Performing Their Newest Hit: Barack Obama & the Supremes!

In what can only be described as a win-win act of strategic brilliance, president Obama yesterday nominated federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill the seat on the US Supreme Court (a.k.a the Supremes) being vacated by retiring supreme court justice David Souter.

Justice Souter has been the swing vote on the supreme court ever since the previous swing vote, Sandra Day O’Conner retired and was replaced by George W. Bush with conservative Samuel Alito.  Considering that Souter was appointed by Bush 1 (W’s dad), who was considerably more centrist than his ultra-right-wing son, Alito’s appointment moved the Supremes more toward the right than it had been.  At the time, the GOP ruled both house of congress and essentially rubber-stamped Alito’s, and later supreme court chief justice John Roberts‘ nominations, ensuring the Supremes’ more conservative move would be cast in stone.

It is notable that at the time, the GOP-controlled congress threatened the democratic party minority with what they called the “nuclear option” in the senate, wherein they would change the rules to disallow filibusters on court nominees by the senate’s minority party, which in this case was the democratic party.  In other words, the rules allow for the minority party to block a vote on a nominee by talking non-stop until the nominee’s name is withdrawn.  The GOP majority was going to eliminate this 200-year-old senate rule so that the minority democrats would be rendered essentially non-existent.  At the last minute, this action was averted by an agreement among 14 moderate senators of both parties, known as the “gang of 14.

It seems the shoe is on the other foot now, since the dems presently control the senate.  But in this case, the GOP, which has used its filibuster powers to obstruct the work of the senate in the recent past, probably won’t even try to do a filibuster against Sotomayor, even though many conservatives in the GOP oppose her.  Why?

Sotomayor is a Latina of Puerto Rican descent, as well as a woman.  She is a highly accomplished judge with 30 years of legal experience, 17 years of which been as a judge.  She has previously been nominated for judge on different courts by both republican George Bush 1 and democrat Bill Clinton, and confirmed by the senate both times.  She is an example of a person who was born into poverty, and in spite of that, was able to raise herself up through dedication to hard work and education, excelling in both.

She is best classified as a centrist with left-facing leanings, very similar to Barack Obama.  Republican ex-presidential nominee John McCain has even said recently that even though he probably wouldn’t have nominated her himself, that elections have consequences and she is the winner’s choice.

The ultra-conservatives in the GOP, who cannot stand anything about Sotomayor including her gender, heritage, and political and judicial leanings, are fixing for a fight in a desperate effort to derail her from final senate confirmation as the next Supreme.  In true “Tricky-Dick” Cheney-esque fashion, they are willing to ignore reality and go after her with everything and anything they can find, including statements taken out of context in speeches she has made in the past.

One can only hope that they do.  The moribund GOP can only further drive more nails into their own coffin if they go after a Hispanic American woman.  Hispanics, after all, make up 48 million of the 300 million-plus American citizens.  Even more mathematically significant is that women make up slightly over half of the population.  And people who are increasing disgusted with the party they used to identify themselves with, the GOP, are leaving it in increasing numbers.

So if the ultra-conservative Cheney-Rushie core of the GOP, also known as the folks that brought us constitutional destruction, torture, abstinence only sex-education, unbridled corporate corruption, greed, and recession, and generalized world disapproval of the USA want to further exercise their warped judgement and take warped action that further demonstrates the lunacy of the Cheney-Rushie policies, We, the PEOPLE!! says, DO IT!!!! We’ll even hold the microphone for them so they can spout their hatred-mongering tripe at their ultra-extreme ultra-religious-right wing base…and while the rest of the world watches in amusement.

In the meantime, because of the great multi-level choice by president Obama, it’s easy to predict that Sonia Sotomajor will be a hit with the senate and ultimately, with the Supremes themselves.  President Obama probably could not have picked another nominee who covers so many political and judicial bases at once.

And when all is said and done, those ultra-extreme right wingers on the GOP side of the senate aisle and their most ardent supporters will lose this fight and lose it huge.  And why?

Sometime you just have to pick your fights, and this is the really the wrong one.  But the ultra-right is filled with hatred and probably not listening.

And that’s why we love them.  🙂

If You Can’t Win Fairly, Just Change the Rules!

Michael Steele, the new chairman of the republican national committee RNC), gave a very rousing but disappointing speech yesterday to a state republican leadership meeting in Washington, DC.  This meeting had been primarily called to discuss future strategies of the republican party (GOP) in their attempt to reinvent and redefine themselves in the wake of devastating defeats at the polls in 2006 and 2008.

Michael Steele has been embattled during the early days of his leadership of the RNC.  While the good ol’ boys of the GOP have been licking their wounds and pointing their fingers at everyone besides themselves for the fall of GOP influence in the USA, Steele was considered to be a breath of fresh air, a new face to re-invigorate the GOP and prevent further backslide of the party towards the garbage heap of history.

As much as most in the GOP publicly agreed with the “fresh breath” approach, in reality nothing could have been further from the truth.  The last thing the old guard of the GOP wanted to do was change the tired old tactics of attacking the other side without providing even cursory or rudimentary alternative truly workable solutions to the problems of the economy, global warming, corporate greed, or the US health care disgrace.

Instead, they enlisted their old friend Rush Limp-something-or-other to attack Steele, after Steele accurately described the radio hate-monger as an “entertainer” (which is he) that is sometimes “ugly” and “incendiary” in the things he says over the air (which he is).  But these old guard GOP-ers aren’t the least bit interested in truth;  They’re only interested in maintaining the status quo and assigning blame for everything to everyone besides themselves.

Thus it was a disappointing surprise to hear Steele make statements in his speech yesterday that sounded like a total capitulation to the GOP’s old guard tactics.  He stated, in part, “The era of apologizing for Republican mistakes of the past is now officially over….The time for trying to fix or focus on the past has ended….We have turned the corner on regret, recrimination, self-pity and self-doubt.”

He went on to say that the focus should now be on attacking President Obama and his policies.  There was no mention of formulating alternative proposals that actually have a real chance of working.  Instead, he told his listeners that the American people need to hear how bad Obama and his policies are hurting America.

The saddest thing about Steele’s speech was that it did not sound as though Steele, or his centrist views, had anything to do with the message of the speech.  Instead, it sounded like it was made by a man under siege by a close-minded and powerful ultra-conservative arm of his own party.  The lofty idea of reviewing past mistakes and learning from them (so as not to repeat them) seemed to be completely gone, with one notable exception:  Steele did admit that the GOP had left behind its traditional ideals of fiscal conservatism by growing government over the past eight years.  But that admission by itself was not enough to disguise the fact that Steele, who was going to transform the GOP into a party that centrists and independents could support, has evidently abandoned that goal in favor of keeping the real back-room, backward-thinking GOP leadership happy with his performance.

That’s really too bad for the GOP, which has been losing support for several years in every demographic except people who attend church at least once a week, a.k.a. the extreme religious right and the evangelicals who want every person on Earth to believe what they believe.  But they are not enough to see the GOP to victory.  Yet, the GOP old guard still seems to think that it can convince Americans that the party is somehow mainstream.  Continuing to do the same thing over and over, expecting a different result, is Einstein’s definition of insanity.

Thus, the GOP has neutralized Michael Steele while continuing to believe that screaming attacks against everything Obama does loud enough and often enough is the best strategy to victory in 2010 and beyond.  More importantly is that by silencing Steele, they have attempted to change the rules, thinking that they can win support and elections by stifling self-examination and self-correction.

It’s much like they thought that stripping both basic human and judicial rights from detainees at Guantanamo might somehow get them convictions to prove that they were right to strip away those rights.  After all, if you can’t win a court case on the merits of the true evidence, make some up!  Use torture and lack of access to laws and treaties (like the Geneva Conventions) to force the creation of your “evidence” while refusing to allow defense evidence to the contrary.  Change the rules of the game to win.  At any cost.

The only problem is that as well as it worked in the past for the GOP, it has an equal chance of working this time:

None at all.  But they’re still not listening.

“Tricky Dick” Cheney Strikes Again (At EVERYONE!!!)

We, the PEOPLE prides itself on the reality that facts and fairness guide the writing of this blog.  As a result, the articles offered are replete with internet links so that readers can check sources for themselves.  However, no amount of links can explain the bizarre behavior being exhibited by the ex-vice president of the United States, “Tricky Dick” Cheney.  Of course, we’re talking about recent statements made by “Tricky Dick”, which indicate a complete nose-thumbing at the fact that the GOP is in real trouble right now, with only 20% of the people even admitting they’re republicans.

Even a cursory review of recent history will make painfully obvious that this country and world in general wanted change, and absolutely did not want “more of the same.  President Obama is wildly popular both at home and abroad, as evidenced by the most recent national polls showing his latest approval rating as of today at 65%.

In contrast, on his best day as vice-president, Cheney couldn’t match half that.   Indeed, in the past two years, “Tricky Dick”‘s approval rating plummeted to historical lows.  To wit, the latest poll shows his approval rating at 18%, which is unbelievably awful, particularly when you consider that “Tricky Dick” has been out of office for almost four months!

Even not-very-popular ex-president George W. Bush has realized that the best course of action for his legacy is to remain silent and hope that over time the dust will settle and people will think less unfavorably about his horribly messed up administration.  But “Tricky Dick” just hasn’t been able to resist the spotlight and the media coverage.  He has become the darling of Fox news and a curse on the GOP.

Although probably pointless, it is at least somewhat understandable that “Tricky Dick” would attack President Obama for Obama’s prohibition on torture, and anything else he can think of.  After all, “Tricky Dick” repeatedly approved of the use of torture, and he still defends it.   But more importantly, Tricky Dick” is keenly aware of the possibility that he might eventually be prosecuted for war crimes, so of course he is going to attempt to garner as much support for his approval of torture as he can muster.

Amazingly, “Tricky Dick” has exceeded even this weird behavior by now crossing over to attacking well-respected moderate republicans!  Specifically, he recently took on  former Bush administration Secretary of State Colin Powell.  “Tricky Dick” questioned whether Powell is even still a republican, and stated he’d rather follow loud-mouth hate-monger Rush into political battle than Powell, who is genuinely liked on both sides of the aisle.

This attack on Powell, whom, by the way, previously served as Chairman of the US military Joint Chiefs of Staff under then-Defense Secretary “Tricky Dick” during the 1991 Gulf War, is baffling at best, and utterly disastrous at worst, for the republican party.  Remember that the GOP is desperately trying to rebuild itself after the pounding it has taken in the past two national elections, in addition to the shrinking number of Americans willing to admit they’re registered republicans.

So imagine the additional damage “Tricky Dick” is doing to the greater GOP’s rebirth efforts by supporting his totally rejected “more of the same, because we were so successful” philosophy.  Does he really believe that anyone outside of the hate-radio mongers and the ultra-extremist lunatic fringe right wing of the GOP is even listening to him?  Does he really believe that he is somehow recruiting new members for the GOP from among those that abandoned the GOP just a few short months ago?

There is a word that describes what “Tricky Dick” is doing.  He is continuing to promote the failed policies of the Bush administration, which have been so roundly rejected by the electorate and by a clear majority of Americans and others throughout the world.  “Tricky Dick” seems to think that if he continues to promote the failures, that he will achieve a different result:  that somehow people will have a different reaction than the one that has led to an 18% approval rating for this “shooter of friends”;  no less a great mind than Albert Einstein defined this as insanity!

It did warm the heart, however, to see Liz Cheney, “Tricky Dick”‘s daughter, defend him, just as a daughter should.  But that was before she said that the White House is siding with the terrorists.  No one in their right mind with even a scintilla of education and knowledge of the real world is going to believe that.  But she either doesn’t care, or doesn’t get it.

Just like her dad.

One can only imagine what the moderates in the GOP are going through, trying as they are to rebuild their almost completely irrelevant political party.  They must cringe and run for cover every time “Tricky Dick” (and now his daughter as well) opens his mouth.

And since he never shut up before, there’s no reason to believe that he’ll heed the moderates in his own moribund political party and disappear for awhile.  He’ll just keep shooting of his mouth (if you’ll pardon the pun  🙂  ) making it even more difficult for the GOP to rebuild and reboot, as even Star Trek has.

And that’s why we love him.  🙂

Banned in Britain: US Hate-Radio Host!

Yesterday it was announced that a well-know ultra-right-wing extremist hate-radio talk show host who broadcasts his hate-mongering propaganda from San Francisco, California, was placed on a list of twenty-two people from various countries who are not welcome in England, also known as the United Kingdom, or UK for short.

All of the folks on this blacklist of people banned from entering the UK are listed by the UK’s Home Secretary (similar to the US Secretary of State) Jacqui Smith.  She placed this particular hate-mongering US talk radio host on the list “for fostering extremism or hatred between October 2008 and March 2009.”  You can read more about it HERE.

Before getting into some of the examples of the hate-spewing that this hate-for-money talk show host has engaged in on his show, it is important to note that We, the People strongly supports everyone’s right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution, tempered as it is (and should be) by laws against libel, slander, and perjury.  As such, we support the hate-radio hosts’ right to spew their tripe over the airwaves, even if we hate their message.

As long as there are people who are willing to listen to him, he and others like him will have a forum from which to try to get people to blame and hate other people for everything the liosteners don’t like about anything.  And there clearly is an audience for hate radio, since it is reported that perhaps ten million people listen to this particular clown on over 350 radio stations in the US alone.

If you are one who listens to hate-radio hosts, hopefully you do so only for the same reasons that intelligent people watch fantasy movies and listen to rap music:  for entertainment.  If, on the other hand, you listen to these students of Nazi propaganda methods for NEWS AND INFORMATION, and/or so you will have a target to blame and hate, then you are sadly misguided.

Political talk radio, whether conservative (98%) or liberal (2%) is a form of entertainment, akin to watching wrestling on TV.  Nonetheless, the hate-radio host being discussed here has really crossed the line of good taste, as many do.  Though not illegal, it can be very dangerous because the uninformed listener might take the message as absolute truth.

For example, this guy has claimed publicly on his show that autistic children are just faking it, claiming “You know what autism is? I’ll tell you what autism is,” according to a copy of the broadcast captured on mediamatters.org. “In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out.  That’s what autism is.”  Read more about this HERE.

He also has recently stated that the swine flu got imported into the US by illegal immigrants for the sole purpose of spreading it to the people who live here.   He stated, “”Make no mistake about it:  Illegal aliens are the carriers of the new strain of human-swine avian flu from Mexico.”  Read more HERE.

We also reserve the self-same right to free expression to let people know the real deal about folks like this.  This guy is in good company on the UK blacklist, which also includes both the founder and daughter of the Westboro Baptist Church, the group from Topeka, Kansas that rejoices (and pickets) the death  and funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq and elsewhere, claiming God hates America and loves to kill the GIs as punishment for the USA’s tolerance of gays and lesbians.

The hate-radio host claims he’s going to sue the Home Secretary of the UK for damages, claiming he’s been somehow harmed and that her inclusion of him on the UK’s blacklist somehow has painted a target on his back, and that others will now come after him.  Has he forgotten all the hate he has spewed over the years at others?  Does he really think that he isn’t already as much of a target for some lunatic as he ever was or will be (if at all)?

Of course, by filing a lawsuit (if he actually does), he will obviously keep himself in the limelight and center of publicity, which is good for business.  It’s exactly what his hate-radio competitor Rushie did when he took on President Obama shortly after the presidential inauguration in January.  The hate-radio host will stop at nothing to increase his potential monetary intake.  In fact, one might even believe that he personally engineered being placed on the UK blacklist expressly for this express self-enhancing purpose.

Of course, one might believe that, if one was prone to believing in such things.   🙂