Opponents of marriage equality are crowing over a video in which a priest broke the police-maintained protest line to patronizingly pray with a Gay Liberation Network picket against Chick-fil-A in Chicago. The protesters responding by heckling Father Gerald O’Reilly, who was clearly there to instigate, with cries of “We don’t want tolerance, we want equality.” Peter LaBarbera of American For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), an anti-gay hate group, documented the protesters’ response as “the intolerant gay left,” but admitted later on Twitter that AFTAH “did not agree w/ priest walking into Gay Lib protest, + told him to get out. He acted on his own.” Watch the video that conservatives think makes LGBT protesters look like bullies:
Here is another example of conservatives trying to rile peaceful LGBT protesters with various provocations at the Chick-fil-A kiss-in in Sacramento:
The now-deceased gunman who killed two and injured three in a shootout with police near Texas A&M University on Monday possessed a stockpile of firearms and, according to his mother, was having mental “difficulties. ”
Reached for a phone interview by the Huffington Post, mother of gunman Thomas A. Caffall said, “The minute I saw the TV I knew it was him. …I’ve been that worried about him.” Caffall’s stepfather agreed in an interview with a local Texas station, where he called the man a “ticking time bomb.”
If Caffall’s Facebook page offers any evidence of the man’s thinking, it is in the photographs of an array of firearms. The gunman posted several pictures of guns in the weeks prior to the shooting. One set of images features a Czech VZ-58, a gun that resembles an AK-47. One shows a Russian Mosin Nagant with a bayonet attachment. And next to another image, which Caffall does not identify, the gunman writes “I won an auction. This will be coming to me soon. I can’t wait to try it out”:
Caffall’s Facebook also lists “inspirational people” including the gun designers Eugene Stoner, Mikhail Kalashnikov, John Garand, Samuel Colt and John Browning
Police have still not released any details on whether Caffall’s firearms were legally obtained, or whether he had any documented history of mental illness that would have disqualified him from being able to purchase such weapons. However, firearm laws in Texas are some of the most lax in the country.
Asked to explain his choice of Rep. Ryan, Gov. Romney said: "This guy's a real leader. [...] He's reached across the aisle. He's worked with Democrats, Republicans. Tried to take on the toughest issues America faces."TPM takes a close look at both the "leader" and the "across the aisle" parts of that statement. As a leader, Ryan comes up lacking when it comes to the real measure of a congressional leader: bills passed. He's only had two bills that he introduced pass and become law. One renamed a post office in his district. Tellingly, one of his most ambitious bills, to privatize Social Security, was a measure "so far-reaching that the Bush White House called it 'irresponsible.'"
For the bipartisan part, Ryan was a member of the can't-we-all-get-along crowd's wet dream Catfood Commission, and not only voted against the Bowles-Simpson recommendations, but attacked them. But the big "bipartisan" bugaboo that all Romney surrogates have been instructed to repeat ad nauseum is that he worked with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) on a blueprint for what might be done with Medicare. That's all they got. And Wyden is having none of it.
Gov. Romney is talking nonsense. Bipartisanship requires that you not make up the facts. I did not ?co-lead a piece of legislation.? I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget. Governor Romney needs to learn you don?t protect seniors by makings things up, and his comments today sure won?t help promote real bipartisanship.Of all the whoppers that pour out of Mitt Romney's mouth on a daily basis, there probably isn't a bigger one than claiming his new running mate is a bipartisan leader. Paul Ryan, the very powerful Budget Committee Chairman, has never even seen one of his budget's become law. A guy whose ideas are too extreme for Bush/Cheney is not a guy who is going to be able to play well with others.
As someone who has gone on record in support of driverless cars, I simply must raise my voice in objection to this ad targeting Florida state representative Jeff Brandes, who is running for state senate. An inconsequential local race, you say? Not when this kind of vicious anti-technological filth is sent out to paralyze our nation's seniors with fear of walking the streets! If you think American politics is no fun, just take a gander:
Clearly, this Brandes character is some kind of fifth column infiltrator preparing us for the coming robot apocalypse, when Roombas start mowing down helpless seniors in their homes and ATMs reach out and swallow you when all you wanted was to take out $20 and make it to the early bird on time. For all we know, Brandes might be a robot himself.
Actually, before long robots will actually be used to provide companionship and assistance to seniors. It's already happening in Japan. And also, help them pull off jewel heists:RobotRobotics
By @Ted Frier
It looks like Mitt Romney's new running mate, Congressman Paul D. Ryan, needs to say a few Hail Mary's and Our Father's if he expects to get back into the good graces of the Catholic Church to which he swears true faith and devotion.
Republicans are praising Romney for putting the Catholic Ryan on the ticket. But it turns out the Wisconsin Congressman's signature accomplishment -- the so-called "Ryan Budget" that would slash spending for the poor, end Medicare as we know it while giving huge tax cuts to the rich - is the secular equivalent of a mortal sin among much of the Catholic Church leadership.
"It's immoral!" 81-year-old Sister Diane Donohue told the Washington Post's Suzy Khimm in July as another nun elicited cheers from a crowd that had gathered on Capitol Hill when she denounced Ryan's proposed cuts to food stamps, child care, and other programs for the needy, the Post reports.
"That's not Christian," said Sister Simone Campbell, who leads a Catholic social justice lobby called NETWORK. According to Khimm, Campbell reminded supporters of the Bible's teachings on charity and compassion but leavened her appeals to justice with a bit of hardball politics as well: "Sisters don't just do it with grace. For heaven's sake, we need money!"
Comments like these were repeated in nine swing states during the two-week "Nuns on a Bus" tour organized to protest the Ryan budget and show how its cuts "undermined Catholic teachings to serve the poor and vulnerable," writes Khimm.
"Their rally outside the United Methodist Church's D.C. offices was peppered with prayers, gospel songs, and Bible verses (Isaiah 58:7: "Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless)," Khimm said.
In exchange, the sisters offered a 50-page counter-proposal of their own that would finance needed programs for the poor and vulnerable, as well as tackle the deficit, through "a tax system founded on fairness and shared commitment...among individuals and corporations to take care of our needs and priorities."
"In other words: higher taxes for the rich," writes Khimm.
While Catholic bishops and nuns have not seen eye-to-eye during the recent controversy over contraceptive coverage that has threatened to close many of the Catholic hospitals and schools the sisters operate, Khimm reports the two groups are united in their disgust over a Paul Ryan budget that the U.S. Conference of Bishops says "fails to meet" the moral principles of the Catholic Church.
Deal W. Hudson is president of the Pennsylvania Catholics' Network and past chairman of Catholic Outreach for the Republican National Committee. But as even he admits, while the choice of Paul Ryan may thrill Tea Party activists and other fiscal and social conservatives, Ryan's draconian budget cuts are seen as heartless and cruel by many Catholic officials. This creates a strategic opening for Catholic supporters of President Obama to make gains among this critical voting block, he says.
At their June meeting in Baltimore, for example, Hudson reports that the Catholic bishops voted 171-26 to begin drafting a message on the U.S. economy, entitled "Catholic Reflections on Work, Poverty, and a Broken Economy."
The document will not be released until after the election. But as Hudson points out: "The fact that this document is in the works, and that it was prompted specifically by the Ryan budget, is indicative of criticism that will undoubtedly be leveled at the GOP, its ticket, and Congressman Ryan himself."
Charges of "cutting programs," "hurting the poor," and "destroying the safety net" will undoubtedly "reinforce the stereotype" of the GOP as uncaring, heartless, and the "party of the rich," says Hudson
Further, when Ryan visited Georgetown University to give that school's Whittington Lecture, the Congressman found more than mints on his pillow waiting for him when he arrived.
"Dear Rep. Paul Ryan," the letter from the school's administration began. "Welcome to Georgetown University. We appreciate your willingness to talk about how Catholic social teaching can help inform effective policy in dealing with the urgent challenged facing our country."
"We would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few."
The letter quoted statements the Catholic bishops have made to Congress in the past, noting: "A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons."
The letter also noted that Ryan's "House-passed budget resolution fails to meet these moral criteria."
The letter also challenged Ryan's affinity for "your favorite philosopher," Ayn Rand, whose severely libertarian writings Ryan has subsequently repudiated - sort of.
Rand's "call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion," the Georgetown leadership writes, "are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love."
The letter accuses Ryan of "profoundly misreading Church teaching" if he really thinks Catholicism sanctions cuts to anti-hunger programs that would have "devastating consequences" on the one in six Americans who now live below the poverty line or the 46 million who rely on food stamps -- half of whom are children.
The school's leadership thoughtfully included reading materials with their greeting so as "to help deepen your understanding of Catholic social teaching."
The significant pushback Ryan is getting from Catholic nuns and bishops would not normally be a problem for a right wing ideologue like Ryan who could easily brush away the Church's criticisms by retreating back into the supply-side sanctuary of the Wall Street Journal, where Ryan could insist (falsely) that, whatever the Church leadership might say, tax cuts for the rich and program cuts for the poor really do create prosperity and jobs that benefit everybody.
But like lots of conservative ideologues chastened by the failure over the past 30 years of their idealized notions of free market capitalism to deliver on its promises of balanced budgets, good paying jobs and broad-based prosperity, Paul Ryan is foremost among those in Congress today who justify their survival-of-the-fittest fiscal measures on moral and philosophical grounds rather than economic ones.
As the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne put it earlier this week, Romney's selection of Paul Ryan signaled "the triumph of theory" over practicality and practice in the modern Republican Party. That's become clear as Ryan attempts to defend himself against charges of immorality against his budget choices by employing arguments that are standard issue laissez faire: Poor people are poor because they choose to be poor. Given the right incentives by "tough love" conservatives like Paul Ryan, the poor would get off their butts and stop being poor.
"Those principles are very, very important," said Ryan. "And the preferential option for the poor, which is one of the primary tenets of Catholic social teaching, means don't keep people poor, don't make people dependent on government so that they stay stuck at their station in life; help people get out of poverty, out into a life of independence."
As Hudson recounts, in a four page letter he sent back in April to the head of the U.S. bishops conference, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Ryan explained how his budget was guided by the principles of Catholic social teaching, arguing he was justified in taking account of the larger economic picture and that there was an "implicit" moral obligation in Catholic teaching to address "difficult basic problems before they explode into social crisis."
What Ryan is attempting is to give new meaning to "compassionate conservative." But the official Catholic Church isn't buying. And that presents a particular problem for the Catholic Paul Ryan whose entire worldview rests on the moral and abstract theoretical belief that severing the poor from government's helping hand is not heartless and cruel at all, but rather charitable, since it is a good thing to make the destitute less "dependent" on government by setting them "free" to be more self-reliant.
The bishop's opposition to the Ryan budget, together with the scolding he's getting from the circuit-riding "Nuns on a Bus," makes Ryan's moral standing far more problematic.
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The Committee to End MedicareIf you want proof that the Romney campaign still hasn't figured out how to handle the Romney-Ryan Medicare plan, just check out what they've been saying over the past 72 hours:
If you know what they're going to say next, you've got a better imagination than me.
The emerging recession continues in the Eurozone, as GDP contracted by 0.2%. The loss was slightly smaller than expected, but that's something of a double-edged sword. The economy grew in Germany but dropped in more struggling areas like Italy, Portugal,[...]
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Bugs and Sam in Al Buquerque. Daffy makes a cameo at the end. Originally posted April 22, 2011.Sahara Hare [...]
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Brad Morris, former staffer for Rep. Travis Childers (D), is running against Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R) in north Mississippi's First Congressional District, and has released the TV ad below. The ad focuses on the things that Mississippi Democrats have focused on for years, such as hard work and preserving the social safety net for when hard work isn't enough. It's a good ad, and should gain him some traction in a race that is closer than many think.
As ThinkProgress notes, the guy isn't exactly every man. Yes, according to the Des Moines Register, Koethe owns 54 soy and corn farms. And that?s just one of his jobs.In previous reports on his activity over the years from the Des Moines Register, Koethe is also a described as a millionaire, a real estate mogul, and a former concert promoter who booked acts like Slipknot at his 24,000...