Susie Sampson surveys the frigid landscape of conservative hopes after the 2012 election. Oddly enough, her subjects do not seem to want to celebrate the coming of the Indians as immigrants to America. Hm.
Line of the day: "Protection. I got that in my wallet right now."
I know there will be a lot of very thoughtful and moving blog posts today at all my favorite blogs and news sites about what different people are thankful for. Truth be told, I am actually a pretty sentimental guy, and if this Thanksgiving is like most of the rest, some of those pieces will probably make me a little teary-eyed. I know I am incredibly thankful for how lucky I am, that I live in such an incredible country and have such a remarkable family. I am thankful as well for a country where my mom and other older relatives have Social Security and Medicare to rely on; where my brother Kevin had disability support throughout his life; for a country where an elderly and disabled homeless man I know finally is getting government housing after a long wait.
But I have to admit a certain cynical side as well, because when I see a video like this, I also become very thankful for policy opponents like this:
It is interesting that Mr. Blankfein’s video came out the same day a much smarter, savvier proponent of Social Security and Medicare cuts came out with a memo about how to sell such cuts. Lloyd did pretty much everything wrong, as far as what the memo recommended, and I’m sure my friends at Third Way would not have wanted the CEO of Goldman Sachs as their lead spokesman on the campaign to make those cuts. But God bless him, I am so very thankful: having a man as wealthy and privileged and powerful as Blankfein, a man who is the CEO of a company which has gotten enormous government bailouts and largess over the last 5 years, tell people they need to retire later and have their benefits cut is a great boon to folks like me who are opposing such things.
The people at Third Way are a much tougher foe. They are old political warriors who know how to craft messaging research to make it look like voters are with them, and know how to use people’s love of Medicare and Social Security as a way to scaring them into making cuts in the programs.
Mr. Barry’s turkey giveaway is an annual tradition, and in years past he has refused to say who has paid for the turkeys or whether the donors have contracts with the city. Pressed this year by the Washington City Paper’s Alan Suderman, Mr. Barry said it’s only “liberal white folks” who are interested in disclosure rules or, for that matter, other good-government initiatives, such as the city’s open-meetings law. After vowing not to disclose the donors (“I’m not ever telling”), Mr. Barry released a statement that cited the involvement of Chartered Health Plan, Wal-Mart, WC Smith, Chapman Development, Intralot, United Healthcare, Fort Myer Construction and Union Temple Baptist Church.
C'mon now. As much as I admire the gesture of giving away turkeys to needy families, does Barry really mean to imply that only white liberals care about transparency and corporate influences over our elected officials?
As he did in 2009 and 2010, Andrew Malcolm made sure his readers knew that President Obama and the First Lady issued an official White House statement marking Kwanzaa. Tammy Bruce quickly retweeted a message declaring, "Obama celebrates Kwanzaa...Idiots," adding, "Oh freaking brother." The always execrable Weazel Zippers fumed:
Just because Kwanzaa was made up by a racist black nationalist who was convicted of torturing two women who were part of his group "United Slaves," because he thought they were hiding nonexistent "crystals" of poison meant to kill him doesn't mean it's not a legitimate holiday, right? Or how about the fact that actual Africans have never heard of Kwanzaa? I could go on and on but I'm preaching to the choir.
Sadly for the foaming-at-the-mouth right-wingers, that choir did not include President George W. Bush.
Kwanzaa celebrates the traditional African values of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. From December 26th to January 1st, people of African descent gather to renew their commitment to these seven principles, known as Nguzo Saba, and give thanks for the blessings of family, community, and culture. Kwanzaa is also a time for Africans and African-Americans to honor their common heritage by participating in events based on early harvest gatherings called matunda ya kwanza, or first fruits.
As individuals and families join together during Kwanzaa, their joy enriches communities in the United States and across the globe. By uniting people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs, this holiday promotes mutual understanding and respect. These universal principles inspire us as we work together for a future of freedom, hope, and opportunity for all.
Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a memorable Kwanzaa, and for peace, happiness, and success in the coming year.
As Americans were still eating their turkey on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times served as the dutiful stenographer for the Twitter vitriol:
But Thursday morning, Republicans and others tweeted their discontent with the reported omission of God from Obama's address.
Comments included "So sad!" and "God help us!" Republicans Abroad retweeted the Fox News headline: "Obama Leaves God Out of Thanksgiving Address."
"To give thanks for luck is to deny God much less omit!" tweeted "PastorJeffBrown," whose Twitter account lists him as a rural Oklahoma husband, father and Baptist pastor.
Apparently, Obama's passing references to "blessings" and "faith" were not sufficient in his expression of gratitude to American service men and women, among others:
As Americans, each of us has our own list of things and people to be thankful for. But there are some blessings we all share.
We're especially grateful for the men and women who defend our country overseas. To all the service members eating Thanksgiving dinner far from your families: the American people are thinking of you today. And when you come home, we intend to make sure that we serve you as well as you're serving America.
We're also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay. This sense of mutual responsibility - the idea that I am my brother's keeper; that I am my sister's keeper - has always been a part of what makes our country special. And it's one of the reasons the Thanksgiving tradition has endured.
During this holiday season, we give thanks for those who defend our freedom. America's men and women in uniform deserve our highest respect -- and so do the families who love and support them. Lately, I have been asked what I will miss about the presidency. And my answer is that I will miss being the Commander-in-Chief of these brave warriors. In this special time of year, when many of them are serving in distant lands, they are in the thoughts and prayers of all Americans.
During this holiday season, we give thanks for the kindness of citizens throughout our Nation. It is a testament to the goodness of our people that on Thanksgiving, millions of Americans reach out to those who have little. The true spirit of the holidays can be seen in the generous volunteers who bring comfort to the poor and the sick and the elderly. These men and women are selfless members of our Nation's armies of compassion -- and they make our country a better place, one heart and one soul at a time.
Following Bush's departure, God returned to a place of prominence in Barack Obama's 2009 and 2010 Thanksgiving addresses. Two years ago, President Obama encouraged " all the people of the United States to come together, whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place where family, friends and neighbors may gather" to, among other things:
[R]ecall President George Washington, who proclaimed our first national day of public thanksgiving to be observed "by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God," and President Abraham Lincoln, who established our annual Thanksgiving Day to help mend a fractured Nation in the midst of civil war.
Every cliche that is wrong about Thanksgiving shows up in his proclamation. The Pilgrims show up at Plymouth. The Indians had been there for thousands of years. We get off the boats. We don't know how to feed ourselves. The Indians show us how. They shared their skill in agriculture, which helped the early colonists survive and whose rich culture continues to add to our nation's Heritage. Is it possible he believes it? I don't doubt that he believes it, and even if he doesn't believe it, he wants everybody else to believe it. Obama believes that this nation is fatally flawed since its founding, even before its founding, so it stands to reason -- you know, a lot of people did not hear the true story of Thanksgiving until I wrote it in my book in the early nineties. I can remember Snerdley and H.R. were stunned when they heard the first story of Thanksgiving, the real story, because we'd all been taught a variation of the Indians saved us. We had to draw pictures of it in school, that's exactly right, art projects of the Indians saving us.
Time and familiarity has reduced to quaint memory the crucial nature of Indian agriculture for white settlers on the Atlantic coast early in the seventeenth century. Every American school child can recite the story of Squanto and his service to the Pilgrims at Plymouth. It is a charming incident in our historical texts culminating in a grand feast of thanksgiving. The harsh reality of the time, as William Bradford well knew and recorded, inscribed a bleaker circumstance. Without the seed corn and beans Bradford's fellow adventurers unearthed in November 1620, survival of the colony was doubtful. Without Squanto to teach them the arts of New World agriculture the Pilgrims' future was likely to be short indeed. The settlers' failure to master Squanto's teaching forced the colony to rely on food supplies purchased from successful Indian farmers. Not until the second year did the Pilgrims' own fields produce in sufficient abundance to assure survival.
To the south, in Virginia, the Jamestown settlement had already benefited from Indian agriculture. On at least two occasions the imperial chieftain, Powhatan, provided Jamestown with sufficient food to stave off disaster. The Jamestown settlers and later commentators seldom understood Powhatan's motivation and apparent inconstancy toward the settlement. A broader view of the chief's effort to establish an empire in the Chesapeake area might shed some light on the seeming enigma, but for the Englishmen at Jamestown the fact that lie came and with food was enough.
To the good fortune of Plymouth and Jamestown the coastal Indians produced food in quantity. The coastal tribes' ability to feed themselves and the white settlements belied the popular conception of Indian agriculture in that region as bare subsistence. Indeed, where investigators have explored the question a different picture emerged. In southern New England at least, Indian agriculture accounted for over 65 percent of the native population's diet and surplus production for trade and storage was common. In any event, it did not take the Plymouth colony long to discover that their gift from the Indians had a value beyond feeding the settlement.
Within four years after their arrival at Plymouth settlers profited from Indian agriculture and entered into relationships that dominated Indian-white contacts for the next two hundred years and more. In the fall of 1625 Governor William Bradford sent a boatload of corn up the Kennebec River to trade with the interior tribes for furs. His men returned with a store of beaver and other furs that financed the colony's needs for the next year. In later years Massachusetts further developed its fur trade, raised its own corn for export, and purchased corn from the Indians for resale.
Now it is true that Bradford's account also details how the Pilgrims discovered that communal farming was a distinctly inferior scheme to private farming, which is where Stossel and Limbaugh obtain their claim that the first Thanksgiving was about the failure of socialism -- which, as Brian at RightWingWatch has detailed already, is a load of bollocks and a deliberate misreading of the history.
At this point it's clear that according to Rush, there's literally nothing good you can say about a racial minority in America (unless they are dutifully serving as right wing poster children.)
Of course not. Because in Rushtopia, white people are the cream of creation, and any suggestion that their inferiors might actually have helped them survive and thrive is an outrageous slander upon the race.
The network confirmed that Ms. Palin will appear on the network’s programming on a regular basis as part of a multi-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed. Ms. Palin will not have her own regular program, one person familiar with the deal said, though she will host an occasional series that will run on the network from time to time.
This person would not elaborate, but the network does have a precedent for such a series. Oliver L. North is the host of an occasionally running documentary series on the military called “War Stories.”