Tuesday, November 30, 2010

As Goes DADT, So Too Should Go Senator McCain.

By now, no one needs to spell out the obscene flip-flopping by John McCain over Don't Ask, Don't Tell. It has been well documented numerous times.

There is a new take out on the saga, which can be read here, wherein John McCain is being pushed farther and farther into a corner of bigotry and homophobia, now that the report over DADT has finally been released. He has used the fact that it was leaked many times against it, as if that were discrediting. If anything, that should have added to its credit, as it was clearly a rawer, more unedited version of what may have been released later on with kids gloves. But you know, this is John McCain. He is feeling such a high from humiliating his wife recently, maybe he thinks that he really can take on the world and win. But its looking less and less likely.

It gives me hope that so many in the service, 70%, have said that they are not concerned about serving with openly gay soldiers. That is unbelievable. This is significant higher even than the general public! 58% overall believe in repeal. In fact, it is only a few points shy of being on par with Democratic support for repeal, who weigh in at 78%.

So again, my applause to the servicemen and women for understanding that while this great nation is out there fighting for the world's freedom, there are those in this country who have still yet to attain their own. 

I do wonder though if asking the troops in the first place was the way to go. I hope that I can do this without at all diminishing my previous point. But did we take polls of white soldiers on how they felt about serving with black soldiers? Did we ask men if they would be comfortable serving with women? Is this not one of those historic times, that arise but once a generation or so, where it is truly up to our leaders to lead, and not to follow? Does it not somehow diminish the plight of the gay soldier that we have to find out, door-to-door, if they are welcome.

I can honestly say that I am always proud of our troops and I have a deep and profound sense of awe and gratitude for the sacrifices that they make every single day. This survey only adds to that appreciation. But maybe, as goes Don't Ask, Don't Tell, so should go Senator McCain with it. 

So any Sunday morning hosts, the task is yours. The first journalist, constituent, co-worker or otherwise to goad John McCain into declaring that he will resign the day that DADT is repealed will automatically become BiFocalPoint's coveted "Point Person of the Year!" Democrat, Republican or Independent, gay or straight, military or civilian, whoever you are: You will be doing this country a great service.

Friday, November 19, 2010

BiFocalPoint Point of the Month!

Alan Grayson (D-Fla) has  just won the first ever BiFocalPoint Point-of-the-Month* for taking on the expiring Bush tax cuts. Congratulations Alan Grayson!

(*-we are still working on the name. Please share your suggestions below or email them in at bifocalpoint@gmail.com. Also, this contest is by no means limited to, or guaranteed to take place, once a month. Sorry for any confusion.)

Grayson, in true BiFocalPoint style (see here, here or here) has recast the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in a new light. Rather than talking about the money that the government would be losing, he points to all of the things that those wealthy tax-cut benefited will finally be able to afford. 

These tax cuts for the richest 1% of Americans will average just slightly over $83,000 a year. Not a bad chuck of change to SAVE every year. He offers several ideas for how these people can spend their new windfalls.

His first suggestion is that they could spend this money on a brand new Mercedes Benz-E Class Car, conveniently price at about $83,000. (I see an ad campaign in there somewhere!) And not just one, but a brand new one every single year!

My favorite on his list (see the full list here) though has got to be that these recently-saved-from-the-poorhouse-at-the-expense-of-their-country Americans can now finally afford 800 luxury cigars which they will then be able to light with $100 bills. Can we really say that the American dream is alive and well if one did not have this option?

So congratulations Mr. Grayson, and thank you for putting things into a BiFocalPoint persective. 

And to the BiFocalPoint world out there, what else can the uber-rich do with their $83,000-and-change annual savings? The best answers MIGHT just get read on the congressional floor by Mr. Grayson the next time he is looking to restore some sanity.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hypocrisy in Congress?

What do you even say to someone so hypocritical and oblivious to reality?

Andy Harris, an incoming GOP Congressman, who ran on a platform of repealing "Obamacare" is furious that his state covered health insurance (the health insurance enjoyed by all sitting members of congress) does not start for nearly a month after he is sworn in.

He claims that he has never had a job where his health insurance took that long to kick in. I have. In fact, I have never had a job where it did not take that long to kick in.

Regardless, it takes some straight up chutzpah/balls/guts/cajones/hypocrisy to make such a statement after being elected on such a platform.

But obviously his question must be: "what do your problems have to do with mine?!"

See the full story here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Damned Certified Mail. Must See Video.

This video was shot by a letter carrier. I am posting it here in two parts. Before you watch it-you need to watch it!-you should know that this man was ultimately fired for this interaction. That's right, the postman in this video was fired and apparently charges were dropped against the woman in question. Her name is Erika Winchester. Sorry that the videos are sideways, the poor guy was filming this while remaining a perfect gentleman under a situation that called for nothing of the sort against this woman of the klan. Watch it here:

Here is one more note on this video. If you have ever used (or ever legitimized an action with) one of her arguments, then you might just be a racist. Err, no you are definitely a racist. To the rest of you, please do not do business with this horrible woman. She deserves to be alone with her white supremacy up high and mighty. If she comes to your bank, gas station or restaurant, just remember how she treats people with whom she does business. Let her take her food to go, but do not serve her. And anyway, I hear she is a bad tipper.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Think That Meghan McCain Completely Missed The Point.

I am not one to go after children or politician's families, but I think that Meghan McCain, John's daughter, has officially stepped out of her daddy's shadow and become a figure all on her own.

She has been making a lot of news recently, weighing in on all kinds of issues. I often, but certainly not always, agree with her.

But today, while sitting on a panel for Time Magazine to help determine who should be this year's person of the year, she called out Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks. She said he was un-American (she added that she knew he was not American, but still, quite the sleight I suppose) and that he looked like a villain from a James Bond movie. Interesting assessment. See some pics here to decide for yourself.

But here is my issue. While decrying the horrors of what Assange has done, she claimed that the leaks had "changed the way Americans view the war."

Was that not the point of WikiLeaks? To bring to light information, some good, some bad, all about what war really looks like. War is an abstraction to Americans, it does not really exist. Happy Veteran's day to all Vets out there (I mean that completely genuinely), but take a look at this number. In 2006 (granted a bit dated, but still 3 years into the war), 6 out of 10 Americans between the age of 18 and 24 could not find Iraq on a map. Their classmates were there and they did not know where THERE was!

So Meghan, I ask you this: Is it not possible that perhaps we NEED to look at the war differently. That does not condone what Assange did, but your current argument is totally off base. This is a great example of taking aim at the messenger. You may think that he looks scary, but he I think that he is still probably a lot more apealing than the message.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What is Going on in the World???

What is happening in the world? I am posting here two videos. Both are brawls. I mean full-out, kicking and screaming, brawls. I want you to vote on which one drops your draw lower. I am betting that it will be close.

The first video is of two hockey teams who apparently decided to replace the goals with each others head and who have giving up altogether on playing in order that there be more time for fighting. The Metallica in the background is a nice touch. Not sure if it was added on or happening throughout the game (perhaps the impetus in the first place?). I think the former (props to the editor) but who knows. Maybe the NHL gets off on this stuff.

The second video is from the Middle East. The fight is over a subject just as dear to most people's heart as sports: religion. The craziest part about this brawl, which is a few years old, is that it is not even happening between members of different religions (not as if that would make it better, but you know what I mean!). These are Christians fighting with other Christians. Watch how they use religious paraphernalia as weapons against each other. And there is one particularly nasty sideways sucker punch at one point, against a Monk!!! Maybe if church in America were like this, more people would show up. Who knows?

So, who is more crazy, American sports fans or Middle Eastern religious zealots? Vote below.

And just because we can, here is one more video for your viewing pleasure. It's the scene at a Wal-Mart on Black Friday (the crazy sale day immediately following Thanksgiving). Forget Halloween, this is what scary looks like to me.

So vote on the first two videos, and feel free to add exclamations of your own for the third (or really for any). I will tally and post the results. Sleep well and watch out for your children!

Joe Miller Stands Up For Every Voter...Who Voted for Him

I understand seeking an advantage in a political race and I understand pushing for proper following of the rules. But Joe Miller is suing the state of Alaska in order to help his still-ongoing campaign for Senate.

His issue is that because Murkowski is apparently such a complicated name to spell (is it really? are there all that many options?) the thought is that many people, who might have intended to vote for her, will not have done so technically by simply misspelling her name.

Joe Miller is suing to ensure that anyone who did not spell her name correctly does not have their vote counted.

My question is, is that really how Joe Miller wants to enter the Senate? Does he think that the voters of Alaska will take him seriously as someone they can rely on when he fights  like this against letting their vote be counted. 

I am not saying that difficult decisions will have not to be made in the next few weeks as the votes are tallied. Reps from each campaign are being allowed into the room while counting is happening. If someone draws a picture of two XX chromosomes or a stick figure with long hair, then of course that should not count for Murkowski. But if someone checks the oval and spells Murkowski with a "C" instead of a "K," does Miller really want that ballot to be thrown out?

If the answer is yes, then he might get himself to Washington. But he will never be respected by the people whom he was (technically) elected to represent.

So now, just for fun, offer us your favorite misspelling of Murkowski below.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Is Tucker Carlson Now a Shock Jock?

So apparently, this week Tucker Carlson wrote several emails posed as Keith Olbermann. See the full story here.

First off, has Tucker finally given up on journalism completely and turned to XM radio or something? Whether this was a joke, a prank, or simply just a bad decision, how is anyone supposed to take him serious in the future as he sits and analyzes for America what is going on in the world?

What bothers me more about all of this is that he was not even clever about it. He used an email address, keith@keitholbermann.com, which he has publicly taken credit for owning. He could have created a new account, say on gmail or yahoo, and maybe remained anonymous. I am not sure what he was thinking.

But BiFocalPoint world, we should try and find out. Email the above address and let me know what clever retort/question/accusation or otherwise that you sent to everyone's favorite too-young-for-a-bow-tie and not-cool-enough-for-it-to-be-ironic pundit. You can post your emails directly on here, or email me at bifocalpoint@gmail.com (I promise that this email is genuinely mine). I will post the best emails that you all send. So get writing to Keith via Tucker and keep them coming. There is no limit for emails sent, or for emails posted on the cite.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Apparently Bill O'Reilly Cost Christine O'Donnell the Election.

Christine O'Donnell, immediately following her loss in the midterms, finally entered the No Spin Zone. Apparently, Bill O'Reilly had tried to get her on the show before the election and she had not found the time.

O'Reilly apparently takes it very personally when someone will not join him in the hot seat. He asks her repeatedly why she was attacked, why she lost, what happened... She tries many times to answer, but like a harsh professor who is looking for but one specific answer to a question with many options, he pushes and he pushes her. He seems to honestly believe that the reason that her campaign fell apart was because she had not come on his show (or even allowed them to bring her up on satellite) during the campaign.

Watch her face during these grillings. I cannot decide if she looks like she is going to cry or pull out her mace. She looks so uncomfortable, I thought she might actually get up and walk out.

You can watch the video here: (And sorry about the ad. It came with the video from the original site.)

So now, tell us, what do you think that Christine O'Donnell was thinking during her little No Spin Inquisition? The BiFocalPoint world is waiting.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Peter Beinart Questions Sarah Palin's Knowledge of Geography.

Peter Beinart, of the Daily Beast, offers up a great justification for keeping NPR public. Read the entire piece here.

It gives some interesting specifics about the role that NPR plays in journalism, as compared with today's standards.

While the whole article is great, the ending is a must read, so I will give it to you here:

After claiming that the right's attacking of NPR would be justified if they were all isolationists who were against free-trade (his earlier arguments centered around NPR being a last true bastion of international news), he says this: 

"Folks like Palin want America to grow more and more economically integrated with other countries and they want America to keep invading them. That being the case, shouldn’t we keep funding NPR, so someone can tell Americans where those countries actually are?"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Keith Olbermann Suspended for Working at MSNBC, errr, for Being Liberal.

It recently came out that Keith Olbermann donated money to three democratic campaigns during the midterms.

Apparently, word got back to MSNBC and he has been suspended indefinitely without pay. Maybe him and Rick Sanchez can start a new show (at TBS? Right after Conan?). It could be called the Liberal and the Jock. Or something.

Just for some context though, don't Karl Rove and Sarah Palin, both of whom have donated tremendous amounts of money (and time and vitriol!) to Republican candidates, both take a paycheck from Fox News? What about Mike Huckabee? That is not to mention the soft money influences that are made nightly on Fox? And didn't Governor Palin go on TV and advise Christine O'Donnell, immediately following her winning the Republican primary, to use Fox News as a way to get her message out?

In fact, Media Matters just released a report that more than 30 Fox Newsers (their phrase) have contributed to Republican candidates or organizations just during the 2010 midterm election cycle.

So now I am just waiting for Sarah Palin to come out angrily about Keith Olbermann, a journalist (gasp), betraying his professionalism by giving to a political cause that he believes in. It hardly seems beyond the scope of her impressive abilities of cognitive dissonance. Until then however, here is Tina Fey resurrecting her best Palin impression of days-gone-by. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sarah Palin Got an iMac.

So today, two days after the midterms, Sarah Palin released a commercial. It is unclear what it is for, but there are some recognizable faces in it, as well as a slew of weird, weird images.

First off, the ad starts with Alaska superimposed over the nation. Then there is a montage featuring some of her Mama Grizzlies and co., mostly in positions of running for office. No Christine O'Donnell, no Carly Fiorina, no Sharron Angle, and interestingly, no Joe Miller. This makes sense as it is looking like he will not close the Senate seat in Alaska, but strange in that he is still in an ongoing election in many respects and that it was also his home state superimposed over top of our great nation (or was it really the other way around?).

The question now is, is Sarah Palin bragging? Is she launching her 2012 campaign for President (only 1 year, 363 days to go!)? The ad is called "New Morning." Presumably this is an homage to everyone's favorite Republican of yesteryear, Ronald Reagan. Watch the video here:

So tell me, and the entire BiFocalPoint world, what is it that you think that Sarah Palin is trying to tell the country. (And I know that they are the Mama Grizzlies, but the shot of the bear at the end, I mean, come on!)