Sunday, April 29, 2007

Reclaim America for Christ Center to Close
"I had nothing to do with it," says blogstress

It's been but a month since your blogstress broke the news of Ann Coulter's desecration of the the pulpit at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (a desecration that brought no protest from the pulpit's owners), and, pouf!, mes amis, the Reclaiming America for Christ Center has announced that it is closing, according to the Associated Press.

Your blogstress really didn't intend for such drastic consequences of her clever infiltration and subsequent bean-spilling -- really, she didn't!

The other ministries of Coral Ridge are expected to survive, if Executive Vice President Brian Fisher has anything to say about it. A word to the wise: Watch out for this guy. He could be the next Ralph Reed.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

The wonderful world of wingnuts

Over at TAPPED, J. Goodrich has a post about a right-wing confab that had somehow escaped your blogstress's attention. Check it out.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Just Washington

As she so often is, your blogstress found herself moving against the tide today as she made her way toward the Capitol South subway stop just as hundreds of Hill staffers were ascending from the underground to begin their workdays. Brushing past your cybertrix was a rather rumpled Newt Gingrich, whose very presence among the throng turned a number of heads. Said the lady in the apron who hands out copies of Express, a crib sheet of AP stories produced by the Washington Post: "He looks just like he do on TV."

"He sure does," answered a lady in a pants suit, dragging a briefcase on wheels.

"You know," said the Express lady, "sometimes they really don't look like theyselves."

Now on the escalator, your Web wench gasped as a pertly dressed woman in her 20s said to her male companion, "I wish I had told him that I want him to run for president."

Your écrivaine caught her breath. Yes, perhaps it would be a good thing to have Newt run for president. Then she would have even more occasions to whip out this quote from the architect of the Contract on America, who gave, in answer to a question put forth by your cyberscribe on squaring the then-Speaker's quest for better science and math skills among American students with his apparent support for the teaching of creationism in science classes:

"I think you can certainly refer to both creationism and evolution as something that people ought to be aware of -- together," Gingrich replied. "If you look at chaos theory and the degree to which the certainty of the 19th century is beginning to be replaced, I don't think there's any problem with teaching both."
Yes, indeedy, Newt should run for president. Lots of fun for everybody.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Donohue gives blogstress big prize

Bill Donohue, perhaps your blogstress's favorite bigot, has a piece at Human Events Online in which he rehashes his charge of anti-Catholicism against your écrivaine for having dared to note, in 2005, that George W. Bush's nomination of the very Catholic John Roberts to the top spot on the high court was a smooth move. Her point was that Roberts' religion would give the right cover when the liberals on the Judiciary Committee, before which he would appear for his confirmation hearing, pushed him for his views on abortion. "Anti-Catholic!" they would cry, of anyone who dared to challenge Roberts views on Roe v. Wade.

Grouping your cyberscribe among the likes of the besotted Christopher Hitchens, the probing Nina Totenberg and the saintly E.J. Dionne, he then said that none of them could surpass your blogstress in one critical area:

When John Roberts was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, his Catholicism became an issue with pundits like NPR’s Nina Totenberg, ABC’s Barbara Walters, CNN's Tony Harris, Slate’s Christopher Hitchens, the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne, Harper’s John MacArthur, former governor Mario Cuomo, et al. No one beat The American Prospect's Adele Stan: She wrote that Bush was “playing the Catholic card” in nominating Roberts, and that "Rome must be smiling."
Another prize to add to the résumé.

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Whatever happened to states' rights?

There's a great discussion happenning right now on TAPPED about yesterday's Supreme Court decision upholding the ban on the dialtion & extraction abortion procedure passed last year by Congress.

Garance Franke-Ruta, Scott Lemeiux and other of my sibling bloggers have pulled the cloth off of a favorite argument of the right: that states should have nearly sovereign rights to govern abortion. Here are a couple of swell posts, one by Garance and the other by Scott.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Wolcott on Coulter, atheism -- and your blogstress

Your blogstress, mes amis, is all a-gush to find that James Wolcott -- yes, he of the pointed pen so deftly deployed in the service of Vanity Fair, has written of your écrivaine's adventure in Florida, when she dwelt amidst the holy revivalists in Florida who wish to "reclaim America for Christ."

Your blogstress urges to you take moment to leave a comment on Mr. Wolcott's blog.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Imus is gone

CBS has fired Imus from his radio program. Click here for AP story.

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Women athletes -- no respect

From guest blogger Catherine comes this point well made:

It's a shame that in order for a women's collegiate athletic team to
receive national attention they must first be subjected to derrogatory
remarks. The NCAA Women's Basketball Championship game, in which the
Rutgers women's basketball team played, did not make front page news
in the sports section of The Washington Post prior to the
game -- or in the days following the game.

Perhaps if women athletes received the respect by the media that they
deserve -- and that their male counterparts are generously given --
then Imus would not have made such remarks.

Ironically, it took the insult of Imus' comments for the outstanding
athletes on the Rutgers women's basketball team to have their
photograph published on the front page of The Washington Post
and to be interviewed on national television. Those who are
infuriated by his remarks should be equally ouraged by the lack of
respect shown to the women athletes in their not being represented in
the media for their athletic prowess.

--Catherine A. Kozub

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A true disappointment

This morning, mes amis, the venerable Diane Rehm devoted her first hour to the Imus affair. Her guests were Clarence Page, syndicated columnist, Chicago Tribune; Michael Meyers, executive director, New York Civil Rights Coalition; and Frank Ahrens, Washington Post radio reporter. Now, couldn't one of those African-American men been excused in order to make way for a black woman commentator? This is after all, a story, in the the words of Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer "about the degradation of women."

Enough already with the all-male commentary rosters on this story!

You may write Diane Rehm at: drshow@wamu.org.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

MSNBC drops Imus



Steve Capus, president of NBC News, is currently on "Hardball," explaining to guest host David Gregory why MSNBC has decided to drop, for good, its simulcast of "Imus in the Morning."

UPDATE

Looking truly tortured, MSNBC's president (also president of the entire NBC News division) demonstrated the sort of anguished confusion that is becoming quite la mode these days among the upper ranks of the dominant culture when a light is shined on ideas about blacks and women that apparently continue to enjoy a sort of smirking acceptance in otherwise polite company. It was through conversations with "trusted employees," Capus said, that he came to the conclusion "that I had to make this call." Among those "trusted employees" is Al Roker, the beloved weatherman of the "Today" show, who blogged on MSNBC's own Web site that Imus had to go.

Another reason for the change from suspension to firing, Capus explained, was yesterday's press conference by the women of the Rutgers basketball team, when Coach C. Vivian Stringer asked the nation to look at her young and intelligent players to "bring a human face" to the people verbally assaulted in a sexualized fashion by radio host Don Imus.

Let me bring a human face to all of this. Ladies and gentlemen, people of the nation, I want you to see 10 young women who accomplished so much that we as a coaching staff, as a state university, men, women and people across this nation are so very proud of. These young ladies that you have seated before you are valedictorians of their class, future doctors, musical prodigies, and yes, even Girl Scouts. These young ladies are the best this nation has to offer and we are so very fortunate to have them here at Rutgers University.

They are young ladies of class, distinction. They are articulate. They are brilliant. They are gifted. They are God’s representatives in every sense of the word.

You see what you don’t realize — perhaps some of you don’t realize — that less than a year ago five of these young ladies were preparing to graduate from high school. We have five freshmen here. And as they prepared to graduate from high school they thought about what great opportunity they were going to have to come to Rutgers University and get an education and play at the highest levels. That’s what they thought.

And before you know it, less than a year, they found themselves on a national stage, playing for the world to see, basketball at its highest level. And which I might add that this freshman class has over a 3.0 grade point average.

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Action on Imus

At the Feminist Majority Foundation Web site, you can take action on the Imus situation -- both demand his resignation via e-mails to CBS Radio and MSNBC AND congratulate the women of the Rutgers and Tennessee basketball teams.

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NOW's Maretta Short discusses Imus




As the first African-American president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW), Maretta J. Short has a thing or two to say about Don Imus and his attack on the Rutgers University women's basketball team. Here's Retta with Amy Goodman on "Democracy Now":

AMY GOODMAN: Reverend Al Sharpton, joining us on the phone from New York. He is going to be having Don Imus on his radio program at 1:00 EST. Maretta Short, also with us, president of the National Organization for Women, New Jersey. Maretta Short, what is NOW calling for?

MARETTA SHORT: Well, thank you, Amy. Yes, well, right now we're asking for people to go to our website and take action by sending messages to the general manager, Chuck Bortnick, of radio station WFAN, which produces Imus's show, and to Karen Mateo, communications vice president of CBS Radio, which owns WFAN, and to MSNBC television, which airs and promotes the show. Imus's message is racist to the core, is sexist to the core, and it’s totally unacceptable.

And our Web page is nownj.org, by the way. And on Wednesday at 2:30, there is going to be a protest and rally at Rutgers University at 350 Martin Luther King Boulevard. So those who are asking, “What is Al doing about it? What is NOW doing about it? What is NAACP doing about it?” you have work to do. You are NOW, you are the NAACP, and it's time for us to move on this. Imus's actions are totally unacceptable.

AMY GOODMAN: Maretta Short, you are in New Jersey. Have you spoken to people at Rutgers?

MARETTA SHORT: Well, right now, I’m waiting for call backs. I have put out calls as -- last night, and I’m waiting for the calls to be returned. Right now, I’m reaching out to some members of the Rutgers basketball team. I have not spoken to any of them as of yet, but I certainly am looking forward to it.

AMY GOODMAN: And has NOW met with General Electric, which owns NBC, or NBC officials or MSNBC or WFAN or CBS, which owns FAN?

MARETTA SHORT: Yeah, that is a very good question, and I want to get to that later. But I think that it's important to say, about these apologies that Imus is supposed to make, there's certain things you can't apologize for, Amy. You can apologize for stepping on somebody's toe, bumping into them, but you cannot apologize for the filth that has come out of his mouth. I mean, I think it's utterly, utterly disgusting, and it targets a certain audience that nobody's focusing on: the white male beer-drinking eighteen to thirty-eighters. What makes them feel it's OK to do that? So now, his show is creating an audience that thinks that talking in that way and insulting people and spewing out that hatred is acceptable. It is totally unacceptable.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you both for being with us. We'll certainly report on what happens today, the latest developments, what Don Imus says on Reverend Al Sharpton's radio show and what the plans of the corporate networks are in dealing with Imus in the Morning.

MARIETTA SHORT: OK, well, Amy, thank you very much. And I just want to say that this is coming to us on the thirty-fifth year of the anniversary of the Title IX, when women have been given the equal opportunities in education, including sports, whereas years ago we just did not have that sort of thing. And, by the way, it was introduced by a woman of color, Patsy Mink of Hawaii, and I think that's a very important point to bring out, as well.

AMY GOODMAN: Thank you very much.

REV. AL SHARPTON: I agree. And we certainly support the rally at Rutgers, and we'll be doing rallies at CBS and NBC on Friday and Saturday of this week. And we'll keep you informed, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: Thanks very much, Reverend Al Sharpton and Maretta Short, the president of New Jersey NOW.

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Prime-time on the Imus incident:
A man's world

Considering the fact that Imus, in his famously racist and sexist comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team, used the sexist's favorite tactic of sexual verbal abuse, isn't it interesting that most of the people getting big-news airtime to comment on this thing are men? Hello? Is it any wonder that so many are saying they know Imus to be a good guy, even if, as Imus himself admitted, he "said a bad thing"?

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Imus in the scorning

At the risk of being called a humorless feminist (a taunt her readers know to be patently untrue, this blog being a veritable online whoopie-cushion -- right?), your blogstress has used her privileges at TAPPED, the Weblog of The American Prospect Online, to call for the firing of Don Imus, host of the obnoxious radio show, "Imus in the Morning," from the schedule of WFAN and MSNBC. Whether you agree or disagree, your écrivaine invites you to comment by clicking here.

Your cybercribe also urges you to peruse the posts of her sibling bloggers, Brother Sam Rosenfeld and Sister J. Goodrich.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Head gear

In Damascus, the respectful non-Muslim woman wears



In Vatican City, the respectful non-Catholic woman wears

White House photo by Shealah Craighead, 2006


Now, can we call this thing settled?


(And here your blogstress thought the best thing about Vatican II was no longer having to pin a tissue to one's head to enter a confessional after having forgotten one's doilie.)

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Comeuppance
Karl Rove pelted with stuff



CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

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Blogstress joins "official Washington"

Holy Wednesday, Batman! The big, bad inside-the-Beltway media has, at long last, discovered your blogstress, via a far more august organ than that on which your eyes currently rest (namely, TAPPED, the Weblog of The American Prospect Online). Check out Conn Carroll's post at The Hotline's Blogometer, and scroll to the sub-head, "Obama: Bigger Than Jesus." Then kindly note that your Webwench never said Obama was bigger than anybody.

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Triumph looks sexy on boys; gay on girls

Melissa Silverstein of the Women's Media Center has posted a provocative piece about women in sports, just in time for the climax of the NCAA championships:

Women's reluctance to embrace sports as fans may reflect one of the most disturbing issues in women’s sports—the hypersexualization of the female athlete. As a culture, we think it’s okay for a woman to be athletic as long as she is still feminine. Marie Harden finds it ironic: "The whole idea of athletic accomplishment is about respect for what the body can do, and the sexualization of the body undermines athletic power and accomplishment." Mary Jo Kane believes that turning women athletes into sex symbols has a powerful homophobic undercurrent. Covering women’s sports in a sexualized way, she says, may be thought to "reassure fans, corporate sponsors, officials, athletic administrators, parents and in many cases the women themselves that they are not too masculine." For similar reasons, when women get a big payday in sports, it’s not for their athletic prowess but for posing for ads or in other avenues that promote their sexuality.
A recommended read; check out the stats she gives for the percentages of women reporting sports in the mainstream media.

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We are family

Fascinating post from John Aravosis at AmericaBlog on Joe Murray, the turncoat lawyer for the American Family Association. While that man's story is, in itself, an intriguing one, it's a bit of Arivosis's own story that caught my eye:

As an aside, this is an example of something I learned from Senator Kennedy's staff in the early 1990s. Don't necessarily write someone off just because you disagree -- even if you disagree violently. There's a core of humanity in (most) everyone -- it's only a matter of finding it, or helping them find it in themselves.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Reclaiming America

photo © 2007 Adele M. Stan for Americans United

Now it can be told; it was your blogstress who broke the news last month of Ann Coulter's bad night at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. Your cyberscribe's story of threats and soul-searching in sunny South Florida now appears on the Web site of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the venerable organization that sent your écrivaine into the lion's den.

With regard to the all-round Christian love and acceptance claimed by propagators of this particular brand of faith were the misrepresentations of Islam by Ann Coulter and Tony Perkins, lo, of the Family Research Council. Herewith, a taste:

Both stirred the pot against Muslims, as well, with Coulter repeating her post-9/11 remark that the leaders of Muslim countries should be forcibly converted to Christianity, and Perkins complaining that the Muslim call to prayer is "now broadcast over American cities." (The use of the word "broadcast" is a bit of a stretch; it’s most commonly announced over a mosque’s own public address system, much like the digital loops of chimes played in the bell towers of modern churches.)

Perkins read the call to prayer aloud, implying it to be something to which a Christian should take offense since it declares that there is no god but Allah. (He omitted the fact that Allah translates from Arabic to English as the word "God.") Then he repeated it in Arabic.

"Allah akbar," he said, derisively. "That’s what Islamic terrorists say before they cut off your head."
Which correlates with your blogstress's assertion: "God is great;" that's what Christian terrorists say before they "perform a procedure" on you "with a rifle," to borrow a phrase from La Coulter.

Mon Dieu!

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

How perfect!

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. -- On Friday, Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman addressed a conference of feminist media types, noting the ability of those who stand against feminism to create faux crises, and to serve them up beautifully packaged for mainstream media reportage. As an example, Goodman told the audience at the WAM! conference a purported crisis in the academic achievement of boys being shunted aside by their schools in favor of girls -- essentially crating conditions that made it easier for girls to achieve than boys.

Some scholars, notably Christina Hoff Sommers, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, charge that misguided feminism is what's been hurting boys. In the 1990s, she says, girls were making strong, steady progress toward parity in schools, but feminist educators portrayed them as disadvantaged and lavished them with support and attention. Boys, meanwhile, whose rates of achievement had begun to falter, were ignored and their problems allowed to fester (click here for related essay).
The notion of a boys' crisis, Goodman said, proved to be a a falsehood. As it turns out, she explained, boys are not doing worse than they used to in school, "it's just that "girls...are doing more better."

As if to prove her point, today's New York Times has a page-one story by Sara Rimer about extraordinary, high-achieving girls that's well worth the read. Your blogstress writes from the middle of WAM! session devoted feminist blogging, so she is unable to critique the story at this juncture. However, she does shudder to read in a headline of female perfectionism. The pressures to appear to be profound:
It is also to see these girls struggle to navigate the conflicting messages they have been absorbing, if not from their parents then from the culture, since elementary school. The first message: Bring home A’s. Do everything. Get into a top college — which doesn’t have to be in the Ivy League, or one of the other elites like Williams, Tufts or Bowdoin, but should be a “name” school.

The second message: Be yourself. Have fun. Don’t work too hard.

And, for all their accomplishments and ambitions, the amazing girls, as their teachers and classmates call them, are not immune to the third message: While it is now cool to be smart, it is not enough to be smart.

You still have to be pretty, thin and, as one of Esther’s classmates, Kat Jiang, a go-to stage manager for student theater who has a perfect 2400 score on her SATs, wrote in an e-mail message, “It’s out of style to admit it, but it is more important to be hot than smart.”

“Effortlessly hot,” Kat added.
Your blogstress, now past the age when mere mortal females are presumed to be capable of being "hot" without effort, thanks the goddess for nature's curative to physical perfectionism.

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