Tag Archives: Rush Limbaugh

Republican GLEE over Syria

Many hundreds of Syrian men, women, and children were killed in the most gruesome manner possible, and many hundreds more were injured.  After multiple wars in the Middle East, a war-weary public is understandably reluctant to enter yet another conflict.  President Obama is really in a horrible position, with no great choices…through no fault of his own.

The Republican response to all of this? Outright GLEE.  In the COMPLETELY fucked-up world of Republican politics, Syria isn’t about chemical weapons, or all the people who were killed.  In the fucked-up world of Republican politics, Syria is about OBAMA, yet another topic they completely mis-read and twist in an effort to discredit a sitting president they hate even MORE than despots who massacre their own citizens through chemical weapons.  Rush Limbaugh, predictably, blames Obama for being “alone“,…as if a sitting president can flex his muscles and force another nation into war.  Hell, I’m surprised he didn’t blame Obama for dropping the chemical weapons themselves.  Charles Krauthammer, every BIT the loser that Rush Limbaugh is, takes glee in Obama being “humiliated“.

Of course Mr. Hawk himself, John McCain, is criticizing Obama for not doing ENOUGH, saying we need not only surgical air strikes, but even greater involvement. In the screwed up world of DC politics right now, it’s Nancy Pelosi who is sounding almost as hawkish as McCain.  From a strategic standpoint, it’s no-win for Obama.  As noted in this LA Times article, limited air strikes may actually make Assad STRONGER.  Despite the horror of what happened, it’s hardly surprising Great Britain is backing away from action.  They too realize it’s a no-win situation.    Back home, Americans aren’t going to stand for another protracted ground war, about the only thing that WOULD drive Assad out, but something that would leave an even messier, bigger power struggle than what’s occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Just like Republican calls to elminate ObamaCare, they of course OFFER NO CREDIBLE SUGGESTIONS TO HOW THEY WOULD HANDLE THE ISSUE.  Republicans seem to be good at one thing, and one thing only…bitching and moaning about whatever it is Obama is doing.

Way to go, Limbaugh, Krauthammer, and the rest of you right-wing losers.  You’ve REALLY shown the pathetic nature of your party platform…being anti-Obama.  Instead of showing a single OUNCE of compassion for the Syrian victims, instead of providing CONSTRUCTIVE SUPPORT to a sitting president in a time of crisis…Republicans are focusing on criticizing Obama for action or inaction (in other words, criticizing what ever he decides to do), bitching about Obama needing to consult Congress before striking, and taking delight in Obama being “humiliated” and “alone”.

Pathetic…but sadly, predictable, given the state of the Republican party.  An entire party has been taken over by a single-minded HATRED of the sitting president, and the entire country is suffering as a result.

Why “reality-challenged” Republicans are destined to repeat 2012

Six days after the election, and Republicans are still trying to figure out what went wrong.  From a liberal perspective, it’s simultaneously entertaining, disturbing, and rather pathetic to see Republicans continue to grasp at straws, making up a number of excuses for the election that are so detached from reality that I’m convinced the 2012 election will be repeated many times over, until Republicans join the same world the rest of us are living in.

The  Washington Post ran one such story today, describing bewildered Republican campaign workers and they’re coping (or not coping)with the loss. To far too many clueless Repubs, it’s not just an election loss, it’s practically a sign of the apocalypse, the start of America’s impending doom.  From the Washington Post story, one reaction for losing Colorado was worded as follows:

  • “Colorado? Who the heck lives in Colorado? Do they want drugs, dependence, and indulgence? Don’t they remember what this country is about?”

This seems to be one of the ways that “reality-challenged” Republicans are coping with their election disaster…labeling all Americans who voted for Obama as lazy, corrupt people who want government to take care of them.  The idiot-master himself, Bill O’Reilly, said the people who voted for Obama voted for him simply because they “want stuff”, as if the entire electorate who voted for Obama are welfare recipients who live off all those fine, upstanding, hard-working Republicans.  The same line of thinking has been picked up by a vast array of Republican pundits, politicians, and Republican voters. 

I’m sorry, Republicans, but YOUR PARTY is the one that is completely out of touch with American values.  Americans spoke last Tuesday, and Americans voted for what America is REALLY all about.  Americans voted for EQUALITY, where your treatment under the law isn’t dictated by race, sexual orientation, or religion.   Americans voted for COMPASSION, where access to medical treatment isn’t dictated by the size of your bank account.  Americans voted for FAIRNESS, where the most fortunate and richest of Americans are asked to contribute their fair share to society, and help the less fortunate.  America chose REASON, where science and fact, not ideology or religion, are the basis for how we live and how we govern.  Americans voted for EMPATHY, where those Americans most in need of assistance are supported by their fellow citizens.

The Republican fantasy world they’ve been living in the last 15 years or so?  In the Republican version of America, HATE and INTOLERANCE are used as tools to intimidate and to govern.  For reality-challenged Republicans, America is a place where COOPERATION and COMPROMISE are dirty words, where every American must accept Republican ideology.  For reality-challenged Republicans, GREED is the overarching driving force of how we live and how we govern, where the acquisition of personal wealth is more important than even the world we leave behind for our children.  For reality-challenged Republicans, SELFISHNESS is what drives our behavior, where we would rather let the uninsured or poor die and suffer, rather than lend a helping hand.

Americans spoke on Tuesday, and Americans chose to RESPECT AND HONOR what America stands for.  The very fact that Republicans are bewildered by the election speaks for how very small the Republican party has become.  Given the reaction of Republican pundits, politicians, and voters over the last week, it should be painfully obvious why Republicans have only ONCE won the popular vote for president over the last 20 years.  As a liberal, even a cynical liberal, the election was affirmation that America isn’t lost, that we are headed in the right direction.  As a liberal, the election, the voice of the people, gives me hope.

For Republicans who feel the election is a sign of America’s doom? Your bewilderment, your disillusionment, and your bitterness are proof that the fate of your party in 2012 is bound to be repeated.  Until your party sheds the ideological “leadership” provided from the likes of Ryan, McConnell, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, and Rove, until your party embraces true American ideals, until your party FACES REALITY, 2012 will be a recurring nightmare for Republicans.

Wonderful Editorial by Retiring Olympia Snowe

Olympia Snowe

Senator Snowe...I couldn't have said it better myself.

If you get a chance, read Olympia Snowe’s opinion piece in the Washington Post on her reasons for retiring from the Senate.  Is it any wonder Congressional approval sits at 11%?  Even those WITHIN Congress are disgusted with what’s become of Congressional politics. 

Rush Limbaugh (my, am I picking on him a bit lately?) said that losing Snowe was no big loss for Republicans.  Of course he would say that.  Snowe is moderate, someone who has angered her own party on more than one occasion.  In the “new” world of American politics, that just won’t do!  In the Limbaugh world of politics, there IS no compromise with the “enemy”.  There IS no going against the party. 

As Snowe states so beautifully, it’s going to take a lot for the current paradigm in Congress to change.  It’s going to take something of a revolution, if you will, from American voters.  But at present, American voters are just as polarized as American politicians.  Look at the current GOP presidential race, where candidates are stumbling all over themselves to see who can sound the most “severely” conservative.  It’s not exactly a recipe for change in Washington. 

Obama went to Washington on the motto of “change”.  He vowed to bridge the divide between Republicans and Democrats.  It sounded good.  It hasn’t happened.  There simply isn’t one man, even the President, who is capable of changing the tenor of Washington politics.  What’s bound Americans together in the past, what’s brought out the best in them, has been crisis.  Is THAT what it’s going to take to change Washington?  Some unforeseen crisis?

Limbaugh Calling on “Feminazis” to post sex videos

Ah, Rush.  Just a short 12 hours ago I honored you with the “Scum of the week”.  It only took a few hours for you to build on your resume, and strengthen your position as a leading weekly candidate for the Scum of the Week.  Perhaps I should just skip right to making him a permanent Scum of the Week. 

After calling Georgetown student Sandra Fluke “a slut” and “a prostitute”, for daring (Gasp!) to testify that womens’ contraception should be covered, today, Limbaugh came out with the following lovely line on his show. 

“So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch.”

Pretty hilarious coming from a man who was detained at the Palm Beach airport a couple of years ago for having Viagra in his bag with another man’s name on the prescription.  Considering that there is evidently no controversy from these “hairy old white men” (again, one of my favorites lines from my wife) about insurance COVERING that Viagra for their own, uh, shortcomings, doesn’t someone think it’s a wee bit hypocritical to harp on women for wanting contraceptives covered?  Or is that it Rush?   Having a wee little (hah) problem?  Taking out your wee little problem on women in general?

Are Republicans in general just hell-bent on losing every woman’s vote come November?  Now not only are the candidates sticking their foot in their collective mouths regarding women’s rights, but the right-wing talking heads are doing the same. 

Thank god Limbaugh’s “Feminazis” have the FINAL say this November, with their VOTE.

Limbaugh Sets New Standard – Scum of the Week

Who would have thought it were possible?  After all the ignorant, hateful things that Rush Limbaugh has said over the years, yesterday, he may have just set a new standard for being the world’s biggest pig of a human being.  After a GOP-led House Committee held an all-male panel review of the contraception “controversy”, Nancy Pelosi invited Georgetown student Sandra Fluke to testify in front of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.  Fluke was stricken from the GOP-led House Committee panel list (after all, she WAS a female…can’t have females discussing contraception, right?).   During the hearing with the Democratic Committee, Fluke talked about her out-of-pocket birth control costs (~$3,000) while at Georgetown, since Georgetown University won’t cover contraception costs.

Rush Limbaugh’s reaction to Fluke’s testimony?  Yesterday on his show, he said “What does that make her?” (for wanting contraception costs covered by insurance.)  “It makes her a slut, right?  It makes her a prostitute.”  Limbaugh’s line of “thinking” (I’m not sure you could call it that) is that covering contraception is “paying her for having sex”.  

There’s not a lot I can add here.  Limbaugh’s words speak for themselves.  THIS is the view the increasingly conservative GOP seems to have of women.  

In most ways, the thought of Santorum winning the GOP nomination scares the hell out of me, thinking that he could be one step away from the presidency.  On the other hand…one part of me WISHES Santorum gets the nomination, for the simple reason that Santorum as the GOP candidate would bring even more attention to how incredibly extreme, hateful, and bigoted the Republican party has become.  Issues like the contraception “controversy” would be a part of the campaign, and thus this INCREDIBLY ugly side of the GOP would get airtime for a number of months.  Short of such a public, long-term airing of the GOP’s dirty laundry, short of a longer-term public embarrassment of what the GOP evidently stands for nowadays, it’s hard to see the wacko element of the GOP going away any time soon.

America: Home of “Political Bigotry”

Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh, father of American "Political Bigotry".

Few things bother me more than bigotry.  When people think of bigotry, what  typically comes to mind is racism or homophobia, or, as I’ve noted in recent posts, bigotry based on religious belief.   I think we have a relatively “new” form of bigotry that is perhaps as equally destructive…”political bigotry”.

Politics has always had a nasty side.  But in my lifetime (I’m 45), is there any question that basic civility in politics has been in decline?   The current GOP has adopted intolerance of Democrats to the point that it’s seemingly their only party platform, as the party of “no” seemingly is incapable of coming up with a coherent strategy for governing other than opposing ANYTHING proposed or done by Democrats.  Partisanship obviously isn’t unique to the GOP, as Democrats are sometimes just as guilty (although they haven’t honed inter-party hatred to the fine edge that the GOP has).   But…

During my lifetime, and from my personal perception, it seems that start of the decline in civility was during the Clinton years.  In Congress you had Newt Gingrich and fellow Republicans hell-bent on trying to personally destroy the Clinton administration.  On the airwaves, Rush Limbaugh started the now well-established tradition for talking heads to whip up hatred towards Democrats and liberals.  Over time, the pure HATRED towards other political groups has led to two parties that refuse to cooperate on even the most basic and uncontroversial pieces of legislation.  Gridlock is now the standard in American politics, where every piece of legislation is considered more for the political implications and the next election, rather than on its merits for improving the lives of Americans. 

What bothers me the most, however, is how inter-party battles have spilled over into the American mainstream.   The ridiculous battles, the COMPLETE lack of civility now seen in American politics has spilled over into the lives of everyday Americans, and how we treat each other.   Inter-party battles between the GOP and Democrats, the pure HATRED being spouted on the airwaves on completely one-sided political shows, have infiltrated the lives of Americans to such a degree that the American people themselves are seemingly at war with each other.

America has become a place where “political bigotry” has defined us just as much as has discrimination based on race, religion, or sexual preference. 

Given an individual person’s religion, place of work, and background, the people we associate with often DO have similar political beliefs.  Just because of where you end up in life, chances are that for many of us, our friends and colleagues, overall, are more likely to have political beliefs similar to your own.  That’s the case for me.  Despite being in a very “red” state, most of my friends and colleagues are relatively liberal, just because of my background and where I work.   However, I also have friends and colleagues who have very different political beliefs, and we’ve managed to remain friends and colleagues without killing each other.

It seems, however, that for an increasing number of Americans, that simply isn’t an option.  Given all the pure hatred that has infiltrated American politics (and again, Repubs, sorry, you get most of the blame here), for substantial numbers of Americans, simple CIVILITY towards someone from the “other” party isn’t an option. 

Look at how Republicans use the term “liberal” as if it’s an insult, hurled with as much venom at another human being as someone might use a traditional curse word.  If someone sits around and listens to a Rush Limbaugh for day after day, week after week, year after year, is it any wonder how indoctrinated many in the general public have become in treating the “other” party as the enemy?   It’s to the point where a person’s political beliefs are EVERY BIT as much of a grounds for bigotry, for hateful or discriminatory treatment, as other characteristics that make people different. 

The same lack of civility, the same lack of cooperation that’s seen in Congress or during any American election is now a part of many Americans’ daily lives.  We’ve become a country where one group no longer considers the other real “Americans”, simply due to political persuasion.   It’s an ugly trend.  Despite what some would have you believe (Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, or ANYONE on Fox “News” come to mind), you CAN disagree with someone and still treat them with civility.

Santorum, Science, and Satan

Satan, Academia, and Global Warming

According to Rick Santorum, Satan "took over" academia "long ago". He also says he's the one who is "pro-science". You know, like the science of the Devil actually being the cause of global warming.

Yes, I know this is about the 29th straight post commenting on Rick Santorum.  But c’mon…the man is a walking disaster, and it’s SO easy to poke fun at him.  It’s also damned scary that this man is getting anything close to a sniff of the presidency of the United States.  You KNOW you’re a wacko if Rush Limbaugh is worried about your wackiness, and is warning you to tone it down.

Limbaugh came out with concern about Santorum’s ability to address some of the wackier comments he’s made in his recent past.  In those comments from 2008, Santorum commented on “Satan’s” war on America.  In a speech that sets a standard of wackiness that is amazing even for Santorum, he states that “Satan” has been the “most and first successful” in taking over academia, going on to say that academia fell to Satan “long ago.”

Interesting comment from someone who might be the flag-bearer for the GOP, when just this week, he came out and said that it’s Democrats who are “anti-science”, while Santorum isn’t.   

Sigh. It’s quite depressing to hear the Santorum revelations.  As a scientist, as someone with a strong academic background, I’m a little disappointed to know that all I learned in college was really just Satan spouting off.  I’m a little disappointed to hear that all of the work on climate change that we’ve done at USGS, and indeed within my current project, is one big lie perpetuated by Satan himself.  What are the implications for a liberal, government scientist who contributes to the science of climate change?

I’m going to hell, that much is obvious.  I really had no chance, with both academia, and my chosen profession, seemingly taken over by Satan.  I just take heart that my young son and any future grandchildren have someone as “wise” as Rick Santorum to lead us from the Devil’s influence.

Thanksgiving Thanks

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert using humor to point out the ridiculousness of American conservatism...the perfect antidote for the lies and hate coming from the right.

On a Thanksgiving weekend, what better topic than to post what you’re thankful for.   To stay on topic with the blog focus, here are some things I’m thankful for, from the birding, environment, and political world.

- Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert – In a world where half the U.S. thinks Fox is a real source of news, in a world where right-wing, hate-mongering wackos like Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter spew lies and use hate to pit American against American, Jon Stewart and the Daily Show, and Stephen Colbert and the Colbert Report are the perfect antidote to the ever increasingly radical conservative agenda.  SOMEONE needs to point out how incredibly ridiculous the right sounds, SOMEONE needs to call out the right for their take-no-prisoners, our-way-or-the-highway, hate-mongering approach to politics and America’s social structure, and the Daily Show and the Colbert Report are perfect for putting the right’s own soundbites in perspective.

SkepticalScience.com – SkepticalScience.com is a site that focuses on debunking climate change skepticism, and the lies perpetuated by those attempting to undermine climate change science.   Scientists often aren’t very effective at communicating with the general public, and using the mainstream media as the primary pathway to communicate with the public simply isn’t effective, not when the media often seems more interested in generating controversy than focusing on the facts.  I’m specifically highlighting Skeptical Science, but I’m thankful for ANY website, ANY blogger, or ANY news organization that recognizes the science behind climate change and vehemently counter industry-sponsored groups that have attempted to politicize and undermine that science.

National Public Radio - It can be depressing to go online and read what passes as news on most websites.  Money makes the world go around, and since Americans seem more interested in the latest pop culture icon than they do in real issues, “news” seems to sometimes focus more on entertainment or cultural fluff pieces than on the real news of the day.   The other trend in U.S. news that REALLY bothers me is a pervasive slant to news stories that focuses on the negative or controversial side of a story.  There always needs to be someone to blame, there always needs to be a target that stokes anger, there always seems to be a need to pit American against American, right against left, etc.  With politics AND the media both taking that same approach, it’s no wonder we often seem to be a divided America.  Against that pervasive, negative, and biased news background, it is SO refreshing to get in the car in the morning and hear REAL news stories on NPR while driving to work.  You want “fair and balanced” reporting, you go to NPR.  While those on the right launch unfair attacks on NPR as being too liberal, it only takes a few minutes of listening to realize that NPR bends over backwards to try to provide “both” sides of the story, particularly on sensitive political issues.

Pathetic GOP Presidential Candidates - I’m not all that thrilled with many of the decisions Obama has made in his first term.  He’s proven to be a very poor negotiator with a GOP that refuses to compromise, and he’s been much less effective than hoped for with regarding to environmental issues.   However, given the incredibly difficult hand he’s been dealt, I think he’s been able to do some nice things.  There’s VERY little Obama can do to turn the economy around, given the situation in Europe and a GOP-controlled House that automatically is against ANYTHING Obama proposes.   The GOP is heavily counting on that poor economy to drive Obama out of office, and given that poor economy, normally, Obama wouldn’t have much of a chance to win a 2nd term.  This isn’t a normal situation though, in that the best and the brightest the GOP has to offer include a dimwit like Rick Perry, a sleazy Hermann Cain who also has absolutely no clue about politics, the economy, or world affairs, a set of wackos in Bachmann, Santorum, and Paul, an admittedly intelligent Newt Gingrich with a lot of skeletons in his closet, and the bland politician in Mitt Romney that nobody seems to want to support except by default.   It’s damned scary to think where America would be headed if Republicans controlled the House, Senate, and had the presidency.  I thank god that Republicans have fielded the most laughable slate of presidential candidates America has ever seen.

South Dakota Winter – A wonderful South Dakota winter is here!  Reason to celebrate?  Well, uh…no.  I HATE winter.  I HATE the cold. I HATE the snow. I HATE leaving work and pretty much only seeing the sun on weekends.   But one thing I treasure about South Dakota winters…birding and taking photos on the grasslands in the central part of the state.  Gyrfalcons!!  Prairie Falcons!! Snowy Owls!! SCADS of Rough-legged HawksFerruginous Hawks!! Golden Eagles!! Bald Eagles!!  A single day of birding and photography in the central part of the state typically provides dozens and dozens of raptors, and quite often, some good views at birds that are typically very rare in the conterminous U.S.  Given the otherwise bleakness of a South Dakota winter, the explosion of life on the grasslands in the winter, with raptors “dripping” off telephone poles and fence posts, is a very welcome sight.

Conservatives (lack of) Respect for Women

Herman Cain - Pig

Do you still support this man? If you're a Republican, polls show 7 in 10 of you don't care about all the women accusing him of sexual harassment.

Another day, another woman who comes forward with stories of sexual harassment by Herman Cain.  With four different women now accusing Cain of improper (and disgusting) behavior, you’d think those on the right would stop defending him. 

You of course, would be wrong.  Never underestimate the complete, blind loyalty that far right wackos have towards their own (“their own”, being those on the right, and wackos…seems to go hand-in-hand).   I read this story on Slate.com this morning, and couldn’t believe what was being said by those on the right, in defense of Cain.  A sample of the lunacy from this story and from elsewhere:

  • John Derbyshire – National Review – “Is there anyone who thinks sexual harassment is a real thing?”
  • Laura Ingraham – “We have seen this movie before and we know how it ends.  It always ends up being an employee who can’t perform or who under-performs and is looking for a little green.”
  • Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) – Sexual harassment is “a terrible concept”, with a misguided tendency to “define an action by the perception of the perceived victim.”
  • Former Sen. Fred Thompson – “These alleged victims and their lawyers – no matter what they may say publicly – are champing at the bit to come forward for their day in the limelight and the inevitable book deal.”
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R – Kentucky) - “There are people now who hesitate to tell a joke to a woman in the workplace, any kind of joke, because it could be interpreted incorrectly.”
  • Rep. Andy Harris (R – Maryland) - “What we ought to be concentrating on is not wasting time paying attention to issues other than the economy and how we’re going to get out of this mess we’re in.”
  • Newt Gingrich – “He (Cain) is out there trying to help a country that’s in desperate trouble, and he has gotten more coverage over the last few days over gossip.”
  • Anne Coulter – “The two utterly innocent conservatives who have been falsely accused are both conservative blacks”, discussing her belief it’s racism on the part of “feminist women who hate conservative black men”.
  • Rush Limbaugh - “This is gutter partisan politics, and it’s the politics of minority conservative personal destruction.  It really is about blacks and Hispanics getting too uppity.”

My favorite is from Kurt Schlichter in the New York Post – “Where sexual harassment law once protected women from being forced to be the playthings of crude lechers, it’s been transformed to enforcing a prim puritanism that drains the humor and humanity from the workplace.”   Ask the woman who came forward today if having HER LEG AND CROTCH grabbed is just part of “humor and humanity” in the work place.  Should men be given free reign to make disgusting and unwanted sexual advances towards women, and simply throw up their hands and say “Just Joking!!” when those women rebuff those advances? 

For those on the right, it seems sexual harassment isn’t a problem with the accused, it’s a problem with the accuser.  The comments above by those on the right seem to assume that 1) a woman ONLY makes an accusation of sexual harassment, if she wants to profit from it, 2) a woman who makes an accusation is simply overreacting to normal interplay between men and women, or 3) this is simply driven by liberal media and politicians.  As the Slate story above openly wonders, does the concept of sexual harassment even EXIST in the minds of conservatives? 

Evidently for many on the right, sexual harassment just isn’t a big deal.  For 7 out of 10 Republicans, a recent poll said the recent allegations will make no difference in their support for Cain.  WHAT…THE…HELL!?!?!?  Look at how Republicans treated Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.  Clinton was obviously a cheating, womanizing pig, but that was consensual at least.  How can Republicans try to bring down the Clinton administration based on his affair(s), but support Cain when FOUR different women accuse him of sexual harassment?  

Republicans have already somehow managed to politicize climate change, somehow trying to make a completely scientific issue into a political one.  They have somehow managed to politicize evolution.  It appears that for Republicans, sexual harassment too is simply some kind of political issue.

Or even worse…for Republicans, sexual harassment simply doesn’t appear to be an issue AT ALL.