Monday, October 4, 2010

A Left-Leaning Week on Spark...

Find all the new ones and join the discussion at the Spark blog, on Twitter with PczrSpark, or on Facebook through "Spark by Politicizer". 

"Which Comes First: FOX or Iowa?" - 9/28/10

"Democracy Held Hostage" - 9/29/10

"The Half-Hearted 111th U.S. Congress" - 10/2/10

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Halloween Comes Early

As if there weren't enough things to scare voters about, some on the far right are continuing to create new boogeymen like this

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Vote Glenn Beck for President in 1956!

Kathleen Parker says Glenn was preaching from the AA playbook: 
" -- "It is still morning in America. It just happens to be kind of a head-pounding, hung-over, vomiting-for-four-hours kind of morning in America."
-- "I have not heard people in the Republican Party yet admit that they have a problem."
-- "You know, we all have our inner demons. I, for one -- I can't speak for you, but I'm on the verge of moral collapse at any time. It can happen by the end of the show."
     Indeed. After the hangover comes admission of the addiction, followed by surrender to a higher power and acknowledgment that one is always fallen.
     These may be random quotes, but they can't be considered isolated or out of context. For Beck, addiction has been a defining part of his life, and recovery is a process inseparable from the Glenn Beck Program."

Christopher Hitchens on the "Restoring Honor" rally: 
     "At the last "Tea Party" rally I attended, earlier this year at the Washington Monument, some in the crowd made at least an attempt to look fierce and minatory. I stood behind signs that read: "We left our guns at home—this time" and "We invoke the First Amendment today—the Second Amendment tomorrow." But Beck's event was tepid by comparison: a call to sink to the knees rather than rise from them. It was clever of him not to overbill it as a "Million"-type march (though Rep. Michele Bachmann was tempted to claim that magic figure). The numbers were impressive enough on their own, but the overall effect was large, vague, moist, and undirected: the Waterworld of white self-pity. 
     The Washington Post quoted Linda Adams, a Beck supporter from Colorado, who said, "We want our country to get back to its original roots," adding that "her ancestors were on the Mayflower and fought in the American Revolution." She was also upset that some schools no longer require students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Well, the U.S. population is simply not going to be replenished by Puritan pilgrims from England, and the original Pledge of Allegiance was fine with most people as a statement of national unity, until its "original intent" was compromised by a late insertion of the words "under God" in the McCarthyite 1950s. But one still sees what she means and can feel sympathy with the pulse of nostalgia."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Huckabee: Compassionate Conservative on Immigration

"When a kid comes to his country, and he's four years old and he had no choice in it -- his parents came illegally. He still, because he is in this state, it's the state's responsibility - in fact, it is the state's legal mandate - to make sure that child is in school. So let's say that kid goes to school. That kid is in our school from kindergarten through the 12th grade. He graduates as valedictorian because he's a smart kid and he works his rear end off and he becomes the valedictorian of the school. The question is: Is he better off going to college and becoming a neurosurgeon or a banker or whatever he might become, and becoming a taxpayer, and in the process having to apply for and achieve citizenship, or should we make him pick tomatoes? I think it's better if he goes to college and becomes a citizen."

- Mike Huckabee on NPR after dismissing calls by some Republicans to repeal birthright citizenship for illegal aliens

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Anchors Away!

Congressman Phil Gingrey, M.D. (R-GA 11th) appeared on Hardball tonight to defend GOP plans to reconsider the birthright clause of the 14th Amendment. Chris Matthews questioned Gingrey on one of the many complicated scenarios, such as whether both parents to a US-born child had to be illegal for the baby to loose birthright citizenship. Gingrey explained that under the anti-anchor baby bill he supports (introduced last year by his former colleague from Georgia, Nathan Deal, who he credited at least four times as his pal is running for governor) that babies born in this country to an American mother and an illegal alien father WOULD NOT be citizens. Would Gingrey, an OB/GYN, support INS staff in the delivery room?

Watch below, Chris asks the question around the 8:15 minute mark:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Obama focuses on plugging other "dam(n) holes"

The war against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan has been won. There are just a handful left. Afghanistan is not the safe haven for terrorism it was in 2001 - Al Qaeda is working from Pakistan and elsewhere around the world. The war we cannot win is the one to build our vision of democracy in a country nothing like our own. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

If They Pray Hard Enough...

Certain people will continue to throw up whatever they can, waiting for something to stick. Whether it is exaggerating and editing evidence against ACORN, devoting hours of coverage to the insignificantly small New Black Panther Party, or reporting unverified slander against a civil servant, the attempts to prove reverse racism in any way remotely connected to the Obama administration will not cease. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Next on the Agenda: The 14th Amendment

"Buoyed by recent public opinion polls suggesting they're on the right track with illegal immigration, Arizona Republicans will likely introduce legislation this fall that would deny birth certificates to children born in Arizona — and thus American citizens according to the U.S. Constitution — to parents who are not legal U.S. citizens." - TIME Magazine

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Whoomp There He Is...Community Organizing?

I refuse to believe it is not 31 year-old Barack at minute 1:01 in #58 of "Billboard's Greatest Songs of all time": Tag Team's "Whoomp! (There It Is)". There are truthers, birthers, and now whoompers...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Now you just look like an ass...

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em...
unless you can't win either party's primary

Rep. Sestak's lower name recognition kept him behind for most of this race. Now that primary voters are paying attention, the polling is going to continue to turn against Sen. Specter. He was too moderate for the GOP primary voters, so now he's looking for votes from Democratic primary voters - the people in Pennsylvania most likely to have never voted for him before. 

Don't, seriously, don't ask...

Andrew Sullivan's perspective on the question.

Jack Shafer wishes she was:
"By nominating a qualified gay to the court, the president would create an environment in which—eventually, I hope—a nominee's sexual orientation is given the same shrug we give nominees' religion, gender, race, or state of residence, and the nation will be better for it."

“I did not go out with her, but other guys did." - Eliot Spitzer

Friday, April 30, 2010

Real Florida Orange

After months of speculating and waiting, Gov. Charlie Crist has finally quit the GOP and announced he's running for Senate as an independent. He could win, but I think he'll fade fast in the polls as his fundraising dries up and Meek starts advertising (here's one look at a best case scenario for Charlie, but it's not that encouraging). Some might ask, "Why not just retire and just lay out on one of those beautiful Florida beaches, Charlie?" That answer is obvious. Thus, in his honor, let's celebrate Tallahassee's favorite Hawaiian Tropic model:

Before she started publicly hitting on Rubio, Palin did cozy up to Charlie during her half-term as fellow governor:

"Charlie, let me give you the number for the tanning bed installer we used for the governor's mansion up in Alaska. They give a fair deal for us regular, real-American folks!"

For more on politicians who give the Jersey Shore cast a run for their money, check out this slideshow. There's also my cartoon on the tanning tax that hits the "GTL" crowd where it hurts.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Big Tent Problem...'s a lot harder to hold up than a shrinking white one. Great piece on "The Lindsey Graham Model" that also looks past 2010 at the GOP's demographic challenges and the need for a more pragmatic, inclusive strategy while still holding true to conservative values.

That said, big props to Jeb Bush for coming out against the law (among a few other Republicans). He has a track record of very diverse support from voters in his Florida gubernatorial campaigns.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Stop with all that Jibber Jabber

The Tea Party's ignorance makes political vocabulary meaningless. Nazi/communist/socialist/fascist are not synonyms even when you use one of them to describe a "liberal" president who governs as a pragmatic moderate with Democratic majorities in Congress. 

"The muddled Tea Party version of history is more than wrong and fraudulent. It's offensive. Calling Obama a tyrant, a communist, or a fascist is deeply offensive to all thereal victims of tyranny, the real victims of communism and fascism. The tens of millions murdered. It trivializes such suffering inexcusably for the T.P.ers to claim that they are suffering from similar oppression because they might have their taxes raised or be subject to demonic 'federal regulation.'" - Ron Rosenbaum, Slate

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gunning for the Government

The anniversary of Lexington and Concord (and the anti-government motivated Oklahoma City Bombing) is celebrated in and around Washington, D.C. by protesters who fear attacks on their Second Amendment rights. Just, you know, whenever Obama gets tired of expanding the gun rights they exercised today.

What if the tea party protesters were majority black? Tom Wise imagines how they would be received:

"Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic?
...Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jim Crow for Governor

The essay writing contest to win your civil rights back that supposedly hasn't already started...

Nice piece from Timothy Noah at Slate: What's the Matter With Virginia? (Not just Cuccinelli!)

So scary, it's becoming true?

I'm reposting this because conservative Oklahoma lawmakers envision a new volunteer militia to defend state sovereignty. FYI...the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing is just days away. 

What did you do for Brown?

Scott Brown's love/hate relationship with the Tea Parties.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Supreme Court & Religion

Retiring Justice John Paul Stevens is the Supreme Court's only Protestant. What if Obama replaced him with a third Jew or seventh Catholic? The coverage of the Roberts, Alito, and Sotomayor confirmations did not press the issue of the Catholic majority. I don't see anyone in the Senate voicing opposition or even concern publicly for this lack of diversity. The GOP would be wise not to mention this since they have been increasing their share of the Catholic as well as the Jewish vote in the past decade. That doesn't mean some senator won't still say something stupid.

The smart money - really all the money - is on Solicitor General Elena Kagan with basically everyone calling her the front runner when considering her age, gender, and lack of a controversial paper trail. Check out this great analysis from Tom Goldstein at SCOTUSblog.

The Lost Cause

I don't know if there are any fresh perspectives left regarding the Civil War, the South, and the resurgence of "Confederate History Month" in Virginia. However, Steve Tuttle's article in Newsweek offers the perspective of a true Southerner whose heritage conflicts with Governor McDonnell's proclamation which he Tuttle sees as a step backwards for all Virginians:

"Don't get me wrong—I'm proud of my ancestors, and if I had been a Virginian in the 1860s, I would have no doubt been fighting for the South. It's ridiculous to say otherwise. But guess what? It's not the 1860s, and I'd like to think we've all—even Southerners—evolved a little in the last 150 years or so. And guess what again? The South lost. It's true. I looked it up, remember? And the reasons for the war weren't "noble and fine and honorable," like I thought they were when I was a little boy worshiping false idols and ogling a dead horse.
Imagine if your governor signed a document honoring a cause whose goal was to keep your ancestors enslaved. And please don't start up with me about how the Civil War was about states' rights, not slavery. Sure, it was about states' rights—to own slaves."

Excellent cartoon from Nate Beeler:

Monday, April 5, 2010

What's in your wallet, Mr. Chairman?

Democrats aren't the only ones to stack a race card in the deck.

UPDATE 4/7/10:
Haley Barbour never played the "fat redneck" card.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Obama's Supreme Options

Check out this great look at the options Obama will have to weigh with his next Supreme Court choice:

     "In the event of a vacancy, President Obama would have to decide how much of a fight he wants. However, no matter who he appoints, the Republicans will scream that the nominee is a far-left activist judge (unless he or she is an academic, in which case they will scream he or she is a far-left academic). Unfortunately, a rational discussion of the candidate's merits and qualifications isn't possible in the current climate of charges and countercharges. Given that most Republicans in the Senate will filibuster anyone he picks, independent of the person, Obama might just decide to pick a young liberal to fire up his own base, many of whom are disappointed with him for not pushing for a public option in the health-insurance wars. The selection of a young, liberal, woman might get them excited and willing to go vote in November.

     Reading the tea leaves on who he might pick is very difficult since it is Obama's decision and his alone. Of course, before picking Sonia Sotomayor to fill David Souter's seat, the Justice Department compiled thick dossiers on multiple potential candidates, so not much research or vetting would be required now. Still, what Obama has to weigh is how much of a fight he wants and how much that fight will distract everyone from his policy goals of reining in the banks and possibly dealing with immigration. He really, really does not want the next six months to be all about abortion.

     However, Obama is well known for wanting to change the long-time direction of America rather than winning the 24-hour news cycle. He is keenly aware that Supreme Court appointments are a major tool for doing this and he surely knows the Democrats will probably have only 51-55 votes in the new Senate, as opposed to 59 now, so this may be his only opportunity to name a real progressive." -