Saturday, February 28, 2009

Limbaugh at CPAC: Liberals are deranged; Obama is a socialist, community=communism

Felled by the flu, your blogstress found herself unable to subject herself -- in person, at least -- to the hatefest that was the Conservative Political Action Conference, which took place this weekend in Our Nation's Capital. C-SPAN, however, denied her the pleasure of a blissful recovery, as she could not responsibly look away as more than 8,000 people assembled to declare their hatred of the new president.

And so she found herself tweeting the closing speech by none other than the sociopathic Rush Limbaugh who, one must marvel, has convinced a certain segment of the regular white guy cohort that the cause of all his ills are liberals decrying the granting of millions in TARP money to the inheritors of Merrill Lynch, whose then-executive, John Thain, spent $1.2 million for the renovation his office (including a $1,400 wastebasket).

While CPAC usually features elements of a freak show of hostile wing-nuttery (remember Ann Coulter calling John Edwards a "faggot"?), this year's conference reached a new high-water mark of paranoid authoritarianism, wherein the tropes usually advanced by a dedicated fringe were adopted by ostensibly mainstream Republicans. Newt Gingrich described Barack Obama's economic agenda as socialist, as did many of the CPAC speakers. And in introducing Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), Cliff Kincaid reiterated his claim, recently cited by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), that Obama was not born in the United States.

If this is the idea factory of the Republican Party, it is clear that the hard right, which had been pushed to the margins in the Bush-Cheney years, is again ascendant. It might be tempting to see this as a good thing, given how crazy they sound, but in an era where people are hurting, and likely to hurt for some time to come, these people are dangerous. Don't get too smug, liberals.

Below find your écrivaine's tweets of Limbaugh's speech.

Rush: Nation is under assault "from within" as never before because of Obama.
15 minutes ago from web

Rush: "Why would I want [Obama] to succeed?" O's agenda, he sez, is the restructuring of the country so capitalism and individualism die.
16 minutes ago from web

Rush referred to Maggie Rodriguez of CBS News as The Early Show's "anchorette".
#cpac 25 minutes ago from web

Rush: "Conservatives are naturally happy." Longer: It's a big country; there are so many to hate. A veritable cornucopia!
#cpac 30 minutes ago from web

Rush: "Were it not for Kerry's varicose veins, he'd be totally colorless." Then Rush wiped the sweat from his own quivering jowls.
#cpac 41 minutes ago from web

CPAC audience laughed when Rush said that John Kerry served in Vietnam.
#cpac about 1 hour ago from web

Rush: No need to fear liberals, because they're deranged. Better policy ideas are not the way to beat liberals .[Just call them names.]
#cpac about 1 hour ago from web

Rush: Welfare destroys families by making fathers unnecessary. [U-S-A chant from crowd.]
#cpac about 1 hour ago from web

Rush: Recession of the '80s was worse than this one. Obama doesn't mention it because we got out of it with tax cuts. Addie: What?!
about 1 hour ago from web

Rush: Our culture being "reoriented" so that the people who make the country work are cast as "the enemy".
#cpac about 1 hour ago from web

Rush: Joe Biden wondering how Jindal got his shift off from 7-11 to give the response to Obama's speech to Congress.
#cpac about 1 hour ago from web

Rush: Dems are "socialist, collectivist, Stali--" Cleverly stopped short of saying the full word, "Stalinist".
#cpac about 1 hour ago from web

Rush: Liberals don't care about raising revenue; it's "about control". Subprime crisis the fault of Barney Frank, Chris Dodd & Bill Clinton.
about 1 hour ago from web

Rush: Poor people are poor because of government aid, because aid destroys ambition.
#cpac about 1 hour ago from web

Rush: Obama trying to "foment anger" over a "created crisis". Rush declaring war on the War on Poverty.
#cpac about 1 hour ago from web

Shorter Rush: Obama wants to destroy America.
#cpac about 1 hour ago from web

Rush: Obama "gifted" and "talented". Are "gifted" and "talented" the new "articulate"?
#cpac about 1 hour ago from web

Rush: To take the country back, all we conservatives need is to nominate the right candidate. #cpac about 1 hour ago from web

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Live-tweeting the president's address

Follow your blogstress on Twitter for bon mots on President Obama's first address to a joint session of Congress:

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Gay Man's God Wins "Best Creator" at Academy Awards

The most astonishing thing about last night's Academy Awards was not the public cry for equal rights for queer folk -- though that was certainly welcome, and a breakthrough of major proportions. No, the most stunning thing to happen at the Oscars was the appearance of the very God to Whom your blogstress prays: the God that accepts her with all her blogstress ways, the God who made her has she is and likes her that way.

The moment came in the elegant acceptance remarks of Dustin Lance Black, who won Best Original Screenplay for his script for the movie, "Milk," based on the life of the assassinated gay rights activist, Harvey Milk.

I've got a preachy little post up on Religion Dispatches, complete with video of Black's acceptance speech.


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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Greggus interruptus

However unfortunate it is for President Obama to be caught flatfooted by the sudden withdrawal of Commerce secretary nominee Judd Gregg, it is a boon to women. As stated here previously, Gregg has an anti-woman, anti-civil rights record, and had no business leading an agency ostensibly dedicated to fairness in commerce.

Further, Gregg's withdrawal relieves Obama of any need he felt before to sacrifice our priorities in the name bi-partisanship, as Gregg has claimed ideological differences -- including over the stimulus package -- as his reason for pulling out.

And best, it opens the position to be filled by a woman. I nominate Laura Tyson, a trade whiz who chaired President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers.

So far, Obama's Commerce secretary nominees are like the drummer in Spinal Tap -- they just explode. Maybe the nomination of a woman -- one far more qualified for the post than either of the president's two male nominees -- will alter that dynamic.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Name DeLauro to Health and Human Services!


"THIS IS WHAT A FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE," shouts the tee shirt worn by an illustrated Barack Obama on the cover of the current issue of Ms. magazine. Gosh, I sure hope so. But signals from the White House are coming a bit mixed in these first two weeks of the Obama presidency, and I find myself looking for reassurance. Naming Rosa DeLauro to the cabinet, as the Secretary of Health and Human Services, would provide just the reassurance that I, and other of my sisters, are looking for.

Two days before the inauguration, I found myself seated at a table of feminist superstars at the Women's Ball sponsored by the National Council of Women's Organizations. Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation; Katherine Spillar, executive editor of Ms. magazine (which is published by Feminist Majority); Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation and Martha Burk, director of NCWO's Corporate Accountability Project (who famously led NCWO in protest of the Masters golf tournament for its location at a men-only golf club) all sat down to discuss their hopes for the new administration.

Smeal explained her hopes for a feminist future during Obama's tenure, including his signature on the Lilly Ledbetter Act, the bill that removes an onerous statute of limitations on a woman's ability to sue her employer for discrimination, which Obama symbolically chose as the first piece of legislation to bear his presidential signature.

Saporta piped up with Obama's promise to end the "global gag rule" -- that Republican executive order that forbade U.S. foreign aid to go to organizations that provide abortions or information about how to obtain one, even when the money was directed at non-abortion activities. And within days, the deed was done.

Sounds great. But the jobs-building piece of the stimulus package is notably lacking in jobs typically occupied by women, as Linda Hirshman pointed out on the op-ed page of the New York Times And there are still only five women named to the cabinet -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Hilda Solis, pending her confirmation as secretary of labor; Janet Napolitano as homeland security secretary; Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and Susan Rice, U.N. ambassador.

Then came the nomination of Republican Judd Gregg to be the next Secretary of Commerce. Sen. Judd Gregg, who is largely anti-abortion earned an 85 percent rating for voting with the National Right to Life Committee's agenda in 2007-2008, a 33-percent rating in support of the ACLU's agenda in 2007; a 40-percent rating from the LGBT rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, a five-percent rating from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and a 19-percent rating from the National Organization for Women (NOW). According to On The Issues, Gregg voted in 1995 "to disallow any funds in the Legislative Appropriations bill from being used to award, require, or encourage any Federal contract, if the contract is being awarded on the basis of the race, color, national origin, or gender of the contractor," and generally has an anti-affirmative action record. Ah-hem, President Obama: Bi-partisanship in support of white male hegemony truly is a vice. Don't forget that 56 percent of your vote came from women, and we make up the majority of the workforce producing the goods and services for which the commerce secretary is supposed to advocate.

Today, however, the sun came out a bit with the speculation (via The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder) that Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut would be selected to replace the besmirched Tom Daschle as secretary of health and human services. It's hard to imagine a better pick (especially since my personal favorite, former Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt, isn't likely to be offered the job). DeLauro is smart, knows health issues especially well, is a true feminist, and a passionate advocate for her causes.

The American people could scarcely hope to find a better and more capable advocate for their health and well being than Rosa DeLauro. The appointment of DeLauro would send a strong signal to the feminist community, and the progressive community at large, that the president is ready to truly deal women into the change we all want to believe in.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

No on Judd Gregg for Commerce Secretary

It was bad enough that President Barack Obama failed to use the opportunity of Bill Richardson's exit from the nominee stage to appoint a woman to his woefully gender-unbalanced cabinet, but then he appointed a guy who appears to have utter disregard for the financial well-being of women: Judd Gregg.

Gregg has a 20% approval rating from the ACLU, making him an anti-civil rights candidate. And he has consistently voted against making affirmative action measures apply to the federal government in contracting, including his vote "to disallow any funds in the [1995]Legislative Appropriations bill from being used to award, require, or encourage any Federal contract, if the contract is being awarded on the basis of the race, color, national origin, or gender of the contractor," according to On the Issues.

Reference: Bill HR 1854 ; vote number 1995-317 on Jul 20, 1995

All right, Mr. President. No more Ms. Nice Guy here.

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