The Tempest

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Archive for the ‘Media Matters’ Category

It’s pretty self-explanitory.

Brownback Fumbles…Then He Mumbles.

Posted by Daniel on Sunday, May 13, 2007

Note to Sen. Sam Brownback: In Packerland, it’s not cool to diss Brett Favre.The GOP presidential hopeful drew boos and groans Friday at the Wisconsin Republican Party convention when he used a football analogy to talk about the need to focus on families.

“This is fundamental blocking and tackling,” he said. “This is your line in football. If you don’t have a line, how many passes can Peyton Manning complete? Greatest quarterback, maybe, in NFL history.”

Oops, wrong team to mention in Wisconsin, once described by Gov. Tommy Thompson as the place “where eagles soar, Harleys roar and Packers score.”

Realizing what he had said, the Kansas Republican slumped at the podium and put his head in his hands.

“That’s really bad,” he said. “That will go down in history. I apologize.”

His apology brought a smattering of applause and laughter. He tried to recover, saying former Packer Bart Starr may be the greatest of all time, but the crowd was still restless.

“Let’s take Favre then,” Brownback said. “The Packers are great. I’m sorry. How many passes does he complete without a line?”

“All of them!” more than one person yelled from the back.

“I’m not sure how I recover from this,” Brownback said. “My point is we’ve got to rebuild the family. I’ll get off this.”

Posted in Media Matters, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Is Hating President Bush A Hate Crime?

Posted by Daniel on Friday, May 4, 2007

The White House has threatened to veto a bill passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday that expands hate-crime laws to include attacks based on sexual orientation or gender.Under current law, hate crimes are subject to federal prosecution only if the acts of violence are motivated by race, religion, color or national origin. Federal prosecutors get involved only if the victim is engaged in a federally protected activity, such as voting or participating in interstate commerce.

The White House says there is no need for the expanded bill because state and local laws already cover the crimes it addresses, and there is no need for federal enforcement. This in direct conflict to it’s position on the Terri Schiavo case back in March of 2005.

In addition to allowing greater leeway for federal law enforcement authorities to investigate hate crimes, the House bill — which was passed on a 237-180 vote –provides $10 million over the next two years to aid local prosecutions.

A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate, but no date has been set for a vote.

Critics of the bill say it would have a chilling effect on clergy who preach against homosexual behavior.

“We believe that this legislation will criminalize our freedom of speech and our ability to preach the gospel,” said Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Lanham, Maryland.

Supporters disagree. The bill, they say, applies only to violent crime and, in fact, specifically addresses freedom-of-speech issues.

“Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution,” the bill says.

House representatives got into a heated exchange Thursday as they debated this bill.

“They [hate crimes] are more serious than a normal assault because they target not just an individual, but an entire group,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York.

Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Florida, said it is unfair to single out specific groups for protection under the law.

“What it does is to say that the dignity, the property, the life of one person gets more protection than another American. That’s just wrong,” he said.

Both sides cited the case of Matthew Shepard of Wyoming, whose brutal 1998 murder was linked to his sexual orientation.

“Matthew’s death generated international outrage by exposing the violent nature of hate crimes,” said Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, the only openly lesbian member of the House of Representatives.

But Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, argued that Shepard’s killers got harsh sentences without hate-crimes provisions.

“Those perpetrators that did that horrible act — both got life sentences under regular murder laws,” he said.

If President Bush vetoes the bill, it would mark the third veto of his presidency. His second came Tuesday, when he vetoed a $124 billion war spending bill that included a deadline for U.S. troops to pull out of Iraq.

Posted in GLBT, Media Matters, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Lies – Lies – Lies – Get Out

Posted by Daniel on Friday, April 20, 2007

gonzales_bush_illegal.jpgAttorney General Alberto Gonzales confronted a fresh Republican call for his resignation Thursday as he struggled to survive a withering, bipartisan Senate attack on his credibility in the case of eight fired prosecutors.

“The best way to put this behind us is your resignation,” Sen. Tom Coburn bluntly told Gonzales — one GOP conservative to another — at a daylong Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Gonzales disagreed and told the Oklahoma senator he didn’t know that his departure would put the controversy to rest. “I am committed to working with you in trying to restore the faith and confidence you need to work with me,” he said.

The exchange punctuated a long day in the witness chair for the attorney general, who doggedly advanced a careful, lawyerly defense of the dismissals of the federal prosecutors. He readily admitted mistakes, yet told lawmakers he had “never sought to deceive them,” and added he would make the same firings decision again.

“At the end of the day I know I did not do anything improper,” he said.

But another Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, delivered a virtual invitation for him to step down.

He said the committee would continue its investigation and urged Gonzales to provide additional information. “If you decide to stay on it’s up to the president,” he said.

Gonzales sat alone at the witness table in a crowded room for the widely anticipated hearing. There was no doubt about the stakes for a member of President Bush’s inner circle, and support from fellow Republicans was critical to his attempt to hold his job.

“The moment I believe I can no longer be effective I will resign as attorney general,” Gonzales said after making it clear he did not believe it had come to that.

The hearing was drawing to a close on Capitol Hill when Bush spokesman Tony Fratto told reporters at the White House, “The attorney general has the confidence of the president. … The attorney general acted to replace the U.S. attorneys and there was nothing improper.”

Struggling to save his credibility and perhaps his job, Gonzales testified at least 45 times that he could not recall events he was asked about.

After a long morning in the witness chair, Gonzales returned after lunch to face a fresh challenge to his credibility. “Why is your story changing?” asked Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, noting that the attorney general was now accepting responsibility for the firings after initially saying he had played only a minor role.

In response, Gonzales replied that his earlier answers had been “overbroad” and the result of inadequate preparation.

The process that led to the firings “should have been more rigorous,” he added, although he repeatedly defended the decisions themselves.

Gonzales sat alone at the witness table in a crowded hearing room for the widely anticipated hearing. There was no doubt about the stakes involved for a member of President Bush’s inner circle, under pressure to resign since the dismissals of the prosecutors.

Gonzales insisted Thursday he played only a small role in the dismissal of eight federal prosecutors. Skeptical senators reacted with disbelief.

“We have to evaluate whether you are really being forthright,” Specter bluntly informed the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

Specter said Gonzales’ description was “significantly if not totally at variance with the facts.”

“I don’t want to quarrel with you,” Gonzales replied after Specter asked again whether his was a fair, honest characterization.

Gonzales told the committee there was no impropriety in last winter’s firings and the decision was “justified and should stand.”

Gonzales conceded that “reasonable people might disagree” with the decision. He said the process by which the U.S. attorneys were dismissed was “nowhere near as rigorous or structured as it should have been.”

Offering an apology to the eight and their families, he also said he had “never sought to mislead or deceive the Congress or the American people” on that or any other matter.

Majority Democrats expressed skepticism at the attorney general’s testimony.

“Since you apparently knew very little about the performance about the replaced United States attorneys, how can you testify that the judgment ought to stand?” asked Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., asked Gonzales whether he had reviewed the evaluation records of the dismissed prosecutors, who Justice Department officials initially said had been fired for inadequate performance. He said he had not.

The attorney general began his turn as a witness after a tongue-lashing from Sen. Patrick Leahy, the committee’s chairman.

“Today the Department of Justice is experiencing a crisis of leadership perhaps unrivaled during its 137-year history,” said the Vermont Democrat. “There’s a growing scandal swirling around the dismissal” of prosecutors, he added.

Specter offered no more comfort in his opening remarks.

He said the purpose of the hearing was to determine whether the committee believes that Gonzales should remain in office. “As I see it, you come to this hearing with a very heavy burden of proof,” Specter said as Gonzales listened intently, lips pursed, a few feet away.

 

Posted in Media Matters, Politics | 1 Comment »

Stem Cell Research Does NOT Equal Slavery

Posted by Daniel on Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Senate approved a measure that would roll back President Bush’s 2001 limits on embryonic stem-cell research Wednesday afternoon, but the margin was short of the two-thirds needed to override a promised veto.Bush used the only veto of his presidency to date to kill a 2006 effort to loosen his policy on stem-cell research, which bars the use of federal funding for work that would destroy human embryos.

In a statement issued after Wednesday’s 63-34 vote, he said he would veto the new bill as well, saying it “crosses a moral line that I and many others find troubling.”

“I believe this will encourage taxpayer money to be spent on the destruction or endangerment of living human embryos — raising serious moral concerns for millions of Americans,” he said.

This in spite of a recent poll that asked, “Which phrase best describes your view of stem cell research?” 87% think it is “VITAL”, where only 13% think it to be “MORALLY WRONG”.

But the president said he would sign a Republican alternative that would encourage other forms of stem-cell research without changing his 2001 policy. That measure passed by a 70-28 vote.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Republican bill was aimed at providing “cover” for lawmakers who wanted to vote against a popular issue.

“Americans, by a huge majority, favor stem-cell research because they see the suffering of their own friends and relatives and neighbors. … They put their faith in science,” said Reid, D-Nevada.

The measure passed Wednesday would allow researchers to obtain stem cells from embryos created for in vitro fertilization that would otherwise be discarded by fertility clinics. The House of Representatives passed a similar bill in January, but it also fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.

One of the Senate bill’s principal sponsors, Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin, said the bill had the support of three senators who did not vote Wednesday, meaning supporters were just one vote shy of the 67 needed to override a veto.

“It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” Harkin said.

In 2001, Bush limited the use of federal research funds to work on stem-cell lines that existed at that time. Researchers have since found those lines are contaminated and unusable, prompting calls to roll back the restrictions.

Scientists hope that stem cells will yield treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes, as well as spinal-cord injuries. But because days-old human embryos are destroyed when the cells are extracted, critics equate the procedure to abortion.

Abortion opponents such as Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, equated the use of embryonic stem-cell research to slavery.

“Its end is the way of death,” said Brownback, a Republican presidential hopeful. “It kills a young human life. It harms us as a culture when we treat human life as property. We’ve done that. We don’t like it. We don’t like the history associated with it.”

Fourteen other Republicans supported the bill, while two Democrats — Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Robert Casey of Pennsylvania — voted against it. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, a staunch opponent of abortion rights, was one Republican who supported the bill.

“I’m hopeful that the president won’t veto this, because I think he can see — anybody can see — that it’s just a matter of time until we get this through,” Hatch said.

Posted in Media Matters | Leave a Comment »

I Don’t Want To Tempt Fate…But…

Posted by Daniel on Friday, April 6, 2007

Losing Her Audience?This is a true statement. I have debated even bringing this subject up at all, but I really think I may have finally gotten my wish.

Ann Coulter, I think, has finally been sent packing by the GOP media cows.

For now, that is.

Have those on the Right finally seen the light? Do they, at long last, understand that using water-carriers (I’m sure she’s a carrier of far more), like Coulter, et al? Is it possible that this time, thanks to Coulter, the GOP has had to take a step back from using such mouthpieces in light of the fact that words like hers can only do even more harm to their already-tainted public image?

If you don’t recall the last public words vomited forth by the Coulter-geist, here’s a brief rehash…

Sidenote: I feel compelled to warn you that if you’re easily offended by anti-gay slurs, you might want to cover your eyes.  I feel even MORE compelled to warn you that if you are easily offended by the mere sight of mAnn Coulter, you should have an air-sickness bag at the ready.

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (Friday, March 2nd), right-wing pundit Ann Coulter said: “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.” Audience members said “ohhh” and then cheered. Bitch

Prominent politicians from both parties and a gay-rights group on Saturday condemned right-wing commentator Ann Coulter for her reference.

The New York Times reported that she responded, in an e-mail, “C’mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean.”

A spokesman for Sen. John McCain, a Republican presidential candidate, called Coulter’s comments to the conservative group “wildly inappropriate.”

During a question-and-answer session, Coulter referred back to the issue of gays by alluding to the bid for the Republican presidential nomination being made by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“I do want to point out one thing that has been driving me crazy with the media — how they keep describing Mitt Romney’s position as being pro-gays, and that’s going to upset the right wingers,” she said. “Well, you know, screw you! I’m not anti-gay. We’re against gay marriage. I don’t want gays to be discriminated against.”

She added, “I don’t know why all gays aren’t Republican. I think we have the pro-gay positions, which is anti-crime and for tax cuts. Gays make a lot of money and they’re victims of crime. No, they are! They should be with us.”

A spokesman for Romney called Coulter’s use of the slur “offensive.”

Posted in Media Matters | Leave a Comment »

The Last Gay Man to Know…is Me

Posted by revelkc on Wednesday, March 14, 2007

 

I was going to write a post about General Peter-Pecker Pace, but as my adept better half has already adroitly assessed the incendiary remarks of the General, I am free to explore the other story I had on my mind. That story: Thomas Roberts, formerly an anchor on (the industry joke that is) CNN–specifically Headline News. He has (now) bravely discussed the abuse he suffered as a teenager, by a Catholic priest.

That abuse is truly horrifying and I do not trivialize it in the least. It is indicative of more than one problem with that “organized religion”. Nor can I ignore that CNN’s sensational splashing of it on their website, after “reassigning” Roberts in a “budgetary move” makes them look even more to me like the cable news “National Enquirer”. Maybe it was a deal they had with him, I don’t know. But since CNN is bleeding credibility every day, if he was cool with it, then so be it.

No, my astonishment came when I did a couple of quick searches, like Gay.com’s article on Roberts which revealed to me that our Thomas is an out gay man! I am chagrined to find out I could be the last gay man to realize this. I am seriously not paying enough attention lately!!!

Acha magacha! You mean I have been drooling over family all this time? (Who next, Carl Parker on The Weather Channel?) I mean boy howdy and all that good stuff!!! Yes, I realize he is partnered, and yes, I realize I am too. And I have the handsomest hubby ever! Yes indeedy I do! (But I mean seriously, have you seen Thomas Roberts?…WOW YUM!!!)

robertsthomas2.jpg

Now we can all draw our own conclusions about his coming out and his “reassignment”, just as we make assumptions about that other high profile CNN hottie, who’s name I will protect, instead referring to him as Cooper Anderson. All I can say is, “Mister A” should read the article on AfterElton.com in which Roberts says, “Hopefully, everyone, gay or straight, journalists or doctors or otherwise, can overcome that obstacle, (coming out) because it stands in the way of you being the best you can be, with your job, with your family, with everything, and not have to be afraid anymore.”

Then we could have our own Gay News Network! We could get Thomas, Mr A, Rachel Maddow….Hey, George Soros…are you listening???

Posted in GLBT, Media Matters | 4 Comments »

Fat Lady Sings…Eats Skinny Freak

Posted by Daniel on Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Could it be? Have people finally had enough? Is this the beginning of an avalanche of disgust??

Eh…probably not…but it sure is nice to dream.

At least three major companies want their ads pulled from Ann Coulter’s Web site, following customer complaints about the right-wing commentator referring to Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards as a “faggot.”

Verizon, Sallie Mae and Georgia-based NetBank each said they didn’t know their ads were on AnnCoulter.com until they received the complaints.

A diarist at the liberal blog DailyKos.com posted contact information for dozens of companies with ads on Coulter’s site after the commentator made her remarks about Edwards at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Friday. (first post here)

“One of the best ways to communicate one’s distaste for Coulter’s repeated incidents of hate speech is to respectfully but firmly let her advertisers know you are deeply troubled by their indirect support of bigotry through their advertising on Coulter’s Web site,” the blogger VolvoDrivingLiberal wrote on DailyKos.com on Sunday.

Verizon, Sallie Mae and NetBank said the ads were put on a variety of sites by a third party company. In many cases, advertisers do not know which sites feature their ads.

“Per our policy, the networked Web site ad purchases are supposed to be stripped of certain kinds of Web sites,” said a Verizon spokesperson. “This one could be considered an extreme political Web site, should be off the list, and now it is off the list.”

A Sallie Mae spokesperson said the company was only testing an online advertising agency, and that their ads were not meant to show up on Coulter’s site. The company said they planned to pull ads from other political and religious Web sites as well.

A spokesperson for NetBank said Coulter’s page “is not the kind of site we want to be on.”

Coulter did not seem to have any comments to this first of what is hoped to be many advertisers bailing out on her.

Posted in Media Matters, News | 1 Comment »

MoreOn Ann

Posted by Daniel on Monday, March 5, 2007

Nope, the title wasn’t misspelled. Or like John McCain and Barack Obama…”misspoke”.


I was SO going to write another post on the insipid muckraker that is mAnn Coulter, but it seems Henry Rollins has dipped into my mind, yet again, and done it for me. So I’ll just let this serve as a guest post from Henry.

A little background on Henry:

Henry Rollins (born February 13, 1961 as Henry Lawrence Garfield) is an American Grammy Award-winning alternative rock singer and songwriter, spoken word artist, book author (prose and poetry), radio and TV personality, occasional movie actor, comedian, and voice-over artist.

He is perhaps best known for his work with the hardcore punk band Black Flag from 1981 to 1986, and for leading the Rollins Band since 1987.

Critic Steve Huey decribes Rollins as “a post-punk renaissance man … Rollins [is] relentlessly busy … and has kept his artistic integrity, becoming a kind of father figure for many alternative bands of the ’90s.”

And now…Henry’s letter…

Posted in Just For Fun, Media Matters | 2 Comments »

Ann Coulter – Giving Transexuals Everywhere A Bad Name

Posted by Daniel on Saturday, March 3, 2007

This is a “co-post” from both Daniel (The Tempest) and Steve (Revel):

From The Tempest…

Ann-zilla

Okay…is there ANYONE out there who thinks Ann Coulter doesn’t deserve a good old fashioned public caning??

https://i0.wp.com/i43.photobucket.com/albums/e366/dawnzascorp/AnnCoulterScary.jpgIn yet another public showing of that compassionate conservative love thy neighbor moral high ground, Coulter has, yet again, taken her head out of her ass long enough to stick her foot in her mouth.

Her constant show of hatred and bigotry seem to know no bounds. And she’s done it again. At the annual Conservative Political Action Committee (C-PAC), this vile and disturbing bigot once again decided to reach into her “fag-bag” and call Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards a “faggot”. This then drew “Ooohs”, “Aaahs” and then applause from the audience.

The big question now looming over the GOP is, will the Republican candidates for prestident denounce Coulter’s ugly slur of Edwards? I think we all know the answer. They will do everything they possibly can to dance around and away from this issue. They will, at least for the next week or so, be pelted by this question from the news media at every opportunity…and will have, at best, “No comment.”

___

See the 34 second video here:

 

From Steve…

Ann,

I have now seen the blurb on You-Tube of you addressing C-PAC, an obviously receptive crowd to your particular brand of rhetorical ballyhoo. That the crowd was receptive to you is not surprising, being who they are. That you chose to use a hateful epithet for homosexuals is not surprising either, it seems to be your default setting when talking about ANYONE progressive. And as ludicrous as that use was, I will also not dignify it with any more time or attention than it has already received. As I am writing this, I am sure my partner is addressing it with aplomb and finesse. Two words to which you are a total stranger.

What I will tell you, Ann, is something that at least in public you are not considering, and which is important to you personally. You see, society WILL progress. We as people are evolving every day. Do you ever read Deepak Chopra? Likely not, as you probably consider him one of the same type as John Edwards. (Is anyone with any vision an anathema to you?) He makes a wonderful point in “Life After Death” which says, and I am paraphrasing if he will forgive me, that we are not the same people we were five years ago, one month ago, or even yesterday. Each and every person who has any kind of vitality at all is a growing and changing entity, learning from their experiences and from the experiences of those around them. It is an necessary part of growing as a person.

But if you shut yourself off from those things, much like a plant shut off from light, water, and food, you cease to grow. You wither, and die prematurely. This is what resisting personal growth will do. No one can force any organism to take sustenance, but if it doesn’t, it is doomed.

You’re doomed Ann, and those who absorb your hate-speech are as well. Because society will grow and change and keep improving itself, even as you rail away spewing evil names and scratching and clawing to keep the status quo.


No one knows how fast it will happen, but there are enough of us intent on personal and societal growth that it will happen. And know this too–history will not look at you kindly, if at all. You’re fairly young now, but you won’t always be. In ten, twenty, or thirty years, when we’ve further surpassed ignorant stagnation, you’ll become a sad, sordid reminder of that bygone ignorance.

If you insist on staying as you are, make sure you have plenty of your own history around you too keep you company. As the walls close in, maybe that will make your impending irrelevance that much easier to swallow.

Posted in Media Matters, Politics | 5 Comments »

What’s So Funny…?

Posted by Daniel on Monday, February 26, 2007

The new FOX News comedy show, Half Hour News Hour, just isn’t funny. It’s hard to imagine writing jokes about cancer , starving Koreans or drowning polar bears but that’s what viewers were subjected to on the premier show. FOX had been leaking clips all week so most people got to see the Obama segment and the Rush Limbaugh/Ann Coulter skit. The rest of the show had the same cringe factor especially when they tried to make concern for the environment the big joke of the night.

(THESE TWO ARE SO NOT FUNNY…THEY SHOULD REPLACE O’REILLY)

 

(Head-RUSH Limbaugh & MANN Coultergiest)

 

There was a sense that anyone struggling or suffering was somehow laughable. Roald Dahl’s children’s classic, James and the Giant Peach, was renamed James and the Giant Melanoma adding that it didn’t have a happy ending. I’m sure John McCain (who, himself, suffers from melanoma) found that hilarious. In another bit there was a t-shirt with No Fat Chicks under a picture of Kim Jong Il with a full explanation of how the North Koreans have been starving.

It could easily be said that those comedy writers at FOX clearly have no actual sense of humor.

The environment and global warming was the big butt of their jokes and it was astounding that they could come off like all environmental concerns are ridiculous and everyone taking action is a fool. Ed Begley Jr. became their victim with a bit about him not getting to the studio on time for an interview because he was driving his electric hybrid. Begley’s progress was measured on a map and his mishaps resulting from driving a hybrid were the jokes. He couldn’t get up hills or drive on the highway. Then Begley was picked up because he looked like someone who had eaten from a dumpster. Finally they described him in prison suggesting he was about to be raped by the inmates. They openly tried to humiliate Begley personally and ignorantly portrayed alternative fueled cars.

Then they did a bit with some guy claiming that any problem could be related to global warming in six steps like the movie Six Degrees of Separation. That’s when drowning polar bears got a laugh.

Then there were some fake commercials. The ACLU, not surprisingly were ridiculed in two commercials.

They made fun of charities in Hollywood as if it was somehow laughable that celebrities might want to use their influence and money to help people. Now Al Gore will also go down in history as having been associated with an OSCAR-winning Documentary (An Inconvenient Truth), thereby broadening the issue of global warming. I’m sure this will draw extra time on FOX’s “comedy” show, but only to be heckled and scorned with more of their canned-laughter.

I don’t think the writers really understand comedy. They crossed that line and the anger and cruelty came through. That’s never really funny to anyone except the bullies.

Face it…Conservatives just aren’t funny. That’s why you shouldn’t take anything they say seriously.

Posted in Media Matters | Leave a Comment »