Monday, August 16, 2010





 “When I start to view religious freedom through the prism of midterm elections, I’m just going to quit.” – An unidentified senior White House official.

The president didn’t send me over here to seek a graceful exit. My marching orders are to do all that is humanly possible to help us achieve our objectives.”-  GEN. DAVID H. PETRAEUS, the commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

“It never once crossed my mind that I was in a sand trap. I just thought I was on a piece of dirt that the crowd had trampled down.” – Pro golfer Dustin Johnson explaining why he grounded his club before his second shot on the 18th hole that lead to a two-stroke penalty that may have cost him the PGA championship.

“It was a privilege to play major league baseball. I didn’t take it lightly, and had fun doing it, while providing for my family. I was very fortunate.” – Garrett Anderson after his recent release by the Dodgers



Nate Silver says President Obama’s comments on the “Ground Zero” mosque are “less politically risky than it might at first appear”: “[P]ublic opinion … is divided into thirds. About a third of the country thinks that not only do the developers have a right to build the mosque, but that it’s a perfectly appropriate thing to do. Another third think that while the development is in poor taste, the developers nevertheless have a right to build it. And the final third think that not only is the development inappropriate, but the developers have no right to build it … While it is almost certainly riskier than his remaining mum on the issue, the assertion that the developers have a Constitutional right to proceed with the project is not particularly controversial.”

“GOP takes harsher stance toward Islam,” by Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman: “The harsh Republican response to President Barack Obama’s defense of a mosque near ground zero marks a dramatic shift in the party’s posture toward Islam – from a once active courtship of Muslim voters to a very public tolerance after Sept. 11 to an openly aired sense of mistrust. Republican leaders have largely abandoned former President George W. Bush’s post-Sept. 11 rhetorical embrace of American Muslims and his insistence – always controversial inside the party – that Islam is a religion of peace. … Obama’s remarks provide a clear, national focus for the simmering question of Islam in American life, and Republicans showed every sign … of beginning to capitalize on it, with Republican candidates in New York and Florida seeking to inject the issue into local races as Democrats largely held their silence. … [P]otential Republican presidential hopefuls, led by Sarah Palin, came out sharply against the mosque. … Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty … rebuffed pleas from local Muslim leaders to back off his suggestion that the mosque would ‘degrade and disrespect’ the Trade Center site. A spokesman for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney cited both ‘the wishes of the families of the deceased and the potential for extremists to use the mosque for global recruiting and propaganda’ in opposing it.”

Simon Schama in the Financial Times, “Obama’s brave remarks reveal a true patriot”: “Has Barack Obama just committed political suicide? By appearing to endorse the building of a mosque and Islamic cultural centre at the threshold of Ground Zero, has he set himself at odds with the majority of Americans who regard the idea as a desecration of ‘hallowed ground’? … If the quarrel over the mosque at Ground Zero turns into a debate on the sovereign principles of the American way of life, it is the president and Mayor Bloomberg who will emerge with honor, as the true custodians of what the founders had in mind. Freedom of conscience and religious practice, Mr Obama said at the Iftar dinner, and again in brief clarifying remarks, define ‘who we are’. And in reaffirming this bedrock principle, it is Mr Obama, not his enemies, who identifies himself as an authentic American patriot.” I couldn’t agree more unless I had written this myself!

Byron York in the Washington Examiner, “Obama’s Clintonian speech pulls rug from under mosque supporters”: “[T]here is simply no doubt that Obama’s Friday evening speech … was an endorsement of the Ground Zero project. It was certainly widely understood as such. … But on Saturday, Obama said all those listeners were wrong, that they misunderstood him. Several years ago, there was a word for Obama’s rhetorical technique: Clintonian. Like the former president, Obama spoke words he knew would be understood as having a particular meaning in a particular context. He also knew that those same words, when examined closely outside that context, might also be interpreted as having a different meaning. In that sense, the mosque affair is a good lesson for both supporters and opponents of the president. From now on, with Obama, as it was with Clinton, the rule is: Don’t listen to the speech. Read the words very carefully.”

From The Category of For Whatever It’s Worth: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leads the 2012 field in a survey of Iowa caucus-goers conducted for the Iowa Republican website by GOP pollster Jan van Lohuizen.

Huckabee takes 22 percent to 18 percent for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. In a slight surprise, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) received 14 percent to take third while former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin placed fourth with 11 percent.

No other candidate scored in double digits. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a near-certain 2012 candidate, rated just one percent while Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who appears to be getting more and more serious about the race, didn’t even register a single percent. (For the Paulites out there, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who ran for president in 2008, placed fifth with 5 percent.)

In California, we’re about to find out if you can really buy an election. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman (R) has now spent more than $100 million of her fortune on the California governor’s race, after plugging another $13 million into the race over the weekend.

Whitman’s latest investment brings her total for the campaign to $104 million, which places her among the top handful of self-funders all time, and still with two and half months left in the race.

She is a lock to exceed the current record for self-funding of $109 million by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) in his most recent re-election campaign, which, in a reminder that money doesn’t always guarantee success, he won very narrowly.

Whitman and state Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) continue to run in a virtual dead heat, despite the fact that Whitman is spending unprecedented amounts of money and Brown’s campaign is, so far, reserving its cash.

Brown has raised $24 million and spent less than $1 million of it while Whitman spent more than $80 million in the first half of this year alone.

Obama’s Islamic Center Stance: Why the GOP Shouldn’t Run Against It


Patriotism isn’t blind allegiance to “my way or the highway” as many on the right would have us to believe.

The GOP is very publicly and unapologetically purging themselves of anyone who’s not white and Christian. Their vision of America doesn’t exist anymore – if it ever really did – and when they talk about “taking back ‘our’ country”, they are talking about returning to the 1950s. And if you don’t believe me, take a look at any monochromatic picture of one of their events or Sarah Palin’s recent “Mama Grizzlies” video on her Facebook page.

People parse both the Bible and the Constitution to suit their purposes. Jesus reached out to everyone, from the leper to the woman at the well and yet, many who call themselves Christians turn their backs to the poor, the oppressed, gays, etc. The right-wing of this nation want THEIR version of America – white and Christian – and in that sense, they are no less extreme than those in the Islamic faith that they speak against.

How anyone with the sense God gave a seedless grape can hate on this family is beyond me Obama Family Plays Mini-Golf, Sasha Nails Hole-In-One (PHOTOS, VIDEO), but somehow they do.

When I read that reality TV actress Tila Tequila complained that audience members pelted her with stones and feces during an outdoor music festival in southern Illinois, all I could think was, “What did stones and feces ever do to be treated in such a manner?”

What Tony Parker Comes Home To

Eva Longoria Parker

Dustin Johnson probably got more publicity for his mistake than he would have if he’d won the PGA Championship. Don’t believe me? Quick, who won the tournament? (No fair looking it up.)

The longer Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony declines to sign the team’s $65 million, three-year extension that’s been on the table all summer, the more it appears that new CBA or lockout or not, he’s likely to move to another team (Knicks) after this season.

Sudden thought: Where was the outrage from Barkley, Bird, Johnson and Jordan when Karl Malone and Gary Payton joined the Lakers for the 2003-04 season in a blatant attempt to win a ring?

It’s beginning to look more and more that the only So Cal team in the baseball playoffs this fall will be the San Diego Padres. And anyone who thinks that Joe Torre is coming back for more of the fiasco that the Dodgers franchise has quickly become since they mistakenly re-signed Manny Ramirez before the ’09 season, is just as delusional as Knicks owner Jim Dolan was when he thought bringing Isiah Thomas back to the team as a consultant was a good idea. (Knick fans, the media and most importantly, the NBA office convinced him that it wasn’t.)

How anyone gets excited about pre-season NFL football is a mystery to me. These “games” are about as realistic as Pam Anderson’s breasts.







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