I believe the Republican Party is the focus of evil in the modern world.
Just so you know, I am not being facetious here. This is something I am coming to believe more and more each day.
Play nice, kids.
I believe the Republican Party is the focus of evil in the modern world.
Sometimes those Beatitudes are just too much to take! After all, they ask us to change the world, to turn it upside down, so that the poor take their place at the table of plenty and the meek, not the mighty, inherit the earth, and peace gets made.
This means change, an upending of the status quo, a serious shift in economic and political priorities. That's why The Beatitudes Society is all about equipping seminarians to advocate for justice and peace and protection of our environment.
Sometimes that's just too much to take.
As today's rejection letter from a foundation said:
"Unfortunately the committee has denied your request at this time. The committee felt that this grant was for furthering the cause of social justice and not aligned with our mission of the charity of serving the poor."
How I would or wouldn't feel were it my child is not the issue. The issue is whether or not the school nurse, as a public health care professional and provider, should, in the course of his or her duties, act in such a way as to protect the health of an individual. In a perfect world, such a discussion would be impossible. We do not live in a perfect world. We live in a world where children make bad decisions; we live in a world where parents do not listen to their children; we live in a world where parents hurt their children; we live in a world where children, effectively, have no parents. In these cases, it becomes necessary for someone to act in loco parentis in the interest both of the child and in the interest of broader public health concerns.
I]f federal agents show up at a corporate headquarters for a major American company and urgently seek that company's officers for assistance in the war on terror, the companies damn well ought to give it as a matter of simple patriotism, whether the CIA wants a plane for some extraordinary rendition or help in tracking terrorists via email. . . . [T]o expect a company to resist a plea from the government for help in a time of war is ridiculous.
The companies affected by the new draft Senate bill acted in the interests of their country when they decided to comply with the government's requests. If the requests were inappropriate, that's another matter.
To subject them to the whimsy of our judicial system would be outrageous.
As an act of "good faith," the government has no choice but to deny a bunch of litigious lefties the chance to sue over a decision that any reasonable American would have made.
As our Congress works heroically to make permanent the vast new warrantless eavesdropping powers it vested in the President two months ago and to protect the corporations which allowed warrantless surveillance in violation of the Leftist doctrine called "law," it is clearly understood in the Beltway that only the fringe Leftists -- the shrill partisan "activists" -- actually subscribe to this radical new agenda of "warrants," as well as the accompanying extremist doctrines such as the "rule of law."
I’m reaching a point where the sound of Republicans talking out of their asses is like the voice of the teachers and other adults in the “Peanuts” specials, “Wah-wah waaaaaah, wah wah-wah waaaaaaah…” Why even bother with trying to make sense of it? It’s all just heinous gibberish.
Add to all this, of course, the Republicans’ stand against S-CHIP and you have to wonder what, exactly, they think is an ideal society. They want to deny everyone access to any form of contraception, but then, in the event of unwanted pregnancies that may arise, there would be no legal abortions. Of course, when you have the unwanted child, you can’t get health care for it unless you’re wealthy or “lucky” enough to be pinned down by some mindless corporate job where you daren’t leave for fear of losing your health insurance.
Do people on the Right think at all? Apparently not. They just believe. Cause and effect? What’s that? Don’t bore us with the facts, you stupid “Libtard”, we have faith, which is basically the same as believing in magic, and that’s no way to run a bake sale, let alone an entire nation.
Please, god, just let it end soon. Otherwise, we’re never going to able to wash the stink off this country.
Democrats need to engage in a wholehearted, full-tilt effort to redefine themselves as the party that knows the best way to defend the country. It’s ridiculously easy, with Iraq offering one-sentence proof that the Bushite path is the wrong one.
Senator Chris Dodd plans to put a hold on the Senate FISA renewal bill because it reportedly grants retroactive immunity to telephone companies for any role they played in the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping program . . .
That was, um, unexpected. Not only did Michael Mukasey repudiate the so-called 2002 "torture memo" signed by Office of Legal Counsel chief Jay Bybee -- which appears to have survived in spirit, if not in letter -- but he compared U.S. torture to the Holocaust.
Most significantly, Mukasey said that he is unaware of any inherent commander-in-chief authority to override legal restrictions on torture -- a huge repudiation of Dick Cheney, David Addington and John Yoo's perspective on broad constitutional powers possessed by the president in wartime -- or to immunize practitioners of torture from prosecution.
CARLSON: I'm not saying women shouldn't vote for Hillary at all. I'm merely saying the obvious: that you shouldn't vote for her because she's a woman. Here's what the Clinton campaign says: "Hillary isn't running as a woman. As Hillary says, she's not running as a woman candidate. The only reason to vote for her is that you believe she's the most qualified to be president."
Well, that's actually completely false, considering the Hillary campaign -- and I get their emails -- relentlessly pushes the glass ceiling argument. "You should vote for her because she's a woman." They say that all the time. She just said that on The View. I mean, that's like their rationale.
MAY: At least call her a Vaginal-American, as opposed to --
CARLSON: Is that the new phrase?
MAY: I think that is, yeah.
CARLSON: Boy, that's nasty. I don't think I can say that.
ROBINSON: No, you don't say that.
CARLSON: I shouldn't say that? I'm not going attempt it. No, no.
With the Bush administration in a state of prolonged decline and with Republicans out of power on Capitol Hill, it's the right-wing media machine that maintains the highest profile among conservatives on a daily basis. And it's Malkin and Limbaugh and O'Reilly who have become the face of the Republican Party.
For liberals, that's a good thing, as the GOP is forced to deal with the sludge that keeps washing up on its shores, courtesy of its favorite media stars who now bide their time insulting black entrepreneurs, war vets, and injured children.
[W]ith specific regard to Limbaugh and O'Reilly, the fact that both men physically could not stop talking about the controversies (i.e. themselves) was a huge boost for progressives, many of whom were privately nervous the O'Reilly-goes-to-Harlem and Limbaugh-attacks-the-troops stories might fizzle after a day or two.
Instead, thanks to O'Reilly and Limbaugh's inability to look away from their own reflection or to turn down the volume of their own microphones, the stories motored on week after week, doing great damage to both men and to the conservative movement, which defends the talkers at any cost.
[T]he Malkin-led jihad unfolded like a parody of blood-thirsty Republican bloggers -- an Onion-worthy spoof -- the kind that even I would have been too sheepish to dream up because the premise made them seem even loonier than I thought they were. How far off the range did Malkin and company roam with their wayward attacks on the Frost family? So far that even the trigger-happy crew at Fox News refused to saddle up and join the midnight posse, out to unmask a sick kid and his needy parents. (Keep in mind that for years Malkin maintained a steady presence on Fox News, yet the channel still wouldn't touch her pet project of hate last week.)
[T]he Republican Party was on-board with the smear campaign. Fanning the flames early was an aide to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who sent out an email to journalists urging them to follow up on the online swarm that was enveloping the Frost family. Days later the White House rewarded Redstate.com for its litany of Frost attacks by sending the site an exclusive statement regarding the upcoming SCHIP vote. (That kind of White House nod is considered to be a major coup among the right-wing blogs.)
The examples of depravity were everywhere last week, with virtually every robotic right-wing blogger dutifully dumping on the Frost family, and often doing it with a demented sense of glee. Go here to read Weekly Standard blogger Samantha Sault's take on the Frost story and count the number of falsehoods she passed along, while making fun ("just for laughs") of the working family with two seriously injured children. Also note that when the right-wing lies about the Frosts were quickly disproved (i.e. they do not pay $20,000 a year to send their kids to private schools), Sault failed to acknowledge the litany of smears she helped spread about a 12-year-old boy who survived a coma. (No wonder so few people take the Weekly Standard seriously when it lectures The New Republic about journalism ethics; the Standard appears to have none of its own.)
Where did the right-wing bloggers learn their brand of drive-by invective? From Rush Limbaugh of course, who has made a career out of making hollow and erroneous allegations. So it was fitting that when Limbaugh recently stepped in it with his "phony soldiers" slur, it was right-wing bloggers who came to his rescue.
They wrote about the controversy obsessively -- you could almost hear the blood vessels pop over at RedState -- while most progressives were content to let the story play out, watching Limbaugh feed himself just enough rope each day. Like when he first claimed his "phony soldiers" comment (note the plural) was in reference to a single serviceman who faked his military service, then changed his story. Or when he later included Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA.), a retired Marine colonel and decorated Vietnam veteran who opposes the war in Iraq, on his list of "genuine phony soldiers." Or when Limbaugh claimed to play "the entire transcript" of his "phony soldiers" exchange and post it on his website, when in fact he edited out a large chunk of the discussion. Or when he likened U.S. Iraq war vet Brian McGough to a suicide bomber after McGough taped a television ad criticizing Limbaugh's comments.
But here's what was most telling: It wasn't just bloggers who rushed to Limbaugh's defense, it was also key leadership members of the Republican Party. It was presidential contenders Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney. It was Senate Republican Conference chairman Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ). It was House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and his number two, Roy Blunt (R-MO), along with fellow Reps. Mike Pence (R-IN), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who supported legislation that commended Limbaugh following his "phony soldiers" crack, and Eric Cantor (R-VA) who unveiled a Stand With Rush e-petition, urging "conservatives around the country" to fight for Limbaugh.
An attack on Limbaugh is now seen by Republicans as an attack on the party itself. Why the GOP prefers to have a polarizing, hateful, and widely disliked talk show host as its point person remains open to speculation. What's not debatable, though, is that Limbaugh can often be an anchor around the GOP's neck.
Does anybody think Limbaugh helped Republicans win a single extra vote last autumn when, on the eve of the midterm elections, he uncorked a startling attack on actor Michael J. Fox for having the nerve to tape a television commercial urging political support for stem-cell research. Limbaugh claimed Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, was faking his life-threatening ailments during the commercial: "It's purely an act. ... This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox." While Limbaugh made his audacious claim on the radio, in-studio video captured him making mocking, herky-jerky motions, as he did his best Parkinson's patient impersonation.
Like the Frost family, the Wilkerson family has already become the subject of right-wing attacks. Michelle Malkin — whose baseless smear campaign against 12-year old Graeme Frost was deemed too bogus for even Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — is now trying to rally the right against Bethany.
Heralding the arrival of a “new toddler-aged human shield,” Malkin writes that “the Wilkersons made a choice” — a seeming reference to the fact that Malkin now believes she has the license to attack the Wilkersons for their public support of SCHIP. “We need more ‘partisan bickering,’ not less,” added Malkin.
Malkin’s not alone in her rage. In a piece entitled “Meet the New Frosts, Same As the Old Frosts,” the National Review’s Mark Hemingway attacks the Wilkersons as irresponsible parents:
The last SCHIP family to go public about the value of the health insurance program — the Frosts — was smeared by the right wing. The Wilkersons said today they aren’t scared of the attacks that may come against them:
The Wilkersons said they are fully aware of the possibility that their finances and personal lives may be investigated by opponents of the SCHIP bill.
“We rent a house, we have one car that is a junker. Let them dig away,” Bo Wilkerson said. “I have $67 in my checking account. Does that answer your question?”
The idea that we should be laying awake at night afraid that a group of at most several thousand people who control almost no territory or valuable military equipment might establish a universal caliphate or "collapse freedom loving nations like us" is ridiculous. Al-Qaeda's goals are absurd, and obviously so, and one ought to say so confidently. The fact that a relatively small group of people with lunatic goals can nevertheless knock down giant office buildings and murder a huge number of people is, indeed, something to be afraid of but not nearly on the grand geopolitical level Romney is postulating here.
[L]eave to the side that these telecoms did not merely allow warrantless surveillance on their customers in the hectic and "confused" days or weeks after 9/11, but for years. Further leave to the side the fact that, as Hiatt's own newspaper just reported yesterday, the desire for warrantless eavesdropping capabilities seemed to be on the Bush agenda well before 9/11.
. . . Hiatt's claim on behalf of the telecoms that they broke the law for "patriotic" reasons is so frivolous as to insult the intelligence of his readers, but -- more importantly -- it is also completely irrelevant.
There is no such thing as a "patriotism exception" to the laws that we pass. It is not a defense to illegal behavior to say that one violated the law for "patriotic" reasons. That was Oliver North's defense to Congress when he proudly admitted breaking multiple federal laws. And it is the same "defense" that people like North have been making to justify Bush's violations of our surveillance laws -- what we call "felonies" -- in spying on Americans without warrants.
If this country still had a working system of laws and a government with at least some checks and balances left in place, it would be a huge scandal. . .
“BUSH lies” doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s time to confront the darker reality that we are lying to ourselves.
Ten days ago The Times unearthed yet another round of secret Department of Justice memos countenancing torture. President Bush gave his standard response: “This government does not torture people.” Of course, it all depends on what the meaning of “torture” is. The whole point of these memos is to repeatedly recalibrate the definition so Mr. Bush can keep pleading innocent.
By any legal standards except those rubber-stamped by Alberto Gonzales, we are practicing torture, and we have known we are doing so ever since photographic proof emerged from Abu Ghraib more than three years ago. As Andrew Sullivan, once a Bush cheerleader, observed last weekend in The Sunday Times of London, America’s “enhanced interrogation” techniques have a grotesque provenance: “Verschärfte Vernehmung, enhanced or intensified interrogation, was the exact term innovated by the Gestapo to describe what became known as the ‘third degree.’ It left no marks. It included hypothermia, stress positions and long-time sleep deprivation.”
Still, the drill remains the same. The administration gives its alibi (Abu Ghraib was just a few bad apples). A few members of Congress squawk. The debate is labeled “politics.” We turn the page.
I have always maintained that the American public was the least culpable of the players during the run-up to Iraq. The war was sold by a brilliant and fear-fueled White House propaganda campaign designed to stampede a nation still shellshocked by 9/11. Both Congress and the press — the powerful institutions that should have provided the checks, balances and due diligence of the administration’s case — failed to do their job. Had they done so, more Americans might have raised more objections. This perfect storm of democratic failure began at the top.
As the war has dragged on, it is hard to give Americans en masse a pass. We are too slow to notice, let alone protest, the calamities that have followed the original sin.
It was always the White House’s plan to coax us into a blissful ignorance about the war. Part of this was achieved with the usual Bush-Cheney secretiveness, from the torture memos to the prohibition of photos of military coffins. But the administration also invited our passive complicity by requiring no shared sacrifice. A country that knows there’s no such thing as a free lunch was all too easily persuaded there could be a free war.
Instead of taxing us for Iraq, the White House bought us off with tax cuts. Instead of mobilizing the needed troops, it kept a draft off the table by quietly purchasing its auxiliary army of contractors to finesse the overstretched military’s holes. With the war’s entire weight falling on a small voluntary force, amounting to less than 1 percent of the population, the rest of us were free to look the other way at whatever went down in Iraq.
Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those “good Germans” who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo. It’s up to us to wake up our somnambulant Congress to challenge administration policy every day. Let the war’s last supporters filibuster all night if they want to. There is nothing left to lose except whatever remains of our country’s good name.
The first verse of Leviticus 5 opens a big can of worms as we continue the instructions for the sin offering:
“If a person sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen or learned about, he will be held responsible.”
Inaction is sin.