ACORN, O’Reilly & Racism (Oh My!)


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Ah ACORN. Current most favored monster-under-the-bed of conservatives. I think they blame ACORN for everything right now. I really loved it last year when they went ballistic over the phony registrations that turned up. You know, the entire set of Disney characters submitted with voter registration cards? Yeah, now, please note that I said *registrations*. Not actual, you know, VOTES. A mistake many of these voter registration organizations make is in paying their workers by the # of cards they turn in. Making it RIPE for corruption since the workers are typically quite low income to begin with. The thing is though, those cards DO NOT ACTUALLY TURN INTO VOTES! So, you cannot go around accusing ACORN of stealing the election for Obama (yeah, that one has been thrown around), because, trust me, Mickey Mouse did not actually turn up to vote my friends. Mickey Mouse was actually not put ON the registered voter rolls. No one with Mickey Mouses id actually showed up with a voter pamphlet. But hey, I am sure the conservatives motives are PURE here, right? They are *just* concerned about an organization receiving taxpayer money showing signs of corruption. I am *sure* they chase down *every* such organization, right?

Now, that is not to say that I support or excuse ACORN at this point. Oh hell no. The govt did the right thing to vote to defund it. I think that calling for the resignation of CEO Bertha Lewis is spot on. She knew last year that she had rogue employees and these videos turning up now are a major embarrassment and signs of continuing needs to employee training and oversight. Firing the ones caught at this point is not enough. They need a new sheriff and they need to clean up the corruption.

That said – I could not agree MORE with Glenn Greenwald in his opinion piece on the ACORN scandal. Here is the money summation:


ACORN isn’t just being mentioned in passing as something that needs an examination; it’s dominating headlines and the obsessions of the Fox News movement, despite the fact that it’s a tiny, microscopic drop in the bucket even when assessed by the principles the protesters claim to support (by a vote of 345-75, the Democratic-led House just joined the Senate in voting to cut off all funds to ACORN; I’m sure the courageous Congress will be doing that to Blackwater, KBR, Citibank, lawbreaking telecoms and many other corrupt corporations who own them any moment now). Claiming you’re worried about large government and taxpayer waste while fixating on ACORN proves the insincerity of the ostensible concern, let alone doing so while cheering on the same Wall Street banks, defense contractors, and insurance industries that control and expand government power for their own benefit.

Ah, perspective. Yep yep yep. I totally agree that an organization that receives taxpayer money such as ACORN ($53 million over 15 years or a little over $3 million per year) should be held accountable. I think we are up to 700 billion on the bank bailouts? That’s a great deal more than ACORN and just in ONE year. May I please see the same FOX news and conservative pundit outrage (multiplied proportionally of course) leveled at Wall Street now? I mean, since it worked so well and the Dem led Senate and Congress properly voted to cut off funding to ACORN – can you all please get them to stop the other money wasting please?

I’m sure you’ll be getting RIGHT on that 😉

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Meanwhile, over in Upside Down-ville, Bill O’Reilly was caught being sane. No, really, he was! Actually, to his credit he’s been fairly sane recently. Now, it’s my cynical belief that this sanity was brought on my dollar signs. You see, Bill is a very very smart man. He’s been around this TV/Radio punditry block enough to know what sells. And I have often thought the all-mighty dollar drives him MUCH harder than any actual political philosophy does. So with Rush/Sean/Glen taking over as the trifecta of right wing extremism, Bill sees a whole group left hanging. The middle. The true independents and logic based Republicans (many of whom voted for Obama) who the other three have lost. Bill is calculatingly stepping into that niche. He denounced the birther movement. He wrote a lovely piece about why Obama is an inspiration to kids in Parade magazine. And now, well, we have this transcript from his show:

O’REILLY: The public option now is done. We discussed this, it’s not going to happen. But you say that this little marketplace that they’re going to set up, whereby the federal government would subsidize insurance for some Americans, that is, in your opinion, a public option?

OWCHARENKO: Well, it has massive new federal regulation. So you don’t necessarily need a public option if the federal government is going to control and regulate the type of health insurance that Americans can buy.

O’REILLY: But you know, I want that, Ms. Owcharenko. I want that. I want, not for personally for me, but for working Americans, to have a option, that if they don’t like their health insurance, if it’s too expensive, they can’t afford it, if the government can cobble together a cheaper insurance policy that gives the same benefits, I see that as a plus for the folks.

Do you see what he said there? While stating that the public option is done at the beginning, he then goes on to lament it’s potential demise!! Well, color my flabber totally gasted because this is pretty stunning to me. Or, I guess it shouldn’t be given what I just stated was my opinion of his ratings-grabbing strategies right now. Still – wow. Thanks Bill.

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Lastly & quickly – racism. It’s out there folks. Really – didn’t take too close of a look at that 912 rally on Saturday in DC to find the racist tinged signs. OF COURSE it does not represent everyone in the movement. OF COURSE it does not mean that all conservatives are racist. OF COURSE it does not even mean that Joe Wilson’s You Lie outburst was racist (IMHO it was not). BUT – to deny it is there is also wrong wrong wrong. And for heaven’s sake, stop crying about who brought it up *first*! Let’s just remember that the leader of the 912 group is Glen Beck who, on his FOX “news” show stated that Obama is racist against WHITES! Remember that? If he thought THAT kind of sentiment was NOT going to bring out those who hate Obama for the color of his skin, he is truly dumb. And I don’t think Glen Beck is dumb at all. Oh no, like O’Reilly I think he knows *exactly* what he is doing. He knows which base he needs to rally to drive the numbers.

I’m just glad at this point that Obama has not stepped into the fray. I’m a little sorry that Jimmy Carter did, though I do completely agree with him. But again, I don’t want it to become yet another distracting Shiny Object – though that’s already too late I think as questions were asked during the daily press briefing today and just about everyone on every channel has weighed in on this. And really – what can be done? Seriously. Tell me what you think could actually result from pointing out the racist portions of these protesters? Exposing them wont stop them. You think shaming them would? I somehow doubt it and no one is shaming them anyway.

Can you tell the whole thing just depresses me? No matter how ‘post -racial’ Obama or  I want this country to be, it’s just a slow slow process.

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