Quote of the Day - Jim Allen Edition
4 hours ago
Today’s Glenn Beck was a complex history lesson involving many intricate threads woven together by the four forces of commerce, religion, government, and science. It was also a complex, delicious-looking cake composed of four edible layers of commerce, religion, government, and science (but probably just fruit). And to explain how these layers relate, Glenn Beck explained the family history behind the Father of Modern-Day Racism, Charles Darwin.
After explaining the significance of the illustration of a slave in shackles reading “Am I Not a Man and a Brother?” made famous accompanying the abolitionist poem “My Countrymen in Chains” (more about that here) as “the Lance Armstrong bracelets of the day,” he took on the history of the man who made the illustration into a mass-produced medallion, Josiah Wedgwood. His story and that story of the image were an anecdote chosen to illustrate the aforementioned four forces elemental in American history. Government and religion work together, government and religion are driven apart, and those dynamics result in things like slavery and the abolition thereof. Funny that Wedgwood was such an abolitionist, Beck continues explaining, as “his great-grandson plant[ed] the seed that leads to progressivism, eugenics.” Yes, that’s right, Wedgwood’s grandson was “Charles Darwin, the father of modern-day racism,” he concludes.
Beck doesn’t really explain that assertion any further, since he ends the story there, but it’s a heavy enough accusation that it feels more like a cliffhanger than an intended given. If there is one planned– and there’s no reason to believe there isn’t– Beck’s history lesson on Charles Darwin promises to be fascinating if that’s the groundwork he’s laying for it. We can only hope it will be as delicious.
The only way we even know the name of Valerie Plame (and fame seeking hubby Joe Wilson) is that that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage leaked her name as a CIA officer to columnist Robert Novak. That is what set in motion the long drawn out Plamegate affair in which only Scooter Libby was convicted of something other than leaking her name. So you would figure that the supposedly biographical movie scheduled for a November USA release about Plame, Fair Game, would feature Armitage front and center as the principal villain. Right? Wrong. The fact is that "Fair Game" has tossed Richard Armitage down the memory hole. The man who is responsible for the reason that any of us even know who Valerie Plame is appears nowhere in the extensive IMDB cast credits for this movie.
Of course, the aforementioned Scooter Libby (David Andrews) who did not leak her name is listed. Also listed in the cast is the Armitage-leaked name of Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts), fame seeking hubby Joe Wilson (Sean Penn), Nervous Analyst #1 (Louis Ozawa Changchien), Chauvinist Analyst (Sean Mahon), Head Paparazzo (Harry L. Seddon), Four Seasons Waitress (Satu Rautaharju), Starbucks Employee (Angela Lewis), and Turkish Embassy Guest (Marsall Factora). However, as for the person who made the "Fair Game" movie possible by leaking Valerie Plame's name, he appears nowhere in the cast credits.
George Stephanopoulos on Friday showed that it is possible to force a Democratic politician to answer tough questions. The Good Morning America host grilled Representative Maxine Waters over allegations that she misused her office for personal gain.Considering that Stephanopoulos is a former adviser to Bill Clinton this comes as a shocker.
Every single one of Stephanopoulos' questions was hard hitting, including this query: "The ethics committee is bipartisan. Five Democrats and five Republicans. If these charges are so groundless, how did this happen to you?" Waters is charged with assisting in obtaining TARP money for a bank that her husband had investments worth $175,000.
It’s been a big week for Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois who made a name for himself after committing acts that US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald declared would “make Abe Lincoln roll in his grave.” Except the jury couldn’t convict him on 23 of those 24 charges, and now the tables have turned on Fitzgerald, with the media rallying against a retrial and the Wall Street Journal calling for Fitzgerald’s resignation.RELATED: A Blagojevich Juror Speaks Out: Cynthia Parker Discusses The Trial
Judge James Zagel has already said he intends to call a retrial, especially in light of the news that Blagojevich was one juror away from a complete conviction. Many, however, seem to question the reasoning behind going through the entire process all over again. Reporters at Reuters and the Chicago Tribune have speculated that having yet another trial, especially so close to the midterm elections. In Illinois, questions are being raised over whether the money it will cost to host the retrial and defend Blagojevich will be worth it. And then there’s the positive press; Roger Simon at Politico is literally “cheering” for Blagojevich after his legal success. But perhaps the most unexpected reaction to the possibility of a retrial has been the backlash on Fitzgerald, who is now facing criticism for his failure to get Blagojevich convicted of most of the charges that extends as far as calling for his resignation.
In an editorial today, the Washington Post warned that a retrial could “cross another fine line” into “persecution” of the governor, rather than mere investigation. It wasn’t exactly a glowing piece for Team Blago– “the Blagojevich brand of politics is repugnant, beyond any doubt. It perverts democracy and puts moneyed interests over the common good,” it argues– but nonetheless the editorial calls for Fitzgerald to “stand down”– he “took his shot and lost.”
Ann Coulter, seemingly unscathed from her battle earlier today with far-right internet journal WorldNetDaily, visited Bill O’Reilly tonight to talk about the children of illegal immigrants (“anchor babies”) and a nearly twenty-year assertion by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that those children should not be US citizens. Unsurprisingly, Coulter seems to have had enough of “deadbeats… sneak[ing] into the country and [having] babies to get on welfare.”
Assering that the 14th Amendment, written after the Civil War and stating that being born in the United States is a sufficient condition for citizenship, “does not give illegal immigrants the right to be citizens,” Coulter noted that the reason Reid had stepped back and apologized for his original laim was that Democrats are “completely ungrounded” and “they do everything they say for political reasons.” She also pointed at some international immigration laws– O’Reilly pointed out the specific case of Sweden– where children need at least one parent to have citizenship in order to automatically receive it.
The reason it is such a crisis, she continued, was because of the current economic crisis, joking that “we need a ticker for how much anchor babies are costing America.” And as for the specific use of the 14th Amendment, “it was all about Reconstruction” and did nothing to give Native Americans citizenship, according to Coulter. “We do owe blacks,” she concluded, “we do not owe the entire world.”
There's a new argument emerging among supporters of the Ground Zero mosque. Distressed by President Obama's waffling on the issue, they're calling on former President George W. Bush to announce his support for the project, because in this case Bush understands better than Obama the connection between the war on terror and the larger question of America's relationship with Islam. It's an extraordinary change of position for commentators who long argued that Bush had done grievous harm to America's image in the Muslim world and that Obama represented a fresh start for the United States. Nevertheless, they are now seeing a different side of the former president.Actually if anyone was paying attention, former President Bush has made it clear ("He deserves my silence") more than once that out of respect for his successor he would never butt in current policy matters. But if liberals pining for Bush to return doesn't signal how low Barry has fallen from grace, nothing will.
"It's time for W. to weigh in," writes the New York Times' Maureen Dowd. Bush, Dowd explains, understands that "you can't have an effective war against the terrorists if it is a war on Islam." Dowd finds it "odd" that Obama seems less sure on that matter. But to set things back on the right course, she says, "W. needs to get his bullhorn back out" -- a reference to Bush's famous "the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!" speech at Ground Zero on September 14, 2001.
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson is also looking for an assist from Bush. "I…would love to hear from former President Bush on this issue," Robinson wrote Tuesday in a Post chat session. "He held Ramadan iftar dinners in the White House as part of a much broader effort to show that our fight against the al-Qaeda murderers who attacked us on 9/11 was not a crusade against Islam. He was absolutely right on this point, and it would be helpful to hear his views."
And Peter Beinart, a former editor of the New Republic, is also feeling some nostalgia for the former president. "Words I never thought I'd write: I pine for George W. Bush," Beinart wrote Tuesday in The Daily Beast. "Whatever his flaws, the man respected religion, all religion." Beinart longs for the days when Bush "used to say that the 'war on terror' was a struggle on behalf of Muslims, decent folks who wanted nothing more than to live free like you and me…"
For the moment, with Obama failing to live up to expectations, Bush-bashing is over. It's all a little amusing -- and perhaps a little maddening -- for some members of the Bush circle. When I asked Karl Rove to comment, he responded that it means "redemption is always available for liberals and time causes even the most stubborn of ideologues to revisit mistaken judgments." But won't these Bush critics shortly return to criticizing Bush? "This Bush swoon by selected members of the left commentariat is temporary," Rove answered. "Their swamp fevers will return momentarily."
Bush himself has declined to comment on the mosque affair.
A campaigning President Barack Obama said Tuesday it will take a few years to dig the nation out of the recession, warning impatient voters that any candidate promising faster results "is just looking for your vote."So Barry and Friends have gone from promising to keep unemployment below 8% to guaranteeing us 500,000-plus jobs with the stimulus to saying 'well, things could be a lot worse' to this? And by the way is the "look at all I've done with no GOP backing" creed going to work on voters when he's had a supermajority to work with for almost 2 years, nevermind the fact that it's his base (i.e. the "professional left") that's giving him the most grief nowadays? Whatever the case, if he keeps this up I just don't see independents buying it in 2012.
The president's economic outlook, coming in the heat of a divisive midterm campaign stretch, reflected his tricky political reality. He must try to persuade people soured by the sagging economy that they should re-elect Democratic leaders now, but he also is laboring to get voters to measure his efforts with a long view, as he looks ahead to his own re-election campaign in 2012.
Darting into Seattle to stir up enthusiasm and cash for Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, Obama spoke as a president whose agenda is on the line. He has pushed through all his big legislative items with virtually no Republican backing.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger announced tonight she is ending her radio show, a week after she broadcast a five-minute-long rant in which she used the N-word 11 times.Any sane person who heard the entire conversation Dr. Laura had with that Black caller, in which she used the N-word 11 times, understood full damn well the context she was using it in, making a point--"Black people say 'nigger' all the time so what's the big deal if whites use it?"-- that while culturally ignorant, wasn't at all "RACIST!" But leave it to the desperate loons on the Left, from the usual suspects like Al Sharpton to the NYTimes, to pull out the race card, deflect from the real issues facing Americans and attack a white conservative radio talk show host (a cohesive effort to protect a growingly unpopular radically liberal President, no doubt). It's what they do all the time and Dr. Laura should've had enough guts not to cave to their liberal terrorism.
Schlessinger said on "Larry King Live" tonight that she has decided "not to do radio anymore" so she can say the things she wants to say.
"The reason is, I want to regain my First Amendment rights," she said. "I want to be able to say what's on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates, attack sponsors. I'm sort of done with that."
President Obama's comments on a plan to build an Islamic center in the shadow of ground zero are not only giving opponents an opportunity to attack him but also reveal a messaging problem from the White House, a communications expert said.
"The danger here is an incoherent presidency," said David Morey, vice chairman of the Core Strategy Group, who provided communications advice to Obama's 2008 campaign. "Simpler is better, and rising above these issues and leading by controlling the dialogue is what the presidency is all about. So I think that's the job they have to do more effectively as they have in the past [in the campaign]."
Obama has faced a torrent of criticism for what was called mixed messages on the controversial plan. On Friday, Obama said Muslims "have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country ... That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances."
The following day, Obama told Ed Henry, CNN's senior White House correspondent, that he was "not commenting on the wisdom" of the project, just the broader principle that the government should treat "everyone equal, regardless" of religion. Then a White House spokesman clarified those comments.
Sen. Carl Levin might like pie, but surely not served this way. The Michigan Democrat was listening to a question at constituent meeting in the town of Big Rapids on Monday when a woman struck him in the face with a pie.
Ahlam M. Mohsen, 22, of Coldwater, Mich., will be arraigned Tuesday, the AP reports, after being held without bond on a felony charge of stalking and misdemeanor counts of assault and disorderly conduct.
Mohsen told the Big Rapids Pioneer she hoped "to send a message that liberals and Democrats are just as implicated in the violence [of war] as the Republicans."
A conservative group says liberal political bias exists at Southern Methodist University.
SMU's entry on CampusReform.org says the Dallas university shows evidence of liberal bias in faculty, student organizations and administrative policies.
The Leadership Institute put together in-depth profiles of the nation’s top 100 research universities as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. SMU is No. 68 on the U.S. News and World Report list.
The charge of liberal bias comes at an institution where Laura Bush, the wife of former Republican President George W. Bush, is a graduate and trustee.
Former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney is a former trustee.
SMU was criticized for having a conservative bias by its acceptance of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Institute, which is currently under construction on the Dallas campus.
"I would say that the George Bush Library's presence on campus may be misleading," said Tony Listi, a CampusReform.org regional director.
He said the evaluation of the SMU's political climate was based on several factors. Liberal SMU student groups outnumber conservative groups by five to one, and 84 percent of the school's faculty and staff who donated in the 2008 presidential election gave to Democratic candidates.
"We think that political contribution data indicates a political bias on the campus of Southern Methodist University," Listi said.
Democrats can’t win on the issues, so they resort to class and racial politics, says Marco Rubio, the GOP’s presumptive nominee for U.S. Senate from Florida.
During an exclusive Newsmax interview, Rubio upbraided Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., for his recent comment that he does not “know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican.”
“It’s part of a concerted effort to get away from the issues and get into identity politics because they can’t win on the issues,” says Rubio, whose parents and grandparents came to the United States from Cuba. “So they want things to be about things like class warfare and identity politics."
A federal appeals court put same-sex weddings in California on hold indefinitely Monday while it considers the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban.
The decision, issued by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, trumps a lower court judge's order that would have allowed county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Wednesday.
Lawyers for the two gay couples that challenged the ban said Monday they would not appeal the panel's decision on the stay to the Supreme Court.
In its two-page order granting the stay, the 9th Circuit agreed to expedite its consideration of the Proposition 8 case. The court plans to hear the case during the week of Dec. 6 after moving up deadlines for both sides to file their written arguments by Nov. 1.
"We are very gratified that the 9th Circuit has recognized the importance and the pressing nature of this case by issuing this extremely expedited briefing schedule," said Ted Boutrous, a member of the plaintiffs' legal team.
He’s never been shied away from showing off his toned physique.
But President Barack Obama’s latest beach moment might yet come back to haunt him after he enlisted his youngest daughter for a publicity stunt.
In an attempt to show the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, despite the massive BP oil spill, were safe he took the plunge with youngest daughter Sasha in a very carefully controlled photo opportunity.
No photographers or reporters were allowed to be present for the short dip in the Gulf waters off Alligator Point in Panama City Beach, Florida.
But the White House later released one photo of the pair smiling as they frolicked with heads just above the water in warm waters of the Gulf.
Officials said they released the photograph to show that the region is back in business and was a safe destination for tourists.
But Mr Obama has come under fire for the decision - both for using his daughter to score political points, and for staying in the area for just 26 hours.
The family will instead holiday later this month on Martha's Vineyard, an elite resort island off the coast of Massachusetts - far to the north of the oil-stricken Gulf waters.
During an appearance on Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie’s Daily Rundown, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus may have one-upped Robert Gibbs‘ “Professional Left” comments. Having already written a column agreeing with Gibbs, she told Chuck, Savannah, and Anita Dunn that the left and the blogosphere are “deranged.”
I was all set to agree with her, until I found out she wasn’t talking about their berserk reaction to Gibbs’ comments, but rather, their high expectations of President Obama and the Democrats.
While it is true that a great many liberals have too-high expectations of President Obama, and little patience, the example that Marcus cites is the worst one possible. On health care, the left has an indisputably valid point. In her column, Marcus wrote “Can these people count to 60?”
As a matter of fact, we can, but apparently, the Democrats can’t. Instead of pressing the advantage while they had that filibuster-proof Senate majority, President Obama went on a pointless consensus-building exercise that resulted in a weaker law that barely passed after Scott Brown upended that 60-seat majority.
It’s a bit of a cliche´, but the truth lies somewhere in the middle. There are many on the left for whom pragmatism is a dirty word, and Gibbs was right to throw cold water on comparisons to Bush. But it’s not a hippie acid trip to think that the Dems could have gotten a stronger health care bill had they, themselves, bothered to count to 60 while they still could.