Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Woe is US: Sally Kern Blames Everything Bad on Porn, Gays, and (yes!) Divorced People

If she keeps it up, Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern, a fundamentalist Republican, is likely to become a national joke. But the joke won't be funny in the Sooner state, which doesn't need more ridicule.

We're talking about Kern's latest right-wing manifesto, in which she blames all of the nation's problems on our supposed moral depravity—unending oceans of porn, unlimited abortion, child abuse and even (heavens!) divorce. (Hey, wasn't Saint Ronald of California divorced?)

To hear Kern tell it, most of us are so anxious to degrade ourselves and our families that we don't have time to read Scripture or attend church—we're too busy watching Internet porn with our pregnant (but not for long!) mistresses who beat their starving children when they won't sell their tender bodies to get more money for our booze and drugs.

Okay, we all know that our nation (and every nation) has its share of thoughtless creeps and hard-core criminals, but Rep. Kern is painting with a very broad brush. In spite of her fear-mongering, some people who are different from her are—can you believe it—actually good people.

From what we can tell, Rep. Kern hasn't bothered to look out the window in Oklahoma (or anywhere else in America) where she would see a church on many a city corner, and loving, law-abiding families doing their best to live upright and, yes, even moral lives in spite of her laundry list of "social ills" (some of which aren't).

Instead, she's gotta grandstand and play morality cop for everybody. Here's some good advice for Rep. Kern: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone."

Read more about Rep. Kern's latest screed here.

Moron on the Radio: Rush Blames Sanford's Affair on Obama's Economic Policies


AltTulsa is stunned into silence at the peculiar logic employed by radio blabber Rush Limbaugh, who managed to blame President Obama for South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's extramarital affair with a woman from Argentina.

It's as amazing and it is moronic. Law professor Jonathan Turley has the details here.

How Convenient: Cheatin' Louisiana Sen. Vitter Forgets Threats to Marriage

GOP hypocrisy update, courtesy of Talking Points Memo:
David Vitter (R-LA), the champion of social conservatism whose career became mired in the D.C. Madam prostitution scandal of 2007, has a new fundraising letter that warns of the liberal/socialist threats on a whole range of issues -- though one particular item is mysteriously missing.

The letter warns of the threat posed by Democrats on such issues as abortion, union card-check, the dreaded Fairness Doctrine to eliminate conservative talk-radio, and big liberal spending.

This sentence sums it up: "The left-wing blob of trial lawyers, union bosses, environmental zealots, abortion activists, socialists and gun grabbers along with the Washington Democrat establishment have already trained their sights on me."

But there is one issue that we're used to seeing from conservatives like Vitter, which doesn't show up at all: Protecting the sanctity of marriage.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tulsa's Philbrook Art Museum Makes News for Garden Project

The formal gardens at Tulsa's Philbrook Art Museum this year have been turned into a vegetable garden for a local food bank. Veggies from the museum's garden will be given to the Eastern Oklahoma Food Bank.

National Public Radio has the report. Find it here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Maureen Dowd on Gov. Sanford

The snarky New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has skewered South Carolina's Mark Sanford, a governor who fell in love with himself.

Here's her comment:

As in all great affairs, Mark Sanford fell in love simultaneously with a woman and himself — with the dashing new version of himself he saw in her molten eyes...

With Maria, he was no longer the penny-pinching millionaire Mark, who used to sleep on a futon in his Congressional office and once treated two congressmen to movie refreshments by bringing back a Coke and three straws.

No, he was someone altogether more fascinating: Marco, international man of mystery and suave god of sex and tango.

AT's Wine of the Week: Block No. 45 Petite Sirah 2007

AT has been amiss lately in our weekly wine work. We like to sip a bit every now and again (okay, sometimes it's more like quaffing) but we haven't had a chance to report on vino in a while.

Our latest find is a sturdy California red from Block No. 45. We know nothing of the winery except that it is located in San Martin, which doesn't help much since we never heard of the town.

In any case, we saw this Petite Sirah in Santa Fe and bought a bottle to pair with some exotic olives from Whole Foods. The pairing proved to be success. The wine was, as the label advertised, full-flavored, which helped it stand up to the olives.

At the price ($8.99), it was a good deal. AltTulsa loves a good red at a good price, and Block No. 45 delivered. We don't know if this label is available in Tulsa, but we hope so. It's worth looking for.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

More GOP Errors: Rep. Michelle Bachmann Lies about the Census

Yes, she's a fool and a blowhard. But even fools and blowhards can sometimes stumble across the truth.

Even so, Rep. Michelle Bachmann has established a long line of errors, misstatements, and plain ole lies.

This week, she won the notorious "Pants on Fire" award from PolitiFact after she claimed that the Constitution only requires that citizens answer how many people are in their household.

Wrong again, Rep. Bachmann. The fact-checkers have done their homework, but you haven't. Sadly for you, facts are stubborn things and you can't make them go away because you don't happen to like them.

Amen, Brother Froomkin

In his last column for the Washington Post, Dan Froomkin recalls the fundamental dishonesty at the core of the George W. Bush administration.

Froomkin nails the bastards:
When I look back on the Bush years, I think of the lies. There were so many. Lies about the war and lies to cover up the lies about the war. Lies about torture and surveillance. Lies about Valerie Plame. Vice President Dick Cheney's lies, criminally prosecutable but for his chief of staff Scooter Libby's lies. I also think about the extraordinary and fundamentally cancerous expansion of executive power that led to violations of our laws and our principles.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

GOP Outrage of the Week: Maryland's Republican Women Compare Obama, Hitler

When you have no ideas and nothing to say, just be frickin' outrageous. Say anything and hope something makes a little sense.

That seems to be the philosophy (a term we use very loosely) of some Republican women in Maryland.

Read the sorry story here.

The Party of Family Values Loses Its Way

An interesting note from the (conservative!) Washington Times:
Extramarital affairs, gambling, alcohol abuse, prostitution and sexual pursuit of minors have taken a toll on the GOP.

Pro-gun Activist: "Judges Deserve to be Killed"

The right-wing crazies continue to rant and rave, finding enemies wherever they turn. The latest is a pro-gun activist who advocates the murder of federal judges he doesn't like.

A little hint to the gun nuts out there: this is not the way to deal with your real or imagined opponents. In a civil society, citizens don't urge the murder of duly appointed officials because they might rule against their own interests from time to time.

If everyone behaved this way, civil society wouldn't last very long and the result would not be good for anyone.

Here's the story of one sadly misguided doofus:
A federal complaint filed in Chicago said that Hal Turner, 47, had posted "outrage" on his Web site over the handgun decision by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

According to the complaint, Turner described the court decision in a June 2 posting and said, "Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed."

The postings included photos, contact information and room numbers of the judges along with a picture and map of the building in which they work, the complaint said.

"We take threats to federal judges very seriously. Period," said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Daily Beast Columnist: South Carolina Gov. Sanford Should Resign

A political observer from The Daily Beast predicts the end of Gov. Mark Sanford's political career.

"He's toast,"
Mark McKinnon writes. Read it here.

From National Review: Mitt Wins By Process of Elimination

The meltdown of right-wing political operators continued today with the admission by South Carolina Gov. Mark "Family Values" Sanford.

Here's the reaction of the National Review's Rich Lowery:

First [Nevada Sen. John] Ensign, then the "Crying in Argentina" press conference. If Republicans want a presidential candidate who lives clean and whose family hasn't been involved in tabloid scandals, it might soon be Mitt Romney by process of elimination.

CNN Report: Latest Horrors from Iranian Crackdown

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hannity Lies about 'Cash for Clunkers' Program

That Paragon of Conservative Values and Moral Clarity, Sean Hannity, is lying again. Hannity can't seem to open his mouth without getting the facts wrong, deliberately in many cases.

For example, Hannity is claiming (read: lying) that the so-called Cash for Clunkers program approved by Congress will allow citizens to use worthless junked cars to scam the government for $4,500.

That would be an outrage, if it were true. It's not. When the truth isn't good enough, Hannity makes up his own "facts." Pretty easy to be outraged if you make things up!

PolitiFact sets the record straight here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Recent Reading: 'The Long Road Home,' Raddatz's Chronicle of Fighting in Iraq

Whatever the wisdom of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, there's little argument over the place of the soldiers themselves.

Soldiers follow orders, of course, even if the Bush policies and the invasion itself were faulty and ill-advised.

An eye-opening tale of soldiers following orders is one of the themes of Martha Raddatz's 2007 book, The Long Road Home. Raddatz, a veteran ABC correspondent, tells the harrowing story of the 2004 Sadr City uprising, a fight that killed an wounded scores of soldiers just arrived in Baghdad from Fort Hood, Texas.

The book is powerful evidence of the bravery and loyalty of U.S. soldiers, who are ambushed by hundred—perhaps thousands—of insurgents. Of all the Iraq war books we've read (and we're read a few), this is by far the most gripping and, in many ways, devastating.

Raddatz also ties the Sadr City fighting to its effects at Fort Hood, profiling the families who must face the uncertainty of not knowing about the welfare of their husbands and fathers.

We usually look askance at jacket blurbs, but the ones on the back of this book are accurate. One of those writers is reporter Thomas Ricks:
The word "sacrifice" is used a lot. In The Long Road Home, Martha Raddatz shows what the word really means, with soldier after soldier. She takes the readers into the Humvees and the streets of Baghdad and shows how American troops sweat, bleed, and fight in the Iraq war. Read it.
We did. It's terrific work and one that stands as compelling testimony to American fighting men and their families.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sen. Coburn Joins the Wingnuts; Supports 'Birther' Bill

Here we go again.

Just when you think Oklahoma politicians couldn't get any nuttier, Sen. Tom Coburn has joined the folks who think Barack Obama may be a alien.

Here's the report from the far, far Right, in all its paranoid glory:
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has now signed up with the Birther cause -- the people who think Barack Obama isn't a natural-born citizen and should be required to produce a birth certificate (which he already did, anyway) -- World Net Daily reports.

Coburn has now voiced his support for a bill offered by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) and five House co-sponsors so far. "The bill requires any federal candidates' campaign committee filing with the Federal Election Commission to produce a copy of the candidate's birth certificate," wrote Coburn. "If the bill makes it to the Senate, I will likely support it."

Coburn also endorsed a similar bill in the Oklahoma legislature: "I hope the Oklahoma State Legislature will give serious consideration to this bill and I hope more states will reform their ballot access laws to ensure federal candidates must affirmatively prove their eligibility."

After all, there have been so many cases of aliens running for state and federal office.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Embarrassing Mr. Inhofe: When Thinking is Too Hard, Go Negative and Be Stubborn

Politics is all about compromise. You give a little to get a little—unless you are the senior senator from Oklahoma, in which case you take your ball and go home.

We're talking about Sen. Inhofe's refusal to meet this week with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Inhofe doesn't need to meet with her. He's already made up his mind, you see, having voted against her once before when she was nominated to the appellate court. Since then, however, Judge Sotomayor has written scores of decisions, some of which might interest the senator (not to mention his constituents).

Why bother learning about the nominee and her judicial philosophy when you're an ideologue? No sirree, Inhofe's mind—such as it is—is made up.

That's the Inhofe way, but it's not a reasonable way to represent the people of Oklahoma. We deserve actual public service, not knee-jerk partisanship.

For more on the latest Inhofe embarrassment, click here.

Irony Alert: Rove Complains about Network Playing Favorites

Karl Rove, one of the least credible members of the failed Bush Administration, has no sense of irony. Or truth, for that matter.

A consummate GOP spinmeister and political hack, Rove has a highly selective memory when it comes to White House relations with the television networks. Why he's shocked—shocked!— that ABC is "partnering" with the White House in some upcoming broadcasts.

Why it's unheard of, Rove says. It's unprecedented, Rove claims. Except when Fox News did it during the Bush years.

Think Progress nails Rove's sorry ass to the wall here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tennessee Moron: Bonehead (and Racist) GOP Incident of the Day

The White Racist Branch of the Republican Party is on a roll. First it was in South Carolina, as we noted in a previous post, now it's Tennessee.

Seems as if a racist image of U.S. presidents was circulated around Nashville today, an image that has already prompted an apology.

Some folks in the old Confederacy haven't quite caught up to some major social changes that occurred in the late-twentieth century, much less the twentieth-first century.

See what the latest GOP flap is about here. The apology, such as it is, can be found here.

A Little History of Tulsa's Brookside Neighborhood

Tulsagal, a local blogger with an interest in T-town history, has posted a short history of the Brookside neighborhood along with some historic photos.

It's worth a look. Find it here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Alternative Eating: Buy Fresh Buy Local Sponsors 'Local Foods Week'

Tulsa citizens have more options than ever when it comes to eating, bypassing the industrial food system that has taken over the nation's supermarkets.

One of the best Tulsa organizations in support of alternative food is Buy Fresh Buy Local, which is this week sponsoring "Local Food Week" this week.

Here's some information on the organization from their Facebook page. Check 'em out.
Buy Fresh Buy Local connects citizens to farm-fresh, locally-grown food and farm products. Through food guides, market listings, promotions and point of sale materials, we’re making it easier for Oklahomans to find and purchase great tasting local foods.

There are lots of good reasons to Buy Fresh Buy Local:

~Locally grown and produced foods are fresher because they aren't transported thousands of miles before you eat them.

~Buying local means you are eating food at the height of seasonality and flavor.

~Buying local supports the economy and our family farms.

~Buying locally-grown and produced foods allows you to choose food from farmers you know and trust.

~Once you know where to find it, buying local food is easy.

Contact Info: GreenCountryBFBL@gmail.com

Website: Click here.

South Carolina Moron: Bonehead GOP Quote of the Day

Those wonderfully enlightened South Carolina Republicans are so clever. And they are never, ever the least bit racist. Except when they are. 

Here's the latest wit and wisdom from the Palmetto State: 

A high-ranking South Carolina Republican activist has issued an apology after comparing First Lady Michelle Obama to a gorilla.

Rusty DePass, a former chairman of the Richland County Republican Party, made the comments in a friend’s Facebook status update line after a gorilla was reported to have escaped from Columbia’s Riverbanks Zoo.

According to FitsNews, the status line read: “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors — probably harmless.”

DePass told the Associated Press that he made the comment in reference to President Barack Obama’s views on evolution.

Oh, right! It's all about evolution. Of course. That makes so much sense. 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Frank Rich on the Hate Enablers

Times columnist Frank Rich has a good column today on the hyperbolic right-wing screamers who feed the fire of paranoia and hatred. It's worth a read. Find it here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

LA Times Columnist Weighs in on Extremist Violence in America

Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten offers his perspective on the delusions and paranoia that seem to be taking hold among some extremist, anti-government types—so-called lone wolves with guns. 

Rutten is spot-on. Read it here

Friday, June 12, 2009

Haters with Guns: Right-wing Crackpots Use Violence to Go after Purported Enemies

The white supremacist charged this week with the murder of a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was a racist and a crackpot, a man with a long history of wild and erroneous notions about why the world doesn't work they way he thought it should. 

The death of the security guard was a tragedy, of course. The guard, Stephen Johns, 39, was doing his job, protecting the lives of others. His death has been widely condemned, as it should be. 

But this wasn't the first recent death caused by violent paranoia on the American right. Lest we forget, only last year an unemployed truck driver in Knoxville, Tenn., walked into a Unitarian church and murdered two innocent people. 

This shooter, Jim David Adkisson, made clear his intent to kill liberals. Before his crime, Adkisson explained his actions in several pages of notes. "Know This If Nothing Else," he wrote. "This was a hate crime." He continued: "I hate the damn left-wing liberals."

If these words aren't scary enough, Adkisson went on, referring specifically to a book that blames liberals and others for "screwing up America."

"This was a symbolic killing," Adkisson wrote of his shooting at the church. "Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book." 

This are deeply disturbing political ideas—ideas about murdering your political opposition, ideas that led to murder

Adkisson was so angered by whatever he read or heard that he twisted his ideas into violence against his apparent enemies, which he named. He hated the "traitors," "the Democrates" [sic], "liberalism," "anti-American organizations," and so on. 

Blame others—and then kill them. This was the evil idea Adkisson clearly articulated, one that we saw repeated this week at the Holocaust Memorial Museum by another disgruntled gunman. 

But violence is not an acceptable political solution, as we all should have learned by now. In a democracy, we fight with ideas, not guns. But the crackpots and haters haven't accepted this, apparently, so they get riled up and start shooting. The result is murder. 

This is not the America we want. 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Zealots with Guns: Holocaust Memorial Shooter Blames the Jews (Who Own Obama)

Press reports today reveal that James von Brunn, the white supremacist who has been charged with murder for killing a guard yesterday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, left some notes in his car.

Here's some what has been released:

You want my weapons -- this is how you'll get them. The Holocaust is a lie. Obama was created by Jews. Obama does what his Jew owners tell him to do. Jews captured America's money. Jews control the mass media.
This is the stuff of haters and crazies who have been inventing their own highly paranoid alternative universe for many decades now.

They always blame somebody,
even when the facts don't support their "theories."

We understand as well that von Brunn is also one of the birth certificate deniers, still claiming that Obama was born in Africa and is therefore an illegal president. As we noted, the facts don't matter to these folks.

All this might be harmless, of course, if the zealots were just talking.

But they're not. Some of them have guns and, as we have discovered, they are violent enough to use them against their enemies, real or imagined.

Besides von Brunn, recall the Knoxville shooter last year, an angry man who decided to kill the liberals at Unitarian church. Like we said, it's zealots with guns, but without the benefit of thoughtfulness or judgment or compassionate human action.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No Surprise: NewsOn6 Corrects Erroneous Fox News Story

The latest fake outrage from Fox News has been exposed, thanks to KOTV Channel 6. Kudos to them for setting the record straight.

A big dart to the Tulsa Beacon for fouling up the story in the first place.

Here's the story:
Misunderstanding Over THA Religious Policy

By Jennifer Loren, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa business has been flooded with hateful e-mails and phone calls after a misleading story aired on a cable news network. The story outraged viewers across the country, claiming religious activities had been banned from Tulsa's government housing complexes. The company being blamed for a ban on the words God or Christ says it's not true.

"It was just a big misunderstanding," said Youth At Heart Director Jocelyn McCarver.

Employees at Tulsa's "Youth at Heart" say misunderstanding or not, they're now dealing with hateful e-mails and phone calls. A story that aired on Fox News Channel said Youth at Heart, who provides recreational activities for Tulsa Housing Authority properties, wouldn't allow religious activities there. That got lots of folks riled up.

"Well, most of the emails have been from people out of state. So, I guess they're looking at Fox News. So, they're not supporting us anyways," said Youth At Heart Director Jocelyn McCarver.

But, religious activities are allowed on the properties. They just have to be scheduled through the residents themselves, not through the housing authority or its subcontractors.

A statement from the Tulsa Housing Authority shows it's a federally funded agency and therefore does not directly sponsor religious activities on its sites. They refer religious organizations to schedule those with resident associations.

"We're not banning Child Evangelism. We're not banning the use of the name of Jesus or God," said Youth At Heart Director Jocelyn McCarver.

Fox News Channel picked the story up after a religious group, Child Evangelism Fellowship, talked to the Tulsa Beacon newspaper.

"First of all we were quite shocked because we've been going to these housing complexes with this group for 20 plus years," said Larry Koehn with Child Evangelism Fellowship.

It wasn't until after the story hit the national airwaves and after millions of Americans were outraged they discovered they were wrong and that the whole issue was a simple misunderstanding.

"I need to be sure I know all my facts before I start talking to the news media and that I keep control of the situation for the sake of our ministry and for everyone involved," said Larry Koehn with Child Evangelism Fellowship.

Child Evangelism Fellowship will continue to provide its religious activities at Tulsa Housing Authority properties.

Michael Bates Backdown Day 4.0

About this time every month, we like remember the day Michael Bates ate some tasty crow.

We're speaking of the February 10, 2009, letter in which Bates apologized for his misstatements concerning the Tulsa World and their circulation figures.

As Tulsa readers will recall, Bates blasted the World in his column in Urban Tulsa Weekly, only to discover that many of his conclusions were wrong.

Some of our favorite words from the Bates letter include these: "regret," "retract," "inaccurate," "misleading," "incorrect," "misinterpretation," "flawed," and "unintended." That's quite a list—written only four short months ago.

Meanwhile, Bates is longer writing for UTW, as he explained recently on his blog. That's too bad, since he'll lose an outlet to make more errors.

Yet More Wacko Myths about Obama

Slate, an interesting on-line publication, keeps abreast of rumors and myths that surround our political culture, especially the unending whirlwind of bogus information attached to Barack Obama.

The journal recently published its collection of "Obama 2.0" rumors, which it calls "Crazy right-wing myths."

A sample: The Teleprompter myth, a favorite of blowhard Rush Limbaugh, claims that Obama is fully dependent on the machine and can't appear in public without it.

The truth, of course, is that Obama is an excellent off-the-cuff speaker who has demonstrated this fact hundreds of times on the campaign and since taking office. He's head-and-shoulders above George W. Bush.

Another sample: Obama is a Nazi-style eugenicist. This myth is peddled by Fox News "no"-nothing Glenn Beck, but needs a lot of creative speculation (read: paranoid fantasies) to make any sense at all. The truth: There's no evidence that Obama supports anything of the sort, policies that would, after all, attack his own (and his family's) racial background.

There are more wacko rumors (Obama is the Antichrist!) and you can read them here.

Nay-sayers Get It Wrong: Government Makes a Profit on TARP Money

Remember all those whiners who blasted the Feds for giving away taxpayer money to the banks? We'll never get a dime of that back, they said. 

Well, "they" were wrong (we're talking to you Rush, Sean, Bill-O, etc). 

Now, President Obama has announced, ten banks have agreed to return the TARP money—and the U.S. government will turn a profit. 

PolitiFact has checked the president's claim. He's right. The whiners are wrong (again). 

Here's the link

Sen. Coburn Criticizes VA Health Care and Draws Criticism Himself

Sen. Tom Coburn ought to know something about health care. He's an M.D., after all, which gives him some standing in the field. 

But Coburn is also something of an ideologue, more committed to conservative political spinning than to, say, an unbiased understanding of the facts. 

Not surprisingly, then, Coburn's comments earlier today on C-SPAN about the health care provided by the VA have come under fire from the group Think Progress. 

They say Coburn smeared the VA in order to attack health care reform. 

Think Progress supports their counterattack with some compelling facts that do make the VA look better than Coburn says it is. They might be right, too, which means Coburn could be wrong, a possibility Coburn seems never to have considered. 

You can learn more and see a Coburn video clip by clicking here

Monday, June 8, 2009

Recent Reading: Peter Taylor's Novel 'In the Tennessee Country'

Short story writer and novelist Peter Taylor is not well known among the reading public these days. In fact, we'd guess that few, if any, American readers know his name or his work.

That's a shame, too, because Taylor is a master of his craft. Taylor, a Tennessee native who died in 1994, had a successful career as an English professor and fiction writer, winning awards for his stories and a Pulitzer Prize for his novel, A Summons to Memphis.

We just finished reading Taylor's last novel, In the Tennessee Country. It's a rather amazing piece of fictional imagination, something of a memory piece about the complexities of family life and the emotional thickets of such relationships.

Taylor tells his story in a genteel manner, with almost no dialogue and long-winded sentences that—despite this fact—manage to capture something of the South during the World War I era.

We try to keep abreast of literary styles and manners, and yet we have encountered few writers as mannered and seductive as Taylor.

Perhaps it's his evocation of a bygone time or his memorable Southern pols, aunts and cousins that make this novel so touching. But whatever it is, Taylor puts all down in a beautiful rendered prose that explains how ordinary lives used to be.

Will Sen. Inhofe Criticize Obama's D-Day Commemoration?

It's just a matter of time before Sen. Jim Inhofe blasts President Obama again for being "un-American." 

Inhofe made that charge last week following the president's well-received address to the Muslim world in Cairo. 

A few days later, Obama was in Normandy for the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion that liberated France. By all accounts, it was a dignified ceremonial occasion. 

But any time now Inhofe's press secretary will be charging Obama with more "un-American" behavior. After all, Obama was in  (phew!) France

We can imagine the Inhofe press release now: "A real American—one who's not a secret socialist— would have celebrated D-Day where it happened, right here in the good ole U.S. A." 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More on Obama's Cairo Speech

Searching the blogosphere today, we came across an interesting discussion of President Obama's Cairo speech. We don't have much expertise in Middle Eastern politics, but this is just the kind of discussion that's needed in U.S. politics.

What we don't need is more idiotic responses of the type we got from some Right-wing, talk radio types and, sadly, our own U.S. senator, Jim Inhofe, who should (but doesn't) know better.

You can read Jim Sleeper's TPM essay here.

Sarah Palin's Not-So-Original Reagan Speech Plagiarized from Newt Gingrich

Living in Alaska, apparently, can cause brain freeze. Or maybe it's just intellectual laziness. 

Whatever it is, the conservative heroine from the Great White North, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has been caught lifting lines (i.e., plagiarizing) about Ronald Reagan in a speech she delivered in Anchorage this week. 

Her source: None other that disgraced former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

Oops. Last time we checked, plagiarism was unethical. It's wrong. It's dishonest. How could Saint Sarah do such a thing? 

Reporter Geoffrey Dunn of The Huffington Post has the gory details here

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Inhofe Remarks Get Slammed

Sen. Jim Inhofe is no slouch when it comes to making headlines. It's just unfortunate that he usually makes them for being such a prig.

Inhofe's "un-American" crack about President Obama's speech this week in Cairo hasn't won him any admirers.

Oklahoma Democrats, of course, have unloaded on Inhofe, as in this page one comment in the Tulsa World: "I am not surprised but I am disappointed, said Todd Goodman, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

Goodman is correct. Inhofe is so stuck in demonizing, scorched-earth partisanship that he's often the laughingstock of many conservatives, much less mainstream and liberal citizens.

A quick search of the "Interweb" shows that Inhofe's criticism of Obama this week is only embarrassing him—and us, of course, the citizens of Oklahoma.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Conservative Activist David Horowitz Praises (Really!) Obama's Cairo Speech

AltTulsa doesn't usually quote conservative activist and academic gadfly David Horowitz. He's usually angry and often wrong about most matters political and otherwise. 

But let's give Horowitz his due. When he's right, he's right—as he is today with a column in Salon praising President Obama's speech this week to the Muslim world. 

Instead of a knee-jerk partisan attack like that of Tulsa's own Jim Inhofe (see previous post), Horowitz found much to like in the Obama speech, including the president's tough, honest approach to the region's problems. 

For instance: 
[U]nlike Condoleezza Rice, who not too long ago drew the same [civil rights] parallel to aggrandize the PLO terrorists as civil rights activists, Obama drew a sharp and revealing line of distinction between them: "Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America's founding."

You can read the Horowitz column here

Note: While you're reading, keep in mind that Horowitz comes off here as a reasonable political analyst, not a label anyone can apply to Sen. Inhofe. 

'Up Is Down' in Jim Inhofe's Partisan World; Oklahoma Senator Wrong Again

Here we go again.

President Barack Obama makes a serious and balanced foreign policy address in Cairo and Sen. Jim Inhofe comes out swinging with a partisan (read: hack) attack from the Right.

Of course he would. Inhofe's credibility as a fair-minded and thoughtful political leader vanished years ago. Instead, Oklahomans get a warmed-over, Limbaugh-lite commentary that almost nobody to the left of Pat Buchanan takes seriously—and that's saying something.

Tulsans and other Sooner state voters might want to pay attention to O
bama's actual words from Cairo. If they read or listened to the speech itself (instead of the talk radio distortions of it), they might discover a new, vigorous, thoughtful and adult foreign policy approach to the Middle East.

But that would require a balanced and engaged political sensibility. Lots of Oklahomans might have (or acquire) that, but not Sen. Inhofe.

As the saying goes, his mind is made up. Don't confuse him with the facts.

For more on the latest Inhofe verbal nonsense, click here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tulsa Mayor Taylor Won't Seek Re-election

The NewsOn6 and the Tulsa World are reporting that Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor will not seek re-election to the city post.

Here's the first few paragraphs of the World's story:
Mayor Kathy Taylor is expected to announce that she is not running for re-election at a press conference later today.

Taylor is scheduled to hold press conference at 5:30 p.m. at the Tulsa Press Club.

Rumors have swirled around City Hall that Taylor was in line for a job in Washington, D.C., but she has repeatedly denied those rumors.

Taylor had announced her intentions to run for another term this fall during a kickoff event in February at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

"There's a lot to be done in Tulsa, and I need your help and support to do it," Taylor told the crowd at that time. "I'm humbled to be your mayor, and I'm passionate about continuing to serve for another term."

Newt's Attack (and Reversal) on Supreme Court Nominee Wins 'Full Flop' Award

AltTulsa never gets tired of lampooning the Right's exaggerations and distortions

It's practically a full-time job keeping track of wingnut rumor, innuendo, and bald-face lies put forth in the name of conservatism and so-called traditional values. 

One of the most prominent cases in recent days is the 180-degree flip-flop from our old friend, Newt Gingrich. In criticizing Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, Gingrich called her a "racist," citing exactly one comment she had made.

Unsurprisingly, the comment was picked up by Talk Radio and other commentators. 

Now, however, Gingrich has backed off the comment. He admitted that his statement might have been, well, wrong. 

Newt's switcheroo has not gone unnoticed. The non-partisan fact-checking site Politifact has awarded Gingrich its first-ever "Full Flop" for speaking out both sides of his mouth. Their conclusion: 
[Gingrich has] done a full 180 on his boldest criticism and the one that has been repeated countlessly by the media. He called her a racist and is now retracting that comment, which earns a Full Flop.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rep. Sullivan's Empty Promise: "Representing Your Interests in Congress"

Oklahoma First District Rep. John Sullivan mailed an official, taxpayer-supported document to his constituents just last week, a document that said Sullivan is "Representing Your Interests in Congress."

Or maybe not. Sullivan checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic last week, so he's nowhere near Congress and he's not currently representing the people of the First District.

Indeed, the conservative Tulsa Republican has taken an official leave from his Congressional duties to deal with his alcohol addition, a problem that the Congressman has been battling for some time.

This is not Sullivan's first encounter with alcoholism. As the Tulsa World reported last week, the Congressman has spoken openly about his drinking, at one point speaking to high school students about the dangers of alcohol. "He said at the time he finally had eliminated alcohol from his life," the World noted.

Unfortunately for Sullivan (and us), that was not the case.

Happy Birthday, Larry

AltTulsa has written before about our admiration for Larry McMurtry, novelist, screenwriter, western historian and book collector. 

So we are pleased today, June 3, to wish the Texas native a very happy birthdayKeep writing, Larry. 

Fun with Fattening Food: USA Today Reports on Restaurant Diet Disasters

Americans love to eat out, or at least they did until the recession set in. Nevertheless, some restaurants seem to be packing them in—in more ways than one.

Along those lines, the Center for Science in the Public Interest is out with a new report on the diet disasters at some popular American restaurants such as Applebees and The Cheesecake Factory.

It's not a pretty picture. The link is here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tulsa Photographer Posts Photos of Tulsa Tough Bike Race

We missed the Tulsa Tough bicycle event this weekend, but a local amateur photographer and TU student named Robert Baird was there and has posted a story and pictures that capture some of the excitement.

Check out Robert's photoblog here.

Colbert Takes on 'Old White Men' Who Call SCOTUS Nominee a Racist

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