Wednesday, 6/8/11, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

54 responses to “Wednesday, 6/8/11, Public Square

  1. And this cartoon, folks, is exactly the way it is!

    Today those stances that were considered ‘conservative’ before President Obama endorsed them, are now (simply because of his endorsement) misguided, reprehensible, condemnable… according to those same people who called them ‘conservative’ before.

    Even the crop of 2012 GOP candidates for the presidency have taken stances they now have to change.

    “One thing that Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have in common: These GOP presidential contenders all are running away from their past positions on global warming, driven by their party’s loud doubters who question the science and disdain government solutions.

    All four have stepped back from previous stances on the issue, either apologizing outright or softening what they said earlier. And those who haven’t fully recanted are under pressure to do so.”

    We don’t even need to mention Romneycare or Gingrich recognizing the Ryan plan does indeed kill Medicare.

    Sadder than those candidates are members of Congress from both parties! Doing whatever they think it takes to be reelected and saddest yet is how many people they fool!

  2. NPR’s Morning Shows Are Bigger than Fox News and Rush Limbaugh

    Here’s why Fox News is always trying to defund NPR. In 2010, Morning Edition and All Things Considered averaged 13 million and 12 million plus listeners each. In 2011 Fox and Friends have an audience of 1.09 million, while Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh’s radio shows are in decline.

  3. demandprogress

    Does the acronym PIPA mean anything to you? Well, it should. It represents the PROTECT IP Act, otherwise known as the Internet Blacklist Bill. This act, currently being considered by Congress, would give the government the power to block access to sites accused of copyright infringement, through control of “information location tools” such as Google. This is a clear case of censorship, and it must be stopped. Demand Progress has already helped 24,000 letters of opposition be sent to Congress, but the more support we have, the more impact we’ll have.

    Will you email Congress to urge them to oppose the Protect IP Act? (

    We are facing significant opposition from corporations such as the Motion Picture Association of America, who are doing everything in their power to discredit our campaign and end our efforts. They have gone so far as to claim that we’ve used fake names on our petition. They’re clearly feeling threatened by the support we’ve gained, which means what we’re doing is working. But we can’t relax now—the most important fight is yet to come, as Congress decides whether or not to pass the bill.

    You can help by signing our petition and by contacting your senators through the links provided on our website. By emailing them directly, you’ll be proving the MPAA wrong and making a stand for a free and uncensored Internet. Please help us by telling Congress that this bill is unacceptable (

    You can learn more about Demand Progress, our campaigns, and PIPA on our website,

    • The continuing battle between “everything should be available for free on the internet” crowd, and the “protection of intellectual property rights” group. Intellectual property rights were recognized in the Constitution (patents, anyone?), so these exist.

      Thus, the dilemma for Congress. A substantial group wants access to materials otherwise protected by law without paying for them to do with them what they wish, and fights the bill referenced above. Meanwhile, powerful forces (read: those with sufficient money to make substantial campaign contributions) oppose this. I’m aware of the home video tape case, but recall the making the copy was for personal use only, not for selling or otherwise distributing copies to the public at large. Is the current bill overbroad? Yes, but those in opposition (well, some of those opposed, at least) have trampled on the rights of others in the past, and want the freedom to continue to do so in the future, which, imho, has squarely invited the bill’s attack on their “freedom”.

      • Zippy

        Nothing new under the sun, 6 (by the way, I agree completely with your previous comments on Linux–and cool link).

        The difficulty that we’re seeing is translating the old principles into new media, and they’re doing it really badly. Forget home taping: look at radio, and then look at the ongoing battles between the major record labels and internet radio stations. Left out the debate: the economic interests of the aritsts, who actually benefit, to some degree, to inadvertent exposure (yes, even unlicensed MP3s). Many musicians and Internet stations are extremely unhappy with the Sound Exchange licensing regime.

        As you note, the bill is very likely overbroad, but, yes, wholesale ripoffs—such as we’ve seen repeatedly in, say, Eastern Europe, where bootleg CDs have run rampant–can and should be met with the same response as any sort of response to a wholesale ripoff.

        A balance should be struck, and, while I haven’t seen the bill, I rather doubt any sort of balance–or any real defense of creators’ interest—will be coming from this Congress.

        I’d like to be wrong.

    • WSClark

      I thought Pipa was Kate’s sister.

    • wicked

      Somehow I missed this, and considering that I’ve recently found several torrent sites containing pirated copies of my books, it’s become personal.

      Perhaps our visiting poster, demandprogress, does not understand the purpose of copyrights. As a published author, I’ve become more and more aware of what copyright infringement means and try my best to stay within the parameters of the law. I’ve never copied a tape or DVD. I purchased all my music. I pay for my books, 98% of the time buying new and not used.

      Those wanting everything for free need to take a walk in the shoes of the copyright holders and realize that for many of us the money made from products (music, movies, books) helps keep a roof over our heads and money to feed our families and pay our bills. Perhaps demandprogress and those like him/her doesn’t understand that people are trying to eke out a living, and that each time a work is stolen, making that living becomes a little bit more difficult. Why should YOU get my work for free by stealing it, when I’m expected to pay for YOUR products and services?

      Maybe I should be posting this to the demandprogress site linked in the above comment, and I might just do that.

  4. Happy 5th consecutive hot day this month. It appears the normal “noon-time” River Festival crowds are substantially down in numbers, due in part to the heat I think. BTW, wasn’t one justification for moving the date the chance for better weather and bigger crowds?

    • They closed down the most convenient to downtown parking this morning, reserving it for Music Theater patrons (rightly so I think). That could have something to do with it too. Although I can’t imagine any more miserable weather than our last six days so I’m agreeing with you.

      • WSClark

        They did a nice job starting the Kellogg at Downtown construction right at RF, too.

        Good job! I wonder which braniac figured that one out.

    • wicked

      This reminds me of June 1980.

      Friday night’s concert and fireworks get a 6.5 out of 10.

      1. For whatever reason, maybe because the fireworks are set to go off at a specific time, the 1812 Overture was sliced and diced to the 1812 ditty.
      2. The hill north of the Star stage was covered with stickers. Sandburrs or whatever they’re called.
      3. The very bright lights at the top of the hill were never turned off.
      4. Fireworks went off south of the stage, with fountain-type ones to the east of them that may have been set off on near the Douglas street bridge. That’s only a guess. 🙂 There were mirror fireworks of the south ones to the north of the hill. Made watching a bit of a pain. No clue whose idiot idea that was. The show could’ve been a bit longer with only one set, not twins. Dumb and to no advantage to anyone I could think of.

      I came to the conclusion on Saturday, as we trudged from Century II to the Keeper of the Plains along the newly finished Waterwalk (north), and then back to Exploration Place, that a tattooed number might have come in handy, as we were checked through so many points to make sure we were buttoned. See, I’ve nearly always bought a button, even though I might have only gone to the final concert & fireworks. But forcing me to buy one just makes me want to chew nails. And checking my body to see that I’m wearing it (I had to buy another because I left mine at home on Saturday), doesn’t help my blood pressure.

      BTW, I met the young man who is behind the Joyland Restoration. Extremely nice guy. We bought several “Restore Joyland” wristbands and wished him success.

      (Crossing my fingers this doesn’t show up on FB.)
      Your friendly RF reporter, over and out. 😉

  5. Watchdog Group: Clarence Thomas Engaged In “Judicial Insider Trading” To Enrich His Wife

    While the media is focused on dirty pictures, they continue to fail to report the critical news Anthony Weiner was focused on before the scandal erupted.

    What happened to the story Anthony Weiner was focused on when this scandal broke?

    • indypendent

      And this is yet another reason to be mad at Weienr.

      While he’s obviously mesmerized by his own body parts that he feels the need to share them on Twitter and/or cellphone, this makes every good thing that comes out of his mouth tainted and suspect.

      And while the media obsessess over all this nonsense (because, after all, media is driven by ratings and sex always sells), we are here facing alot of problems as a country.

      But there is one good thing about the Weiner case – I don’t see any Democrats racing to defend him like Sen John Ensign had his C-STreet Christian friends in there to help him cover up his affair.

      Maybe Weiner should join the C-Street Christian bunch and learn to how use your friends in high places….


      • WSClark

        You know, I like women a whole lot, but it never occurred to me to send a picture of my FTL-clad junk to Halle. Is this somehow a new turn on for women that I didn’t hear about?

        I had heard that women like a sharp dressed man, but I didn’t know that meant right down to the skivvies. Is there a fashion protocol for this type of thing? Boxers or briefs?
        Not to share WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION but I kinda like knit boxer-briefs – is this acceptable for crotch-shot Tweeting? For that matter, when IS it acceptable for crotch-shot Tweeting? Do you do this after the first date? Third date? After you (obviously) get her phone number?

        Being a photographer, do I have to get out all my gear (watch it, Fnord) to take my picture or can I just use my cell-phone? Is there a PhotoShop app to use for this type of work or will Elements suffice?

        Dang, so many questions and nowhere to look for the answers.

        Maybe that’s why I haven’t had a date for a while – who knew?

      • For the most part, and to avoid generalizations, women don’t appreciate sexual advances unless there is some kind of romantic feeling for the person. In fact, we feel they’re icky from strangers. I think women are probably as susceptible to being ‘turned on’ as men but direct their sexual feelings toward someone they know, are attracted to… So, the anonymous sexting, effair might get the female’s hubby, boy friend a hot time.

        Again, for the most part, because generalizations are usually too general to be regarded as fact.


      • indypendent

        Boxers or Briefs??

        I remember when the media would never ask a president if he wore boxers or briefs but I beleive this tradition was broken when Clinton was running? I don’t remember exactly when, but wasn’t it some college girl?

        But I’ve noticed alot of ‘hotness’ came onto the television after Paris Hilton (I think it was her) had her show and everything had to be ‘hot’ be to cool.

        But I’m with fnord on this one – women, in general, do not like nor do they secretly lust after men who are willing to go sexting for some cheap thrill.

        While I admit I am from the Dinosaur Age and ran around with Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty, I still believe that most people find this sexting offensive.

        That’s my 2cents

      • wicked

        OMG, WS! I can’t believe you said “crotch-shot!” (Laughing myself silly.)

    • WSClark

      What if you draw little eyes and a mouth on it like Lamb Chop?

      • Will that make it more recognizable to those women who may be hoping you’ll ask them out? I think you just haven’t met someone who interests you and when you do it sounds like you’ve got the strategy well planned.

  6. GOP Hopeful Herman Cain: David Koch’s Stalking Horse?

    What goes unremarked in profiles of Herman Cain is his connection to the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the organization founded by David Koch.

    • indypendent

      I think Herman Cain will ride the Far Right to get their GOP nomination but then what? Cain is not all that popular in the general election and the only I’ve heard him say is that Muslims are bad and how much he hates Obama (inferring they’re one and the same?)

      With so much at stake in 2012 – are the American peope really going to listen to some man who nothing much to say other than Obama is terrible?

      I don’t know how this Cain is with views about women but if he is anywhere close to the others on his side of the aisle, intelligent women will not jump on Cain’s bandwagon either.

      When he first appeared in the GOP wannabe crowd – my first thought was – are the GOP are trying to rewrite history to have the first real black president? – because, if you have noticed recently, the Rightees always talk about Obama being half white before they mention he is half black.

      So, in their mind, Obama is not really black.

      • indypendent

        P.S. – So what’s wrong with trying to rewrite presidential history by claiming Obama is not really black?

        Palin rewrote the famous Paul Revere’s ride – and the Far-Rightees bought that hook, line and sinker.

        I suspect the Grand Old Party is not going to be so grand and there might not even be party left after this group of clowns get done.

    • Cain has shown a lack of depth on foreign policy, stating at one point that he doesn’t know enough to say what he thinks about the Afghanistan war.

      But this morning on Fox News Sunday, Cain showed just how limited his understanding is of the Middle East peace process. Asked by host Chris Wallace what he would be prepared to offer Palestinians as part of a deal, Cain responded, “Nothing.” Just moments later, Cain was dazed and confused when Wallace referenced the issue of “right of return” of Palestinian refugees:

      WALLACE: Where do you stand on the right of return?

      CAIN: The right of return? [pause] The right of return?

      WALLACE: The Palestinian right of return.

      CAIN: That’s something that should be negotiated. That’s something that should be negotiated.

      Wallace then helpfully offered Cain a definition of “right of return” — “Palestinian refugees, the people that were kicked out of the land in 1948, should be able to or should have any right to return to Israeli land.” Cain again showed his lack of knowledge, veering completely off his pro-Likud script. “I don’t think they have a big problem with people returning,” Cain said.

    • [Cain] opposes tax credits, but he qualifies that by saying that there “are some exceptions.” It’s unclear what those exceptions are or how they square with his support for a Fair Tax, which allows no exceptions other than a large purchase exemption to avoid taxing the poor.

      Cain’s public record on spending is very thin. “Nothing should be off the table,” Cain writes in “The People’s platform,” a policy document on his exploratory campaign website. “Every federal agency, every government program and every single expenditure must be reviewed and revised with a keen eye and a red pen.”

      ….Cain supported TARP, the government bailout of the financial industry, and even chastised people who opposed it in a condescending op-ed: “Earth to taxpayers! Owning stocks in banks is not nationalization of the banking industry. It’s trying to solve a problem,” Cain wrote. “Owning a part of the major banks in America is not a bad thing. We could make a profit while solving a problem.”

      “The free market purists’ objection to this is that it smacks at government control of the banking industry, which is called nationalization,” Cain added. “They are correct. It smacks, but it is not nationalization because that would require the government to own at least 51 percent of the entity for an indefinite period of time.”

      Herman Cain appears to have not made any public comment on McCain-Feingold, Citizens United, or any other issue dealing with political free speech.

  7. Boehner’s Monthly $2,000 Tab

    House Speaker John Boehner isn’t opposed to all government spending: Since becoming speaker, he’s more than doubled his monthly expense account from $833 to more than $2,000. According to Roll Call, “Boehner now appears to be the only Member of the House accepting this money in direct payments each month.” His predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, used the account for meals or ceremonial duties but never had the checks made out to her directly. Boehner’s office says he uses the money for official duties.

  8. indypendent

    For the most part, and to avoid generalizations, women don’t appreciate sexual advances unless there is some kind of romantic feeling for the person.
    I think romance has gone the way of the horse and buggy days. I think sex in today’s society is all about recreation and then sometimes it results in procreation without one single romantic gesture involved.

    For being such a Christian nation that looks upon sex as taboo – our country sure does like those sexy things on television and especially their cell phone pictures.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I am not naive to think everyone falls in love, gets married, have kids and the world is hunky dory.

    But the ‘norm’ now seems to be sex is nothing more than something to do rather than the deeper meaning it should represent.

    While I am not of the abstinennce crowd only – I do wish more people would value their sex lives more than just ‘something to do’ or that is what is expected to get a date.

    Our priorities in liffe are messed up quite badly in this country. While we have one bunch professing to be such godly people, I look around and say WTH……..

  9. Among the clowns that crowd the GOP presidential hopefuls, here’s one that might have the biggest nose.

    You can’t get sicker than this buffoon.

    • indypendent

      Well, that’s a picture I could have not seen and been happy the rest of my life.

      You know, these pro lifers really puzzle me. They have been banging this particular drum for 30 years and what do they have to show for all their work ? A few wealthy men who profess to be their leaders all the while banking that money.

      Hmm, do you think snake oil salesmen use the same trick?

      Personally, I am against abortion but I do want the procedure to be available to those who need and choose it. I would rather see abortions handled in a hospital/clinic setting than to revert back to before Roe v Wade was on the books.

      But rather than protesting and bombing aboriton clinics and killing abortion doctors, let’s just make our society better at raising these children. Let’s have people working to provide for their children rather than giving those taxpayer-funded subsidies to corporations who then outsource jobs.

      Let’s get rid of these sex perverts (some can be found right under a priest/preacher’s nose in the front pew) and let’s stop all these sex-selling nonsense on our television, movies and every day life.

      For those who yell the loudest about being prolife are usually those who think my last few comments are dead wrong. Go figure.

      • indypendent

        P.S. – I still remember this Catholic Republican male who is married with kids of his own going on and on about Miley Cyrus’ half-naked picture when she was only 15 yrs. old.

        This so-called godly man called the picture ‘yum’ – and I told him that offended me, let alone his wife and kids. And his rebuttal was – he was just making a joke.

        A grown man making a joke about a 15-yr-old girl ? I don’t think so – not in my book.

        BTW – this man also hates Obama, hates all Muslims because they are evil people. But I guess a grown married man yumming after a 15-yr-old girl’s picture is considered saintly?

      • I’ve often heard the ‘you don’t have a sense of humor’ excuse. Correct! There is nothing funny about degenerate behavior. It takes a pervert to think they could possibly joke about some subjects.

      • indypendent

        That’s how I see it also – some subjects are not to be joked about – and that’s one of them.

      • indypendent

        OH, and to the put the cherry on top – this married Catholic Republican male is staunchly pro life.

        Enough said?

  10. indypendent

    I just heard David Corn from Mothers Jones on MSNBC stating that some newspaper was gong to reveal that Weiner’s wife is pregnant.

    God, that makes me even angrier with the the doofus. Cenk Uygur (sp?) on MSNBC was on talking with some Republican strategist about the hypocrisy of the GOP calling for Weiner’s resignation when they circled the wagons around their own Congress critters when they get caught in their own sex scandals. Specifically, they were talking about Sen David Vitter – you remember this guy was the one on the DC Madame list of phone numnbers? He is from Louisiana and there was no ethics investigation (it was in 2007 so GWB and Gang was in charge), no charges filed – nothing. Vitter even got a standing ovation from fellow Republicans when he came onto the Senate floor after apologizing but i guess that’s okay because he is ‘one of the good ol’ boys’.

    The ‘excuse’ this strategist gave is because Weiner used the Capitol for his press conference to lie about the tweet photo . I guess it’s okay about Vitter having no ethics investigation. The strategist also said that Vitter was relected by his own state so therefore nothing should be said bout his past inapporpriate sexual behavior.

    Well, to follow that logic – then Weiner should be given the same treatment – no ethics investigation since no charges have been filed and let the people in his state determine the his future as a Congressman.

    I just have to keep remembering – the REpublican women all stood by their men while they tearfully and dutifully apologized. The Democrats women were no where near their men (Edwards and Weiner) to portray a happy little Stepford Family Picture..

    • indypendent

      Sad to say – here we are again discussing whose side is more morally depraved rather than the real problems our country is facing.

      I also caught the last 10 minutes of Chris Matthews’ show. He was in Philadelphia talking to college studnets.

      Each one of them were concerned about the budget cutting axes of the Republicans. This is the voting block that got Obama elected – so this is the group that needs to get fired up and kept fired up about the issues.

      And the younger voter crowd is not exactly the Republicans strong suit – is it? And the Republicans have already ticked off the seniors – their huge base of voters. I wondre if the GOP thinks the 2% wealthiest Americans and all those Stepford wives are really going to carry them over the victory line in 2012?

    • Too many elected Republicans have declared war on women! They show no respect for women and we’ve already figured out that if a woman votes Republican she isn’t paying attention. Many of them simply do the bidding of men and if they’re capable of critical thinking skills they don’t use those skills. Would they be able to stay married if they did?

      • indypendent

        I worked for an office manager that was dead serious when she asked the rest of us women during lunch if there was a federal law mandating wives to vote the same way as their husband.

        I just about choked on my sandwich and the girl next to me spit out her tea from laughing so hard. After the laughter died down, this poor woman continued on witht he ‘tale’ her husband told her the night before.

        Well – can you imagine what a bunch of independent strong women told this little naive thing? A few of us wanted this neanderthal’s cell phone number so we could share our thoughts with him on the subject.


        I suspect the more ‘religious’ one proclaims to be is when the women vote the way their man tells to vote actually occurs.

  11. indypendent

    Her’e’s something about Herman Cain you may not know. He wants all legislation to be no longer than 3 pages.

    Now I can understand wanting to cut down on some of these huge bills – but 3 pages is the maximum?

    Oh, we all know this idea is not practical but doesn’t it sound good to the Tea Party Republicans who think slogans on bumper stickers should rule our country?

    • The tea party republicans DO NOT think! They are ill informed, they may have great intentions, but they don’t have a clue!

  12. An Open Letter to Anthony Weiner

    Dear Representative Weiner:

    On last week’s MOMocrats MOMochat show, my panelists and I made the decision to bypass the two political stories that were getting the most media coverage — so we could focus on the events that actually matter.

    “This past weekend, there was some lady in a bus driving around, and a bunch of fake tweets,” is how Cynematic characterized the news that broke over the Memorial Day holiday.

    Of course, we believed you when you said your Twitter account was hacked. Why wouldn’t we? You have been a visible and powerful advocate for many of the causes we support: affordable healthcare, restoring progressivity to the tax code, investing in transportation and infrastructure, and putting the teeth back into environmental codes, to name a few.

    The story was broken by Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government website, which has a history of smearing progressive leaders and organizations. Van Jones, Shirley Sherrod, ACORN, and NPR are just a few victims of the Breitbart team’s setups and selective editing methods. We’ve learned to take Breitbart’s reporting with a very large grain of salt.

    And “Weinergate” appeared to coincide with the your efforts to force Justice Clarence Thomas (whose wife is a well paid conservative lobbyist) to recuse himself when the the Supreme Court is asked to decide the future of the Affordable Care Act.

    I can see why you got so emotional at yesterday’s press conference, where you acknowledged your “deep personal failing” and “terrible judgment” in conducting cybersex with as many as six (!) women.

    Excuse my language, but no shit.

    Didn’t you learn anything from Bill Clinton? Or John Ensign? Or John Edwards?

    You’ve never portrayed yourself as a “morals” guy and I honestly don’t care what you do in private. But I expect you to be discrete. And smart enough to understand the golden rule of communicating online:

    Thou shalt not send anyone anything you’d be embarrassed to see on the front page of the New York Times.

    Because this information lasts forever.

    My teenage daughter understands this. She knows it’s dangerous to reveal too much information about herself. She’s known this since the days she hung around on Club Penguin.

    She has also had to endure the talk about the dangers of sexting. Every middle schooler in America understands that cameraphone photos can be widely disseminated with ease.

    And while I’m on that subject, could you tell me when men decided that sending photos of their naughty bits is an acceptable form of flirtation? Because I just don’t get it.

    Congressman Weiner, I’m angry at you. By not fessing up at the outset, and lying to us on every media outlet in the country, you’ve wasted ten days where we’ve been distracted from very important issues that face our nation.. and you have further weakened the clout of your fellow progressives in Congress.

    At this point, you are saying you’re not resigning. I support that, as long as you haven’t broken the law or violated Congressional ethics. However, your stupid behavior and lies about it have compromised your effectiveness and credibility.

    And that is something I can’t forgive.

    • indypendent

      I agree 100% with this letter.

      • indypendent

        BTW – Could I please do to Weiner what Hillary did to Bill when he finally confessed? A good slap in the face….

      • wicked

        Indy, considering the fact that Weiner’s wife works closely with Hillary, I think there’s no doubt that Mrs. Weiner will get some coaching. 😉

      • indypendent

        Thanks for reminding me Mrs. Weiner works with Hillar – I read that somewhere recently.

        I know she is in good hands! LMAO

      • indypendent

        P.S. – I hope Weiner gets not only a slap in the face but a good kick in his FTL he thinks is so cute……

    • Zippy

      You know what? I was going to try to figure out why someone known by millions of people thought he could–or should–act like a drunken teenager on the Internet, but the hell with it.

      The damage goes far beyond his personal humiliation, or his wife’s. Remember Gary Hart? He might have been president in 1988, but the whole “Monkey Business” photo did far more than make the electiion of George HW Bush well, more possible.

      It gave credibility to the National Enquirer as a “news organization,” something that is damaging the perception of what can be journalism today. While of course there are other factors, their “scoop” (good term for they do), arguably made Matt Drudge, Fox News and, eventually, somebody like Breitbart possible.

      And now, after several high profile disgraces (Shirley Sherrod, anyone?), a professional character assassin has been given the oxygen of undeserved credibility, from a most unexpected source.

      Though I must say that, in the long run, voting for the Iraq war was still a worse decision.

  13. Zippy

    For once, Thomas Friedman approaches genius

    • A brilliant synthesis of my thinking over the past two to three decades. It is so obvious as to require no further explication from me. I hope the optimism expressed by the gentleman in the piece is well-founded, but please allow me to be dubious. Thanks for the link, Zippy.