The Sunday Liberal Reader

Welcome to The Sunday Liberal Reader.

Many of you out there have often wondered just what goes on in the twisted mind of a Liberal blogger. We're often accused of spouting Liberal “talking points” which is funny because I've always thought that was much more of a Republican Party thing (see Frank Luntz). Liberals tend to be more "free range."

I wasn't always this way. For much of my adult life I blindly followed the conventional wisdom of my peers. I voted for Reagan twice and was an early listener of both Rush Limbaugh and Neil Boortz. This began to change for me during the Bush years as I realized that Republicans had become expert at using religion and patriotism to fool middle class voters into supporting policies that were not in their best interest; tax cuts for millionaires, the deregulation of financial markets, phony wars, etc. So I turned off FOX News and talk radio and reverted to the rebelliousness of my youth.

Today I follow a wide range of pundits, environmentalist, humorists, politicians and journalists on Twitter and other social media that often expose me to news and opinion that I might otherwise miss. I've always been somewhat of a news junkie so I typically read dozens of articles each week from all corners of the internet.

With that in mind I've been meaning to put together a semi-regular column to share some of the best finds from my ramblings, so this week I'm introducing The Sunday Liberal Reader. Hope you enjoy:


Always remember: stay informed, read liberally. As a friend of mine likes to say, "educate yourself and vote!"  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Brian Crawford July 16, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Thanks Michael. I always enjoy Brooks' column although I thought his defense of the meritocracy was a bit tone deaf: " I’d say today’s meritocratic elites achieve and preserve their status not mainly by being corrupt but mainly by being ambitious and disciplined. They raise their kids in organized families. They spend enormous amounts of money and time on enrichment. They work much longer hours than people down the income scale, driving their kids to piano lessons and then taking part in conference calls from the waiting room." There are plenty of working poor who work two jobs and still manage to drive their kids to piano lessons. This notion that effort is the only thing that separates the haves and have-nots is the very idea that Republicans use to wage war on the poor. I think Brooks should give Hayes book, “Twilight of the Elites,” a more thorough read. If you haven't caught Hayes show "Up" weekend mornings on MSNBC you should. It's the smartest thing on TV (at least in it's genre). Hayes is a master at facilitating political conversation. Polite yet resolute. His producers usually manage to put together an engaging panel and It has the feel of a conversation you might have at a dinner party among friends. Sunday's show is a great introduction, the panel was joined by Ed Conrad, a managing partner at Bain Capital, discussing the same topic of the Brooks piece. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46979738/ns/msnbc_tv-up_with_chris_hayes/
Bob Martell July 16, 2012 at 07:32 PM
I read the first link, to the article by Gen. Blunt in The Hill...curiously, a nearly verbatim quote about regulations on iPods and fruit appears in an article in Newsday, written in part by a retired Admiral. (http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/opinion-world-needs-an-arms-treaty-1.3834297) Even more curiously, they were both published on the same day. What was that you said about 'talking points' in your first paragraph? As an aside, if this treaty was already in effect, how would that have affected the Fast and Furious scandal?
Brian Crawford July 16, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Thanks for the Newsday link Bob. It seems there are indeed other credible advocates for this cause and yes it appears that iPods and fruit are a shared talking point. However, this is hardly a liberal cause per se and the advocates in question could certainly not be identified as liberals. As for F&F being a "scandal", haven't you heard? It turns out that was all a figment of Darrell Issa's imagination.
Tom H. July 16, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Brian - MSNBC is the most bias unprofessional news network in the history of news broadcasting which explains why Microsoft announced today they are divorcing MSNBC. http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-bozell/2012/07/16/bozell-statement-nbc-news-recognizes-msnbc-brand-malignant-tumor
Bob Martell July 16, 2012 at 09:34 PM
I must have missed that story Brian...I am sure that Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's family will be glad to hear he really isnt dead, Darrell Issa dreamt the whole thing....
Brian Crawford July 16, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Do you not see the irony between your opinion of MSNBC and posting a NewsBuster headline proclaiming "NBC News Recognizes the MSNBC Brand Is a Malignant Tumor?" So what did you think of Chris Hayes show?
Brian Crawford July 16, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Terry is dead because the agency he worked for was thwarted on every front by incredibly lax gun regulations that prevented the weapon that possibly killed him from being taken off the street, That's why you haven't heard much about this lately. The NRA seems to have lost interest in publicizing that fact.
Robert J. Nebel July 16, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Add this one: Woman panhandles for breast implants (from an NBC affiliate): http://cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2012/07/16/vonat-oh-breast-implant-panhandler.wkyc.html
Mike Hipp July 16, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Shout out from a Gwinnett progressively liberal, gay, left handed, vegan, medicare for all loving, business owner!
Brian Crawford July 16, 2012 at 11:05 PM
I have no idea what breasts have to do with the discussion but I'm certainly not opposed to them.
Brian Crawford July 16, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Thanks Mike. I'm glad to know there are still some left-handed folks in Gwinnett!
The Scarlet Pimpernel July 17, 2012 at 03:06 AM
I'll have another glass of your Kool-aid, it is soooo refreshing, and they say you become more conservative as you age, well, I find it the opposite.
Brian Crawford July 17, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Glad you enjoyed it, it's White Russian flavored.
Tom H. July 17, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Go ahead and walk off that cliff with Obama. If you think he's done such a great job with the economy then by all means vote for him. You are the one drinking the Kool-Aid as the man has done absolutely nothing but made a bad situation much worse.
Mike Hipp July 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM
It's not Mr. Obama that has made a bad situation much worse. It's the lock step obstructionism of the GOP that has prevented even the most (formerly) bi-partisan of bills from passing. Obstructionism has long been the name of the game in Washington you say? This is true. The way our government is set up, obstructionism is one of the only ways that the minority party can keep the majority party from doing everything that they want. This new era of politics as moral absolutes has raised the stakes to such a degree, though, that our government has ceased to function. How can anybody that has the best interests of the country in mind stand behind a party that put their leader from the Senate (McConnell R-KY) in front of cameras shortly after Obama was elected to say "Republicans single most important goal is to make Obama a one-term president".? Making Obama a one-term president (for republicans is more important than this country defaulting on it's debt obligations, it's more important than funding national infrastructure and it's more important than making sure that 30 million Americans can get health insurance. This tendency to demonize the opposition, the tendency to cast political disagreements in moral terms has ruined our political system - a system that used to be about compromise is now completely ineffective. Shame on all of us. On the democrats and the republicans for playing this zero sum game.
Bob Martell July 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM
I cant say I’ve ever relied on the NRA as a news source, but since you seem to think so highly of them I’ll check them out…meanwhile, I couldn’t help but notice that the article you linked in The Hill states “the United States is already widely acknowledged as the gold standard in arms trade regulations”, and “has some of the strictest regulations” yet you claim that our lax regulations are responsible for Agent Terry’s death…So which is it?
Brian Crawford July 17, 2012 at 01:11 PM
I think you've hit the nail on the head Mike. The only thing I would add is that while both parties share blame for the mess we're in, there is no equivalency there. You can't say "well one is as bad as the other so to hell with them both." This current generation of Republicans has gone far beyond the pale. Their relentless use of the filibuster to achieve their ideological goals is unprecedented and a cancer on our system of government.
Brian Crawford July 17, 2012 at 01:20 PM
It's actually both Bob. While we set the standard for international arms trade, our domestic firearms regulations are some of the laxest in the world. And in no way did I encourage you to view the NRA as a news source. They are what they are; a shill for the firearms industry.
Mike Hipp July 17, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Absolutely Brian; total agreement. This nasty new vein of moral politics has come along just since President Obama took office. The filibuster problem is a thorny issue. But remember, the filibuster is one of the only things that can stop a bill if you don't have 51 votes .... and stopping a bill is going to be in the interest of the dems one of these days and we'll be glad that we have it. That being said, the steep escalation of the use of the filibuster is a blight on our political system - but more a symptom than a cause.
RL July 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Sounds like you two should get together for brunch soon.
Tom H. July 18, 2012 at 12:14 AM
I remember Democrats literally demonizing Bush for the damned weather during Hurricane Katrina, and calling him a racist who hated black people even though the Democrats at every level from the state Governor down to Mayor Ray Nagin – who let 2,000 school busses that could have saved lives get flooded - were far more to blame for the disaster than Bush was. I remember George Bush trying to get a debt ceiling increase and a Democrat Senator named Barack Hussein Obama decried it a “failure of leadership” while Senate Majority Leader Reid demanded that Republicans explain “why they think more debt is good for the economy.” I remember the Democrats when they forced Reagan to come hat-in-hand begging for a debt ceiling every five months, and laughed hysterically that Barack Obama had the balls to demand he get the most massive debt ceiling increases in history that would last past the 2012 election as if that was “reasonable.” I remember Democrats and Barack Obama demonizing George Bush over Iraq and Afghanistan. I remember Obama demonizing the surge strategy and predicting it would lead to more sectarian violence. You know, before the same Obama’s administration actually took credit for Iraq as “one of the great achievements of this administration.” I also remember Obama demonizing Bush in Afghanistan where Obama claimed Bush was just “air-raiding villages and killing people.”
Tom H. July 18, 2012 at 12:16 AM
So this new nasty vein just started since Obama became King??? You see, you remember a time when Democrats rallied around Bush and worked to see him reelected. But I happen to live in this place called “the actual world” that you have never seen. I remember things quite differently. I remember eight years of the Bush Derangement Syndrome. I remember how Democrats began demanding that Bush be impeached almost as soon as he took office in 2001. I remember Democrats such as Howard Dean (who became the DNC CHAIRMAN) and Cynthia McKinney accusing President Bush of knowing about the 9/11 attacks in advance and not doing anything. And that insane group includes more than HALF of ALL Democrats, fwiw. I remember the mainstream media coverage and the Democrat Party constantly and rabidly hyping Cindy Sheehan who was demonizing George Bush as a murdering warmonger. I remember when George Bush was trying to reform Social Security in 2005 and the Democrats attacked him with stunning viciousness. I remember when a fellow Democrat asked Rep. Nancy Pelosi when their party would offer its own Social Security plan. And Pelois’s answer was “Never. Is that soon enough for you?”
Brian Crawford July 18, 2012 at 12:53 AM
I have no idea why anyone with your politics would want to re-litigate the Bush years. I don't remember anyone blaming Bush for the weather but I do recall him appointing a comically incompetent and unqualified crony to run FEMA which led to the feds bumbling of the disaster response. I also remember him attempting to whitewash that failure by patting the guy on the back and telling the world he was doing a "heckuva job." There are very few people from either side of the aisle that don't believe Bush's Presidency was an unmitigated disaster. This is well supported by the facts.
Tom H. July 18, 2012 at 02:20 AM
My comment was regarding Mike Hipp's comment above which was totally inaccurate. Also, I will take the Bush presidency ANY day over the damage Obama has done in 3.5 years and to characterize the Bush presidency as an unmitigated disaster is comical considering the disaster the current buffoon in chief has been.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew July 18, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Well maybe if the Senate leader would let a few bills up for a vote, BUT since he's a Democrat he can't be a source of delay could he? Or has he been acknowledged as one of the practitioners of obstructionism...
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew July 18, 2012 at 02:52 AM
So much so that many of his policies were CONTINUED under the current administration...
Mike Hipp July 18, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Tim - if you will take the time to read up a couple of comments from the one that you tried to tear down - I explicitly said: "shame on the republicans and te democrats for playing this zero sum game". Your zeal for the right and hatred for the left is showing through - Tim who isn't confident enough to give his full name.
Mike Hipp July 18, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Oh excuse me ... I misquoted myself. I actually said: "Shame on all of us. On the democrats and the republicans for playing this zero sum game."
North Georgia Weather July 18, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Still, the disability rolls have continued to swell and threaten the program's fiscal future. A new Congressional Budget Office underscored the troubled finances of the growing Social Security Disability Insurance program. The report showed $119 billion in benefits were paid last year to 8.3 million disabled workers. That represents almost 18 percent of all Social Security spending. According to Sessions' office, the program has been running a deficit since 2009. "Consequently, the trust fund is shrinking and will be depleted by 2016 -- just four years from now," his office said.
Tom H. July 18, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I guess you didn't want to mention the comment I was referring to that you made and that was totally inaccurate and typical of those of a liberal democrat that listens to MSNBC. You said: "Absolutely Brian; total agreement. This nasty new vein of moral politics has come along just since President Obama took office."


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