DNC Day 1: Clearly Obama's Convention

May be my partisan view, watching from home, but the enthusiasm today seemed more palpable than last week, complete with mentions of the candidate by name that seemed both frequent and -- get this -- intentional!  Hmm.  Not only Obama himself but specific policy and programs received direct and often detailed positioning in quite a few remarks. The scene felt more like what I'd expect at a convention than my take on the all-things-generic-Republican (and some Romney guy too) RNC.

Also included: more than one strong commitment from speakers on marriage, not just in the approved platform items but as a rallying point (for turnout?).  Interesting, considering this was only 2004.

Lilly Ledbetter was solid:

Three years ago, the house passed the paycheck Fairness Act to level the playing field for America's women. Senate Republicans blocked it. Mitt Romney won't even say if he supports it. President Obama does. In the end, I didn't get a dime of the money I was shortchanged.

But this fight became bigger than Lilly Ledbetter. Today, it's about my daughter. It's about my granddaughter. It's about women and men. It's about families. It's about equality and justice.

This cause, which bears my name, is bigger than me. It's as big as all of you.

'Obamacare' fully embraced. "Real people, real problems" far better, far more tangibly defined than those spoken at/about in the Made Up Scary President Republican Universe. 

Tim Kaine said some things I tried not to pay attention to.

Noted by a smart guy on Twitter:

Biggest news of the conventions is that both parties are now chasing Dem-leaning demographics--Latinos and women. [...] This ends decades when both chased GOP-leaners (southerners, suburbanites, working class whites).

CSPAN has video of the whole shebang. Stand outs to me were (in content, if not delivery) San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro's stark contrast of the choice this election is about:

We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.

Republicans tell us that if the most prosperous among us do even better, that somehow the rest of us will too. Folks...we've heard that before.

First they called it 'trickle-down.' Then 'supply side.' Now it's 'Romney/Ryan.' Or is it 'Ryan/Romney'?

Either way, their theory has been tested. It failed. Our economy failed. The middle class paid the price. Your family paid the price. Mitt Romney just doesn't get it.

And of course the Twitter busting (nearly double that of Romney's acceptance speech) boat of awesome that was Michelle Obama:

Wednesday's schedule here.

 

DNC Day 1: Clearly Obama's Convention

May be my partisan view, watching from home, but the enthusiasm today seemed more palpable than last week, complete with mentions of the candidate by name that seemed both frequent and -- get this -- intentional!  Hmm.  Not only Obama himself but specific policy and programs received direct and often detailed positioning in quite a few remarks. The scene felt more like what I'd expect at a convention than my take on the all-things-generic-Republican (and some Romney guy too) RNC.

Also included: more than one strong commitment from speakers on marriage, not just in the approved platform items but as a rallying point (for turnout?).  Interesting, considering this was only 2004.

Lilly Ledbetter was solid:

Three years ago, the house passed the paycheck Fairness Act to level the playing field for America's women. Senate Republicans blocked it. Mitt Romney won't even say if he supports it. President Obama does. In the end, I didn't get a dime of the money I was shortchanged.

But this fight became bigger than Lilly Ledbetter. Today, it's about my daughter. It's about my granddaughter. It's about women and men. It's about families. It's about equality and justice.

This cause, which bears my name, is bigger than me. It's as big as all of you.

'Obamacare' fully embraced. "Real people, real problems" far better, far more tangibly defined than those spoken at/about in the Made Up Scary President Republican Universe. 

Tim Kaine said some things I tried not to pay attention to.

Noted by a smart guy on Twitter:

Biggest news of the conventions is that both parties are now chasing Dem-leaning demographics--Latinos and women. [...] This ends decades when both chased GOP-leaners (southerners, suburbanites, working class whites).

CSPAN has video of the whole shebang. Stand outs to me were (in content, if not delivery) San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro's stark contrast of the choice this election is about:

We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.

Republicans tell us that if the most prosperous among us do even better, that somehow the rest of us will too. Folks...we've heard that before.

First they called it 'trickle-down.' Then 'supply side.' Now it's 'Romney/Ryan.' Or is it 'Ryan/Romney'?

Either way, their theory has been tested. It failed. Our economy failed. The middle class paid the price. Your family paid the price. Mitt Romney just doesn't get it.

And of course the Twitter busting (nearly double that of Romney's acceptance speech) boat of awesome that was Michelle Obama:

Wednesday's schedule here.

 

Fox News' awkward reaction to SNL's "Fox and Friends" spoof

From the Restore Fairness blog-

“Fox News: Coffee, smiles, fear and terror!”

On April 9, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) actors Taran Killam, Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan played the presenters of Fox News’ morning talk show ‘Fox & Friends’ Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade, respectively. The cast discussed several current issues starting with the federal budget showdown last week to Mexican immigration and the issue of anchor babies. They barreled through the topics with humorous irony, proving that these issues are very much pertinent. As recent events around the country regarding anti-immigrant laws and challenges to birthright citizenship indicate, the opinions they spoofed do in fact exist in our country.

In one of the many digs at Fox News and their conservative alignment, Moynihan as Kilmeade talks about how close the U.S. government came to a shutdown last week, with: “We almost had the first government shutdown in the history of this country!” When his co-host Carlson asks if that’s true, Kilmeade gleefully responds, “Oh I just assumed.” At another point Carlson, expressing her strong objections to Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign, asserts that “When American kids get too skinny, chubby Mexicans will take American acting jobs. Just look at the kid on ‘Modern Family’!” With this skit, the SNL team joins a growing number of mainstream media that are explicitly addressing the issue of immigration, with another recent example being ABC’s ‘The Good Wife’ that broke stereotypes when representing an immigrant Latina nanny. The SNL team takes this further by spoofing the attitude of Fox News towards this issue, with a particularly spirited appearance by Helen Mirren as a “border war expert” who shares her fears about “undercover Mexicans in America, you know, known as A-merx-icans.”

The following Monday, April 11, the real ‘Fox & Friends’ reacted to the SNL spoof by very carefully steering clear of any of the issues that NBC’s cast had addressed. The hosts discussed the impersonations done by the SNL cast but avoided any mention of how the spoof challenged Fox News’ stance on many pertinent issues. Gretchen Carlson (the real one), then concluded their discussion on the spoof by saying-

“Thank you, SNL, for saying that we mean something in this business. After being number one all this time, why not do a skit on us?”

While SNL’s spoof is timely and a much needed take on the issues in the mainstream pop culture space, it’s also an indication that immigration debates (as well as other socio-cultural topics that were raised) are intensifying. The perspectives that the SNL team mocked do exist, which makes it all the more important that we keep pushing to raise awareness around the issues at hand. The SNL spoof also plays along the lines ofGood Day Every Day, the news/curriculum element of Breakthrough’s groundbreaking new human rights Facebook game, America 2049 (”Like” the Facebook page here to learn more). Watch the host of the future – Fox Williams – discuss a range of issues including immigration, sex trafficking, religious intolerance and racial profiling, and discover how the discussions tie into the mission of the game.

We look forward to the next major mainstream take on these issues. Until then, play America 2049 and watchSNL’s take on “Fox & Friends” (our readers in the US can watch it in its original version on the NBC site). 

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org

 

 

 

"Barack Obama is taking everybody away" says little girl to first lady

From the Restore Fairness blog.

Sometimes it’s about keeping it real. As President Obama welcomed the Mexican President Felipe Calderón to the White House for the first series of official talks between the two countries, Michelle Obama and Mexico’s first lady Margarita Zavala met a little girl who put a human face to the diplomatic talks about immigration that were taking place in the White House.While the two Presidents were to discuss a number of issues including the economy, climate change and drug wars, given President Calderón’s vehement condemnation of Arizona’s new law, immigration was likely to take center stage. Meanwhile, the first ladies stopped off at a elementary school in Silver Spring which is two-thirds Hispanic students and has a large proportion of students below the poverty line to promote Michelle Obama’s campaign for healthy eating. But a little girl changed all that with a powerful question.

Student: “My mom … she says that Barack Obama is taking everybody away that doesn’t have papers.”

Mrs. Obama: “Yeah, well that’s something that we have to work on, right? To make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers, right? That’s exactly right.”

Student: “But my mom doesn’t have any …”

Mrs. Obama: “Well, we have to work on that. We have to fix that, and everybody’s got to work together in Congress to make sure that happens.”

The abstract issue of immigration was brought into human focus by the little girl’s question, prompted by the fear that her mother would be taken away from her. In the midst of the pomp of diplomatic state visits and lawmaker’s efforts to appease their electorates, a little girl’s honest fears about her family summed up the massive problem that the country currently faces.

Addressing this volatile issue, President Obama concurred with President Calderón on the pressing need for immigration reform and joined him in denouncing Arizona’s harsh new immigration enforcement measure, SB1070. President Obama said-

We also discussed the new law in Arizona, which is a misdirected effort – a misdirected expression of frustration over our broken immigration system, and which has raised concerns in both our countries.. Because in the United States of America, no law-abiding person – be they an American citizen, a legal immigrant, or a visitor or tourist from Mexico – should ever be subject to suspicion simply because of what they look like.

While the President reaffirmed his commitment to work with Congress to pass bipartisan, comprehensive reform, the truth is that the Obama administration has already surpassed the Bush administration’s deportation levels. And enforcement continues to be a problem. Former New York City District Attorney Robert Morgenthau lashed out against programs that promote collaboration between federal officials and local law enforcement on immigration, including Arizona’s new law.

Morgenthau drew on his personal experience as district attorney in Manhattan to criticize the Criminal Alien program which enables federal immigration officials to be stationed in local jails and issue “detainers” to foreign born inmates, many of whom are unaware of what is happening to them. In addition to increasing the burden of cost on New York, programs such as these mostly trap people who have committed minor crimes (or sometimes none at all). But for the former D.A., the most dangerous consequence of such programs is that by blurring the distinction between federal officials and local law enforcement, they severely impair the relationship that local police have with the public. Speaking of New York he explains-

When immigrants perceive the local police force as merely an arm of the federal immigration authority, they become reluctant to report criminal activity for fear of being turned over to federal officials. Given that immigrants (legal and illegal) currently comprise 36% of the city’s population, this unwillingness to cooperate with local law enforcement presents an obstacle to stemming crime in the city as a whole. That’s why during the 35 years I was district attorney in Manhattan, I made it a policy never to turn over names of individuals involved with the criminal justice system to immigration authorities until after they were convicted of a serious crime.

It is not surprising then that police chiefs across Arizona have spoken out in opposition to Arizona’s anti-immigrant law. Following this, police chiefs from Nevada, California and Maryland have also opposed Arizona’s law on the grounds that it would lead to racial profiling and breed fear of the police within Hispanic communities. Maryland Police Chief Thomas Manger said that taking on federal enforcement responsibilities would result in local police losing much more than they would gain and would prevent them from doing their jobs. But lawmakers seem oblivious to this advice. Similar bills are in the works in 10 states including Nebraska and Rhode Island.

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org

 

 

 

Sexist Asses on Michelle Obama.

(cross-posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

I'm pissed.  And for that reason I cannot really formulate a coherent response to this pile of fail:

[partial transcript starting about 1:45] Mohr: I'd like to talk about the basketball playoffs, I'd like to talk about "King" [LeBron] James, this guy could actually be greater than Michael Jordan. I'd like to talk about Kevin Garnett. This guy's the Michelle Obama of the Celtics: he doesn't really do anything, but damn, he looks good, doesn't he, Jim? Michelle Obama--that is a big dude. When Barack plays pick-up games at the White House, you know he picks Michelle as at least his forward, maybe his [center], depending on who's in Congress that day. That has to be like being married to Elton Brand. She is a big. dude. I like when she put her arm around the Queen of England and she put her in a headlock and told her, "I've been waiting 200 years to put my arms around you, lady!" I love that. I like how she shaved off all her eyebrows, and then drew them back way too high into an arch and then straight back down, so she always looks super surprised. She kinda--Michelle Obama kinda looks like the Count on Sesame Street, that's great. [mimicking the Count] "One, ah, ah, ah. One black President, ah, ah, ah."

Luckily though, there are a couple of people that have an appropriate reaction.

Holly over at Feminste writes:

Real classy way to treat the First Lady -- but if you ask me, Jay Mohr has always been about as funny as a week-old sack of dead rats. He's clearly whipping out his most tired material for Rome's sports-radio army of clones, too. Scott Madin noted over at Shakesville that there are even more racist, transphobic jokes (somehow related to steroids and gynecomastia, I guess?) later on in the clip, at about 3:30.

Over at Shakesville Madin handily notes:

Rome's website is here, and it looks like at least one of his features is sponsored by Chevy. According to Wikipedia, he's syndicated by "Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications," and also hosts a show on ESPN. Judging from the clip, I'm guessing writing to Rome's show will not be productive, but contacting Clear Channel, ESPN, and/or advertisers (in a quick search I wasn't able to find out anything about other advertisers, but Chevy's contact page is here) might be more effective.

Nothing funnier than a dash of transphobic misogyny?

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