Todd Akin has gone from a candidate here in Missouri for the United States Senate to a national joke. Erin Nanasi at Mad Mike's America isn't laughing. She points to a few Christian conservatives who continue to explain that women who are "legitimately" raped don't get pregnant. She traces the myth back to Nazi experiments. Not so funny. The humor really fades as she reviews some of the stories of actual rape victims confronted by this junk science.
At News Corpse, Mark has been watching Fox News so we don't have to. Dick Morris, political analyst, says Todd Akin improves Mitt Romney's election chances.
Mitt Romney makes a little joke about Obama's citizenship, tee hee. Aparently birthers just crack him up. PZ Myers, writing for Pharyngula, has figured out why nobody is asking Mitt Romney to prove where he was born.
Tommy Christopher of Mediaite fame delves a little further into the sad, sleazy story, as Mitt Romney goes Obama-is-not-an-American-ha-ha-ha-just-a-little-joke. Seems a CNN reporter posits that it all proves how tough the GOP candidate can get. Yeah. Tough.
Nancy Hanks at The Hankster posts Independent news featuring a trend among young people toward political anti-partisanship.
Jack Jodell, friend of the working blogger, has a justifiably angry piece at THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST about the widespread GOP campaign to keep legitimate voters from casting ballots. Listen guys, if a voter doesn't own a photo ID, shouldn't other valid proof of identity get that voter a ballot?
The Heathen Republican holds a debate with a committed Democrat. Problem is, unless Heathen is holding back on us, the committed Democrat is actually the version that exists in Heathen's mind. I wonder if I could win a debate if I controlled what my fictional opponent was saying. Anyway, Heathen's opponent is left with this final response: "Umm…" Wow. That Heathen Republican is one shrewd debater.
Milwaukee has gotten federal funds to revive a street car track. James Wigderson is not the only skeptic. An organization is running a website against it. James cites the name of the group, Americans for Prosperity, but somehow forgets to mention that it is a front group for the astonishingly wealthy, politically extreme, Koch brothers. I guess you can't have everything.
T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, takes Melinda Gates to task, quoting an African emigree, for donating funds for contraceptives, for all sorts of reasons, avoiding the real issue for some religious conservatives: Going well beyond abortion, most forms of birth control are murder.
Vincent of A wayfarer's notes has another movie review, this one of a wonderful film about a homeless, troubled, man with an astonishing musical talent, The Soloist. I like most of the films, the ones I have seen, that Vincent occasionally mentions. But I have a confession. I enjoy his reviews even more than the movies themselves.
Introduction, Traditional Service,
9:00 AM, August 19, 2012
St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Florissant, MO
When we put things ahead of faith,
when we put consumption ahead of God,
that is when all we use will use us.
That is when all we consume will consume us.
But Jesus walks with us.
He shows us the value of
living with God at the center of life.
We have found a friend.
And he is everything.
Found on Line:
"The Lily of the Valley"
The Heathen Republican applies his thoughtful electoral expertise to unexpectedly helping President Obama win big in November. It hinges on the convention speech. All the President needs to do is acknowledge that he has been a singularly bad President, but point out that there were a few good points, then promise to do better. Heathen generously presents this advice free of charge. It's a wise man who knows the value of his own product.
marindenver at Rumproast puts a CPA to work on what little tax information has been released by Mitt Romney. The CPA is ... well ... marindenver. I dunno. After all, the mystery is solved, right? If the Romney campaign will release 5 more years, Obama's campaign manager has offered to put in writing a pledge that the campaign will not criticize Romney for not putting out more. Romney responds that he has already enlisted an objective observer to verify that he paid everything with complete honesty. The independent observer is reputable and well known. Goes by "Mitt Romney." You can trust him. Would a man who pays all his taxes lie about paying all his taxes?
T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, documents the economic crisis under President Obama with statistical analysis in chart form. His stats kind of leave out a couple of facts. The economy was not only shrinking when Obama took over, it was later discovered to have been shrinking almost three times as fast as originally thought. We were not heading for a cliff. We had already gone over. But T. Paine has lots and lots of data, so pay no attention to that little omission.
Chuck Thinks Right goes into a rant about Joe Biden. Chuck doesn't get around to saying why, except that ole Joe shore is stoopid. My guess is that it has to do with Biden's quite reasonable observation that taking the chains off financial predators would put the chains on consumers. Those who hunger and thirst after indignation have seized on the "chains" part of it as a racial attack. On the other hand, Chuck may be referring to something else. Hard to say for sure.
Nancy Hanks at The Hankster goes mathematical. Registration is down. Independent voters are up. That adds up to ... lessee, carry the 4, ... okay, politically Independent Voters are extra quantum leap important this year.
After a colleague at Mediaite offered the silly suggestion that it was wrong for MSNBC to cover the continuing GOP campaign to outlaw voting rights for those whose proof of identity does not include photos, Tommy Christopher takes him on. The fellow's reasoning was that since most voters say yes when asked if ID should be required, it is wrong to offer opposing evidence. Tommy gently suggests that it is the very reason to keep covering the story. Fidelity to truth is closer to Tommy's idea of journalism than it is to his pandering buddy's notion. Perhaps those who don't have photo ID should be allowed to provide other valid proof?
One thing interesting to me is that Tommy just happened to draw a connection between earlier campaigns to prevent minorities from voting, specifically literacy tests, and the current effort to deny this basic right. It also happens to be a connection to which a friend recently refused to respond. When I asked him to provide some moral distinction between this season's denial of rights and literacy tests of the past, he refused to specify even one difference because ... well ... the two are different. Such is the logic of bartering away the rights of others.
Sexual assault is heinous. Sexual assault on a small child is unspeakable evil. At News Corpse, two incidents seem virtually identical. But they are treated by Fox News very differently. A racial component and a professional connection could have some remote, subtle, distant influence.
Jack Jodell, friend of the working blogger at THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST, goes time machine on us, channeling a wonderfully insightful speech of 54 years ago by broadcast journalist icon, Edward R. Murrow.
James Wigderson wonders if there is any possibility that a County official in Wisconsin might have been fired for political partisan reasons. I wonder if James is losing his journalistic skills. It took him three whole sentences to completely convince me.
Infidel 753 examines the rift between nice tolerant Christians and ugly hate filled Christians. He concludes that the haters have scripture on their side, while tolerant ones only have Jesus. I think Jesus pretty much summed up scriptural law, and Paul was quite specific. Most Christians would regard both as scripturally sound. One side seems to me to play a bit selectively, leaving the definitive summary out of consideration. I ask Infidel to reconsider his purchase of what literalists are selectively selling.
Ryan at Secular Ethics disposes of the occasionally heard argument that what science cannot explain is proof of God. As you might expect, Ryan does not fall into a straw man trap. Disproving a false argument offered to support a proposition does not disprove a proposition.
On the other hand, Gary William Green of Mad Mike's America really doesn't much care for religion. It is the enemy of science and so those who believe fear all things scientific. If we who worship are doomed to believe every episode of the Flintstones was a documentary, then he must be right.
I'm back to trying to forgive Vincent of A wayfarer's notes. He writes a review of a movie, then rejects it. Then he is inspired by the movie he reviewed to rewrite the review. But his review is a review of the process of re-writing a review. How can anyone be that good at anything?
Tommy Christopher of Mediaite fame notes that Fox News is finally on to the alleged war on women. It has nothing to do with equality of opportunity in the workplace or reproductive rights or transvaginal probes. Turns out Democratic women envy Ann Romney for marrying the rich guy they all wish they had snagged. I'd ask my loved one if it's true, but I'm kind of afraid to find out.
On second thought, this was in the Deseret News in Salt Lake City:
A Tennessee sheriff deputy's report said the 40-year-old Turpin was clueless on July 22 when he became angry after seeing a photo of a man he didn't recognize on his girlfriend's Facebook page. It was the Republican presidential contender.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported the officer said Turpin smashed the laptop against a wall and then punched his girlfriend...
Nancy Hanks at The Hankster has more book reviewing and news of reforms to reduce the role of political parties in elections. I dunno. Maybe. Most new ideas start off sounding kind of over the top. Abolition. Voting Rights. Women's suffrage. Moon landings. Maple syrup without maple, or syrup, or Mrs. Butterworth.
Ryan at Secular Ethics looks for a compromise on the voter photo ID issue. He would like to have everyone get along by joining in finding a way to prevent any perceived fraud without preventing any legitimate voting. His presumption of conservative good faith is kind of cute, don't you think?
In Ohio, the latest move is a coordinated Republican effort to be sure polls in heavily GOP areas stay open extra hours on election day while those in Democratic areas close early. It is a pattern of which extreme rigid photo IDs are a small part. Keeping legitimate voters from casting ballots is not an unhappy drawback to conservatives. It is the objective. The sole objective.
But if you want a compromise, try this. Ask everyone for a photo ID, even though not everybody has one. If a voter doesn't have a photo ID, accept what reasonable proof of identity that voter does have. Here is a list of IDs that work.
At News Corpse, Mark watches the news story on Fox about how Mitt Romney is leading, about to trounce the socialist Kenyan fake President, and notices that they leave out a lot of polling. One exception is really really weird.
At Rumproast, Vixen Strangely airs an Obama ad on Romney taxes and looks into the story behind it. On our site, Jerry Critter corrects us on a simple tax comparison chart, noting that more information on a single year was finally released by Mitt Romney on his taxes since the original data was published. This does go on and on, doesn't it?
- The Heathen Republican makes a fairly complex case that, on taxes, the enemies of the middle class are not the rich, but the ducky ducky poor. That's not his phrase. It comes from the Wall Street Journal. At the heart of his argument is a premise that taxing the rich has become so easy that a tipping point has been reached and the wealthy are tapped out. Before you can say whoa buster, he goes to this:
Every time a politician proposes income tax policy changes, we shift a little more burden to the rich and a little less burden from the poor. The process is deceptively simple, accumulates over time, and has damaged our politics.
Let's see. Under Eisenhower the top rate was 90 percent. Under Reagan it went to 39 percent. Under Bush it went to 35. And putting it back up to a maximum 39 percent for the extreme top sliver of the wealthy is a socialist outrage? Tapped out. Tipping point. Uh huh.
T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, is a constant friend and sometime contributor here. This week he bemoans the fact that Americans are not massively attracted by the Romney plan to lower tax rates for the extremely wealthy thereby rescuing the economy. The proposal to help out the wealthy would be a sure winner if Americans were not so distracted by the release-your-taxes-Mr-Romney smoke being blown by socialist Marxist Democrats like ... well ... me, I suppose.
He wants a counter attack. Romney can't demand Obama's birth certificate. That one's pretty much played out. But T. Paine has a plan. He wants Romney to demand that President Obama release his school transcripts. To show that he got poor grades in school. yeah. That's the ticket.
My friend is really a lovable guy, but he does seem to have one demon. Ask him about President Obama and he not only answers in CAPS. The inside of your computer screen gets flecked with spittle.
Papamoka at Papamoka Straight Talk reveals that he is a devoted Catholic, a compassionate Democrat, and an unrepentant liberal. He sees no contradiction. For some reason he seems not to realize that the love shown by Jesus is combined with a hatred of gays and anti-colonial Kenyans who pretend to be President. T. Paine will have to explain it to him. Papamoka will be wise to bring an umbrella.
Since Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker survived the recall effort he has become a conservative hero to the point of near worship. James Wigderson explains that a conservative opponent from before Governor Walker's ascendance to Olympian heights now suffers from his unknowing heresy. Republican primaries have been really mean in the last couple of years. In this case a conservative Republican thinks he is about to eat a live kitten and finds himself caged in with a mountain lion. Kind of like Colonel Sanders getting to heaven and discovering God in the form of a chicken. Sorry, Lord. I'll stay for two services tomorrow morning. Promise.
Max's Dad watches Chik Fil A eat ins in awe. He passes harsh judgement on all us dumb as nails Christians. Uh. Excuse me, my brother. May I suggest a few small exceptions?
PZ Myers, writing for Pharyngula, is a committed atheist who attends all the club meetings. He notices a preponderance of aging white males as speakers. He pushes for more diversity at gatherings of atheists but seems to get some push back. I dunno. My modest proposal would be to consider a religious speaker or two? Just a thought. I've suggested to the pastor that a presentation by an atheist, perhaps a debate, might be worthwhile. Seems to be some hesitation there.
Well, even at my age you can learn something new. At Why do we have to do this, Sir? our aspiring religious leader tells of interminable ritual-heavy musical productions that some church baptisms have become. Imagine avoiding baptisms.
Caroline Taylor, a thoughtful citizen at Mad Mike's America, channels Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun Times. Steinberg never really liked Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood as a kid, but a viral remix on youtube has him remembering his days at age 5.
Vincent of A wayfarer's notes counts his blessings, mostly people, and thanks them individually. This has been done before and usually comes off as entertaining as a shopping list. But Vincent has a gift, and his list is uplifting and moving, a long way from boring.
T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, is an occasional contributor here, a frequent participant, and a constant personal friend. He cautions against the common practice of manipulating religious faith. My take is that perhaps Jesus has taken no position on a 39% tax rate on the wealthy. Those who insist they know which candidates God favors are to be viewed with some skepticism.
Speaking of which, James Wigderson presents a Catholic church Cardinal as the final word on whether Obamacare violates religious conscience. The current regulation now challenged in court is that Insurance Companies are required to provide contraceptive coverage, separate from the beliefs of employers. My view is any church can urge its members to keep from practicing birth control. Going beyond that to denial of basic coverage goes beyond freedom. Right to swing your fist ending at your employee's nose. But then, I'm not a Cardinal.
Michael John Scott, first citizen of Mad Mike's America, chronicles the preaching of a pastor who tells us God wants us to execute Kermit and Miss Piggy for supporting gay rights. Apparently the death sentence will be lifted if the television characters will agree to dine at Chick-fil-A.
PZ Myers, writing for Pharyngula, responds to a columnist who attacks 5 atheists for being atheists. I join him, although from a perspective that embraces faith. He is right for an additional reason, one that he cannot consider.
Ryan at Secular Ethics examines various arguments about atheism, the morality of God, and whether God can be immoral.
At News Corpse, Mark must have interviewed Captain Obvious. He discovers that there exists hate speech on conservative talk radio. Okay, he actually, actually has a legitimate study as a source. False equivalency arguments will doubtlessly follow. Anything true of one side must be true of the other.
Tommy Christopher of Mediaite fame considers the Romney-paid-no-taxes-for-a-decade someone-told-me-I-can't-say-who accusations by Senator Harry Reid and holds him essentially blameless. Kind of. He does semi-challenge the Huffington Post for printing the less than nothing story. They are within their rights but it's a potentially dangerous precedent. I dunno. Seems to be Michele Bachmann, and before her, others, provide a history of journalistic precedent. There is obvious mitigation in that the origin is Romney's tight fisted hold on the tax facts.
At Rumproast, marindenver takes a close look at the higgs boson of the Romney Tax Plan to cut the rates of the extremely wealthy, the mysterious dark matter being the astonishingly explosive economic boom that will lift all boats and send them into space.
The Heathen Republican believes he has discovered a perverse incentive in Obamacare that could encourage some employers to drop health coverage. The study is a couple of years old and seems to conclude that business penalties are too low for inadequate or nonexistent coverage. Non-covered employees would then be provided coverage at state or federally run exchanges. Kind of dry. A bit technical, but Heathen is a talented writer who manages to explain his viewpoint in an interesting way.
For decades, the black helicopter UN international leftist conspiracy called Agenda 21 has fueled right wing warnings of impending world wide tyranny. Slant Right's John Houk has discovered a new wrinkle. The Agenda 21 plot is now on the attack again, this time the target is corn, gasoline, and gas prices. Nothing about the inflation of tinfoil hats.
I fear for Vincent of A wayfarer's notes. He has joined a writer's club and writes about writing. he writes wonderfully, and so he pulls it off well. Then he becomes inspired to discontinue the various heart related medications he (and I) take to see if the placebo effect of the change will carry him through.
At Why do we have to do this, Sir?, our protagonist has read a book. It is a very good book and he gives a fascinating review. It's about a Nazi artifact that goes back to biblical times. Okay, maybe we should read The Sword of the Templars. It has a very solid recommendation.
Jack Jodell, friend of the working blogger at THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST, provides a brief but complete biography of heroic news icon Edward R. Murrow, who stood up to one of the worst political bullies in American history. Harry Reid is a saint compared with Joe McCarthy, and even Michele Bachmann comes up short in the pure evil department.
Our friend, occasional contributor, and frequent comment participant, T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, takes on abortion. From a pro-life perspective, T. Paine attempts to come to a rational, scientific, explanation of where life begins.
Wrong question, I think. Life began several billion years ago. It is a continuum. The perpetual question is when life becomes human, and more specifically when life becomes legally equal to fully developed life, the point of full legal personhood. On the other hand, there is no approach to abortion that is not absurd. T. Paine gets extra points for tackling an impossible issue, without noticeable demagoguery.
Mea culpa. I helped to spread yet another right wing falsehood. YAFB at Rumproast sets the record straight, and does so exhaustively. The story, which I repeated, was that a bust of Winston Churchill was on loan from Great Britain to the United States. It had a prominent place in the Oval office until Barack Obama insulted the British by sending it back.
Turns out the story of the bust is a bust. There is a bust. It was on loan. It needed repair. A duplicate was sent by Britain to the US while the original was repaired. The duplicate was returned when repairs were complete and the original came back. A bust of Abraham Lincoln was placed in the Oval Office, and the bust of Winston Churchill was moved to the family residence part of the White House, where President Obama showed it off to a delighted David Cameron the last time the Prime Minister visited. The lie about insulting the British was repeated this week by Mitt Romney. So the Republican candidate and I have something in common.
Breitbarting is the taking of innocent statements and editing them down until all that remains is the opposite of what was actually said. Infidel 753 looks at a statement made by President Obama and how conservatives have tried to make it look as if he denied that business owners are responsible for their own success.
It's been an interesting week in the madcap diplomacy of Mitt Romney's tour of the world. The very bad day in London, leads Gary William Green of Mad Mike's America to a review of past writings of the Republican candidate. Turns out his devotion to his Anglo-Saxon heritage has, at times, taken a surprisingly negative tone.
The amazing advisors to Mitt Romney do not confine astonishing comments to "racially insensitive" remarks to British dailies. Tommy Christopher, of Mediaite fame, reports yet another of the Romney group with a wild view of the recent mass killings in Colorado. It would be hilarious in most contexts, but multiple murders don't crack me up the way other topics do. Many thanks to Tommy Christopher for low key reporting of an offensive perspective.
Dave Dubya explores a few more extreme conservative reactions to the Colorado mass shootings. Example of one link: It was all part of an Obama plot to panic the country into confiscating everyone's firearms.
The Heathen Republican finds 11 reasons Romney can't win and 9 reasons Obama can't win. Most of the anti-Romney reasons are wretchedly unfair (Bain outsourced after he left. Nothing about all the "job creation" after he left) while all the anti-Obama reasons are objective and neutral. But, Heathen has a point of view and we're not engaged in peer reviewed academic dissertations. Right? Besides, the guy writes really well.
Jack Jodell, friend of the working blogger at THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST, has been getting loads of push poll materials by mail, unintentional humor from right wing fundraising groups. Jack is less than amused.
In Waukesha, Wisconsin, the County Board of Public Works wants to partially privatize garbage collection. At least that's my interpretation. Conservative James Wigderson opposes the move. He discovers that taxpayer dollars will be used to promote the idea. James puts a stop to it. "It" being the ad campaign.
Nancy Hanks at The Hankster has a friend who wrote a book. Turns out to be a very good book, and it's about politically independent voters and the evils of political parties. It's a bit of departure from Nancy's usual reporting, but it is certainly on topic.
Ryan is a frequent contributor and a constant particpant here. He is also a friend. At Secular Ethics, Ryan takes on a host of weighty topics in an interesting, informative way. This week he educates us in a continuing debate over how, and whether, to define morality. See what I mean?
PZ Myers, writing for Pharyngula, with the help of a very good article in Discover Magazine and a follow up video by Richard Dawkins dismantles creationism, then vivisects the corpse. The only issue I have with the approach is the frequent conflation of Christianity with literalism.
Tim McGaha at Tim's Thoughtful Spot reviews two amazing people. One has a hobby, ballooning to as close to 20 miles high as he can, then jumping out. The other is a Marine pilot who fell 3 miles without a working parachute. Two true free fall individuals.
It has been another all-star Battle of the super heroes here this week. Ryan, who teaches us lessons in logic at Secular Ethics, has been demonstrating examples of reasoning as he bravely takes on uber-conservative T. Paine. T. Paine more usually can be found at Saving Common Sense. T. Paine visits, not so much to praise Romney, but to bury Obama over outsourcing and economic policy. The deliberative brawl shifts to a Ryan analysis of whether T. Paine's issue of "palling around with radicals" degenerates to guilt by association.
The Heathen Republican argues that an administration official who contemplates the problem of growing income inequality is an advocate of guaranteed equal outcomes. The temptation in making any rhetorical case is to overlook nuance. If accelerating concentration of wealth is troublesome to you, you must be one of them thar socialists. Go along now, pal around with your little radical friends.
Nancy Hanks at The Hankster speculates on whether President Obama has a problem with independents and figures out what happened to third way alternative Americans Elect.
James Wigderson gets the run-around from a hostile public official who tries to charge him for information he has a right to. He refers the matter to a district attorney who drops the ball. The point of all this is that James has to explain to readers what he had meant when he called the DA a gelding. The state of education today.
News Corpse takes a look at the Fox Spanish language site aimed at Latinos. Seems the anti-immigrant slant on the English side of Fox News is strangely absent in the Spanish translation. Now, how did that happen?
Okay. Everyone this side of the ground knows that CNN and FoxNews blew it in covering the SCOTUS decision on health care. Tommy Christopher of Mediaite fame has the hilarious story behind the story of those who got it right. Goes to other stories on a shoestring, complete with near incineration. Today's accurate news brought to you by Crispy Critters.
This is like a blogging Clash of the Titans. Last week, The Heathen Republican offered a tongue-in-cheek critique of my critique of his critique of liberal thought. He wrote to say, "I thought sure you'd highlight my moronic post, not a post where I quote somebody else..." Well, the problem with the implied challenge is that Heathen makes it a point to write decidedly NON-moronic posts. It's not reasonable to require me to find an exception. This week does not provide such an exception. Instead, he provides a very brief bit of classic logic against the unpopular, but constitutional, insurance mandate part of Obamacare. A reductio ad absurdum argument takes the reasoning behind a proposition and applies it to get to a conclusion that is absurd. Heathen suggests that Congress pass law requiring the purchase of firearms.
There are several ways to counter a reductio argument. One way is to deconstruct it, showing the re-application of logic to be flawed, different in some way from the original. Ryan is a frequent generous contributor here and provides lessons in logic at Secular Ethics. He deconstructs Heathen, piece by lonely piece. Before you tick off Ryan, always ask for a chance to apologize.
Actually, I answered a similar argument on the same topic a bit less deftly last year. I invoked a brute force application of history. It seems President George Washington, in his first term, did sign into law the Militia Act requiring adult males to purchase firearms in case they had to be drafted. Not a great need to do it today, but nobody challenged the constitutionality at the time.
A hundred or so years ago, G. K. Chesterton became well known as a skeptic about progressivism and conservatism. "The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes," he wrote. "The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected." T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, takes some of the half that Chesterfield wrote aimed at liberals of his day and presents it as representative of the man's philosophy. It is yesterday's discourse. Not really timeless. In those days, conservatives longed for slavery and liberals wanted to end lynchings. Chesterton thought truth was somewhere in the middle. Nice balance there, G. K. ! Political discourse has changed since then. For the most part, the left seeks to conserve a safety net that the radicalized right seeks to destroy.
Infidel 753 looks toward a future in which the phobias of Pat Buchanan type social conservatism are ill suited for effective leadership. A world of intolerance toward other religions, sexual orientations, and skin colors is one doomed to shrink to nothing.
Mark at News Corpse notes the laughter at Fox News. The hilarity centers on a DC police officer, part of an official escort, who is alleged to possibly have wanted to assassinate First Lady Michelle Obama. Fox News is undeniably ... well ... less than responsible at times. And the killing of political figures just doesn't crack me up the way it does a few others.
On the original news story, I'm in wait-for-details mode. Nobody has covered an obvious alternate explanation. The apparent threat was overheard during a discussion of possible future attempts on the First Lady's life. Seems reasonable that part of a legitimate discussion might center on how to and what might be used. Or not.
"The late Andrew Breitbart was a towering figure in the conservative media before his tragic death in March, a point even his harshest critics would concede," begins Tommy Christopher of Mediaite fame. Well, yeah, in the same sense that Charles Manson was a towering figure in the Manson family, a point even Tommy will concede. Breitbart was your friend, Tommy, but sheesh. The guy was proud about the editing of videos to make it look like innocent non-public victims were saying the opposite of what they actually said. Some got fired.
Okay, so Tommy's other point is that surviving partners of Breitbart tweeted a speculative heres-what-he-would-have-wanted endorsement of Romney by the towering figure. And Romney glommed onto it as if the words had actually come from the now deceased smear artist. He is actually proud of the ghostly embrace from the grave.
Sometimes an example provides a better definition than, well, a definition. Vixen Strangely at Rumproast finds a quote that provides a glimpse of modern Antoinette class warfare. You may think it's from the Onion, but it's snot.
Slant Right's John Houk leads a hearty cheer for a homophobic rant for family values. Trouble is: John lives only in that part of the Bible that comes before Jeremiah, and only about half of that. Before he became a Senator and had to bite his lip until drawing blood, Al Frankin (D-VeryFunny) put it thusly: From what I understand, if you cut out all the passages in the Bible where Jesus talks about the poor, about helping out the least among us, you'd have the perfect container to smuggle Rush Limbaugh's drugs in.
James Wigderson reviews a decision on the main water supply in the region, a decision made by the city government of Milwaukee. The restricted sharing of water will hurt the rest of the region, and James is understandably upset by the selfishness. Self interest is not all a reasonable conservative might want from local government.
Papamoka at Papamoka Straight Talk lines up prospective President Romney with not-yet-President Washington back in the 1770's, and finds the comparison favorable to Washington. He finds a closer match when comparing policies of Mitt and another President George W..
Max's Dad believes the booing incident at Mitt Romney's NAACP appearance was a bit of a put-up job by the campaign. He puts it all in colorful, earthy, provocative terms. Heady poetry of inspirational offense. Or, as we sometimes put it: Yikes. Definitely duck-and-cover.
If you write frequently and love it enough to labor over it, Tim McGaha at Tim's Thoughtful Spot may make you weep. He describes Higgs boson, does it in historical narrative, doesn't use mathematics, makes it understandable and entertaining. When you're finished, you have an appreciation of science, the universe, and Tim McGaha. See what I mean? Makes the rest of us cry real tears in our watered down beer.
T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, goes to discredited stereotypes and challenges the patriotism of those who decline to join the conservative march. One bromide is that liberals believe rights do not exist unless granted by government. No need for a counterpoint. Turns out it had already been submitted here.
Manifesto Joe of Texas Blues reviews wasted opportunities and complacent attitudes that cause Americans to let down ourselves and each other.
Debra Dickerson is back (Yay-y-y-y-y) with a very funny not quite Sinatra via Denis Leary. Turns out to be very, very good. The dark side of American complacency. Manifesto Joe, sort of, set to very good music.
Tommy Christopher of Mediaite fame starts by covering an unfortunate Fox television exchange and ends up taking it personally, contrasting real people he has taken the time to meet with well paid TV personalities who entertain audiences by making fun of the desperately poor.
James Wigderson hosts a popularity contest that does not, or maybe does, predict who Republicans want as their next Senator from Wisconsin. Click to find out who's winning, or maybe to find out who's even running.
Our favorite John Myste is a bit dormant at John Myste Responds. His past writing is timeless and more than worth revisiting. He has been on this site, however, in full battle regalia fighting the good fight against ... well ... me, actually.
Ryan gives Secular Ethics a brief rest (a shame), visiting at our site in order to slowly and carefully explain to me why he is against charts in debate. He even uses small words. For all his devoted effort, I still don't get it. Fortunately, he possesses a steady temperament and remains a most patient instructor.
- Infidel 753 has the most detailed, scientific explanation of Higgs Boson delivered via rap. Wow. Dancing to the dark mass.
Our favorite John Myste at John Myste Responds takes a well deserved rest from attacking the intellectual dishonesty of a mendacious blogger, who turns out to be ... well ... me, actually, to contribute his thoughts here at FairAndUNbalanced at the dishonesty of the Apostle Paul and, before him, Jesus of Nazareth.
At Why do we have to do this, Sir?, our friend, erstwhile spiritual leader disguised as middle school teacher, investigates angels through the thought processes of teenagers
PZ Myers, writing for Pharyngula, got me to thinking. I've always liked the Stones, still going strong after all these years. I don't know how Fred and Barney do it. Anyway, Myers has scheduled a podcast about Creationism. I sense a bit of skepticism.
It turns out that Ryan at Secular Ethics was singularly responsible for this week's Supreme Court decision on Obamacare. Ryan would be quite justified in expressing a degree of pride, but he remains self-deprecating about it. Ryan is also an increasingly generous contributor at Fair and UNbalanced.com. Although he is too modest to mention it himself, nobody has ever seen Ryan and Superman at the same time. Coincidence? I don't think so.
James Wigderson begins with a light slap at Nancy Pelosi, repeating a frequent conservative Breitbart reediting of a remark she made about Obamacare during the amendment process. James continues with a variation on Justice Anthony Kennedy's slippery slope speculation that government will make him eat broccoli, which he doesn't like. James is afraid that agents will take away his stash of Snickers bars. I'm with James on this outrage. Forget death panels. They can have my Snickers when they pry it from my cold dead lips.
Infidel 753 does a Dewey vs Truman accounting of initial wrong reports on Obamacare. Jean Schmidt (R-Lameduck) was recorded reacting to the wrong reports. A video shows her launching into the upper stratosphere. As radio signals reach her with a news correction, she explodes in fury. Remnants can still be seen in the evening sky from most of North America.
Tommy Christopher of Mediaite fame has video of the irrational exuberance at the wrong news just before Representative Schmidt received a corrected version, got sprinkled with Holy water, and melted into an angry pool of boiling rubber. Okay, so mixed-metaphors-are-us. I'm getting old. We all live with it.
Mark at News Corpse watches the frantic efforts of FoxNews to recover from their gleeful initial reports on the overturning of Obamacare. They quickly reported on the sharp downward reaction of stock prices in reaction, but didn't know what to do when, minutes later, stocks surged and surged and surged. Up 278 points by close of business. Did I mention Jean Schmidt?
T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, laments that Obamacare is legal. Justice Kagan had been a professional advocate for Obamacare so she should have recused herself. She wasn't and she shouldn't. Ginsburg hates the Constitution and should have been impeached. She doesn't and shouldn't. All sides in oral arguments insisted the mandate was not a tax. True and so what? Saying something is so don't make it so.. Obamacare will explode the deficit. It won't. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says the opposite. And on and on.
Vixen Strangely at Rumproast examines the unusual decision by Congressional Republicans that Attorney General Eric Holder holds them in contempt. As I understand their logic, they have no evidence of any wrongdoing. Since they know there was wrongdoing, despite the lack of evidence, that lack of evidence means that Attorney General Holder is engaged in a coverup. The lack of evidence of wrongdoing is the evidence of wrongdoing.
Jack Jodell, friend of the working blogger, has an angry piece at THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST chronicling Darrel Issa's refusal to allow testimony that would contradict conspiracy theories. Republicans in this Congress operate by ratchet rules. Evidence is allowed only in one direction.
Nancy Hanks at The Hankster channels Nomi Azulay of the New York Times, making a case that voters would participate more if elections were non-partisan.
- The Heathen Republican compares President Obama's popularity the moment he took office with his support today. He finds that support has fallen in every demographic. I dunno. I suspect every President starts at an extraordinarily high point that will seldom be attained again. Plus, Heathen uses charts to illustrate his data, which will horrify John Myste. And he does it as an advocate for a point of view, which makes him intellectually dishonest. I would not have believed that it demonstrated anything but intellectual diligence until my friend John explained it to me.
A few friends dance to Star Wars
PZ Myers, writing for Pharyngula, posts a protest against Biblical literalism. In defeating the outrageous passages, he has defeated Christianity. "Most Christians don’t read this book that they claim is the divine and holy word of an omniscient being, which would be odd if they actually believed that," he writes. My take was written a year and a half ago. How's that for time travel?
Infidel 753 has done more than a little homework. He tells us the story behind the story of the economic crisis in Greece.
Betty Cracker at Rumproast wonders why the right is wound up in a weird direction about a gun running sting operation gone tragically wrong, then figures it out with the help of public statements. My take is similar.
Max's Dad notes the blatant irony of Michigan lawmakers insisting they do really treat women with respect while their leader explains the need for giving one a "time-out." Yeah, he really used that phrase. We're just giving her a time out because of what she said. Max's Dad recalls a few instances that involved no penalty at all. Not even a few minutes in the corner.
Favorite conservative T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, compares leaks about bin Laden's below-sea-level residence to the outing of a CIA agent by the Bush administration. He is right to compare them, but he gets the comparison backward.
Our John Myste from John Myste Responds contributes this week to our site with an attack on a dishonest blogger who ... uh oh ... turns out to be me. Eeeeg. But I do respond ever so contritely. I'm not saying he is entirely wrong. I'm just saying I'm entirely right. On the other hand, he is a genius, and I'm not.
The Heathen Republican concedes that not everyone on the left is anti-war, but points out that we are all anti-war if a Republican is President. I don't recall the post-9/11 era that way. Many of us were even pro-Iraq invasion until it became obvious we were lied to. So maybe his observation is a little overstated?
Manifesto Joe of Texas Blues plays an Amy Goodman interview with a prescient Gore Vidal in 2008. I don't much care for Vidal. He too frequently thinks he has won some great battle after biting his betters on their kneecaps. Amy Goodman shines, though. Camera time is limited, but she keeps the conversation on track.
- Ryan at Secular Ethics is an occasional generous contributor here. He posts not often, but well. It may be less frequently now. When Ryan posts, he can pretty much count on a mention here. And readers can count on a quality link. He is very good at educating us on logic and fallacy, and he always enlightens with entertaining examples.
Slant Right's John Houk correctly wonders if Syria might become a proxy war between the US and Russia. It won't, at least for a while, because there is no solid group for the US to back. The opposition is too diffuse, like nailing a cloud to a wall. John goes on to mindlessly ascribe Russian policy to a continuation of Communist expansionism. Next week, perhaps John will explain how the Italian economic crisis is another plot by Julius Caesar.
Vixen Strangely at Rumproast has a recording of a right wing reporter heckling the President during an announcement of interim immigration action. Remember when such actions were evidence of unruly lack of simple patriotism?
- On the ho-hum dog-bites-man-what-else-is-new side of journalism, Tommy Christopher of Mediaite fame reports another blatant Mitt Romney untruth. But Tommy also comes up with a pretty good encapsulation of how public employees help the economy:
Cops, firemen, and teachers don’t shop in public-sector Gov-Marts, they don’t protect and educate the citizens of Public-O-Stan, and they don’t get paid in ObamaBucks. Their 700,000-strong absence from the workforce has terrible ripples in the private economy, and on private life.
Jerry Critter at Critter's Crap breaks out the data and examines the last government jobs program. John Myste may want to cover his eyes. Jerry actually uses graphs to visually display ... you know ... data points.
Jack Jodell, friend of the working blogger, has a cautionary piece at THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST about the voter suppression efforts of Florida Governor Rick Scott. The Governor has gone past photo ID laws to actually knocking voters off the rolls if they have similar name spellings of illegal immigrants or dead people. A large number of legitimate, very much live, voters have been documented to be on the Scott list. But knocking actual voters off is a small price to pay to prevent any potential illegitimate voters from casting ballots, even though the number of such attempts so far has been zero. On the other hand, most of the actual voters to be taken off the rolls by anticipated accident would have voted for people the good Governor doesn't much like. So a bug becomes a feature.
Ned Williams at Wisdom Is Vindicated contrasts J.P. Morgan's mismanagement of funds with California's deficits. He concludes we are jumping toward becoming Greece. He is right in the same way that if we jump we are closer to walking on the sun. An apple is a pear is an orange and Ned's message is a pome to missed comparisons.
Michael John Scott, first among equals at Mad Mike's America, pays attention to Michigan Republicans. Seems they first legislated restrictive abortion laws, then silenced women who had been elected to the legislature because those women mentioned by name the lady parts that Republicans had just regulated. "Vagina" is such an ugly word.
Why do we have to do this, Sir? ruminates on Jeremiah, a prophet who didn't write on a subway wall, but came pretty close for his day. Our erstwhile spiritual leader speculates about modern guidance given by the Lord. My own thoughts can be found here.
If you didn't spend several hours a couple of weeks back staring at the transit of Venus, you are doubly lucky. Infidel 753 has the NASA version, sped up and repeated with several spectral versions. And you didn't go blind from looking at the sun. Spectacular video.
James Wigderson sometimes irritates me. I don't mind his conservatism. In fact, I like his presentation of ideas with which I disagree. But this week, as he goes on vacation, he essentially writes about close to nothing. An entire piece on the fact that he and his wife have planned a trip. That's it. And he makes it entertaining, fun to read!! It isn't fair.
- SJ at RANDOM THOUGHTS may be retiring. His touching last (maybe) entry is about his grief at the death of a wonderful friend. SJ makes us sad for his loss, and perhaps a little envious because we never knew Ezra.
Slant Right's John Houk is ticked off at a judicial decision prohibiting the outing of gay kids who formed a club. Included is a rant against what the Bible calls an abomination, and a dictionary definition of the word "abomination." Oddly enough, John is not referring to the eating of lobsters and crabs which is covered by passage after passage in Leviticus. Rather, his preoccupation is homosexuality. You have to wonder about his fascination with the sexual orientation of others. But whatever fantasies get John through the dark lonely hours of his restless nights are up to him, I guess, regardless of whether they weird some of us out.
Ryan at Secular Ethics continues the debate that he and T. Paine began at FairAndUNbalanced.com while he was helping us out with a series of thoughtful contributions. He examines how excess turns the rational into rationalization and transforms freedom into self-serving anarchy.
T. Paine is a friend and an occasional contributor here even when he is not debating with our Ryan. It's kind of entertaining to see both friends in a contest of ideas. At Saving Common Sense, T. Paine has fun with elected delegates to the Massachusetts Democratic convention being required to produce photo IDs to get into the hall. After all, isn't it a bit of a double standard, since many of us don't much care for requirements intended to block voting rights? Actually, if delegates are licensed drivers, they'll get in. If not, they'll be provided with credentials. Not the equivalent of efforts by Republicans to keep minorities, young people, and the elderly from casting ballots in order to prevent non-existent voter fraud. Dumb idea in Massachusetts for its symbolic value, however. The temptation of false equivalence is irresistible to those motivated enough to cloud an issue.
Peter Lake, writing from Mad Mike's America, considers Florida Governor Rick Scott's campaign to shut out voters from ... you know ... voting and discovers a mystical connection from a half century ago with another governor into denying basic rights.
Scott Walker won Wisconsin's recall election on Tuesday and James Wigderson is still break-dancing on the sidewalk outside his palatial home in Waukesha, with a little help from Jon Stewart via video. Okay, I made up the part about Waukesha. And I made up the part about break dancing. And I made up the part about the palatial home. Still, James seems very happy.
At Rumproast, Vixen Strangely ponders yet another instance of Governor Romney saying what he knows to be flatly untrue. In this case its a direct quote from a book accusing President Obama of sabotaging the economy on purpose to get health care passed. The author of the book chases Romney around, telling eveyone who will listen that it isn't true, that the book doesn't say that, that he never said that, in print or out. But the candidate keeps repeating the false quote.
The Heathen Republican was quite taken years ago with The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. It is the basis for Heathen's offer of advice for President Obama. It is a remarkable book, a trip into the darkest part of the human soul by a latter day Machiavelli, teaching readers how to mislead, disarm, and destroy the opposition. Amazing insight, kind of like Paul's epiphany on the road to Damascus, discovering that The Heathen Republican once read a book.
Nancy Hanks at The Hankster brings mixed reactions to the impact of independent voters in Calfornia's new election system. Well, they did have an impact.
- Debra Dickerson is back (Yay-y-y-y!!!). She finds a commencement address about pursuing professional dreams, a speech that blows her mind. What is more mind bending is her introductory rant about unintentionally revealing peeks across the racial and economic divide.
Tommy Christopher of Mediaite fame brings a strangely inhumane moment to our attention as Governor Romney calls events in Syria a ray of sunshine.
Jack Jodell, friend of the working blogger at THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST recounts the newest instances of candidate Romney reciting the opposite of documented fact. The press tends to adopt the new journalistic ethic of never fact-checking these things, reporting them only as he-said-she-said. But they are a part of the public record. How can we think of them as anything but ... well ... lies?.
YAFB at Rumproast examines allegations of pro-Obama bias. Seems the President has not been properly vetted. So we don't ... know ... what ... he'll ... do ... if ... he ... becomes ... President. Or something.
It's not all that unusual for ambition to involve making enough to retire early. At some point in life, it is not unheard of for wealthy folk to decide that making more and more gets to be empty. Some go to other creative pursuits. Some go to self-fulfillment in some sort of bucket list. Some go to public service. And some go to making more millions. It's all part of freedom. President Obama made a speech a few weeks back and added this:
We’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money, but you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or you’re providing a good service.
The point, and a very legitimate point, was that some in the banking industry managed the blunt force accomplishment of making a ton of money while screwing folks. They sort of skipped over the good product or service part. So, naturally, some latter-day Breitbarters chopped the speech down to "I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money" and produced a caricature of the anti-free market chief executive. Sean Hannity and others started this newest smear which went briefly around the blogging sphere then died from eventual exposure to the truth. Our friend The Heathen Republican is late to the game, posting the partial, very partial, quote as part of a menagerie of such constructs. Well documented, though. He heard them all on Rush Limbaugh's show.
This is not the spectacularly failed Americans Elect. Nancy Hanks at The Hankster brings us more news of independent voters including a new, not Americans Elect, online gathering site. It's not Americans Elect.
Max's Dad was raised and educated as a Catholic. He still loves Jesus, doesn't care for the Church. Tells us why. Not so much in a reasoned dissertation as in an entertaining rant. Meant more to vent, I imagine, than to convince. In fairness, ex-Methodists could undoubtedly conduct a pretty fair tirade against my church. A friend I admire greatly told me I was a participant in organized hypocrisy. I protested, of course. "That's not fair ... We're not organized!"
Slant Right's John Houk wonders why leftists like ... well ... me, I suppose, want to ally with Islamists. When it comes to freedom of worship in the United States, I suppose it has to do with basic fairness. When it comes to international relations, I suppose it has to do with alliances to crush terrorists. When it comes to peace, I suppose it comes to not killing innocents. John comes to a different conclusion. Has to do with destroying Christian and Jewish religion. Oh my. Busted. I just hope our pastor doesn't find out what i've been up to.
PZ Myers, writing for Pharyngula, has opinions about the role of women in religion. He finds himself challenged on the science of his observations. So he vivisects his detractor on the methods of science. Off-beat, but substantially entertaining.
- Why do we have to do this, Sir? looks around him and is possessed by the sudden compulsion to review British summer wear. Funny. Painful, but funny.