Category Archives: hypocrisy

Are They Really Catholics?

I’m only asking because that guy who inherited his Christianity through his father, Franklin Graham, isn’t so sure that President Obama isn’t a secret Muslim.

I thought Newt and Rick were Catholics.  All the Catholics I work with (and there are more than a few) had ashes on their foreheads today.  Aren’t Catholics supposed to leave the ashes on until they wear off or do both of those guys secretly have one of these?

I’m thinking neither of them did it.

I’m thinking they care about Ash Wednesday about as much as they cared about MLK Jr. Day.


A Few Points While Taking a Little Break

I’ve been following the Senate and House as they work through republican whining and obstruction, and I’m actually quite hopeful that they will get through it all.

One interesting article I read this morning came to light through Wikileaks.

Striking resemblances between BP‘s Gulf of Mexico disaster and a little-reported giant gas leak in Azerbaijan experienced by the UK firm 18 months beforehand have emerged from leaked US embassy cables.

The cables reveal that some of BP’s partners in the gas field were upset that the company was so secretive about the incident that it even allegedly withheld information from them. They also say that BP was lucky that it was able to evacuate its 212 workers safely after the incident, which resulted in two fields being shut and output being cut by at least 500,000 barrels a day with production disrupted for months.

Other cables leaked tonight claim that the president of Azerbaijan accused BP of stealing $10bn of oil from his country and using “mild blackmail” to secure the rights to develop vast gas reserves in the Caspian Sea region.

This rings true for me.  Many of my students — particularly those from Western African nations — complain about the tactics oil companies use to extract their resources.  The countries always get the raw end of the deal and the oil companies make a killing.

Meanwhile, upstanding Senator David Vitter is using an old tactic to screw with the administration.

Sen. David Vitter, R- La., said in a letter to PresidentBarack Obama that he was putting a “hold” on the nomination of Dr. Scott Doney for chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He first wants answers to the tough new policy on offshore drilling announced earlier this month.

It’s sort of like hostage taking, isn’t it?

Perhaps there is some link between the two article?  I tend to side with the administration on this and not either of Louisiana’s senators.

Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said Vitter action was “posturing.”

“No amount of political pressure is going to weaken our commitment to delivering strong oversight, strong safety standards and clear rules of the road for offshore oil and gas production,” Barkoff said. Interior says the inspector general’s report was an editing mistake and not an issue of wrongdoing or scientific integrity.





Surprise Surprise (Gomer Pyle voice)

Sarah Palin goes apeshit when some rumor comes out that Rahm Emanuel called something RETARDED.

Dr. (naked, home-wrecker) Laura says the n-word 11 times on the air spitefully to an African American woman who had called her for advice?  That’s okDon’t retreat!  Reload and defend your 1st Amendment rights, Dr. (naked, home-wrecker and Palin criticizer) Laura!  You rock!

There’s a simple explanation for Palin’s actions: no one in her family is black.

See Dick Cheney re: gay rights.

About Shirley Sherrod

There’s something that has been lost in all of the commotion about Ms. Sherrod and what Andrew Breitbart did to her:  she has obviously worked for years to help all types of people keep their family farms.  This is a long term mission for her.  Perhaps I noticed this because I have started my own little garden and I also remember what sank my grandfather’s farm.  In other words, family farms have been fighting for decades just to stay alive.   It also brings back memories of the dust bowl and the specter of agribusiness.
Ms. Sherrod has devoted her life to helping family farmers.   She has fought against banks. She has actually helped people in a tangible way.

That’s why I was so sad yesterday — so dejected.  If a woman like her could be dragged though mud by a person like Andrew Breitbart, then no one — no one is safe.  No good anyone does will be rewarded without the possibility of someone like Breitbart attacking.

What happened is clear.  Brietbart had a video in hand and published it on the Monday after all of the discussion about racists in the tea party people.  It was his attempt at exacting a piece of flesh.  It’s also clear that he didn’t give one whit about Ms. Sherrod.

The same bloggers who pounch on and/or make things up, pounced on the video and false characterization and I watched it, hoping that someone somewhere would ask the question — is this accurate?

Finally yesterday morning, I saw one hot link on memeorandum — it was from the Atlanta paper.  It had an interview with Ms. Sherrod.  I clicked that mother fucking link on every computer I could log onto.  Why?  Because it discredited everything Brietbart had said.  Everything.  I’m certain that there were many people like me who clicked on that link, knowing that it would rise to the top of memeorandum.  We may not be big blogger types or radio types, but we can push a story, too, even on a wingnut site like memorandum.

When did someone anywhere say WTF?  If you believe Kathleen, she did, as well as others who travel in her circles (she seems to only read the Corner).  But truth be told, Kathleen’s friends were the first ones on the bandwagon to call Ms. Sherrod a racist.  You will have to look at their blogs/facebook 😦 pages to see if they have apologized.  Here’s what Michela Berry had to say on his teenage facebook page:

Federal Official resigns after caught on tape making racist remarks against white farmer at NAACP event…Andrew Breitbart released the tape which shows Shirley Sherrod, USDA’s Georgia State Director of Rural Development, admitting that she did not help a farm with ‘full force’ because he was white. Interestingly the NAACP crowd was not outraged by the incident. NAACP put out a statement about Sherrod saying, “Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race.”

Michela hasn’t corrected anything. I didn’t expect him to. He just lies and lies and lies.

At any rate, Kathleen claims to have been sole support for Ms. Sherrod.  Given what I have read about Ms. Sherrod’s view of FOX News, Kathleen might not feel so comfortable having a beer with her.

But let’s get back to the main point I have:  for years — decades — farming policy has been dominated by big agribusiness.  Family farms have struggled to survive — and I am not talking about “family” agribusiness farms — just simple family farms.  Capitalism would dictate that the large companies win — little family farms can’t compete — look at any industry and tell me that consolidation doesn’t happen when the market is left to itself.

It’s my hope that this mess will lead to a greater examination of what Ms. Sherrod was working on and perhaps bring some media attention to it.

As an addendum:  Kathleen doesn’t seem to have heard that Ms. Sherrod is no fan of Fox News and proclaims:

She said Fox showed no professionalism in continuing to bother her for an interview, but failing to correct their coverage.

“I think they should but they won’t. They intended exactly what they did. They were looking for the result they got yesterday,” she said of Fox. “I am just a pawn. I was just here. They are after a bigger thing, they would love to take us back to where we were many years ago. Back to where black people were looking down, not looking white folks in the face, not being able to compete for a job out there and not be a whole person.”

Still, Fox continued to push for an interview with her, Sherrod said.

“It was unbelievable. I am refusing to be on there. They have been calling me and calling me. I have refused to do an interview because they are biased,” she explained. “I don’t think Fox News does it fairly. It is worse so now. I have sat and listened to the way they cover the news even before this administration and I saw what was going on.”

Sherrod said this situation has worsened her view of racism in media coverage.

“I think it is race. You think we have come a long way in terms of race relations in this country, but we keep going backwards,” she said. “We have become more racist. This was their doing, Breitbart put that together misrepresenting what I was saying and Fox carried it.”

And reading this, Kathleen says:

This is what happens when one is constantly on the defensive, and trying to control the narrative. Pres. Obama and the left need to stop worrying about Fox News, the blogs, and radio talk show hosts, and DO THEIR JOB.

I guess because Kathleen nor Michela read anything but Fox sites they missed that interview.

Pat Shinn Rocks (Sort Of)


Pat Shinn “noticed” that on one of the other radio shows that the host thought that the U.S. doesn’t manufacture anything anymore, so he made it his trivia question.  It was a no brainer that someone got an out of date book for answering.  I called Lores “sniffles” Live last week to ask her to consult Pat Shin about whether the U.S. manufactures things anymore.

I’ve thought about putting together my own little sound track of Lores sniffling on her show, but I will have to put it off until we have a rainy day.  I don’t have a staff working for me like Michael Berry.  I’m just a regular person who blogs for the fun of it.

Later in his show, Pat Shinn decided to kind of equivocally buy into the idea that CAPITALIST can’t be democrats or vice-versa.  It’s a shame.  While he beat back the inflation scare on one call, be bought into another caller’s ideas about manufacturing being in decline.  Why have the trivia question then, Pat?

Which brings me to Chris “I wanna kill people at the border” Baker, who doesn’t seem to understand the difference between political systems and economic systems.  Clue bat for Baker:  Anarchy is a political system; Marxism is an economic system.  Perhaps his boss (who pays him well) could point him to a little education.

How about an example?  Anarcho-syndicalism.  Baker denied that something like Anarcho-capitalism existed, but it does.

I wonder who might be brave on this radio station and point out just how many tax credits/deductions their listens could get this year on their taxes.   I also wonder who will venture to tell their listeners that THEIR TAXES HAVE NOT GONE UP.

My bet: NONE.

Conflict at KTRH, KPRC

Tune into local Houston stations KTRH or KPRC lately and you will hear the personalities crying about the national deficit or debt.  (The two are very different, but I have given up on trying to argue that, just like I have given up trying to explain the difference between economic vs. political ways to organize a state, i.e. the the socialist vs. democracy argument yadda yadda yadda).

According to Pat Shinn on KTRH this afternoon — the U.S. ranks 6th in debt to GDP ratio within the G8.  Sure there are ongoing talks with the Chinese (who manipulate their currency to keep their deficit where it is and you all who buy shit without looking where it is made contribute to it), but there are other countries — not Canada — that are in worse shit than we are.

Will this fact make any difference in the ongoing debate about the deficit/debt?  No.  Just like no one in the media — including every last person (except Pat Shinn) at KTRH and KPRC — will ever acknowledge that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — the most costly parts — were kept off the books until President Obama made the biggest transparency move of all:  putting the wars on the the books.  No one will ever acknowledge that — especially at KTRH or KPRC.

I also listened to Natalie this afternoon.  From what she said, everyone knows about the Houston connections to talk radio and Beck attacking Medina and there seems to be a lawsuit in the works.

Please look at Beck’s website.  The seed conspiracy is more of a dupe/snake oil thing than the ‘buy gold’ thing, but there it is.  And it’s all under KTRH’s URL.  It’s all entertainment, right?  Beck is also planning an event on August 28th this year.  He’s calling it, “Restoring Honor.”  But look closer and you will see that Beck gets his chunk of change before anything goes to the charity,

All contributions made to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) will first be applied to the costs of the Restoring Honor Rally taking place on August 28, 2010.

How charitable of the clearly well-compensated Beck.  It’s much like Hannity’s self promotion concerts.

And we go along and think this is discourse or something.  I never thought I would say it, but I hope AM radio dies — and soon.

In the meantime, President Obama has John Walsh on his team at this point.  Walsh even acknowledged — actually praised the pres for getting it passed  —  that the stimulus bill kept law enforcement officers employed.

A Blatant Example of the Republicans’ Minority Outreach Problem

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:  Republicans in Texas (could be true for the rest of the country) don’t run minorities in primaries in general because they can’t win.  African Americans might slide by because 1) their names don’t set off negative signals to the GOP primary voters and 2) they get appointed to the position in the first place.

Paul Bettencourt screwed up by trying to be a little too coy.  He quit his office and had a Latino installed.  Unfortunately — for the Republicans — Bettencourt’s successor got primaried and lost.   So, tell me RepublicansWhat’s in a name?

Since this office is responsible for voter registration, I would love to get it in responsible hands.  Diane Trautman looks to be that person.

Random Thoughts

I don’t have the mental space to think about much more than work and the sick kittens here at home, but I have tried to keep up with things going on.

First of all, while early voting is going on, I’m thinking I will actually wait until the primaries to vote.   While I agree for the most part with the Harris County Tejano Democrats, I’m having some doubts about Sheila Jackson Lee.  Roberto thinks I am crazy, but I’m leaning toward Jarvis Johnson.  I haven’t quite made up my mind.  For all of the judicial races, I’ve pretty much made up my mind.

Which leads me to Micheal Berry.  His stations are clearly making a killing off of the ad dollars flowing in over the governor’s race, as well as the lesser known (cared about?) ones.  I imagine him pulling his pants down and swimming in the cash he’s hauling in.  Knowing this, I can only classify his approach to his radio show as clownish, in the tradition of Glenn Beck.  Berry screams and modulates his voice, hoping to snag a few more listeners. I find myself turning him off even when I have the time to listen.  Perhaps his mother likes it, but I just can’t take it much anymore.  It’s not WHAT he says, it’s HOW he says what he does.  Even if I agreed with him, I would turn him off.

Which leads me to Chris Baker.  I’m sure there are some that find him entertaining, but he is way too vindictive.  Today he made his show personal and the person he was attacking fought back.  Good for her.  Back when Baker was on 950 AM, he posted one of my emails to him with my full name.  I forced him to take it down.  Today he threatened to post the emails he was getting from the woman he was attacking.   He’s slimy that way.  You disagree with him: he uses all of his tools to embarrass you — even if you are right.  He’s part of the World Nut Daily/Michelle Malkin personalization of destruction.  I’m sure he has the thought in the back of his mind to make that woman’s life difficult.  It’s what you do when you got nothing.  Seriously, how much does Michael Berry pay Chris Baker to sit on his liposuctioned still fat ass up in Minnesota and pick on a private citizen for ten hours a week?  Probably more than I get paid.

Which brings me to the health care debate.  Michael Berry essentially stated today that he’s got his screw you.  No matter what.  For every reason you could give him, he would find a way to say that HIS TAX DOLLARS should not pay for anyone’s health care.  Personally, I have imagined that any tax dollars he pays goes straight to GWB’s adventure in Iraq.  So why is he bitching?  I’d like my tax dollars to go toward a better health care system — as opposed to killing people.  Perhaps Michael will quit screaming if he takes my advice.  Unfortunately I don’t think he will.

While I will be busy with finals and the requisite running around in circles for the next three days, I hope to get back to posting more often.

I’m almost glad for the continued cold weather.  I’m behind on planting seeds, and this cold spell gives me some breathing room.  I’m not so worried about the outside kittens because they have weathered the worst.  I put clean binkies out in the garage — they are there for the taking.

Lastly, Cisco is all better, Caroline is still a little sick, and Sad Grey & White Kitten is still sneezing, but he’s been eating well, so maybe we will all make it to springtime.

It is my hope.

Republicans: Two for Two in Two Days

Yesterday we had the Republican national congressional Committee suggesting that another man “put Speaker Pelosi in her place” (I guess they are too scared or weak to do it themselves . . . .) and today we have a vote in the Senate that illustrates the same mindset.

Via Think Progress:

In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her co-workers while she was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad. She was detained in a shipping container for at least 24 hours without food, water, or a bed, and “warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.” (Jones was not an isolated case.) Jones was prevented from bringing charges in court against KBR because her employment contract stipulated that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration.

Senator Al Franken offered an amendment to the Defense appropriations bill to stop the practice of contractors using arbitration to cover-up crimes committed by their own employees.  His amendment passed, but there were thirty old white Republicans guys who didn’t vote for it.  There is no excuse for this, but Jeff Sessions gave it the college try, suggesting that the amendment directly targeted one of his friends (Halliburton).  Sad.

Of course, one of the sad old white guys was Texas’ own John Cornyn.

Making Friends Wherever They Go

Over half of the population of this great country is female, and while I understand that some of them agree with the Republican party, I can’t quite see how this was a good idea:

If Nancy Pelosi’s failed economic policies are any indicator of the effect she may have on Afghanistan, taxpayers can only hope McChrystal is able to put her in her place.

That’s from the National Republican Congressional Committee.

So, the Dems are led by a black man and a woman who both just happily landed in the positions they are in.

Two things:  whoever leaked the McChrystal report in the first place should be found and taken to task;  the media is over playing the conflict — if there is any — between what McChrystal has proposed and what President Obama’s options are.  I keep hearing from principles that the president needs to hear options, but the media keeps casting it in and either/or fashion.  That’s just not right.

I heard Edd Hendee on the radio this morning discussing the value of Americans vs. Afghans.  He put in all sorts of qualifiers, but ended up stating that the U.S. should use drones and change the ROE because an American life is worth more than any Afghan life.

It’s one of those things that I think modern Americans will never understand — unless they know someone who lived in a place that experienced warfare.  Americans volunteer for military duty.  People living in Afghanistan (in this day in particular) didn’t volunteer.   People in Iraq didn’t volunteer.  And yet they have died — are still dying — in numbers that don’t justify Hendee’s argument.  He has no perspective — no empathy — for the ordinary Afghans or Iraqis.  To me, that shows a lack of humanity.  They are people — just like Americans are people.  I’ve seen General McChrystal sacrifice his own personal security in order to make a point with the Afghans he is dealing with.  If Edd Hendee had his way — every single American VOLUNTEER in Afghanistan would be protected to the hilt while the Afghan civilians were left to take their chances.

That’s just not right.

It’s probably a good thing that Hendee waited until he returned from his well-protected trip to Afghanistan to voice such opinions.  I’m sure there are more than a few Afghans who would have argued with him  about the varying value of their children’s lives.