• Obama's idea of uniting the country is staying above the fray, maintaining his image and not fighting back. Well I don't know about him, but no one in history has been able to unite a country without vanquishing the foes of divisiveness. I hope he realizes that, I hope the Shirley Sherrod episode is a lesson. He has more to learn from this woman who fought back rather than roll over passively. The progressive community is willing to fight for someone who fights back, who stands for something. If Fox is Hortonizing Obama, then he, Axelrod, Messina, Jarrett all of them are equally to blame for being passive and docile.

  • comment on a post The Closing of the Conservative Mind over 4 years ago

    The well know sexual predator and falafel man gave a backhanded apology to Ms. Sherrod and then went on to convict her as a liberal activist, spent time with Dick Morris describing her as a racist, promising to dig up more quote from her past etc etc. And to think the administration cowered to these bastards.

  • comment on a post The Closing of the Conservative Mind over 4 years ago

    Our press corp are just pathetic. Even today people cannot get the facts straight about Shirley Sherrod. Twenty-four years ago she did not work for the USDA or the State, she worked for an organization that's stated mission was to help blacks, so that she even entertained a white farmer to begin with shows her magnanimity. But moving on beyond the smears and lies and propaganda, what still worries me is the way the administration reacted.

    The role of the WH in this fiasco is murky and what sounds amazing is that Jim Messina congratulated the WH communications department for the way they handled the situation once Breitbart released the video, that is get ahead of the message and fire this woman without an investigation. If this is good communication, then the WH communication dept is being run by incompetent twits who make the Keystone cops look like the paradigm of efficiency. Incompetence, cowardice, capitulation, it's frankly appalling.

  • comment on a post [updated x3 ] White House caves to Breitbart over 4 years ago

    Greg Sargent initially had urged caution about judging the role of the WH in the entire fiasco. Since then WH tried to do what it always does, have it's cake and eat it too

    From Plumline

    People should also demand that the White House weigh in publicly on what happened here. The White House has only discussed this via anonymous leaks, and this morning, officials are conveniently leaking word that the White House prodded Vilsack to reconsider Sherrod's firing. That's nice, but was the White House told in advance that the firing was about to happen, and if so, why did it allow the firing to proceed?

    This effort to "distance" the White House from this mess is unsightly at best. This was a major, high-profile screw-up by a cabinet secretary, and as Ben Smith notes this morning, it highlights this White House's tendency to sidestep racial controversies and cede turf to the right's efforts to stoke racial resentment.

    Today Tom Vilsack rather pompously stated that he is willing to reconsider her firing (reconsider and not unconditionally reinstate). Shirley Sherrod is not much interested:

    Today Show

    "I am just not sure how I would be treated there," she said, adding that she couldn't get coworkers to listen to her side of the story about a speech she made in March, edited clips of which were recently shown on a conservative website.

    And now she is firing back at Breitbart and Fox News.

    She said Fox showed no professionalism in continuing to bother her for an interview, but failing to correct their coverage.

    "I think they should but they won't. They intended exactly what they did. They were looking for the result they got yesterday," she said of Fox. "I am just a pawn. I was just here. They are after a bigger thing, they would love to take us back to where we were many years ago. Back to where black people were looking down, not looking white folks in the face, not being able to compete for a job out there and not be a whole person."

    Greg Sargent makes a cynical observation:

    Of course, if the White House's goal is to avoid racial controversies, this blast from Sherrod isn't going to make it any easier for them to take a stand and resolve this.

    I concur with Greg, this allows them to walk away citing her present hostile feelings for her job and for the right-wing media that they are cow-towing to.

     

  • Seemingly the WH now wants USDA to reconsider. There are some things about this entire episode that I find extremely troubling:

    1. Why does the government cater to internet smears? Do they realize that if the same standards were applied to them, none of them would have a job.

    2. There are some folks who wants to give the President a pass because he wants to stay above race, but in this case, the President is the employer. How can an employer fire someone purely based on speculation and rumors without an investigation? If she was wrongfully fired, then she has the right to sue the employer for wrongful termination, especially on the trumped up charge of racism.

    3. Some even said that the USDA was justified because even the NAACP came to similar conclusion. I did not know that the NAACP was her employer, or that the NAACP was part of the government. The adminsitration fired her because they are cowardly and they would rather mollify the right wing smear machine than fight them.

    4. Finally, I always hear unnamed WH sources (a perfect example of how craven they are) complaining about how progressives are not fighting for them. Why would any progressive fight for an administration that NEVER fights for progressives, except offer pablums and half-measures, and are willing to throw anyone under the bus to maintain its image?

  • I did not know that. She definitely seems to have a very interesting life. I found out that her father was killed by a white farmer who was not indicted by a jury then. She basically promised her father that she would never leave the South and do whatever she can to alleviate the lives of Southern blacks.

    Now having lived in the South for many years and having married into a very Southern family, let me assure you that there was nothing unusual in the initial encounter she had with farmer Spooner. There is a deep distrust and racial animus in people from that generation. The learning point was that both of them were able to overcome that distrust and work together and become friends. Her speech is the kind of speech about race that we should listen to, the kind of dialogue that we should have. To say that we are in a post-racial world, or that we have moved beyond race is ludicrous. But to cower to people who want to open that scab of racial animus for political gains like Breitbart and the Fox network does, is simply cowardice.

  • comment on a post [updated x3 ] White House caves to Breitbart over 4 years ago

    A White House official told me just now that the White House backs Vilsack's decision -- but that it was Vilsack's alone. The official said the White House -- contrary to the Sherrod's charge -- did not pressure the Department to fire her.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0710/Official_No_White_House_pressure_on_Sherrod.html?showall

  • comment on a post [updated x3 ] White House caves to Breitbart over 4 years ago

    http://cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2010/07/20/spooners.usda.int.cnn

  • comment on a post [updated x3 ] White House caves to Breitbart over 4 years ago

    Having reviewed the full tape, spoken to Ms. Sherrod, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans.

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/07/naacp_backs_off_we_were_snookered.php?ref=fpblg

  • comment on a post [updated x3 ] White House caves to Breitbart over 4 years ago
    "There's enough there that makes you say 'hmm,' but it's the only tape that I have seen on her. The only one." He added that the NAACP made a statement saying that they plan to talk to Sherrod and and watch the video before making a further statement. "When was the last time the NAACP didn't give someone the benefit of the doubt right away who was African-American?"

    "Now if she is relating a story from1986 to make a point about how her racial perceptions have changed, this woman deserves her job back. Again, me at AA. Something is definitely wrong here," Beck said.

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/07/glenn_beck_defends_shirley_sherrod_its_possible_th.php

  • Breitbart is a race-baiter. He will always publish heavily edited videos to push his agenda. In this internet age, any idiot with a computer can do that. What baffles me is that the administration fired her based on these baseless smears without any investigation!! It is as if they learned nothing from the ACORN saga and somehow are under the illusion that if they pander to these racist nutjobs the problem will go away and they can maintain their post-racial, post-partisan blah blah blah image.

  • comment on a post [updated x3 ] White House caves to Breitbart over 4 years ago

    This is shameful!! If this administration has any sense of propriety and fairness they would reinstate Shirley Sherrod immediately.

  • comment on a post Timmah Geithner vs Elizabeth Warren over 4 years ago

    Nothing surprises me now. Washington is a shell-game where no honest people are allowed. But just to add to your merry mood, here are a few things to mull over:

    First Obama appoints Ken Salazar, who is known for his cozy relationship to the oil industry, to the Interior Department.

    Then Ken Salazar appoints an ex-BP executive to the MMS division.

    First Obama relies on Max Baucus, darling of the insurance industry, to write the Health Care bill. He promptly relegates those duties to his staffer and former Wellpoint vice-president for public policy and outreach (read: lobbying) Liz Fowler.

    Now Obama administration has hired Liz Fowler, former VP of Wellpoint, to the HHS to implement the insurance industry friendly policy that she wrote.

    And if that's not enough, Dan Froomkin reports, that the administration at the behest of Rahm Emmanuel and Valerie Jarrett are mulling ways to relax regulations against businesses.

    So if there is a fight between Tim Geithner and Elizabeth Warren, well I am not a betting man but I know where to place a safe bet, because the jury is rigged.

  • on a comment on Big F'n Disaster over 4 years ago

    If you really believe that then I have a bridge in Alaska......never mind

  • on a comment on Big F'n Disaster over 4 years ago

    If you have to talk about poll driven policy at least have the honesty to cite Krugman this week, where he bemoans this administration's embracement of far-right economic policy based on polls.

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