Jul 212010

May be too little too late, but it’s something…

White House issues public apology to ousted USDA staffer

The White House offered a full-throated apology to former Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod, calling her ouster as the result of an out-of-context video an “injustice,” and said the agriculture secretary is attempting to contact her to discuss “next steps.”

Press secretary Robert Gibbs conceded Wednesday afternoon that the government had acted rashly and without all the facts when it sought Sherrod’s resignation for racially themed comments she made during a recent speech to the NAACP. But Gibbs would not say whether Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will offer her job back.

“The secretary is trying to reach her. The secretary will apologize for the actions that have taken place in the past 24 to 36 hours,” he told reporters. “On behalf of the administration, I offer our apologies.”

Perhaps next time they will not simply ask “How high?” when Fox News or other right wing activists (like now totally disgraced and discredited Andrew Breitbart) yell “Jump!”

P.S. Go read Krugman.

UPDATE: Secretary Vilsack has spoken with Ms. Sherrod. He apologized to her for falling for the right wing lies and deception without first taking time to check the facts. He offered her a newly created position within the USDA dealing with race issues. Ms. Sherrod is currently considering the job offer.


Jul 202010

As I followed the story of Shirley Sherrod yesterday and today, I kept going back to a column recently penned by Joe Keohane of The Boston Globe

Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.

If you haven’t already done so, you probably should read the entire column.

Fortunately, nothing like that ever happens to you or me. We’re always right the first time. Right?

P.S. If there is any justice in the world or courage within the Obama administration, Ms. Sherrod will be reinstated immediately. In addition, she will be offered a full and unconditional apology. (Did we honestly learn nothing from the ACORN incident? (i.e. Fox News and conservative activists like this Breitbart character are not, under any circumstances, to be trusted. Never, ever.))

UPDATE: In the event that you are interested (and have 43 minutes to spare), the NAACP has posted the full video of Ms. Sherrod’s speech. Judge for yourself.

Blunt’s Monkey Joke

 Posted by at 11:33  Politics, Republicans
Sep 192009

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) spoke at a Values Voter Summit last Friday night. He was preceded by Carrie Prejean, the young “lady” who was fired as Miss California, and introduced by Tony Perkins, the head honcho at the homophobic Family Research Council.

Mr. Blunt (who wants to be elected to the United States Senate next year) told a joke about monkeys in Washington, D.C. You’ll just have to listen (and decide) for yourself…

Do you believe in the kind of America that Mr. Blunt and his audience believe in?

Please pass this video around, especially to anyone you may know in the state of Missouri. Here is the YouTube link.

P.S. What’s the deal the Republicans and monkeys?

Sep 152009

Photograph from September 12th D.C. 'Tea Party'
Photograph from September 12th D.C. 'Tea Party'

‘You Lie!’ Shout Brings Vote on Sanction

House Democrats plan to formally reprimand Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) on Tuesday for his outburst last week in which he accused President Obama of lying about proposed health-care legislation.

The vote on punishment will resolve the issue in the House, but behind the incident some see a broader question: Is racism a factor in the way the president is being judged?

With two simple words — “You lie!” — shouted during Obama’s speech to Congress, Wilson helped escalate an issue that has been on a slow burn for weeks, especially among African Americans. Many watched the rancor at last month’s town hall meetings with suspicion that the intense anger among some participants — including signs calling for Obama’s death and a movement questioning his citizenship — was fueled by the fact that a black man sits in the Oval Office.

Led by their most senior black lawmakers, House Democrats decided Monday evening to hold the vote. The decision risks escalating the partisan warfare that has erupted since Wilson’s outburst…

A vote would reverse the initial sentiment voiced by the president and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that it was time to “move on” to the debate on health-care. But the White House and Pelosi yielded to senior black Democrats, led by House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), and other members of the leadership team, who argued that Wilson’s remark was a breach of conduct that must not be tolerated.

Clyburn has said behind closed doors that many black voters saw Wilson’s actions as part of the heated rhetoric from conservative activists whose protests, including one on the Capitol grounds Saturday, have included depictions of Obama as Adolf Hitler and the comic-book villain the Joker, according to those attending the meetings. It was one thing to have such remarks at town hall meetings during the summer recess but completely different during a presidential address to a joint session of Congress, Clyburn and other black Democrats argued, and Democrats needed to stand up for the nation’s first black president.

Anybody out there who believes that racism does not play a huge part in the Republicans’ hatred of this president and his policies is really deluding themselves. Seriously.

People like Strom Thurmond Joe Wilson have no place in today’s society, let alone in the government of the United States of America.

Donate to Rob Miller.

UPDATE: The resolution disapproving of the actions of Mr. Wilson has passed the House of Representatives. The vote was 240 to 179. Twelve Democrats voted against the resolution while seven Republicans voted in favor. Five gutless Democrats voted “present.” Ten members (six Democrats and four Republicans) were absent.

The real problem

 Posted by at 16:32  Politics, Republicans
Aug 092009

I may have been a little slow on the uptake here, but it was only because I did not want to see it. I was in denial, as many of you probably still are. You see, the Republicans are not “angry” about health care reform, budget deficits or anything else they are screaming about these days. The real reason they are pissed as hell is this:

The President of the United States of America
The President of the United States of America

They’ll deny it and I am sure that more than one of them will probably attach a comment to this post telling me that I’m crazy, but I challenge you to spend some time reading their blogs, perusing their newspapers and magazines or listening to their screaming heads on talk radio and the Fox “News” Channel and then tell me I’m wrong. I’m not. It upsets them to no end that a black man named Barack Hussein Obama is the President of the United States of America and they are going to do everything they can to bring him down – even if it means destroying the country in which they live. (And they’ll do it, too. They will.)

There, I said it. Prove me wrong. Please.

P.S. Here is the most popular image now circulating amongst the right wing bloggers. They seem to like it very much. They’ve even had it made into a t-shirt which several of them are bragging about having purchased.


(Tell me that isn’t racist.)

UPDATE: Several of you, in comments, are telling me that you see nothing racist in the picture of President Obama made up to appear as The Joker. That being the case, then surely you also see nothing racist in this picture:


Case closed.

Just wrong

 Posted by at 17:15  Politics, Republicans
Jul 232009

Via Talking Points Memo

Conservative Activist Forwards Racist Pic Showing Obama As Witch Doctor

The election of our first black president has brought with it a strange proliferation of online racism among conservatives.

And we’ve got the latest example.

On Sunday night, Dr. David McKalip forwarded to fellow members of a Google listserv affiliated with the Tea Party movement the image below. Above it, he wrote: “Funny stuff.”


[Click on the image to view it full-size.]

Now, Tea Party activists trafficking in racist imagery are pretty much dog bites man. But McKalip isn’t just some random winger. He’s a Florida neurosurgeon, who serves as a member of the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates.

He’s also an energetic conservative opponent of health-care reform. McKalip founded the anti-reform group Doctors For Patient Freedom, as well as what seems to be a now defunct group called Cut Taxes Now. Last month he joined GOP congressmen Tom Price and Phil Gingrey, among others, for a virtual town hall to warn about the coming “government takeover of medicine.” And in a recent anti-reform op-ed published in the St. Petersburg Times, McKalip wrote that “Congress wants to create larger, government-funded programs for health care and more bureaucracy that ration care and impose cookbook medicine.”

Unfortunately, as the quoted article indicates, this is by no means an isolated incident. This goes on all the time. In fact, something along the same lines is occurring right now here locally…

Grand Prairie NAACP official gets harassing letter after addressing e-mail investigation

GRAND PRAIRIE – While Grand Prairie police continue their internal inquiry of three officers and a civilian employee over a racist e-mail referencing President Barack Obama, the head of the city’s NAACP chapter now wants them to investigate a harassing letter she found on her doorstep Wednesday.

Angela Luckey said that the “disturbing” handwritten letter, which does not threaten her outright, has her “very concerned” because it came just hours after she appeared on WFAA-TV to talk about the pending e-mail investigation.


Luckey turned the letter over to investigators Wednesday afternoon, moments after a news conference on the steps of the police department in which she discussed both the letter and e-mail investigation.

Grand Prairie police have placed the three officers and the civilian dispatcher on administrative leave pending the outcome of that inquiry. Officials have said a fourth officer may also be included in the inquiry, pending that officer’s return from vacation.

The e-mail, which appears to be a racist joke forwarded from outside the department, refers to Air Force One as “(N-word) One” and says that Obama will not be in office long because it’s well known that black men can’t keep a job for four years.

(Grand Prairie is a suburb of Dallas.)

I have a directory on my hard drive that contains the anti-Obama images I have found online since he took office. Most are from right-wing blogs and most are very racist in nature. I may publish them someday, but not today.

I remember being accused of having “Bush Derangement Syndrome” whenever I would disagree with George W. Bush while he was in office. I don’t know whether I did or not. I don’t think so. I didn’t hate George W. Bush. I just disagreed with nearly everything he said and did. Whatever I may have had, though, was a very minor scratch compared to the hatred, bitterness and vitriol now emanating from the right wing of the Republican party toward our current President.

And it’s only going to get worse.

Chimp humor

 Posted by at 15:53  Politics, Republicans
Feb 182009

This is what passes for humor in the New York Post


The reference, of course, is to President Obama, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that was signed into law yesterday, and this story.

Right wingers appear to believe this cartoon is absolutely hilarious. They fail to understand why anyone would be offended by the bigotry, vitriol and racism implied (not even implied — blatantly presented) in it.

How can you not be offended by something like this?

UPDATE: An “apology” from The Post… “…to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.” The apology continues… “Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon – even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.” Wow. That’s some apology. Consider the source.


UPDATE #2: “NAACP calls for firing of N.Y. Post cartoonist.”

Ugly Republicans

 Posted by at 19:11  Election 2008, Politics
Sep 252007

Unless you are white, heterosexual, male, Protestant and making over $200,000 per year (or not yet born), the Republican party could care less about you.

New York Times op-ed columnist Bob Hebert tackled the white issue today…

The Ugly Side of the G.O.P.

I applaud the thousands of people, many of them poor, who traveled from around the country to protest in Jena, La., last week. But what I’d really like to see is a million angry protesters marching on the headquarters of the National Republican Party in Washington.

Enough is enough. Last week the Republicans showed once again just how anti-black their party really is.

The G.O.P. has spent the last 40 years insulting, disenfranchising and otherwise stomping on the interests of black Americans. Last week, the residents of Washington, D.C., with its majority black population, came remarkably close to realizing a goal they have sought for decades — a voting member of Congress to represent them.

A majority in Congress favored the move, and the House had already approved it. But the Republican minority in the Senate — with the enthusiastic support of President Bush — rose up on Tuesday and said: “No way, baby.”

At least 57 senators favored the bill, a solid majority. But the Republicans prevented a key motion on the measure from receiving the 60 votes necessary to move it forward in the Senate. The bill died.

At the same time that the Republicans were killing Congressional representation for D.C. residents, the major G.O.P. candidates for president were offering a collective slap in the face to black voters nationally by refusing to participate in a long-scheduled, nationally televised debate focusing on issues important to minorities.

The radio and television personality Tavis Smiley worked for a year to have a pair of these debates televised on PBS, one for the Democratic candidates and the other for the Republicans. The Democratic debate was held in June, and all the major candidates participated.

The Republican debate is scheduled for Thursday. But Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson have all told Mr. Smiley: “No way, baby.”

They won’t be there. They can’t be bothered debating issues that might be of interest to black Americans. After all, they’re Republicans.

Click on the headline to read the entire column.