Sparky: If any of you aren't convinced the GOP swells with the haters or warmongers - Post a comment please ...
apologize to Michael J. Fox
after he told Katie Couric
that he was on his medication while filming an ad promoting embryonic stem cell research? Watching Fox's condition up close and personal is so sad to see and for Rush to mock him for a political agenda is tragic. Limbaugh will never apologize or honestly regret what he's done because it's part of a long term strategy to once again attack the messenger. Unfortunately for the country– conservatives can say anything they want and never pay a price for their outlandish remarks so Limbaugh will escape unscathed. Video
By now everyone has heard Limbaugh's little commentary about Michael J. Fox's appearance in the ad for Claire McCaskill. Well tonight Keith Olbermann supplied us with the visual to accompany Rush's latest show of idiocy.
After showing the clip of Limbaugh's sad reenactment of Fox's appearance, Keith was joined by Sam Seder to discuss it, along with other ways the Republicans turn to attacks instead of addressing the issues. Seder nails the main talking point surrounding this whole discussion - How the right attacks those who are actually affected by these issues and posses the bravery to bring them into the political arena. Just ask the Congressional pages about that one.
CBS: His body visibly wracked by tremors, Fox appears in a political ad touting Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill's stance in favor of embryonic stem cell research. That prompted Limbaugh to speculate that Fox was "either off his medication or acting."
Fox told Couric, "At this point now, if I didn't take medication I wouldn't be able to speak."
He said he appeared in the ad only to advance his cause, and that "disease is a non-partisan problem that requires a bipartisan solution."
"I don't really care about politics," Fox added. "We want to appeal to voters to elect the people that are going to give us a margin, so we can't be vetoed again."
The irony is that I was too medicated. I was dyskinesic," Fox told Couric. "Because the thing about … being symptomatic is that it's not comfortable. No one wants to be symptomatic; it's like being hit with a hammer."
Jame Hamsher sums it up nicely:
Rush has done his job well. The goalposts are suddenly moved, this is considered a legitimate line of inquiry, it is reasonable to ask if someone suffering from Parkinson's disease is either a fake or a dupe for backing those who want to pursue a cure and a few more votes might be squeezed out of Missouri.
It's quite remarkable to see the incredulity with which the traditional media are greeting Rush Limbaugh's comments about Michael J. Fox, as if nothing like this has ever happened before. They seem completely unable to come to grips either with what is happening, or why it's happening, or the role they are expected to play in this sordid, repetitious little drama…read on
The right constantly attacks science now in the same fashion that they've assaulted the press for so many years and if our media doesn't step up soon—then the same fate awaits them and they'll end up genuflecting to conservatives too.
Michael J. Fox and his wife Tracy Pollan, 1989
Michael J. Fox (born June 9, 1961) is a Canadian-born American, with dual citizenship. . An Emmy award-winning actor, he is famous for his roles as Marty McFly (Back to the Future trilogy), Alex P. Keaton (Family Ties), and Mike Flaherty (Spin City). He suffers from Parkinson's disease (PD) and is an advocate for stem cell research.
Michael J. Fox was born Michael Andrew Fox in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to Sgt. William Fox and Phyllis Fox.
Since his father was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, Michael and his family lived in various cities and towns across Canada, including North Bay, Ontario. The family finally settled in the Vancouver, British Columbia suburb of Burnaby when William retired in 1971.
Fox moved to Los Angeles, at the age of 18 to pursue an acting career. He made his American television debut in the television movie Letters from Frank. He was credited under the name of "Michael Fox", which he intended to keep using. However, when he registered with the Screen Actors Guild, which does not allow duplicate registration names due to crediting procedure, he discovered that Michael Fox (1921-1996), a veteran character actor, was already registered under the name. In trying to decide how to differentiate his name, the younger Fox decided to add a middle initial. However, he forewent the seemingly obvious choice of his birth-name, Michael A. Fox, and registered as Michael J. Fox instead. Fox has given several reasons for the choice, with varying degrees of seriousness, over the years. He has stated that the "J" was an homage to character actor Michael J. Pollard, while joking at other times that it stands for 'Jenius' or 'Jenuine'. He has also claimed that he didn't want his name to become a cheesy catch-phrase, as in the possibility of magazines like Tiger Beat using the headline "Michael, a Fox!"
Stardom in his chosen career did not come easily for Fox. Although he landed a series of parts in rapid succession after Letters from Frank (in the films Midnight Madness and Class of 1984, as well as guest roles on Lou Grant, and Trapper John M.D.), he then hit a dry spell. At one point, the young actor was actually forced by necessity to sell off pieces of his sectional couch, which went to actor Lance Guest. Fox has called this period his "macaroni days," jokingly referring to the fact that he ate so many cheap macaroni and cheese dinners.
He then auditioned for the role of Alex P. Keaton, the arrogant, wise-cracking Republican teenager on the television series Family Ties. The first audition did not go very well, as creator Gary David Goldberg did not think he was right for the part. But casting director Judith Weiner convinced Goldberg to give Fox another shot. Goldberg was convinced on the next audition, but now there was opposition from NBC executive Brandon Tartikoff. Goldberg was now fighting for Fox, and Tartikoff eventually relented, famously commenting, "Go ahead if you insist. But I'm telling you, this is not the kind of face you'll ever see on a lunch box". A few years later, after Back to the Future opened to big success, Tartikoff received a lunch box in the mail that had Fox's picture on it. There was a note inside that read, "To Brandon: This is for you to put your crow in. Love and Kisses, Michael J. Fox." Tartikoff kept the lunch box in his office for the rest of his career.
Family Ties struggled out of the gate, barely getting renewed in its first season. But in 1984, it was paired up with The Cosby Show on Thursday nights, and the two shows ranked in the top two for the Nielsen ratings until 1987, when Family Ties was moved to Sunday nights. Fox won three Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe for his portrayal of Alex P. Keaton. A famous episode in 1987, called "A-A--My Name is Alex" was directed like a theatrical play, with Alex seeing a psychiatrist to cope with the death of his best friend. This episode was picked as the 68th best in television history in a 1997 issue of TV Guide. In a 1999 issue, Alex Keaton was ranked #27 on their list of the 50 Greatest TV Characters Ever. Fox also met his future wife Tracy Pollan, when she portrayed Alex's girlfriend Ellen Reed in the 1985–1986 season. He would later re-meet her on the set of his 1988 movie, Bright Lights, Big City.
Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox)
from the movie Back to the Future.
Notable roles since then include the Back to the Future
movies, Mars Attacks!
, Teen Wolf
, For Love or Money
, and The Secret of My Success
. He is the voice
of Stuart Little
in the movies based on the popular book by E. B. White
, Chance in the Homeward Bound
series, and Milo Thatch in Atlantis: The Lost Empire
. He also guest starred in the comedy Scrubs
as a doctor suffering from an obsessive-compulsive disorder
In 2003, he wrote a pilot episode for a sitcom entitled Hench at Home, but it was not picked up.
In 2006, he guest starred in four episodes of Boston Legal as a lung cancer patient who used his influence in an experimental drug test to ensure he received the real drug instead of a placebo. The show plans on bringing him back in a recurring role for season 3 this fall, beginning with the season premiere September 24. He has been nominated for an Emmy Award for best guest appearance in this role.
Private life, illness and advocacy
Fox married actress Tracy Pollan on July 16, 1988. The couple have four children: Sam Michael (born May 30, 1989), twins Aquinnah Kathleen and Schuyler Frances (born February 15, 1995), and Esmé Annabelle (born November 3, 2001).
In 1991 he was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's disease, but didn't go public until 1998. Since then he has been a strong advocate of Parkinson's disease research, especially stem cell research, which he believes may one day help sufferers of Parkinson's and other debilitating illnesses. His foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, was created to help advance this research.
In 2000, he announced that he would be retiring from the lead role of Spin City due to his illness. (A new lead character was created for Fox's replacement, played by Charlie Sheen.)
In 2005, he opened the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, United States as a tribute to boxer Muhammad Ali, fellow Parkinson's sufferer.
Stem Cell Research Advocacy and Campaign Commercials
Fox appeared in a television commercial for Republican Arlen Specter's 2004 Senate campaign. In the commercial, sponsored by Arlen's relection campaign, Fox says Arlen "gets it" and Arlen's voice is heard saying "there is hope."
On July 18, 2006, Fox appeared in a taped interview on ABC's Good Morning America, defending a Senate bill that would have expanded federal funding for stem cell research.
In late October 2006, he appeared in a television campaign commercial for Claire McCaskill, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri. Her opponent, incumbent Republican Senator Jim Talent, is against embryonic stem cell research. Fox states in the ad that Talent wants to criminalize stem cell research. Talent has just recently changed his stance on the criminalization of stem cell research.  Fox has been filmed in similar ads in Wisconsin, supporting Jim Doyle and in Maryland, endorsing Ben Cardin. Fox has also appeared at events for Robert Menendez and Tammy Duckworth. Furthermore, Fox has supported candidates of both political parties, including Republicans. In 2004, Fox taped campaign endorsement ads supporting Republican U.S. Senator Arlen Spector of Pennsylvania, who is a strong supporter of embryonic stem cell research.
Comments on Fox's political ads
Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio talk show host, commented on the TV commercial, saying that Fox was "really shameless" (CNN ) and that he was "either off his medication or acting."  Limbaugh was speculating that Fox may have intentionally not taken his medication. Fox has admitted in his memoir, Lucky Man, that he did not take his medication prior to his testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee in 1998. "I had made a deliberate choice to appear before the subcommittee without medication. It seemed to me that this occasion demanded that my testimony about the effects of the disease, and the urgency we as a community were feeling, be seen as well as heard. For people who had never observed me in this kind of shape, the transformation must have been startling." 
According to the Washington Post, Limbaugh also has told his listeners that Fox was "exaggerating the effects of the disease... He's moving all around and shaking, and it's purely an act." 
Elaine Richman, a neuroscientist, has stated her opinion, "Anyone who knows the disease well would regard his movement as classic severe Parkinson's disease. Any other interpretation is misinformed." 
Limbaugh followed up on October 25, 2006 saying "When you wade into political life you have every right to say what you want, but you cannot in turn argue that no one has the right to take you on."
Contrary to reports Limbaugh has not apologized for attacking Fox. 
Parkinson's disease symptoms and treatment
Parkinson's disease is a chronic disorder. At present, there is no cure, but medications can provide relief from the symptoms. In a National Public Radio Fresh Air interview (April 2002), Fox states that he manages his symptoms using Sinemet, a commercial form of Levodopa (L-dopa). L-dopa treatment decreases in effectiveness as it is used over a long period of time, so Fox like many PD sufferers, extends the life of its effectiveness by using it as little as possible. When on the medication, the symptoms shown (dyskinesia) are different than that of PD. On Fresh Air, Michael J. Fox explains how his medication management affects his public appearences:
Terry Gross (host): The intensity of Fox's symptoms varies. . .I asked him what he does when he gets symptomatic during an interview.
FOX: Well, actually, I've been erring on the side of caution--I think 'erring' is actually the right word--in that I've been medicating perhaps too much, in the sense that a lot of times the symptoms that people see in some of these interviews that have been on are actually dyskinesia, which is a reaction to the medication. Because if I were purely symptomatic with Parkinson's symptoms, a lot of times speaking is difficult. There's a kind of a cluttering of speech and it's very difficult to sit still, to sit in one place. You know, the symptoms are different, so I'd rather kind of suffer the symptoms of dyskinesia. . .this kind of weaving and this kind of continuous thing is much preferable, actually, than pure Parkinson's symptoms. So that's what I generally do. . . . . .So I haven't had any, you know, problems with pure Parkinson's symptoms in any of these interviews, because I'll tend to just make sure that I have enough Sinemet in my system and, in some cases, too much. But to me, it's preferable. It's not representative of what I'm like in my everyday life. I get a lot of people with Parkinson's coming up to me saying, 'You take too much medication.' I say, 'Well, you sit across from Larry King and see if you want to tempt it.'
GROSS: So I know you have comparatively good and comparatively bad days. Is today a good day or a bad day?
FOX: I have good and bad days 10 times a day. . .So, you know, right now this is a good moment in a fairly good day. I feel pretty good today. And this is pretty mellow and comfortable, so I'm pretty good. And I'm flopping around a little bit like a fish in a boat today, but there's nobody here to see me. I'm just in a little sound studio, so it's great.
GROSS: That's the nice thing about radio.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Team Fox
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research was established in 2000 by Fox to fund the development of a cure for Parkinson's disease by 2010 through an aggressively funded research agenda.
Team Fox for Parkinson's Research is the grassroots community project of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Team Fox allows people to turn their next special event, with an emphasis on athletic events, into an opportunity to support The Michael J. Fox Foundation
The cover of Michael J. Fox's first book, Lucky Man
- Saving Milly: Love, Politics, and Parkinson's Disease (2001) (foreword only, book by Morton Kondracke)
- Lucky Man: A Memoir (2002) (autobiography)
- Always Looking Up (2008)
“If you are fed up with this garbage, go to actblue and do something about it.
The sick thing about George W. Bush is that unlike like any President who has ever come before him he has injected vomit, hate, and slander into the heart of our democracy and has put under attack the very character of the American People.
What George W. Bush has done, is nothing less than a direct attack on the very notion that America is a melting pot, he strikes at the core of who we are as a country, and he demeans the soul of what we stand for as a people.
Now the Republican National Committee he runs has used the money he raised to buy ads that are openly racist and bigoted in the state of Tennessee.
George W. Bush wants more hate in the state of Tennessee and he wants people to vote on their hate. ...”
Campaign Tactics Veer Toward Smear
On the brink of what could be a power-shifting election, desperate candidates have resorted to alleging moral bankruptcy and sexual perversion.
Well, that's what the Republican challenger for his Wisconsin congressional seat, Paul R. Nelson, claims in new ads, the ones with "XXX" stamped across Kind's face.
It turns out that Kind -- along with more than 200 of his fellow hedonists in the House -- opposed an unsuccessful effort to stop the National Institutes of Health from pursuing peer-reviewed sex studies. According to Nelson's ads, the Democrat also wants to "let illegal aliens burn the American flag" and "allow convicted child molesters to enter this country." ...”
“The divisive debate over gay marriage, which played a prominent role in 2004 campaigns but this year largely faded from view, erupted anew on Thursday as President Bush and Republicans across the country tried to use a court ruling in New Jersey to rally dispirited conservatives to the polls.
Wednesday’s ruling, in which the New Jersey Supreme Court decided that gay couples are entitled to the same legal rights and financial benefits as heterosexual couples, had immediate ripple effects, especially in Senate races in some of the eight states where voters are considering constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage.
President Bush put a spotlight on the issue while campaigning in Iowa, which does not have a proposal on the ballot. With the Republican House candidate, Jeff Lamberti, by his side, Mr. Bush — who has not been talking about gay marriage in recent weeks — took pains to insert a reference into his stump speech warning that Democrats would raise taxes and make America less safe. ...”
Since Cheney confirms use of waterboarding
- this should frighten us all.
LONDON — British journalist Stephen Grey
— author of Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program
, launched Thursday — revealed Thursday that an informal probe into Japan's involvement in the covert flights was likely. Grey said that while the most direct air route from Washington to the Middle East is via Europe, the Far East has not escaped being caught up in the controversial rendition program.
"There are flights that we know about going through Japan from the U.S.," the author said. He has compiled his information against the U.S. government by comparing prisoners' accounts with CIA flight log books. "There have been secret detention facilities used in Thailand and the renditions to those places would make use of airports such as Japan's," Grey said.
In a radio interview Tuesday, US Vice President Dick Cheney confirmed that US interrogators have used a controversial technique know as waterboarding to interrogate senior Al Qaeda suspects. McClatchy's Washington bureau reports that Mr. Cheney said the White House does not see the practice as torture, and allows the CIA to use it. Cheney said use of waterboarding was a "no-brainer for him."
In the interview on Tuesday, Scott Hennen of WDAY Radio in Fargo, N.D., told Cheney that listeners had asked him to "let the vice president know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives."
"Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?" Hennen said.
"I do agree," Cheney replied, according to a transcript of the interview released Wednesday. "And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high-value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation."
Cheney added that Mohammed had provided "enormously valuable information about how many (al-Qaeda members) there are, about how they plan, what their training processes are and so forth. We've learned a lot. We need to be able to continue that."
"Would you agree that a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?" asked Hennen.
"It's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the vice president 'for torture.' We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in," Cheney replied. "We live up to our obligations in international treaties that we're party to and so forth. But the fact is, you can have a fairly robust interrogation program without torture, and we need to be able to do that."
McClatchy also reports, however, that the US Army, senior Republican lawmakers, human rights experts, and many experts on the laws of war consider the technique to be "cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment that's banned by US law and by international treaties that prohibit torture." Some intelligence experts also say that it is an ineffective technique that often produces false information because people subjected to waterboarding will tell their interrogators anything to stop it.
Waterboarding involves holding "a person's head under water or pouring water on cloth or cellophane placed over the nose and mouth to simulate drowning until the subject agrees to talk or confess. ABCNews reported last year that it began as a practice in the 1500s during the Italian Inquisition. Soldiers who had used it during US conflicts in the 20th century have been court-martialed. It was declared illegal by US generals during the Vietnam War.
A spokeswoman for Cheney denied that he confirmed, or endorsed, the use of the tactic by US interrogators.
"What the vice president was referring to was an interrogation program without torture," she said. "The vice president never goes into what may or may not be techniques or methods of questioning."
The White House also posted the transcript of the interview on its website. The interview transcript, however, includes the section where the Vice President endorses the use of waterboarding as an interrogation technique.
Last year, in an interview with the BBC, Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005, said that in an internal Bush administration debate about the use of the Geneva Conventions in the treatment of detainees, Cheney led the argument to "do away with all restrictions."
In an opinion piece for Hearst newspapers last week, Helen Thomas wrote that the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which sets up a system for trying detainees in military tribunals, also gives the President the right to decide what constitutes torture. White House spokesman Tony Snow later declined to say if waterboarding would be permissible under the new law. Three senior GOP senators who led the fight to enact the law believe that it does outlaw the technique, despite what the administration may feel.
In a piece for the Washington Post, Stephen Richard, director of the Washington office of the Open Society Institute, writes that both those in the administration who argue that the new Military Commissions law gives them "clear authorization" for "enhanced techniques" and those critics who say it "legalizes torture" are both wrong. Richard writes that if CIA interrogators, who stopped using waterboarding and other controversial techniques last year after Congress passed the McCain amendment banning cruel treatment, allow the administration to convince them the new law gives them "carte blanche" to use whatever technique they want, "they will be at greater risk than they were last fall." He points out that in the past, the US has prosecuted every one of these techniques as a war crime.
ABCNews reported last year that CIA agents who subjected themselves to waterboarding lasted an average of 14 seconds before they "give in." Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the so-called mastermind of 9/11, is rumored to have won the "admiration" of his interrogators when he lasted almost two-and-a-half minutes before "begging to confess."
What has happened to America when the brutish and stupid are in power? - Sparky