Saturday, January 15, 2011

While We Were Distracted This Week With Faux Outrage Over Rhetoric

What did we miss in the news? Well, a bunch of things, actually. And perhaps this is why this whole ginned up "civility" discussion has been the primary focus of the talking heads.

I hasten to add, the stories of the six victims in Tucson, Judge John Roll, Christina Taylor Green, Giffords Aide Gabe Zimmerman, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwin Stoddard, and Dorothy Morris, need to be held in the fore, our prayers going out to their families. The continued updates regarding Rep. Giffords miraculous improvements, as well as the condition of the other 13 injured, is also important to keep in the fore.

But here are some of the things you may have missed. Amy Siskind of The New Agenda had a very interesting post about Obama, and the number of women in his cabinet/inner circle. Bottom line, it is low, as her post, "After Arizona, Will Obama Learn to Include Women?" indicates:
[snip] Yes, just as I was snapping to, Air Force One would be landing back in D.C. Senator Gillibrand and Congresswomen Wasserman Schultz and Pelosi would deplane and return to their 17% minority. President Obama would be head back to the White House — or should I say, the “fraternity house”: his inner-circle is composed almost exclusively of men.

Yes, to the president’s credit, he did appoint two women to the Supreme Court. That’s the end of the good news for women. Here’s the bad news:

* Obama’s cabinet picks are just 25% women.

* Obama’s czars are only 12% women.

* No women have leadership roles in running our country’s economy.

* Obama has only one woman in his inner-circle: Valerie Jarrett.


Paradoxically, Speaker Boehner in his opening days seems quite comfortable with women. One of his first symbolic gestures: to build a women’s restroom near the House floor. Next, Boehner shocked even me: he officially endorsed a woman for RNC chair (Maria Cino). And here’s a prediction: Boehner’s ability to cry in public will make it easier for women candidates to do the same in the future. Hey — I gotta admit — although I agree with Speaker Boehner on very few issues, I like the guy! He walks the walk for women on the right.


So I say this to our president: yes, let’s live up to the dreams of Christina Green, the nine-year-old who was tragically and senselessly killed in the Arizona shooting. The girl who was interested in politics and therefore came to see Congresswoman Giffords, Arizona’s only female representative in the U.S. House or Senate. Why don’t we have more women in leadership for girls like Christina to see and model after? And President Obama, what will YOU do to live up to her expectations? (Click HERE to read the rest.)

Yes, I can see why so many "feminists" wanted to support Obama over Hillary Clinton. He is SO good on the women's equality issue - not.

But wait, there is more. Once again, LGBT groups are unhappy with Obama. Yes, yes, I know he signed the bill to repeal DADT, but he did blessed little to get that to come about, and did exactly what I thought he would do - have it in the Lame Duck session so he could blame the Republicans in case it didn't pass.

Well, that is exactly what he did in terms of DOMA, but not before his Justice Department did this:
Supporting DOMA: Gay rights advocates are criticizing the Obama Justice Department after its attorneys filed a court motion Thursday in support of the Defense of Marriage Act despite the president's view that the law should be repealed.


The Justice Department says it's obligated to defend U.S. policy regardless of the president's personal beliefs. The department made the same case after it had to, awkwardly, fight a judge's ruling against "don't ask, don't tell" in the months before it was repealed by Congress.

But that's no salve to the gay rights community, which has called on the administration to show more resolve against laws like DOMA. [snip]
And it is not true, either. Other Administrations have stood up to laws they thought were un-Constitutional, not continuing to defend them, as the Obama Administration has done repeatedly with DOMA. Indeed, it continues in that same vein in this filing:
[snip] "All families deserve the recognition and respect of their government. We know the president supports us. It's time for him to help lead the American public toward full equality for all Americans," Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said in a statement. The gay rights group said the Justice Department should at least "acknowledge that the law is unconstitutional."

It does not. In its filing, Justice Department attorneys said the law was "not unconstitutional under this court's binding precedent." The Justice Department argued that the law "reflects Congress's reasonable response to this still-evolving debate among the states regarding same-sex marriage."
Why Solmonese, that Hillary Clinton backstabber, continues to act all insulted is beyond me, but I will spare you my diatribe on him this time around.

But here's what I knew would happen with Obama:
[snip] "The Department of Justice has long followed the practice of defending federal statutes as long as reasonable arguments can be made in support of their constitutionality, even if the administration disagrees with a particular statute as a policy matter, as it does here," the brief said.

"Indeed, the president supports repeal of DOMA and has taken the position that Congress should extend federal benefits to individuals in same-sex marriages. But a consensus behind that approach has not yet developed, and Congress could properly take notice of the divergent views regarding same-sex marriage across the states," it said.


He told a gay-and-lesbian magazine last month that while a repeal of DOMA may not be possible, particularly with Republicans in control of the House, "that's something that I think we have to strategize on over the next several months." (Click HERE to read the rest.)
Yep, like I expected, Obama will blame the Republicans if it doesn't get changed now. The Democrats were in control of the entire Congress for FOUR years, and now it is all the Republicans fault...(Civility? Oh, that is only for Conservatives, not Democrats.)

Here is a whopper of what came out this week. It was foretold by none other than Sarah Palin back in November when the government was looking to buy more bonds:
"All this pump priming will come at a serious price. And I mean that literally: everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so. Pump priming would push them even higher. And it's not just groceries. Oil recently hit a six month high, at more than $87 a barrel. The weak dollar -- a direct result of the Fed's decision to dump more dollars onto the market -- is pushing oil prices upward."
I intentionally withheld the title of that article: "What Sarah Palin Gets Wrong About Inflation." And that would be what, exactly? Haven't all of those things, along with foreclosures setting another record high in 2010, and an increase in unemployment claims, come to pass? Yes.

In that same article, though, there was this (condescending) response:
[snip] Sudeep Reddy of The Wall Street Journal pointed out that Palin didn't seem to be quite up on what's been going on with inflation. In fact, he noted, grocery prices haven't risen that much. "The consumer price index's measure of food and beverages for the first nine months of this year showed average annual inflation of less than 0.6%, the slowest pace on record (since the Labor Department started keeping this measure in 1968)." [snip]
Hey, Reedy - guess which one of you is wrong here? I'll give you a hint - it is not Palin. No need to take my word for it. Here is Stuart Varney discussing this issue:

These are just a few of the issues that have been going on this week (I know, Daley came onboard on Friday, but the massacre on Saturday pretty much knocked that way down, as it should have). Women still are underrepresented, Obama's Justice Department is still targeting gay people, and we are increasingly in an economic world of hurt.

We cannot forget the victims of last week's shooting, but nor can we allow ourselves to allow the political smoke and mirrors to distract us from what else is going on in our country.

What else happened this week that was low on the media totem pole? Consider this an Open Thread.

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