There is an interesting and it seems to me entirely appropriate debate going on on Tumblr right now about how the #Politics tag works, the kinds of posts that get marked with it, and in particular whether the vile and hate-filled bloviations of one of the Tumblr #Politics…
“Four years ago with Democrats, the tension in that race was which of two historic candidates the Democratic party voters all liked. who were they going to put forward in the general election contest? They liked both of them. They would have been happy with both of them. The longer this goes on, Republican voters are saying, ‘We don’t like any of them, we want somebody new in the race.’ And that new person isn’t going to appear in the race.”—Steve Schmidt, on MSNBC
“I took a chance at the Apollo and I’m not going to take a chance again. After reelection, I might go on tour…be his opening act. I don’t want to lose any further votes because of my singing voice.”—Obama, on Rev. Al Green
“To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up. What kind of country do we live in where only people of non-faith can come in the public square and make their case? That makes me throw up. And that should make every American [throw up]…. I don’t believe in an America where the separation between church and state is absolute.”—
Okay, here’s the whole context!
Rick Santorum, discussing John Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech on the separation of religion and politics in light of his Catholic faith, on ABC’s “This Week” today.
—Only one quick thought: Kennedy’s speech was reasoned, literate and thoughtful whether you agree with it or not. In response, Rick Santorum mustered the impressive construction, “throw up.” Ah.
“When I was watching the debate last night I did a double-take when I heard Newt say that ‘reforming’ the federal Civil Service system could save “a minimum of $500 billion a year.”
That sounded pretty crazy to me since that’s like 15% of the entire federal government. And the vast majority of federal spending goes to the military and transfer payments like Social Security and Medicare.
Well, we looked into it and it turns out that the federal government’s entire payroll, even including the military, came to just $432.6 billion in fiscal 2011. In other words, if you fired everyone who works for the federal government you couldn’t save $500 billion.
Our requests for comment from the Newt campaign have yet to be returned.”
“To be clear (for those that are relatively new), we have a dress code which includes no jeans, etc — however, certain people will be traveling tomorrow so I will deem it [casual] Thursday. While you can be [casual], yes jeans are casual, you are still Republicans so let’s not [go] over board and be mistaken for [Democratic National Committee] staffers while standing in line at Tasty Kabob.”—Sean Spicer, communications director for the Republican National Committee
Abu Suleiman was working methodically to wrap the body of a seven-year-old girl in a white shroud. He didn’t flinch as a volley of mortar bombs crashed down only a street away. He has been preparing the dead for burial since the start of the uprising. Last week he had his busiest day.
Carefully, he folded over the white cloth to cover the girl’s curly chestnut hair, matted with blood. He did not clean it off. ‘If they are killed by a bomb or a bullet, we don’t wash their martyrs’ blood,’ he said. He wrote the girl’s name on the shroud, Nuha al-Manal. […]
He shouted at a hysterical woman in the makeshift hospital. Her son’s foot had been neatly severed by a mortar. Someone was holding it, wrapped in a bloody keffiyeh. She was ululating, clutching her face. ‘Give us guns so we can defend ourselves,’ she wailed, piercingly. Abu Sufyan had no patience with this. ‘We’ve had a hundred martyrs already today,’ he bellowed. ‘Get out so the doctors can work.’
Most of the casualties we saw were civilians and many were children. An 11-year-old boy was brought in. Most of his face had been torn off in an explosion. Everything below the mid-point of his nose was gone, bloody shreds hanging over a hole where his jaw and mouth had been.
Bombs were continually falling outside. People were screaming in the corridor. The boy was still conscious. We caught a glimpse of eyes wide with shock before the nurses pulled a screen across. We decided to try to find a surgeon outside Syria who could reconstruct his face, but the boy died of his wounds the following day.
“Thank you all for coming, because I know a 9:30AM class at Sarah Lawrence is like a 5AM class elsewhere. But the problem with having a 5AM class here is everyone’s still awake!”—Michael Siff, in a 9:30AM lecture. (via slcteacherisms)
Governor George Romney (R-Mich., father of Mitt) was a passionate advocate for civil rights. Perhaps the most dramatic evidence of this passion came at the Republican National Convention in 1964, which was held, if you can believe it, in San Francisco.
“THE CONVERSATION: A tippy-top Republican, unprompted, yesterday sketched the germ of a plan for a new candidate if Rick Santorum upsets Mitt Romney in the Michigan primary on Feb. 28. Our friend brought visual aids: chicken-scratched versions of prosaic documents that are circulating among GOP insiders like nuclear-code sheets: In case of mayhem, break glass!”—Mike Allen, on panicking GOP insiders. May I submit Ainsley Hays for consideration?
"When I was a little girl living three miles outside of Detroit in a small house with eleven residents (my parents and nine children), my Dad had regular poker games in our garage. The garage was a working garage with a grease pit to fix cars (a 6 foot deep rectangular hole), which he covered with several layers of plywood on weekend evenings, in order to have his regular poker game on top of it. (Ever seen the Roseanne show? It was just like that, only our kitchen was much smaller than theirs.)
Dad was deaf from a childhood accident, but he heard the language of the streets through beer, cigarettes, cars, and frequent “gut checks”. Everyone from the shop was invited to poker night, no matter what their faith, color, ethnicity, language, bank account, religion, etc. The only rule to be invited to poker night was you couldn’t drive a foreign car. (I talked a lot about that here.)
nancycronk :: Bigotry, Prejudice and CO’s Civil Unions Bill
We had one television, one telephone, and ten people fighting over them, so I read often, and listened to Canadian public radio, where my liberal curiosity was nurtured. I loved meeting all my Dad’s friends from “the shop” — each had a different accent, a different smell, a different look. When I studied Native Americans, my Dad had a friend who was a Native American Chief, and my Dad asked him to teach us. Chief Red Bird, a local volunteer at a state park, brought his daughter and some friends, and had a mini-Pow-wow in our living room. He even made us leather slippers, which we wore when we visited him at Detroit Metropolitan State Park.
Dad didn’t discriminate, at least not in the usual ways. Although my father quit school in the eighth grade and only later went back to finish the eleventh grade (there was no special education offered for poor deaf kids in the forties), he was an expert at people. Dad made friends with everyone — literally everyone — and he brought them all home for poker. Jewish friends, Italian friends, Greek friends, African-American friends, German friends, Asian friends — didn’t matter. As long as they didn’t drive a foreign car, they were all his friends.
At our local drug store, there was a woman with numbers tattooed on her arm, and when asked, she told us in a very thick accent how she had escaped Nazi Germany. My mother would not have approved of me asking such nosy questions, but when I was alone, I asked them of everyone I met. Ethnic Detroit in the 70s was the perfect place to learn about the world.
I remember being intrigued by one of my Dad’s poker-playing friends, “German Joe”. Joe’s wife was the best baker, and he frequently brought over German anisette pastries. He also had an adorable schnauzer named Snoopy that did tricks and followed commands in three languages. I was about eight years old when I blurted out to Joe, “Are you a Nazi?” My Dad’s friend became very serious and quiet, kneeled down to be eye level with me, and said (something like),
"When I was sixteen, I joined Hitler’s army because I loved planes and they said I could fly them. I did not hate Jews. I did not hate anyone. I just wanted to fly planes. I worked for Hitler until I escaped and came to this country. Every day of my life, I pray to G-d to forgive me for being on the wrong side." With tears in his eyes, Joe continued, "When you grow up, remember to ask a lot of questions… because if you don’t, you might end up on the wrong side, like me. Sometimes I wish I died in the war. You should never live like Old Joe."
I sensed Joe’s deep shame, and never forgot it. I also never shared Joe’s secret with my parents (my Dad was deaf, remember). Many of my father’s nine brothers fought the Nazi’s in World War II — it wouldn’t have gone over well. How could someone who appeared so kind have been part of something that was so unspeakably cruel?
Later, as a teenager, I started attending a synagogue and eventually converted to Judaism. In shul, I heard many more horror stories about the Holocaust, and often thought of Joe — Joe with the sweet dog, the delicious cookies, and the horrible secret. Joe the Nazi, who flew planes for the most murderous regime in human history.
I learned as a kid, to talk to everyone, to assume nothing, and to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. It’s easy to hate people; it’s much more difficult to understand them. I studied Psychology in college for this reason.
I was thinking about all this yesterday at the CO State Senate Judiciary hearing on Civil Unions. A young woman representing the Anti-Defamation League testified that people who opposed Civil Unions were motivated for many different reasons, but among them were bigotry and prejudice. A very tense exchange between the young woman and Senator Lundberg went something like this:
Lundberg: “Are you saying that anyone opposed to Civil Unions is a bigot, or is prejudiced?”
Woman from ADL: “No, I am saying there are many motives to oppose equality for gays and lesbians. Among those reasons is bigotry and prejudice. That’s why I’m testifying on behalf of ADL”.
Lundberg repeated his question in slightly different words, and the woman repeated her answer in a similar fashion. As the proverbial saying goes, you could cut the tension with a knife.
I thought about German Joe, and I thought about the woman with the numbers on her arm. I thought about Rosa Parks, whom I met when I was sixteen; my high school social studies teacher invited her in to speak to our class. I remembered her saying how important it was to the civil rights movement that white people joined the cause, too. I thought about one of my best friends who killed himself while struggling with his sexuality and the homophobic world around him, and I thought about Senator Lundberg.
When it was my turn to testify, I said,
"I’m sorry Senator Lundberg is out of the room…" (he and Senator King left the room frequently during the hearing, each missing approximately half of the testimony. Even while there, Lundberg rarely looked up from his laptop or Ipad, apparently doing his taxes, or something else equally more important than listening to the pain of gays and lesbians for hours). I continued, "because I wanted to tell Senator Lundberg I do not believe every person who opposes gay marriage or Civil Unions is a bigot, or is prejudiced".
On the break, I gave Senator Lundberg a copy of my testimony, shook his hand, and told him the same thing. And I meant it. I don’t believe he hates gays.
In my testimony, I spoke of being homophobic while in high school. When I heard gay jokes as a kid, and laughed at them, I meant no harm to anyone. Like my Dad, I didn’t hate gay people, or Jews, or African-Americans, or Italians, or anyone else. Hate has never been a part of my heart, even a little.
And yet, by not speaking up, by not showing up, by not standing up, I was part of the problem. When my friend Bret killed himself, and left a note, I found that I, too, in high school, shared something with German Joe.
Never again. Never again. Never again.
I will listen to all sides. I will strive to understand. I will assume everyone has good intentions unless I can prove otherwise. And I will never, ever stop asking questions. I will never stand quiet when those around me are persecuted. I owe it to the woman with the numbers on her arm. I owe it to Rosa Parks. I owe it to my friend Bret, and to many other millions of people who have been persecuted because of the (literally) thoughtless actions, or inactions, of others.
Senators Lundberg and King gave their reasons for not supporting civil unions. For King, he essentially believes civil unions are a veiled attempt at gay marriage, and defining marriage is the right of the church. To quote King, “Separation of church and state is there to protect the church”.
Lundberg’s argument was similar. He believes the Civil Unions bill is no different than the gay marriage attempts of the past. Because of the fact Lundberg only actually listened carefully to a few minutes of the five hour long Senate Judiciary hearing, he managed to avoid hearing all the reasons why the Civil Unions bill is very different from earlier gay marriage legislation (I sat immediately to his right in the completely packed chambers and watched him surfing the net for five hours — that is, when he was even in the room).
"Ask questions", Senator Lundberg. "Listen. Engage. Understand." That’s how we’ll know you are not a bigot.
And to those who will conclude with a knee-jerk reaction to this piece that I am comparing Senators Lundberg and King to Nazis, you need to go back and read this again… carefully.”
“A year ago, Ohio ranked 48th in job creation. We trailed only Michigan and California in lost jobs – Michigan, the home of the auto industry that was devastated, and California, of course, filled by a bunch of wackadoodles.”—Ohio Gov. John Kasich, in his 2012 State of the State address. (via officialssay)
“To pass through Grand Central Terminal, one of New York’s exalted public spaces, is an ennobling experience, a gift. To commute via the bowels of Penn Station, just a few blocks away, is a humiliation.”—
“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters - sometimes very hastily - but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”—
OFFICIAL OBAMA 2012 PLAYLIST FOR CROWD EVENTS (rallies, ropelines, etc.), to be released today: (As reported by Mike Allen of POLITICO in Playbook.) “Different People” (No Doubt) … “Got to Get You in My Life” (Earth, Wind & Fire) … “Green Onions” (Booker T & The MG’s) … “I Got You” (Wilco) … “Keep on Pushing” (The Impressions) … “Keep Reachin’ Up” (Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators) … “Love You I Do?” (Jennifer Hudson) … “No Nostalgia” (AgesAndAges) … “Raise Up” (Ledisi) … “Stand Up” (Sugarland) … “This” (Darius Rucker) … “We Used To Wait” (Arcade Fire) … “You’ve Got the Love” (Florence and the Machine” … “Your Smiling Face” (James Taylor) …”REO Speedwagon” (Roll with the Change) … “Everyday America” (Sugarland?) … “Learn to Live” (Darius Rucker) … “Let’s Stay Together” (Al Green) … “Mr. Blue Sky” (Electric Light Orchestra) … “My Town” (Montgomery Gentry) … “The Best Thing about Me Is You” (Ricky Martin, featuring Joss Stone) … “You are the Best Thing” (Ray Lamontagne) … “Keep Marchin’” (Raphael Saadiq) … “Tonight’s The Kind of Night” (Noah and the Whale) … “We Take Care of Our Own” (Bruce Springsteen) … “Keep Me In Mind” (Zac Brown Band) … “The Weight” Aretha Franklin … “Even Better Than The Real Thing” (U2) … “Home” (Dierks Bentley).
“Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for ‘laws of this sort.’”—Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, Kick-Ass Mega-Judge (via jessethorn)
For example, in a front-page story in December, Donna St. George reported that black students in the D.C. area were suspended and expelled two to five times as often as whites. That story attracted 3,736 comments, more than 2,000 of those by 9 o’clock in the morning.
With prodding from the interactivity team, St. George struck while the iron was hot. She began engaging commenters directly and by name. She posed follow-up questions. The rapid-fire debate made the comments section something of an online chat. At one point, St. George invited one of the researchers quoted in her story to join the discussion, figuring he was better equipped to answer some questions than she.
“He’s thinner, he’s better looking, he’s younger. But you asked me if I had anyone who could play me in a movie … why not go for Brad Pitt?”—Newt Gingrich, during an interview on the “Rich Stevens Radio Show.” (via officialssay)