Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tea Party Patriots, and the Road Not Taken...

Vincent Carroll
Dana Milbank

On Glenn Beck
Jonah Goldberg
Bill Maher

"Americans don't really care which side of an issue you're on as long as you don't act like pussies." - Bill Maher

"Here's some advice: Don't pretend to shoot terrorists near the Pentagon on Sept. 11 with the president nearby." - Dana Milbank

"One thing Americans don't do very well is patience," - Husain Haqqani

letting your freak flag fly...
"Glenn Beck's army of zombie retirees are marching on Washington in protest of, well, everything. It's the Million Moron March..." - Bill Maher

Today is the march on the capitol sponsored by groups such as the Tea Party Patriots, Freedomworks,  National Taxpayer's Union, and popularized by Glenn Beck on his radio and tv show. It looks like over a million people have showed up, or tens of thousands, according to where you get your news. From Fox News: "Tens of thousands of people marched to the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, carrying signs with slogans such as "Obamacare makes me sick"

The line of protesters completely filled Pennsylvania Avenue for blocks, all the way to the capitol, according to the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. People were chanting "enough, enough" and "We the People." Others yelled "You lie, you lie!" and "Pelosi has to go," referring to California congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

Others are waving U.S. flags and holding signs reading "Go Green Recycle Congress" and "I'm Not Your ATM." Some men are dressed in colonial costumes. Police on motorcycles and horses watched as the marchers passed."

According to conservative site World Net News: "Brendan Steinhauser of FreedomWorks, one of the groups that organized the event, told WND, "People want to do this. The people who have been protesting around the country want to come to Washington and do this in D.C. In a lot of ways, they are being ignored and the media is underrepresenting them and their numbers. They want to come together for one big event and send a very clear message." You can also buy several bumperstickers, books, and banners at their tea party store...

Another view is from MSNBC: "But top Republican strategists and many party observers also worry about the impact that the most extreme protesters might have on the party's image, including those who carry swastika signs or obsess over the veracity of Obama's Hawaiian birth.

Mark McKinnon, a former adviser to Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and other Republicans, said there is an "opportunity for Republicans" to tap into legitimate fears about an overreaching federal government. But he said that "right-wing nutballs are aligning themselves with these movements" and are dominating media coverage.

"It's bad for Republicans because in the absence of any real leadership, the freaks fill the void and define the party," McKinnon said."  Let the freaks have their day, watch them on the telly, download them from Youtube. They need to be heard and get it out of their system. In drama its called catharsis, in art its called having your 15 minutes...

the road less traveled...
America's response to the 9/11 attacks was to invade Iraq, which had nothing to do with it, and to invade Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden was supposed to have been hiding. We are still in both of those countries eight years later, spending millions of dollars per day and haven't figured out whatever happened to a man close to seven feet tall and at one time had to be hooked up to a dialysis machine...

What if we hadn't responded like a pack of rabid high school jocks and had tried another approach to terrorism than finding the easiest target to focus our revenge? Instead of helping to popularize and recruit for al Qaeda whenever we bombed and killed civilians, what if we had helped the countries that spawned the terrorists to change their politics and economics, so that joining an extremist group didn't look to some poor, bitter children more desirable than their own future?

From an article in al Jazeera: "America was wrong in believing that the terrorist movements are expressing animosity against the West and are not, rather, an expression of the social, economic, and political problems of the Muslim world," says Burhan Ghalioun, a professor of political sociology at the Sorbonne in France.

Ghalioun believes that socio-economic and political challenges in the Muslim World - which produced these "extremist" movements in the first place - can be overcome if these states embrace democracy and social justice.

Yet there is a sense among some in the Middle East that dialogue is more likely now than at any other time since 9/11... Ghalioun believes that Obama's election was a profound change that has yet to be matched in the region.

"When America called for partial reform, they [Arab governments] refused reform and still insisted on the same policies that led to the rise of extremist movements. Americans changed more than Arabs did," Ghalioun says.

Regional political evolution and serious pursuit of democratic reform are necessary if the Middle East is to avoid becoming a battleground of perpetual warfare, El-Beshri warns. "What we need today is the ability to change the existing ruling regimes or to change their policies," he says.

"America's policies will not change unless we change ourselves first." And that, in a nutshell, sums it up. Change can only happen unless the people want to change themselves. We are seeing this now in America as we confront our established racism, our flawed ideas of economics and justice. Unless we can truly change ourselves, how we treat others, and how we do business with the world, we may end up destroying the world and all the good things in it...

late night jokes:

"Earlier today, President Obama delivered a speech to America's schoolchildren. And he encouraged them to work hard and study hard. Yeah, then he said if that doesn't work, grab the seat next to the Asian kid." --Conan O'Brien

"President Obama told them, this is a quote, 'Be careful what you post on Facebook.' That's what he said. Obama then told them about bad things that could happen, like the time he accidentally friended Joe Biden." --Conan O'Brien

"Obama said if he could have dinner with anyone in history -- he was asked this -- he said if he could have dinner with anyone in history he would pick Gandhi. That's right, yeah. Yeah, yeah, very good answer. Yeah. Yeah, Obama says he picked Gandhi because he'd get to eat two entrees." --Conan O'Brien

"President Obama addressed the United States schoolchildren. He had like a speech and it went right to the classes and the kids. Then I thought, wait a minute. He might be trying a little too hard. You know what I'm talking about? At the end he invited all the kids to the White House for a beer." --David Letterman

"A lot of people were upset. They said that Obama was going to get in there in the schoolrooms and start brainwashing the kids. At first I was skeptical. But I was talking to my son after he came home from school today. Honest to God, he said, 'Must have socialized medicine.'" --David Letterman

"Obama told the kids to work hard and listen to their teachers. Ladies and gentlemen, what a load of socialist propaganda. Work hard and listen to your teachers? I don't think so." --David Letterman

"The President also told the kids that sleep is very important because it helps the development of the brain. Sleep very important. That's what the President said. He told the kids sleep is so important that they should go to bed right after Jay." --David Letterman

"Labor Day is the great American holiday where we honor American workers by going out and buying products made in China." --David Letterman

"Former President Bush learned a great deal, a lot of things from Tony Blair. Cheeky. He learned about cheeky. He learned the word fortnight. Learned bangers and mash. And Blair learned some things from George W. Bush. Oops. Uh-oh. Dang." --David Letterman

"There's rumors that Dick Cheney, Vice President Dick Cheney, may run for president in 2012. 2012. No, no. That's his cholesterol." --David Letterman

"They said to Dick Cheney, really, seriously, why would you think about after eight years as Vice President, why would you think about running for president? Cheney said, 'Well, I still get a kick out of starting wars.'" --David Letterman

"I remember when the Obamas first moved in and the Bush girls were giving the Obama girls a tour of the White House. And the little girls got scared because they heard the organ music coming from Dick Cheney's underground dungeon." --David Letterman

"During his speech to American school children earlier today, President Obama said that what you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. But no pressure." --Jimmy Fallon

"The President also said that kids -- he told them if they study hard, the United States will continue to prosper. Then he added, 'But just to be safe, bone up on your Chinese.'" --Jimmy Fallon

"Some Republicans were so mad about Obama's speech to schoolchildren, they had Dick Cheney give a rebuttal. He showed kids the proper way to stuff a geek into a locker." --Craig Ferguson

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