Compare and contrast, if you will.
First, here is how the White House, or, more accurately, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, handled a question about the already explained and dismissed criticism of Sonia Sotomayor's comments about how her Latina background would influence her legal opinions: "I think she'd say that her word choice in 2001 was poor."
Way to go, Gibby! Revive a dead argument, reify hot air, restate a rightwing frame!
Now, second, take a look at this miserable excuse for a public figure, former US Representative and Republican presidential wannabe (and current a-hole) Tom Tancredo, when he is asked if he wants to walk back his unbelievably offensive statements about Sotomayor and the National Council of La Raza:
Shuster: Would you like to take this opportunity to apologize?
Tancredo: [Laughs] No.
Notice the difference there? Look again, I know it's subtle.
The Democrat in the White House, a member of the majority party, part of an extremely popular administration, is confronted with a bit of faux controversy, and shows doubt. Where there was nothing but widely recognized smoke and mirrors, he creates the perception of real, stinky smoke (and thus potential fire).
The Republican, no longer in elected office, member of the minority party, the holder of ideas less popular than elective amputation, spews his filth, is then asked if maybe he just, you know, "misspoke," and he looks right into the camera and says, "No."
At the end of the day, I expect the Tancredos of the world will lose this fight. Sonia Sotomayor will be confirmed as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, but other battles remain, and, sure as shit, the elephants are not going to stop flinging this kind of dead-certain dung.
WASHINGTON - Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings (D) spent $24,730 in taxpayer money last year to lease a 2008 luxury Lexus hybrid sedan. Ohio Rep. Michael Turner (R) expensed a $1,435 digital camera. Eni Faleomavaega, the House delegate from American Samoa, bought two 46-inch Sony TVs.
The expenditures were legal, properly accounted for and drawn from allowances the U.S. government grants to lawmakers. Equipment purchased with office expense accounts must be returned to the House or the federal General Services Administration when a lawmaker leaves office.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett says a member of an Allegheny County state legislator's staff wanted to engage in sex acts with a teenage boy while dressed in a panda costume.
Corbett says 40-year-old Alan David Berlin, of Carlisle, Cumberland County, was charged Thursday with attempted sexual exploitation of children and related crimes.
Agents from the attorney general's office found a wolf and cat-type costume in Berlin's home, Corbett said.
Perhaps sexual repression isn't such a good thing.###
Or will she be the first illegal alien nominated to the Supreme Court by the first illegal alien to serve as president?"
A couple of stories about fringy people who aren't very nice - and their less-than-fringy friends.
First, as background, here's a story from Fox News (a story on which I actually think I agree with the Fox base):
Couple Ordered to Stop Holding Bible Study at Home Without Permit
Pastor David Jones and his wife Mary have been told that they cannot invite friends to their San Diego, Calif. home for a Bible study -- unless they are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to San Diego County.
"On Good Friday we had an employee from San Diego County come to our house, and inform us that the Bible study that we were having was a religious assembly, and in violation of the code in the county." David Jones told FOX News.
"We told them this is not really a religious assembly -- this is just a Bible study with friends. We have a meal, we pray, that was all," Jones said.
A few days later, the couple received a written warning that cited "unlawful use of land," ordering them to either "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit," the couple's attorney Dean Broyles told San Diego news station 10News....
Atheist that I am, I actually agree that this the government probably shouldn't be doing anything like this - this is "the free exercise of religion," which the Constitution protects.
But of the people who are upset about this, at least one has gone way too far:
One [blogger] is suggesting a major attack on San Diego County to the point where a checklist is posted.
The checklist suggests county radio frequencies could be jammed, county officials homes attacked and even suggests scouting locations for snipers.
Know who that blogger is? http://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2009/05/bedfellows-couple-of-stories-about.html
The comments are awesome. Check them out.
"In contrast to individuals currently detained as enemies under the laws of war, petitioners are being housed under relatively unrestrictive conditions, given the status of Guantanamo Bay as a United States military base," Kagan writes, saying they are "in special communal housing with access to all areas of their camp, including an outdoor recreation space and picnic area." They "sleep in an air-conditioned bunk house and have the use of an activity room equipped with various recreational items, including a television with VCR and DVD players, a stereo system, and sports equipment."
Furthermore, the petition cites the Senate's recent vote to block Guantanamo detainees from entering the U.S. as further reason to deny their release — despite the fact the vote was in defiance of a White House request. The petition comes just a week after President Obama, in a speech defending his plan to close Guantanamo, declared that "the wrong answer is to pretend like this problem will go away if we maintain an unsustainable status quo."
The Mormons used a lot of their cash to influence Prop 8 in California so the east is ready.
With the battle moving east, some advocates are shouting that fact in the streets, calculating that on an issue that eventually comes down to comfort levels, more people harbor apprehensions about Mormons than about homosexuality.
"The Mormons are coming! The Mormons are coming!" warned ads placed on newspaper Web sites in three Eastern states last month. The ad was rejected by sites in three other states, including Maine, where the Kennebec Journal informed Californians Against Hate that the copy "borders on insulting and denigrating a whole set of people based on their religion."
"I'm not intending it to harm the religion. I think they do wonderful things. Nicest people," said Fred Karger, a former Republican campaign consultant who established Californians Against Hate. "My single goal is to get them out of the same-sex marriage business and back to helping hurricane victims."
If a religion is pumping millions of dollars to defeat a human rights issue why can't people advertise against them? Aren't their actions more offensive than an ad that says: The Mormons are coming?
Meanwhile, a French government agency has declared the Mormon religion is a cult (along with Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology, The Universal Church, Raelians, and the GOP's friends over at the Moonie Times).
If by giving you trillions in aid so you can slaughter the Palestinians by using rockets, bulldozers, tungsten bombs, cutting off supplies and using white phosphorus, you mean 'favoring' ....
Israel to US: Stop favoring Palestinians: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1089205.html
Richard Clarke reminds Cheney and Condi of their incompetence
When I saw Condi saying, "unless you were there, in a position of responsibility, you cannot possibly imagine the dilemmas we faced in trying to protect Americans," to Stanford students, my instinct was to remind everyone that she was forced to admit, "I believe the title was 'Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States.'"
Richard Mosse has an incredible photo series on Saddam's palaces. From an interview with the artist:
More pictures here.
The White House has asked Congress for — and seems likely to receive — $736 million to build a new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, along with permanent housing for U.S. government civilians and new office space in the Pakistani capital. The scale of the projects rivals the giant U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of $740 million.
Walt furrows his brow:
I'm all for providing U.S. officials with adequate facilities, but this idea merely underscores the inherent contradictions in the current U.S. approach.
One of America's main problems in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan is the widespread popular belief that it is now addicted to interfering in these societies, usually in a heavy-handed and counter-productive way. ... And oh yes, we also drop bombs and fire missiles into their territory, which we would regard as an act of war if anyone did it to us. Even when well-intentioned, these activities inevitably lend themselves to various conspiracy theories about America's "real" motives, and reinforce negative impressions of the United States. As of last year, only 19 percent of Pakistan's population had a favorable view of the United States.
This is not from The Onion
Young Conservatives rap about Jesus, waterboarding and abortion: