Saturday, March 31, 2012

Current TV Shoots Self in Foot By Dismissing Olbermann (Corporate Democrats Silence Keith Again!)

For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one. That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it ~ Keith Olbermann on his depature from Current TV (via Twitter), 3/30/2012.

Current TV debuted a new program last night hosted by disgraced former NY governor Eliot Spitzer called "Viewpoint". At first I thought, "This is odd, where's Keith?". Then I figured that they were debuting this new program in Keith's time slot so viewers who tuned in specifically to watch Keith (like me), would continue to watch "Viewpoint" when they moved it to it's regular time slot on Monday (following Jennifer Granholm's "The War Room", I presumed).

Given Keith's history of clashing with management wherever he has previously worked, all the news stories are saying it was no surprise that Current decided to dismiss him. And there are also the reports that Keith was upset with technical difficulties on his program (difficulties that led him to start broadcasting from a completely black set). So, perhaps I should have seen this coming. Regardless, I was still shocked when I read the email from Newsmax this morning that announced Keith and Current were parting ways (I'm subscribed to several Rightwing newsletters).

I assumed that Current was aware of Keith's history and planned to avoid his notorious "clashes with management" problem by putting him in charge. When hired by Current Olbermann was named "Current Media's chief news officer" and given an equity stake in the company. In my mind this meant they were committing seriously to Keith... because extraditing themselves from this relationship would be extraordinarily difficult (and quite expensive).

Indeed, I think it could break Current if they paid him to leave like MSNBC did (Keith received his FULL salary for the remaining 2 years on his MSNBC contract). This explains why Current is claiming Keith was in "breach" of his contract... for taking several unscheduled days off. According to Meidaite, "technical problems beset the program, and since then, Olbermann has been hosting his show from what appears to be an endless black void". The no-show days were intended to encourage Current to fix the technical problems.

Keith, in his role as "Chief News Officer" wanted Current to succeed, and viewed these technical difficulties as an impediment to that success. Although, as Chief News Officer, I don't know why he couldn't have just ordered the problems fixed. Certainly I believe he should have been able to. Apparently he didn't have as free a reign as the title "Chief News Officer" implies.

What went wrong, a Politico story explains, is a repeat of the MSNBC situation where Keith clashed with MSNBC president Phil Griffin. Politico reports that, "Olbermann had a particularly tense relationship with David Bohrman, the former CNN executive who was brought in as Current president last summer, following the departure of Mark Rosenthal, an executive with whom Olbermann got along well".

A 7/28/2011 "Deadline New York" article by Executive Editor David Lieberman reveals, "Mark Rosenthal decided to leave because [Current co-founder] Joel Hyatt was crowding him in... [Hyatt] wanted to run Current again after Rosenthal recruited Keith Olbermann to come on board. ... Hyatt's desire to run the operation reached the point where he and Rosenthal agreed a few months ago to be co-CEOs... But the the channel's too small to require two chiefs. What's more, Rosenthal had held bigger jobs by himself when he was CEO of Interpublic Media and COO of MTV Networks. He was a board member at Current when Hyatt asked him to step in and professionalize the programming, marketing, affiliate sales, ad sales, and research efforts..."

My conclusion is that Joel Hyatt stepping in and elbowing out Mark Rosenthal is what lead to Keith's firing. And, yes, perhaps Keith should have known better, given Hyatt's past association with the The Democratic Leadership Council. (Wikipedia notes that "Hyatt was a founding member of the U.S. Senate Democratic Leadership Circle and was a member of that group from 1981 to 1986. He was the Democratic National Committee's assistant treasurer from 1981 to 1983").

Given this information concerning Hyatt (information I was previously unaware of until researching this story), it's no surprise Olbermann and Hyatt would clash. Because, as explained by Wikipedia, the DLC "has become unpopular within many progressive and liberal political circles such as the organizations Center for American Progress, Democracy for America, and [progressive blogs like] the Daily Kos... Some critics claim the strategy of triangulation between the political left and right to gain broad appeal is fundamentally flawed. In the long run, so opponents say, this strategy results in concession after concession to the opposition, while alienating traditionally-allied voters".

Count me in as a Liberal who strongly dislikes the DLC. It's the corporate wing of the Democratic Party. NO WONDER Hyatt, the president Hyatt hired (Bhorman) and Keith didn't get along! IMO Hyatt should have butted out and let Mark Rosenthal do the job they hired him to do. At least Hyatt should have consulted Keith before hiring Bhorman... seeing as Countdown was the lynchpin of the network's new format. What Current needed was a president who allowed Keith to run things as he saw fit. That, or Hyatt should have objected to the hiring of Keith from the get-go. This whole debacle is clearly Hyatt's fault. He's the one who put himself in a position where a confrontation with Keith was virtually a foregone conclusion.

It's my opinion that Current has shot itself in the foot with this boneheaded move... and Tim Goodman, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, agrees. In his Friday article he predicts that we can "bet on Olbermann to be around longer". That is, Current will fail while Olbermann will find employment as a political commentator elsewhere. Goodman explains his conclusion, stating, "now, let's disabuse those who think he's unemployable given his track record of going someplace and then leaving not too long after, burned bridges and accusations littering the highway behind him. That reputation of his hasn't stopped anyone yet. And it won't in the future. Olbermann's delivered ratings wherever he's been - most recently his defining stint at MSNBC and then Current. If you want to equate him to a diva wide receiver in the NFL (or quarterback or whatever), that's fine. If you're a sports fan, you know that those divas always find a home and always get paid".

Keith's response to the firing, via Twitter: Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract. It goes almost without saying that the claims against me in Current's statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently (Huffington Post Keith Olbermann Fired By Current TV; Replaced By Eliot Spitzer by Jack Mirkinson, The Huffington Post 3/30/2012).

My response is... it's back to MSNBC for me. I'm don't think I'm going to watch Eliot Spitzer. He's OK, but Current hiring him to host the lynchpin show for their network is unbelievably stupid. I feel bad for The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur (and gang). Cenk left his gig in the 6pm slot at MSNBC on 7/20/2011 because "he had been told he was too combative towards those in power" and had been instructed to "tone it down".

Cenk's move to Current seemed ideal, because he got to bring along all his friends (from the "Young Turks") and was able to speak his mind (no MSNBC censorship). When I heard about what happened with Cenk Uygur, I thought... that makes sense, given Current's hiring of another individual who speaks his mind (and was let go from his last gig for that reason)... now we've got two strong independent minded Liberals who speak back to power on the same network. "Bravo Current" I thought... AT THE TIME.

The statement released by Current founders Joel Hyatt and Al Gore reads (in part), "Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it". So they're claiming that Keith was uncooperative and disrespectful. Again, didn't they know that working with Olbermann might be difficult when they decided to enter into this relationship?

Dismissing Keith and abruptly replacing him with the inferior (no disrespect intended) Spitzer, especially when Keith was only trying to do what was best for Current, does not, in my opinion, represent loyalty to Current viewers. Difficulties should have been anticipated and they should have been worked out... THAT would have shown loyalty to viewers who followed Keith from MSNBC to Current.

What gives, Al Gore? I thought Current was serious about challenging MSNBC... which is becoming the "establishment" Left channel. Current could have been the REAL progressive channel (instead of another "Liberal" channel run by DLC/Corporate types like MSNBC), but, clearly Current has decided, in letting Olbermann go, that's not the strategy they're going to use to attract viewers any longer.

So, why the heck should people watch Current now? Keith Olbermann provided that reason, and there isn't much of one anymore, in my opinion. I'm disappointed Gore didn't oppose Hyatt's meddling... unless he's in agreement with Hyatt. Then I'm disappointed with him for that reason. Which is probably the case, given the fact that Gore, like Clinton, is also a DLC/Corporate Democrat. At least Gore was hands-off and didn't interfere like Hyatt (although Gore should have said something when Hyatt elbowed out Rosenthal).

I wish Keith luck in his lawsuit against Current, even if that means the destruction of Current and the end of "The Young Turks". The Young Turks was my second (now first) favorite Current program, but if Keith was wronged (and I believe he was) he is due justice. Sorry Cenk, I hope it doesn't come to that. I'll keep watching the "Young Turks" as long as Current remains on the air... unless Hyatt and Bohrman decide to fire him too... for being to outspoken/difficult. In conclusion, I say what we need is a REAL progressive news channel RUN by progressives. I'm sick of the Corporate Democrats being in charge.

Video Description: Cenk Uygur (host of The Young Turks) explains why he turned down a new, significantly larger MSNBC contract after hosting a prime-time show on the network that was beating CNN in the ratings. [It was because he wouldn't play ball with Corporate Democrats].

SWTD #111, KO #3.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tickling the Conservative Id

There has been a lot of talk about whether Gingrich's recent language, including his performance in the South Carolina debates and his earlier declaration that Barack Obama has been America's best "food-stamp president", amounts to a coded appeal to racist sensitivities. The answer is simple: yes ~ Leonard Pitts Jr (10/11/1957) a politically progressive African American commentator, journalist and novelist, as quoted in his 1/29/2012 publication article, "GOP's Politics of Racial Resentment".

I would not make black people's lives better by giving them other people's money ~ Rick Santorum (5/10/1958) a Republican politician who served as a United States Senator representing Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2007, as well as a religious fundamentalist, homophobe and racist, as quoted during a 1/2/2012 Iowa campaign speech... a comment he later denied, insisting he was actually talking about "bla" people.

The following is an excerpt from the 3/13/2012 broadcast of Current TV's The Young Turks, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Host Cenk Uygur discusses recent statements by Sarah Palin with Alexis Garcia (a political Correspondent with PJTV) and Paul Waldman (Contributing editor at the American Prospect)...

Video Clip of Sarah Palin: [Clip used in an Obama campaign ad pulled from the Sean Hannity Show]. Obama has never been seen in the conventional, traditional way as we who would describe a man of valor. And his profession as a community organizer... what went into his thinking was this philosophy of radicalism. He is bringing us back, Sean, to days... you can harken back to days before the civil war. What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days when we were in different classes based on income, based on color of skin. Why are we allowing our country to move backwards... [End video clip].

Cenk Uygur: OK, that's it... it's official. This breaks the record for the dumbest criticism of the president ever. President Obama would like to go back to the days before the civil war when we had slavery. Who can possibly believe that? How can you be that profoundly stupid?

But Palin says that was "heavily edited". All right, we have the actual clip from the Sean Hannity program. Let's see if she was taken out of context.

Unedited Video Clip of Sarah Palin: [My summary] Sarah Palin says exactly the same thing as in the edited clip, with a few sentences removed to cut down the length of the clip. The edited clip is an accurate representation of what she said. Her "out of context" claims are baloney. [End video clip].

Cenk: [Scoffs] Oh, that made it much better. ... She went on and on, calling him the "radical of the radicals". She said "radical" about eight times. When you see the full tape it's much worse. So, Alexis, you're in a tough spot here. Are you going to defend this national embarrassment or not?

Alexis Garcia: ...Obama makes an ad about this because it's the only thing he can talk about. He's got to rile up his base. Your viewers are intelligent and can see this for what it is. The president can't talk about the economy, he can't talk about gas prices, he's continuing the bush policies in Afghanistan... he's got to remind his base - look at the Right-wing wackos out there.

Cenk: Alright, a spirited effort. ... Now I've got to go to Paul. Paul, when someone pitches you a softball, what do you normally do with it?

Paul Waldman: Well, you hit it. And I think it does show the Obama campaign sees some political benefit in drawing attention to Sarah Palin. I don't think that's aimed at the base. I think it's aimed at the broader electorate, particularly independents. What we've seen over the course of this primary, as the Republican candidates have tried very hard to appeal to their base, is that the opinions of the Republican Party and of those candidates in particular have gone down and down [he's talking about public sentiment]... and the Obama campaign knows what it's doing.

Sarah Palin knows what she's doing too. Even though you look at that statement and you may think that's nuts... she understands what parts of the Conservative Id she's tickling. Since Obama came into office, and even before... there's been this real part of the Conservative movement in America who believe the way to keep up their support and generate opposition to Obama is to play on racial grievance. To tell people that, not only is he "other", but that the blacks in America are coming for them.

That's why Rush Limbaugh tells his listeners that the Affordable Health Care Act is reparations for slavery. That's why Glenn Beck goes on TV and says Obama has a deep-seated hatred of White people. That's why Andrew Breitbart did that edited Shirley Sherrod video that tried to convince people that the agriculture department was discriminating against Whites. It's this message over and over that Obama is some kind of Stokely Carmichael type figure... despite everything that he's actually done.

If we can go back and find that he some sort of radical association, that will give you the clue that his war on White people is about to begin. It hasn't actually begun yet, of course... because you don't want to talk about the things that have actually happened. It's always right around the corner. Some kind of terrible thing is about to come and all of that racial grievance is going to be unleashed on White America.

Cenk: Unfortunately we're out of time... to me it seems like Paul is right, of course... [End of segment]

My Commentary: Alexis Garcia's response isn't a "spirited effort", it an obvious dodge. She doesn't answer the question, although she's right about Sarah Palin being a wacko. (and about Obama continuing the bush policies in Afghanistan, unfortunately)... but her answer isn't why I decided to turn this excerpt from the Young Turks into a blog post. The reason I did that is because of Paul Waldman's response concerning Palin "tickling the Conservative Id". It's blatant race-baiting. They deny it eternally, but continue to employ it.

Video 1 Description: Sarah Palin on the Sean Hannity program, 3/9/2012. Sarah inserts the racist dog whistles (those excerpted for the Obama Ad) beginning at the 5:22 mark, and ending at 6:47.

Video 2 Description: Mitt Romney on Barack Obama: "He has been awful European". Translation: Barack Obama isn't American. Or, as a commenter who calls himself "tom cook" on the World Net Daily message board recently said, "You can't be just a good old American anymore to be popular; you have to be an African-American, or a Latin-American, or some other wog-American. The liberals and the NEA have made all of the stupids ashamed of good solid American Americans". So, who are the "American Americans"? Obviously they're white people.

SWTD #110

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Reason Magazine Advocation Of Means Testing Entitlements Politically Naive

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. Necessitous men are not free men ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1/30/1882 to 4/12/1945) the 32nd president of the United States (3/4/1933 to 4/12/1945). Excerpted from his 1/11/1944 message to Congress on the State of the Union.

The following is an excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 2/1/2012, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Thom and Matt Welch (the editor in chief of Reason Magazine) discuss the social safety net and entitlements.

Matt Welch: I happen to agree that we should have a saftey net, but where I disagree with you, probably, is that entitlements are ruining the saftey net. You have to choose between one of the two so that Warren Buffett is not on Medicare, but his secretary is [a mangled metaphor, since I highly doubt Warren Buffett's secretary would qualify, but you get the point... Matt Welch is in favor of means testing].

Thom Hartmann: Well, then I'd suggest that you're politically naive. The history of programs that are defined as welfare... that are programs for poor people... is that they're very easy to cut. Even supposedly Progressive or Liberal politicians like Bill Clinton ended "Welfare as we know it". It was fine during a boom time... all the restrictions that Clinton put on Welfare... you can't be on it more than 4 years (I think), and you've got to jump through all these hoops... even if you're a single mother with a couple of kids.

But now that we're 4 years into the bush great depression that isn't working so well for a lot of people in this country. If you start means testing Social Security and Medicare, they're going to turn into welfare programs, and mark my words, someone's going to come along and say, "Oh, yea, people who have income over $200 thousand shouldn't get Social Security. Let's cut that down to $40 thousand... let's cut that down to $10 thousand... and then, finally, let's do away with it".

Matt Welch: I think that's a very interesting objection and one that I'm going to take into consideration. Reason Magazine is going to have an upcoming story on entitlements versus the welfare state. It's true that the vision for Social Security, after people started living longer... the concept was that it would retain it's politically popularity if we spread it among people who don't need it as much.

Thom Hartmann: It's a very small number of people.

Matt Welch: But that's what is sinking our finances. That's the problem.

Thom Hartmann: No, it's not. You know, if you took the cap off Social Security, so that everybody making over $106 thousand paid on all of their income... the Social Security program would be solvent forever. In fact it would have a massive surplus, larger than the 2.6 trillion it's got right now.

Matt Welch: You might get agreement from some of my [committee].

My Commentary: I'm not sure about that last word, "committee"... I listened to the audio several times, but I couldn't discern exactly what Matt Welch said. In any case, I'm pretty sure he indicated that some of his fellow Libertarians might agree with the argument in favor of lifting the cap (in regards to high wage earners not paying Social Security tax on income over 106k). That's interesting. I'd have been positive before that Libertarians would be strongly against raising (or removing) the SS tax cap in addition to being strongly in favor of means testing.

In my opinion Republicans are in favor of means testing because they want to get rid of Social Security and Medicare, and means testing is the first step in accomplishing that goal. I mentioned this on the blog of a self-described "Moderate", and he called it a "conspiracy theory". He also said lifting the cap would amount to the largest tax increase in American history and he would vociferously oppose it. A Libertarian leaning blogger ridiculed the argument against means-testing, saying it amounted to "bribing" higher income people to gain their support for the programs.

But here is a Libertarian, and the editor in chief of the top Libertarian magazine no less, voicing some agreement with Thom Hartmann. I must say that Matt Welch's Libertarianism sounds at least a little more reasonable then Ron Paul's... this is an individual who thinks allowing an uninsured person to die represents "freedom". I'm with FDR in opposing this kind of "freedom". A necessitous man is not a free man. Perhaps enacting FDR's proposed Second Bill of Rights should be a goal of the 99 percent movement? At the very least we need to STOP the talk of "reforming" (cutting) entitlements that even our "socialist" president seems to be gung-ho for (with his "grand bargain").

Thom Hartmann Postcast Info: If you are a subscriber to the Thom Hartmann program podcast, the location of this segment of audio can be found at 7:30 to 9:37 of Hour 2 on Thursday February 2 of 2012.

Video Description: Ron Paul was serious when he said (to audience applause) at the 9/12/2011 CNN Tea Party debate that society should allow uninsured people to die.

SWTD #109

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rush Limbaugh's Disgusting Comments Regarding Sandra Fluke Versus Bill Maher Calling Sarah Palin The C-Word

Senator Rubio... issued a statement in which he called Thursday's vote "a setback for religious freedoms in America". In fact, it was nothing of the kind. The health care law does not demand that religious groups change their beliefs, only that they not impose them on nonbelievers - or believers who disagree ~ Randy Schultz in a 3/2/2012 Palm Beach Post editorial, referring to Rubio's disappointment in the defeat of the Blunt amendment (an amendment under which all employers - not just religious or religious-affiliated employers - could refuse to include any coverage in medical insurance plans that is not "consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions").

Note: The following is an excerpt from the 3/9/2012 broadcast of The Young Turks hosted by Cenk Uygur, which I edited for brevity and clarity...

Cenk Uyger: In a stand up routine in Dallas Bill Maher called Sarah Palin the "C" word, which is very, very harsh (although this was in a stand up routine and not on his HBO program). Apparently he said "That's the only word for her".

Video Clip of Sarah Palin: [My summary] Sarah Palin has suggested on Fox Nooz that Barack Obama's Super PAC should return the 1 million dollars Maher donated. Sarah Palin calls the donation "dirty money" and asks (in reference to the president) "How can he sleep at night". [end video clip].

Cenk: Here's how I would sleep at nigh [makes snoring noises].

Video Clip of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: [Responding to the suggestion that Bill Maher's donation should be returned]. "We are not, and cannot be the arbitrator of every statement that everybody makes in the policy and political arena. As a general matter, obviously language that denigrates women is inappropriate. [End video clip].

Cenk: Alright, let's open it up to [our panel]. Let's start with Ana, logically. Obviously [both Rush's and Bill Maher's comments] were directed at women. You're a woman. This was really, really bad. What are your thoughts?

Ana Kasparian: The C word is really bad, but as with anything, context always matters. When you look at Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh was not doing a comedy routine, he was being serious. He called [Sandra Fluke] a slut and a prostitute and he meant it. Whereas Bill Maher... look, that word is very, very harsh, but it was in the middle of a comedy routine. I give him a pass for it.

Cenk: OK, now, Jimmy, you're a comedian. Should comedians get a broader area to play in here? Is this fair game in that context?

Jimmy Dore: Here's the problem when they try to equate what Bill Maher did with what Rush Limbaugh did. When you are ridiculing someone in power - that's comedy. When you're ridiculing someone who is powerless that's called bullying. That's the difference. Sarah Palin had power, she was a governor, she ran to be the second most powerful person in the country... she's wide open to ridicule. Bill Maher doesn't have any power over her. Rush Limbaugh used his power to intimidate not only [Sandra Fluke] but all women who might speak up for women's reproductive health.

Cenk: I hear you, but I think the C word is out of bounds. I'm not sure if it is out of bounds in a comedy routine... he didn't say it on his TV show. If he had said it on his TV show - I'd say it's not right and he should apologize. Michael What do you think?

Michael Shure: I think it's OK for them [Conservatives] to say if Rush Limbaugh had to apologize, some of these people should have to apologize. But I do think there is a difference in the arena where you are, and context (in agreement with Ana). I think that does matter.

Cenk: Alright, Jesus, you're usually the voice of reason. Because it's a comedy routine, do you think that word can be used?

Jesus Godoy: I don't think it's OK. But Rush Limbaugh with his history...

Ana: Rush Limbaugh has been pushing this anti-women ideology for such long time... for decades now. That's why use of the word feminazi is very common among people who want to hate on women.

Cenk: I hear you, I think the word "feminazi" is worse then all of them. I hear you on that, but, at the same time, it's not like Bill Maher... and I love Bill Maher, and I agree with him 98 percent of the time, but if someone were to charge Bill Maher with misogyny, I wouldn't say that was out of bounds.

Jimmy Dore: The words he used were probably not a good choice (he also called Palin a "twat"). At the same time I don't believe it's equivalent [to what Rush said]. Rush's was a three-day attack on a woman who was not a public person. And when [Bill Maher used the C word] he wasn't shaming [Palin] for her sexuality, [but] Rush was shaming [Sandra Fluke] for her sexuality.

Cenk: I hear you. I also do not think they are equivalent. You guys are 100 percent right about the context. Now, having said that - when they say, President Obama look at these comments which are harmful to women... give the money back... is that a fair point? Should he give the money back Michael?

Michael Shure: No. I don't think he should give the money back - because Bill Maher gave money to a PAC. On the Republican side you've got much worse.

Jimmy Dore: The John Birch Society.

Michael Shure: The John Birch Society, exactly. That's a perfect example.

Cenk: If I was Obama I'd say, "Super PAC? I don't coordinate with my Super PAC at all". I hear you on the two not being equivalent and not giving the money back, but I think Maher should consider apologizing. What do you guys think about that? Quick ruling, Ana?

Ana: He should consider it.

Michael Shure: He should consider it, but it's fine if he doesn't because he's a comedian.

Jimmy Dore: I don't think he should because it gives the appearance that he agrees that it's equivalent.

Cenk: OK, I think he should consider it, but I'm not the boss of Bill Maher. He isn't going to listen to me or anybody else. Alright, thank you guys. [end of segment].

Cenk: (After returning from a commercial break) In the last segment we asked if Bill Maher's comments were as offensive as Rush Limbaugh's. We asked the same question on Current.com to find out what you [the viewers] thought, and the response was overwhelming. 87.27 percent of you said, no, not as offensive as Rush Limbaugh. Only 12.73 percent said yes. Well, if the Current viewers see it that way, it must be the case.

My Commentary: The comments are not equivalent. I said as much recently on another blog, and in response the proprietor (an individual who describes himself as a moderate) said, "Maher is every bit as much of a dirtbag as Limbaugh. They should BOTH be eviscerated/pilloried, in my opinion".

Furthermore, regarding Maher's use of the C word, I said "I think that word is demeaning to women and shouldn't be used, period. But, honestly, I am willing to [give Bill Maher a pass]. Why? Because I don't particularly care about Sarah Palin being demeaned. Also, "the National Organization for Women (NOW) condemned earlier Maher comments on Palin, [and] Palin responded by saying, 'I need NOW like a fish needs a bicycle'. She isn't willing to accept NOW's condemnation? OK, then I say to Bill Maher - use whatever words you want".

In response a blogger who calls himself "Rational Nation" said, "With your Palin comment you told us quite a lot about yourself. Your character anyway..."

I don't care what Rational Nation thinks about my character. I don't approve of Maher's use of that vile word, but I'm not going to condemn him either (or call him a "dirtbag"). Palin rejected NOW's condemnation of Maher's comments, so I assume she'd reject a Liberal blogger's defense of her as well (if I felt inclined to offer it). Yea, so no way... I'm going to remain a Bill Maher fan. As for Limbaugh, he's a dirtbag and his "apology" was insincere. If Maher apologized I'd believe him... although I know he won't, and don't think he should.

Note: The quote by Randy Schultz (no relation to Ed Schultz) at the top of the post really has nothing to do with the content of the post... although it does reflect how I feel about the Obama Administration's initial decision to require anyone who offers insurance (including religious institutions) to cover birth control.

As pointed out by Constitutional expert David Boies on the 2/8/2012 broadcast of "The Last Word" hosted by Lawrence O'Donnell, "There isn't a constitutional issue involved in this case... You don't exempt religious employers just because of their religion. You are not asking anybody in the Catholic church or any other church to do anything other than simply comply with a normal law that every employer has to comply with".

SWTD #108