During an appearance on Fox News on Saturday morning, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) accused Obama of serving up a “crap sandwich.” “Let’s be very honest and let’s put this in military vernacular, if you’re feeding a person a crap sandwich with a smile, it’s still a crap sandwich,” West said. “That’s what you see coming [...]
Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
In itself, this isn?t exactly news breaking stuff, but it is another example of the fairly widespread and weird obsession with sex ? in particular, what the obsess-sor imagines other people do ? that characterizes our society. It involves a minister who denounces ?the gays,? and especially Southern Decadence, the ?largest gay event in New Orleans,? held over Labor Day weekend. This year?s celebration will be the 41st, from August 29 ? September 3.
In this case, the minister, Rev. Grant Storms, was convicted of ?exposing himself while masturbating in a public park.? No ?gay? connection, specifically, though any mention of ?pedophile? ? there were children in the park where the incident occurred ? will, for some, be interpreted as ?homosexual,? no matter how often that link has been debunked.
From The Advocate:
… Storms, 55, was convicted of a single count … in a Louisiana court, reports New Orleans?s Times-Picayune. He had been charged with obscenity for exposing himself while masturbating in his minivan, parked in Lafreniere Park in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, on February 25, 2011. Storms, who has a lawn-mowing business, said he went to the park to take a break between jobs.
He had admitted to pleasuring himself, saying he finds it a thrill to do so in public, but denied exposing his penis. However, a nanny who was bringing children to the park for a picnic said she observed the exposure when she got out of her vehicle, parked next to his.
The incident immediately raised speculation that Storms was a pedophile, because he masturbated with children nearby. Assistant District Attorney Seth Shute shot those allegations down outright Wednesday, saying in opening statements that detectives found no evidence of child pornography on his computer or cell phone … .
More from The Advocate:
In 2003, Storms, who has called himself a ?Christian patriot,? made news when he led his small church congregation through New Orleans?s French Quarter to protest Southern Decadence … . He railed against LGBT people as well as the city of New Orleans, which he called a ?prostitute? for allowing the event. A local merchants? association went to court for a restraining order to prevent Storms and his followers from using bullhorns. Storms has since apologized for the protest.
Of course, anyone can call themselves a “Christian patriot,” but hypocrisy is a dangerous game to play in a public park.
“… In other words, we said to Osama bin Laden we think getting rid of Saddam Hussein is seven times more important than dealing with you. – President Bill Clinton (2006)
POLITICO GRABBED the RNC platform that was mistakenly uploaded on to the Internet. Republicans aren’t claiming it’s the final language. This is how it begins:
Trying to recapture Ronald Reagan in a Todd Akin era, the right, who controls the party platform and who is nominated, continues to hold on to an antiquated notion that the Republican Party is the national security title holder. It’s a fantasy that demands they forget George W. Bush existed and that Dick Cheney’s torture policy didn’t disgrace our country, but also crimps where these two men can travel in the world for fear they’ll be confronted as war criminals. Henry Kissinger still has the same problems. It also ignores that Mr. Reagan got very lucky, because he should have been impeached for Iran-Contra, which was clearly illegal and a gross violation of Reagan’s powers.
It must be something living amid the Republican Party in the era of Todd Akin, whose philosophy is represented through Mitt Romney’s popular vice presidential selection, Paul Ryan, the next generation Reagan, who actually doesn’t represent anything Reagan represented, because the Gipper couldn’t get nominated in today’s Republican Party. So, the only way to immortalize the man who revitalized conservatism after the Barry Goldwater calamity is to rewrite him as a fictional character, which is exactly what’s happening today.
Republicans can’t accept and won’t grapple with the reality that George W. Bush never made Osama bin Laden a priority after Gen. Tommy Franks blew it at Tora Bora. Bush was besotted by neoconservative misadventurism that had America in a needless war in Iraq, with the choice to ignore Afghanistan causing the current struggles Pres. Obama is having there today. That Bush waged his scattershot foreign policy off the books, while thinking cutting taxes at a time of deep military involvement was a good idea, should make the Republican marketing slogan of “peace through strength” something that is derisively covered in the media as a complete and total fantasy that you have to be inside the Republican bubble to believe.
TEAM OBAMA hits hard on Medicare.
“It?s a promise that was made long ago: you work hard, pay in, your Medicare benefits are guaranteed. But Mitt Romney would break that promise. Replace your benefits with a voucher. Insurance companies could just keep raising rates. Instead of a guarantee, seniors could pay $6,400 more a year. AARP says the plan Mitt Romney supports undermines Medicare. Mitt Romney: an end to the Medicare promise.” [text of video above]
Mitt Romney’s weekly podcast focuses on “heartbreaking problem of joblessness.”
CONFIRMATION AWAITS, but Obama administration officials see “strong indications” that the leading commander of the Haqqani network was killed in a drone strike that also claimed the lives of 18 others.
From the New York Times this morning:
Senior American officials said they had strong indications that Badruddin Haqqani, the operational commander of the Haqqani network, which is responsible for some of the most spectacular assaults on American bases and Afghan cities in recent years, was killed in a drone strike this week.
?There are indications that Haqqani has met his demise,? a senior United States official said in Washington on Friday. He said that officials were waiting to sift through evidence, including information on jihadist Web sites, before they could be certain that Mr. Haqqani had been killed.
[...] Early Friday, C.I.A. drones fired at least six missiles at three locations in the Shawal Valley, destroying mud-walled compounds and at least two vehicles, said two Pakistani security officials and a local Taliban commander. Among the 18 people reported to have been killed was Emeti Yakuf, a senior leader of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a group from western China whose members are Chinese Uighur Muslim militants.
If Haqqani was assassinated in this drone strike, he would be the latest in a line of successful drones targets under the command of C.I.A. Director David Petraeus, the last being Al Qaeda deputy leader, Abu Yahya al-Libi.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, the C.I.A. isn’t just for spooks anymore.
In 1976, Jack Danforth was running for the US Senate in Missouri; in 2012, Todd Akin is running for Danforth's old seat. In 1976, the GOP platform noted a wide diversity of opinion about abortion and the wisdom of Roe v. Wade; in 2012, the GOP platform[...]
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It's not an overstatement to say that Fox News has endangered the life of a Navy SEAL and his family, an American hero who led the successful raid to kill Osama bin Laden.It's now a real problem, with serious life-or-death consequences. From NBC News:Users on several militant Islamic websites affiliated with al-Qaida have posted the name and photo of a former Navy SEAL identified...
Senatorial candidate Todd Akin caused quit a stir when he came forward with his extremist views on abortion and attacked the rights of women and their dignity by his 'legitimate rape' comments. As time went by, it was evident that there's a ton of support for this view within the Republican House, even if they try to distance themselves from Akin. The controversy is still raging on as many high-ranking tea partiers called for his ousting from the race. But his disgusting misogynist statements were not unfamiliar to many Republican politicians as has been highlighted by Paul Ryan's co-signing onto Akin's beliefs about rape and pregnancy. A few days later, the GOP released their party platform for the national convention which begins on August 27, in Tampa, that overtly supports Akin's extremist views.
As Republican officials continue their attempts to persuade Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri to end his bid for the Senate over his comments about rape and abortion, GOP leaders adopted a party platform on Tuesday that calls for a constitutional amendment protecting ?human life? but does not say whether exceptions should be allowed in cases of rape and incest.
According to a plank adopted by a 112-member Republican committee meeting here, an ?unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life that cannot be infringed.? The platform also calls for legislation recognizing the rights of unborn children under the 14th Amendment.That language would appear to be incompatible with exceptions when pregnancies result from rape or incest. But the draft does not specifically address the issue of exceptions, and party leaders here said that the issue is too complex to be addressed in what is intended to be a broad statement of party principle, and that it should be left up to states in a federal system.
This might seem crazy to most sane people across the country, but it's standard operating procedure for anti-government conservatives since the days of Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist in the 1980s. They have been on a mission to turn the American government into an evangelical, laissez-faire marketplace that looks and operates like Apartheid South Africa.
Chapter Five from Thomas Frank's 'The Wrecking Crew':
In fact, the apartheid government made an ideal love-match for the American far right. South Africa was the place where all the strands of eighties conservatism came together. It was a God-fearing land where American corporations did well, where Christianity was written into the constitution, and where the government wasn?t squeamish about the death penalty.
It's taken over thirty years for these agents of libertarian gobbledygook to turn one major political party into a caricature, but they're still pushing for their 'utopian dream,' as Thomas Frank coined the phrase, and nothing will get in their way. They turned the once great 'public service' mantra of the New Dealers, where young people strove to make a difference in the lives of average Americans of the 1930s and '40s into a new breed of greedy Randians in the Bush years, where all manufacturing jobs were left to those places with distant borders and inhumane cheap labor.
There was a time when gun control was a losing issue for politicians, but now with the help of these radicalized conservatives, the NRA has a solid grip around the neck of the GOP. No Republican can win an election if he doesn't fully support the NRA and their gun passion, even when it comes to assault weapons that serve no purpose but to kill a high volume of people.
These radical extremists found their true niche when they formed anti-abortion groups after Roe v Wade which turned evangelicals and many other religious group members into die hard Republicans. What was different about this was that they were working class Americans and not specifically from the Republican elites. Unfortunately, the evangelical element of the Republican party usually support legislation that is harmful to their well-being and that is the one that has many pundits scratching their heads. Thomas Frank quite expertly explains this in great detail in his book What Ever Happened To Kansas
But Frank is less interested in debunking this myth than he is in explaining what he calls a disturbing "derangement" in American politics?that in places like Kansas, poor and working-class people have galloped to the right over the past few decades, voting for a right-lurching, increasingly evangelized Republican Party that has implemented economic policies that have hurt workers and helped the rich. Here is how he puts it:
This derangement is the signature expression of the Great Backlash, a style of conservatism that first came snarling back onto the national stage in response to the partying and protests of the late sixties. While earlier forms of conservatism emphasized fiscal sobriety, the backlash mobilizes voters with explosive social issues?summoning public outrage over everything from busing to un-Christian art?which it then marries to pro-business economic policies. Cultural anger is marshaled to achieve economic ends. And it is these economic achievements?not the forgettable skirmishes of the never-ending culture wars?that are the movement?s greatest monuments. The backlash is what has made possible the international free-market consensus of recent years, with all the privatization, deregulation, and declining unionization rates that are its components.
In 1986, the odious Randell Terry organized a group known as Operation Rescue, a virulent anti-abortion group and in 1991 they headed down to take Kansas by storm.
ORN's activities gained attention again in 1991 during the ?Summer of Mercy? in Wichita, Kansas, led by Keith Tucci. Thousands of anti-abortion protesters flocked to Wichita and were arrested at sit-in protests and blockades of clinic entrances and adjacent streets. The protests were held at three different clinic locations in Wichita but focused on George Tiller's abortion clinic. Over 1,600 arrests took place during the first three weeks, with thousands of locals gathering and dozens of clergy people becoming involved. The event lasted six weeks, with over 2,600 arrests accomplished by the Wichita Police Department. The protests culminated in a rally that filled Cessna Stadium, featuring Pat Robertson. The New York Times ran an article on August 4, 1991, quoting John Snow, a retired accountant who sat on the sidewalk across from Tiller's clinic in Wichita, dispensing Kool-Aid and saying the rosary. "'They're in there killing babies, nothing else, ma'am,' Mr. Snow said.".
They set up shop in Wichita and after they were finished the newly energized radical right owned the political system.
Yet, says Frank, in Kansas the "gravity of discontent" pulls even poor and working-class victims of these policies "to the right." The turning point came, according to Frank, in 1991, when Operation Rescue organized forty-six days of protest that drew an estimated at 30,000 people to blockade abortion clinics in Wichita?an event which put the wind in the sails of the evangelical religious right, which then proceeded to take over the Kansas Republican Party from the moderates ("Mods") who had previously controlled it.
I gave you a few good examples of how conservative crackpots planned to turn the US into their libertarian/evangelical utopian dream and lo and behold, after decades of futility, they finally have the GOP, hook line and sinker. They understand that by repeating the same lies and propaganda over and over again, eventually (even if it takes thirty more years) fiction will be turned into fact in the echo chamber of the navel-gazing commentariat. With no real fourth branch of government left to be actual watchdogs of democracy and a working class struggling to pay their bills, they feel nobody can stop them.
Whenever I hear politicos say the tea party, birthers or the newly-created legitimate rape believers will now destroy the GOP forevah because of their lunacy, I laugh out loud. We've had sixty years of history to disprove that opinion. Are you really surprised the GOP national party platform reads like a who's who list from the John Bircher Society? They may be many things, but they are patient and willing to lose in the present to win in the future. I do know that we are in a new era of Republican politics that I call: Welcome to the lunatic fringe.
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow GazetteI found this informative discussion at naked capitalism. It's in two parts with links that are educational, especially for those of us who have a minimal understanding of economics. The first article by Michael[...]
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The quality of reporting on fracking in large outlets has been of varying quality. Day-to-day coverage of the latest developments is usually pretty good, but bigger picture trend pieces have a tendency to be positively fawning towards the industry. A[...]
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