Saturday, July 31, 2010

WaPo's Dana Milbank Explores Glenn Beck's Incitement

It's no secret that Glenn Beck is a hothead. The Fox News windbag rants and raves about everything modern—by which we mean nearly everything that's happened since about 1929.

But Beck's verbal hysterics are so overblown that they can lead to actual violence. 

That's the topic explored by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who cites the case of a California man who attempted to attack people associated with liberal groups in the San Francisco Bay area.

As Milbank shows, Beck's frequent rants against the Tides Foundation appear to have incited the man, who was heavily armed and prepared to kill.

AT believes in free speech and open debate, but we don't believe in hate speech that incites violence.   Beck's not our idea of an intelliegent or thoughtful speaker, but even Beck should know better.

The full story here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

'True Conservative' Nathan Dahm Falls Flat against Rep. Sullivan

Nathan Dahm ran to the right of Rep. John Sullivan in Oklahoma's First District—and came out a loser.

Dahm, who picked up the endorsement of the conservative (and utterly inconsequential) Tulsa Beacon, didn't break 20 percent, a sign that Tulsa-area voters were not impressed by the 'true conservative' label.

First District voters apparently forgave Sullivan's personal problems, which included a public admission of his alcoholism and a stay at the Betty Ford clinic.

Sullivan is campaigning as if he's the picture of health, with Voice-of-God ads showing him jogging along the Arkansas River.

In fact, Sullivan is Oklahoma's contribution to Washington's botanical garden, a rather colorless potted plant that takes up valuable space and contributes almost nothing to the good of the nation.

Fallin Overwhelms Brogdon in GOP Primary

Owasso State Sen. Randy Brogdon campaigned to the Far Right—the full Tea Party express—a strategy that went down in flames today.  

Two hours after the polls closed, Rep. Mary Fallin was well ahead of Brogdon in the Republican race for governor in today's GOP primary. 

Brogdon's Wingnut campaign and "Tenther" arguments proved no match for Fallin, a bad sign for Birthers and others on the conservative fringes.

As AltTulsa has previously noted, if the Right's zanies and crazies can't carry Oklahoma, you have to question the value of the movement.  

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tulsa Beacon Slams Sullivan's Deception; Endorses 'Genuine Conservative'

In Oklahoma, Republican candidates can never be too conservative.

As all Tulsa television views can attest, the airwaves are filled with GOP candidates touting their "traditional Oklahoma values" and opposition to all things liberal (and sensible).

No surprise, then, that Rep. John Sullivan, has attracted a more conservative challenger in tomorrow's primary, one Nathan Dahm.

Dahm may be every bit the potted plant that Sullivan is, but at least he didn't deceive the voters of the First District, as the conservative Tulsa Beacon has noted. 

Here's the Beacon's endorsement:
Rep. John Sullivan deceived the citizens of the First District for at least eight years as he covered up his alcoholism – a problem so serious that he checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic. That deception plus his vote for the TARP disqualifies him for the ongoing trust of the voters. Nathan Dahm is a genuine conservative who believes in the Constitution. Congress needs representatives who do what they say and in that regard, Dahm is head and shoulders above Sullivan.
By the way, Sullivan's television ad presents him as the picture of health, running along Tulsa's River Parks like a school boy. Come to think of it, Sullivan just as silly and thoughtless as a school boy.

District 68: No Massachusetts Values Allowed

Howard Pidcock is really, really worried about those horrible Massachusetts values—values that will definitely ruin the glorious state Oklahoma. 

Who is Howard Pidcock? He's a candidate for the Oklahoma House, District 68, which includes Sand Springs and other areas of west Tulsa County.

On Monday, Pidcock ran an ad in the Tulsa World, whining that his opponent was "born in Massachusetts" and "has liberal East Coast values." 


His opponent, apparently, is totally un-American, having been born in an Eastern state filled with Satan-loving gay people who abuse puppies for fun. 

This sort of baloney is typical of Oklahoma Republicans, who would rather scare voters than offer solutions.

Pidcock should be ashamed of himself. District 68 deserves real leadership, not Pidcock's political grandstanding.

Republican Candidate in Tennessee: Elect Republicans or States Will Secede

Conservative Republicans are more and more anti-American. They seem to put state interests over the national interest, which strikes us as bad for the United States.

At least that's one conclusion that can be reached from the words of Tennessee Rep. Zach Wamp, a candidate for governor in the Volunteer state.

Judge for yourself. Here's the story:
Rep. Zach Wamp suggested [Tennessee] and other states may have to consider seceding from the union if the federal government does not change its ways regarding mandates.
"I hope that the American people will go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from this government," said Wamp during an interview with Hotline OnCall.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Still Waiting on the Big Brogdon Landslide

Tulsa-area Republicans seem to love Randy Brogdon, the Owasso state senator who is running for governor. In local straw polls, Brogdon tops all Republican candidates.

Brogdon has also has also picked up endorsements from some of Tulsa's conservative bloggers and publications.

Too bad the rest of the state's GOP voters appear to love Rep. Mary Fallin.

We make this point because the Sooner Poll came out Sunday and it shows Brogdon at a whopping 18 percent, while Fallin is cruising at 56 percent.

This doesn't bode well for the Tea Party gang, since Brogdon keeps singing that song. And if it isn't a winning strategy in Red State Oklahoma, you have to wonder where the Far Right agenda can succeed.

True, Mary Fallin isn't exactly a bleeding-heart liberal, but Brogdon makes her look reasonable. Even worse for Brogdon, the primary is Tuesday.

GOP's Big Bush Problem: Krugman Nails It

How 'bout those nostalgic Republicans? Still misty-eyed over the glorious presidency of George W. Bush.

But it will take more than nostalgia to erase the record of incompetence and mismanagement compiled by the Bush team—folks like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales, and so many more.

Thanks to Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist, there is a corrective to the GOP's rose-colored rear-view mirror. Here's a choice selection from Krugman's Sunday's column:
The actual record of the Bush years was (i) two and half years of declining employment, followed by (ii) four and a half years of modest job growth, at a pace significantly below the eight-year average under Bill Clinton, followed by (iii) a year of economic catastrophe. In 2007, at the height of the “Bush boom,” such as it was, median household income, adjusted for inflation, was still lower than it had been in 2000.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bill-O Blows It: Fox Blowhard's Black Panther Claim Doesn't Wash

The Howling Wingnut crowd has been outraged—really outraged!—by the misconduct of the Obama Administration's Department of Justice. 

Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and the Fox News propaganda crew have been beating this dead horse for more than a week—really, really outraged at the racist Obama Justice Department.

If only they had the story right. But no. O'Reilly and his confederates have gummed up the story, so much so that their version of the story failed PolitiFact's truth test. 

As we always say, the truth is hard. The Right-wing windbags want things to be easy and simple, even when the facts don't back them up.

Let's call it what it is: Intellectual dishonesty. The full explanation here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Right-wing Bloggers Lie Again: Obama's Dog Has His Own Plane—Not

The Wingnuts are at it again. Their latest Obama lie involves Bo, the White House dog. The claim: Bo has his own airplane.

That's right, Sooner fans, the Social/Fascist/Communist Obama White House is soooooo wasteful with the money they've stolen from the American people that they fly Bo around in his own airplane.

Or maybe this is false. PolitiFact checked it out and—you guessed it—it's not true.

More shame for the Far Right, which is so eager to lambast the president that it has a difficult time dealing with the facts. The entire fake story here.

Kansas Republican Goes 'Birther' and Loses Endorsement

The 'Birther' myth has claimed another Republican candidate. 

As you may have heard, there's a nutty right-wing campaign out there asserting that the president, Barack Obama, was (secretly) born in Kenya and thus is a completely illegitimate national leader. 

Some of the Tea Party types as well as other conspiracy theorists have been pushing this for a while now and, every now and again, they convert a gullible politician. 

The latest to fall for this nonsense is Tracey Mann, a GOP candidate for the U.S. House in District 1 of Kansas, a view that caused the Hutchison News newspaper to withdraw its editorial endorsement. 

The News made the right call. Evidently, Mann has been listening to way too much Hate Radio and Fox News.  There's more here

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Guns in Church: Louisiana Bishops Say No

Guns in church—it just sounds like a bad idea. But it's an idea the gun nuts love since, in their view, more guns in more places are always a good idea. 

Under the leadership of Gov. Bobby Jindal, the infallible and wise legislators of Louisiana recently approved a new "guns in church" bill.

The Catholic bishops in Louisiana have—quite reasonably—objected to the legislation. We don't happen to be Catholic, but we appreciate the stand taken by these good churchmen, who recognize that guns are not in the spirit of worship. Far from it.

Find out more here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beck's Favorite Gold Seller Being Investigated

Glenn Beck, Fox News wingbag, regularly shills for buying gold, even appearing in television ads for a company named Goldline. Now Goldline is facing an official investigation. 

The investigation does not involve Beck himself, but Beck's critics have noted that Beck's rhetoric is chock full of overheated and scary talk, just the sort of talk that causes people to buy gold, even when this doesn't make financial sense.

For the full story, click  here.

Conservative Bad Mouthing Gets Nutty: The Arizona Example

American conservatives—yes, conservatives—are running down America.

In their never-ending quest to blame liberals for everything, the right-wing blab-o-sphere has managed to go far too far, describing American life as unrelentingly unbearable in oh-so-many ways.

The Latin American immigrants and the Black Panthers and the white liberals are everywhere, they claim, and the nation has been—or soon will be—destroyed. 

It's all horse hockey, of course, but we heard it today from Oklahoma Republican Randy Brogdon, who was Mr. Negative in an interview on KWGS in Tulsa.

Brogdon's not the only such nay-sayer. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has done an outstanding job of running down her state, saying that the place is overrun by illegal drug-runners and criminals. So much for the Grand Canyon and other scenic wonders—it's a battleground! 

Memo to Brogdon, Brewer and company: America is still a pretty great place for most of its citizens most of the time. No, it's not perfect—but it's still pretty great.

Some conservatives don't seem to think so. Read the full Arizona story here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rewriting History: Sen. Cornyn Pines for the Beloved Bush Years

Some Republicans have grown weepy for those oh-so-rosy Bush years. 

Now Texas Sen. John Cornyn is claiming that Americans miss George Bush and his eight years of superlative leadership.

The polls show otherwise—as do the facts of the Bush Administration.

The full story here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oklahoma Folk: New Music from Samantha Crain

AltTulsa loves National Public Radio for its smart reporting and eclectic tastes. We like NPR even more when it highlights the rising talents of Oklahomans like Samantha Crain.

Crain, who hails from Shawnee, is a singer-songwriter with an unusual voice who making a splash in folk and indie music scenes.

She's on the circuit now, promoting her new songs and winning fans. We admit it: we were won over in a jiffy.

Kudos to NPR for pushing Samantha Crain. The NPR link, with a photo of Crain, audio and music links, is here.

Running on Empty: GOP Candidates Avoid the Issues

The AltTulsa team has a really easy task. We make fun of conservative double-talk and silliness—and the Right always obliges.

In our years on this beat, there's never been a shortage of material. If anything, the conservative movement is more moronic—and more extreme—than ever.

Witness the national GOP's campaign plan for the 2010 midterm elections: Avoid the issues.

That's right, Sooner fans, the Republicans don't want to have a serious discussion of anything substantive—a strategy that could blow up in their faces. 

The Washington Post has been looking into this strategy. The full story here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lyin' about Obama: Wingnuts Promote Bogus Abortion Claim

As the old saying goes, My mind's made up—don't confuse me with the facts. 

This statement is an apt description of the American Right's criticism of President Obama. Hate radio, Fox News, and the Wingnut side of the blogosphere usually don't bother with facts. 

Facts are hard. They don't do hard. They do easy. They make up the "facts" that fit their preconceived ideas.

And this, Sooner fans, brings us to today's right-wing lie, a new one about (naturally) government-funded abortions.

PolitiFact checked the claim. It's wrong. The details are here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hall of Shame: Colorado Republicans Fight to be the Most Hyperbolic

Never underestimate the hyperbolic negativity of the Republican Party. In the unlovely world of overheated and hyper-partisan Republican rhetoric, going to extremes is just ordinary political behavior.

We're referring to some Colorado Republican candidates, who are working every day to be more idiotically anti-Obama than the other (supposedly pro-Obama) guy.

We mention this Colorado story because it is being repeated right here in Oklahoma, where a variety of GOP windbags are out with their campaign ads, each desperately trying to be the most hysterical. 

This is no surprise for the GOP. Remember the nastiness of Lee Atwater, champion of devious GOP political campaigning, a tradition proudly maintained by Karl Rove.

Oklahoma Republicans can't help themselves—it's all about being negative, being anti-Obama. It's also political baloney.

Read all about it here.

Right-wing Extremists: Iowa Tea Party Plays the Hitler Card

The so-called "regular" folks who make up the Tea Party movement have some decidedly extremist views.

As our friends at Think Progress have documented, the Iowa Tea Party has put up a billboard comparing President Obama to Hitler and Lenin. To here these folks tell it, Obama is every bit the fascist that Hilter was.

This is outrageous nonsense, of course, but it's the same crap peddled daily by Hate Radio, Fox News, and wing-nut blogs. According to them, the Gestapo will be breaking down doors any minute.

Don't hold your breath. See the billboard here.

UPDATE: After some national criticism, even the Tea Party extremists couldn't stomach the Obama-Hilter-Lenin comparison and—presto!—the billboard has been removed. The updated report is here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Reading List: Time's Top Ten Required Novels

We didn't always like it at the time, but we read our share of "important" novels in school. Now, of course, we are glad we did—some of the books have stayed with us over the years.

Today we saw that Time magazine has published its list of the top ten books students are forced to read in school. The list includes To Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm, Of Mice and Men, and others.

Check out the full list here.

Good News on the Judicial Front: Obama Appoints Women, Minorities

Those of us who would like the Federal bench to look more like America (and less like the Dallas County Club circa 1950) will be pleased by this report:
So far, nearly half of Obama’s 73 appointments to the federal bench have been women, 25 percent have been African American, 11 percent Asian American, and 10 percent Hispanic. About 30 percent of Obama’s nominees were white males. By contrast, two-thirds of George W. Bush’s nominees were white males.
Obama’s rate of appointing women and people of color is higher than those of any of his predecessors during the first year of their terms.

Beck U: TPM Enrolls in Beck's Pretend College Course

Glenn Beck is a legend in his own mind—a claim few detached observers would dispute. Still, the idea of a Beck University is laughable even by Beck's low (read: nonexistent) standards.

Our friends over at Talking Points Memo have enrolled in Beck U to see what ideas are on offer. Unsurprisingly, TPM reports the Beck University lecture had a strong right-wing slant, the better to reinforce the ideas Beck's fans already hold.

Wouldn't want to challenge conventional conservative thinking, which is heresy in the movement. Read the full TPM report  here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rush Joke of the Week: The Car That Knows Best

A Rush Limbaugh joke, one of many that El Rushbo has inspired over the years:
A guy is looking to buy an expensive car, tests it out, and comes back to the dealer to complain, 'This is an expensive car, but the radio doesn't work.'
The dealer explains, 'No, no, this is a high-tech state of the art car radio. All you have to do is say what you want to hear. Say 'country music' and country music comes on. Say 'rock n' roll' and rock 'n roll comes on."
The guy says, "Great, I'll take it." The guy is driving it off the lot and turns into the street when another motorist cuts him off. "JerK!' he mutters—and Rush Limbaugh comes on.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Inhofe's Energy Problem: Oklahoma Senator Makes the Wrong List

Tulsa's own Jim Inhofe is making energy news again. Naturally, it's not good news for Oklahoma or, more importantly, the environment.

Sen. Inhofe, you may recall, has made a fool of himself for years as a environmental denier, criticizing anything that smacks of seriousness regarding the environment. With Inhofe, the whole idea of environmentalism is some sort of socialist plot to deny hard-working Americans their right to foul the earth as much as they want to. 

Unlike Inhofe, AT is willing to follow the science wherever it leads. That sort of logic is lost on Sen. Jim, who has his mind made up. He has no use for science or scientists—why those guys are closet socialists too.

Inhofe's environmental recklessness and energy bravado has put him in a select group of lawmakers—people who keep the U.S. from making progress on energy and the environment. This list, published by The Daily Beast, includes a telling slideshow, complete with embarrassing details.

A link to the slideshow is here.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Celebrating 'To Kill a Mockingbird' 50 Years after its Publication

If you are keeping score at home, Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960, fifty years ago.

Among the many reports celebrating the novel's appearance was an appreciation today on NPR's Morning Edition. 

The novel was—and remains—an important book about, well, a lot of things, including moral courage. Perhaps that's why it is an important book.

Read or hear the NPR report here. You can thank us later.

Tulsa Food Update: Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue Coming to Town

It's famous in Kansas City, but it's coming to Tulsa next year.

The "it" is Oklahoma Joe's, a respected barbecue operation run by Joe Davidson, a native Oklahoman. According to a story in the Tulsa World, the restaurant is coming to Tulsa in 2011.

This is good news for Tulsa-area carnivores. Read the full story here.

Sen. Coburn's Disaster: Bigger than Oklahoma Expected

Ah yes, Sen. Tom Coburn claims he can recognize a disaster.

The good doctor was in town the other day, as the Tulsa World noted. Unfortunately. Coburn is (still) talking nonsense:
Sen. Tom Coburn ripped U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan and federal health care reform on Tuesday, calling the latter "a bigger disaster than even I anticipated."
We beg to differ, as even some Republicans do. To most reasonable observers (this excludes Coburn), Kagan acquitted herself quite well.

Coburn, however, showed himself to be something of a horse's ass.

The real disaster isn't Kagan; it's a politician who is more partisan and retrograde than thoughtful about the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lyin' about Obama: Conservative Media Invent the News

No one ever said Fox News was fair and balanced. Oh wait—that's exactly what Fox said about itself.

Let's revise: It was never the case that Fox News was fair or balanced.

So the latest evidence will come as no surprise to anyone who is actually paying attention: Fox News and other conservative mouthpieces have distorted Obama's immigration views to make it appear that he said something he clearly did not say.

For the True Believers, these reports are business as usual. In fact, lying about Obama is an entire dishonorable industry in right-wing circles, where the truth is rarely helpful to the cause. 

Media Matters has the goods. The details are here.

Right-wing Violence: The Logic of the 'Tenthers'

The extremists among us—including some right here in the Sooner state—use a novel (read: incorrect) interpretation of the Tenth Amendment to justify their radical beliefs. 

Following this logic, they are exempt from the law, especially those rules they don't care for. Examples: All taxes and government restrictions on things like guns.

But the logic of this sort of lawlessness is, well, deadly. In May, two militia-inspired men killed two policemen during a traffic stop.

Needless to say, such beliefs are dangerous, but the Right insists on fanning these flames. Oklahoma's Tenthers include Owasso's Randy Brogdon, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor.

Brogdon would be wise to put a lot of distance between himself and these sort of radicals.

Read the full report here.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Arizona's Legislative Goofballs: Not a Pretty Picture

AltTulsa's recent reading has included a Harper's piece called "Tea Party in the Sonora" by Washington editor Ken Silverman.

Silverman's profile of Arizona politics sheds light on the stupidity of Tea Party politics. It's not pretty. Our favorite line describes the Arizona legislature as "composed almost entirely of dimwits, racists and cranks."

With this sort of political leadership, it's little wonder that Arizona is on the hunt for illegal aliens. Oh, and the state's financial situation: Bad, terrible really.

To put it mildly, the Tea Party in Arizona is wrecking much of Arizona's public sector, for which the citizens of that state will pay a steep price. They just don't know it yet.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Oklahoma Vet Testifies for Elena Kagan

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe came out against Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan almost the minute her nomination was announced.

That was no surprise. Inhofe, always the partisan attack dog, was determined to oppose almost anyone proposed by the Obama Administration.

But at least one knowledgeable Oklahoman has supported in a highly pubic way. Tahlequah native, West Point graduate and Iraq war veteran Kurt White spoke on Kagan's behalf last week, defending her treatment of veterans at Harvard Law School, where Kagan was dean and White was a student.

It's more evidence of Inhofe's extremism, an extremism based on partisanship, not facts. The Tulsa World has White's story. Read it here.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Uncivil Discourse: LDS Station Gives Hannity the Boot

Sean Hannity thinks he knows politics. But he should think again.

Listening to Hannity pontificate about matters large and small is a painful process. Hannity spins, twists and distorts with the best of the right-wing windbags, rarely pausing for insignificant matters of fact, truth, fairness or balance. 

But some folks are catching on to the hype, including some Mormons. We learned today that Hannity's blabfest is going off the air on a LDS station in Salt Lake City.

Read all about it here.

By the way, Hannity's musical hoedown will be coming to Tulsa later this year, another in a long line of conservative festivals designed to boost the careers of the right-wing blabbers in the name of patriotism.

Too bad Sean never managed to enlist in the actual armed forces so he could do more than pose as a patriot.

Friday, July 2, 2010

GOP Chair Michael Steele Rewrites History on Afghanistan

Those of us who were paying attention over the last decade or so remember that President George Bush promoted the invasion of Afghanistan—for all the right reasons. (Remember September 11, 2001?) 

But Michael Steele, chair of the National Republican Committee, seems to have forgotten this tiny detail. Steele just called the Afghanistan war a mistake—and blamed it on President Obama.

We can't explain Steele's assertion. Neither can other Republicans, some of whom are calling for Steele's resignation.

We have no idea what the man is thinking. Steele is a moron, apparently. Check out the GOP fun here.

UPDATE: One of those calling for Steele's resignation is Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole. Read his comments here. 

Illusions of Grandeur: Beck Announces His Radio University

Glenn Beck is a genius in his own mind. 

That would explain his plans for (no kidding!) Beck University, where his disciples can learn the unvarnished truth from the master. Or something like that.

It takes a big ego (and a small brain) to believe that a "university" can be built around a couple of fact-free radio and television talk shows, but Beck is nothing if not brash.

Read more about it here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dr. Tom Coburn's Bad Medicine: Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn likes to think of himself as an original thinker. Maybe he is.

But he's also about thirty years behind the times, as we discovered (again) this week when Coburn played the "good old boy" card at the Senate hearings for Elena Kagan.

In Coburn's imaginary past, the world was better (more freedom, he claims) when there weren't a lot of pesky women around to muck up the ole boy's club. 

The full Coburn story here.