Friday Reads

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Banksy encapsulates my feelings on Romney/Ryan; future hell realm beings

So, it’s going to be an interesting few weeks.  I will once again be live blogging the Rising Tide conference of New Orleans Bloggers next Saturday.  The topic is Oil on the Water and it promises to be a great one (Number 7).  This evening I will be a guest on Loisirslit.  This is a radio show dedicated to giving the community of New Orleans information on ways to improve literacy, arts and music.  Its purpose is to inspire citizens to become change agents for these things in New Orleans.  I will be talking about Sky Dancing Blog andabout my role as a New Orleans Blogger at our little corner of the blogosphere.  I’m really excited about both of these projects and their role in shaping the city and its culture.   I’ve always believed that activism begins in the place where you have the most to lose. I will be bringing several people with me to the show.  The first is a representative from Rising Tide.  The second is my friend Otter who runs the Backyard Ballroom.  You may remember my adventures in playing the music for her play “Bourbon Street” a few years ago.  I’m hoping to get some tape to share with you.  We’ll be discussing our hopes for a New Orleans Renaissance. The panel–of which I am one of several people–will discuss the response to Hurricane Issac, our badly defunded and crippled criminal ‘justice’ system, and the quest for a New Orleans Renaissance.  I’m really excited to bring our community here into the spotlight.

Well, some of us in New Orleans are trying to keep it real.  The Republican party remains in the la la land of lies and obfuscation.

The Republicans appear to have nothing left this campaign season but a stack of lies.  BB told me about John Kasich’s outrageous lies and misogyny yesterday.  Try this one on for size: John Kasich: Political Spouses Are At Home Doing Laundry.  Is this the HEY! Iron MY Shirt moment of this election?

Only, his wife is actually a career woman and very active in other things outside the home.  This is not the party of respect for women no matter what their calling.

“It’s not easy to be the spouse of an elected official,” Ohio Governor John Kasich said at a rally for Mitt Romney in Cincinnati on Wednesday. “You know, they’re at home doing the laundry and doing so many things while we’re up here on stage getting a little bit of applause.” His comment set off a flurry of outrage .

But few have pointed out that for many years of Kasich’s political career, his wife worked outside of the home.

According to a 2010 article in The Columbus Dispatch, for nearly twenty years, until around 2002, Karen Kasich worked in marketing and public relations, serving most notably as vice president of public relations at Gerbig, Snell and Weisheimer, a healthcare advertising agency. The Kasichs began dating in 1989 and married in 1997, meaning that for much of the Governor’s political life (which began when he became a member of the Ohio Senate in 1978), Karen Kasich was working outside of the home.

Though she ended her almost two-decades-long professional career two years after giving birth to the couple’s twin daughters, she continues to stay highly involved in public life. Her official website states that she “is honored to have an opportunity to increase awareness on topics that are near and dear to her heart: children’s wellness and women’s heart health” and to this end she works with both The Partnership at Drugfree.org and Ohio Valley’s Go Red For Women Council. She’s run the Columbus and the Air Force marathons, she helped coach the girls’ soccer team, and she met her husband when she helped assemble the Ohio State University football guide and included a picture of the then-Representative.

It seems like Rush Limbaugh and Lynn Cheney are the only ones out defending Romney’s outrageous politicization of the death of US American diplomats through lies and disturbing sociopathic smirks. Limbaugh is on such a streak of unbelievable lies that one has to question if he’s gone back to using drugs.  Maybe Community College Flunk-Outs just shouldn’t be doing foreign policy.

Polite and serious pundits were shocked when Mitt Romney suggested, and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus outright declared, that President Obama “sympathized” with those who killed American diplomats in Libya. But anyone familiar with the alternative universe version of Obama created by the right shouldn’t be too surprised. As TPM’s Josh Marshall wrote, the charge was “picked wholesale from the right-wing blogosphere.”

It’s now taken for granted on the far right that the statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo condemning the anti-Islamic film that sparked the violence (which was expressly not authorized by the Obama administration) is tantamount to ”apologizing to Al-Qaida,” as Fox News host Steve Doocy said this morning. But for those prone to believe Obama is a secret Muslim radical, or at least feckless enough to sympathize with them, there’s always been that one key bit of evidence that even a heavy does of cognitive dissonance can’t ignore — Obama authorized the mission that killed bin Laden.

Well, Rush Limbaugh today finally offered a Unified Theory of Obama’s Radical Muslim Sympathies, with a clever workaround for the bin Laden thing: Al-Qaida intentionally “gave up Osama Bin Laden” in order to “mak[e] Obama look good.” The “wild theory,” as Limbaugh himself call it, flagged by Media Matters, says al-Qaida wants to keep Obama in power because the Democrat is bad for Israel, so Islamists have a better chance of destroying the country than under a Republican president:

Liz Cheney has come up with a totally off-the-wall idea that apologies caused the attacks now that we know that Romney’s assertion that the apology came after the attack is completely untrue.  This party not only has a war on women, it has declared war on Truth, Reason, and Reality.

As GOP foreign policy hands balk at Mitt Romney’s statements about the attacks on American diplomats in Libya and Egypt, the governor’s campaign and its surrogates continue to push the line that Obama’s “weak” foreign policy and his purported “apologies” for America invited the violence:

– LIZ CHENEY: “Apologizing for America, appeasing our enemies, abandoning our allies and slashing our military are the hallmarks of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy.” [Romney Press Release, 9/12/2012]

– SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): “The United States is weak and withdrawing and that’s why you’re seeing a lot of leaders reacting.” [Today Show, 9/13/2012]

— SEN. JIM INHOFE (R-OK): “What foreign policy? The policy of appeasement. Yes, it’s happening as a result of that.” [The Hill, 9/13/2012]

These direct swipes at the State Department and Hillary Clinton’s leadership of the state department goes beyond the pale.   Are you aware that the Cairo Embassy is actually run by a woman who has been a Clinton, Bush and Obama Appointee?  Ambassador Anne Patterson is one of the most experienced foreign service officers in the diplomatic corps.

Meanwhile, back here in reality where people actually count, SOS Clinton takes time to condemn the violence triggered by religious nuts offending other religious nuts.

Today, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Moroccan Foreign Minister Saad-Eddine Al-Othmani launched the U.S.-Morocco Strategic Dialogue at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. Before addressing the first session of this Strategic Dialogue, Secretary Clinton commented on events unfolding in the world. The Secretary said:

“We are closely watching what is happening in Yemen and elsewhere, and we certainly hope and expect that there will be steps taken to avoid violence and prevent the escalation of protests into violence.

“I also want to take a moment to address the video circulating on the internet that has led to these protests in a number of countries. Let me state very clearly — and I hope it is obvious — that the United States Government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its content and message. America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. And as you know, we are home to people of all religions, many of whom came to this country seeking the right to exercise their own religion, including, of course, millions of Muslims. And we have the greatest respect for people of faith.

“To us, to me personally, this video is disgusting and reprehensible. It appears to have a deeply cynical purpose: to denigrate a great religion and to provoke rage. But as I said yesterday, there is no justification, none at all, for responding to this video with violence. We condemn the violence that has resulted in the strongest terms, and we greatly appreciate that many Muslims in the United States and around the world have spoken out on this issue.

“Violence, we believe, has no place in religion and is no way to honor religion. Islam, like other religions, respects the fundamental dignity of human beings, and it is a violation of that fundamental dignity to wage attacks on innocents. As long as there are those who are willing to shed blood and take innocent life in the name of religion, the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace. It is especially wrong for violence to be directed against diplomatic missions. These are places whose very purpose is peaceful: to promote better understanding across countries and cultures. All governments have a responsibility to protect those spaces and people, because to attack an embassy is to attack the idea that we can work together to build understanding and a better future.”

You can read the Secretary’s full remarks here.

So, would all those Romney backing assholes that call themselves Hillary supporters like to refer to her as an apologist for the sake of consistency or should we think any kind of rationality out of insane right wing nuts is just expecting a bull to give milk?   Again, I find every voting strategy other than voting for Romney/Ryan rational.   Supporting bigotry, racism and lies is unacceptable in my ethos.

There are lots of right wing lies going on about this event.  One of the big ones is that the Marines at the Cairo Embassy weren’t allowed live ammo.  Again, this swipe at Hillary Clinton’s leadership is purely political and aimed at making the Obama administration weak for the benefit of Chicken–4 time draft dodger–Mittens.  This outright lie was hyped by a Fox guest and is all over right wing blogs right now. The Marine Corps itself has discredit this LIE.

In response, the U.S Marine Corps discredited the rumor, calling it “not accurate.” From the Corps congressional liaison’s memo:

The Ambassador did not impose restrictions on weapons or weapons status on the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group (MCESG) detachment.  The MCESG Marines in Cairo were allowed to have live ammunition in their weapons.  The Ambassador and Regional Security Officer have been completely and appropriately engaged with the security situation. Reports of Marines not being able to have their weapons loaded per direction from the Ambassador are not accurate.

Additionally, as Mother Jones points out, a glance at the State Department’s guidelines reveals that an ambassador could not give such an order. Accordingly to State Department regulations, Marines may be assigned “duties other than those previously described in this section to the Marines as may be required by urgent or security-related circumstances requiring immediate action,” but “[s]uch duties shall not contravene established Department or Marine Corps policy and shall not unduly jeopardize the safety or well-being of any Marine.”

 

I’m shuddering at the thought of having any Republican near the Fed right now.  Here’s a Guardian article on ‘Ben Bernanke rescues the US economy from the nihilism of the right’.  My guess would be that Romney wouldn’t care if the economy crashed because he’d just take his family and plant his ass where his money is.

Still, one can only imagine the teeth-gnashing and frothing at the mouth from conservatives and libertarians that will greet Thursday’s announcements.

It’s hard to know if the Republicans simply want to destroy the economy in order to deny Obama re-election, or if they really believe that Bernanke is corrupting the soul of America. In the end, it doesn’t really matter. It’s what Ben Bernanke does that matters.

Contrast this act of lashing himself to the mast to the hesitant and diffident statements made by the Fed chairman earlier this year, in which he admitted that the economy was doing poorly but wouldn’t commit to doing anything about it. And compare earlier statements of angst over tarnishing the Fed’s “hard-won inflation credibility” to the more recent statement of concern about the fate of America’s unemployed. Back then, it was clear that Bernanke, the clear-minded professor who knew what needed to be done, had been sidelined by Bernanke, the brow-beaten and bullied. Not any longer.

I suspect that the right’s unyielding and vitriolic nihilism towards the economy has been an education for Professor Bernanke. From Thursday’s actions, we can only infer that it has finally freed Chairman Bernanke to do the right thing.

 I have a feeling that Bernanke will eventually change his voter registration.  I’m not sure what to, but I’m pretty positive that he’s too smart to be a Republican or to back Romney.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?