While the media love to dismiss Republicans and conservatives as much less "diverse" than their Democratic and liberal counterparts, the midterm elections held a few weeks ago have brought to 10 the number of black or Hispanic Republicans who will either be governor, senator, or a House member representing a majority-white district, National Journal's Josh Kraushaar noted in a November 28 Hotline On Call blog post.
The idea was first proposed months ago by House Republicans, as Politico notes, but it apparently took an electoral "shellacking" to get the president on board. Congressional Democrats are still hesitant.
"I am encouraged by President Obama's proposal to freeze non-military federal pay for the next two years. This past May, House Republicans, prompted by YouCut voters, offered the very same spending-cut proposal on the floor of the House," [House GOP Whip Eric] Cantor said in a statement to POLITICO.
The Toronto Globe and Mail profiled Arianna Huffington as she prepares to keynote the Canada's Most Famous Women summit, and D.C.-based writer Konrad Yakabuski underlines that the Huffington Post founder is mysteriously aligning herself outside the bubble of the super-rich with her book Third World America:
Ms. Huffington's 13th book is a cri de coeur bemoaning the evisceration of the U.S. middle class and America's slide toward Third World status. As she describes it to me, “that's really a country where there are the super-rich, who live behind gates with guards protecting their kids from kidnapping, and the rest of us.”
This past election cycle, the American people marched to the polls with a clear-cut message for their officials in Washington - stop. Stop the rise of massive government. Stop developing policy behind closed doors, through backroom deals. And stop this anti-American agenda. The results were a ‘shellacking’ for the party in power.
Despite the clarity of voice with which the people spoke on November 2nd, the Democrat response indicates that they did not get the message. Despite troubling job uncertainty, and an extension of the Bush tax cuts on the table, Democrats are pushing what would seemingly be a low-priority issue – immigration legislation.
President Obama recently met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, discussing passage of the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors). The Act, which Investor’s Business Daily describes quite simply as ‘an amnesty bill,’ would open a path to citizenship for illegal immigrant students depending on certain criteria. Worse, the Act is being viewed as a ‘down payment’ to more widespread amnesty measures.
President Obama getting elbowed in the mouth playing basketball made liberal radio host Randi Rhodes so happy on her website Monday. The reason? We no longer had an idiot Republican president who injured himself repeatedly. George W. Bush can be forced into any narrative, apparently:
As Presidential injuries go, it’s a lot better than passing out from eating a pretzel. George Bush fell over eating a pretzel, fell off his bike, and fell off a Segway scooter. Obama got elbowed in the mouth. It’s kind of nice to finally have a president who doesn’t cause his own injuries. Another person in the game accidentally elbowed the President in the mouth.
The federally funded National Portrait Gallery, one of the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, is currently showing an exhibition that features images of an ant-covered Jesus, male genitals, naked brothers kissing, men in chains, Ellen DeGeneres grabbing her breasts, and a painting the Smithsonian itself describes in the show's catalog as "homoerotic."
The exhibit, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” opened on Oct. 30 and will run throughout the Christmas Season, closing on Feb. 13.
So claimed Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., in a statement to a New York CBS affiliate. The hundreds of thousands of documents released yesterday by WikiLeaks and a few of the world's largest newspapers put "American lives at risk all over the world," King stated. He also wants WikiLeaks officially labeled a terrorist organization by the State Department.
Does the leak undercut claims that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's isn't anti-American, but simply anti-war?
Brian Maloney at the Radio Equalizer blog reported that the Rev. Al Sharpton used his radio show to accuse someone else of having a radio show with a racial bias. Sharpton said clearly the FCC is not trying to block "free speech" just racist or sexist speech, as defined by a wise man, like Al Sharpton:
And part of what I think the FCC needs to do is give the guidelines of what is excusable and what is not. What is permit-able or permitted I should say and what is not because clearly you’re not trying to block free speech.
But, I think that for people to engage in programming shows that will use racial or gender bias as their format, we’ve got a right to say there are standards that the FCC can say that you cannot continue to have licenses to do that. You got to remember that those stations that Rush Limbaugh is on and others are regulated by FCC, granted by FCC. They go back to them to get waivers. They go back to them to get consolidation.
Hey, it's the Friday after Thanksgiving, a classically slow news day. So let's have some fun. For months I've been fascinated by the TV commercial for DirectTV. The focus is a man we instantly understand to be a Russian billionaire businessman/mobster. "Opulence: I has it. I like the best" he explains, as the commercial opens. And sure enough, he's surrounded by the flashiest things—and women—that money can buy.
With no Morning Joe to bust today, I was catching up on some House episodes I'd DVR'ed, and during an October number, up popped the commercial. Just for fun, I decided to play it in slow motion, to see if there were interesting details I might have missed. Right away, I noticed for the first time that in the background of the opening shot, you see live dogs playing poker, in a re-creation of the famous poster.
But it was an image toward the end that really caught my attention. One of the two women seated on the sofa with our mobster passes him a jewel-encrusted TV remote on a tray. But the remote is sitting on a pyramid of . . . six gold bars. Wait a second, I thought. Aren't gold bars very heavy? View video and stills after the jump.
It's tough to sell the happy talk after a shellacking. For example, here's the tone of an e-mail that Mitch Stewart, director of Obama's Organizing for America, sent on Wednesday, seeking feedback on what went wrong this fall:
In the six months leading up to Election Day, supporters like you reached out to more than 80 million voters on phone lines and doorsteps across the country -- making the difference in dozens of key races.
And -- one conversation at a time -- the commitments to vote that you secured helped grow this movement. That kind of work transcends the results of a single election. Thank you.
Thanksgiving afternoon at 3 PM EST, with another re-run overnight at 2 AM EST Thursday night/Friday morning, the Fox News Channel is re-running the first three hours of the six-part Fox News Reporting: The Right, All Along: The Rise, Fall & Future of Conservatism, the documentary series hosted by Brit Hume.
> At 3 PM EST/12 noon PST (and 2 AM EST/11 PM PST): “Right from the Start”
> At 4 PM EST/1 PM PST (and 3 AM EST/12 AM PST): “A Time for Choosing”
> At 5 PM EST/2 PM PST (and 4 AM EST/1 AM PST): “Path to Power”
On Monday's Democracy Now broadcast, taxpayer-subsidized Pacifica Radio anchor Amy Goodman promoted a newspaper column in the Daily Telegraph by the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, suggesting that George W. Bush should be arrested if he lands in Great Britain on his book tour, much like former Chilean dictator Agosto Pinochet, put under house arrest in London in 1998:
It is not yet clear whether George W Bush is planning to cross the Atlantic to flog us his memoirs, but if I were his PR people I would urge caution. As book tours go, this one would be an absolute corker. It is not just that every European capital would be brought to a standstill, as book-signings turned into anti-war riots. The real trouble — from the Bush point of view — is that he might never see Texas again.
One moment he might be holding forth to a great perspiring tent at Hay-on-Wye. The next moment, click, some embarrassed member of the Welsh constabulary could walk on stage, place some handcuffs on the former leader of the Free World, and take him away to be charged. Of course, we are told this scenario is unlikely. Dubya is the former leader of a friendly power, with whom this country is determined to have good relations. But that is what torture-authorising Augusto Pinochet thought. And unlike Pinochet, Mr Bush is making no bones about what he has done.
Whoopi Goldberg on Tuesday demonstrated an absolutely staggering ignorance concerning a variety of subjects.
Appearing on Fox News's "O'Reilly Factor," Goldberg admitted not knowing what a madrasa is, said it wasn't the Japanese that attacked America at Pearl Harbor, and claimed Muslims in America are more persecuted than Jews (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Well, no wonder the true intentions of the couple putting their preborn baby's life up for a vote were difficult to decipher. Turns out Pete Arnold is pro-life and his wife Alisha is pro-abortion.
(Baby boy "Wiggles" is pictured above, waving at the camera at his 17-wk check-up earlier this week.)
First, his side of the story. CNN reported yesterday Pete admitted "they never intended to terminate the pregnancy":
Arnold... bought the domain name "birthornot.com" before wife Alisha became pregnant about 4 months ago... adding that his wife is pro-choice but agreed that abortion was not on the table for them....
Arnold told CNN... the site was not a hoax even though there were never any plans to accept the vote results if abortion won.
"A lot of people elect representatives based on this issue alone, yet nothing happens, nothing comes of it, nothing changes." he said, adding that the couple called the baby "Baby Wiggles" to give people more to think about.
"My intent is not to deceive people, but at the same point, I do want people to talk about this. This seemed like a pretty good way to further the discussion, because people don't ever seem to want to talk about it for real if there's no name on it, no Baby Wiggles," he said.
Meanwhile KSTP reported late Monday night that Alisha had been fired from her job at software firm TempWorks as "a grave threat to the reputation of the company." TempWorks went further, requesting employees to defriend Alisha on Facebook.
FreedomWorks, the Tea Party group run by former House GOP leader Dick Armey, is weighing a campaign to boycott businesses that actively supported key parts of the Obama agenda. Those companies include mammoths like General Electric and Johnson & Johnson, U.S. News reports:
In an exclusive review for Whispers of their plan, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe says: "Tea Party activists are willing to tackle progressive CEOs just as they tackled progressive politicians. Judging by the results of the midterm elections, progressive CEOs should buckle up, because Tea Party activists are going to give them a very bumpy ride."
Governor Ed Rendell (D-Pa.) said that Pennsylvania Democrats lost key House and Senate races in the midterm election because “voters don’t always vote on logical reasons,” adding that Democrats “understand” the reason for voters’ “anger” and “it’s pretty hard to quarrel with.” His comments were made while participating in a conference call sponsored by the Center for American Progress (CAP) about the need for Congress to extend unemployment benefits.
1. People want to like President Obama. Yes, the independents have left him, but they’re fickle pickles. If President Obama starts to make even a lick of sense on a minor issue, they’ll turn back his direction.
Whoever said politics was boring surely had not paid attention to this past election cycle. From witches to chickens to peanuts, this election might go down as more than just a “shellacking” of the Democrats. From the outrageous to the bizarre, Republicans and Democrats reminded the public why campaign season can be so much fun.