Tag Archives: Barack Obama

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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Forget “socialist,” Obama is now a fascist (it must be true; I heard it on Fox News)

From nealo.com

From yesterday’s “The Caucus” in New York Times

“Rhetorically, Republicans are having a very hard time finding something that raises the consciousness of the average voter,” said Saul Anuzis, a former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party who recently lost a bid to became national party chairman. Workaday labels like “big spender” and “liberal” have lost their punch … So Mr. Anuzis has turned to provocation with a purpose. He calls the president’s domestic agenda “economic fascism.”

“We’ve so overused the word ‘socialism’ that it no longer has the negative connotation it had 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago,” Mr. Anuzis said. “Fascism — everybody still thinks that’s a bad thing.”


No dogs allowedFrom the Decent Press, Claremont, Ohio– “Barack Obama hates cat people,” claims Ohio State Representative (R) Lois Freemantle in a very un-Kanye West-like moment of reflection.  “This whole Portuguese dog thing – Bo or whatever his name is probably isn’t even Christian – it’s just anti-cat is what it is.”   Freemantle is currently looking to sign up fellow cat ladies (she calls them “feline phillies”) to serve in prominent Republican posts.  “This dog worship is pure fascism, plain and simple.”

AP – Glower, SC– “What we got here is a failure to ex-communicate,” says Republican Attorney General Fritz DeForrestation from nearby Korbin county.  “This Obama fella is takin’ over everything, raisin’ taxes on rich people, lowering taxes on poor black folks.  What kind of country are we livin’ in?  Pretty soon there’ll be places for drunks and prostitutes to get free medical treatment.  And, smokin’ pot would be legal!  Fascism is what it is.  But these colors don’t run.  So I’m organizin’ a walk to Washington.  We’re gonna call it the “Million Non-fascist” March.”  Y’all welcome to join me.”

From The Sentinel, Broderick, TX – “We pretty much done with Bush.  He can take his sissy ass to that McMansion in Houston,” says Carrie Station, local Republican party co-chair, who seemed particularly upset to lose a local celebrity.  “But that Obama, I seen a fascist coming from a mile away.  He won’t torture.  He thinks the war on tare is over.  He’s even talking to that Hugo Shabazz guy down in May-hee-co.  When I was young there was a way we dealt with fascists like him down here but I guess we don’t do that no more.  Shame.”

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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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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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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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McCain’s Indecision 2008: Reject religious intolerance or continue to pander?

It took him awhile but John McCain finally came out to denounce and reject the endorsement of controversial preacher and well known Catholic hater John Hagee. 

Hagee, whose antisemitism is cloaked in the “but I love the state of Israel” rhetoric that is typical of evangelicals, just got too hot for McCain to handle after the public heard his remarks equating the Holocaust with God’s shortcut to leading the Jews into Zion (BTW, if God wanted to return the Jews to Israel couldn’t he have done it in a slightly more direct way, say, by not allowing 2 of every 5 Jews to perish in the process?).

While pundits are comparing McCain’s “preacher problem” to that of Obama’s relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the comparison isn’t really apt: McCain has taken a principled stand against people like Hagee in the past whereas Obama chose not to reject his preacher until forced into a corner.  That leads to the question as to why McCain has continued to embrace — and seek out the endorsement of — outspoken, right wing conservative preachers that he wouldn’t be caught dead associating himself with 8 years ago. 

Here is what the more centrist John McCain said back in 2000:

“Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right,” 

Bravo!  But, Johnny why were you led astray?  The pandering (his word, not ours) seems to have started in earnest a few years ago when McCain began his most recent run for President. 

(McCain and Jerry Falwell make nice in ’06)

In May of 2006 he spoke at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.  And ever since, his campaign has been courting some of the more infamous “intolerance agents” of the extreme religious right, including Hagee and Ohio’s Rod Parsley, who has called upon Christians to wage a “war” against the “false religion” of Islam with the aim of destroying it. 

The answer to McCain’s getting religion as it were lies in the after effects of the simultaneous rise of the New Religious Right and the Reagan “revolution.”  Back in 1980 Reagan recognized an important voting block by making alliances with more activist religious leaders like Falwell (who was just starting the Moral Majority) and others on the religious fringe who could be counted on to get out the vote.  While George Bush senior was able to keep these newly powerful religious leaders at arm’s length to win the presidency back in ’88, Bush II made them a centerpiece of his successful run for president in 2000.  This gave old guard bigots like James Dobson and Falwell unprecedented power in American politics and has helped them make inroads re: many of their pet issues including laws meant to restrict abortion and gay rights, and to promote “intelligent design,” and other means of breaking down the separation of Church and State.

But John McCain was never in that camp.  He was a Republican more along the lines of his conservative mentor and fellow Arizonian Barry Goldwater, who barely tolerated the religious wing of the New Right. In fact

When Sandra Day O’Connor was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1981, some Religious Right leaders suspected she might be too moderate on abortion and other social concerns.  Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell told the news media that “every good Christian should be concerned.”  Replied Goldwater, “Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell’s ass.”

So what’s a guy to do now?  Although we are no big fan of the man’s policies and think a McCain presidency is the wrong direction for the country, we have a suggestion that could help McCain retain some of his integrity on the issue and prove himself a true leader of his morally corrupt party: make a historic speech, similar to Obama’s, that demonstrates his true thoughts about religion and denounces intolerence of any kind.  McCain needs to go over the heads of these “agents of intolerance” and speak directly to those who embrace the Word of God;  publicly reject their message of hate and prejudice; and scorn their influence on the politics of distrust and division.  Talk instead about Jesus’ message of love for your fellow man and how we all need to appeal to the better angels in our souls.

McCain has an opportunity to turn around almost 30 years of political pandering to the “outer reaches” of America’s religious sphere and redefine his party’s approach re: the role of religion in politics.  With the ascendance of newer, more tolerent voices on the right like Rev. Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals, this message can truly resonate among the country’s 65 million conservative Christians.  He can make history by removing the shackles forced on his party by men (and they are all white men) not worthy of mainstream public attention, let alone a voice in our national government. 

The move may not win him the presidency, but it could make him a hero among the more forward-thinking members of his party for generations to come. 

 

 

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