Sorry Asses

Turd Blossom, also known as Karl Rove, famously wrote a piece in The Wall Street Journal that gave legs to the demonstrably false meme that President Obama has been traversing the globe announcing our nation’s historical failings and apologizing for them.

Mr. Blossom wrote of the alleged apologies:

Mr. Obama makes it seem as though there is moral equivalence between America and its adversaries and assumes that if he confesses America’s sins, other nations will confess theirs and change.

Of course Mr. Obama never did what he was accused of doing, as many have pointed out, but that hasn’t stopped the criticism. WaPo quotes Donald Rumsfeld as saying,

I think he had made a practice of trying to apologize for America. I personally am proud of America.

And of course Mittens had something to say:

I will not and I will never apologize for America. I don’t apologize for America, because I believe in America.

The apology meme is perfectly suited for talk radio and Fox “News,” which moved it around the world at light speed. Sean Hannity, using his most serious and obnoxious voice, said Obama has a “habit” of issuing “wall to wall apologies,” and,

We have a president that’s more inclined to apologize for America than defend America’s greatness.

Now, leaving aside the disturbing hysteria that has taken up permanent residence in the brain of Sean Hannity and other talkers in the right-wing media, even if Mr. Obama were a serial apologizer, so what?

It seems obvious to me that any concept of America’s “greatness” should include the idea that we attempt to correct our wrongs when we can and when he can’t correct them, we at least should be great enough to express regret for them.  Other than those infected with fascist fantasies, what kind of mind would think that apologizing is a sign of weakness and not of strength?

I bring up the topic because of this wonderful headline:

Yes, that U.S. House, the one with all those extremist teapartiers who think Obama has apologized us into second-class status internationally.

Here’s the story:

WASHINGTON, June 18 (Xinhua) — U.S. House of Representatives on Monday unanimously passed a resolution apologizing for discriminating laws targeting Chinese immigrants at the turn of the 20th century.

Congressional leaders hailed the approval of the resolution as a “historic” moment for the Chinese American community.

In a voice vote, the House passed H. Res. 683, a bipartisan resolution that formally expresses regret for the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and other legislation that discriminated against people of Chinese origin in the United States.

This is the fourth resolution of regret passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress in the past 25 years. It was approved in the Senate last October.

“Today the House made history when both chambers of Congress officially and formally acknowledged the ugly and un-American nature of laws that targeted Chinese immigrants,” said Congresswoman Judy Chu, the only member of Congress who is of Chinese descent and who introduced the bill. “I feel so gratified… and I feel honored to have been a part of this great moment in history.”

The Chinese Exclusion Act, approved in 1882 in Congress and lasted for 60 years, was the first and the only federal law in U.S. history that excluded a single group of people from immigration on no basis other than their race. It explicitly banned Chinese workers from immigration and existing residents from naturalization and voting.

The Act was later expanded several times to apply to all persons of Chinese descent, each time imposing increasingly severe restrictions on immigration and naturalization.

No word in yet on when Turd Blossom will denounce House Republicans for their act of shame, which has made it “seem as though there is moral equivalence between America and its adversaries and assumes that if [the House of Representatives]confesses America’s sins, other nations will confess theirs and change.”

No word in yet on when Sean Hannity will summon his most serious and obnoxious voice and decry this outrage against American greatness, perpetrated by the Republican-dominated House.

No word in yet on when Mittens will grab a microphone and repeat his suggestion that it is not possible to both apologize for America and also believe in it.

And no word in yet on when Republicans will apologize to Barack Obama for slandering him, for loudly and endlessly suggesting that he doesn’t love America and that he has diminished its greatness.


Of Chicken Shit And Billionaires

I want to begin with a story that appeared on the front page of the Joplin Globe this Friday morning:

Moark is a subsidiary of Land O’Lakes in Minnesota and is the second largest distributor of fresh shell eggs in the country (about 6 billion eggs sold each year). Naturally, when millions of chickens are concentrated in one area there is a problem with waste and smell, which tend to diminish the quality of life for those residents who happen to live nearby.

The point of the Globe story was really to chronicle the lack of interest on the part of those nearby residents to resist this latest expansion of Moark’s production, since citizen resistance to an earlier expansion in 2005 met with utter failure. The state sided with the corporation.

Dave Boyt, one of those who challenged Moark’s 2005 expansion said this time:

People get tired of beating their heads against a wall. We knew during the earlier expansion what we were up against. We knew that the chances of stopping the expansion or getting even some concessions were absolutely minuscule.

Another nearby resident said:

Ordinary people can’t afford to fight something that big. Money talks, and as a little guy, unless you’ve got the money to fight them, you really can’t do much.

Such resignation may be behind the tendency, when one discusses money in politics, to resort to a “both sides do it” stance and just hope the wind blows the smell of chicken shit the other way.

But, folks, what Republicans are doing this election cycle ought to scare the complacency out of you, if, that is, you give a damn about our democracy. Last night on MSNBC, Ezra Klein (subbing for Saint Rachel) presented this graphic:

What this comparison shows is that Karl Rove, W. Bush’s Turd Blossom, will spend this election cycle, through his Crossroads group, nearly as much as the entire McCain-Palin campaign did in 2008.

But that’s not the whole story, of course. As Politico reported:

POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections – twice what they had been expected to commit.

Just the spending linked to the Koch network is more than the $370 million that John McCain raised for his entire presidential campaign four years ago.

So, from just two sources, Rove and Koch, Romney’s effort to become CEO of America will have funding amounting to about twice as much as the Republican Party’s presidential candidate had last time.

But that still doesn’t include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the super PAC supporting Mittens (Restore our Future), which when added to the Rove-Koch dough will exceed $1 billion. Can you smell the chicken doo-doo yet?

But we still haven’t got to what the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee expects to raise—according to Politico about $800 million!

Add it all up and we are damn close to $2 billion that Republicans will have to slander and trash Obama and other Democrats. But we’re still not at the end:

Chicken caca, anyone? That Forbes article relates that the Las Vegas billionaire, Sheldon Adelson, who “has made more money during the Obama administration than just about any other American, based on Forbes tabulations,” will do “whatever it takes” to defeat the President. Adelson is quoted as saying:

What scares me is the continuation of the socialist-style economy we’ve been experiencing for almost four years. That scares me because the redistribution of wealth is the path to more socialism, and to more of the government controlling people’s lives…I believe that people will come to their senses and not extend the current Administration’s quest to socialize this country. It won’t be a socialist democracy because it won’t be a democracy.

It won’t be a democracy because people like Sheldon Adelson—worth a reported $25 billion—and the Koch brothers—combined net worth of $50 billion—and other wealthy Republicans will have cannibalized it, if voters don’t stop them.

And, again, if all this isn’t enough to get folks to electorally rebel against this hostile takeover of our politics—aided greatly by the conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court—then the American experiment with democracy—with government of, by, and for the people—will soon be over.

The people will have surrendered to the oligarchs and America will become a much different place, one where the Adelsons and the Kochs will rule and the Moarks of the world can pollute the countryside with impunity.

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