Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye, best friend

It was hard enough writing in my blog yesterday, I did it as a diversion to take my mind off my sadness. But these last few days have been pretty awful for me.

On Monday morning, my best friend, Lexas, passed away. She had only been sick for a week and her sudden death at the vet's on Monday morning was devastating to me.

She was my always-loving companion and my beacon through some tough times I've gone through over the years, including the death of my mother. The grief I now feel is hard to even put into words. But I loved this dog very much and I'm just glad she didn't suffer too much before her end.

This adorable pooch had 11 good years and was loved by everybody who ever met her, or came in contact with her. The love she gave back is a gift I will take with me forever.

This new year I wish for all of you to have a similar type of love in your own lives, if it isn't already there. There are news stories abounding, over the increased number of pets that have been brought to shelters because economic times have prevented families from keeping them. Because many shelters can't handle the load, an increasing number of lovable dogs and cats are being euthanized.

If just one of you rescues a pet from that fate, that would be a wonderful blessing for the new year to come. I need some time to grieve, but it is something I would like to do myself in the coming year.

Once again, goodbye my sweet girl, who loved, and never asked for anything in return. I will never, ever forget you.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Will Offensive Barack Parody Help Propel The GOP Into Obscurity?

Apparently, my commentary on the GOP was more on the mark than I realized.

In my last post I feature the "Barack, The Magic Negro" video and included a link to the NY Times article that suggested that there was actually dissent from within the GOP.

However, that dissent smacked of opportunism, and it struck me as more telling that it took so long for some Republicans to even come out against it.

Now, as it turns out, the core of the GOP doesn't really have much of a problem with a tasteless song, sung with a stereotypical black accent.

According to an article in Politico, the parody may help Chip Saltsman, the Tennessee GOP chair who gave them out as holiday gifts, achieve the leadership position in the party.

As written in Andy Barr's story:
Four days after news broke that the former Tennessee GOP chairman had sent a CD including a song titled “Barack the Magic Negro” to the RNC members he is courting, some of those officials are rallying around the embattled Saltsman, with a few questioning whether the national media and his opponents are piling on.

“When I heard about the story, I had to figure out what was going on for myself,” said Mark Ellis, the chairman of the Maine Republican Party. “When I found out what this was about I had to ask, ‘Boy, what’s the big deal here?’ because there wasn’t any.”

Alabama Republican Committeeman Paul Reynolds said the fact the Saltsman sent him a CD with the song on it “didn’t bother me one bit.”

“Chip probably could have thought it through a bit more, but he was doing everyone a favor by giving us a gift,” he said. “This is just people looking for something to make an issue of.”

“I don’t think he intended it as any kind of racial slur. I think he intended it as a humor gift,” Oklahoma GOP Committeewoman Carolyn McClarty added. “I think it was innocently done by Chip.”

You have to hand it to the GOP, they are alarmingly out of touch with the mood of this country. If they feel that perpetuating racial stereotypes, instead of at least making an attempt to rally around our new leader in these difficult times, is good strategy, than they will go the way of the abacus, Betamax tapes (pictured above) and the Whig party.

That would be fine by me.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

GOP -- The Grand Ol' Racist Party

I have been on hiatus over the holidays, but am back, after a 2-week break, to talk about a video that Rush Limbaugh has been airing on his show since March.

The song is a parody of "Puff, The Magic Dragon," titled, "Barack, The Magic Negro."

I debated as to whether or not to even repost it, but here it is, so you can gauge its offensive for yourselves.

I am one of those progressives who has not been overtly pleased, since the election, with the man I supported (I will get to the Warren inauguration controversy in due time). Yet, every time I read the racism and hatred that permeates the comments section of right-wing blogs, I realize how important it was for him to have won this election. The Republicans have become an assemblage of divisive hate-mongers, with the level of civility hitting new lows by the day.

The GOP is, in fact, the party of intolerance. The very fact that it took a GOP leader so long to even denounce the piece speaks volumes. Many in the party have embraced it.

It wasn't until a candidate for the chairmanship of the RNC, Chip Saltsman, distributed the song as a "light-hearted" holiday treat, as he was campaigning for the top slot, that adverse reaction began.

Wouldn't you know...that is what got the current chairman, Mike Duncan, up in arms. "I am shocked and appalled," Duncan said. Shocked at how easily he found a way to make political hay out of the incident, no doubt. And now, some prominent Republicans are even speaking out against it. I'll bet I know why.

Somebody must have shown them the polling on this. Pssst...overt racists turn off most Americans. Go back to your more subtle form of bigotry.

For a New York Times look at some of the intra-party GOP fighting over this, point your browser here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bush & Iraq: If The Shoe Fits...

Just how unpopular is George Bush?

We know his approval rating is at rock bottom. He has been spurned by world leaders, and, now, gets 2 shoes thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist, at a news conference at the beginning of the lame-duck president's farewell trip to Iraq.

As per usual, the story is covered better by the foreign press. Here is how the incident was described by the BBC:
In the middle of the news conference with Mr Maliki, Iraqi television journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi stood up and shouted "this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog," before hurling a shoe at Mr Bush which narrowly missed him.

Showing the soles of shoes to someone is a sign of contempt in Arab culture.

With his second shoe, which the president also managed to dodge, Mr Zaidi said: "This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq."

Mr Zaidi, a correspondent for Cairo-based al-Baghdadiya TV, was then wrestled to the ground by security personnel and hauled away.
Bush later joked about the shoe being a size 10, though it didn't generate quite the guffaws his skit on the fruitless search for weapons of mass destruction did at a Washington press function back in 2004.

How George must long for the good old days, when making a protracted sick joke of what led us into war was greeted so warmly by the alleged journalists that cover him.