From this Friday evening's Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill's take on conservatives' and America's perceptions vs. reality in his New Rules segment.
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- 2nd amendment
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For anyone who missed it over the weekend, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry had a rather interesting segment to open her show on Sunday, where she said conservatives haven't always been against gun control laws and the issue wasn't necessarily a partisan one. She gave viewers a little history lesson about the days when the Black Panthers were taking up arms on the streets of California and none other than conservative icon St. Ronnie Reagan was signing legislation to disarm them.
So... if we want to get conservatives to go along with some sort of gun control legislation, do we need to try to bring back the Black Panthers and get them back out there advocating for open carry? They all loved it when we had these TeaBirchers out there bringing guns to rallies and town hall meetings protesting the health care law. If Fox was going crazy over just a few of these New Black Panthers standing outside of a polling place, imagine how they'd act if we had the old Black Panther Party back, '60's style, armed and ready to stand up for their Second Amendment rights.
For more on what Harris-Perry was talking about here and what went down with the Black Panthers in the '60's, check out this article from The Atlantic from back in Sept. of 2011: The Secret History of Guns:
The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement. In the battle over gun rights in America, both sides have distorted history and the law, and there’s no resolution in sight.
Lawrence O'Donnell had some fun with the "can't take a joke crowd" such as the prudes over at Fox GOPTV and Rush Limbaugh and their collective freak out over the new Obama for America ad featuring Lena Dunham. As O'Donnell noted, everyone carping about the sexual overtones of the ad which he showed in his video montage thinks that their idol, Ronald Reagan is a saint. But as O'Donnell noted, they seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that it was their precious St. Ronnie that made his own "first time" joke way before Dunham did.
Some conservative were outraged Thursday, when the Obama campaign posted a Web ad starring Lena Dunham, creator of the TV show “Girls,” in which she speaks about her “first time” voting, using innuendo to compare it to a girl losing her virginity.
“Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy…someone who really cares about and understands women,” Dunham said in the video, discussing such issues as health insurance, birth control, ending the war in Iraq, equal pay for women, gay marriage, and other big issues.
She then recalled her own “first time” voting four years ago: “It was this line in the sand — before, I was a girl; now I was a woman. I went to the polling station, I pulled back the curtain, I voted for Barack Obama.”
But just as every generation thinks it invented sex, a “first time” joke about voting goes way back to another presidential candidate: Ronald Reagan, less than a week before he ushered in the Republican landslide of 1980.
You've got to just love these Republicans. You can make all the misogynistic jokes you want if you're Rush Limbaugh and now suddenly, as O'Donnell pointed out, he's trying to paint himself as some defender of women's sensibilities. I've got news for you Rushbo. You don't speak for women and most of us would prefer if you kept your yap shut when it came to speaking about us and our issues at all... ever.
Sadly, I don't expect he's going away any time soon as much as it would benefit the honesty in the public discourse to have him gone forever and par for the course, here's just another example in right wing world of IOKIYAR and don't dare mention to us our selective amnesia if it conflicts with our talking points for the day.
Jon Stewart took a shot at Fox News, Republicans and their allies for not even trying to hide why they're passing these voter ID laws across the country, even though they're well aware that there is no problem with voter fraud.
As Stewart pointed out, they could care less about problems with absentee voting, which is one area where there are actually problems and John Fund just admitted why they're pushing these laws but don't care about problems with absentee voting: John Fund: Sure, Republicans Focus On Voter ID For Political Reasons:
John Fund, the former Wall Street Journal columnist who has been promoting voter ID laws for years, admitted Tuesday that some Republicans focus on voter ID laws which restrict in-person voting over laws which could limit absentee voting because the GOP has a perceived electoral advantage when it comes to voting by mail.
“Absentee vote ballot fraud is the tool of choice amongst fraudsters,” Fund told a group of bloggers munching on Chick-Fil-A at the conservative Heritage Foundation on Tuesday. “Everytime you see a truly massive, coordinated effort at voter fraud, it usually relies in part on absentee voter fraud.”
Fund said that many voter ID laws “take some provisions to curb absentee ballot fraud,” with a few exceptions. But he confessed that Democrats had a point when they say that Republicans focus on voter ID because of a potential electoral advantage.
“I think it is a fair argument of some liberals that there are some people who emphasize the voter ID part more than the absentee ballot part because supposedly Republicans like absentee ballots more and they don’t want to restrict that,” Fund said. “But the bottom line is, on good government grounds, we have to have both voter ID laws and absentee ballot laws.”
And as we posted here, Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Turzai openly admitted their new law will help Mitt Romney win their state in the upcoming presidential election: Shameless Republican Brags About Voter ID 'Winning the State of PA'. Stewart wondered if Turzai realized anyone had the camera running during that event, because Turzai was "going to look like an a**hole." I don't think they care too much as long as it means they win elections by hook or crook and stay in power.
Stewart then turned to his "Senior Voting Correspondent" Jessica Williams for further discussion on how these new regulations are going after minorities, the poor, students and the elderly and some potential new tests for eligibility to vote, like whether you understand Jeff Foxworthy jokes or not.
Polls and the corporate media's immediate instinct to jump all over their results in order to push one of their favorite memes, that America is a "center-right" country, is yet another example of why we do not have a liberal media in the United States. Gallup and USA Today recently released a new poll which you can read the results of here -- Americans See Views of GOP Candidates Closer to Their Own.
Naturally Mrs. Greenspan was more than happy to report that this is supposed to show that most Americans are ideologically aligned with Mitt Romney and that President Obama was further to the left than most of the public.
The poll by Gallup did not ask anyone what their views on specific issues were. They asked them to self-identify what their ideology is. Media Matters did a lengthy report on this back in 2007 showing why polls like the one cited by Andrea Mitchell here don't paint an accurate picture of what most American's political leanings are which you can read here -- The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Myth.
There are lots of charts and data there, but this portion sums up some of their findings very nicely:
If Americans are so progressive, why don't more say so?
When asked for evidence, advocates of the idea that America is a conservative country will often cite the fact that polls show more people labeling themselves as "conservative" than "liberal." [...]
Yet there are a number of reasons to conclude that the data on self-labeling tells us relatively little about the actual ideological positioning of the public. First, as political scientists have understood for more than 40 years, most Americans simply don't think in ideological terms. To take one example, the National Election Studies has asked respondents in the past, "Would you say that either one of the parties is more conservative than the other at the national level?" The number answering "the Republicans" seldom exceeded 60 percent when the question was asked in the past; after a 12-year hiatus, the NES asked the question again in 2004, when two-thirds of the public, an all-time high, gave the correct answer. This means that, at a time when the parties are more ideologically distinct than ever, one-third of the public can't name correctly which party is more conservative. If this bare minimum of knowledge is unavailable to such a large proportion of the population, it is fair to say that their self-placement on ideological scales will not be a particularly reliable gauge of their actual beliefs on issues.
Fox News' Megyn Kelly returns from maternity leave with a more liberal perspective on mandated benefits and entitlement programs.
A Senate page in Canada made her own protest after Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives won a majority government in May for the first time, effectively giving the opposition no real means of preventing the Conservatives from enacting their policies
DePape later released a statement:
"Harper's agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation," DePape said in the release. "We have to stop him from wasting billions on fighter jets, military bases, and corporate tax cuts while cutting social programs and destroying the climate. Most people in this country know what we need are green jobs, better medicare, and a healthy environment for future generations."
From the CBC:
A 21-year-old page lost her job Friday after walking onto the Senate floor during the speech from the throne to protest against Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Brigette DePape, a recent University of Ottawa graduate, carried a sign reading "Stop Harper" and walked out in front of Gov. Gen. David Johnston as he read the afternoon speech.
Senate pages are hired for one to two years to work in the upper chamber, providing basic support to the senators during sittings and in committee meetings, which generally means fetching water, photocopying documents and passing messages. They tend to be politically engaged, but this type of protest is unprecedented.
Keith Olbermann's latest at The FOK News Channel -- The First Guess: Lotto Nation:
How the GOP gets its own economic victims to do the party's dirty work.
As Rachel noted, the actual small government, pro keep the government the hell out of your personal lives conservatives in Wyoming did something that would make most liberals proud. They rejected a bill that would have prevented same-sex marriages from being recognized that originated outside of their state.
A bill that would prevent Wyoming from recognizing same-sex marriages outside the state died Wednesday.
The state Senate on Wednesday defeated a compromise on a bill that would have defined marriage in Wyoming as between one man and one woman.
The Senate voted 16 to 14 to reject compromise language to House Bill 74- Validity of Marriages, which would not have allowed recognition of same-sex marriages from outside Wyoming.
The state House had approved the compromise a few hours earlier in a 31-28 vote with one representative excused.
On Tuesday, a conference committee reached the proposed compromise after the House and Senate could not agree initially.
The compromise was a lot like the bill the House approved initially. It removed Senate language that said couples from same-sex marriages or civil unions could access the courts to resolve disputes in their relationships.
The bill now is essentially dead. Legislative rules do allow the Senate president to appoint another conference committee to work out differences. But that seems unlikely, given that the Legislature plans to wrap things up this morning.
The close vote in the House came after some emotional debate.
Rep. Owen Peterson, R-Mountain View, spoke in favor of the compromise. He said there is a void in state law that needs to be resolved.
A statute on the books since 1876 says marriage is between one man and one woman. But the law also recognizes foreign marriages. Peterson said the lawmakers back then didn't contemplate the types of relationships that exist now.
The law restricts marriage in Wyoming to a man and a woman. But it also recognizes legal marriages performed elsewhere.
Rep. Pete Illoway, R-Cheyenne, said the existing law doesn't need to be changed. He encouraged representatives to vote against the compromise.
"People are equal, whether you agree with their lifestyle or not," he said. "People that you may not agree with are still people."
HB 74 "is not good for our legacy as the Equality State," said Rep. Ruth Ann Petroff, R-Jackson. "This bill does nothing more than to strip away liberty that had been granted by other states." Read on...
Time for your weekly podcast with our own Driftglass and Bluegal, otherwise known as the Professional Left. You can listen to the archives or make a donation to help keep these going at http://professionalleft.blogspot.com/. Have a great weekend everybody and enjoy the podcast.