Thursday, December 28, 2006

Top 11 Right Wing comments of 2006 (with bonuses!)

Again, reprinted from AlterNet. I know it's long, but some of these are just too good not to share. My favorite might be Limbaugh's position (taken from personal knowledge, evidently) on how liberalism creates obesity.

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The top 11 (in chronological order):
William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights: "Well, look, there are people in Hollywood, not all of them, but there are some people who are nothing more than harlots. They will do anything for the buck. They wouldn't care. If you asked them to sodomize their own mother in a movie, they would do so, and they would do it with a smile on their face." [2/9/06]
Fox News host John Gibson: "Do your duty. Make more babies. That's a lesson drawn out of two interesting stories over the last couple of days. First, a story yesterday that half of the kids in this country under five years old are minorities. By far, the greatest number are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic. Why is that? Well, Hispanics are having more kids than others. Notably, the ones Hispanics call 'gabachos' -- white people -- are having fewer." [5/11/06]
Right-wing pundit Ann Coulter on the New York Times' decision to report on the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program and a Treasury Department financial transaction tracking program: The Times had done "something that could have gotten them executed, certainly did get the Rosenbergs (Julius and Ethel) executed." [7/12/06]
Coulter responding to Hardball host Chris Matthews' question, "How do you know that [former President] Bill Clinton's gay?": "I don't know if he's gay. But [former Vice President] Al Gore -- total fag." [7/27/06]
Nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage: "That's why the department store dummy named Wolf Blitzer, a Jew who was born in Israel, will do the astonishing act of being the type that would stick Jewish children into a gas chamber to stay alive another day. He's probably the most despicable man in the media next to Larry King, who takes a close runner-up by the hair of a nose. The two of them together look like the type that would have pushed Jewish children into the oven to stay alive one more day to entertain the Nazis." [8/7/06]
Coulter on Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., an African-American: "Congresswoman Maxine Waters had parachuted into Connecticut earlier in the week to campaign against [Sen. Joseph I.] Lieberman because he once expressed reservations about affirmative action, without which she would not have a job that didn't involve wearing a paper hat. Waters also considers Joe 'soft' on the issue of the CIA inventing crack cocaine and AIDS to kill all the black people in America." [8/9/06]
Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh, blaming America's "obesity crisis" on "the left," "liberal government," and "food stamps": "Because we are sympathetic, we are compassionate people, we have responded by letting our government literally feed these people to the point of obesity. At least here in America, didn't teach them how to fish, we gave them the fish. Didn't teach them how to butcher a -- slaughter a cow to get the butter, we gave them the butter. The real bloat here, as we know, is in -- is in government." [8/29/06]
Coulter on Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I.: "They Shot the Wrong Lincoln." [8/30/06]
Conservative pundit and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan: "Look, [Rep. Jim] Kolbe [R-Ariz.] is gay. He is an out-of-the-closet gay. [Rep. Mark] Foley [R-Fla.] was gay. The House clerk who was in charge of the pages [Jeff Trandahl] was gay. Foley's administrative assistant, Mr. [Kirk] Fordham, the New York Times tells us, was gay. You hear about a lot of others. What's going on here, Joe [Scarborough, MSNBC host], is basically these, this little mafia in there looked upon the pages, I guess, as their -- sort of their personal preserve. And it stinks to high heaven what was done. And it stinks to high heaven that it was not exposed and these types of people, thrown out by the Republican Party." [10/9/06]
CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck to Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, D-Minn.: "OK. No offense, and I know Muslims. I like Muslims. … With that being said, you are a Democrat. You are saying, 'Let's cut and run.' And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' " [11/14/06]
Right-wing pundit Debbie Schlussel on Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.: So, even if he identifies strongly as a Christian … is a man who Muslims think is a Muslim, who feels some sort of psychological need to prove himself to his absent Muslim father, and who is now moving in the direction of his father's heritage, a man we want as president when we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam? Where will his loyalties be?" [12/18/06]
Honorable mentions (also in chronological order):
Beck: "Cindy Sheehan. That's a pretty big prostitute there, you know what I mean?" [1/10/06]
Republican strategist Mary Matalin: "I mean, you know, I think these civil rights leaders are nothing more than racists. And they're keeping constituency, they're keeping their neighborhoods and their African-American brothers enslaved, if you will, by continuing to let them think that they're -- or forced to think that they're victims, that the whole system is against them." [2/8/06]
Pat Robertson, host of the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club: "But it does seem that with the current makeup of the court, they still don't have as many judges as would be needed to overturn Roe [v. Wade]. They need one more, and I dare say before the end of this year there will be another vacancy on the court." [3/7/06]
Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and host of the daily Christian radio show The Albert Mohler Program: "Well, I would have to say as a Christian that I believe any belief system, any world view, whether it's Zen Buddhism or Hinduism or dialectical materialism for that matter, Marxism, that keeps persons captive and keeps them from coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, yes, is a demonstration of satanic power." [3/17/06]
Nationally syndicated radio host Neal Boortz on Rep. Cynthia McKinney's (D-Ga.) hairstyle: "She looks like a ghetto slut. … It looks like an explosion in a Brillo pad factory. … She looks like Tina Turner peeing on an electric fence. … She looks like a shih tzu!" [3/31/06]
Boortz on McKinney's hairstyle (again): "I saw Cynthia McKinney's hairdo yesterday -- saw it on TV. I don't blame that cop for stopping her. It looked like a welfare drag queen was trying to sneak into the Longworth House Office Building. That hairdo is ghetto trash. I don't blame them for stopping her." [3/31/06]
Limbaugh discussing a videotape released by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the then-leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq: "[I]t sounds just like the DNC (Democratic National Committee) is writing his scripts now." [4/26/06]
Beck: "Blowing up Iran. I say we nuke the bastards. In fact, it doesn't have to be Iran, it can be everywhere, anyplace that disagrees with me." [5/11/06]
Jonathan Hoenig, managing member of Capitalistpig Asset Management LLC, on Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto: "I think when it comes to Iran, the problem is we haven't been forceful enough. I mean if you -- frankly, if you want to see the Dow go up, let's get the bombers in the air and neutralize this Iranian threat." [6/5/06]
Fox host Geraldo Rivera: "I've known [Sen.] John Kerry [D-Mass.] for over 35 years. Unlike me, he is a combat veteran, so he gets some props. But in the last 35 years, I've seen a hell of a lot more combat than John Kerry. And for a smart man like that in a political ploy to set a date certain only aids and abets the enemy, and the Democrats are at their own self-destructive behavior once again." [6/22/06]
Savage: "I don't know why we don't use a bunker-buster bomb when he comes to the U.N. and just take [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] out with everyone in there." [7/21/06]
Boortz: "I want you to think for a moment of how incompetent and stupid and worthless, how -- that's right, I used those words -- how incompetent, how ignorant, how worthless is an adult that can't earn more than the minimum wage? You have to really, really, really be a pretty pathetic human being to not be able to earn more than the human wage. Uh -- human, the minimum wage." [8/3/06]
Syndicated columnist and Fox News host Cal Thomas on businessman Ned Lamont's victory in Connecticut's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate: "It completes the capture of the Democratic Party by its Taliban wing. … [T]hey have now morphed into Taliban Democrats because they are willing to 'kill' one of their own, if he does not conform to the narrow and rigid agenda of the party's kook fringe." [8/10/06]
Fox News host Sean Hannity, two months before the November midterm elections: "This is the moment to say that there are things in life worth fighting and dying for and one of 'em is making sure [Rep.] Nancy Pelosi [D-Calif.] doesn't become the [House] speaker." [8/29/06]
Beck: "The Middle East is being overrun by 10th-century barbarians. That's what I thought at 5 o'clock this morning, and I thought, 'Oh, geez, what -- what is this?' If they take over -- the barbarians storm the gate and take over the Middle East (this is what I'm thinking at 5 o'clock in the morning) -- we're going to have to nuke the whole place." [9/12/06]
Savage: "My fear is that if the Democrats win [in the November midterm elections], and I'm afraid that they might, you're going to see America melt down faster that you could ever imagine. It will happen overnight, and it could lead to the breakup of the United States of America, the way the Soviet Union broke up." [10/13/06]
Republican pollster Frank Luntz on Nancy Pelosi's appearance: "I always use the line for Nancy Pelosi, 'You get one shot at a facelift. If it doesn't work the first time, let it go.' " [10/31/06]
Limbaugh on the Middle East: "Fine, just blow the place up." [11/27/06]
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly (on his radio show): "Do I care if the Sunnis and Shiites kill each other in Iraq? No. I don't care. Let's get our people out of there. Let them kill each other. Maybe they'll all kill each other, and then we can have a decent country in Iraq." [12/5/06]
New York Post columnist Ralph Peters on Iraq Study Group co-chairman James Baker: "The difference is that [Pontius] Pilate just wanted to wash his hands of an annoyance, while Baker would wash his hands in the blood of our troops." [12/7/06]
Conservative syndicated radio host Michael Medved on the animated movie "Happy Feet": The film contains "a whole subtext, as there so often is, about homosexuality." [12/11/06]
Fox captions
Additionally, although these are not examples of specific conservative commentators making outrageous comments, we would be remiss if we did not mention that Fox News made a regular practice of attacking Democrats or repeating Republican talking points in on-screen text during its coverage of political issues. Some examples:
"All-Out Civil War in Iraq: Could It Be a Good Thing?" [2/23/06]
"Attacking Capitalism: Have Dems Declared War on America?" [2/18/06]
"Dems Helping the Enemy?" [5/22/06]
"A Lamont Win, Bad News for Democracy in Mideast?"
"Have the Democrats Forgotten the Lessons of 9/11?"
"Is the Democratic Party Soft on Terror?" [8/8/06]
"The #1 President on Mideast Matters: George W Bush?" [8/14/06]
"Is the Liberal Media Helping to Fuel Terror?" [8/16/06]

Military families and the war in Iraq

Sorry for my recent absence, I am intending 2007 to be a return to the blogosphere for me. And there's no better way to return than to pass along this wonderful, thought-provoking essay about honoring the soldiers who have died in Iraq, brought to you via AlterNet (reprinted from the Washington Post) from Emily Miller of Military Families Speak Out. Her brother is currently serving in Iraq, and the questions she poses at the end are the ones that should be put to the President directly.

Wishing us all peace for the new year.

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My brother told me that he takes his oath to defend the Constitution seriously and that he will fight and die if necessary to honor his commitment. When I asked him if he would be offended if I participated in activities opposing the war, he replied that it was not only my right but my obligation, and the obligation of all civilians opposing this war, to try to change bad policy. "Give us good wars to fight," he said. […]
For the record, he believes that the war on terrorism is necessary to deal with real threats facing the United States. He is not convinced of what Iraq has to do with the matter, which puts him fairly well in the mainstream of American opinion.
So it is terribly upsetting to me to hear that some people despair that there is "no point" to their soldier's death or wounding in the Iraq war. America does not have to be right in order for our soldiers' service to have meaning.

What I find offensive is the idea that we have to "follow through" in order to give their deaths meaning post hoc. It is dreadfully apparent from the Iraq Study Group report that Iraq isn't going to have a democracy in any meaningful time frame. Even if this administration does everything perfectly, the best-case scenario is that we might maintain the barest outlines of order.
Victory being out of the question at this point, the only democracy my brother is fighting for in Iraq is our democracy. The only constitution he is in Iraq fighting to defend is our Constitution. If my brother dies, it will not be for a mistake but rather because of his deeply held belief that the time it takes us as a people to figure out through democratic processes that we are wrong is more important than his own life.
This places upon us an obligation. My brother and other service members living and dead have given us the sacred responsibility to use the democratic means we have at hand to bring judgment to bear on whether any given war is worth our soldiers' lives.
Despite the clear results in last month's elections and the grim conclusions of the Iraq Study Group, we are still hearing intransigent rhetoric and seeing unrealistic posturing from some of our leaders. This is unacceptable.
It's not too late for us to honor the almost 3,000 U.S. service members who have died defending the principles of our democracy. It is morally imperative for us to honor our living service members and to do what is demanded of us by our democracy and by common decency. We have taken a small step by changing some of our leadership in Washington, but now it is upon us to follow through at home and demand accountability from our leaders.
What are you, fellow citizens, willing to do to defend our Constitution? Will you dignify the sacrifices of our soldiers? Will you honor my brother's faith in our system? Will you let my brother or others die to eke out a slightly smaller disaster in Iraq? These are the questions we face in the wake of the Baker-Hamilton report.
My brother is betting his life that you are not going to ask this of him. He has placed his trust in the idea that we will not ask him to die for anything less than the necessary defense of our democracy. Reasonable people may at one time have disagreed about the necessity of the Iraq war, but now that it has become abundantly clear from every quarter that we cannot win, will you be responsible for asking my brother to stay?
My family begs of you: Do not ask this of him. Do not ask this of us. My brother is doing his constitutional duty. Now it is time for us to do ours.

Friday, December 01, 2006

NU Re-View: Nebraska 37, Colorado 14

THE GOOD ...
- FINISH WHAT YOU START: The M.O. for this year's Nebraska team was to struggle in the end part of the game to put a team away. In the final act of the regular season, though, Nebraska was able to find a killer instinct and throw the knockout punch once they had Colorado on the ropes.
- TRICKERATION: It's a strange sight when a halfback pass becomes a commonplace thing. But if nothing else, it makes watching the game fun. And the play where Zac Taylor walked away from the line of scrimmage in disgust, then the ball was snapped to Tierre Green, might be my favorite play of all time. I remember reading a Pro Football Weekly article in junior high talking about that play, and to finally see it happen - and work - was a lot of fun.
- MOMENTUM: The Colorado game had no bearing on what Bill Callahan said was his goal the entire season, namely the Big XII North championship. However, he sure didn't coach the game like it didn't matter. Callahan pulled out all the stops in going for the win, which was refreshing to see.

THE BAD ...
- SLEEPY START: For all the talk of focus, and Colorado coach Dan Hawkins' "rather be a Buff" comment, Nebraska came out pretty flat. It looked like, on both sides of the ball, NU lacked focus and intensity. During Colorado's first scoring drive, it looked like the Blackshirts simply checked out and let Colorado go straight down the field. To their credit, they stiffened after that, but those lapses are disturbing.
- FIELD GOAL RANGE: It was amazing when Jordan Congdon lined up for a 55-yard field goal attempt, that everyone in the stadium knew there was no way Congdon could kick it that far and something must be up. Everyone, that is, except for Hawkins, who allowed Congdon to pooch-punt the ball, setting up the safety that fundamentally ended the game. But how nice would it be to have a kicker that could actually convert that long field goal and not have to rely on that trickeration?
- STARTING FALSELY: One of the hallmarks of Callahan's version of the West Coast offense has Nebraska shifting formations on almost every play. There's clearly value in that, by confusing the defense and making them shift on the fly. However, it seems that Nebraska has yet to master it to the point where they can get set in the new formation and get the ball snapped without a penalty. Sometimes the benefits can be outweighed by a momentum-killing penalty.

... AND THE TRADITIONAL
Nebraska-Oklahoma, for all the marbles. There's something that just sounds right about that. Sure, it's not the day after Thanksgiving, and sure, it's in an NFL stadium, but it's still the 'Huskers and the Sooners. It's not the best matchup for Nebraska - an injured and reeling Texas team would give NU a better chance at victory - but the renewal of the old rivalry in such an important setting is simply too good to complain about.

THE BIG PICTURE
The national consensus seems to be that Nebraska is on the way back, but not quite there yet. Almost every review of this game has Oklahoma winning a close game, which for Nebraska is a good thing. A victory for NU means even more positive attention, more talk of Nebraska returning to glory. A loss means the progress gained this season remains at its' current level. Either way, Nebraska has successfully laid the next layer of foundation in rebuilding the program. The work is not yet completed, but it's a lot closer than it was at this time last year.

THE NEXT GAME
Nebraska vs. Oklahoma (-4). These are two very evenly matched teams. Oklahoma has the edge on defense, but is a one-dimensional, run-first offense. It will be critical for Nebraska's offense to be able to establish Brandon Jackson on the ground, and to give Taylor enough time to throw. On defense, NU must avoid the poor tackling that has led to big plays being hit against them. In a game as close as this, always take the points. In this case, that's Nebraska, but take the under in this game too.

GBR, baby.