Monday, August 31, 2009

Hollywood Radical Jon Voight: Actor Talks Nonsense On Fox

The Right is always badmouthing Hollywood as a nest of lefties who know nothing about politics or government but use their celebrity to insert themselves into the public's business.

But the Right has its own batch of Hollywood celebrities, including actor Jon Voight. Turns out, Voight knows nothing about government either, but that doesn't stop him from blabbing on about it on (where else?) Fox News.

Here's a link, with video, in which Voight makes clear his own paranoia as well as his distain for facts.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sen. Jim Inhofe Embarrasses Himself (and Oklahoma) Again

Just when you think Jim Inhofe can't get any more ridiculous, along comes the senior U.S. senator from Soonerland with more idiocy.

Apparently, his keen conservative intuition and Fox News is all Inhofe needs to understand current legislation:

At a town hall meeting Wednesday Sen. Jim Inhofe told Chickasha residents he does not need to read the 1,000 page health care reform bill, he will simply vote against it.

"I don’t have to read it, or know what’s in it. I’m going to oppose it anyways," he said.

Friday, August 28, 2009

PolitiFact Nails Latest Limbaugh Lie; He's Wrong on Circumcision Mandate

It's not news that Rush Limbaugh is a lying sack 'o crap: twenty seconds of his radio show is enough to convince all but the most deranged listeners of that.

But even Rush should know better than to make up a lie about health care reform involving forced circumcision.

But Rush is always right, of course, except when he's not. PolitiFact awards Rush their highest dishonor, the infamous Pants on Fire award.

Praying for Obama's Death: Arizona Preacher Chooses Hate

Making Up Constitutional Theories: The 'Tenthers' Have Arrived

Having completely run out of serious political ideas, the wingnut section of the American Right has turned to novel constitutional theories.

Ah, yes, when you lose at the ballot box, turn to creative interpretations of the founding document. There's gotta be something there to save the conservatives from the idiotic birthers, the hyperbolic deathers, and other zanies that seem to thrive in the margins of the Reagan Revolution.

The latest, which has believers right here in Soonerland, are the "Tenthers," a happy band of True Believers who think the Tenth Amendment is the salvation of the land. (Randy Brogdon, a GOP hard-core candidate for governor, is a Tenther. Good luck with that, Randy.)

According to this theory, real meaning of the Tenth Amendment is to prohibit the Federal government from doing almost everything the U.S. government has done for about 100 years.

Enforce the Tenth Amendment, the thinking goes, and the states will take over from the Feds and—Presto!—Conservative Paradise.

It's a pipe dream. Read all about it here.

HuffPost Writer on the Glenn Beck Show: 'Awesomely Bonkers'

The Huffington Post's Jason Linkins has fun at the expense of Glenn Beck, Fox News free-floating blowhard and conspiracy theorist.

We know, criticizing Beck is like shooting fish in a barrel. The man's not the sharpest tool in the box.

Here's the link, complete with video. See if you can figure out what Beck is up to; he certainly doesn't know. Click here: As Sponsors Flee, The Glenn Beck Show Gets More Awesomely Bonkers.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dr. Tom Takes the Heat on Health Care Advice

Oklahoma's junior senator, Dr. Tom Coburn, serves as a government official. He's a federal legislator, empowered to help make the government work better for his fellow Oklahomans.

Unfortunately for us, Coburn doesn't actually believe in government. To him, it seems to be some sort of giant conspiracy to rob Sooners of their money and their ambition.

Like Ronald Reagan before him, Coburn sees government as the problem, not the solution. It's an awkward position at best, since he was presumably elected by the people in order to do good in the world through government means.

So when an Oklahoma woman broke down in sobs at a Coburn town hall the other day, Coburn couldn't bring himself to support a real solution to her troubles, like, say, guaranteed health coverage for pre-existing conditions.

But no. Coburn turned the talk to neighborly support, as if the woman could take up a collection and pay for her husband's massive medical costs. Big if.

Not surprisingly, Coburn's getting hammered for his response. There's more here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Slice & Dice: Frank Rich Drubs Sen. Tom Coburn for Abetting the Nuts

Frank Rich was once the drama critic of the New York Times, famous for slicing up Broadway productions that weren't up to snuff.

Lately, Rich has been a political commentator, though his razor remains as sharp as ever. This week Rich did a surgical procedure on our very own Oklahoma physican, Sen. Tom Coburn. It wasn't pretty, but Coburn deserves the critique:
America has never had a shortage of [nuts]. But what’s Tom Coburn’s excuse? Coburn is a Republican senator from Oklahoma, where 168 people were murdered by right-wing psychopaths who bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Their leader, Timothy McVeigh, had the Jefferson quote on his T-shirt when he committed this act of mass murder. Yet last Sunday, when asked by David Gregory on “Meet the Press” if he was troubled by current threats of “violence against the government,” Coburn blamed not the nuts but the government.

Coburn’s implicit rationalization for far-right fanatics bearing arms at presidential events — the government makes them do it! — cannot stand. He’s not a radio or Fox News bloviator paid a fortune to be outrageous; he’s a card-carrying member of the United States Senate.
Rich is right. Coburn is wrong. If the armed wing-nuts attack, Coburn will look like their ally, which is no place for a U.S. senator to be. He should know better.

Read the entire Rich column here.

Daily Beast Writer Unpacks the Obama-Hitler Slur

Here's some very interesting work on the screwball comparison that Rush Limbaugh and the town-hall screamers have been making.

Daily Beast writer Max Blumenthal tracks its origins to not-so-forgotten cult leader—surprise!—Lyndon LaRouche, whose followers pushed the attacks.

Read Blumenthal's story here.

This Can't Be Good: Tulsa Ranked High in Bad Teeth

The Tulsa World website has posted a story that makes Tulsa look bad.

Some study is out saying our fellow Tulsans have bad teeth. Seems we smoke too much, among other things.

Whatever this cause, this is distressing. Check it out here.

Fox's Glenn Beck Takes a Beating in Ad Support

Like a lot of the wingbags on Fox News, Glenn Beck pretends to know what he's taking about. But most of the blather that Beck utters is a pose: You find some incident in the news and spin it in ways that rile up the masses.

In Beck's case, the phony outrage and hysteria isn't playing so well. His show is losing advertising support.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Joe Klein: The GOP Has Become a Party of Nihilists

Time's Joe Klein has a good essay on the decline of the Republican Party, which has too many backbenchers afraid to stand up to the blowhards and crazies on the extreme Right.

Klein's title gets the thesis started, but there's more to be said. Read it all here: The GOP Has Become a Party of Nihilists.

Fact-check time: Debunking the falsehoods about health care reform

Our friends over at Media Matters do some good work debunking the nonsense that's been put out about health care reform.

Not only that, they name names, including a whole roster of Fox News talking heads more interested in making things up than solving real problems.

In an age of massive misinformation and hysteria (socialism!), their fact-checking is worth a look: Myths about health care reform.

Minnesota Independent on Rep. Bachmann: Oops! She Endorses Hands Off Doctrine

The wildly idiotic Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is nothing if not—how shall we put this?—goofy.

She's prone to inane statements about anything and everything. So it's not a big surprise this week that she accidently endorsed a core value of the Roe v. Wade decision.

In her zeal to argue against government health care reforms, Bachmann said the Feds should keep their hands off her body. Oops!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

PolitiFact Debunks GOP Missouri Congressman's Health Care Claim

Well, no.

That's the verdict on Missouri Rep. Roy Blunt's assertion that, at age 59, he'd be too old to get a hip replacement under the health care systems in either Canada or Britain.

Wrong! PolitiFact gives the congressman's claim its lowest award, the infamous "Pants on Fire" dishonor.

National Review Online Dumbs Down on Obama Critique

You gotta hand it to the Right-wing Scream Machine: even when they have nothing to say, they manage to say make stupid comments about the Obama Administration.

As Think Progress documents today, National Review Online has jumped Obama for going—yes!—without a tie, just like the evil Iranians!

Oh the horror! The uncivil ways of the White House heathens! Why George W. Bush would never, ever do such a thing.

Except that he did, and Think Progress has the Bush photos to prove it. The link is here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

LA Times Columnist Blasts Delusional Citizens

The anti-Obama crazies are out there, as we all know, ranting and raving for no particularly good reason.

But some observers are calling it for what it is: irrational and dangerous right-wing paranoia.

LA Times columnist Tim Rutten nails it: America the delusional.

Making Up Their Own Truth: Colbert Pokes Fun at Health Reform Critics

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More Fallout from Glenn Beck's Fox News Nonsense

Glenn Beck's big (and irresponsible) mouth is costing Fox News some real money.

Here's the latest on the fallout over Beck's nonsensical comments about President Obama: POLITICO: Farmers Insurance pulls Beck ads.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Turning the Tables: After the Anger, Health Reform Supporters Come Out in Force

Conventional wisdom and the sensational headlines it spawns are are sometimes wrong or misleading.

So it's not a big shock that the loud and angry Conservative Noise Machine that opposes health care reform is getting pushed back by the reform-minded crowd, a crowd that may be much larger than the screamers and malcontents.

The Huffington Post has interesting details on the push-back here: Reform Supporters Outnumber Critics At Town Halls.

More Companies Pulling Their Ads from Fox's Glenn Beck Program

We learn today that Glenn Beck's continuing over-the-top rhetoric is costing his FOX News program more advertisers.

Monday, August 17, 2009

God May Support Anna Falling, but Tulsa Beacon Endorses Chris Medlock

Tulsa mayoral candidate Anna Falling has God on her team, or so she says.

Falling's campaign is explicitly Christian conservative and she has invoked her interest in doing God's will as Tulsa mayor at every opportunity.

But the explicitly pro-God and very conservative Tulsa Beacon apparently didn't get the memo from Heaven. They've endorsed Chris Medlock, former radio talk show host, former city councilor and former candidate for the state legislature. (Medlock seems to have done a lot of things over the years, all of them badly.)

Heaven knows what this means, but we suspect the Beacon endorsement is bad for both candidates. True believers will vote for Falling, while more pragmatic conservatives will opt for Medlock.

Meanwhile, Dewy Bartlett is likely walk away with the GOP primary. Bartlett has the family clout, name recognition and deep pockets to pull off a primary win with or without the Beacon's approval.

As for God, we suspect The Deity will let the GOP voters sort this out, despite Falling's claims to the contrary.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Recent Reading: Writer Ian Frazier is 'Traveling in Siberia'

Ian Frazier is one of the preeminent writers working today. Fans of literary nonfiction know him for his varied books, including Great Plains, Family, and others.

The latter book, an extended history of his Ohio family, won praise on this order: "This is a rich and ennobling book, a transcendent affirmation of individual and communal purpose." High praise, indeed.

Frazier's latest project, Travels in Siberia, appears in the current New Yorker. Actually, the August 10 & 17 issue of the magazine includes the second of two parts of Frazier's Russian travel story, excerpted from his new book, which will be published next year.

If the New Yorker pieces are any indication (and we suspect they are), the book will be another masterful work by this resourceful and entertaining writer. He's a terrific adventurer and a better writer, which is why AltTulsa is happy to recommend Ian Frazier and the New Yorker.

By the way, Siberia is
every bit as isolated and weird and amazing as you might imagine.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It's Official: Rep. John Sullivan is a Moron

We'd like to cut Rep. John Sullivan some slack. After all, he's had a bad year, what with the return of his alcoholism and a month drying at the Betty Ford Clinic.

But Sullivan, who should know better, engaged in the politics of fear in Tulsa in a recent talk to the Tulsa Republican Club.

"This is a scary time in Washington," Sullivan said. "I see Barack Obama is creating an enemies list of people who oppose this miserable health care plan. I think that's frightening. That's from a guy that can't even show a long-form birth certificate."

Two significant points that Sullivan neglected to mention:

1. There is no Obama enemies list; there never was. This was a rumor whipped up by the right-wing noise machine. This nonsense has been debunked.

2. The Obama birth certificate "controversy" is bogus. This too has been thoroughly debunked. It's a non-issue embraced by UFO enthusiasts and other fringe types.

Sullivan, however, can't seem to separate truth from fantasy, not a good sign in a public official.

But Sullivan got one thing right: It is a frightening time in Washington, though not because of Barack Obama. It's because Tulsa elected a fool named John Sullivan to Congress.

Coburn Stands Up to Bogus 'Birther' Claim

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn deserves a good word for standing up to the 'birther' nonsense currently infecting the far-right fringes of the Republican Party (read: Jim Inhofe).

At his town hall meeting yesterday in Jenks, Coburn refused to take the birther bait when a voter raised the issue.

"You are upset because you believe there was a violation of the Constitution. I don't think there was," Coburn said.

Let's hand it Coburn: He's not afraid to stand up for his beliefs. He's not always right (remember his fantasy about high school lesbians in rural Oklahoma high schools?), but it is refreshing to hear a politician say something that runs against the grain.

"Coburn did not always tell the majority what it wanted to hear," the Tulsa World reported.

AT says: Good for Coburn.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cartoon Fun: World's Plante on Anna Falling's Fundamentalist Campaign

Bruce Plante
Tulsa World
Aug 13, 2009

Unapologetic Plug for Tulsa's Annie Ellicott and Brian Haas

The AT gang put in an appearance last night at the Utica Square summer music series and caught Tulsa's own Annie Ellicott, a young jazz singer we always enjoy.

Annie performed with the Brian Haas Trio, a talented bunch led by the amazing keyboard talents of Haas, leader of the Tulsa-based Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey.

Haas and Ellicott are promoting their new CD, Ask Me Now, which sounds like a winner.

At last night's concert, Haas and Ellicott served up a mixture of smooth and upbeat tunes to an appreciative crowd. It was a fun evening—even the weather was pleasant.

For more on Annie and the CD as well as some swinging samples from the album, check out this link.

Playing the Hate Card: Hutchinson on the Rise of Hatred

Here's the scary part: The conspiracy theorists and nutballs are out there, stirring the pot with all sorts of overheated, anti-everything rhetoric.

It's nonsense, but it's also dangerous.

Huffington Post columnist Earl Hutchison takes a look. Read his comments here: Hate Groups Bank on Obama to Swell Their Ranks.

Palin Wrong on End-of-life Counseling Claim

There she goes again.

Sarah Palin, former half-term governor of Alaska, is flat wrong about claims concerning health care reform.

Like many other right-of-center politicos, Palin is a foundation of misinformation, hysteria and nonsense when it comes to health care.

As a refreshing change of pace, here are some actual facts: PolitiFact on Palin's claims.

Hypocrite Update: Colbert Takes on Glenn Beck's Two Faces

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Crazies Unlimited: More Signs of Anti-Obama Idiocy

This is spectacularly stupid and sad, evidence of the decline of political discourse (thanks for nothing, Rush), not to mention plain, old-fashioned racism.

From our friends at Talking Points Memo, we find this report:
A man who held a sign reading 'Death To Obama, Death To Michelle And Her Two Stupid Kids' at a town hall in Maryland yesterday has been detained by the Secret Service, according to the AP.

The Hill first reported on the sign yesterday afternoon. The man in question was attending a town hall event held by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) at Hagerstown Community College.

Debunking the Rumors: ABC Refutes the GOP Noise Machine on Health Care Reform

More from the Birthers: NC Congressman Plays Fast & Loose with the Truth

The wingnut branch of the Republican Party continues to have trouble with reality.

The latest example is a North Carolina Congressman, Rep. Patrick McHenry, who has waffled on the issue of President Obama's citizenship.

Details from Think Progress are here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

OK Observer Writer Takes on the Unruly Mobs

Thank goodness for the Oklahoma Observer and its writers, who routinely stand up for thoughtfulness, common sense and reason.

A recent example, by Enid's Edwin E. Vineyard, can be found here: Unruly Mobs Chill Democracy.

GOP Wacko Update: Georgia Congressman Predicts Obama's 'Martial Law'

The hysteria and craziness on the Right knows no bounds, apparently.

Here's a report from the Great State of Georgia, where the Athens Banner-Herald reports that Rep. Paul Broun, a Republican, told constituents that Democratic leaders are planning to declare martial law.

Broun referred to a “socialistic elite”—Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid—who could use a pandemic disease or natural disaster as an excuse to declare martial law.

“They’re trying to develop an environment where they can take over,” he said. “We’ve seen that historically.”

Somebody's been listening to way too much talk radio.

PolitiFact Checks Palin's 'Death Panel' Claim: She's Wrong (Naturally)

A little fact-checking is in order every time ex-Gov. Sarah Palin opens her mouth.

She's blabbed on about health care reform recently with highly predictable results: She doesn't have a clue.

UPDATE: Palin's popularity is slipping:
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Americans appear to be souring on Sarah Palin, according to a new national poll.

Thirty-nine percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday have a favorable opinion of the former Alaska governor and last year's Republican vice presidential nominee. That's down seven points from a poll conducted in May, and it's also nine points lower than the 48 percent who now say they now view Palin unfavorably. Forty-three percent viewed Palin negatively in May.

More Evidence of Political Tampering by Bush Administration in Attorney Firings

Karl Rove is, by all accounts, a partisan political operator. That's not a good thing.

Now we have more evidence of Rove's political manipulation of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Here are details about White House interference, courtesy of the Huffington Post: Rep. Adam Schiff: More Evidence of Tampering by Bush Administration

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Palin Loses One on Federal Stimulus Funds

The unsinkable Sarah Palin took a hit this week as the Alaska legislature overrode her veto of federal stimulus funds, a veto that needed—and got!—a 75 percent vote.

Ex-governor Palin objected to the funds because she said there were too many strings attached, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Legislative leaders answered that Palin's objections were badly overstated.

A link to the Anchorage Daily News story is here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Make Up Your Own Facts: Falling Supports Creationism Exhibit at Tulsa Zoo

Anna (God is on my team) Falling, one-time city councilor and current Republican candidate for Tulsa mayor, has kicked off her campaign by arguing against science.

It's true, Sooner fans. In defiance of reason, science and sound political judgment, Falling has come out in support of a "creationism" display at the Tulsa Zoo.

With her announcement, Falling is resurrecting a controversy from some years back, a controversy she would do well to avoid. It marks her as an ideologue and a zealot, more interested in fighitng the culture wars than actually solving Tulsa's problems.

Falling's position has won the support of T-town blogger Michael Bates, who supports "equal access," balancing actual science (evolution) with faith-based pseudo-science (creationism). But even Bates thinks this position isn't a smart way to campaign for mayor.

Read more about all this at Batesline here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Returning Soon: AT Back on the Web Soon

The AltTulsa gang has been "out of pocket" recently, as we noted in our last post. But as promised, we'll be back soon.

We would also like to pass along a word of thnks to our faithful reader, Tulsan, who has posted some very interesting material in the comments section of our previous post.

Check here for new posts from AT.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

AltTulsa Takes a Break: We'll Be Back

AT will be standing down for a few days while we pursue some other interests.

We'll be back later this month with a whole new batch of issues and events—and our always-insightful (ha!) comments about them.

Meanwhile, we recommend a host of national and local blogs and websites listed on the right-hand side below.

Ya'll come back now.

An AT Salute to the Tulsa United Film Festival

While we are passing out kudos (see the last post), let's also pass along a "Job Well Done" to the Tulsa United Film Festival playing this weekend at the Circle Cinema.

We were able to see Bicycle Dreams, a documentary about the annual endurance bike event known as Race Across America.

The event, and the film, were (and are) nothing short of amazing. Even for dedicated couch potatoes (you know who you are), this is a powerful, sad and inspiring story. (For more on this film and its filmmaker, Stephen Auerbach, see the website here.)

The former Tulsan behind the United Film Festival is Jason Connell, who deserves a lot of credit for bringing his line-up to T-town. (The festival website is here.)

The film festival is over for this year, but it will return next year. Put it on your calendar.

World's Mike Jones Takes Down the 'Birthers'

The lunatic fringe is still making noise over the president's (supposed) birthplace, despite silly things like facts.

So AT is pleased today to commend the writing of Mike Jones, columnist for the Tulsa World. His column today goes after the wackos who insist on making up their own "truth" to satisfy their bizarre delusions.

Read the Jones column here.