were unsure.

Poetic Justice

As for gays, Republicans think God should smite them,
And as for gay rights, they’re the first to fight them.
But most say they’re cool with attending
A loved one’s same-sex wedding,
But what self-respecting gay couple would invite them?

Verbatim

  • I don’t usually go to weddings of people that I don’t know, OK? I don’t go to ‘em. But if somebody that I like is getting married in the traditional sense or in the non-traditional sense, I’m not hung up about it and I’ll be celebrating with them at that point.

    — Gov. John Kasich (R), quoted by the Wall Street Journal, declining to shed light on why he felt comfortable attending a gay wedding but was opposed to gay marriage.

  • I do not come to you tonight with the ability to speak Spanish. But I do speak a common language. I speak Jesus.

    — Mike Huckabee, quoted by the Wall Street Journal, speaking to a Hispanic audience.

  • We’re looking at a system where our democracy is being owned by a handful of billionaires.

    — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), quoted by ABC News, on why he’s running for president.

  • I respect the courts, but the Supreme Court is only that — the supreme of the courts. It is not the supreme being. It cannot overrule God.

    — Mike Huckabee, quoted by CNN, on the pending same-sex marriage ruling.

  • Where he got clobbered was ’47 percent.’ I think Romney is a good man who had a hard campaign, but I cannot think of a statement in all of politics that I disagree with more strongly. — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), quoted by CNN, on why Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election.

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Celebrate Holy Week by flogging your bankers — just as Jesus did

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