Monthly Archives: July 2010
Former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod announced Thursday that she intends to sue Andrew Breitbart for posting a misleading video of Sherrod that ended up costing her job.
Sherrod made the announcement at the National Association of Black Journalists conference in San Diego. “I will definitely do it,” she said.
Sherrod lost her job last week after Breitbart posted a clip of a video on one of his conservative sites that appeared to show Sherrod telling an NAACP conference that she did not lend her “full force” in helping a white farmer.
The full video, though, showed Sherrod had actually been speaking about how she had gotten over the racially motivated killing of her father after helping the first white farmer who had solicited her aid.
Before the full video came out, however, Sherrod was fired by the Department of Agriculture over what it thought was a racist remark.
Sherrod has been offered a new job with the department, and the White House has apologized to her, but Sherrod has not yet indicated whether she will take the job.
Sherrod has shown she still has hard feelings against Breitbart, however, accusing him last week of stoking racists to attack her.
“I knew it was racism when it happened to me,” she said.
Sherrod also blamed Fox News, which posted a story on Brietbart’s video on its website, for pushing the story.
“It was not all media. It was Fox,” she said. “I don’t want to be interviewed by Fox. I refuse to be interviewed by Fox.”
Breitbart did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has not apologized for posting the misleading video, arguing that the incident was “not about Shirley Sherrod” and was instead about the NAACP’s accusation that the tea party has employed “racist tactics.”
“Andrew Breitbart is going to be fine. He’s done nothing wrong,” said Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center. “I wonder if Ms. Sherrod, who is such a champion of transparency, will publicly disclose who is putting her up to this. And I also hope this champion of honesty will stop lying about Fox News. I’m also waiting for Ms. Sherrod to publicly apologize for accusing anyone opposed to nationalized health care of being racist. Last time I checked, that was more than half the country.”
Earlier, President Barack Obama called the firing a “bogus controversy.”
“She deserves better than what happened last week,” Obama told the National Urban League. “When a bogus controversy based on selective and deceiving excerpts led to her forced resignation, now, many are to blame for the reaction and overreaction that followed these comments, including my own administration.”
This image provided by Andrew and Jan Schill is of a political advertisement attacking Jan Schill’s father, McClain County, Okla. judicial hopeful John Mantooth. The ad, which reads “Do not vote for my dad!” and features a picture of the daughter’s family, also highlights cases in which Mantooth has been sued and a website the couple started.(AP Photo/Andrew and Jan Schill)
by SEAN MURPHY
OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma judicial candidate is fending off a political attack from his daughter, who has taken out a local newspaper ad urging voters: “Do not vote for my dad!”
McClain County judicial hopeful John Mantooth’s daughter and son-in-law paid for the quarter-page advertisement, which features a picture of the daughter’s family, highlights cases in which Mantooth has been sued and lists a website the couple started, http://www.donotvoteformydad.com.
Mantooth said the bad blood stems from his 1981 divorce from his daughter’s mother.
“This is a family issue which should have been kept private,” he said Monday. “I’m very sad about this. I’m very disappointed. I’m hurt, but I love my daughter, and I want things to get better, and I hope they will.”
Jan Schill, 31, said she never has had a good relationship with her father and doesn’t think he’d make a good judge.
“We just felt like it would be bad if he were to become a judge,” Schill said in a telephone interview from her home in Durango, Colo. “I assumed that he would not appreciate it, but he’s made so many people mad, I’m just another mark on his board of people’s he’s had a beef with.”
Keith Gaddie, a professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma, said such campaigning illustrates that “none of us wants our lives too closely examined.”
Here are some excerpts from http://www.donotvoteformydad.com
I write as the son-in-law of John Mantooth and as an attorney who began my career in District 21. After careful thought, I cannot imagine staying silent when I weigh the consequences of him sitting in judgment over a community I dearly love. Though trying to pen down the troublesome legal philosophy of Mr. Mantooth would be difficult, I think an entertaining, but sad story most adequately grasps the essence of this philosophy.
One day shortly before the Christmas of 2004 John Mantooth hurried into my law office with a rusted golden basket. He quickly handed over his gift and thanked me for the chocolates I had sent him the previous day, and then departed as quickly as he had entered. As I resumed my lunch with two other local attorneys, I perused the contents of the mysterious golden basket to find a “Law Office of John Mantooth” pocket knife, a scentless bag of potpourri and a cellophane wrapped box of chocolates hastily taken from the inventory of his cupboard.
After a delightful lunch, I unwrapped the chocolates in anticipation of a quick dessert before returning to work. Also offering a chocolate to one of my friends, I took a quick bite. However, upon recognizing an unfamiliar and unpleasant taste I yelled in shock for my friend to stop. My deepest momentary fear was realized when a survey of the remaining chocolate revealed the remains of the numerous worms and weevils that had long ago devoured the aged chocolate.
The following day would find a slightly enraged voicemail from John Mantooth who had discovered that I was under the erroneous assumptions that the gift was for me. He wanted to clarify that the rusted golden basket, pocket knife, stale potpourri and worm-ridden chocolates were not for me, but were in fact for my wife, his second daughter, for Christmas! He did not want her to think she was forgotten! The slight humor I had originally felt quickly turned to anger and a renewed sadness for the years of such indifference my wife had endured.
Back in 2004, I asked Mr. Mantooth what kind of father would give his daughter the gift of worm-ridden chocolates for Christmas. He offered no reply. Today, I would suggest that the question the voters of District 21 should be asking is, “if this is what Mr. Mantooth gives to his children, what would he give the people of District 21?”
I would encourage everyone to take even a cursory review of the Cleveland, McClain and Garvin County court records from the past thirty-seven years which would offer a view into the often disturbing and always perplexing legal philosophy of John Mantooth.by Jan Schill (formerly Jan Mantooth)
District 21 judicial candidate John Mantooth is not a good father, not a good grandfather and in my opinion a review of his 37 year record as an attorney in Cleveland, Garvin and McClain Counties reveals that he would not be a good judge.
Click the links below for more information:
Reading between the lines, as i usually try to do, I think I get the real issue here. You ready for it???
Jan Schill (formerly Jan Mantooth) does not think John Mantooth would make a good judge.
I think I got this one right!
*Karl Rove would have never thought of this!
Ted Haggard was shamed into resigning as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and leaving his Christian ministry—as well as Colorado—after a scandal four years ago involving a sexual encounter with a prostitute, from whom he also bought meth. But now he says he “over-repented.” Haggard started a ministry with his wife Gayle in their backyard barn two months ago, and now the congregation has swelled to 200 people, so many people that they had to move out of the barn and into a community center this Sunday. Haggard says he was the victim of a “witch hunt,” and that the sexual encounter was really a massage gone wrong. Christian critics say the pressures of leading a church could cause Haggard to be tempted again, but the preacher says ministering is part of his repentance, reminding him every week of his sins. In one way, he says, his painful public scandal encourages his flock to confide in him: “It’s amazing. People tell me everything,” Haggard says. “That never happened when we were respectable.”
Here is a translation of some key terms from that article using Babel Fish.
With the official formation of a congressional Tea Party Caucus, Rep. Michele Bachmann has thrust an existential question before House Republican leaders: Are you in or are you out?
Indiana’s Mike Pence, chairman of the Republican Conference, was adamant. “You betcha,” he said, deploying a Minnesota catch phrase.
But Minority Leader John Boehner won’t have his name on the caucus list.
And Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor and his chief deputy, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California — known as “Young Guns” for the GOP — are undecided.
Minnesota’s Bachmann, a favorite of the tea party movement, earned approval from the Democratic leadership for her caucus late last week. It came as a bit of a surprise to her leadership, whom she didn’t forewarn before formally applying to create the caucus.
“It was something we were doing on our own,” Bachmann spokesman Dave Dziok said. “Ultimately, we just pulled the trigger.”
Indeed, the tea party movement is a loaded political weapon for Republicans heading into the midterm elections.
Until now, they have had the luxury of enjoying the benefits of tea party enthusiasm without having to actually declare membership. But now that Bachmann has brought the tea party inside the Capitol, House Republican leaders and rank-and-file members may have to choose whether to join the institutionalized movement.
It’s easy to see why some Republicans may be hesitant, even as the tea party, itself, fights over the sentiments expressed by the movement’s most extreme elements.
The Tea Party Federation expelled its most prominent faction, the Tea Party Express, after a spokesman wrote a racially charged letter framed as a satirical jab at Ben Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The Tea Party Express fired back, with a spokesman calling the decision “arrogant and preposterous.”
“If there are some tendencies in the outside movement that you don’t want to be associated with, this could be a risky step,” said Celia Carroll, a political science professor at Hampden-Sydney College who has done academic research on congressional caucuses.
Joining caucuses is somewhat of a ritual in the House, where niche groups like the Sportsmen’s Caucus or the Armenian Caucus are supposed to give lawmakers a chance to build their political identity and promote their own ideas and those of allies outside Congress. The Senate is less relevant in the caucus debate: There is only one officially recognized caucus, the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.
“I think caucuses represent an opportunity for members to get together and to share ideas, and my hope is that this Tea Party Caucus would do the same and also would be an avenue for bringing some of the energy and enthusiasm and the focus that I’ve seen from the national march on Washington, where I spoke on 9/12, [and] traveling around Indiana and a little around the country, deeper into the well of Congress,” Pence said.
Pence is widely viewed as a potential candidate for statewide, or perhaps national office, and he has built on his connection to the movement, which could be politically beneficial in the future.
But the question is not as clear-cut for other Republican leaders.
Cantor’s office declined to entertain a question about whether the No. 2 GOP House member would join the Tea Party Caucus. A spokesman said he was on a plane nearly all day and could not be reached.
The uncertainty in the House GOP leadership underscores the risk — and reward — of identifying with a movement that electrifies the conservative base, yet may turn off moderate Republicans and political independents with controversial slogans and billboards perceived by many to be racist or insensitive to religious minorities.
Republican leaders certainly have been capitalizing on tea party anger at a Democratic-controlled establishment, watching with glee as Democratic health care town halls were disrupted by tea party demonstrators last fall. In fact, Boehner led the charge of Republican lawmakers down the Capitol steps late last year, addressing the crowd before Bachmann did. He also spoke at rallies in Orlando, Fla., and Ohio and attended one in Bakersfield, Calif., with McCarthy.
But when it comes to joining the caucus, the Ohio Republican fell back on a long-standing promise not to join such groups.
“As a personal policy, Boehner is not a member of any caucus other than the House Republican Conference,” spokesman Michael Steele said in a statement to POLITICO.
There’s an advantage to watching the fire from a safe distance, Carroll said.
“It’s brilliant politically to take advantage of this anti-Democratic, to a large extent, movement without being seen as orchestrating it,” she said.
But Bachmann’s formation of the new caucus has made her a force to be reckoned with inside the Republican Conference; indeed, at last fall’s tea party march on Capitol Hill, demonstrators yelled out, “Palin/Bachmann 2012.” Partially as a result of Bachmann’s — and Sarah Palin’s — star power, nearly a quarter of Americans believe the tea party “will become a viable third party in American politics,” according to a POLITICO poll released Monday.
Bachmann’s office said it hasn’t worked out many of the details of how the caucus will operate and interact with the tea party movement outside Congress. The group’s first step will be to find members to put tea party “principles into practice,” Dziok said. Its first meeting will be Wednesday.
Lawmakers and aides said there’s room for both the Tea Party Caucus and the conservative Republican Study Committee, whose members quite likely would provide a pool for Bachmann’s group.
Pence, a former chairman of the RSC, said he hasn’t spoken to Bachmann about what the group will do, but he welcomes the voice.
“I think iron sharpens iron,” he said.
I was doing some reading and came across this. Can’t explain why, but thought I should share it with all of you. Enjoy.
A Conscience Examined
I ask you, how can God’s love survive in a man who has enough of this world’s goods yet closes his heart to his brother when he sees him in need? Little children, let us love in deed and in truth and not merely talk about it. This is our way of knowing we are committed to the truth and are at peace before him no matter what our consciences may charge us with; for God is greater than our hearts and all is known to him. 1 Jn 3: 17-19
It is all very well to sit each morning and meditate, doing our best to connect with God, filling our hearts with truth, rising edified. But what happens in the rest of the day? We have done the discerning of God’s will, now comes the aligning with it. Now comes the participating in God’s work. We have oriented ourselves toward heaven, now the rubber meets the road. Now we put one foot in front of the other. Now is the time for action.
And it is the action, the loving in deed and not merely talking about it, that is our way of knowing we are committed to the truth. How do we know we are good? How do we know we are Christian? Or Moslem? Or Hindu. By your fruits. By their fruits you shall know them. By the fruit of our labor. By actual labor. By our work. It is not a matter of belief. Unless belief means action. To find out what we believe actually, examine our actions. How we live. That shows what we believe more than our words.
So. The theory is that God’s will for us will be some form of creativity and redemption. Since these are God’s jobs and we are happiest when we participate in God’s work. That’s not a lot to go on. We don’t know whether our impulses are good, though we have dedicated ourselves to God and asked God to take charge of our impulses, showing the way.
And then there’s that troublesome bit from Paul about seemingly accomplishing evil when he intended good. Poor me. I can’t do the good I intend. So you could have good intention, you could see the good that you are trying to accomplish, some creative or saving goal, and you fail to reach that goal. You don’t know how to reach that goal.
A mother wants her son to stay in the state of grace. To avoid drugs and drinking to excess and casual sex. She wants to do things to cause this to happen. She tries to think of things to do. She tries kindness. She fixes his favorite food. She urges him to go to church. To go to college. She wants him to associate with good people. He won’t listen. Her attempts at conversation end up preachy and screechy. They get to be ugly encounters. She nags. She feels she has lost her boy. Everything she tries fails. Now she feels that she is a failure. Her self esteem is low. She doubts she is a good person.
Hundreds of things like this play out in our lives. I don’t pretend to have the answers. Certainly my simple religion is not the answer. And I would argue that these things are beyond religion. It is too much to expect a religion to find the answer to every problem. It is too much to ask a religion to have a formula for converting each moment of your life, each phase that you go through, each phase of each relationship, into bliss. Into each life some rain must fall.
Actually, the minor keys are richer. A life without hurt is empty. I am almost tempted to say that God knows this. That God arranged it, strangely, contrary to logic and all expectations, to enrich life. To give wisdom. To improve our self esteem. It’s even scriptural: the father disciplines his sons. It is part of creation and redemption. There is benefit in suffering. It creates beautiful people. Ones who have muddled through disaster and not lost faith. Muddled through each morning consulting God, connecting with God, pledging themselves to participation in God’s creative and redemptive work. Trying to discern the best course of action. Taking whatever actions seem most likely to bring a good outcome. Living through bitter times, always oriented toward the good, always oriented toward the ultimate outcome. Striving for salvation.
If we could open our eyes we might see in the disabled, in those muddling through with little mental capacity or physical grace, without limbs or sight or hearing, the bravest people on earth. And those most connected with God. Those being creative and redemptive in their own persons, just by living their own lives. We might see a thing of beauty. Instead we avert our eyes. We shut off empathy. We do not want to feel what these people feel. We cannot put ourselves in their place. We would rather not see. We feel awkward and embarrassed. We don’t know how to act.
Wait. Didn’t we just this morning pledge ourselves to Godly action. To lives of creation and redemption. And we know this only when we act on it. So OK. Focus. Look. What a brave person this is. One of God’s best. Good morning to you. A cheerful good morning to you. Praise God for your bravery. Show me how to live will you? Let me in on your secret.
What? Can’t we say these things? Shouldn’t we? Can we at least acknowledge their existence? Can’t we at least affirm them? Make eye contact. Give a smile.
And what about seeing my brother in need. I who live well. Who have furnished myself with a sufficiency of this world’s goods. What about all those in distant lands who are starving. Those suffering from war. Those whose lives are hard because of local politics. Because they live in the wrong place. Because they were born there. The author of John could not imagine a world where the suffering of others around the globe is brought daily into our living rooms. Still he or she seemed to speak to that. How can God’s love survive in a man who has enough of this world’s goods yet closes his heart to his brother when he sees him in need?
I am a man who has enough of this world’s goods. I do not wish to close my heart. But what do I do? Should I give away my stuff until my brother has as much as I have. Until I am in the same state as those suffering from famine? Do I need to suffer from the same level of violence as the least of my brothers? Or is it enough to write the occasional check?
Gee I wish I had an answer. I know that some people have given up everything and put themselves in harms way for the poor and downtrodden of this world. I haven’t. I enjoy my wealth. I wish I had a way of knowing that I am not called to follow their example.
OK maybe this. Think of Beethoven. Think of Newton. Think of the entrepreneurs of the industrial age. We are not all called to work with the poor. We are all called to be charitable in our own constellations of personalities, in our own circumstance. We are called to share our lives and our sustenance, but not to the point of not caring for ourselves. Becoming dependent on others for necessities. If I were poor in my old age, I would be a burden on the state or on my children. They write of Jesus that he said the poor you will always have with you and you can help them whenever you wish. As if the goal of creation and salvation is not an utterly equal distribution of wealth. As if we should not stop all other efforts until the problem of poverty is solved. As if poverty is not only the only priority.
Some are called upon to push creation further. Some are called upon to achieve in other spheres. To push back the frontier that divides ignorance from knowledge. And many of the greatest breakthroughs, many of the enterprises that have changed our lives for the better, alas, even the inventions that bring the pictures of poverty and war into our living rooms, were motivated by profit; by the lure of great wealth. As if there’s a place for greed. A benefit.
We are all called upon to create beauty in our relationships. To pour out love in them. To sustain them. To make them holy. And to redeem whatever relationships and persons we can. Help with self esteem. Affirm. There is enough to do in our own circumstances. And to some degree we should remaining open to helping those in other circumstances. And yes some of us are called upon to take ourselves out of our comfortable circumstances and put ourselves in those of the poor and suffering.
Our actions show our faith. And so to see our faith, examine our actions. If we believe in love, we will love. If we believe in redemption we will redeem. If we believe in sacrifice, we will lay down our lives for our friends. What form this takes in our circumstances cannot be predicted or prescribed. You must be creative. You must connect with God and learn to discern. Let us love in deed and in truth and not merely talk about it.
Written by: James Stemmle
Me: “I wish I was Richard Branson.”
Wife: “Me too.”
Get your Freud on in the comments and interpret that. No really, do it.
In response to this Tea Bagger billboard, a Tea Bagger leader, said:
“That’s just a waste of money, time, resources and it’s not going to further our cause,” said Shelby Blakely, a leaders of the Tea Party Patriots, a national group. “It’s not going to help our cause. It’s going to make people think that the tea party is full of a bunch of right-wing fringe people, and that’s not true.”
The Tea Party is NOT “a bunch of right-wing fringe people?” WHAT WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?!?!?!
(PAUSE FOR DEEP BREATH)
If that is a fact (which it isn’t) then the Tea Party has a worse advertising group than the Democrats- and that is saying something.
Let’s break that quote down. It says that the Tea Party is not:
2) fringe people
Let’s look at each assertion separately:
Let’s take a look at the Tea Bagger Party and their views vs. Republican views (source from HERE) and maybe we will see that they are not right wing in their views at all (* NOTE: NOT HOLDING BREATH HERE) :
When asked what they considered “extremely serious threats” to the country’s future wellbeing, tea partiers cited the exact same things as run-of-the-mill Republicans. Shocker, right? Both groups overwhelmingly pointed to federal debt (61 percent of tea partiers, 55 percent of GOPers), Big Government (49 percent, 43 percent), health care costs (41 percent, 37 percent), and “terrorism” (51 percent, 51 percent) as the biggest threats to American prosperity. And in the category of unimportant threats, both groups dismiss the environment/global warming and discrimination against minorities. Here’s a good breakdown from Gallup:
“Yeah Matt what about the “FRINGE PEOPLE” part of that quote..but what about that, huh? So what they are conservative, but they aren’t extremists are they. You haven’t shown anything to support that HAVE YOU SMARTY PANTS?”
I hear your cry and well, since you asked for it…
So media coverage of the tea party is overblown? Maybe they’re not such a novel group after all? That’s the message gleaned by the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent:
The Tea Party movement gets a disproportionate share of media attention because of all the funny costumes, Hitler references, and fantasizing about armed revolution…
…and that doesn’t sound like “ fringe people” to you? What does then?
Maybe this Tea Party platform outline taken from http://www.teapartyplatform.us/Welcome.html will illustrate the “fringeness” of the Tea Party belief system:
Get government out of our lives and eliminate social security and medicare now!
As strict constructionists we believe the Constitution should be amended to protect life and prohibit all abortions, without exception.
Speaking of the Constitution, we believe citizenship should be denied to children of non-citizens born in the U.S. even though the 14th Amendment, says, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.” Common sense tells us they didn’t really mean all persons born in the United States. Did they?
Put God back in the schools and let curricula tell the truth – that evolution is just a theory, like the theory of gravity. Freedom of religion for all Christians. Jews might be ok too.
Appoint a special prosecutor to thoroughly investigate the probable foreign birth of Barack Hussein Obama.
On libertarian principles, private restaurants and other businesses should not be forced to serve minorities. Though we abhor discrimination and if there is a minority out there who wants to join us they are welcome!
Protect the 2nd Amendment rights of people who are on the terrorist no-fly list!
I seriously doubt you will find many “non-tea party” Republicans who will agree to this platform. At least, in public.
So there, RIGHT- WING FRINGE PEOPLE you are!
WHAT??? YOU NEED MORE PROOF???
This nugget is gleaned from The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (found here.) Please note the last sentence of this paragraph:
Eight-in-ten Tea Party Republicans are closely following news about local candidates and campaigns, just half of Republicans who have no opinion about the Tea Party say the same. Nearly nine-in-ten (88%) Tea Party Republicans are absolutely certain they will vote, compared with 68% of Republicans with no opinion about the Tea Party. Roughly two-thirds (65%) of Tea Party Republicans say they are more enthusiastic about voting this year than usual; about half (49%) of Republicans with no opinion of the Tea Party say the same. On all three measures, Republicans with no opinion of the Tea Party movement share more in common with Democratic voters than with Tea Party Republican voters.
According to the article, You Tea Party wackos are ALL ABOUT SOME VOTING, way more so than Reps and Dems, (which is cool) but you have less in common with other CONSERVATIVES than the LIBERALS do!
SO, SIMPLY PUT THE DEMOCRATS (YOU KNOW THE SOCIALISTS, MARXISTS, ETC. ACCORDING TO YOUR OWN BILLBOARD) HAVE MORE IN COMMON WITH YOUR ALLIES THAN YOU DO.
YOU ARE “RIGHT- WING FRINGE PEOPLE.”
I rest my case.
Sarah Palin has a new political video for “Sarahpac.” Please watch this before reading:
Here are some things I learned about Sarah Palin’s political views from this video:
1. This is the year for “common sense conservative women”
2. Women love their kids.
3. In the last year and a half (since Obama’s election) women have awakened and don’t like the fundamental transformation (like comprehensive health care?) in America.
4. Moms are psychic- they just know something is “wrong.”
5. Moms have “woke up” in the last year and a half.
6. Momma Grizzles are tougher than pit bulls.
7. There is a “stampede” of pink elephants (which I assume are the aforementioned “conservative women”) crossing the aisle.
8. Grizzly bears can stand up on their hind legs.
9. Women are standing up (like grizzles?) this year.
10. The word adverse means “something bad”..thank you Mrs. Palin for that vocab lesson.
What political stance did she take-other than the “in the last year in a half” veiled Obama shout out. I feel that her, “I am woman, I love my kids, I am conservative, and you, a woman, should vote for me based on that alone” should be offensive to a modern woman. Is that all it takes? I cry to the like gendered “pink elephants” out there. I SINCERELY HOPE NOT!
I understand that this political ad was not geared at me – a male. However, I felt offended by it because the utter ignorance in the comparisons of women and bears and their ability to “stand up”, “wake up” and “protect kids and grand kids” from something adverse. Does Sarah Palin really think that democrats and other bears (?) want to harm their kids with their political beliefs? I have not seen nor heard of any Democrat agenda that involved any kid torture, bear attacks, or anti-women sentiment.
ANY WOMEN, PINK ELEPHANTS, OR MOMMA GRIZZLES AGREE WITH ME ON THIS?
Happy Thursday damnit!