13 April 2010

Birther to be Court Martialed?

An Army doctor, Lieutenant Colonel Terry Lakin, rejected his orders for deployment to Afghanistan because he believes the Commander in Chief is illegally president. After heading for the Pentagon (when he should have been shipping out), his brigade Commander, Col. Gordon Roberts, told him "that he could face court martial, and [Lakin's] Pentagon building pass and government laptop computer were seized" (MSNBC). It's about time there was some smackdown. Seriously, people have been too patient with the birthers' conspiracies.

H/T Balloon Juice

Added: More at The Colorado Independent, which asserts that a case for court martial is being prepared.

(Lakin isn't the first soldier to try this. Obama Conspiracy Theories, which has done a remarkable job of keeping up with Birtherism, has the rundown on the unfortunate others).

11 April 2010

Paul: "Obama is not a Socialist"

According to Rand Paul, the President is a "Corporatist" rather than an economic Socialist. Go figure. But then the Pauls aren't noted for holding to the Right's narrative.

A Break

From politics and emotional drama. The Daily Beast has a lovely gallery of photographs from the Henri Cartier-Bresson retrospective at MOMA. Have a look.

07 April 2010

Shame on Itawamba

So parents of Fulton, MS, you're so worried about a lesbian couple attending prom that you set up a fake prom for "undesirables" while the rest of the student body parties at an undisclosed location? How very adult of you.

Ridiculous. And unspeakably cruel. But hey, it's all about convictions, right? After all, WWJD?

06 April 2010

Smoothing the Hallers

Thank you, Tom Coburn. Amidst the outrage over health care reform and hysteria about armed IRS agents comin' to getcha, the Senator urged town hall attendees towards civility and consideration of more than one news source on a given issue (e.g., "don't just rely on the folks who agree with you").

Netflix coming to iPhone

Sure enough, after introducing "Netflix for iPad," Netflix announced that a similar app is in the works for iPhone and iPod Touch. Streaming movies in the palm of your hand!

And David Lynch's head explodes.

05 April 2010

Political Purging

Over at FrumForum, Chris Currey details "How the GOP Purged Me." A lifelong Republican--a religious, free market, social conservative (who originally opposed Medicaid and Medicare)--Currey apparently began reconsidering in the 1990s, when,
The leaders of the GOP grew belligerent. They became too religious, almost zealots. They became intolerant. They began searching for purity in Republican thought and doctrine. Ideology blinded them. I continued to vote Republican, but with a certain unease. Deep down I knew that a schism happened between the modern Republican Party and the one I grew up with. During the fight over the impeachment of President Clinton, the ugly face of the Republican Party was brought to the surface. Empty rhetoric, ideological intolerance, vengeance, and religious zealotry became the common currency. Suddenly, if you are pro-choice, you could not be a Republican. If you are for smart and sensible taxes to balance out the budget, you could not be a Republican. If you are pro-civil rights, you could not be a Republican.
He continues by noting how minorities, women, and the young began leaving the party, which, he suggests "We should rename the Republican Party the OSWF [Old Straight White Folks] rather than the GOP." Now, he insists, the GOP has entered "the era of craziness," where populist outrage, paranoid declarations, and religious fervor has replaced thoughtful consideration and logical argument, thereby leaving him in a position of not trusting the reins of power to the Republican party in its current stage. He goes further in suggesting that, as a result of its recent history, the GOP has lost the nation.

It's a heartfelt article, and I recommend it highly.

Poem Time

It's seldom gets better than G M Hopkins:

"God's Grandeur"

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge & shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs --
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast & with ah! bright wings.

(I really must sort out the blasted formatting. . . )

04 April 2010

He Can't Be Bothered

We've all heard about the Florida doctor who taped a sign in a window directing people who voted for Obama should "seek urologic help elsewhere" (noting cleverly that "Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years"). The good doctor, of course, is free to do as he likes, and I certainly take no issue with him critiquing health care reform, nor with his "warning off" patients. What I do find concerning is that the doctor doesn't actually know what is in the health care bill. That's right. Although it's been online for months, apparently, tl;dr. In fact, as he told Alan Colmes, he opposes the bill because "I’m not the guy who wrote the plan." From the interview:
Cassell: Hospice cuts in 2012…Does the government want people to die slowly?
Colmes: Do you really think the government wants people dead?
Cassell: Well I think that they’re cutting all supportive care, like nursing homes, ambulance services…
Colmes: What to you mean they’re cutting nursing homes?
Cassell: They’re cutting nursing home reimbursements
Colmes: Isn’t what they’re cutting under the Medicare plan what was really double dipping; they were getting credits and they were getting to deduct them at the same time.
Cassell: Well you know, I can’t tell you exactly what the deal is.
Colmes: If you can’t tell us exactly what the deal is, why are you opposing it and fighting against it?
Cassell: I’m not the guy who wrote the plan.
Colmes: But if you don’t know what the deal is why are you speaking out against something you don’t know what the deal is?
Cassell: What I get online, just like any other American. What I’m supposed to understand about the bill should be available to me.
Colmes: It is; it’s been online for a long time; it’s also been all over the media…
In fact, the National Association of Home Care and Hospice praises much of the bill

Don't you rather expect a doctor to have an eye for details? Or at least to realize the significance of seeking evidence to support one's claims--of fact-checking--and of not assuming to know the truth or falsity of an issue based on hearsay? Of course we find this all over the place--well-educated people asserting "truths" that are certainly shaky or undeniably false, but, at least in terms of health care reform, this has become all-too common. As Steve Benen writes, "some of the loudest, angriest critics of the Affordable Care Act are also some of the least informed, most confused, embarrassingly ignorant observers anywhere." The question is, under media exposure, do these critics carry on asserting a questionable "truth", or do they revise their assertions in the face of evidence? Based on the media's history of privileging of the loudest, more notorious Obama critics--despite how ill-informed they might be--my guess is that the good doctor will continue to assert his version of "the truth," and he will enjoy another 12 minutes of fame.

H/T Balloon Juice


Happy Easter, Happy Passover


A little late to this party, but behold: a plethora of signage from Tea Party events. Some (ahem) language issues--as in usage--are on display.

03 April 2010

An Opportunity to Kvetch

That, apparently, is what Courage and Consequence is all about.

I'm not planning on reading Karl Rove's memoir (seriously, I'm just not interested), and, according to David Frum, there's a reason to avoid it: Rove either rewrites history or evades it. Frum tries to be generous to Rove but ultimately decides that he's still "Waiting for Rove's Memoir."

I Got Mine; You Sod Off

Just passing this along . . . .

The Washington Monthly has been noting some curious contradictions amongst certain Tea Party adherents who suffer a serious disconnect between professed beliefs and actual practice: namely, enjoying federal programs while decrying said federal programs. As noted in The New York Times, such folks "do not see any contradictions in their arguments for smaller government even as they argue that it should do more to prevent job loss or cuts to Medicare."


But head over to the Monthly for the details.