Republican public policy in a nutshell

randpaul

You can’t buy this level of irony. From Senator Rand Paul (R-KY):

…Sen. Rand Paul claimed Sunday there was a “written policy” floating around the agency that said IRS officials were “targeting people who were opposed to the president.

When CNN pressed Senator Paul on details, his response was:

“Well, we keep hearing the reports and we have several specifically worded items saying who was being targeted. In fact, one of the bullet points says those who are critical of the president. So I don’t know if that comes from a policy, but that’s what’s being reported in the press and reported orally. I haven’t seen a policy statement, but I think we need to see that.”

It is said that the most chilling three-word phrase used at Faux News isn’t “fair and balanced”, it’s Some people say…

As in, “Some people say the administration knew about the Benghazi attacks before they happened, and did nothing“. Or “Some people say that Obamacare will wipe out health care for the poor“. Or “Some people say that human-instigated climate change is a complete hoax.

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Perspective requires the desire to see properly, don’tcha know?

Found this on Facebook tonight:

Along with the documentation:

  • June 14, 2002, Karachi, Pakistan: Bomb explodes outside American consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 12. Linked to al-Qaeda.
  • May 12, 2003, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Suicide bombers kill 34, including 8 Americans, at housing compounds for Westerners. Al-aeda suspected.
  • May 29–31, 2004, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Terrorists attack the offices of a Saudi oil company in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, take foreign oil workers hostage in a nearby residential compound, leaving 22 people dead, including one American.
  • June 11–19, 2004, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Terrorists kidnap and execute Paul Johnson Jr., an American, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Two other Americans and a BBC cameraman are killed by gun attacks.
  • Dec. 6, 2004, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Terrorists storm the U.S. consulate, killing 5 consulate employees. Four terrorists were killed by Saudi security.
  • Nov. 9, 2005, Amman, Jordan: Suicide bombers hit 3 American hotels, Radisson, Grand Hyatt, and Days Inn, in Amman, Jordan, killing 57. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility.
  • Sept. 13, 2006, Damascus, Syria: An attack by four gunman on the American embassy is foiled after two security guards are wounded.
  • Jan. 12, 2007, Athens, Greece: The U.S. embassy is fired on by an anti-tank missile, causing damage but no injuries.
  • Dec. 11, 2007, Algeria: More than 60 people are killed, including 11 United Nations staff members, when Al Qaeda terrorists detonate two car bombs near Algeria’s Constitutional Council and the United Nations offices.
  • Sept. 16, 2008, Yemen: A car bomb and a rocket strike the U.S. embassy in Yemen as staff arrived to work, killing 16 people, including 4 civilians. At least 25 suspected al-Qaeda militants are arrested for the attack.
  • Nov. 26, 2008, India: In a series of attacks on several of Mumbai’s landmarks and commercial hubs that are popular with Americans and other foreign tourists, including at least two five-star hotels, a hospital, a train station, and a cinema. About 300 people are wounded and nearly 190 people die, including at least 5 Americans.

So, the next time Willard, Glenn, Rush, or a Teahaddist starts bleating about the attack in Libya, ask them what happened to their outrage at the  administration’s apparent security lapses during the Bush administration.

Or is it all because Obama is a skeery black man?

 

Fooled me once…

You remember that post of mine about Josh Weed from last week? The post about the gay Mormon who is married to a woman and has a family?

He fooled me. And a lot of other people as well. The Spouse hit this one on the head right off the bat, and Joe has now outed his two-faced-ness.

Meet the real Josh Weed:

Please note several items here:

  • the Seattle Pacific University degree (where school code specifically forbids “pre-marital, extramarital, or homosexual sexual activity”). SPU is a religious university whose degrees are, well, not well-esteemed within academe
  • Josh’s self-professed therapeutic preference: “those with sexual identity issues and unwanted sexual attractions and/or behaviors”
  • the other therapists who work at LifeStar Washington, including LifeStar Washington director Shawn Gillies, who “especially enjoys speaking to and educating parents on how to teach their children healthy sexuality”

It seems odd that Josh would choose to go to a college where his very preferences were outlawed by school code. It seems odd that Josh would choose to “help” others deny their sexual feelings, just as he has denied his. It seems odd that Josh would associate with other therapists who “especially enjoy” telling gays and lesbians that what they feel is wrong (as if society didn’t do enough of that).

Josh Weed is just another George Reker. Weed is just another badly-adjusted closet case who practices an unrecognized form of treatment– “ex-gay therapy” — a therapy thoroughly repudiated by professional psychology and psychiatry groups; moreover, he doesn’t have the testicular fortitude to tell his patients that their sexuality is a problem, while freely admitting that it’s okay for him to be gay.

It is particularly horrifying that Weed’s clinic concentrates its efforts on children, and cloaks himself as someone who “just wants to help”. Imagine paying someone to tell your child/teenager that the way she/he feels is wrong and sinful and a one-way trip to Hell.

So the next time you see Mr. Weed and his lovely family basking in the sun of het privilege, look him straight in the eye and ask him what it’s like to be a good and thorough hypocrite, and a professional fraud.

Karma can be a cast-iron bastard at times

Shellie Zimmerman was charged with perjury in Seminole County, Florida, today.

She and her famous husband George apparently (allegedly) conspired to hide his web-generated $200,000 nest egg before the trial judge twigged to its existence. Their behavior and actions indicate that they had both knowingly lied about its existence and tried to hide the money before George’s bail was set.

She hid a good bit of it in a bank account belonging to her sister.

First the discovery of George’s second passport (the existence of which he failed to divulge), then the discovery of the $200,000 (after George and Stella both lied and said they were “almost penniless”), and now a perjury charge.

Ain’t karma a bitch?

“Gay = pedophilia”? Ask the closet cases.

David Caton of the Florida Family Association

Here is a allegedly literate human being that cannot read a dictionary or comprehend the difference between sexuality and sexual pathology:

“There will be perhaps as many as 18,000 same-sex revelers in the Magic Kingdom pretty much all day long. The event is pretty much a celebration of their lifestyle, and they target Disney on the first Saturday of summer because that’s when they’ve known in the past that the most children are in the park.”

Why is is that right-wing wackaloons don’t want to understand certain facts:

  • There are no more pedophiles among gay men and women then there are among straight men and women. (Indeed, there is documented proof that the vast majority of pedophiles are straight.)
  • Gay people like to have a good time at amusement parks, just like straight people.
  • Amusement park businesses that welcome all people of all persuasions are going to financially benefit from such hospitality.
  • And just how the hell is going to an amusement park a celebration of any lifestyle? (Unless you define “lifestyle” as spending too much money on trinkets and food.)

This obsession that “family foundations” have about the activities of gays strikes me as poorly-hidden closet behavior.

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed — if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth.”

The news from Oceania this week:

“Since President Obama assumed office three years ago, federal spending has accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history…”

Really?

From the Washington Post:

“Government spending under Obama, including his signature stimulus bill, is rising at a 1.4% annualized pace — slower than at any time in nearly 60 years.”

This is in raw dollars.

This is adjusted for inflation.

Even adjusted for inflation, Obama has the second lowest spending record in modern American politics. (Eisenhower wound down the economy because of the end of the Korean War.)

From Politifact:

“Bottom line: The Facebook post’s claim that government spending under Obama is “slower than at any time in nearly 60 years” is very close to accurate.”

Hey, all you Republicans out there who are convinced that Obama makes the biggest spendthrift moves this side of Willard Romney’s rebuilt California mansion: what’s it like having a candidate that tells blatant lies?

Do you enjoy being lied to?

“Sometimes the ideas we’re certain are true are dead wrong.”

As my brother John commented: “I’ve always known this. Why isn’t it more apparent?”

Here’s the thought from Nick Hanauer that resonated most strongly for me:

“The extraordinary differential between the 15% tax rate that capitalists pay on carried interest, dividends, and capital gains, and the 35% top marginal rates on work that ordinary Americans pay, is kind of hard to justify without a touch of deification.”

Preach, brother, preach.

Uncovered asshattery over at NOM

Anyone who doubts that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is an evil, divisive, and disruptive group of homophobic morons (whose bills are being paid by a few rich donors who refuse to publicly admit who they are) should take a gander at these excerpts from a confidential study done by NOM and purposely hidden from public view until the Maine court system forced the document’s release:

  1. “Drive a wedge between gays and blacks” by convincing them to fight over the language of “civil rights”.
  2. Bait Latino voters to oppose marriage equality as “a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation”.
  3. Interrupt the “attempt to equate…sexual orientation with race” so that marriage inequality is not perceived as discrimination.
  4. Draw attention to the “bigotry and intolerance” displayed by equality advocates and “document the victims” through a rapid response media team.
  5. Emphasize the importance of “religious liberties” to limit the impact of marriage equality’s legislative advancements.
  6. “Develop side issues to weaken pro-gay marriage political leaders” like pornography, “protection of children”, and religious liberty at the federal level.
  7. Expose Obama administration programs that “have the effect of sexualizing young children” or threatening “childhood innocence”.
  8. “Find, train, and equip young leaders” to become a “next generation of elites” capable of opposing marriage equality.
  9. Foster closer relationships with Catholic bishops to “equip, energize, and moralize Catholic priests on the marriage issue”.
  10. Focus on “the consequences of gay marriage for parental rights”.

I find #8 particularly chilling; I can imagine training films for such groups of young people, but I keep hearing the narration spoken in German.

If NOM ‘fessed up and admitted that the Catholic Church is their big mover and shaker, and used that as the reason for their proselytizing, I could understand them.

I’d still kick ‘em in the stomach at my first opportunity, but I’d understand them.

 

“How many mistakes must we make before we pay for them?”

One “carelessly-made statement” — okay, anyone can misspeak once in a while.

Two or three “carelessly-made statements”, and doubt creeps in.

Dozens of “carelessly-made statements”, and I would invoke V’s comment:

“…to go on making the same lethal errors century after century seems to me nothing short of deliberate”

Let’s let Mr. Paul speak for himself:

1. “We don’t think a child of 13 should be held responsible as a man of 23. That’s true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult and should be treated as such.”

2. “What else do we need to know about the political establishment than that it refuses to discuss the crimes that terrify Americans on grounds that doing so is racist? Why isn’t that true of complex embezzling, which is 100 percent white and Asian?”

3. “Six-hundred-thousand Americans died in the senseless Civil War. No, he should not have gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original tenet of the Republic.” (referring to Abraham Lincoln)

4. “Given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal. These aren’t my figures, that is the assumption you can gather from ‘the report.’ “

5. “Contrary to the claims of the supporters of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the sponsors of H.Res. 676, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.” (quoted by Ron Paul’s colleague and collaborator Lew Rockwell)

6. “The criminals who terrorize our cities – in riots and on every non-riot day – are not exclusively young black males, but they largely are.”

7. “I wouldn’t vote against getting rid of the Jim Crow laws.”

8. “Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty and the end of welfare and affirmative action.”

9. “Immigrants can spread diseases for which we may have no immunity. There is also the question of crime and culture. Many immigrants come from countries with different legal structures and are not willing to behave in the way we expect American citizens to behave.”

10. “There is no such thing as a hate crime.”

There is a plethora of Ron Paul quotes on Twitter. Enjoy them, if you can keep your breakfast down.

“I love it when a plan comes together”

Komen blinked first:

“We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not. Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.”

We’ll just all wink eye and ignore the pegging that our bullshit detectors get when this statement is read. Of course it done for political reasons. There are strong anti-choice forces within the Komen Foundation, and they were given control of the foundation by Karen Handel, Komen’s new VP for Public Policy. Handel has a long anti-choice history, and she turned the Komen Foundation into a tool for wingnuts to further their political agenda.

Handel and her lackeys were playing politics with breast cancer. That’s despicable.

And of course you all know who’s to blame for shaming Komen into doing the morally correct thing.

You are.

You who organized yourselves online.
You who contacted Komen corporate sponsors and voiced your outrage.
You who donated money for breast cancer screenings directly to Planned Parenthood. (I take back half of all the bad things I’ve ever thought about Michael Bloomberg.)
You who called and wrote Komen and raised hell with them about their political blunderings.

You made that plan come together. Take a bow.

A savage look at Newtonian hypocrisy

I really shouldn’t quote Savage Love letters in their entireties, but this one‘s just too delicious to pass up.

Congrats, Dan. It looks like you’ve got your first high-profile “monogamish” public figure: Newt Gingrich. You must be so proud.

Dan Savage

For anyone who spent last week under a rock: Newt Gingrich, brave defender of traditional marriage, was still married to his second wife—and still fucking the consecrated host out of his “devout Catholic” mistress—when he asked his second wife to agree to an open marriage. Newt had been fucking Callista, his devoutly Catholic mistress, for six years when he made the big ask. Newt’s second wife wouldn’t agree to an open marriage, according to Newt’s second wife, which is how she became Newt’s second ex-wife and Newt’s mistress—the devoutly Catholic Callista—became Newt’s third wife.

That’s not monogamish, SCUM. That’s CPOSish. And lumping honest nonmonogamists—people who don’t lie or cheat—in with the likes of the Gingriches and Schwarzeneggers of the world, which whiny and insecure monogamists (who are not to be confused with reasonable and secure monogamists) are always doing, is simply unfair. Newt, like Arnold before him, didn’t succeed at nonmonogamy, he failed at monogamy.

Newton Gingrich

Zooming out for a moment: The Gingrich campaign has presented the holesome story of Newt and Callista’s courtship as a redemption narrative: Newt is a better man today thanks to Callista, he’s better suited to be president thanks to Callista, and he’s better prepared to defend traditional marriage thanks to Callista. She’s been described as a “devout Catholic” in every profile written about her—so devout that her love brought Newt to the one, holy, Catholic, apostolic, and ever-more-rabidly anti-gay church. So it seems to me that it’s fair to ask if Callista knew in advance that Newt was proposing an open marriage to his then-wife and approved of the arrangement. (It might be more accurate to say that Newt informed his second wife that she was already in an open marriage and asked if she wanted to remain in it.) Did Callista know about Newt’s open marriage proposal? Did Newt bounce the idea off his devoutly Catholic mistress first? Maybe right after he finished bouncing himself off his devoutly Catholic mistress?

Would the devout Catholic still be Newt’s mistress today if the second Mrs. Gingrich had agreed to remain in the marriage that Newt had already opened?

Callista Gingrich

This news alters the redemption narrative that the Gingrich camp set before the voters. So questioning Callista about the open marriage proposal—what did the mistress know and when did she know it?—seems like an entirely legit line of inquiry to me.

Callista Gingrich, like her vile husband, doesn’t believe that gays and lesbians should be equal under the law because, as a good Catholic, she believes that homosexuality is a sin and that homosexuals should remain celibate. Well, the Catholic Church considers adultery, divorce, and birth control sinful, too. Someone in the liberal media really ought to ask Callista to explain why her faith should place limits on my sexual expression but not her own. (emphasis mine)

And let’s not forget that Newton did the same damned thing to wife #1, except that he kinda left out the “can I cheat on you with your blessing?” part.