Not that I claim to know more than Pope Benedict's first-person Nazi expertise, but his claim that Nazis were about atheism is somewhat bizarre:
The Pope used this speech to warn Britain about "aggressive forms of secularism" and "atheist extremism" in society. He recounted Britain's stand against the Nazis, then stated "As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the Twentieth Century."
In a few short sentences, Benedict threw down a gauntlet by linking the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany with atheism. While, to be fair to the Pope, the Nazis had no real love for Catholics, Nazi Germany was a religious state. The Nazis drew upon both Christianity and Pagan influences. Nazi paraphernelia proudly proclaimed Gott mit uns (God with us). Nazi propaganda routinely referred to political enemies as atheists as a means to vilify them, and Hitler himself is reported by at least one close aid to have confirmed his Catholicism late into the war.
Not only has the Pope bought into the lie that the Nazis were atheists, but apparently he has forgotten the history of an organization he was part of, both as a member of the Hitler Youth and as a member of an anti-aircraft gun crew.
Speaking the lie to the Pope's claim are the various Nazi artifacts with Christian iconography and messaging on them.
Perhaps the Pope should have talked about Stalin. After all, the Soviet Union was an atheist totalitarian regime. But perhaps Stalin did not suit the Pope's purpose for various unknown reasons.
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One of the reasons the GOP has become the Party Of No is because conservatism is fundamentally a negative thing -- it's not so much for anything as it is against All Things Liberal. This is why right-wing pundits' chief skill is less in proposing or promoting things but in tearing things (and people) down.
This is never more evident than when they start turning on each other, as they have this week in the wake of Christine O'Donnell's GOP primary victory in Delaware. We've gotten a brilliant display of the viciousness of Republican infighting that just makes you want to pop a big batch of popcorn and pull up a chair to watch.
There's nothing more amusing, really, than seeing Michelle Malkin -- without a hint of irony -- viciously attack Karl Rove for his on-air criticism of O'Donnell's victory ... by calling it "vicious." And then to watch Rove furiously defend himself by making a very clear-cut case against O'Donnell's lack of ethics ... and then suggest that Republicans might want to steer away from someone who refuses to be held accountable. Of course, we all remember just how accountable Rove has been for his various near-criminal activities in the White House.
My absolute favorite read today, though, is Oliver Willis' compilation at Media Matters of the outbreak of hostilities around O'Donnell, particularly fomented by Mark Levin, who until he grew a beard was movement conservatism's version of George Costanza. Levin has been castigating everyone in sight who questioned O'Donnell, particularly the folks at the Weekly Standard. They've been firing back, which means that everyone's private opinion of Levin (he is reputedly one of the nastiest characters you'd ever have the misfortune to encounter in person) is now bubbling to the surface.
I dunno about you, but I've popped about a week's worth of popcorn for this. I'm skipping the butter, though.
UPDATE: Here's Rove this morning on Fox's America's Newsroom, backing down.
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I guess the might of the Mighty Limbaugh is too much even for Karl Rove.
I did a lot of writing on it before the election, but haven't done very much post-game on the[...]
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The details are a bit convoluted, as the Obama Administration seeks to avoid a hostile Wall Street-owned Senate. But by all indications, this is a good thing.
President Obama will announce this week that Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard Law School professor who first proposed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will be named to a special position reporting to both him and to the Treasury Department and tasked with heading the effort to get the new federal agency standing, a knowledgeable Democrat told ABC News.
Warren's title will be Assistant to the President & Special Adviser to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Warren currently chairs the Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Assets Relief Program and has been seen by many on the Left as a force for greater accountability and transparency, and a check against the forces in the Obama administration more closely allied with the financial sector. Many officials in that sector eye her warily as too anti-business.
The move allows her to act as an interim head of the CFPB and will enable her to begin setting up the agency immediately and prevent the GOP from filibustering her nomination. Warren could serve until President Barack Obama nominates a permanent director to serve the five-year term -- a nomination he's not required to make for some time. Obama also could nominate her as the permanent director in the near future, a prospect that has been discussed among top aides, according to a person familiar with White House deliberations. Warren formally will be named as a special adviser reporting directly to Obama, and serving in a similar capacity to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, later this week.
Senator Chris Dodd has decided to exit the Senate as the asshole tool of an asshole Wall Street, and it's clear his marching orders are to oppose Warren at all costs.
Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd leaned on President Barack Obama on Thursday to appoint someone to permanently lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, arguing that Elizabeth Warren’s special advisory role does not go far enough.
“They need to send us a director though, a nominee, so the issue is no different today than it was yesterday,” the Connecticut Democrat said. “We need a nominee who can run the place. So I don’t know what their intentions are.”
Dodd, Wall Street, and Republicans fear that Warren will be too effective in building a consumer protection bureau that, you know, protects consumers. By all indications, this is a positive move by the White House, utilizing provisions in the law allowing for an interim head.
And note, we don't want her heading this board for the full five-year term. We'll want her back in Massachusetts in 2012 to take out accidental Republican Sen. Scott Brown and reclaiming that seat for a true progressive consumer champion. So the interim appointment is just about perfect.
Christine O'Donnell may have broken campaign finance regulations by operating for months at a time without a treasurer, experts say.
Her campaign committee, Friends of Christine O'Donnell, has seen three treasurers quit, and went more than a year without a designated treasurer.
Campaign committees are required by law to have a designated treasurer at all times in order to collect and spend money, according to experts. But, according to records filed with the Federal Elections Commission, she's gone through several periods with no treasurer at all, including one of more than a year.
"This is a very bad situation," said Brett Kappel, a campaign finance lawyer with Arent Fox in Washington, D.C. "It's illegal for a campaign committee to accept contributions or make expenditures unless there is a treasurer in office. ... The O'Donnell campaign reported raising and spending well over $100,000 in the first six months of 2010 alone."
The campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Christian Hilland, a spokesman for the FEC, said the agency's Reports Analysis Division reviews candidate's reports to make sure they comply with regulations. If the reviewers find that a candidate has left something out, they can send a letter to the campaign requesting the info. In O'Donnell's case, the FEC sent two warnings about her lack of a treasurer.
But in the end, only the agency's commissioners can decide whether a candidate broke the law. Their investigations are not public.
One treasurer, Tim Koch, resigned in February 2009. Having failed to designate a new one, O'Donnell was warned by the FEC, and hired a new treasurer in April.
That treasurer, Susan Dixon, worked until June. In September, the FEC again warned O'Donnell that she needs a treasurer.
But O'Donnell didn't respond. And she went until August 2010 -- more than a year -- without notifying the FEC of a new treasurer. Instead, after skipping two required FEC reports, O'Donnell began signing them herself.
There's nothing that would prevent a candidate from being his or her own treasurer, according to Hilland, the spokesman for the FEC.
Not having a treasurer, however, breaks regulation. And if a candidate doesn't file an amended "statement of organization" designating someone as treasurer -- even if it's herself -- within 10 days, he or she could be breaking the rules, according to experts.
"Every political committee shall have a treasurer," FEC regulation reads. "No expenditure shall be made for or on behalf of a political committee without the authorization of its treasurer."
The law, known as the Federal Election Campaign Act, says much the same thing: "No contribution or expenditure shall be accepted or made by or on behalf of a political committee during any period in which the office of treasurer is vacant. "
The campaign took in $264,000 this election cycle up to Aug. 25. There was no designated treasurer from last June until Aug. 14 of this year, when Sandra Taylor notified the FEC she had taken over from O'Donnell.
Koch did not respond to a request for comment and Dixon declined to comment.
Another former treasurer, Jonathon Moseley, who worked for O'Donnell during her last Senate attempt in 2008, spoke with TPMmuckraker over the phone. Moseley, a criminal defense lawyer, said he still supports O'Donnell and only quit because it was understood that his position was temporary.
Campaign finance is "not my specialty. I went in there always intending to be a short-term, stop gap," he said.
[Ed. note: This post was edited after publication.]
I don't recall a long-shot like Christine O'Donnell arriving on the national stage so unknown but with such a long record of public statements on such a variety of issues. This morning we put together a list of her top 10 quotes, and it's already[...]
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The Cook Political Report moves the Connecticut Senate race between Richard Blumenthal (D) and Linda McMahon (R) from "Lean Democrat" to "Toss Up." Linda McMahon - Richard Blumenthal - Connecticut - Cook Political Report - Politics[...]
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So Rush Limbaugh, a bear and a taxidermist walk into a bar ... or something like that. Rush Limbaugh - United States - Recreation - Outdoors - Taxidermists[...]
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It's the 1950s again when atomic anxiety had kids ducking under school desks as Joe McCarthy et al were stalking Washington for subversives plotting to steal our liberties while Hollywood cheese showed aliens in aluminum suits invading the planet to steal our minds.
Sarah Palin's remake of The Body Snatchers has opened to sour reviews from both sides of the aisle but with a boffo start at the box office as veteran observers wonder if it has the legs to last through November when Tea Party preview enthusiasts thin out and mass audiences have to be won over.
Say what you will about her as an auteur, however, Palin is following the path of classic masters of mass fear, from Orson Welles' radio invasion by Martians to the makers of "Frankenstein" and "Dracula," who could create scary images in the minds of millions during hard times.
Purists may carp at stylistic touches such as the tacky Palin clone in the Delaware scene and Jim DeMint as an unconvincing Igor, but her feat in instantly assembling a U. S. Senator in Alaska out of body parts is a dazzling hommage to the original monster makers.
In the 1950s, politics and movies were still separate branches of the culture, even as Washington headline hunters borrowed Hollywood star power for their public floggings. Palin can now cast her productions with unknowns--no need for Sandra Bullock and such.
As this current reality show unreels nationally, new generations may take some comfort in recalling that the 1950s madness ended abruptly with Eisenhower Republicans taking back their party and JFK urging Americans to "ask not what your country can do for you?-ask what you can do for your country."
But that was in a simpler time. In the age of 3-D, how long will we all be trapped in this new horror show?
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