Saturday, 10/30/10, Public Square

“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

Who among us has not wanted to open their window and shout that at the top of their lungs?

Seriously, who?

Because we’re looking for those people. We’re looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard; and who believe that the only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles.

Are you one of those people? Excellent. Then we’d like you to join us in Washington, DC on October 30 — a date of no significance whatsoever — at the Daily Show’s “Rally to Restore Sanity.”

Ours is a rally for the people who’ve been too busy to go to rallies, who actually have lives and families and jobs (or are looking for jobs) — not so much the Silent Majority as the Busy Majority. If we had to sum up the political view of our participants in a single sentence… we couldn’t. That’s sort of the point.

Think of our event as Woodstock, but with the nudity and drugs replaced by respectful disagreement; the Million Man March, only a lot smaller, and a bit less of a sausage fest; or the Gathering of the Juggalos, but instead of throwing our feces at Tila Tequila, we’ll be actively *not* throwing our feces at Tila Tequila. Join us in the shadow of the Washington Monument. And bring your indoor voice. Or don’t. If you’d rather stay home, go to work, or drive your kids to soccer practice… Actually, please come anyway. Ask the sitter if she can stay a few extra hours, just this once. We’ll make it worth your while.


Filed under The Public Square

28 responses to “Saturday, 10/30/10, Public Square

    • wicked

      Oh, how I would love to send this to one particular friend, who has recently been posting the most ridiculous garbage on FB. “F*cktard” would definitely describe him. It’s hard for me to remember that he was once very intelligent.

  1. A 10-minute American history lesson with animation. I loved it!

  2. Who will be at The Rally To Restore Sanity?

    Michael Tacelosky, lives in Dupont Circle, a 10-minute bicycle ride from the rally site. He says he hopes the rally will inspire people. “It’s all about the idea that gridlock is not acceptable, and that’s critical right now,” he says.

    Some taking the Greyhound option are preparing for a long night in a bus seat before they spend mere hours on the National Mall Saturday and then head home the same evening. One such rallygoer, Libertarian Anna Daugherty – a Lansing, Mich., public-relations professional – is boarding a bus from Royal Oak to Washington on Friday night. She says she likes the fact that the event is not strictly for one political party.

    “I am going to the Rally to Restore Sanity not because I think it’ll be some revelation for changing political discourse,” she says. “I just want to show my support and solidarity to those who find that the people who are running in and even winning elections, who are obviously radical wackos, don’t have a place in my ideal view of politics.”

    more —

  3. Bush Tax Cuts May Still be an Issue in 2012

    Although the tax cuts pushed through Congress by former President George W. Bush are set to expire on Dec. 31, President Obama may have found a way to make them a campaign issue in 2012. His plan is to ask the lame-duck session of Congress that will convene after the election to make the middle-class tax cuts permanent but only temporarily extend the ones for people earning over $250,000 a year. By having those cuts come up for renewal in 2012, he could create a situation in which he is campaigining on reducing the deficit by allowing tax cuts for a tiny sliver of the population to revert to the levels they had during the Clinton administration and the Republicans are campaigning on something that would increase the deficit and help only the richest Americans.

    Of course, the Republicans fully realize the consequences of his strategy, but if the Democrats in the lame-duck session of Congress (which is composed mostly of the current members, not the newly elected ones, except for a few states), propose this and they filibuster it in the Senate, all the tax cuts will expire and they will get the blame when everyone’s taxes go up in January. On the other hand, the Democrats are likely to be so disheartened after taking a walloping on Tuesday, they may just cower under the table and give the Republicans whatever they want. But Obama, whose own interest is not necessarily the same as the congressional Democrats, might veto a bill making the upper-crust tax cuts permanent.

    • itolduso

      Fact is, letting the the tax cuts for the rich expire, doesn;t save anything, but gives the government an extra 700 billion dollars over the next ten years.

      Allowing the tax cuts for everyone expire again doesn;t save anything, but gives the government an extra 3.8 trillion dollars

      Let them all expire. Everyody chips in. That way, the government has an extra 3.1 trillion dollars to spend. Everybody has a stake.

      Just do it.

      • itolduso

        B y the way, for every dollar raised thru the imposition of the new taxes, at least 50 cents must be saved out of existing spending dollars.

      • I’m pretty sure the reasoning behind leaving the tax cuts in place for those who earn under $250,000 (couple) have much less to do with saving anything then with leaving that money in the pockets of the people. For at least two reasons: to look good to the voters; to hope those people have enough money to spend some of it, thus stimulating the economy. Those are the people who lost the most and will recover the slowest.

  4. 160 Write-In Candidates Running in Alaska Senate Race

    In an attempt to foil the write-in campaign of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for senate, 160 supporters of Republican candidate Joe Miller have filed to run as write-in candidates themselves. The idea is to take advantage of the Alaska law saying that a vote counts if the “intent of the voter” can be determined. By creating confusion, Miller supporters hope to make the intent of some write-in votes the subject of court battles after the election. For example, the head of the Alaska Division of Elections has said that she would count a vote for “Lisa M.” as a vote for Murkowski. But now someone has filed as “Lisa M. Lackey” so, if this is indeed the legal name of an Alaskan over 35, then a vote for “Lisa M.” might be ruled as ambiguous and thus invalid. If the number of write-in votes exceeds the number of votes either Joe Miller (R) or Scott McAdams (D) gets, the election will surely end up in court.

  5. The rally has begun! Best I can do is watch, it’s live on Comedy Central. Look at that crowd comprised of all ages, races… Looks a lot like America. 😉

    They look like happy too! Haven’t seen any indication of anger and that’s refreshing after watching all those Koch tea partiers and their rallies.

  6. I thought it was great! I hope some of you had the opportunity to see it. I laughed, moved to the music, there were times I was inspired and even a time I was brought to tearful emotion. It did remind me of who we are.

    Anyone else watch?

    What did you think?

  7. wicked

    I voted today, along with my oldest and youngest daughters. I never did get to check out the judges, so I pretty much skipped the judicial area. I understood and voted regarding the amendment mentioned second, but was totally blown away by the first one on the list. I’m not against 2nd amendment rights and couldn’t make heads or tails over what that gibberish was. Can anyone out there explain it? I’d like to know if I voted what I believe is right or if I screwed myself. OUCH!

    Oh, and we voted at the Machinists Building on south Meridian. I just had that feeling that people working there might think just a little more like I do. They were very pleasant! Must’ve been democrats. LOL

  8. wicked

    Bill Maher had an excellent interview with Jimmy Carter on his show last night. It was taped, not live, but it didn’t matter. It wasn’t an entire show, just maybe ten minutes or so. If you’d like to see it, HBO has it available online.

  9. tosmarttobegop

    I sure wished that the rally would have overflowed out into miles around the site.

  10. itolduso

    Wows Pictures of Republicans with a Hitler mustache at the rally. . Didn;t I see whining and insults made on this blog about Republicans doing that?

    Maybe not.

    • wicked

      I just viewed 98 photos from the rally and saw ONE “Hitler” rendition. Of Stephen Colbert.

      If you have links to all these mustaches on Republicans at the rally, would you mind sharing the link(s)? TIA 🙂

    • Why do you sound so cranky, itolduso? It was a great gathering of people, and doesn’t change the fact that the politicians you more closely relate to are gonna win in droves next Tuesday. I have trouble understanding why those who should be very pleased and quite happy seem not to be.

      I still think ALL of the people who put on Hitler mustaches and carry signs spreading pure hate and lies are showing their butts and that their butts look really ugly.

    • wicked

      Still waiting for links to those pics of Rs with Hitler mustache at the rally…

      Just looked at another 60+ photos, and still the only one was the Stephen Colbert one.

      Oops! A quick search gave me two photos of Rs with mustaches. And it was the same picture, which had 2 signs in the one photo on 2 different sites. I’m going to need more before I can totally bash the entire Democratic party, but I will say that even those 2 were uncalled for, just as the ones I saw at Beck’s rally were, and there were a whole lot more than just two signs there.

      And with only 2 people carrying those mustached Rs, I do wonder if those 2 people weren’t Rs trying to stir up trouble. Like that hasn’t happened before.

      The comments on the sites where I found the signs were so bad, it was laughable. One comment about a neatly lettered, correctly spelled sign was something along the lines of wondering what handwriting analysis would tell about the person who made it. Now that’s reaching.

      Face it. All in all, the rally was a success, without name calling and with calling people from all political persuassions to come together and to stop the insanity. What’s so bad about that?

  11. Text of Stewart’s closing speech:

    “I can’t control what people think this was. I can only tell you my intentions. This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith or people of activism or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate argument or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear. They are and we do. But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies.

    But unfortunately one of our main tools in delineating the two broke. The country’s 24 hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems but its existence makes solving them that much harder. The press can hold its magnifying up to our problems bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic.

    If we amplify everything we hear nothing. There are terrorists and racists and Stalinists and theocrats but those are titles that must be earned. You must have the resume. Not being able to distinguish between real racists and Tea Partiers or real bigots and Juan Williams and Rick Sanchez is an insult, not only to those people but to the racists themselves who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate–just as the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe not more. The press is our immune system. If we overreact to everything we actually get sicker–and perhaps eczema.

    And yet, with that being said, I feel good—strangely, calmly good. Because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false. It is us through a fun house mirror, and not the good kind that makes you look slim in the waist and maybe taller, but the kind where you have a giant forehead and an ass shaped like a month old pumpkin and one eyeball.

    So, why would we work together? Why would you reach across the aisle to a pumpkin assed forehead eyeball monster? If the picture of us were true, of course, our inability to solve problems would actually be quite sane and reasonable. Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution or racists and homophobes who see no one’s humanity but their own? We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is—on the brink of catastrophe—torn by polarizing hate and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done, but the truth is we do. We work together to get things done every damn day!

    The only place we don’t is here or on cable TV. But Americans don’t live here or on cable TV. Where we live our values and principles form the foundations that sustains us while we get things done, not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done. Most Americans don’t live their lives solely as Democrats, Republicans, liberals or conservatives. Americans live their lives more as people that are just a little bit late for something they have to do—often something that they do not want to do—but they do it–impossible things every day that are only made possible by the little reasonable compromises that we all make.

    Look on the screen. This is where we are. This is who we are. (points to the Jumbotron screen which show traffic merging into a tunnel). These cars—that’s a schoolteacher who probably thinks his taxes are too high. He’s going to work. There’s another car-a woman with two small kids who can’t really think about anything else right now. There’s another car, swinging, I don’t even know if you can see it—the lady’s in the NRA and she loves Oprah. There’s another car—an investment banker, gay, also likes Oprah. Another car’s a Latino carpenter. Another car a fundamentalist vacuum salesman. Atheist obstetrician. Mormon Jay-Z fan. But this is us. Every one of the cars that you see is filled with individuals of strong belief and principles they hold dear—often principles and beliefs in direct opposition to their fellow travelers.

    And yet these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze one by one into a mile long 30 foot wide tunnel carved underneath a mighty river. Carved, by the way, by people who I’m sure had their differences. And they do it. Concession by conscession. You go. Then I’ll go. You go. Then I’ll go. You go then I’ll go. Oh my God, is that an NRA sticker on your car? Is that an Obama sticker on your car? Well, that’s okay—you go and then I’ll go.

    And sure, at some point there will be a selfish jerk who zips up the shoulder and cuts in at the last minute, but that individual is rare and he is scorned and not hired as an analyst.

    Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together. And the truth is, there will always be darkness. And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey. But we do it anyway, together.

    If you want to know why I’m here and want I want from you, I can only assure you this: you have already given it to me. Your presence was what I wanted.

    Sanity will always be and has always been in the eye of the beholder. To see you here today and the kind of people that you are has restored mine. Thank you.”

    • Zippy

      I expected something very similar, but, my God or anyone’s–the eloquence.

      Someone look up the Telecommunications Act of 1996. I interviewed Noam Chomsky (Oh my Gawd! They’re going to “catch” me!) that same year.

      I was focused on tech issues in what passed for spare time, but the eminent Dr. Chomsky clued me in as to the effect it would have on the media environment. I was no child, even then, and I was embarrassed that I missed something so obvious.

      Unfortunately, like Thomas Frank, Noam has been proven all too right (though I must also give a shout-out to punk rock activist Jello Biafra, who saw where the “TV-news-for-profit” paradigm was going, and communicated it to young people via his talks in the late 80s).

      There is nothing wrong with the news division making a profit per se. But the insects who dissected what used to be “news” were aiming for the greatest eyeball content, with no interest–whatsoever–in the traditional ethos of journalism. Edward R. Murrow would have been quickly canned.

      And, thanks to the corporate consolidation of the former “news” networks and the gaming of Internet search engines, we have now only a couple of popular, intelligent comedians picking up the slack, not doing any original research, but simply reporting that which is being deliberately ignored by the likes of CNN, Fox, and MSNBC, or indeed, more irresponsibly, CSNBC (or, as I like to call them, the Anna Nicole, Republican Party, Prison TV, and Rich Idiot networks).

      I must qualify: I’ve seen good stuff on all of the above–yes, even Fox, though rarely. “Rarely” is the point.

      I deeply believe in the vitality of the “Fourth Estate.” Without real journalism, we will never reach New Jersey.

      Thank you, Jon.

      P.S. Warning: Relevant tech rant follows. About search engines: I’m a Bing guy now, not because it’s great (it’s far from it), but because changes have been made to Google’s search algorithm to guarantee bad results.

      You used to be able to search for exact words and Google would give you, you know, exact words. That’s changed: instead, you get a mountain of word salad consisting of everything but what you wanted.

      Vint, are you fucking paying attention? Do you want to go down in history as the Father of the Internet, or the guy who ignored the willful, dangerous destruction of its most useful research tool?

  12. prairie pond

    That’s one of the most beautiful orations I’ve ever heard. Period.

    No wonder Jon Stewart is one of the most trusted men in the nation.

    However, I believe that no matter how heinous the media, it’s still our fault for believing what the media spews. If individual humans didn’t swallow it, whatever garbage the media pukes out wouldn’t matter.

    It still comes back to us, and the choices we make as individuals.

  13. I watched the rally from beginning to end of the live coverage on Comedy Central — my butt was numb and I felt really guilty about spending so much time on a gorgeous day inside watching television. I took Ginger (who is dog) to the park and stayed to play a little longer than usual to try to make up for my laziness. 😉

    Here is an account I think is accurate, there may be many accurate accounts but since I watched the whole damn thing I haven’t felt the need to read someone’s take on the whole thing.

    Stewart and Colbert’s DC Rally Draws 215K