Saturday, July 31, 2010

Last Call

Just a reminder what's at stake in November.  It's not just the House.  Nate Silver's latest Senate Rankings:

If Nate's right, the Republicans picking up 9 Senate seats is conceivable and that would leave Charlie Crist as the the man who decides who's in control of the Senate. Or hey, Ben Nelson. Or Joe Lieberman.

Just saying. A lot of noise has been made about the GOP retaking the House, but the Senate is in play at this point. It's not likely, but it's in play.

Upping The Ante By Calling Anti-Semitism

David Cameron and his UK government are learning what American lawmakers have known for decades:  anything less than full-throated support for Israel's policies will eventually lead to Israeli charges of anti-Semitism.  What, you thought Cameron was going to be allowed to point out the ridiculousness of the collective punishment in Gaza?
Shimon Peres said England was "deeply pro-Arab ... and anti-Israeli", adding: "They always worked against us."
He added: "There is in England a saying that an anti-Semite is someone who hates the Jews more than is necessary."

His remarks, made in an interview on a Jewish website, provoked anger from senior MPs and Jewish leaders who said the 87-year-old president had "got it wrong".

But other groups backed the former Israeli prime minister and said the number of anti-semitic incidents had risen dramatically in the UK in recent years.

The controversy follows the furore last week over David Cameron's remark that Gaza was a "prison camp", as he urged Israel to allow aid and people to move freely in and out of the Palestinian territory.

Mr Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who is three years into his seven-year term as president and was awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen in 2008, said that England's attitude towards Jews was Israel's "next big problem".

"There are several million Muslim voters, and for many members of parliament, that's the difference between getting elected and not getting elected," he said. 
I really cannot think of another country on Earth that would say to a democratically elected ally "Your people hate us, your leaders hate us, and you have always hated us."

The real problem of course is that Israel feels Europe is embracing Muslims too much, and as a result they are now openly accusing Britain of being anti-Semitic.  And this guy won a Nobel peace prize?

Not that we don't have our own idiotic zero-sum flag wavers here in America.  Peres stopped just short of calling the UK an enemy of Israel, but not by much.  Here in America, we openly call our own citizens enemies of the state for not fully supporting another country.

I'd wonder what the Winger reaction to this will be, but I can already surmise that the calls for Britain to "purge" their Muslim population or else will soon be coming, and that some may even go so far as to say we should downgrade relations with the UK.  Even worse, more xenophobic and more inane suggestions will undoubtedly be made.

I wonder how many of our own politicians will fall all over themselves condemning our closest European ally?

What Digby Said

One of the reasons I started blogging is that some small part of me wants to someday write as well as the folks who have been doing this for years.  One of those exemplars -- and I mean that word in both the literal and connotative senses -- is Digby.  Today she continues to put our Washington media to shame with such a well-written and evocative observation on the cruel belittling of Shirley Sherrod's life experiences by the Noise Machine on the right that it actually gives me hope.

Forgetting about the implications for the administration, I've been struck for some time about the apparent need among a fairly large number of Americans to pretend that racism is ancient history with which we no longer need to be concerned (at least as it pertains to racial minorities.) The fact is that Shirley Sherrod lived during the great cataclysm of the civil rights movement and paid a huge personal price for standing up against the forces that killed her father. But that wasn't the end of it. She has spent the rest of her life trying to fight other insidious forms of racism like these discriminatory loan practices that continue to this day. I suspect that somebody forgot to send her the memo that the whole thing is over and that she just needs to move on. Indeed, it's been made crystal clear that the fight isn't over. (The fact that she was targeted for statements about racial reconciliation is even more galling.)

Do yourself a massive favor and go read the whole thing.   "She's one of the good ones" fails criminally to describe her impact, and as much as that pertains to Digby, it pertains doubly so to one Shirley Sherrod.

Liquid Courage

Gallup reports more Americans are tossing a cold one back.  And as always, it's not the lowbrow among us knocking back the Lowenbrau, it's the upper crust having more nightcaps.
Sixty-seven percent of American adults say they have an alcoholic beverage on occasion, the highest level in 15 years, with beer the preferred drink, followed by wine and liquor, a Gallup poll said Friday.

Drinking was most prevalent in 1976-1978, when 71 percent of Americans said they drank alcohol, and least popular in 1958, when only 55 percent admitted doing so, said Gallup, which began its drinking surveys in 1939.
By age, alcoholic beverages were most favored by 18-54-year-olds (72 percent), followed by the 55 and older crowd (59 percent), Gallup found in its July 8-18 survey of 1,020 adults.

There was also a marked difference in drinking habits by education, with college graduates topping people with a high school degree or less by 79 to 58 percent respectively.

Income also mirrored drinking levels, with 81 percent of people making 75,000+ dollars per year saying they drank, followed in descending order by lower incomes until only 46 percent of those making less than 20,000 dollars said they drank.
Beer costs money, you know.  No dinero, no drinky.  And if you look at the history of alcoholic beverages over the years, it's always been a moneyed thing traditionally.  It's college grads making six-figures who are having a tipple of ripple, and the rest of us are cutting back on the six packs.

But, it does look like everyone's having more of a stiff drink these days.  I guess we need it.

Auto-magic For The People

More needs to be made about the fact that President Obama's choice to save the auto companies when Republicans wanted them to die was a serious success.  Both Chrysler and GM are back into profitability now, and GM is planning to make a common stock offering soon in order to raise the rest of the money to pay back the American taxpayer.  The Village is finally paying attention.
But a year and a half later, many of the critics have retreated from their sharpest attacks as they watch the auto industry once again turn a profit and begin adding jobs in communities such as Detroit, which desperately need them.
Obama's visit to a Chrysler plant in Detroit on Friday was designed as a victory rally -- complete with campaign-style trappings -- an "I told you so" event aimed squarely at his Republican critics who had attacked the auto bailouts as government takeovers.
A feisty Obama was welcomed with loud applause by about 1,500 auto workers inside the plant that makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee, a vehicle the president said was the first new car he ever owned. If his critics had won, he said, the plant would have been shuttered and dark. 
There's no satisfying some, like radio host Rush Limbaugh, who this week referred to GM as Obama Motors. And the auto turnaround is not enough to fix places like Detroit, where 30 percent unemployment has ravaged the city like few others in the United States.  
But as Obama arrived here Friday to trumpet the industry's progress, Corker refrained from saying that the bailouts were bad for the country. He says the administration's methods were "heavy-handed" but also takes credit for helping to shape the bailout. He prodded the Obama administration to force the companies to lessen their debt and achieve a more favorable union agreement.
"The ideas we laid out there were followed through," Corker said in an interview. "I take some pleasure out of helping make that contribution. . . . I think what we did is we forced a debate and we forced a hard look at these companies." 
And now of course Republicans like Corker are trying to take credit for something that Republicans bitterly opposed, while the rest of the GOP is still bitterly complaining that Obama is a socialist.  At least the press is finally paying attention to the fact that if the Republicans were in charge right now, America wouldn't have an auto industry outside of Ford.

Sobering thought, indeed.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

Jenna Bush's wedding two years ago?  A nice tasteful little exclusive affair that showed how down-to-earth she was and how her parents are good, American people and isn't she sweet?

Chelsea Clinton's wedding? A vulgar multi-million dollar display of the privileged in this economy where the Clintons are making sure that no Real Americans are invited and really this is all about how we all wanted to see Hillary as President anyway and  is Chelsea going to convert to Judaism or what and no wonder they didn't invite that Obama guy, I mean would you?

Charles No Longer In Charge

Politico is reporting that President Obama's remarks on the Charlie Rangel ethics situation are basically that Rangel needs to go.
"I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served-- his constituents very well. But these-- allegations are very troubling," Obama told Harry Smith in an interview to be aired on the "Early Show." and first broadcast on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

"And he'll-- he's somebody who's at the end of his career. Eighty years old. I'm sure that-- what he wants is to be able to-- end his career with dignity. And my hope is that-- it happens. "
That's not just Obama throwing him under the bus, that's throwing him under the bus at near relativistic velocities, having top people then retrieve Rangel from under the bus, cleaned up nicely and then having Charlie given a tasteful little gilded sign to put on neck that reads "Enjoy your retirement there Chuck, Your pal, Barack."   CSI people should be walking around leaving little folded number cards and a chalk outline.

Rangel?  He's done.  President goes on network TV like that and "hopes" that you will "end your career with dignity", well folks, the "career ending" part is no longer in doubt, it's the "with dignity" that you have left to determine.  I'm not sure if Rangel will do it, he's so far into the Beltway Bubble parts of it are literally named after him, but if anyone can pop that thing it's the President.

The ending of the story has all but been written, it's just how the last act plays out.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

Related Posts with Thumbnails