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From the monthly archives: February 2009

There were times during the 2008 election when I thought former Republican presidential primary contender Mike Huckabee came across like a decent enough guy.

Well, after reading the following piece of inflammatory, lying nonsense, I retract every nice thing I ever said about the guy:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee warned supporters Tuesday that the $828 billion stimulus package is “anti-religious.”

In an e-mail that was also posted on his blog ahead of the Senate’s passage, Huckabee wrote: “The dust is settling on the ‘bipartisan’ stimulus bill and one thing is clear: It is anti-religious.”

The former Republican presidential candidate pointed to a provision in both the House and Senate versions banning higher education funds in the bill from being used on a “school or department of divinity.”

“You would think the ACLU drafted this bill,” Huckabee said. “For all of the talk about bipartisanship, this Congress is blatantly liberal.”

The problem with Huckabee’s statement is that it’s based on a blatant falsehood that was deliberately concocted by Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice.

For context, the language that Huckabee allegedly finds so offensive has appeared in every education spending bill signed into law over the last 46 years.

Considering that Mike Huckabee is a Christianist preacher who claims to live according to God’s plan, shouldn’t he focus a little more on the Ten Commandments and stop bearing false witness?


This statistic is absolutely staggering:

The question and legitimacy of [the] state secrets [privilege] was debated in the course of the Constitutional Convention and has been invoked by executives at least as early as the Jefferson administration. But roughly 90% of all invocations of state secrecy in court proceedings have occurred in the last eight years, a clear sign that something is terribly wrong in the Department of Justice.


Senator David Vitter may be facing a tough re-election fight after accomplished porn star Stormy Daniels announced that she is considering facing off against Vitter in the next election. Senator Vitter is not just a leading Republican far-right nutjob, he was also implicated in the DC madam scandal last July. Even though signs point to Ms. Daniel’s recruitment by the right-wing Family Research Council, I have to step back and appreciate the gambit for all its deliciously nefarious brilliance.

To top the whole thing off, Ms. Daniels is actually a very impressive speaker, as demonstrated by her recent interview on CNN:

If she gets into the race, she can count on my support.

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Seeing as how the word “terrorist” has become a common part of our everyday vernacular, doesn’t it behoove us to look at the meaning of the word?

“A radical who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in small cells; often uses religion as a cover for terrorist activities.” – FOD

Considering that an American court recently found a woman who swatted her child and then argued with a stewardess guilty of terrorism, why don’t we also condemn the fear-mongering demagoguery of people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck as “terrorism”?

Here’s a sample of terrorist Glenn Beck’s work on Faux News:

Suggestion for Glenn Beck: Just rename your new Fox News show “The Apocalypse Now! Hour” and spare us the pretense. Because the looming-doom schtick is already getting beyond predictable.

Every night it’s a new conspiracy, same as the old conspiracy. (Sometimes Beck promises these stories will “make blood shoot out your eyes.” Which makes me mostly want to change the channel.) Last week, for instance, we had several episodes on Mexico’s impending collapse. Plus the socialism/communism/fascism thing…

This time, the ranting is reserved to a conspiracy theory about that new Iranian satellite and the secret meaning of its name.

But Beck also wants us to delve the Biblical meaning of it all:

If I may — If you look at the extremist Muslim version of the Mahdi, and then you read the Book of Revelation, he suspiciously looks like the Anti-Christ. Seeing that he’s the one that’s running a one-world government and executing everyone that disagrees with him from Babylon — I don’t know where I’ve heard that one before.

If we’re going to throw the word “terrorist” around as loosely as Bush did over the last eight years, we should at least be intellectually honest about it.


Now that I’ve had the opportunity to watch Obama’s moves over the last few weeks on the stimulus bill, I’ve drawn some reasoned conclusions about how shrewd this man named Obama is.

While it’s true that Republicans have been dominating the debate in the mainstream media from a decibel perspective, the most recent Gallup poll reveals that Americans have come to strongly disapprove of the way Congressional Republicans are handling the crisis and give Obama high marks for his approach.

What does this tell us? Think back to a year ago when Obama was being routinely counseled by partisan hacks and the mainstream media to “take the gloves off” against Clinton and McCain. Remember how many times Obama was flying under the radar only to ultimately hand his opponents a neverending series of trouncings?

The simple fact is that Obama is a once-in-a-generation political virtuoso who is able to think many moves ahead in the complicated game he is engaged in. As someone said to me recently, Obama is playing three-dimensional chess while we’re still stuck playing checkers.

Almost without fail, Obama has time and again proven himself more shrewd and astute in the game of politics than any of the tired partisan hacks that control the media spigots of “conventional wisdom” and misinformation.

People on the left who are worked into a frenzy about how supposedly muted Obama has been at times over the last few weeks need to take a deep breath and give him a chance to prove himself to us.

Chances are, Obama is going to make all them sound pretty tone-deaf once he unveils yet another unexpected checkmate.

Update: Here’s Andrew Sullivan’s take, which I think is exactly right:

One feels exactly as one did in the primaries as his occasional drifts against Clinton led to a chorus of attacks from the base that he was being too much of a wimp, too defensive, too polite. My gut is to advise him to let rip. But Obama’s brain is often shrewder than many guts. From a long-term strategic perspective, even the critics are already entrenching the central meme that Obama has tried to bring as many people on board as possible. They are doing his work for him. If his core identity has been established as genuine and conciliatory – something Bill Clinton, fairly or unfairly, failed to achieve – then he can make a good faith case for his bill on its merits, not on the demerits of his opponents. The case is more effective if people don’t interpret it as partisan. And since I suspect the case is very strong, that’s his long-term advantage.


Andrew Sullivan posted a remarkable quote by Obama made back in the heady days of the mid-90s:

“The political debate is now so skewed, so limited, so distorted… What if a politician were to see his job as that of an organizer, as part teacher and part advocate, one who does not sell voters short but who educates them about the real choices before them? As an elected public official, for instance, I could bring church and community leaders together easier than I could as a community organizer or lawyer. We would come together to form concrete economic development strategies, take advantage of existing laws and structures, and create bridges and bonds within all sectors of the community. We must form grass-root structures that would hold me and other elected officials more accountable for their actions,” – Barack Obama, 1995.

We’re lucky to have this guy as our President at this moment in history.

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This new Gallup poll helps to demonstrate how short-sighted the Grand Obstructionist Party has become:

An excerpt:

The American public gives President Barack Obama a strong 67% approval rating for the way in which he is handling the government’s efforts to pass an economic stimulus bill, while the Democrats and, in particular, the Republicans in Congress receive much lower approval ratings of 48% and 31%, respectively.