Observations and inanities by a second-shift assistant supervisor in the Puppy-Grinding division of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy® (our motto: "Sure it's cruel, but think of the jobs!"), your host, Brent Rasmussen.
Man, you gotta love the audacity combined with the stupidity:
A Christian civil liberties organization on Thursday asked centrist Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello (D) to move his home district office to a location more favorable to protesters.
The Rutherford Institute, which was founded by conservative constitutional lawyer John W. Whitehead, penned a letter to the freshman Perriello citing the concerns of a local tea party group and the University of Virginia College Republicans that the location of his Charlottesville office interferes with their right to protest there.
"Unfortunately, it is your choice of office location that has hindered the ability of citizens to effectively communicate concerning issues of the utmost importance to you, Congress and the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia," wrote Whitehead.
"English only" moron Pat Buchanan talks with Peter Brimelow, bigot-in-chief of VDare.com under their new banner. I can only imagine what the two of them might be discussing. What I can tell you is that it is most likely something that is dangerous to America, morally repugnant, or both. Probably something along the lines of:
"We don't need no stinkin', uppity mesicans on our Supreme Court, by God! That job is reserved for white men!"
Did I mention that Pat Buchanan makes me want to vomit? Simply by existing? No?
Well, now you know.
(Tip of the ballcap to Think Progress.)
Often quoted as “Have you no shame, sir?” the historic line spoken to communist witch hunter Sen. Joe McCarthy by Army counsel Joseph N. Welch goes “Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
That one speech reportedly marked a turning point in McCarthy’s career. His much heralded hearings, powered by fear of communist infiltration he himself helped create, had caught America by the throat. But in that moment, people suddenly saw him in a new light. He wasn’t America’s vigilant defender, he was a fear-mongering demagogue willing to do anything, willing to brand anyone, no matter how innocent, with the scarlet “C,” to bolster his own political career.
Welch also said “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.”
I hope we just had another of those moments.
A caller to Rush Limbaugh’s show, a self-described Republican and veteran, said:
David Frum, from the current Newsweek:
And for the leader of the Republicans? A man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as "losers." With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence—exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party. And we're cooperating! Those images of crowds of CPACers cheering Rush's every rancorous word—we'll be seeing them rebroadcast for a long time.
Rush knows what he is doing. The worse conservatives do, the more important Rush becomes as leader of the ardent remnant. The better conservatives succeed, the more we become a broad national governing coalition, the more Rush will be sidelined.
* * *
That's pretty much my maxim for dealing with any government agency, at any level: no matter what they tell you, the situation will always turn out to be worse the more you find out about it.
You know what's going to happen when they're talking about road construction being delayed or taxes having to go up. I expect it when I hear that the economy is "having difficulties". That's bad enough. But when they start talking about infringements on your civil liberties, you might as well reach for the lube and grab your ankles.
Latest such instance:
The Maryland State Police surveillance of advocacy groups was far more extensive than previously acknowledged, with records showing that troopers monitored -- and labeled as terrorists -- activists devoted to such wide-ranging causes as promoting human rights and establishing bike lanes.
Yeah, those evil bike-lane loving terrorists had to be watched!
An interesting examination of the linguistics behind Sarah Palin's assertions that Barack Obama "pals around with terrorists", from Anil Dash:
Sarah Palin has been unsurprising in her criticisms of Barack Obama's credentials and policies, fulfilling the traditional role of the vice presidential candidate being the most aggressive and pointed rhetorical attacker in a campaign. But a closer look at her deliberate use of vernacular and language reveals that she has gone far beyond any other candidate in vice presidential history in the dangerous and irresponsible implications of her attacks. She has phrased her attacks on Obama in a way that avoids accountability to the press while specifically addressing the subset of her audience who are most likely to advocate extreme actions against Obama.
* * *
Incredibly frightening satire from Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez over at AlterNet:
[link] So what else won’t change with me? I’ll tell ya. Freedom of religion won’t change either. You won’t find me settin’ restrictions on religion. It’s just gonna be a matter of learnin’ t’think about things a little different is all. We all know that there is really only one true religion and that’s why as governor of Alaska I made sure to add a Christian heritage holiday but did you see me do that for any of those other satan cults? No you did not and that’s because I know the difference, as a good a positive American, between religion and plain old superstition and crazy talk.
So you guys, I’m super happy to tell you today that you are finally free to be religious and that’s exactly what the founding fathers wanted when they wrote the USS Constitution out there in Pearl Harbor that time with the pilgrims and the Indians because they were Christians like me even if the liberals keep insisting they were Deists which also, is total crazy talk because there’s no such thing and never was as someone who believes in nature as God because God knows just like I know that nature is nothing more than his gift to us so that we can go huntin’ and drillin’ and drive around on ATVs. So you are free to pick the Christian church you wanna go to! Isn’t that awesome? There’s so many to choose from, it’s like when you go into the Target and you can’t decide which kind of disposable diaper to get. I’m all about choices.
For the first time in a long time we are on the brink of a political situation that could very easily become a death blow to this great American experiment of ours.
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross ." - Sinclair Lewis
Heinlein nailed it more than 50 years ago in the postscript to his "2nd American Revolution" collection called "Revolt In 2100", but apparently we didn't pay attention:
[R.A.H.] "As for the second notion, the idea that we could lose our freedom by succumbing to a wave of religious hysteria, I am sorry to say that I consider it possible. I hope that it is not probable. But there is a latent deep strain of religious fanaticism in this, our culture. It is rooted in our history and has broken out many times in the past. It is with us now; there has been a sharp rise in strongly evangelical sects in the country in recent years, some of which hold beliefs theocratic in the extreme, anti- intellectual, anti-scientific, and anti-libertarian."
"It is a truism that almost any sect, cult or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so. . . . The custodians of the True Faith cannot logically admit tolerance of heresy to be a virtue."
". . . Could any one sect obtain a working majority at the polls and take over the country? Perhaps not -- but a combination of the dynamic evangelist, television, enough money, and modern techniques of advertising and propaganda might make Billy Sunday's efforts look like a corner store compared to Sears Roebuck. Throw in a depression for good measure, promise a material heaven here on earth, add a dash of anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, Anti-Negroism, and a good large dose of anti- furriners' in general and anti-intellectuals here at home and the result might be something quite frightening -- particularly when one recalls that our voting system is such that a minority distributed as pluralities in enough states can constitute a working majority in Washington."
". . . Impossible? Remember the Klan in the Twenties and how far it got without even a dynamic leader. . . The capacity of the human mind for swallowing nonsense and spewing it forth in violent and repressive action has never yet been plumbed."
Dang. I just got a little chill down my back there.
Gods, I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning:
He met her in the bar of the swank hotel and invited her to his room. Once there, the woman fixed the drinks and told him to get undressed.
And that, the delegate to the Republican National Convention told police, was the last thing he remembered.
When he awoke, the woman was gone, as was more than $120,000 in money, jewelry and other belongings.
* * *
The haul included a $30,000 watch, a $20,000 ring, a necklace valued at $5,000, earrings priced at $4,000 and a Prada belt valued at $1,000, police said.
Now, you may think it unkind of me to take pleasure in the poor fellow's misfortune. Normally, I would agree. But I dare you to watch this clip of the idiot at the RNC prior to his getting ripped off and not share my opinion:
OK, John McCain had the Republican nomination locked up, what, back in March? So since then he's had plenty of time to pick a running mate, get his convention all sorted out, be ready to put on a good show for the final two months of the election season when most people start really paying attention after Labor Day.
And this is what we get???
First off, the Palin debacle. Yeah, I know Brent's redneck friends think she's great. But seriously, think about how many different issues have popped up with her name attached this last week, alone. Troopergate. The Jet That Didn't Sell on eBay. Theocrat. Lies about the 'Bridge to Nowhere'. And that doesn't even touch on her questionable judgment as a parent and wife. Clearly, the McCain camp did not do the necessary background checks on this woman. No wonder they're now saying that they'll limit her contact with the press until the election.
In a stunning blow to the Bush Administration in its war-on-terrorism policies, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign nationals held at Guantanamo Bay have a right to pursue habeas challenges to their detention. The Court, dividing 5-4, ruled that Congress had not validly taken away habeas rights. If Congress wishes to suspend habeas, it must do so only as the Constitution allows — when the country faces rebellion or invasion.
And here's a Reuters story:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Guantanamo Bay prisoners have the right to go before U.S. federal judges to challenge their years-long detention, handing a stinging setback to the Bush administration.
Gotta love it. The folks over at Feministing get the usual kind of misogynist hate mail you would expect, but sometimes things turn out a little bit differently from what the sender intended:
We receive a lot of hate email here at Feministing, and this one was too good not to share.
Men are better than women look at the comparison in IQ men are scientifically proven to have a higher IQ by roughly 5 points, or 5% you cannot dispute science sorry and if you want a much better website than your shitty one you might want to go to [redacted]. I think you would gain a lot more knowledge from that website and you might learn about the truth that way you would not be so stupid and ignorant you stupid cunts.
DENVER - Carrying a family Bible, a state representative-elect (Douglas Bruce) kicked a photographer who took a picture of him during a statehouse prayer — then was sworn into office.
When Rocky Mountain News photographer Javier Manzano took his photo during the traditional morning prayer, Bruce, who was standing, brought the sole of his shoe down hard on the photographer's bent knee.
Don't do that again," Bruce told him.
Later, Bruce refused to apologize.
"I think that's the most offensive thing I've seen a photographer do in 21 years," he said. "If people are going to cause a disruption during a public prayer, they should be called for it. He owes an apology to the House and the public."
Oy. Hey, Representative Bruce, you know that there is more than one part to the US Constitution's First Amendment, right? Just in case you've happened to forget, here's the full text:
Do you wanna know just how valued democracy is on the far Right? Here's a clue:
If Republicans end up with a divided convention between Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, I say we pick Gen. Pervez Musharraf.
Musharraf has declared emergency rule in Pakistan, shut down the media and sent Supreme Court justices home. What's not to like about a guy who orders policemen to beat up lawyers? I bet he has a good plan on illegal immigration, too.
Need a bit more?
You wouldn't know it to read the headlines, but Musharraf has not staged a military coup. In fact, he was re-elected -- in a landslide -- just weeks ago under Pakistan's own parliamentary system.
But the Pakistani Supreme Court, like our own Supreme Court, believes it is above the president and refused to acknowledge Musharraf's election on the grounds that he is disqualified because he is still wearing a military uniform. That's when Musharraf sent them home.
Giving Landover Baptist a run for their money! Baptists For Brownback 2008!
[link] Today, in an America filled with adulterers and baby-killers, an even worse sinner casts a shadow over them all—the atheist. Yet atheists are difficult to spot. They hide their sinister cult behind masks of smiles, science and soft, pleasant voices. Your next door neighbor might be an atheist. You just can’t tell.
Imagine if it was simple to identify atheists and their tainted works. Would it not be grand? Think how much easier it would be to protect your children’s eyes, ears and souls from atheists’ influences if their websites, books, movies and yes, even their very clothes, were clearly labeled with a bright scarlet “A”.
Curses! Those godly folks have somehow conspired to place one of those scarlet "A"s on UTI as well! Now if I can only keep UTI from being listed on their Hellbound list... **shakes fist**
Matt Sanchez. So, he's a 36-year-old Marine Corporal in the reserves, a Columbia University student, and a Republican. He has been interviewed on Hannity & Colmes because of his allegations of abuse by "anti-military" lefty radicals at Columbia, posed for a picture with Ann Coulter...
...and he's a gay porn star who uses the name Rod Majors (among others) as his stage name.
Of course, the right wing media machine is going to implode spectacularly. That'll be fun to watch.
(Tip of the ballcap to Hank Fox. Thanks Hank!)
(I think it's big enough a story to warrant posting it here)
An anti-Mormon bigot heckled Romney at an event in Florida, calling him a "Pretender"; Romney responded, "We need a person of faith lead the country." In other words, Romney believes, as Pat Robertson does, that atheists are unfit to lead.
Or, at least, that's what he says to Evangelical crowds in Florida. To the mainstream media, he adopts a more moderate image, touting the importance of separation of church and state. On the one hand, he says, "Well, we have a separation of church and state in this country, and we should and it's served us well." On the other, like Obama, he opposes separation of church and state in practice. For example, on faith-based initiatives, he says,
Well, we don't fund faith-based institutions, other than when they're performing a non-faith role.
So right now we have faith-based initiatives in our state. Ann happens to lead that effort. And some of the faith-based institutions, particularly in the inner city, are doing a lot better job helping the poor, helping kids, helping families get on their feet than some government social service agencies.
So helping them in their secular role is, of course, fine.
There are several errors and sins of omission in that statement. Most importantly, there's a huge problem of enforcement of laws against proselytizing on the state's dime. In principle, religious organizations can get charity funding if a) they fund their charity activities from a separate, non-fungible account, b) the charity organization obeys all anti-discrimination laws, and c) the charity activities do not include any proselytization. In practice, none of the three conditions is seriously enforced.
Riddle me this. How do you divide people? Stick religion in where it doesn't belong.
Did you know that Texas has a pledge much like the national Pledge of Allegiance? Neither did I, and, I'm guessing anyone who didn't go through the Texas public school system. Apparently it is much like the national pledge. It's something school children routinely recite robotically but is otherwise mostly forgotten about. That is, until one day in the Texas state legislature state when someone decided it didn't have enough religion in it.
[link][Republican Texas state representative Debbie] Riddle filed a bill to take the Texas pledge and add, "one state under God."
The current Texas pledge:
[link]Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible.
Reprentative Riddle's amended pledge from her bill. Now with 21% more added religion!
[link]Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God and indivisible.
Indivisible? Not for long it looks like.
First, I thank everyone who stood up and made their voice heard on Tuesday, regardless of who you voted for.
I am sure that all of you share my glee over the election results. It has renewed my faith that our system can actually work sometimes. We all know that this is no miracle cure or that is going to make everything better, but at the bare minimum the American people were able to voice their opinion loud and clear, despite the best efforts of the Republican spin machine.
Of course, we all know that Bush and the remaining Republicans must publicly attempt to work with the Democrats, and Rumsfeld's resignation and Bush's breakfast with Nancy Pelosi bear that out. However, I do not believe that the Republican Party is going to take this is the wake-up call that they need to change the way they do business. Rather, I think that that is going to be a signal to them that they need to redouble their efforts to slander Democrats, force partisanship, and make sure they win back control in 2008 so they can continue their work of making this a Christian nation.
I heard him say it again. It was in the last couple of days, but when he said it doesn't matter. In fact, exactly what he said doesn't matter. He once again equated the war in Iraq with the "War on Terror". If, by some odd chance, you don't recognize who I'm talking about...it's Bush.
Here's my main beef: Why does the public continue to allow Bush to equate the "War on Terror" with the war in Iraq? It's madness. It's more than clear now that the terrorists did not arrive in Iraq until after our attack. No no...let me stop you there. I'm not saying that removing Sadaam wasn't a good thing. But let's call a fish a fish. Removing Sadaam has no bearing on the "War on Terror".
The "War on Terror" started as a response to an atrocity. 9/11 was a tragic, terrible event. The initial response was appropriate. But by allowing the Bush administration to add Iraq to the tally they've been given a free pass. The Taliban is experiencing a resurgence in Afghanistan. If we'd not stopped paying as much attention to our initial objective (The Taliban), who were clearly involved in harboring terrorists, instead of redirecting our efforts towards Iraq, who only had the potential of maybe helping terrorists along the way (and turned out not to have to much to do, if anything, with the attack against the US), perhaps we could have "won" on that front.
The point is that the correlation between Iraq and terrorism is clearly dishonest and should be readily ignored. What should not be ignored is that the Bush administration should not be allowed to make this assertion unchallenged. We've wasted too many resources and lives chasing the phantom of terrorism in Iraq and the waste should be stopped.
We must be honest with ourselves. The "War on Terror" is a nebulous war and one that can never be won. All we can do is work to minimize the threat. Unfortunately, the current American response doesn't come close to mitigating the possible damage. A change in leadership is in order, if only to stifle the damage that could still be done.
Reality no longer means anything to these clowns.
WDAY reporter Scott Hennen: And I've had people call and say, please, let the Vice President know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives. Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I do agree. And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed provided us with enormously valuable information about how many there are, about how they plan, what their training processes are and so forth, we've learned a lot. We need to be able to continue that.
The Congress recently voted on this question of military commissions and our authority to continue the interrogation program. It passed both Houses, fortunately. The President signed it into law, but the fact is 177 Democrats in the House -- or excuse me, 162 Democrats in the House voted against it, and 32 out of 44 senators -- Democratic senators voted against it. We wouldn't have that authority today if they were in charge. That's a very important issue in this campaign.