After a long hiatus, this site will now be regularly updated with news, opinions, and other stories. My time away from this site has been seeking a better job, a radio show that I have since left, and simply some of my own time. Keep checking in, as the news never sleeps and we have to.
In this past week and a half we have learned a little too much about Congressman Anthony Weiner via “Weinergate”.The news networks have hammered the story every night, further embarrassing Anthony Weiner and the Democratic Party. That said, our party’s leadership is throwing him under the bus by calling for his resignation. An action he is reportedly considering. It is a truly sad event for a party who champions diversity and individualism.
So far we have not learned of any laws broken by the Congressman, only his stupidity in the behavior itself and lying about it. How quickly democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others have forgotten that it has been the Congressman who has fired up jaded Democrats the last couple of years. Pushing that brand of liberal democrat out, only shows voters that that we are not willing to fight. The Congressman has fought with passion for health care reform, 9/11 first responders bill, called out Glenn Beck’s gold scheme, and recently was seeking to see Justice Clarence Thomas recuse himself from any rulings on health care for conflicting interests. How soon we forget!
With that said, I, and I believe I am speaking for many, ask that we allow the Congressman to get the help he needs and return to his seat in the House. There are crucial issues that need the Party’s attention, this is not one of them. The health care fight is going to continue, the war on workers and labor is on, and rights and equality will not be achieved by throwing our best fighters out. President Clinton came back stronger after his scandal and Congressman Barney Frank survived some fierce criticism in 1989. Congressman Weiner can survive this, but only if we, the Democratic Party support his temporary leave and carry the torch he has lit while he gets care. Remember, this is a “sexless” sex scandal.
Kyle R. Klebba
The latest outrage from the right and some moderates is the proposed building of the Muslim Community Center in Lower Manhattan. The wedge is being driven by using words like “Ground Zero Mosque”, which the Center is not at Ground Zero, but nearly 3 blocks away. Republican politicians have weighed in heavily, which is not surprising during an election year. Sarah Palin, via Twitter told Muslim Americans to “refudiate” the Community Center. Newt Gingrich, shamed former Speaker of House chimed in as well. “Meanwhile, there are no churches or synagogues in all of Saudi Arabia. In fact no Christian or Jew can even enter Mecca.” Far too many people are falling for this.Newt’s argument and Palin’s word salad are completely flawed. In America, we have religious freedom, which is why we are a better country. The freedoms we enjoy is what defines us.
Following the the attacks on 9/11, we saw no outrage of a Mosque built post 9/11 at the Pentagon. This is hypocrisy. By protesting Feisal Abdul Rauf and Daisy Khan’s plans of a Community Center is un-American, and it’s basically telling terrorists “Okay, you win, we’ll concede some of the freedoms we take such pride in.” Mayor Bloomberg, President Obama, numerous Jewish activists, Russell Simmons and others have all spoken on the Center’s approval.
We are in silly season when it comes to politics, so little stories matter. Let’s review what has been making the headlines. “Ground Zero Mosque”, “Immigration” “New Black Panther Party” and “Gay Marriage”…see a trend here? All minority issues and all have been right-wing talking points. Playing off the fear, intolerance and bigotry of some Americans tends to win elections, please don’t fall for it. In America, we are better than that.
I have friends who have vigorously spoken against the “Ground Zero Mosque” . Some with harsh words for those who approve of the building and some calling it “insensitive.” John Fugelsang said “Some Muslims hate all Americans. Some Americans hate all Muslims. Both conditions are neatly filed under ‘douchebaggery.” He is correct. We were attacked on 9/11 by Muslim terrorists, that does not represent all Muslims, however some Americans are protesting Mosques in Tennessee and California as well as Lower Manhattan, yet it is not all Americans. I am not a religious person, however, I do respect this country’s religious freedom. Many of the antiquated beliefs of all religions have been sources of tension and bigotry throughout history. In this country, we have made great strides in overcoming them, but we have a long way to go.
I urge people to see through the fear and bigotry being played regarding this issue. Other religions may not be tolerated in some countries, yet as President Obama said “I think it’s very important as difficult as some of these issues are that we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about,” And Mayor Bloomberg’s statement “Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question: Should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here.”
Like the other 2.5 million people in America, the month of June has been rough since extended unemployment benefits ran out. What we saw were Republicans and Ben Nelson (D-NE) block anymore extensions due to the increase to the deficit. However, the “deficit” hawks new found glory is to punish those who have lost their jobs. What drives this insanity?
The easy answer is power, which is true. The GOP wants to regain power so much that they are willing to do it on the backs of the poor and unemployed. Their goal is use Stimulus funds that have already been allocated, but has not yet been spent. That is a flawed argument while people cannot pay bills, and in some cases eat. This is emergency spending that is desperately needed while there 5-8 people for every one job.
I began a new job today after nearly 18 months after being laid off. And I will continue to advocate for those still searching, because unlike those in the GOP and/or Tea Party, it’s hard to tell the difference these days, I know the effects it has on our lives. After applying for nearly 1,000 jobs I received no offers until this past Friday afternoon. This is the case for many Americans, and in some cases more jobs were applied for.
So, back to the “insanity” driving the GOP. After authorizing two wars, prescription drug benefits, and the Bush Tax Cuts, none of which were paid for, they suddenly are now concerned with the deficit. “deficits don’t matter,” were Dick Cheney’s famous words a few years back, and there not a peep from conservatives. There were no protests from the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party or whining from conservatives in the media. This is their chance to rile up a conservative base that simply cannot believe the Democrats and President Obama defeated them.
The Republican response to critics has been even more insane. While blocking the extension of benefits, they propose making the Bush Tax Cuts permanent, which add to the deficit and only provided cuts to the most wealthy. Which can lead us to believe they are taking advice from Jude Wanniski, who while advising President Reagan essentially said “spend like drunken sailors while you are in power, and whine about spending when you are not. So, while the GOP chorus of “offsetting” the costs of “emergency spending”, statements have been made that the tax cuts do not need to be offset while in 2005 they added $539 billion to the deficit. . It is the double standard that is defining Republicans.
This is about power and a attempt to see President Obama “fail.” Politicizing the horrific economic issues and doing it with the unemployed is simply disgusting. A middle school friend of mine recently contacted me about this. He stated “I am disgusted by comments made about the unemployed lately by Republicans and even further disgusted that, it took the death of a Senator to block the current legislation. I can guarantee you, I will think twice about voting for anyone currently in office from any party.” He is right, and has at points in his life supported Republicans, yet when he sees old friends and a wife referred to as “Hobos” , “lazy”, “drug addicts” and “unmotivated while we still have benefits.” These remarks by Republicans and Republican candidates are reprehensible.
So, come November keep in mind when voting that it is the GOP’s hunger for power that has left your friend(s) or family members in the difficult position they may have been since late May. Do not buy the argument that it can be paid for with unspent stimulus funds, because those funds are going to employ people in the future. Deficits do not matter right now.
On this holiday weekend I had the pleasure having drinks with an old friend and was reminded of the group of people who helped shape my beliefs. Working at a local record store years back, I was encouraged by friends and coworkers to embrace diversity. Already fairly liberal in my late teens (thank you Peter Werbe and WRIF), the idea of working with musicians, gays, lesbians, nerds, and music and political junkies was enlightening . I extend my appreciation to all of them.
Living now in a nasty political climate where immigrants, minorities, and those of the LBGT communities are demonized, the best you can do is stand up and defend the principles upon which this country was founded. Which is why I take pride in my love for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs General Manager Brian Burke, who is American born, lost his son this past winter in a car crash. Brendan Burke, was an openly gay athlete in a atmosphere that tends to be homophobic. To honor his son, the elder Burke marched in the PRIDE Parade in Toronto. This speaks volumes for life in North America, especially in the USA where debate continues regarding “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
So, where do we go from here? Do we continue to harbor hate for those who differ from us, yet contribute to society? Do we embrace fear over progress? Or do we forgive and accept the reality that we live in?
At what point do we accept Americans of all colors and lifestyles? John Amato of Crooks and Liars recently published a book “Over the Cliff:How the Election Obama Drove the Right-Wing Insane” , and it paints a clear picture of how little we have grown as a nation. The acceptance of the first African American President who is Clinton-esque opened the door to closeted bigotry for many. We are no longer the country that conservatives are pining for. We are a country that has always been a combination of immigrants, gays, lesbians, liberals and conservatives who routinely have differences, yet have made things function. Did the election of Obama make them crazy or were they crazy and bigoted to begin with?
I do not possess answers in this post, just questions. However, I think we are dire times that require us to follow the example of Brian Burke and the great folks of Harmony House who clearly understand what diversity is. Liberal or Conservative, we are faced with difficulties, why would we contribute to the trying times or stresses that others deal with? Hard times do not discriminate
In the heated battles we call town hall meetings these days, most Democrats have been rather spineless, save Senator Specter. Lower on the batting order was Congressman Barney Frank. Since ripping an attendee for nonsensical Nazi/Hitler comparisons, “Ma’am trying to have a conversation with you is like arguing with a dining room table, I have no interest in it” Liberal Democrats have been cheering the Congressman, hoping others will join him. News site after news site is loaded with praise, blogs are glorifying his words, and Facebook is full of cheers. One of the best I read, was for potential 2012 running mates “Palin/Dining Room Table 2012”. Here Jon Stewart gives props.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Barney Frank’s Town Hall Snaps|
Glenn Beck, who has been under fire recently for his lose of advertisers has been taking the odd day off . Advertisers jumping ship include Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Geico, and Sargento for his racially motivated comments about Barack Obama. However, hosts tend to have a little say in who fills in for them. Today’s host, not making matters better, Pat Gray decided to take a few shots at the advertisers, the orgin of the petition that ignited this, and the victims of Katrina.
My message to Pat Gray, if you wish to retract this vile segment, you ought to do so on Sunday Morning Coffee with Sarge. Sarge is a friend, and one of the most genuine individuals I have ever spoken with. He survived this, and now advocates that we do not allow the ambivelence to see it again.
Congressman Barney Frank held a town hall on health care last night, and in his typical fashion took down a full moon right-winger. The attendee, who came armed with flyers depiting President Obama as Hitler, and suggested the efforts to increase heath care to Nazism asked the Congressman
“Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy, as Obama has expressly supported this policy?”
First off, this nonsense has no business in debating American domestic policy. I was unhappy when the left did it with Bush, and baffled that it is being done to Obama. This rhetoric used by GOP plants hardly deserves a response, but Frank induldged anyway. Here is the exchange.
Of the twits at Fox News have a different take on this, by their standards asking why the President wants a Nazi program is a legitimate question, and the Congressman’s response in smacking it down was “rude”.
KWDN in Las Vegas sponsored a town hall on health care. In attendance was an Israeli man, who offered praise for Israel’s Nationalized Health Care. In the middle of his interview, offering pros to the U.S. constituting a similar system, a woman shouts out “HEIL HITLER!” To a Jewish man, really? Where is your head?! It was clear the man was upset as he approached the woman, in disbelief, she then mocked him with a “crying sound” to further her insult. This must have been what President Bush meant when he mentioned “compassionate conservatism”.