Quotable Quote of the Month

What does it take for Republicans to take off the flag pin and say, 'I am just too embarrassed to be on this team'?".- Bill Maher

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

RNC Chairman Compares President Obama to the Captain of the Shipwrecked Costa Concordia

During his appearance on Face the Nation this past Sunday, RNC chairman Reince Priebus compared President Obama to Capt. Francesco Schettino (who was at the helm of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia when it partially sank on January 13th).  The reason for Priebus' ridiculous analogy? According to him, President Obama campaigning for a 2nd term is akin to abandoning the American people. I don't recall past presidents being criticized for hitting the campaign trail. Now that President Obama is in the White House, a commander-in-chief trying to convince the American people he deserves reelection is comparable to manslaughter.

Not only were Priebus's remarks outrageous, but they are another example of the sad decline of the GOP. These comments weren't made by a right-wing media pundit or a run-of-the-mill conservative blogger. They were made by the head of the Republican party! Although this type of inflammatory rhetoric plays well with the people who already hate President Obama's guts, I doubt if it'll appeal to moderates or independents (you know, the people who can decide elections).

In the clip below, MSNBC host Martin Bashir discusses Priebus's comments with DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse.

Do you think Reince Priebus crossed the line with his analogy?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Al Sharpton and Joe Madison Shoot Down the Food Stamp Lie About President Obama

On last night's edition of "Politics Nation with Al Sharpton", Al and his guest (radio host Joe Madison) debunked the lie started by Newt Gingrich that "more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history".

As you can see from the clip below, Sharpton announced that he's willing to meet with Gingrich to challenge him over Gingrich's food stamp lie. It remains to be seen if Newt will accept.

FactCheck.org article about Newt's food stamp claim 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Please Take A Moment To Vote In the GOP Nominee Poll... Thank You

On Tuesday November 6th, one of these four men (Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul) will go up against President Barack Obama in the general election. Who will it be? I think it's a two-man race between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Although his impressive showing in the South Carolina primary could be an isolated incident, I'm leaning toward Newt Gingrich getting the nomination. I say this because I think the Republican base wants an angry candidate who they believe can go toe-to-toe with President Obama. They couldn't care less about all the baggage that makes up the personal and political life of Newt "Samsonite" Gingrich. What they want to see is the political destruction of President Obama and they think Newt is the man for the job.

If you want to share your reasoning for why you feel the person you selected will win the nomination, feel free to do so in the comments section.

Final Results of the Recent "Would You Vote for an Atheist" Poll

In the recent poll in which I asked whether or not you'd vote for an atheist, over 3/4 of voters said they would. Here are the final results:

Yes: 76%
No: 24%

Admittedly, this poll was a very small sampling. However, if it's an indication of how a majority of Americans feel, it could bode well for atheists who want to enter the political arena. Still, it's doubtful we'll see a noticeable increase in atheist politicians on the national stage.  I think the potential outrage by believers would make most atheist politicians reluctant to come out of the religious closet. If it was revealed there were more non-believers currently serving as elected officials, I wouldn't be surprised. Who knows, we may have already had  prior presidents of the U.S. who were atheists.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

President Obama Wishes Betty White Happy Birthday

Last night, Betty White's 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America's Golden Girl aired on NBC. As part of the telecast, there was a pre-taped segment featuring President Obama. In the segment, the president killed two birds with one stone. In addition to to wishing Betty a happy birthday, he also had a little fun with the birther controversy. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rachel Maddow Destroys the GOP Lies About President Obama

Rachel Maddow is at it again! Hitting the GOP with those pesky little things known as facts. On her show Friday night, Rachel did a segment in which she dismantled the GOP talking points about President Obama regarding big government, immigration, taxes, and the war on terror. You can read the accompanying article on PoliticusUSA.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ed Schultz Has A Message for Some of the Liberals

Leading up to the Iowa caucus, Ed Schultz praised GOP candidate Rick Santorum's presence on the campaign trail. This led to Ed getting angry tweets from disappointed viewers. In a video for his blog, Ed responded.

The first clip is the one that got some of the liberals upset. The second one is Ed's response.

Ed is absolutely right! Just because he had kind words for Rick Santorum doesn't mean he's making the jump to Fox News. Ed's commentary on Santorum was objective and that's one of the main traits I look for when listening to a political pundit. People on the right such as Joe Scarborough and Bill O'Reilly face the same type of derision from viewers when they have the audacity to praise someone on the other side of the political aisle and/or criticize one of their own. If these people have such a need to be told what they wanna hear, they should go talk to a mirror.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Former Actress Kristy McNichol Comes Out

Kristy McNichol, who gained fame in the 1970s as "wise beyond her years" teen Letitia "Buddy" Lawrence on the ABC drama Family, has come out publicly as a lesbian. According to a People.com story, McNichol decided to come out because she wants to help kids who are being bullied. Jeff Ballard, McNichol's publicist, says she hopes her coming out can help kids who need support. Coincidentally, actress Meredith Baxter (who played McNichol's older sister Nancy on Family) came out in 2009.

Now 49, McNichol (who won two Emmys for her work on Family) has been out of the limelight for most of the last two decades. Her last major role was as Barbara, the undercover cop daughter of Harry Weston (Richard Mulligan) on the NBC sitcom Empty Nest. Since retiring from the screen, she has taught acting at a private school in L.A. and devoted much of her time to charity work. Below is a recent photo of McNichol with Marti Allen, also 49, her partner for two decades.

Below is the 1977 episode of Family titled "An Eye to the Future". Guest starring James Woods, this episode includes a subplot in which Buddy (McNichol) gets into the CB radio craze.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Please Take A Moment To Vote In the "Would You Vote for an Atheist?" Poll... Thank You

When deciding which political candidate gets our vote in any election, there are many things to consider. For some,  a candidate who believes in a higher power is very important. However, I couldn't care less whether or not a politician is a believer. Although I used to be an atheist, I converted to agnosticism several years ago. I can hear some of the conservatives who might be reading this say, "I knew that dirty progressive Malcolm had to be a Godless heathen! I knew it!" My feeling is that religious beliefs and a core set of values don't always go hand in hand. Just think of the countless number of elected officials who have been busted for all sorts of crimes and misdemeanors. I'm willing to bet that a majority of them professed to believing in a higher power.

Although it's obviously not mandatory, I'd love to hear what reasons you have for voting the way you did in the blog poll. If you'd like to share your reasons, you can do so in the comments section of this post.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Parents Outraged Over Racially Insensitive Math Homework

Just when I thought I had heard it all, something comes along that shocks the hell out of me. When I first read this article I had a puzzled dog look. How could an educator be so calloused with regard to the feelings of young people? Apparently an elementary teacher in Gwinnett County Georgia thought it proper to refer to slavery and slave beatings in the third grade math homework assignment. One question read and I quote, “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in 1 week? 2 weeks? Well of course parents were upset when they read the homework assignment and immediately contacted the principal. The principal stated that it was an attempt to combine math and social studies and in retrospect a mistake had been made. NO KIDDING!!! I can think of a hundred ways to coalesce math and social studies without lowering children’s self-esteem. “'The teachers were trying to do a cross-curricular activity,' Spokeswoman Sloan Roach explained to WSB-TV in their intended attempt to mix history with math, but the problems weren't given with any historical background confusing the students who asked their parents why someone was being beaten twice a day.” Sometimes I can be oversensitive, but this time I do not think so. What are your thoughts?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rick Santorum: Blah, Blah, Blah

Last week in Iowa, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum generated controversy with comments he allegedly made in regards to black people and welfare. In the aftermath, he at first didn't deny he made the comment. However, he later did a 180 by saying he never made the statement.

Hmm... although it's not a clearly enunciated "black", I think that's what he said or at least planned on saying. It could be that the word came out somewhat jumbled because he realized it wasn't a smart thing to say. At least one person in the audience thinks Santorum was referring to blacks as well because you can hear them utter "right" shortly thereafter.

What do you think Rick Santorum said? If you don't think he said or intended to say "black", can you explain the definition of a "blah" person?

In the clip below, Ed Schultz discusses Santorum's alleged comments with Joan Walsh and Michael Eric Dyson:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Melissa Harris-Perry Set to Be MSNBC's Newest Host

On Thursday, it was announced that MSNBC contributor and political analyst Melissa Harris-Perry will be hosting her own show for the network starting on Saturday, February 4th. The new show, which hasn't been titled yet, will air on Saturday and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m (following Up w/ Chris Hayes) . You can read more about her upcoming show here.

Harris-Perry, who also serves as a professor of political science at Tulane University, has been a frequent guest on MSNBC, with appearances on several of their programs. She has also filled in for hosts Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell. Her busy schedule also includes writing for The Nation.

As we often do, this past weekend me and my brother-in-law were talking about politics, the media, etc. I was telling him about the excellent job Harris-Perry has done filling in for Maddow and O'Donnell, adding that I felt MSNBC should give her a shot at hosting her own show. In fact, he's the one who sent me the news that Harris-Perry will be the network's newest addition.

Although I'm an MSNBC fan (aren't you shocked?!), I have also been critical of them (in particular, their programming lineup on the weekends). At the very least, the addition of Harris-Perry to their weekend lineup means 4 hours less of Lockup documentaries!

Congratulations to Melissa Harris-Perry. Her promotion to regular MSNBC host is a well-deserved one. 

Below is a clip of Harris-Perry filling in for Maddow back in 2011:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Weighing In On the Right's Obsession with Michelle Obama's Backside

Ever since Michelle Obama launched her Let's Move! campaign (which attempts to battle childhood obesity), some on the right have predictably criticized the First Lady's eating habits/body weight. The latest to join the attack brigade is Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI). According to a Democratic operative, Sensenbrenner said the following about Michelle Obama:

“she lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself.”

In case you have no idea what Congressman Sensenbrenner looks like, here's a photo of him:

I realize the photo isn't a full body shot, but I doubt he's fielding calls from Playgirl magazine. I mean really... is this guy in any position to talk about someone else's posterior?! According to Sensenbrenner’s press secretary, Sensenbrenner had sent Michelle a personal note and released a statement saying he regretted his “inappropriate comment.”My guess is the only thing he regrets about the comment is that he was busted for making it.

As for "Let's Move!", those on the right calling Michelle Obama a hypocrite because she sometimes eats fatty foods are way off base. The program is about making healthy choices: getting kids to eat better and to become more physically active. Never has she said that kids shouldn't occasionally indulge in their favorite culinary guilty pleasures. Besides, don't these people have better things to do with their time than to nitpick over what Michelle eats?!

It’s been a tradition for the first ladies of the U.S. to take on pet projects/initiatives during their husband’s administrations.  The projects are generally free of controversy; one would have to be out of their mind to find fault with them. For example, one of Laura Bush's pet projects focused on education. The goal was to focus America's attention on recruiting the best talent to the teaching profession and to ensure that kids were ready to read when they enter school. Was this a Communist plot by Laura to indoctrinate young, impressionable minds? Was she trying to tell kids they had to focus all their energies on learning, never to enjoy any recreational time? Hell no on both counts! Laura Bush's efforts regarding our nation's kids were admirable as are Michelle Obama's. This outrage over "Let's Move!" is yet another example of Obama Derangement Syndrome. If Michelle Obama had a suicide prevention initiative, these right-wing clowns would be slitting their wrists out of spite. Hmm... maybe the First Lady should switch initiatives. Just kidding!

To most who are able to view things objectively, Michelle Obama is a beautiful woman who's in terrific shape. Check out those arms! She also was recently part of a group which set a Guinness world record for doing the most jumping jacks in a 24-hour period. Yes, she's got some ass on her. However, I view that as a good thing. I'll bet President Obama likes it too! I can imagine him saying to the First Lady:

"Honey, you can do side bends or sit-ups, but don't you dare lose that boo-tay!!"

It's one thing for out of shape loudmouths like Congressman Sensenbrenner and Rush Limbaugh to criticize Michelle Obama's shape. However, what I find really disappointing is when women get in on the act by  taking cheap shots at the First Lady. Although I'm a man, I can empathize with the issues women face in regards to body image. We get bombarded with unrealistic images of thin celebrities which have some women thinking that if they don't look like Keira Knightley, they need to audition for "The Biggest Loser"! It's sad that there are women who can't put politics aside and get behind Michelle Obama's efforts to combat childhood obesity.

For the female haters who want to talk about Michelle Obama's butt, I have a challenge for you. I want you to put on a bikini, take pictures of yourself from every angle, and post those photos on the Internet. If you can't do that, you need to back the fuck up and show the First Lady some respect! The same goes for the men in the peanut gallery running their mouths about Michelle's butt too!

Update: On 2nd thought, even if the female haters have the guts to put their bikini photos online (which I doubt they will), they still need to back off and show Michelle some respect!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Directions

The ushering in of 2012 will see new directions for this blog. No, not that "New Directions"! What I mean is that we will be widening the scope of topics covered here outside of the area of race; a change I've been contemplating for a few months. Some of you may have noticed that the last few months of 2011 saw posts here that focused on religion, with no connection to race. Along with matters concerning race/ethnicity and religion, the blog will now include posts dealing with such issues as politics, gender, and LGBT.

With this widening of the scope of topics comes a name change. Going forward, the blog will be known as Progressive Soup. Although the name has changed, I've decided to keep the blog address (http://diversityink.blogspot.com/). If you have us on your blogroll, the only thing you'll need to update is the name. 

I'm looking forward to seeing how this new focus unfolds. I hope you'll join us on the journey as well.