Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rangel Indicted By House Ethics Committee....Finally!

Remember when Charlie Rangel acted as if he were above ethics allegations?

From FDL:

I guess that really isn't the case anymore, is it Charlie?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

White House Does Quick 180 With Sherrod

I must admit that I was a little slow to this story surrounding Shirley Sherrod. Only last night did I tune in to Anderson Cooper of all people to watch the infamous video clip....and the entire video that gives us the real story that was parsed for the benefit of right wing hacks like Andrew Breitbart.

It wasn't upsetting that Breitbart manipulated the video of Sherrod's speech about the history of racism in our country and how her personal story led her to realize that people must be helped no matter what color their skin may be; what infuriated me is that Obama's Administration and the NAACP fell hook, line and sinker for this Fox News-driven story (Fox News' participation in this was so abhorrent, even their own Shep Smith went off on his network).

So Obama's U.S.D.A. man Tom Vilsack came out today and apologized, offering Ms. Sherrod her job back (NYT):

“Without a doubt, Ms. Sherrod is owed an apology,” the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said Wednesday in his daily briefing, referring to Shirley Sherrod, who until Monday was the rural development director for the Agriculture Department’s state office in Georgia. “I will do so certainly on behalf of this administration.”

The apology capped what had been a humiliating and fast-paced turn of events for the White House, the national media and the N.A.A.C.P., all of whom, Mr. Gibbs said, overreacted to a video that appeared to show Ms. Sherrod saying that she had discriminated against a white farmer. The remarks were taken out of context from a longer speech in which she said she learned to overcome her own biases.

Later, Mr. Vilsack held his own news briefing to say that he had called Ms. Sherrod to apologize and had offered her a new position with the agency.

"She was extraordinarily gracious," he said.

Sherrod was used here by Breitbart, as only people like Andrew Breitbart would do. Using the topic of race in America the way he did was atrocious. Breitbart will go down as one of the scummier right-wing smear merchants in the early 21st century. Unfortunately, that is what we expect from those who are involved in conservative politics these days. Ignoring the Breitbarts, Bachmanns and Palins is what we must do. Ignoring them will reduce their power in our country. What the NAACP and the Obama Administration did was exactly the opposite, and encourages these spiteful and nasty people to continue their dastardly acts.

Marty Markowitz Believes His Trips To Europe Should Be On The People's Dime

As things get interesting for one ethically tainted City Councilman tomorrow, scrutiny is being paid to Brooklyn's own mascot-in-chief, Marty Markowitz. The affable jokester who's face reminds me some buffoonish Disney character is back in the news for using his position for his personal gain. With the Atlantic Yards fiasco (and his collusion with it) seemingly safely behind him, Marty is back at it and willing to get away with more of our money and laughing all the way.

From The NY Observer:

Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz took two trips, whose prices both fell somewhere in the tantalizing gulf between $5,000 and $39,999.

It took him four days in March to spend the first sum, while he enjoyed the "Kingdom of Netherlands." According to the form, he was a guest at Holland's "official celebration of their 400 year relationship with New York." Awkward!

He spent the next bundle during five November days in Izmir, Turkey, where he was doing more wooing than celebrating. According to the form, he spent his time trying "to develop sister-city status."

And then there's a trip to Israel in 2008, but no dollar amounts were mentioned. Markowitz proves over and over that behind his smile, lies a greedy political crook that is only looking for the perks of office and then some. If Ydanis Rodriguez gets the can for improper touching (and if it's true he should be tossed) then Markowitz should suffer the same fate for improperly stealing from Brooklynites and New Yorkers from all five boroughs.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Finally, Gregory Calls Out Republicans Out On Their B.S.

David Gregory is usually an abject failure in his role as moderator on Meet The Press. Yet he managed to do a decent job yesterday holding Pete Sessions' feet to the fire on his continuous use of broad strokes and generalities. Republicans are truly the party of no ideas, and it shows:

NARAL NY Scorns Senate Incumbents, But For What Reason?

One of the larger New York political organizations, NARAL New York, has decided to blow off the incumbents in the State Senate they generally support. Their reasoning is simple, as well as indicative of the anti-incumbent times in Albany and across the country. NARAL cites the Democratic majority (if you can call it that, especially counting thugs like Espada and Diaz, Sr.) for not standing up for reproductive rights.

From The Daily Politics:

Here's NARAL Pro-Choice New York's first go at endorsements for this year's state legislative races, and one thing certainly pops out: There are no Senate incumbents on the list.

"Due to serious concerns about the current Senate leadership's commitment to reproductive health and rights, we are not making endorsements of incumbent State Senate candidates at this time," the group said.

More specifically, NARAL is upset that the Reproductive Health Act has failed to come to a vote for the third year in a row (as I blogged here).

Senate Majority spokesman Austin Shafran countered that the Dems had done a few good things, such as passing the Domestic Workers bill, the no-fault divorce law and increasing protections for the survivors of domestic violence victims. Clearly in NARAL's eyes, that does not make up for the failure of the Reproductive Health Act.

However I had another thought. With so much anti-incumbency feeling out there and with the possibility of power tipping back to the Republicans this fall, perhaps NARAL is playing it safe so that they might curry favor with the right, just in case the mostly-pro-choice Democrats lose their slim majority.