Tuesday, March 30, 2010

GOP inciting and supporting hate

from colorofchange.org

Just over a week ago, Tea Party protestors hurled racial and homophobic slurs and spat at members of Congress.1  That was followed by a rash of vandalism and death threats targeting Democratic members of Congress.2
Republicans have done almost nothing to tamp down this dangerous atmosphere and have even egged the protesters on. And when the Republican National Committee was asked to endorse a bi-partisan “civility” statement that would send a message to the protesters, they refused.3
It's time to demand that Republican leaders stop turning a blind eye to violence and hate before it gets out of control and someone gets hurt.  Please click below to add your voice, and please ask your friends and family to do the same:
Since the passage of health care reform last week, at least 10 members of Congress have received threats and requested additional police presence.4  Windows and doors were smashed at several representatives' offices, and a gas line was cut at what vandals thought was the house of Congressman Tom Perriello.5  One office had to be evacuated when it received a threatening letter filled with an unidentified white powder.6
Meanwhile, some Republicans have tried to justify the vandalism or blame Democrats for inviting it on themselves,7,8 and others have escalated their use of violent rhetoric. Sarah Palin told her supporters "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!", and published a map with cross-hairs over the districts of some Democrats who voted for health care reform.9  RNC Chairman Michael Steele said  "let's start getting Nancy [Pelosi] ready for the firing line this November."10
Last Saturday's protest and this week's past events are just the most recent example of the intolerance and hate coming from right-wing extremists this past year. At times it's been instigated by Republican leaders. When not, it's usually condoned and seen as part of a strategy to score politically. Either way, it's completely unacceptable and has to stop. 

1. "Tea Party Protests: 'Ni**er,' 'Fa**ot' Shouted At Members Of Congress," Huffington Post, 3-20-2010
2.  "MAP: A Guide To Recent Vandal Attacks On Democrats," TPM Muckraker, 03-24-10
3.  "RNC rejects joint 'civility' statement," Politico, 03-26-10
4.  "Democrats who voted for health care reform get police protection as threats turn ugly," NY Daily News, 03-24-10
5.  See reference 2.
6. "Anthony Weiner's Office Receives Threatening Letter Containing White Powder," CBS News, 03-25-09
7.  "Newt Gingrich: Democrats bear some responsibility for threats, anger over health care," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 03-25-10
8.  "Cantor: It's The Democrats Who Are Fanning The Flames of Violence (VIDEO)," TPM DC, 03-25-10
9. See reference 2.
10. "Steele: Let's Get Pelosi Ready For 'The Firing Line' In November (VIDEO)," TPM LiveWire, 03-24-10
11. "10 Most Offensive Tea Party Signs And Extensive Photo Coverage From Tax Day Protests," Huffington Post, 4-16-09
12. See Reference 11.
13. "Tax Day Tea Parties Officially Endorsed By Republican Party," Huffington Post, 5-15-2009
14. "Steele: I'd join the tea parties," Politico, 1-15-10
15. "GOP govs plan Tea Party sequel," Politico, 5-12-2009
16. "Rep. David Scott's (D-Ga) office spray-painted with Swastika," Daily Kos, 8-11-2009
17. "Armed and Dangerous?" Talking Points Memo, 8-11-2009
18. "Tea party leader calls Obama a welfare thug," The Loop, 9-15-09
19. "Memo Reveals GOP Plan to Exploit Fear of Obama," AOL News, 3-4-2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Freedom Triumphant

This week has been a great week for the cause of freedom here in America.

More Americans will spend less just to be healthy - or alive. They will have the freedom to not only live, but to keep more of their hard-earned money (or spend it on something worthwhile - boosting another sector of our economy).

Because we will get to stay on our parents' insurance until age 26, more young Americans will have the liberty to get on a sound financial footing before we have to buy health insurance on our own.

Millions of Americans, bound by the chains of preexisting conditions, will no longer be bound by the additional chains of not having

Countless small businesses will see the freedom to save more of their money or hire more workers, as they will enjoy tax breaks and costs savings for health insurance plans.

There are so many other benefits to the new healthcare laws passed by Democrats in Congress and signed by President Obama. But they all center around one simple idea: You should not be punished for being sick.

While these laws aren't perfect, and while our union isn't perfect, this week we have taken some giant steps in forming a more perfect union. The idea of 'liberty and justice for all' - an ideal on which our founders formed our nation, and for which so many have died - is becoming more of a reality.

That is why I am pleased to dedicate this post, my 500th on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott, to those who fought to make this reform the law of the land, and to all who fight for our country's ideals at home and abroad.