"Mommy Rhapsody" from Mother's Day a couple years ago and ...wow, it's good.
Happy Mother's Day.
Open Thread below....
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"Mommy Rhapsody" from Mother's Day a couple years ago and ...wow, it's good.
Happy Mother's Day.
Open Thread below....
There is more truth in this seven minute segment of the Melissa Harris-Perry show than you will see in the eleven hours of Sunday morning news shows programming and highlights a few of my personal bugaboos about the dishonesty of the state of American media.
There are legitimate issues that affect this country. In the wealthiest nation in the world, there is no reason that we should see the level of poverty that we see. And poverty touches on so many other areas as well: the cost of health care, food insecurity, social development, social safety nets, jobs, housing, etc.
And yet who do we see discussing poverty and solutions? Nominally, it's Republicans like Newt Gingrich and Paul Ryan, who sneer and smear those living in poverty, employing the well-trod myths of the welfare queen and the lazy looking for a hand out. It's the same people, week after week, framing the debate.
But you know who never gets a seat at the table? Actual people living in poverty. People who have struggled with homelessness, food insecurity, health care affordability and the rest of the struggles that come with poverty.
Meet Tiana Gaines-Turner, a mother of three children and member of the advocacy group Witnesses to Hunger. Twice homeless, Tiana now points out that these lawmakers (and Democratic politicians are not immune to this, either, their silence is complicity) are making judgments and laws without knowing the real world impact:
“Invite me to the table, invite my brothers and sisters to the table,” she said. “Don’t assume you know what it’s like.”[..]
People who have waited for years for Section 8 housing, who have used government food benefits, Gaines-Turner told Harris-Perry, “know the solutions” and act as “mythbusters,” who can counter assumptions many people have about who lives in poverty.
“Until we can all sit at more tables like this, nothing is going to happen,” Gaines-Turner said.
The entire show was an amazing and sadly rare intelligent and honest discussion. If you missed MHP, you can watch segments via the MSNBC homepage.
This Week with George Stephanopoulos notes the deaths of ten service members killed in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan:
US Air Force Capt Mark T Voss, 27, Colorado Springs, CO
US Air Force Capt Victoria A Pinckney, 27, Palmdale, CA
US Air Force TSgt Herman Mackey III, 30, Bakersfield, CA
US Marines SSgt Eric D Christian, 39, Warwick, NY
US Marines Cpl David M Sonka, 23, Parker, CO and his K9, Flex
US Army 1LT Brandon J Landrum, 25, Lawton, OK
US Army SSG Francis G Phillips IV, 28, Meridian, NY
US Army SPC Kevin Cardoza, 19, Mercedes, TX
US Army SPC Thomas P Murach, 22, Meridian, ID
US Army SPC Brandon J Prescott, 24, Bend, OR
According to iCasualties, the total number of service members killed in Afghanistan is now 3,305.
In addition, the following notable names lost their lives this week:
CT state politician Eugene Millerick, 88
Italian politcian Giulio Andreotti, 94
Bicycle developer Al Fritz, 88
Special effects/stop motion pioneer Ray Harryhausen, 92
Actor/director/screenwriter Bryan Forbes, 86
Actor Jeanne Cooper, 84
CT state politician Julia Tashjian, 74
Grandson of Malcolm X/activist Malcolm Shabazz, 28
Hall of Fame football player Jack Butler, 85
An American woman living in UK was banned from adopting a 4th child and what she did will remind you that YOUR mom...probably wasn't that bad.
Absurdity Today is an award winning news parody, hosted by Julianna Forlano.
After the unquestionably tragic (but not entirely unprecedented) events in Benghazi, former ambassador Thomas Pickering was named to chair an accountability panel to investigate the event. Pickering is hardly someone who could be characterized as partisan, having served under presidents of both parties and in multiple "hot" zones, such as El Salvador, Israel and Russia. He has spent his more recent, post-retirement years focusing on national security for different think tanks. So he comes to the task with no political agenda, but an ongoing concern for the importance of the diplomatic corps and the safety and security of American interests in a decidedly bipartisan fashion.
Pickering's board findings are available to everyone online. In it, the board found systemic failures throughout the State Department and inadequate allowances for security. But what they did not find is any evidence of a conspiracy to cover up or politically spin the attack, or of an overt attempt to make or let the attack happen nor did they find then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally culpable for failures in the State Department. The fault lay, according to the report, with bureaucratic levels far below the Secretary level.
But Republicans never let facts get in the way of a good ol' witch hunt which has the double effect of keeping the sitting President on the defense as well as getting in some potentially fatal licks on the 2016 frontrunner. So Oversight Committee Chairman and Chief Witch Hunter Darrell Issa (R-CA) keeps droning on and on his conspiracy talking points to mouthpiece cypher David Gregory until Thomas Pickering can take it no longer.
After Issa asserted that Pickering had refused to testify in front of his committee, Pickering breaks his silence and off camera interrupts with a "That's not true." Watch Issa's face as the camera goes wide, revealing Pickering sitting right next to him. Pickering then reveals that he was told his testimony was 'not welcome', leaving Issa sputtering about protocols (how ironic!) and how the minority party could have called Pickering as a witness, proving once again that the goal is not fact finding, but a witch hunt.
Pickering will end up testifying in front of the committee this week. However, I don't think that Issa should feel confident that this will at all help his cause, as Pickering has been quite clear about his disgust about this politicking:
“Let me say that I hope the chairman has read our report,” the co-chairman of State Department Accountability Review Board on Benghazi aid on NBC's “Meet the Press.” “Our report has 29 recommendations. The bulk of them concern the insufficiency of the State Department's preparation of that post to deal with the security challenges. I don't think that there is any other explanation. And I can't believe that, in fact, he still sits here and makes those charges.”
Such a quiet week, we only had to deal everyone in Wingnuttia screaming Benghazi! Benghazi! BENGHAZI!, we found kidnapping victims long ago presumed lost, and a rash of children accidentally shooting themselves and other children. Thank you for letting me be part of your week.
Frankly Curious argues that Republicans are the masters of managing low expectations, and negative feedback loops.
David E's Fablog looks into Jason Richwine, professional racist.
Addicting Info shows us that not all publicity is good publicity. Also/Too: WTF were they thinking?
Bonus track: The Lester and Charlie Review cover the Sanford election as only they can.
So why on earth is John McCain on my screen again, for the tenth time this year?
What the hell is that? Lack of imagination? Lack of creativity? Or is it more likely a lack of interest in having any kind of real conversation or discussion of the issues?
My vote is the latter.
Would that there was a liberal as popular with the producers as McCain to be able to provide a little bit of sanity and fact-based discussion. Hey, a girl can dream...
Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow moms. May your Sunday be filled with pancake syrup kisses and the recognition you deserve.
ABC's "This Week" -- Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Jack Reed, D-R.I. Foreign Policy panel: ABC News’ George Will; former Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chair Gen. James Cartwright (USMC, Ret.); Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus; and ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl. "Powerhouse" panel: Will, Donna Brazile, Matthew Dowd, and Jonathan Karl, plus former Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.
NBC's "Meet the Press" -- Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; former diplomat Thomas Pickering, who helped lead the State Department's review of the attack against the U.S. in Benghazi, Libya. Panel: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) who is a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan; New York Times columnist David Brooks; the BBC’s Katty Kay; and Afghanistan veteran and author Wes Moore.
NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show" -- Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post; S. E. Cupp, MSNBC Host of "The Cycle"; Joe Klein, TIME Magazine; Kelly O'Donnell, NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent.
CBS' "Face the Nation" -- Pickering; former Defense Secretary Robert Gates; Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. Maya Angelou.
MSNBC's "UP with Steve Kornacki" -- Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director, CEO and Co-Founder; Celinda Lake, Democratic Pollster, President, Lake Research Partners; State Sen. David Haley (D-KS); Fmr. Sen. Sheila Frahm (R-KS); Thomas Frank, Author, “What’s the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America,” Columnist, Harper’s Magazine; Urvashi Vaid, currently Director of the Engaging Tradition Project at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School; Pat Brady, Former Chairman, Illinois Republican Party; Rachel Stassen-Berger, Political Reporter, The Star Tribune; State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson (D-NV)
MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Perry" -- Marian Chilton, Associate Professor at Drexel University / Director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities; Mauricio Lim Miller, Founder of Family Independence Initiative; Michael Tanner, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute; Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta; James Perry, New Orleans Housing Lawyer; Jeremy Rosen, Policy Director at the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty; Diana Furchgott-Roth, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute; Rev. Vivian Nixon, Executive Director of the College and Community Fellowship / Co-Founder of the Education Inside Out Coalition.
CNN's "State of the Union" -- Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine; former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, co-chairman of the State Department's accountability review; Reps. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii. Panel: Republican Consultant Alex Castellanos, Democratic Strategist Mo Elleithee, and The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty.
CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" -- Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden, and former CIA Counter-terrorism chief Robert Grenier.
CNN's "Reliable Sources" -- popular culture commentator Lola Ogunnaike, Paul Farhi of the Washington Post and Jim Warren of The New York Daily News; Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Connie Schultz; Bloomberg View columnist Margaret Carlson, The Hill’s Bob Cusack, and the National Review’s Jim Geraghty.
"Fox News Sunday" -- Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Adam Smith, D-Wash.; Rep.-elect Mark Sanford, R-S.C. Panel: Bill Kristol, The Weekly Standard; Dennis Kucinich, Fmr Rep (D-OH); Kimberley Strassel, Author, Member of The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board; Juan Williams, Fox News Political Analyst.
So what's catching your eye this morning?
On April 25 - Thursday evening - American icon and humble hero George W Bush took one small step for man, one slip-and-fall for humanity - as he re-entered a spotlight until-recently blissful to have been abandoned by him, for the dedication of his presidential library. Put aside for the moment that having an actual structure that houses things you read dedicated to him is like honouring Chris Christie with a gluten-free restaurant or naming a Bar Mitzvah after Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Hell, I half expected him to don his trusty flight suit and declare "all major combat operations over in Iraq", you know, just for the memories.
But really, he did not have to do anything of the sort. For it was perfect timing for the My Pet Goat Athenaeum to emerge from the steamy Sun Belt hydrofluorocarbons just as one disaster after another befell the country, a helpful reminder of the eight torturous (in more ways than one) years he and his corrupted West Texas ideology made the rest of the United States resemble, well, West, Texas.
From the explosion at the fertiliser plant due to flagrant flouting of environmental regulations to the attack in Boston, the rejection of common sense gun safety to the square dance around sequestration; this was shaping up to be a Bush Legacy week whether he stayed home to paint nude portraits of Jeb or chose to step out and try to defend a presidency many Americans must be still convinced was just one long phantasm brought on by a bad batch of Peyote.
Michael Lind points out in, Made In Texas, that we have had conservative presidents over the past century and southern presidents. We have not had the combination. And it is an important distinction. As Lind put it in an interview with BuzzFlash (2002), "His [Bush's] political values - ranging from aggressive militarism in foreign policy to small-government ideology and fervent support for laissez-faire economics" have come to define much of our political culture in Washington - hence last week.
First, we had the Festrunk Brothers launch an attack on the Boston Marathon two weeks ago, and just about everything involved had Bush's West Texas political culture written all over it. Because of the NRA, which "worked out of his White House", there is no way to track where gun powder was bought as there is with plastic explosives. Because... freedom! (And defence contractor profits!).
There was the fact that these two clowns apparently committed these atrocities because of anger over Iraq - for which I hope the younger brother (I refuse to give them attention by using their names) spends a nice, long, pain-enveloped life carving rocks into chess pieces at Shawshank. Ahh yes, Iraq. Remember that war? The one that George W Bush lied us into with tales of yellowcake and "curveball", that has now cost up to about $2 trillion?
It is because of this war, unpaid for tax cuts and Big Pharma boondoggles that we apparently have to eliminate Medicare, according to the Pied Piper of granny starving, Congressman and former vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan. But let us eliminate, post haste, the part of our silly self-created "sequestration" - flight delays! - that causes inconveniences to wealthy members of the Congress on their way to the next Ladybank-single-malt-festooned, campaign contributor bribe-fests.
We were also recently treated to the West Texas answer to allowing weapons of war on our streets to blow apart toddlers in schools. Nothing. Unless you count Congress' finding ways to allow itself to insider trade again. Because... freedom!
Finally, there is the tragedy in West, Texas. A fertiliser-plant explosion near Waco (just like the Crawford pseudo-ranch!) that engulfed the neighbourhood, due to an understaffed and barely functioning Chemical Safety Board (by Congressional design), a lack of common-sense zoning requirements and the no-follow-ups rule we like to impose on the Environmental Protection Agency when they find that a plant like say, this one, had no risk management plan in 2006. But hey, the plant self-reported (is that like self-deporting?) that it posed "no risk" of fire, and why would they lie?
You may remember that a certain convict-Congressman named Tom DeLay - of West Texas - compared the EPA to the "Gestapo" and current lunkhead Texas Governor Rick Perry attacks the very same EPA for its "misguided and job-killing policies", as opposed to his people-killing ones. And then there is, once again, George W Bush. The Decider decided as President that, as dictated by his West Texas ideology, he would assault the EPA by any means necessary, short of naming the former Arabian Horse Association guy to run it (he saved that for FEMA... phew!).
So, in a way, it was fitting to see the George W Bush library opening this past week. It is his West Texas world. We are just stuck living in it.
This syndicated column first appeared at Al Jazeera English
Follow me on Twitter: @CliffSchecter
Happy Saturday night, folks! It's Blue Gal from The Professional Left Podcast, bringing you this week's podcast round up. Be aware that these podcasts are also available on i-Tunes, and may not be safe for work.
Kagro in the Morning: You can convert frustrated WalMart shoppers into anti-WalMart evangelists.
Bob and Chez: Nobody Expects the Benghazi Inquisition!
KCRW's This...Is Interesting: [New Podcast!] Treating "property ownership for lower classes" as a basic economic right.
Clearing the FOG Radio: Yes, there's racism inside governmental and nongovernmental institutions.
Open Thread below....
Have you noticed how many right-wingers are decrying the "tyranny" of the Obama administration these days?Ben Shapiro whining thus in the video above.) So you'll often find crap like this floating about on their Facebook pages.
But it's becoming common among mainstream right-wingers, particularly after the president dismissed these characterizations during a speech at Ohio State. Sure enough, everyone from Jonah Goldberg to Michelle Malkin piled on with the "yeah, whatever you say, dude" retorts.
But I was reminded the other day, rereading Stephen Budiansky's marvelous book about Reconstruction, The Bloody Shirt: Terror After the Civil War, just where the right-wing fetish about "tyranny" comes from. It's a highly selective fetish, after all; none of these "libertarians" seemed even remotely concerned when George W. Bush launched the whole "enemy combatants" enterprise back in 2001.
According to Budiansky, it -- like the phrase "waving the bloody shirt," as well as the whole conservative adoption of that rhetorical ruse as an aggressive form of defense -- has its origins in the years during and immediately following the Civil War, when it was common for Southerners to sneer at Abraham Lincoln (alive or dead) as a "tyrant":
A bald fact: Generations would hear how the South suffered “tyranny” under Reconstruction. Conveniently forgotten was the way that word was universally defined by white Southerners at the time: as a synonym for letting black men vote at all. A “remonstrance” issued by South Carolina’s Democratic Central Committee in 1868, personally signed by the leading native white political figures of the state, declared that there was no greater outrage, no greater despotism, than the provision for universal male suffrage just enacted in the state’s new constitution. There was but one possible consequence: “A superior race is put under the rule of an inferior race.” They offered a stark warning: “We do not mean to threaten resistance by arms. But the white people of our State will never quietly submit to negro rule. This is a duty we owe to the proud Caucasian race, whose sovereignty on earth God has ordained.”
“No free people, ever,” declared a speaker at a convention of the state’s white establishment a few years later, had been subjected to the “domination of their own slaves,” and the applause was thunderous. “This is a white man’s government,” was the phrase echoed over and over in the prints of the Democratic press and the orations of politicians denouncing the “tyranny” to which the “oppressed” South was being subjected.
A bald fact: more than three thousand freedmen and their white Republican allies were murdered in the campaign of terrorist violence that overthrew the only representatively elected governments the Southern states would know for a hundred years to come. Among the dead were more than sixty state senators, judges, legislators, sheriffs, constables, mayors, county commissioners, and other officeholders whose only crime was to have been elected. They were lynched by bands of disguised men who dragged them from cabins by night, or fired on from ambushes on lonely roadsides, or lured into a barroom by a false friend and on a prearranged signal shot so many times that the corpse was nothing but shreds, or pulled off a train in broad daylight by a body of heavily-armed men resembling nothing so much as a Confederate cavalry company and forced to kneel in the stubble of an October field and shot in the head over and over again, at point blank.
So saturated is our collective memory with Gone With the Wind stock characters of thieving carpetbaggers, ignorant Negroes, and low scalawags, that it comes as a shock not so much to discover that there were men and women of courage, idealism, rectitude, and vision who risked everything to try to build a new society of equality and justice on the ruins of the Civil War, who fought to give lasting meaning to the sacrifices of that terrible struggle, who gave their fortunes, careers, happiness, and lives to make real the simple and long-delayed American promise that all men were created equal—it comes as a shock not so much to be confronted by their idealism and courage and uprightness as by the realization that they were convinced, up to the very last, that they would succeed. Confident in the rightness of their cause, backed by the military might of the United States government, secure in the ringing declarations, now the supreme law of the land embodied in the
thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments of the Constitution, that slavery was not only dead but that equality and the right to vote were the patrimony now of all Americans, they could not imagine that their nation could win such a terrible war and lose the ensuing peace.
Indeed, it's common to hear neo-Confederate agitators -- those folks who are still pushing for modern secession by the South -- describe Lincoln to this day as a "tyrant."
The idea of being governed by a black president? To many of these people even today, that is itself the essence of tyranny.
[Cross-posted at Orcinus.]