Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Delaware's Christine O'Donnell Fibs Again about Her Education

The Tea Party is all the rage these days. Too bad there's less to the Tea Party than meets the eye.

Take Christine O'Donnell, for example, Republican candidate for the U.S. senate in Delaware. Please! 

It seems that she can't keep her educational credentials straight. Her LinkedIn resume lists schools she apparently never attended.

Oops! All the gory details here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Slide Show: The Dumbest Tea Party Signs, Part 2

The good folks at Mother Jones magazine have put together a slide show of idiotic Tea Party signs, some of which are dumb, others blatantly racist. 

It's beating a dead horse, of course, but these folks are still alleging that Obama is a Kenyan and a Muslim who wants to ban pork.

Sadly, we are not making this up. Back on Planet Earth, reality is rather different. 

See the slides here.

A Delaware Stretcher: Tea Party Candidate O'Donnell Lies about Her Education

Isn't lying a sin? Yes, it is—but the Tea Party darling from Delaware, Christine O'Donnell, keeps doing it.

This doesn't fit with her Christian conservative philosophy, of course, but it's par for the course for a great many Tea Party types, who say one thing and do another. 

It seems that O'Donnell claimed some coursework at Oxford University, a claim that—surprise!—isn't true. "It's misleading," according to the administrator of the course.

Read about it here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Oklahoma Culture Watch: Tulsa Opera Performs Verdi's 'La Traviata'

AltTulsa likes to stay abreast of the city's cultural world, so it is always great when we can say a few kind words about the Tulsa Opera. 

The opera's new season begins in a few days (October 9, to be precise) with Verdi's La Traviata, the company's original opera way back in 1948. Three performances are scheduled, Saturday, October 9; Friday, October 15; and Sunday, October 17.

Although we claim no background in opera, we do know enough about high culture to recognize this as one of great ones. 

We are planning on going—we hope many others Tulsa-area opera fans go too. It should be a winner. Check out the Tulsa Opera's website on this production here.

Tea Party Flip-flop: They Oppose Federal Spending, Except When They Don't

The mad-as-hell screamers over in the Tea Party have a problem. Their whole raison d'etre is opposition to federal spending. They hate it and want it stopped now.

Oh wait, not all federal spending. No, not the programs that benefit us and our businesses. That federal money we want. Hell, we need it.

Hypocritical? Oh yes, you betcha! Talking Points Memo has the ugly truth here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

GOP's 'Pledge to America' Slammed by Prominent Conservative

The Republican "Pledge to America," released today, has taken a beating from conservative blogger Erick Erickson, the man behind

The New York Daily News is reporting that Erickson called the pledge the "most ridiculous thing to come out of Washington since George McClellan," a reference to the ineffective Union general during the Civil War.

But, wait, there's more. From the Daily News:
Erickson blasted the document for not providing specific, long-term solutions. 
 "Yes, yes, it is full of mom-tested, kid-approved pablum that will make certain hearts on the right sing in solidarity," he wrote on his blog, "But like a diet full of sugar, it will actually do nothing but keep making Washington fatter before we crash from the sugar high."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hannity's Softballs: Tea Party Candidates Go to Fox Pundit to Avoid Tough Questions

Good ole Fox News is unfair and unbalanced again. 

The Tea Party's Christine O'Donnell,  who cancelled her Sunday appearance on a real CBS interview show, appeared last night on Sean Hannity's gabfest on Fox News—a way to avoid facing awkward questions about her views. 

Let's call him Softball Sean, fawning over conservative candidates who can't stand the heat of actual journalism. 

So Sean lobs a few softballs to the inexperienced and shallow candidate, pretending as if O'Donnell knows what she's talking about and has solutions to serious problems.

She's clueless, even more misinformed than Hannity himself. The story is here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dr. Tom Strikes Again: Coburn Holds Up Food Safety Rules

Good ole Dr. Tom is at it again. Always the zealous budget hawk, Sen. Coburn thinks that he has to account for every federal dollar.

Oh wait—Coburn supported billions of taxpayer dollars to fund the Iraq war without blinking an eye.

But when it comes to food safety, Coburn is stalling an important bill that would help ensure public safety and save lives. 

You'd think that saving lives would be important to a medical doctor. But apparently not as important saving a buck. The story is here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

AltTulsa's New Look: We Are Updating Our Design

AT has a new, more colorful look.

After several years with our safe and original design, we've decided to update our look. To us, at least, it's more modern and more colorful.

We hope you like it. If so, let us know. If not, as the man says, keep your mouth shut! 

Along with the new look, we plan to continue bringing Tulsa and northeast Oklahoma thoughtful and intelligent news and commentary from the liberal perspective—a definite alternative in Oklahoma.

Stay tuned.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Palin's Problem: Her Popularity Fades as She Campaigns

The half-term governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, has a problem.

She's flying around the country—she was in Tulsa this week—reciting platitudes and anointing Tea Party winners (in Delaware on Tuesday) while her own numbers continue to fall.

The latest NY Times/CBS News poll shows that Palin's own popularity is down 9 percentage points since April.

Even her endorsements don't cut much weight among the general electorate, according to the poll. "Only one in 10 [of those polled] said her support would make them more likely to support a candidate," the Times reported.

But there's some good news for Palin in the numbers as well. Turns out, that Fox News viewers like Palin a lot. Big surprise here—not!

Hmmm. Appears as if those people who want news they can agree with—as opposed to, say, actual facts and hard realities—really, really like a former politician who can wink and spout niceties at the same time.

Newt's Fevered Imagination: WaPo's Robinson Punctures GOP Fantasies

Poor Newt Gingrich—still hoping to return to relevancy.

Newt was once an important political figure. He was the main mover in the Republican revolution of the 1990s and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

In 2010, Newt has shown himself to be a fringe politician. As Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson wrote this week, Newt went batty in his recent criticism of President Obama, explaining the president's actions as "Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior."

This sort of baloney is typical anti-Obama rhetoric on the Right, but it's also hyperbolic nonsense, as Robinson makes clear. It assumes, Robinson notes, that "Obama somehow absorbed a fully elaborated, frozen-in-time anti-colonial worldview from his Kenyan father. Who left the family when the future president was 2."

Robinson notes that this sort of reasoning is not new to Gingrich, who jumped on Sonia Sotomayor as a racist and compared supporters of the Lower Manhattan mosque as Nazis.

Robinson concludes by pointing out—correctly—Newt's real problem:
Gingrich seems to believe that our culture and values are also threatened from within—by black and brown people who demand that they, too, be given a voice in defining that culture and those values. But, hey, it's a free country. If he wants, Gingrich can imagine himself a retired British colonel in 1963, harrumphing in his armchair about who lost Kenya. A diverse and multicultural America has long since moved on.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Forbes Obama Story Faulted; D'Souza's 'Facts' Aren't Factual

Kudos to the good folks at Media Matters, who have sorted through the blather and misinformation about President Obama in Forbes.

For those of you keeping score at home, this article was the source of Newt Gingrich's recent claim that Obama is a Kenyan colonialist, a charge so flimsy that Gingrich and Forbes have been roundly criticized.

Media Matters has identified numerous errors in the Forbes piece, written by Dinesh D'Souza, a conservative activist (read: hack) with more imagination than honesty.

Read it here:  D'Souza's "facts" are indeed in contention

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Newt Goes Birther; Claims Obama Is an 'African Colonial'

Newt Gingrich has taken a well-deserved public beating in the last few days for going off the deep end on the Right's "Obama isn't one of us" campaign.

It's all hogwash, but Talk Radio and the Fox pundits keep pushing this line in spite of its transparent silliness.

To hear the wingnuts talk, Obama was born somewhere else (Kenya? Indonesia?), so he's not a citizen and—even worse—he's a socialist/communist/fascist and an anti-American zealot who hates all white people.

This makes a good tall tale, especially if you happen to be a paranoid racist with little grasp of reality. 

Read more here: Highbrow birtherism.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Conventional Wisdom Wrong Again: Turns Out, the Bail-Out Worked

The right-wing, anti-everything crowd has been whining for months (years, really) that the U.S. government bailed out the big boys on Wall Street while ignoring us small fry on Main Street.

Well, yes.

But—and this is a BIG but—the federal bailout, known as TARP—actually worked. It did. A second  Great Depression was avoided and a full-scale economic collapse did not occur.

It's unpopular to admit this, but in some circles the success of TARP has begun to be recognized. Politico has examined this and published its report, a report that contradicts the popular story.  (The complete story is here.)

Meanwhile, the Tea Party folks and reactionary Republicans continue to fume, pretending that their solution—doing nothing!—would have worked. Not very likely. 

As we like to say, the Radical Right—some of the finest minds of the 1920s. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Calvin Coolidge Rising: Tea Party Celebrates 'Silent Cal'

Calvin Coolidge is an unlikely political hero. Coolidge, after all, is routinely considered one of the worst U.S. presidents. Coolidge was so inert as the commander-in-chief that he became known as "Silent Cal."

Now Coolidge is the hero of the Tea Party, which likes the 30th president for his anti-tax positions and his inactivity in the White House. 

A Tea Party blogger has referred to Coolidge as "the patron saint of the Tea Party." 

AltTulsa wishes to congratulate the Tea Party on their choice of heroes. It makes perfect sense that the Tea Party wingbags would select a do-nothing president as their symbolic leader.

We're certain that doing nothing is exactly the right course of action for the federal government in every situation. Example: The nation is attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, so (according to the Coolidge doctrine) the Feds should do nothing. Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast and the levees fail in New Orleans, the federal response should be nothing.

Hey, doing nothing is the perfect solution for every occasion. Which brings us back to Calvin Coolidge, who did nothing to prevent the Great Depression. Thanks, Calvin!

And thanks to the enlightened visionaries in today's Tea Party, some of the finest minds of the 1920s. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tea Party Blues: The Movement That Was

AltTulsa has long been critical of the Tea Party crowd,  people who seemed long on whining (and faux victimization) and short on solutions. 

No it was no surprise to us to hear that the Tea Party is running out of steam. When all you can do is complain and blame others, there's little hope for an actual political organization with a coherent approach to the nation's problems.

Here's the result from a recent poll:
Support for the Tea Party appears to have flat lined, as only 12 percent of voters consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, compared to 14 percent in earlier surveys. Voter favorability of the Tea Party is split 30 - 31 percent, also down slightly to the lowest score.
Tea Party icon Sarah Palin gets a negative 31 - 50 percent favorability.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tea Party Madness: Leading the Way to the Magical 1850s

Those fun-loving, totally patriotic Tea Parties folks are all the rage these days.

Grab a tricornered hat and an historical flag, and—presto!—you too can assume the role of revolutionary patriot fighting for freedom and basic American values, just like the real Founding Fathers (and Mothers).

Or maybe not.

As USA Today columnist Dewayne Wickham wrote this week in the Tulsa World, the Tea Party has it exactly back-asswards. They say they want Constitutional values, but they actually "espouse views that threaten to turn this nation and its founding documents upside down."

Rand Paul, Kentucky's Tea Party Senate candidate, has said that Congress went too far when it outlawed racial discrimination in private businesses, a position that would effectively reinstitute racial segregation in the South.  Oops!

Paul has now backtracked on that position, Wickham notes.

Or how about Sharron Angle, who has talked about "Second Amendment remedies" to the nation's problems?  Hmmm. Advocating violence against the government doesn't seem all that Constitutional, does it?

Wickham writes, "It's the kind of warped sense of entitlement that plunged this nation into a bloody civil war."

In short, Wickham continues, the Tea Parties blowhards are akin to the Know Nothing Party of the 1850s, a party that "ultimately collapsed from the weight of its own intolerance and blurred political vision." 

Anger and resentment are not the building blocks for a coherent political philosophy. Let's hope the Tea Party folks—some of whom share the intolerance and blindness of the past—meet the same fate at the Know Nothings.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pushing Hate: Right-wing Rhetoric Gets Hotter

Those fun-loving right-wing pundits are having so much fun these days.

It's anti-Muslim season, apparently, and they've been zealous in whipping up irrational fears and hatred for weeks.

This sort of excess is a speciality of talk radio, Fox News wingbags and Tea Party folks, even when it works against U.S. interests. 

Given their fanning of these flames, it's increasingly difficult to buy their claims of True Blue Americanism.

Media Matters has collected big sample of right-wing hysteria and hate speech. Read it here: Media rife with anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Jon Stewart Takes Down the Koran-Burning Pastor

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

More Nonsense from Mississippi's Haley Barbour

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is a political hack. A former lobbyist (and proud of it!), Barbour likes to pontificate as if he's a fountain of good ole boy wisdom (an oxymoron akin to jumbo shrimp).

Barbour's latest "insightful" comment: President Obama's mysterious background. According to Barbour, there's just all this murkiness in Obama's past.

In plain English, Barbour is playing the "Obama is a secret Muslin" card again—one more way to raise doubts about the president.

Oh wait—this is the same president that Sarah Palin accused of writing too much about himself.

Attacks on Obama's past are despicable and ridiculous, but that the GOP method in 2010. Read more about Barbour's comments here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Coburn and the C Street House: DC's 'Frat House for Jesus'

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is a well-known resident of the infamous C Street House, home to a group conservative and supposedly Christian politicians who have run into some ethical problems.

Coburn, for instance, is on record as providing advice to the ethically challenged (sex!) Nevada politician, Sen. John Ensign. 

The New Yorker has published a revealing story on the C Street House, which you can read here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fox News: Home to the Wrong

When it comes to politics, Americans don't have especially long memories.

If they did, they might raise questions about the lineup of pundits over at Fox News, a cast of misinformers and lying liars who have been consistently wrong about, well, a great many things.

Our friends over at Media Matters have compiled a record of right-wing errors and lies. It's fascinating stuff, certainly worth remembering. It's high time that the right—so cocksure of its policies and ideas—was held accountable.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's your Action McNews Network

Cartoonist Tom Tomorrow blasts the scare tactics of Fox News and talk radio. 

Check it out here: It's your Action McNews Network

Surprise! It's More 'Birther" Nonsense from the Folks at Fox News

More birther wackiness from the fringes.

Oh wait, this guy is a retired general. But a general with ties to Fox News. So that explains it. The details here: Fox News' birther military analyst.