Category Archives: Wordpress Political Blogs

Sotomayor nom: Exclusive excerpt from “racist” firefighter exam

Gearing up for the Sotomayor nomination to the Supreme Court, the Right is zeroing in on a particular case involving New Haven, CT’s firefighters in which the firefighter exam was ruled “biased” toward white candidates.  Sotomayor upheld the town’s decision to throw out the test results which would have promoted only white candidates taking the test.

A court that looks like us

A court that looks like us

We at panderwatch.com were able to get a copy of the supposedly “biased” exam.  Check out this random excerpt to see if you think the test is biased toward white candidates …

Q12a. Which character on Seinfeld burns down George’s fiance’s parents house in the episode “The Cheever Letters” only to discover that George’s future father in-law was John Cheever’s lover?

a. Jerry

b. Kramer

c. Elaine

d. R. Kelly

Q12b. For extra credit, name one of John Cheever’s best known novels?

_________________________________________________

Q15. In 2003, a nightclub fire in Rhode Island caused the deaths of 95 people due to faulty pyrotechnics created by the 80’s hair metal band Great White.  What was the name of their biggest hit song?

a. Once Bitten Twice Shy

b. Call the Firehouse

c. Yellow Submarine

d. That Bitch Crazy

Q18. One of the movies that firefighters often site as their favorite is “Backdraft” starring Kurt Russel and directed by Ron Howard.  Before becoming a director, Ron Howard was a TV actor.  Name the 70s TV show that Ron Howard is most famous for.

a. Happy Days

b. Coach

c. Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne”

d. Todos a Bordo

Q21. Everyone knows the Marshall Tucker Band song “Fire on the Mountain,” which earned them the Grammy for best country song in 1979.  Who won best country song Grammy in 2003 (the year of the test)?

a.  The Dixie Chicks

b. Big and Rich

c. Eminem

d. R. Kelly

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Farewell to President Bush, a Poem

FAREWELL, and when forth …

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

I from Marine One to “Executive One”
Steer without smiling, through the sea of smiles,
Isle upon isle, over the mall and cheering multitudes
Isle upon island, to the gilded gates of Dallas
Why should I sail, why should the breeze?
Being President is hard, and I have been “The Decider”
A hopeless sail I spread, and take Cheney with me (the bastard)
Why should I from isle to isle
Sail, a hopeless sailor?
Mission accomplished.

(With apologies to Robert Luis Stevenson)

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This Just In: Coleman and Franken Senate seat a tie

It would appear, regardless of what both right and left leaning blogs would have you believe, that this race is over. 

Frankenberry and Count Coleman

Frankenberry and Count Coleman

The most recent news:  Franken won a decision on Friday to open up more ballots for counting while Coleman is suing to shut down the recount with the expectation that Franken might actually have a few vote advantage.  Sound familiar?  Do you even care at this point?  Dems are up in arms re: Coleman’s attempts to block the count but let’s face it,  Franken would be doing everything he could under the law to stop the recount if the shoe were on the other foot (apologies to the Bush family for the shoe reference but I couldn’t resist). 

Let me be the first to announce the outcome: THE WINNER IS: NOBODY.  With a result this tight (perhaps within 10 votes of over 2.9 million cast after Franken gets his recount) the Secretary of State and board of elections can call it a tie.  Since state law does not allow for a re-do, it’s up to state officials to draw a lot or simply flip a coin.

Rather than flipping a coin, I say they have a duel.  That’s right — a duel to the death (or something close).  BTW, a very patriotic and long standing tradition in this country (see Burr, Aaron vs. Hamilton, Alexander). Besides, don’t we deserve a little entertainment after this mind numbing recount business. 

Gentlemen, choose your weapons:

Yo Yiddisha Momma

Yo Yiddisha Momma

#1. Yo Momma: They both appear on Wilmer Valderrama’s MTV show “Yo Momma” and have to trash talk each other’s Jewish mother (example: “Yo yiddisha momma’s like a Liberal parole officer – she never let’s anyone finish a sentence”).
#2. Project Runway: they have 24 hours to design the perfect prison outfit for Michigan Gov Rod Blagojevich.  Tim Gunn will model each.  Jesse Jackson Jr. helps Heidi pick the winner.
#3. Ice Fishing:  a favorite winter sport in Minnesota, they each have to live in a cabin on the ice for a week with their lawyers.  Whoever gets the most fish or goes the longest without taking a Xanax or an Ambien wins.

#4. Pistol at 20 paces: Or, they can just have Dick Cheney aim his hunting rifle in the opposite direction and we’ll see which guy drops.

 Update from The NY Times (December 16):

Whoever fills the Senate seat is supposed to assume office in early January. If the race is still contested then, the Senate has the power to decide which man takes the seat, Professor Schier said. Democrats hold a majority, but members on both sides of the aisle might be reluctant to decide such a close race, he said.

If there are further legal challenges it may be out of the hands of Minnesota election officials.  The US Senate, then has the right to choose.  Perhaps Franken should just change his name to Kennedy, then he’d be an automatic shoe-in for the seat.

Jan 21, 2009 update: It would appear that being named Kennedy does not guarantee you a Senate seat .  It is now past “early January” and Minnesota still has only one Senator.  However, with Coleman’s lawyers still challenging the recount Harry Reid and other dems are moving to have Franken seated, according to The Associated Press:

“If Al Franken truly believes he won this election, he should respect the laws of his state and allow this legal review to be completed,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

When the chairman of the Republican Senatorial Committe gets in on the action you know it’s moved from Minnesota to the big leagues.  But still no end in sight …

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Schwartzenegger panders to common sense – huh?

Those of you living outside of California (or Kaleeefahneeah) who may not be used to seeing Arnold speak at length about political issues may be surprised to learn something about this former juicer and Hummer enthusiast: he actually gets it.  The Governator is coming out of this presidential election looking better than just about any of his fellow Republicans.

Not only did Arnold conveniently skip the Governor’s Association Conference last week in Florida (he had some real fires to put out) in which solutions were in short supply and grandstanding (see Palin, Sarah) and “message” mumbo jumbo were in full bloom, he made his way to “This Week with George Stephanopolous” and admitted what for Republicans has been the toughest thing to admit in the Bush years: you can’t be a competent party that meets the needs of its people if you keep sticking to the same failed ideology, an ideology that is essentially bankrupt.

Why did it take this long for a national figure in the Republican party to say that building roads, good schools, keeping people in their homes, and saving the environment aren’t “Democratic or Republican” issues but issues that transcend political labels?  Arnold goes on to say that his “core values” are those of the Republican party of Eisenhower and Teddy Roosevelt — when Republicans weren’t afraid to spend money on programs that invested in the future — and are not the “nonsense” core values of his current party. This is such a stark contrast with the Palin rhetoric that relies on embracing “pro-America values” and prayers to a Christian God to govern at the highest level.  At one point in the interview, George S. tells Schwartzenegger that he’s sounding a lot like Obama.  This particular Republican didn’t disagree. 

Palin supporters may be dissapointed to hear one of the most popular stars of their party (and the most famous — prior to the convention) espouse essentially the same non-ideological rhetoric as the terrorist loving, America hating, Marxist President Elect.  Maybe they’ll want to send Arnold back to Austria when President Palin passes her comprehensive immigration bill after 2012.  But it must be music to the ears of many Republicans who have had to suffer through this past election as their man John McCain turned his back on his own values to embrace the Rovian politics of the Dark Side and crackpot ideology of the far Right.  Better late than never I guess.

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Bush and Obama at White House: private conversation caught on tape!

November 10, 2008: Conversation between President George W. Bush and Barack Obama caught on audio tape by press pool sound man at historic White House meeting …

Guess whose coming and staying?

Guess whose coming and staying?

 

 

O: Thanks for having me come to the White House and talk to you today about the transition …

W: Whoa! Hold on Big O, who said anything about transitionin’? Didn’t you get the memo: my buddy Mayor Mike Bloomberg got me a third term – ha!  Just fuckin’ with you. Heh, heh.

O: Mr. President …

W: ‘member last time you were here I gave you some advice?  I think you wrote about it in your book “The Opacity of Hope.” .  Laura may have read it.  Not much of a reader myself, heh, heh.  Anyway, after 8 years of fixin’ this country I’m here to give you some more advice …

O: I appreciate that but we should really be talking about how we’re going to help the American people with the economy, the war …

W: We’ll get to that.  Now, first let me let you in on a somethin’.  You know all these critics been sayin’ I invaded Iraq because of Cheney and his Neo-con boys or because of some Edible complex or whatever.  That wasn’t it at all. You know why I did it?  Mommie.  That’s right, the old gal said “Georgie, you go and take that effin’ Saddam out.” It was that or she would do to me what Jesse Jackson said he was gonnna do to you!  No kidding, you do not mess with that part of Texas! What the hell else could I do?  She practically tore another one for ol’ Brent Scowcroft for trying to talk me out of it. Only gal that scares me more is that Sarah Palin.  She’s a piece of work. Ol’ Johnny Mac’s prostate must’ve grown twice its size after he picked her.

O: Interesting but …

W: And, listen you could appreciate this … you know before Condi got the Secretary job me and her got a lot of alone time together up there in Camp David, if you know what I mean. What’s that expression, “once you got your black you never go back?”  Well, I’ll tell ya, for me it was “once you go brown you can put that sh*t down!”

O: Look sir, I don’t think that’s appropriate …

W: You know, Colin didn’t like that joke either.  What’s wrong with you guys?  You two need to lighten up a little – oops – no pun intended.

O: Can we get back to the agenda?

W: Look now, I’m not only the Decider I’m the Advicer.  I’m givin’ you some good stuff here. 

O: I appreciate your wisdom sir …

W: You’re going to like it here in D.C.  It’s not like Chicago with all that crime, unemployment and stuff.

O: Sir, I hate to correct you but this city has some serious economic problems and as President ….

W: Well I haven’t seen any.  Not from where I’m sittin’. Hey, did you meet my hot little Press Secretary Dana Perino?  She is whip smart and not too hard to look at.  You know since I hired her the press has really gotten off of my case.  You should see that John King from CNN checkin her out – he’s practically speechless around her. I think Bill O’Reilly gets out the loofa every time she’s on C-Span. I heard Rachel Maddow —

O: So is that your advice, Mr. President, on the war and the economy?  Don’t take foreign policy advice from a bitter old hag, don’t sleep with my National Security Advisor, when I’m in D.C. don’t venture outside of Georgetown, and make sure to hire a hot Press Secretary that will turn on the cable guys.  Is that it?

W: Can you do just one more thing for me: I know you’re gonna raise taxes on my friends makin’ more than $250K.  Can you lower the tax rate when it hits, say, $10 million?  I got some things I’m workin’ on with my Saudi brothers for when I got out of this place.

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McCain and the RNC: from pander to slander when will it stop?

When I started this blog back during the primaries I expected to hear a busload of pandering from both sides of the aisle and tried to comment on the most egregious outbursts from all parties, including Obama, Clinton and McCain — and they didn’t disappoint.

Say "ahhhhhrg"

Say aargh!

 But with just two weeks to go before the general election I can’t even begin to process the out and out lies and misdeeds perpatrated by the RNC and McCain’s oppo guys, including Palin and McCain himself.  The behavior and statements exhibited in the past few weeks go beyond the usual pandering to the base and truth bending and has entered the Twilight Zone.  Some examples:

  • Palin and others claiming that only certain parts of the country (that voted for Bush) are “pro America” or the “real America”
  • Stirring up racist feelings at rallies that turn into calls for violence against Obama (and are reminiscent of similar gatherings officiated by leaders from Hitler to Ahmadinejad)
  • Robocalls inferring that Obama is a Muslim terrorist that are scaring children and giving adults hearburn as they sit around that kitchen table we keep hearing about
  • Attacking Obama for being a “socialist” the same week that a Republican president and both parties in Congress approve a $700 billion bail out package for financial companies and McCain himself promises to buy up mortgages for those that can’t pay their bills
  • Repeated statements on the part of McCain that his attack strategy is part of the “rough and tumble” of campaigning and that Obama’s ads attacking McCain’s positions somehow equate with the race baiting and hate mongering coming from the McCain side
  • Attacking the media or refusing media access whenever they expose or question a particularly damaging comment or event (e.g., the congresswoman from Minnesota’s 6th district calling for a witch hunt to expose “un-American” members of Congress, showing evidence of Palin’s naivite about the position she aspires to, the McCain campaign worker who had the courage to question the motives of racists at the rally he helped organize)
  • Attacking Colin Powell’s recent support of Obama as being based solely on race as he’s been making a passionate argument about why Muslims are “real Americans” too
  • Attacking ACORN for “destroying the fabric of democracy”, even though the “other” John McCain was praising them as recently as 2006.   An obvious ploy to stir up further racist feelings by picking on a grass roots organization (read “minority” and “urban”) that is registering both Democratic and Republican voters and has no proven record of voter fraud (just faulty registration rolls they are required by law to turn in).

The list goes on.  Either McCain has willingly given up whatever integrity he has managed to retain from his 26 years in office or he is just too disconnected from what’s going on to make it stop.  Some people are thinking that, despite calls from some of the cooler heads of his party to go positive, McCain will unleash wall to wall Reverand Wright ads in the last days of the campaign so white voters going into the booth on election day will have that image seared in their minds.

Whether he takes this tack or not, and if through some twist of fate he actually becomes President come January, America is going to be in for a very bumpy ride. 

Welcome to Fake America

Welcome to Fake America

And I mean the real America and the fake America I’m sitting in as I write this.  You know the one; it’s the America where you can find that elite French lady in the harbor, the fake America that processed the millions of immigrants who passed its shores and whose descendents make up 40% of the US population; the fake America that suffered the worst attack in the nation’s history right in its backyard.  Oh, did I also mention it’s the fake America that hosted George Washington’s inaugural address, is the birthplace of John McCain’s idol Theodore Roosevelt, and is the final resting place of U.S. Grant — the guy who helped Lincoln save a divided America’s ass when it almost came apart due to ideological differences based on race and class?

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Sarah Palin’s debate performance benefits from low expectations — but is that okay?

One of the points that many of the blogerati are missing re: last night’s debate is that Palin is not only just mouthing the words she’s been given, she hasn’t shown any particular views in the past that would support these positions. 

Any way you look it you lose

Here's to you Mrs. Palin: any way you look at it you lose

Although a social conservative, she has said (and probably thought) little re: national policy — the economy, the War — in the past.  And, in her state the majority of voters are Independents – they don’t have the stomach for the kind of hard partisanship that she has been showing on the stump (see excellent NYer article on Palin and Alaska).  Although a Republican in name, she has become a cheerleader leading the cheers of the away team.  I kind of feel sorry for her. 

Someone should rewind to the first Bush vs. Gore debate in 2000. A lot of similarities – Bush starting out with the benefit of low expectations, avoiding direct answers to the questions, using folksy talk and generally sticking to prepared points.   And the pundits saying “nice job.” 

But, why is so much of the country – and many in the MSM – okay with low expectations? Bush partly won the presidency because he managed to overcome his “low expectations” and the press played right along. Given this momentous time can’t we all have high expectations re: ALL of our elected officials? Can’t that be the standard? Instead of constantly quoting FDR, TDR and Harry Truman why can’t we have people who perform to their standards? Don’t we as citizens deserve it?

Biden Wins but …
There is no question that Biden won this debate and he made some great points about McCain’s views, including McCain’s flawed position on Iraq. But I still think both Obama and Biden have not been forceful enough on their Iraq strategy: the candidates are still playing within the Republicans’ frame of “defeat” vs. “victory.” You can’t just keep repeating that McCain was wrong in the PAST about Iraq. Biden should have made the point that Obama is confident of “victory” but that it will only come if we push the Iraqis into a timetable. McCain’s plan is to sit around and wait for the Iraqis to get their act together (Palin expressed this view in her definition of “victory”). Obama and Biden have to explain that this is not leadership. We don’t wait for the other guy, we ACT. Republicans want to WAIT for victory to somehow show up some day in a nice shiny package. But the Iraqis will not have any incentive to make the hard choices necessary to self govern under McCain’s strategy. Stating this difference will change the frame and poke a huge IED sized hole in their “Democrats want to raise the white flag” rhetoric.

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