Must see Olberman

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Everybody is talking about the Keith Olberman commentary on Donald Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration. I tried to get the video uploaded, but, bah, I’ll just include the link. Here’s a portion of a transcript:

“The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald S. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Mr. Rumsfeld’s remarkable comments to the Veterans of Foreign Wars yesterday demand the deep analysis – and the sober contemplation – of every
American.

For they do not merely serve to impugn the morality or
intelligence – indeed, the loyalty — of the majority of Americans who
oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land;

Worse, still, they credit those same transient occupants – our
employees — with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither
common sense, nor this administration’s track record at home or abroad,
suggests they deserve.

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of
human freedom; And not merely because it is the first roadblock against the
kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as “his” troops still
fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile… it
is right — and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

Condi Rice, Laura Bush support Spanish versions of National Anthem

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I was tipped off to this while I was at District Court Monday morning, and a quick Google search turned up this post over at The American Street:

In 1919, the U.S. Bureau of Education commissioned a Spanish translation of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which the evil liberal assimilationists at the Library of Congress have the temerity to display — in its entirety — on the Library of Congress web site. Where is the outrage over that? Worse, we have The National Anthem Project, chaired by none other than Laura Bush, which offers a mariachi arrangement of the anthem. Dio mio, shouldn’t they be calling for Laura’s head on a stick for this?

UPDATE: Condi joins the assimilationist conspiracy! A Spanish version of the national anthem is also posted on the State Department’s site. Does George know?

Of course, the post was ripe with sarcasm on this issue, because, as usual, the right wing of the Republican Party is taking a stand on shaky ground:

Deep murmurs of approval arose from the crowd yesterday when Bush weighed in on the matter:

I think the National Anthem ought to be sung in English. And I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English, and they ought to learn to sing the National Anthem in English.

The profound irony of this nonsense is that, according to a recent Harris Poll, two-thirds of the clamoring crowd don’t even know the English words to the first verse of “The Star-Spangled Banner” (much less the other verses) and thus have been shouting huzzahs to Bush for suggesting that perhaps they shouldn’t even be citizens. Or maybe this rule about learning to sing the anthem in English doesn’t apply to, you know, white people.

The hypocrisy is beyond funny in the immigration debate. I’ve heard several people recently reduce the debate to the word “illegal,” while the Wednesday Morning Quarterback made a similar case yesterday:

OK, Jerry…so if you are one of those people in this country who supports actually securing the nation’s border as well as requiring all people in this country to FOLLOW THE LAW whether you are Nordic, Asian, or Hispanic, than according to you, those people are “AGAINST the more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United states”.

The WMQB, like millions of Americans, believe that laws are laws…we either follow them and enforce them or we are nothing.

But to reduce the discussion over the legality and the enforcement of our current laws to defining people LIKE US as being “AGAINST” 11 million people is absolutely shameful…

Meanwhile, we can reduce the discussion about immigration in this country to their “illegal” status? What of the discussion regarding the employers who hire illegal immigrants? Don’t we enforce laws about the hiring of illegal immigrants? What happens to the agriculture industry, not to mention construction and hospitality, when all those illegal immigrants go home or are incarcerated? The WMQB is right: this is not a simple discussion. It should not be treated that way.

The “Best Line of the Day” award goes to…

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Amanda, over at Pandagon:

The bill also puts a bunch of obstacles in between women and getting to actually see an ob-gyn at all. It’s also got language to make coverage of cervical cancer testing optional, probably in no small part because we all know that cervical cancer is one of those god-given punishments for being a whore. I suppose that even if they catch the cervical cancer early, it’s still likely that the patient will lose her ability to have kids so really, there’s no reason to keep the shell alive if the womby goodness in the middle doesn’t work anymore.

I usually default to Amanda on all discussions “woman,” because I can never match her wit or eloquence in describing the issues her gender faces today. The complete assault being conducted on women by social conservatives is astounding, and I could never keep up with it the way she (and other women bloggers) do.

The best I can do is hope to send a few of you over their way for some sage words. So, what are you waiting for? Click the links!

Give to Neiwert

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My boy David Neiwart is looking for scratch (fundraising) this week, and I thought I would point you in his direction. David is simply the best guy out there reporting on the hate, fearmongering, and trickery that is so prevalent in Wingnuttia. While the subject matter he blogs about is usually beyond the scope of New Mexico, he’s commented regularly on the Minutemen in the Southwest, among other things.

He’s won several Koufax awards for blogging (if you don’t know, the Koufax awards are given to the best of lefty bloggers) for his series “The Rise of Pseudo-Fascism” and “Rush, Newspeak and Fascism.” He’s also published several books — his latest, “Strawberry Days” concerns the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. He mentioned that internment in a recent post, highlighting the way FDR failed to live up to his own words:

Yet Roosevelt himself, as we’ve seen, was prone to believing many of the same fear-driven stereotypes of Japanese immigrants promulgated by the haters. That bigotry translated, during a time of great national trauma — when fear of the Japanese was being whipped into outright hysteria — into his own failure to distinguish between Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans in signing Executive Order 9066, which in the end became a great blot on his record as president.

It was also a clear failure on FDR’s part to live up to his own admonishment. Obviously, refusing to succumb to “fear itself” is easier said than done.

Yet I have often thought that, in today’s post-9/11 environment, progressives would do well to arm themselves with FDR’s old slogan. What better rebuke to the Bush administration — and the conservative movement that, as Tom Tomorrow’s cartoon beautifully illustrates, is nowadays positively driven by fearmongering?

After a steady diet of:

“9/11!” “9/11!” “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” “Bin Laden! Bin Laden!” “Boogadah boogadah!”

I can think of no better reply than this:

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

David is an incredible writer, and offers the best coverage of right-wing shenanigans (the evil kind) that I have ever seen. So, definitely read his blog, and give him some money as well.